General Myers Confirmation Hearing
[Posted 14 November 2001]
Senate Armed Services Committee
U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) Holds Hearing On Nomination of General
Richard Myers to be Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff
Speaker: U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mi), Chairman
SEPTEMBER 13, 2001
LEVIN: Today, in New York City and across the Potomac in Virginia, our
fellow citizens continue to sift through the ruins two days after the
most deadly and cowardly attack ever against the United States. The
terrorists behind this horror sought to destroy more than structures,
they sought to destroy the American spirit. But those who unleashed this
horror now understand you have failed. Through our rage at these attacks
on our people and on our free institutions shines a focused
determination to recover our loved ones and friends who are still lost,
and to assist their loved ones in coping with the devastating void into
which they have been plunged. Our fury at those who attack innocence is
matched by our determination to protect our citizens from more terror,
and by our resolve to track down, to root out, and relentlessly pursue
the terrorists and those who would shelter or harbor them.
Two nights ago, Senator Warner and I joined Secretary Rumsfeld, General
Shelton, and General Myers at the Pentagon, and witnessed first-hand
that determination. Brave men and women were attending to the victims
and fighting the fires -- all just a few feet away from loved ones and
friends who were still missing or presumed killed. Many of them have
been working non-stop ever since the attack. America salutes them as the
genuine heroes and heroines that they are. And our prayers are with the
victims and the families and friends who grieve for them.
For every person who has perpetrated a barbaric act, thousands of
Americans have engaged in acts of extraordinary courage. Those acts are
still unfolding, and will unfold in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
Debate is an inherent part of our democracy. And while our democratic
institutions are stronger than any terrorist attack, in one regard we
operate differently in times of national emergency. We set aside our
differences and we ask decent people everywhere to join forces with us
to seek out and defeat the common enemy of the civilized world.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh Shelton, assured
the nation two nights ago that America's armed forces are ready. General
Shelton has served in the demanding position of chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff for the past four years with great distinction. The
nation and every man and woman who wears our country's uniform owe him a
tremendous debt of gratitude.
And now, General Richard Myers is ready to assume the duties that
General Shelton so magnificently shouldered. The president has nominated
General Myers to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Shelton's term expires on September 30. This committee must act
on General Myers nomination, and we will do so.
The tragic events of the last two days vividly remind us again of the
importance of this position. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
is the highest ranking military officer in the United States armed
forces, and is the principal military adviser to the president, the
National Security Council, and the secretary of defense.
General Myers is uniquely well-qualified to serve as the next chairman
of the Joint Chiefs. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran who knows the
dangers faced by our men and women in uniform. He has led U.S. forces in
Japan and in the Pacific with a steady hand. He has served as assistant
to the chairman and as commander-in-chief, U. S. Space Command. Since
February, 2000, he has served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the
nation's second-highest ranking military officer, at times acting as
chairman in General Shelton's absence. General Myers is, I believe, the
first vice chairman to be nominated as chairman.
At times when we are reminded almost daily of the dangers to our
military personnel and the sacrifices of their families, we particularly
want to welcome General Myers' wife, Mary Jo. Mrs. Myers, we welcome
you. We thank you for your service to the nation. You, too, will be
called upon for sacrifice, in addition to the extraordinary sacrifice
which you and the family have already undertaken. This is no ordinary
time. This will be no ordinary nomination hearing.
As vice chairman, General Myers has been personally involved in the
rescue efforts at the Pentagon and in guiding the United States armed
forces during these difficult days. He is in a unique position to update
the committee and the country on the situation, and we have asked him to
General Myers, we welcome your testimony on the status of the efforts at
the Pentagon, the extent of the damage and loss of life, the role that
the U.S. military forces are playing in support of rescue and relief
efforts in New York City, and what steps this nation might take to
strengthen our ongoing efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism.
General Myers has responded to the committee's pre-hearing policy
questions and our standard questionnaire. Without objection, these
responses will be made part of the record. The committee has received
the required paperwork on General Myers, and will be reviewing that
paperwork to make sure that it is in accordance with the committee's
I just want to make two very brief announcements before I call on
Senator Warner, and then on our two colleagues who will be introducing
First, at the conclusion of our open session, Senator Warner and I have
determined that we will go into a members-only, classified session in
the Intelligence Committee Hearing Room, SH 219. General Myers will be
there with other members from the uniformed staff. Also, Secretary
Wolfowitz will be joining us at that time.
Secondly, we are making arrangements for bus transportation -- I want to
thank Senator Warner for his leadership in this -- for members of the
committee who would like to go to the Pentagon at approximately 6:30
this evening. There are a number of members who have made their own
arrangements to go over the last couple of days. Senator Warner and I
fully concurred and thought it would be helpful to arrange for
transportation for those who might wish to go to the Pentagon at
approximately that time, 6:30 this evening. We will be back to you as
soon as possible with details about the precise time and place. It will
be after our executive session at a place to be determined.
WARNER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I do hope as many members who can will take this opportunity. Just
moments ago, I left the site and I have been on it twice now.
WARNER: And General Myers, I want to thank you for taking the time to go
up there today -- we met at the site together -- and particularly,
General, that you took the time to recognize the hard- working people
there, primarily from Virginia and Maryland, the District of Columbia;
fire, rescue, Red Cross, engineers.
It's a remarkable scene, I say to my colleagues, and I think no matter
how many times we viewed this on television, those of you who can avail
themselves of the opportunity to see not only the site, the work going
on, but the precise manner in which that plane was directed at the
So Mr. Chairman, I've just received a call from the White House. I am to
meet with the president at 3:10, so I'm going to put my statement in for
the record. I thank Mrs. Myers, as the chairman said, for your career
opportunities, not only for yourself, but for your distinguished
husband. Without doubt, it's a team effort. So often in the military,
fortunately, it's a team effort.
So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to depart. I hope to return in time
for your executive committee hearing.
LEVIN: Thank you very much, Senator Warner.
General Myers has responded to the committee's pre-hearing policy
questions, our standard questionnaire. Without objection, these
responses will be made part of the record. The committee has also
received, as I mentioned, the paperwork on General Myers, and as I
indicated we will be reviewing that paperwork.
There are several standard questions that we ask nominees who come
before the committee, and I will ask General Myers these questions.
First, do you agree, if confirmed for this position, to appear before
this committee and other appropriate committees of the Congress and to
give your personal views, even if those views differ from the
administration in power?
MYERS: Mr. Chairman, yes I do.
LEVIN: Have you adhered to applicable laws and regulations governing
conflict of interest?
MYERS: Yes, I have.
LEVIN: Have you assumed any duties or undertaken any actions which would
appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation process?
MYERS: No, I haven't.
LEVIN: Will you ensure that the joint staff complies with deadlines
established for requested communications, including prepared testimony
and questions for the record in hearings?
MYERS: Yes, sir, I will.
LEVIN: Will you cooperate in providing witnesses and briefers in
response to congressional requests?
MYERS: Yes, sir.
LEVIN: And will those witnesses be protected from reprisal for their
LEVIN: At this point, we have two colleagues who both claim General
Myers as their own, and we understand why -- fully. It's nice to be
fought over in this way, General. We will first call upon, with the
agreement of both of our colleagues, Senator Carnahan for the first
introduction, and then Senator Roberts for the second introduction.
CARNAHAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
America is enduring one of the gravest moments in our history. But as
holy scripture reminds us, it always gives us hope, and we are minded
from the book of Esther that there are those who are called to the
forefront in just such times. Sitting next to me is a military leader
for our time.
He has been tried and proven time and time again. Our country is indeed
fortunate in this hour of need to have General Richard B. Myers as the
nominee for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He will inherit a
post of paramount responsibility, charged with taking on new battles and
with deploying new weaponry against the current and insidious threats to
our nation. I believe General Myers is the right man to lead our
military forces in this endeavor, and I enthusiastically endorse his
nomination for the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It's a great honor to join Senator Roberts in introducing General Myers
to this committee. Kansas and Missouri have long disputed claims to
territory, as well as collegiate sports titles. Well, today we added to
the historic rivalry between our states. We have a disputed claim over
just which state should claim the nominee for the highest military post
in the land.
But I believe that we can agree on one thing. General Myers would make
an excellent chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His extensive
leadership in space-based defense, U.S.-Asia policy and defense
acquisition make him an ideal candidate to oversee the military's
transformation of the 21st century.
He is a decorated command pilot, with more than 4,000 hours in the
cockpit, including 600 as a fighter pilot in Vietnam. General Myers has
been awarded the distinguished flying cross twice, and 19 air medals. He
has served with distinction as commander-in-chief of U.S. Space Command
and commander of the Pacific air forces. And for the last two years, he
has served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the vice-chair, leading on
the Joint Requirements Oversights Council and Defense Acquisition Board.
But above all, General Myers has emerged as a powerful voice for
America's service men and women. As the highest ranking officer in the
United States military, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must
promote the quality of life for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and
marines. I have no doubt that General Myers will be a strong advocate
for men and women in uniform, both active and reserve components. As a
distinguished warrior himself, he can relate to the rigors and
sacrifices endured by our service men and women today.
Mr. Chairman, I urge this committee to recognize the extraordinary
credentials of this nominee with a favorable reporting to the United
LEVIN: Senator Carnahan, we thank you for that strong endorsement.
ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman and Senator Warner, my dear friends and
colleagues, it is both an honor and a privilege for me to introduce to
the Senate Committee on Armed Services General Richard B. Myers as the
nominee to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
But first, like our distinguished chairman, let me offer my prayers, my
thoughts to the families of the Americans that lost their lives in
regard to the attack on the United States -- an attack not only on them,
our country, but American democracy and freedom. This will not stand.
I wish to associate myself with the outstanding remarks from my
colleague and friend from Missouri, Senator Carnahan. I would like to
revise and extend just a portion, however.
General Myers was born in St. Luke's Hospital. That's a fine hospital
just across the Kansas border. However, just as soon as he was
ambulatory, he was rescued...
... and taken back to Kansas to a community called Marion where he has
lived ever since.
ROBERTS: General Myers is not only a Kansan, but as President John
Wiethald (ph) of Kansas State University will point out, just as
important he is a graduate of Kansas State University, the home of the
ever-optimistic and fighting Wildcats...
... now rated number 10 in the football polls.
Along with his wife Mary Jo (ph), who is a K. State graduate and a
resident of Manhattan, Kansas, America -- what we call the "Little
Apple," she is an English major, and I have been informed that Mary Jo
has spent the last couple of days staffing the phones at the Army Family
Service Center. Well done, Mary Jo, and thank you so very much.
Please understand, as important as being a fighting Wildcat, that it is
an honor for me to present a man I feel is exceptionally qualified to
prepare and lead our military as we deal with emerging threats, so
tragically portrayed on the 11th of September. We must understand the
nature of the warrior class that makes up these state- sponsored or
rogue groups that are capable of perpetrating the attack the United
States suffered as of Tuesday. Make no mistake about it.
Although the possibility of the classic force-on-force military conflict
must be part of our military's capability, we must also be prepared to
realign our military strength to address the asymmetric in warfare
demonstrated so graphically Tuesday. I am confident that General Myers
understands these issues and is certainly ready for them.
I believe that the General has shown that he has a grasp of the
requirement for military transformation. I am confident that the events
of the past few days will affect the direction of the amount of
transformation our military must undergo under his leadership. Part of
the equation for transformation is the supporting role the United States
military must play in handling the consequences of an act of terrorism.
Againk, the events of this week point out the value of the role played
by our military, our active duty forces, our guard and our reserve. But
the military must have this as a mission and be prepared and be trained
Now, I'm not going to reac the impressive military background of the
General, but only add that he is clearly well qualified to lead our
military in this new age that burst in vivid reality on our doorstep on
the 11th, and I uge my colleagues to support General Myers for this most
important post. It again is a privilege and honor to recommend him to
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Roberts.
To use the football analogy a little further in the competition here to
introduce you, it's a tie between Missouri and Kansas.
They both won. They both won, and they're both winners indeed.
General Myers, do you have an opening statement for us?
MYERS: Mr. Chairman, I do have a short opening statement.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the
opportunity to appear before you today. I especially want to thank
Senator Carnahan of Missouri, my birthplace, for your very kind words.
And I sincerely appreciate your remarks, Senator Roberts, both because
you're a fellow man of the plains and a K. Stater, but more
appropriately today because of your recent chairmanship of the
Subcommittee on Emerging Threats. You've been part of a great team at
the leading edge of our efforts to address the challenge of asymmetric
warfare, and for that we're all in you debt.
Two days ago, our nation sufferred a sudden, horrific attack by
terrorists. They attacked two symbols of our national power -- one
economic and one military -- but not the heart of that power. The heart
of America's strength is found not in its symbols, but in its people --
270 million determined citizens.
And similarly, the heart of American military power is not a symbol
called the Pentagon. The heart of that power resides in every soldier,
sailor, airman, marine, coast guardsman sworn to defend our Constitution
and the American way of life.
These despicable acts have awakened a national resolve in the American
people and its armed forces that rivals any scene since Pearl Harbor.
Today, due in large measure to the outstanding support of the members
sitting before me, America's military is trained, ready and extremely
capable of responding to the president's clarion call.
If confirmed, I pledge to keep our armed forces at that razor's edge,
first and foremost by sustaining our quality force and taking care of
the heart of our military, our people. They are our decisive edge. We've
made great strides in recent years under the oustanding leadership of
General Hugh Shelton, but we've got to continue the momentum to improve
their quality of life. Hugh Shelton was key in getting us this far, and
of course with your assistance, we can take it to the next level.
MYERS: I will also work tirelessly with our service chiefs and CINCs to
ensure that our troops continue to receive the training, equipment and
support they need to carry out the wide range of missions that we've
assigned to them. And finally, my third priority will be preparing our
military for the security challenges of the future, modernizing and
transforming the force with new, joint capabilities, even as we face the
threats of today.
Members of the committee, if confirmed, I look forward to your wise
counsel in a bipartisan spirit, as we work together to address today's
issues and tomorrow's challenges. I join you in honoring those of our
citizens, military and civilian, who were injured or died in these
recent attacks. Our hearts go out to all who have lost loved ones in
this terrible tragedy. And we will never forget them.
So thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to your questions in a
minute. But first, with your permission, I'd like to talk two issues:
the status of the Pentagon and the civil support measures that we've
taken, by the armed forces, in providing support in New York and
MYERS: First of all, I think as some of you know that have been to the
Pentagon, that the fire is out, that there are some areas that are
water-damaged. And we're starting to clean those up and to move back
It will leave about a whole wedge of the Pentagon, maybe not quite a
wedge, but almost a wedge of the Pentagon that will need to be rebuilt.
So they're in the process right now of recovering the remains, of
determining the stability of the structure where the airplane hit and
already planning to rebuild that structure.
I was with Senator Cleland when this happened and went back to the
Pentagon. And they were evacuating, of course, the Pentagon at the time.
And I went into the National Military Command Center because that's
essentially my battle station when things are happening.
And it proved to be as resilient as our people did and have throughout
this crisis. And that's where we stayed.
The air got a little acrid at times. The air filtration system shut down
for moments. But we got it back up and were able to stay there
throughout the whole effort.
In terms of military support in New York and Washington, D.C., for the
Pentagon, that support, some of you have seen it, but it's from the
soldiers and sailors and airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from this
area and the local authorities. And there were many first responders.
I can't catalogue all the names on all the sides of all the ambulances
and fire trucks that responded, but they were from all over the
District, from Virginia and from Maryland. And they all pitched in and
did exactly what they had to do.
In New York, the Department of Defense active duty and reserve
component, the Guard and Reserve, have supported every request from FEMA.
And to my knowledge, there may be some outstanding requests, but we are
fulfilling those requests. We fulfilled all the ones that I know of, or
in the process of, maybe a few that we haven't quite responded to yet
because of just the time it takes to move the assets.
They mainly fall in the logistics area and in the medical area and in
transportation. And we're doing that.
There has also been, as you are probably aware, quite a bit of activity
by the North American Aerospace Defense Command in the skies over this
great country. And of course, the Coast Guard has taken special measures
regarding our ports and waterways and our coastline.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I'm prepared to take your questions.
LEVIN: Thank you very much, general.
We will now proceed on the basis of the early bird rule, with a first
round of six minutes each. I understand that approximately 20,000 people
work at the Pentagon, perhaps a few more, that there were 132 killed at
the Pentagon, 64 on the plane that hit the Pentagon.
Can you tell us about what percent of the Pentagon's work space is out
of commission? Do you have any estimate of that?
MYERS: I don't know the exact square footage, sir.
LEVIN: Approximately a percentage of the space -- would it be 20
MYERS: I would say it's roughly 20 percent or less. And as I said, there
are some areas that are water-damaged. The desk and the chairs are fine.
And they'll be moving back into those. But it's going to be, like I
said, about a wedge, so about roughly 20 percent of the square footage.
LEVIN: General, in your personal view, are there capabilities or
equipment that the armed forces need today to respond to the terrorist
attacks that they do not currently have? Or are they able to respond
today, should that decision be made, to those attacks?
MYERS: Sir, I think we are able to respond today. Of course, there are
always ways to enhance our capabilities. And I think you will see, in a
supplemental that is either here or heading this way, what some of those
capabilities will be.
I'm happy to go into that if you want. Some of them will be in the
intelligence area, of course. Some will be in command and control. And
there will be some in the force protection arena.
There will be others, of course. But let me just reiterate. We have what
we need today to do what we need to do.
LEVIN: Was the Defense Department contacted by the FAA or the FBI or any
other agency after the first two hijacked aircraft crashed into the
World Trade Center, prior to the time that the Pentagon was hit?
MYERS: Sir, I don't know the answer to that question. I can get that for
you, for the record.
LEVIN: Thank you. Did the Defense Department take -- or was the Defense
Department asked to take action against any specific aircraft?
MYERS: Sir, we were . . .
LEVIN: And did you take action against -- for instance, there has been
statements that the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania was shot down.
Those stories continue to exist.
MYERS: Mr. Chairman, the armed forces did not shoot down any aircraft.
When it became clear what the threat was, we did scramble fighter
aircraft, AWACS, radar aircraft and tanker aircraft to begin to
establish orbits in case other aircraft showed up in the FAA system that
were hijacked. But we never actually had to use force.
LEVIN: Was that order that you just described given before or after the
Pentagon was struck? Do you know?
MYERS: That order, to the best of my knowledge, was after the Pentagon
LEVIN: General Myers, you have agreed to give us your personal views,
even when they might disagree with the administration in power. But the
secretary was quoted in a July article as saying that his choice for
chairman would have to possess candor and forthrightness, of course --
he said -- but he wanted this willingness to disagree to show up only in
very direct, private counsel.
Now, have you been told that your willingness to disagree should show up
only in private counsel? Or are you committed to give us your personal
views when asked, even if those views might differ with that of the
MYERS: Sir, I've never been told to limit my views to private. And as I
said earlier, Mr. Chairman, absolutely.
LEVIN: Thank you. General, you indicated in response to one of the
committee's pre- hearing policy questions, as to what your priorities
would be if confirmed, that one of your priorities would be to better
define the military's role in homeland security. I'm wondering if you
could tell us what your concerns are in this area and what role you
believe the military should play.
MYERS: Mr. Chairman, that issue was debated in our quadrennial defense
review. And it's still being debated. I think this current tragedy puts
that issue center stage.
As the commander-in-chief of North American Aerospace Defense Command,
as well as U.S. Space Command, we had plans to deploy our fighters to
defend from external threats. I never thought we'd see what we saw the
last few days, where we had fighters over our cities, defending against
a threat that originated inside the United States of America.
So I think this whole issue of homeland defense or homeland security
needs a lot more thought. There is a role, obviously, for the Department
of Defense. What that role is, I'm not confident I know that answer
today. But I just know that the debate needs to take place now.
We've had other issues that we have worked in seminar games, if you
will, or exercises, where we've looked at other incidents of weapons of
mass destruction. And what we found in some of those is that local
authorities are often quickly overcome by the situation. And there is
going to be reliance, I believe, on some of the capabilities that we
have inside the department.
So we need to sort through those issues. To tell you exactly what our
role ought to be, I don't know for sure. I just think we need to think
through that, so the next time we have a terrible tragedy, that we are
ready to act in a unified way and a focused way.
That is not to say that we haven't done that in this crisis. I think we
have come together very, very well. But it certainly raises those
questions, Mr. Chairman.
LEVIN: Thank you very much.
INHOFE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, in spite of what my distinguished friends and senators
from Missouri and Kansas, it's always been recognized that a military
man's life begins at his first training, which was Vance Air Force Base.
So I'll look forward to voting to confirm my fellow Oklahoman.
MYERS: Thank you, senator.
INHOFE: There is one question that I'm going to ask, just for the
record, because I don't think there's an answer today, but it's one I'd
like to have you giving some thought to, and that is the idea of depots.
I think we recognize that we need a corps capability in public depots.
We've gone through a BRAC round where we eliminated two of the five and
transferred the workloads, which was the appropriate thing to do.
However, we're using antiquated, World War II plants, buildings,
maintenance operations. And for the record, at a later date, if you
would submit something, like your ideas as to where they should fit in
and how we can modernize them, I'd appreciate it.
MYERS: Will do, senator.
INHOFE: All right, sir.
As having chaired the Readiness Committee for a number of years, I'm
concerned there's a lot of problems that are readiness problems. One if
encroachment, everything from the environmental constraints to training
ranges, the urban sprawl -- of course, at Nellis, you experienced that
and that's still a problem out there -- air space restrictions, loss of
frequency spectrum. These are all very, very serious problems.
Recently, we've been concerned with the Vieques range, which of course
is Navy and Marine. However, if we, for the first time in our nation's
history, were allowed to -- would allow some lawbreaking trespassers to
close down a live range, it would have a domino effect throughout not
just America, but throughout the world.
So I'd like to have you kind of address, in general, the encroachment
problems as you see them and what possible solutions are out there.
MYERS: Senator Inhofe, an excellent question because it's at the heart
of our readiness. Our training facilities and our training ranges are
absolutely essential to staying ready to discharge the missions that
this country wants us to perform. And encroachment is a problem.
It's been a problem for a long, long time. What I would like to say is
that the department has, in the last year, really focused on this issue
and is trying to work it with, again, a unity of effort, led by the OSD
staff and with the support of the individual services and the joint
I think that's going to help mitigate the effects that we're having
right now. I think this will be something that we're going to have to
deal with for an awfully long time to come, as we develop new weapons
systems, as they require more space or different support facilities.
As we try to pursue that, we're going to have to find that right balance
between our readiness and the environment and the people that we have an
impact on. Technology could play a part in that. And I think we are
taking steps to ensure that it does.
I would just like to leave you with a thought that the department is
very focused on this particular issue right now. And I think we'll be
successful, just through . . .
INHOFE: Yeah, I know that's right. And one of the dilemmas -- let's just
take one of the southeastern ground bases like Camp Lejeune or Fort
Bragg, where their training areas are interrupted by the suspected
habitat of the red-cockaded woodpecker. And the better job they do, the
more that expected habitat is expanded.
So they're being punished for the job that they're doing. This is
something that I think you need to look at because it's happening
throughout the southeast part of the United States.
MYERS: And we will, senator.
INHOFE: All right. Good. And then the general readiness question is the
deficiencies that were discussed by the CINCs in this very room when we
had them in here. I think the cost, I don't remember the exact cost, but
the spare parts, lack of ammunition, shortage of flying hours and all
these, these are just general readiness issues.
You know, it's one of these situations where it's all bleeding. It's all
hemorrhaging. And I know it's -- you're putting yourself in a situation
where you're going to have to try to make some priorities. But do you
have any thoughts about what you can do on these general problems of
readiness out there?
MYERS: Yes, sir, Senator Inhofe.
MYERS: We have, as you know well, having just marked up the president's
'02 budget, the majority of the increase in that budget was for just
those things: for flying hours, for driving time for the Army, for
steaming time for the Navy, for the spare parts to keep the whole
military machine healthy and to try to do so in a way that wouldn't
require coming back to the Congress for a supplemental.
And so I think the efforts over the last several years, some of which
are, again, just starting to pay dividends because of lead time. And
certainly with the '02 or the '01 supplemental and the '02 budget, I
think we've taken steps to ameliorate some of those shortfalls.
Go ahead, senator.
INHOFE: And I was going to mention one other thing. I know my time is
running out, but one last question having to do with modernization.
I was pleased when General Jumper made a statement some time ago --
about a year ago now, I guess it was -- that gave us an opportunity to
have some credibility when we talked about the fact that we have not --
we have slipped a lot in our modernization programs. Most Americans may
disagree with the causes of wars or with some of the problems that we
have, but they all have been laboring under, I think, this misconception
that we have the very best of everything out there.
And we don't have the very best anymore. Our best air-to-air vehicle,
the F-15, air-to-ground vehicle, the F-16, in many ways, the SU series
that's on the open market, manufactured by the Russians, are better than
that what we have.
So I'm sure that that's one of your top priorities. And if you have any
comments to make about your ideas on modernization, maybe specifically
MYERS: Senator Inhofe, modernization is a huge issue. And when it comes
to tactical air, the dilemma we're in -- and I think this is true for
the Air Force for sure, for the Navy to a little lesser degree, for
Marine Corps for sure. And I don't mean, it's just in degrees here.
But these procurements go in cycles over time. And for most of this
decade, we have not bought a lot of tactical air.
So what our tactical air assets have done have just continued to age.
And I would agree with your comments. We are not always flying the best
fighters in the world anymore.
In terms of the F-22, I think it's absolutely essential. The secretary
of defense has authorized entry into low-rate production. And that
decision should be made here through OMB very, very quickly. I can go
into more detail if you want.
INHOFE: That's fine, general.
And my time has expired. But I'd also want you to look at other
services; for example, our artillery capability, our rapid-fire, our
ranges. The Paladin that we're using now is not as good as almost any
country that could be a potential adversary.
MYERS: Senator, I absolutely agree.
And though I sit here in front of you in a blue uniform of the United
States Air Force, my whole focus is going to be on what the contribution
is of systems to the joint warfighting equation. And that's it.
So that naturally takes me into every service's modernization programs
and, for that matter, other concepts that they may have and doctrinal
changes. That's all important to me.
INHOFE: Thank you.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Inhofe.
AKAKA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
We've heard many good statements on General Myers. I would like to
express my welcome and support for the nomination of General Richard E.
Myers to serve as the chairman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I also
want to welcome Mrs. Myers to this hearing as well.
I had the pleasure of first meeting General Myers when he served as the
commander of the Pacific Air Forces, PACAF, from 1997 to 1998 at Hickam
in Hawaii. And while he was there, he made a big difference in the
I also want to thank General Myers for taking the time to visit with me
last week to discuss a number of issues. And some of the questions I
would have asked here, we did discuss it in your visit. And so I will
ask you other questions.
But I just want to say, Mr. Chairman, I have full confidence in General
Myers' ability to serve in this critical position. And I look forward to
working with you, General Myers.
MYERS: Thank you, senator.
AKAKA: Of course, I'm very interested about what will be happening to
Hawaii and what changes may come. My question is about the Asian Theater
How will U.S. forces be altered to focus on potential Asian Theater
threats, as identified by Secretary Rumsfeld? And how might this affect
force posture in Hawaii?
MYERS: Senator Akaka, that is the subject of two things. One is the
quadrennial defense review, which is ongoing and the defense planning
guidance, which ask the services to look at several posture options
around the world, to include the Pacific, the Asia-Pacific region.
Some of those do-outs won't come back until next spring, when the
services will come back with some of their ideas on perhaps a more
efficient posture for their forces. And some of it will come out of the
review, of course, as well. So it's a little bit premature because we
have not finished those reviews.
Again, it's going to be trying to balance our obligations around the
globe and the missions that we're given. Clearly, the emphasis on
Asia-Pacific is the one the secretary has set for us and one that we
embrace. And we're looking at exactly those questions. I think it's just
a little bit early to give you specifics on that, sir.
AKAKA: General -- and this will be my final question, I want to be brief
-- what are the first measures that need to be taken for military
transformation, in your opinion?
MYERS: Well, transformation, we could talk a long time about
transformation. Let me just talk about one aspect of it, I think, that
gets perhaps to your question. And it goes back to ensuring that, inside
the Department of Defense, we have unity of effort for transforming --
and, for that matter, modernizing -- our forces.
Part of that includes guidance from the office of the secretary of
defense and the staff. Part of that includes work that the services will
do. Part of that includes development of joint operational concepts and
architectures that must lead, development of material, items that might
enhance our joint -- or our transformation.
And of course, there is a major part that resides at Joint Forces
Command down in Norfolk because they've got the role of experimentation,
which you would think would led our transformation efforts. And it's
trying to focus those efforts between all those pieces: the acquisition
community, the requirements community and the programming and budgeting
We've got to bring all that together to encourage and to help our
transformation. The secretary of defense has -- very rightly, I think --
focused in on our programming and budgeting system as being a product of
the Cold War and is looking to make changes in it to make it more
responsive to our transformation needs.
So if I were to talk about it, I would talk about the process first and
the products later.
AKAKA: Thank you very much for your responses.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Akaka.
SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, is your intention to go one round and then go into
LEVIN: It's going to depend on how long the round takes, I think. But
there also may be a delay on the executive session. Senator Warner and I
need to go now to meet with the leadership at 4:30. And that could
We may have to have an interim period of some time, which would
hopefully last no more than 15 or 20 minutes. So there's a little bit of
uncertainty now about when that will begin. I've just been informed.
However, I would say we'd hope to do it in one round, but perhaps if
there are some questions which we simply need to ask, we would have a
very short second round, would be my hope.
SMITH: Thank you.
General Myers, congratulations on the honor of being selected as
chairman. It is amazing, really, to think that what normally is just a
perfunctory service, if you will, of the committee to bring the nominees
in, whether it's the chairman or other positions on the joint chiefs,
it's usually become just a few questions and answers and then move
forward with your nomination, now takes on huge implications.
And I just want you to know, speaking for myself and I know I speak for
others, we have great confidence in your and the job that you're going
to have to face. And just want to let you know we're with you and look
forward to doing the nation's business.
MYERS: Thank you, senator.
SMITH: I just have -- it's hard to stay out of what happened, but I do
have a couple of questions that I want to ask in classified session. But
I want to ask you one that got some publicity, to see if you can answer
it here. If you can't, then fine. Say so and we'll do it in executive,
But there were some reports that there were some international flights
headed here during this episode. That is not unreasonable, to think
international flights might be coming here. But I mean that may have
been turned around abruptly after things developed.
Is there any truth to the accusation that there may have been some
international flights involved with this activity? Do we have any
information on that?
MYERS: I do not have complete information because at the time it
happened -- I can give you there was one flight inbound to the U.S. that
had turned on its transponder and indicated a code that it was being
hijacked. Before it got to Alaska, we had fighter aircraft on it. It
eventually landed in a remote base in Canada.
And the problem is, I do not know -- and they were safe. And I don't
know the results of that, whether it was a mistaken switch setting or
what it was. I can't tell you that.
We can find that answer for you, senator.
SMITH: The plane was not hijacked? It just landed.
MYERS: Well, we don't know. I'd better say I don't know because we had
other things to do at that time. And once it was safely on the ground
and the passengers were safe, we went on to the next order of business.
That was in the middle of all this. We had reports of other aircraft,
one other aircraft that I'm aware of. And the reports were somewhat
mixed and I don't think were true because it was turned around by the
operating company and went back to Europe on its own and was fine.
So the only one I know of that even comes close is the one I mentioned.
And I don't know if that was a hijack attempt or some other kind of
duress that the airplane was under.
SMITH: Do we know the country of origin?
MYERS: Not for sure.
SMITH: Mr. Chairman, I have some other . . .
MYERS: I can tell you in closed session what I do know.
SMITH: I'll wait for that.
I have some other questions, Mr. Chairman, but I'm going to submit those
for the record because they don't relate to the current environment and
I'll yield back the remainder of my time.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Smith, very much.
CARNAHAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Myers, I understand that you've had extensive experience in
planning for combating cyber attacks. I was wondering if you would
describe your work in this emerging field and elaborate on your plans to
build off of these experiences?
MYERS: Well, where I first ran into the responsibility was when I was at
U.S. Space Command. And about a month after I arrived, after I was
confirmed by the committee and I arrived for duty, the president and the
secretary of defense decided that the responsibility for defense of the
DOD networks would fall to U.S. Space Command and then, a year later,
that U.S. Space Command would have the responsibility for attack.
By the way, I didn't get a vote in this. This was a responsibility that
We had to learn very quickly on how to go about these responsibilities.
Since then, we have come a very, very long way. And General Eberhart,
who now serves at U.S. Space Command, has really taken this to the next
Here in Washington, D.C., we have a joint task force for computer
network operations. It does its job through coordination with all the
services, of course, and other agencies. There is great cooperation with
our civilian telecom folks. And there is also great cooperation with the
FBI and other civil authorities who have a role in all this.
The thing I would like to leave you with is it's not unlike the earlier
question about homeland defense or homeland security. Certainly, when
you're under attack in a cyber way, fairly quickly you have to
determine: is this an attack on the United States by another nation or
another group that wants to do you harm? Is it a prankster?
So it essentially comes down to: is this a civil matter? Or is this a
national defense or a national security matter? And we have mechanisms
for deciding that. But I think that's another area, along with the whole
homeland defense issue, that needs a lot more thought.
I would just end by saying that the mechanisms set up for cyber security
for the Department of Defense have been very effective. And the recent
viruses that have spread throughout the country have had essentially no
impact on our operation.
CARNAHAN: The Emerging Threats Subcommittee has been involved in
examining the National Guard's role in managing the aftereffects of a
nuclear or chemical or biological attack. For example, we are continuing
to help develop the weapons of mass destruction civil support teams. And
these teams, some of them are being trained in Army facilities around
the country, including Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.
And they are being trained to work with some of the emergency first
responders to decontaminate areas and to help with medical aid. I was
wondering if you would describe what you feel the importance of these
are and detail your commitment to honing our abilities to respond to
MYERS: Senator Carnahan, absolutely. I think they're just extremely
This is an area where the National Guard, I think, can play a key role.
I think they're ideally suited for this type of mission because it's one
they can train for. And, God forbid, we'll never have to use them. But
if we do, they'll be ready. They'll be trained.
I think those missions are perhaps more natural for the National Guard
than some of the current missions. So that's one of the things we have
to look at, as we look at the overall issue of homeland defense, is the
role of the reserve component, primarily the National Guard and how they
would play in this.
I think it's extremely important. I think the National Guard's role is
only going to increase.
CARNAHAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
LEVIN: Thank you very much, Senator Carnahan.
Let me apologize to my colleagues. I had the wrong list in front of me,
in terms of the order of calling on senators. And as a result, there
were people called out of order on both sides already.
And now I have the alleged correct order. And let me now read it because
there has been some confusion on this. The next senator on the
Democratic side would be the senator who I should have called on first.
Senator Cleland. I apologize to you.
And then, it would go to Senator Roberts, back to Senator Reed, back to
Senator Allard. Senator Akaka, who I wasn't supposed to call on until
way later, got called early. So I would then go back to Senator Nelson,
then to Senator Collins and then to Senator Lieberman, who is no longer
But Senator Carnahan, apparently you got called early, so you got -- I
don't know how that can happen when you introduced our nominee. But
nonetheless, if I haven't totally confused you by now, that's the new
order of calling on senators. And I apologize.
(UNKNOWN): What about the rest?
LEVIN: Oh, the rest? Let me finish the list, in that case. After Senator
Lieberman, on this side, will be Senator Bunning, then Senator Ben
Nelson, Senator McCain, Senator Landrieu, Senator Hutchinson, Senator
Dayton, Senator Sessions.
(UNKNOWN): About midnight?
LEVIN: No, we're going to try to do that by -- multiply six times about
15 and you got it. So we just called -- Senator Carnahan was there.
So now, it's Senator Roberts.
ROBERTS: I thank the chairman.
In August, general, General Shelton sent an action memo requesting
permission for -- I'm quoting -- "transfer of antiterrorism force
protection" -- the acronym, everything has to be an acronym, ATFP,
"functions to the assistant secretary of defense for special operations
and low-intensity conflicts." That's a long one, ASD SOLIC.
And he stated, in that action memo, that ATFP is not a statutory
function of the JCS and is more appropriately the shared responsibility
of OSD, the CINCs and the services. Now, I was prepared to address this
issue before the 11 September tragedy. But I must tell you I am not --
not -- supportive of the JCS not being involved in antiterrorism force
I do agree that OSD and the CINCs and the services must be involved as
well. It's their responsibility, but so must the JCS. This is too big of
an issue not to have the leadership, I think, that your office can
Would you give your views on General Shelton's request? And can you shed
some light on this decision?
MYERS: Senator Roberts, to my knowledge, that was a recommendation to
the secretary of defense. And again, to my knowledge, I don't believe we
have a decision on it yet.
On General Shelton's thoughts behind this, was basically unity of
effort. The services and the unified commanders are the ones that are
responsible for force protection. The role that this office and the
joint staff played and the role of the office of the secretary of
defense are staff functions to disseminate policy, work the resources
and so forth.
The idea was, if you're looking for redundancy, maybe this is a place
you could look and that, from a staff function, not from any other
shirking of responsibility, but from a staff function, who should have
that responsibility? And that was the chairman's thoughts at the time.
It was to eliminate some redundancy, is what he was thinking.
ROBERTS: We're going to have to talk about that later. I won't go into
it right now.
But I have another question. It may be somewhat redundant, in regards to
a question that was asked previously.
Last November, the GAO reported that the services were not integrating
their chemical and biological defense into unit exercises and that the
training, if done, was not always realistic, in terms of how units would
operate in war. Similarly, the DOD reported last year that the Army's
combat training centers continue to see units at all levels unable to
perform all chemical and biological defense tasks to standard.
The DOD report, like the recent GAO report, noted that less than
satisfactory performance of the units is directly attributable to the
lack of a chemical and biological training at the unit's home
installations. What is your assessment of that?
Let me say, however, that if you had asked me and Mary Landrieu, the
distinguished chairman of emerging threats, what we would have expected
on 11 November, if in fact we knew there was going to be an attack, we
would have probably said a biological weaponry of some kind, perhaps
chemical, perhaps a cyber attack. I don't think any of us would have
come up with a top 10 saying that terrorists would hijack four
airplanes, kill the crew, endanger and kill the passengers and then
attack American icon infrastructures.
But having said that, there is a very realistic possibility in regards
to chemical and biological defense. I am worried about it. What comments
do you have?
MYERS: Senator Roberts, I am worried about it as well. And I agree with
your threat assessment. I think that we know that is a real threat to
our forces deployed around the world and, perhaps from terrorism, in the
So we've got to be ready. Now, this is interesting because when I got to
the Pacific in the early '90s, we decided this was not a big threat. And
we started to tear down some of our infrastructure that supported it.
I know this is true in the United States Air Force because I had an Air
Force hat on at that time. And then we were told no, as we looked at the
threat, this was the wrong direction. So we've tried to get that ship
turned in a different direction.
I think we're in that process. And we've got to be just as ready for
that kind of threat as we are for the more conventional threat.
So I agree with your comments. And it's one of the things that, if I'm
confirmed, that I'll take a hard look at.
ROBERTS: Are the deployed units falling short of standards for
chemical-bio defense capabilities set by joint doctrine?
MYERS: Sir, I'll have to get back to you on that. That's not one of the
things that has come up in the readiness reporting that I review
monthly. So I'll have to get back to you on that, sir.
ROBERTS: I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Roberts.
CLELAND: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I just want to thank Senator Roberts and Senator Landrieu for, over the
last couple of years, making this sena or more and more painfully aware
of the unconventional threats to our country, which manifested
themselves on Tuesday.
General, it's a good thing that, as I look back at that morning, that
you and I were meeting. It's a good thing we were meeting here and not
us meeting in the Pentagon because about the time you and I were having
our visit, discussing the need to boost our conventional forces, to look
at the question of terrorism and attacks on the United States, at just
about that very moment, the Pentagon was being hit.
MYERS: Yes, sir.
CLELAND: So, it's good to see you.
MYERS: Good to see you, senator.
CLELAND: I'm glad to be here with you. In thinking of this moment in
American history, I think no new chairman of the joint chiefs of staff
has ever taken over in such a perilous time, maybe with the exception of
some officers who took over in December 1941, when we didn't have a
joint chiefs of staff.
But you take over at a perilous moment, a historic moment, but one
filled with opportunity. Our wonderful chaplain, Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie (ph),
says that sometimes life can be awfully simple or simply awful. Tuesday,
it was simply awful, as we all know.
One of the things that it seems to me, though, is that some things came
out of that that are awfully simple and that is: number one, we need to
boost our intelligence capability; two, we need to make sure that so
much of our assets, more of our assets, are put forward toward
counter-terrorism activity; and three, that the United States American
military has to be an integral part of this and that cyber-terrorism is
a part of this in the future. These are findings that have been brought
before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and before this committee in
the last couple of years, that we needed to be more prepared in these
And so, with Tuesday's events, for me it's awfully simple: that this is
where we've got to beef up. It is amazing that we spend well over $300
billion a year on defense and yet, Tuesday, we seemed very much
So I just wondered what lessons, over the last 72 hours, you have
quickly learned that are awfully simple to you that you can share with
MYERS: Well, I think you've hit on some of them. And as I mentioned
earlier, one of the first things we need to do -- and this will take
some thought because it's not without differing views on the issue --
and that is what is the department's role in this type of activity
inside the United States?
Overseas, it's a little easier to envision. Inside this great country,
it's a little bit more difficult.
So what is our role? What is our mission and so forth? And so that's the
homeland defense issue. And we need to get about that business of coming
to grips with that and how all the agencies of this government
collaborate and cooperate to bring focus to the problem.
I would also, on the intelligence side, say that obviously that's a
As you know, Senator Cleland, there is a major review of our intel
apparatus going on right now. And I think it goes without saying that
our intelligence operations are structured as they were during the Cold
War. They're looking at that.
And my guess is they'll have substantial changes to the way we're
perhaps organized and, for sure, equipped to deal with the 21st century.
And you'll see some of that in the supplemental that is coming this way.
Another issue that came to my mind that maybe others haven't thought of
is the absolute essential nature of our communications. And they worked
fine in this crisis. But you could envision other scenarios, other
asymmetric attacks on the United States, where maybe our communications
wouldn't work so well.
And we spend a lot of money for secure, survivable communications. And
we have a program to do that over time. It's got some funding problems
But if it drove something home to me, is the need to fund that properly
and to make sure -- and I'm not saying this incident would trigger
something like that, but you could have incidents you could think where
you might not have the comms (ph) you need to have with the country's
leadership to make the kind of decisions you need to make. And so I
would add that one to your list.
CLELAND: One of the other things that seems awfully simple to me is that
Senator Roberts and I took the floor to a relatively empty Senate last
year and five or six different times talked about the role of America in
the wake of the Cold War being over and that, in many ways, we were
hyperextended. We were overextended. Our forces were spread thing.
And I personally, like you and others in this body here, have been to
see where we have spent $300 million in defending, with Camp Bonnestille
(ph), Kosovo; where throughout the continent of Europe; where last
August I was up on the DNZ; where we've got 37,000 troops in Korea. For
this hyperextension of American power, all around the globe, it does
seem ironic to me that we can't defend New York and Washington.
I mean, so some things were simply awful on Tuesday. But I think out of
that come some things that, to me, are awfully simple. And that these
are the priorities we ought to focus on.
Thank you very much for your service and God bless you.
MYERS: Thank you.
CLELAND: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Cleland.
ALLARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I'd like to join my colleagues in congratulating you, General Myers, on
a very successful career, part of which was in the state of Colorado, as
commander of U.S. Space Command. And I felt like we had a great working
relationship there. And I want to ask you some questions on missile
defense and then maybe a question or two on the Space Commission report,
if I have time.
On missile defense, in your advance questions to the committee, you
thought that it would be reasonable to deploy a ballistic missile
defense if it met four criteria relating to deployment and threat, cost
effectiveness and operational capability. You also stated in your
answers that you believe that deploying a ballistic missile defense to
defend the United States from a limited attack was in the national
And so I have four questions related to that. Have you concluded that
the ballistic missile threat warrants such a deployment?
MYERS: Sir, my conclusion is that it has. And if I can expand just a
MYERS: We've had, for quite some time now, the threat of the
shorter-range missiles against our troops. And we saw that starkly in
Desert Storm when the so-called Scud missile went into Dhahran and
killed over 20 of our U.S. personnel.
Since that time, the proliferation of missile technology, of course, has
spread to many other countries. So from the shorter-range missiles to
the longer-range missiles, I think we can now say that we absolutely,
there is a -- at least there is the capability out there. And this could
be a threat to the United States.
ALLARD: Have you concluded that affordable, cost-effective ballistic
missile defenses can be developed and deployed?
MYERS: I think that part remains to be determined. I think we're well on
the way to that. But I think there is -- I think for the shorter-range
missiles, the answer is absolutely yes.
In fact, this month is the month the first unit equipped for the new
Patriot III system, which is the -- that is a response. And it's taken
us 10 years, but we have a response now for the shorter-range missiles
that is much more effective than the missile defenses we had during
Desert Storm. And as I said, the first unit will be equipped this month
and then follow-on units, of course.
So I think, for the shorter-range missiles, the answer is yes. For the
threats against the United States, I think the honest answer to that is
we've got to wait and see. My gut tells me that yes, we'll be able to
develop this in a way that is affordable and effective.
I think that's what General Kadish has testified before this committee.
But we need to watch that.
ALLARD: Have you concluded that such systems will be operationally
MYERS: Again, I think we have to -- I have not concluded that yet.
Again, on the shorter-range systems, I think we can say Patriot III has
been through extensive testing. I think we can say it's effective.
We're going to have to look at the rest of them as they come on board:
so-called THAAD, the potential Navy systems, airborne laser. Many of
those are in developmental stages. And I think it's too early to say
that they're, at this moment, effective.
But I think the vector for all of them is actually positive. And we're
just going to have to evaluate those, as we do all systems, as they come
on-line, through appropriate testing.
ALLARD: Have you concluded that such systems will increase U.S.
MYERS: If they meet those criteria that we talked about earlier, Senator
Allard, I would say they do. In the terms, I'll go back to Patriot III
again, I think it does increase our security. And we'll just have to
see, as the other systems come on board.
If they develop as the requirements call for them to develop, then I
think we'll be able to say yes to that. But for some of those systems,
it's probably too early.
ALLARD: I'd like to turn to the Space Commission report.
MYERS: Yes, sir.
ALLARD: The commission recommended that the United States -- and I quote
-- "develop, deploy and maintain the means to deter attack and to defend
vulnerable space capabilities, including defense in space." And then
they go on -- quote -- "power projection in and from and through space."
What new investment should the Defense Department make to develop,
deploy and maintain the capabilities described in the Space Commission
MYERS: Some of those we can probably talk about here in open session and
some of those we're probably going to have to talk about in the closed
session or separately. The one that immediately comes to mind that I
think we can talk about and is fundamental to the term we use as space
control, which is guaranteeing access to space for our use and denying
it when appropriate to adversaries, and that is space surveillance, our
ability to know what is going on in space.
We have a system today that is made up of many different elements, some
of which are quite old. It needs to be refurbished. The goals have been
set in the defense planning guidance to do exactly that. So that's one I
think we can talk about.
We can talk about the absolute fundamental nature of space control to
everything else we want to do in space. And it all starts with knowing
what's going on up there. So space surveillance is the one I'd
ALLARD: I'd like to now go to, since I still have some time left, to go
to space-based radar.
MYERS: Yes, sir.
ALLARD: This has been a controversial program between the House and the
Senate and that came out in the conference. Last year and in previous
years, we've had quite a bit of discussion on it.
What is your feeling about space-based radar. And can you relate to this
committee whether the Air Force and OSD have decided to deploy
MYERS: The whole issue about space-based radar, if we take it up to the
next level, is what we're talking about here is persistence. We're
talking about the difference between reconnaissance, which looks at
things in elements of time, to something that surveils, that looks at
something all the time.
We're pretty much in the reconnaissance mode today. My personal view is,
in intelligence, we need to go to the surveillance mode for this kind of
And so, when the technology is ready and affordable, my vote would be
that we need to pursue this initiative. This is something that's also
captured, I think, in our defense planning guidance, as I recall. There
is emphasis there.
This will not be -- my time at Space Command taught me, since I delved
into this at length, this will not something that will be quickly able
to put on orbit. There is a lot of technological work yet to do. Having
said that, my own view is that this is achievable over time and that,
when we have an affordable system, one we can put up, that we ought to
ALLARD: Thank you. My time is expired.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Allard.
REED: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And welcome, General Myers.
And let me thank you and Mrs. Myers for a lifetime of selfless service
to the Air Force and to the United States. And knowing that you're a
graduate of the Army War College, I know you're prepared for the duties
that you will soon assume.
Let me also take up the issue of national missile defense. Given the
answers to your previous questions and with respect to a national
missile defense against long-range, intercontinental missiles, would you
recommend deployment of such a system in this fiscal year that's coming
MYERS: A deployment of the system in this fiscal year? My understanding
is that we're not ready for deployment in the fiscal year '03?
REED: Would you recommend acquiring additional missiles, some of which
have not been tested, for a contingency deployment in the upcoming
MYERS: I think whatever system we deploy has to be -- we have to have
high confidence in its ability to do the job that we require it to do.
So . . .
REED: Could you estimate, given your knowledge today, when you would
have that high confidence? Next fiscal year? The following fiscal year?
MYERS: Senator Reed, I can't give you the details on that. I would rely
on General Kadish and his folks to provide that assessment.
REED: Thank you. And in terms of the security of the United States with
deployment of such a system, what criteria would you look to?
MYERS: The ones that Senator Allard talked about before and that we have
to know that we have a technical capability that meets the operational
requirement and that it's affordable.
REED: Not specifically, for example. There is a discussion recently in
the press that China is proposing to increase its long- range missile
fleet. And there is some suggestion that the administration has not
actively discouraged them because such a fleet could clearly overwhelm
any national missile defense we would deploy and therefore, the Chinese
would take confidence that we would deploy a system that's not a threat
But that increase of missiles, would that be a more stable world, in
your view, or a more complicated world?
MYERS: Let me attack it from the other side, and that is attack your
question from the other side. I think one of the fundamental things we
have to do is be able to protect our troops overseas and our U.S.
citizens. We've talked about the threat. And I think there's a threat on
We know we have a short-range threat. We've had that for some time now.
There is a longer-range threat that has been acknowledged.
So I would say that whatever steps we can take to handle that threat, to
defeat that threat, are appropriate. And our troops and our allies and,
I think, our U.S. citizens would want us to do that.
REED: Well, let me just say that I think there is a strong sense of
support, obviously, for increased research in all of these areas; also
for deployment because it seems to be capable -- as you mentioned, the
PAC-3 is ready for deployment -- of theater missile defense systems. And
with that, I think we're all in agreement.
Let me ask another question. This is one that touches upon the whole
issue of strategic posture of the United States.
If a foreign power launched a missile against the United States, even if
that missile were intercepted, would you recommend to the president we
retaliate against that act of war?
MYERS: That's a hypothetical situation. But I can put my old hat on back
at North American Aerospace Defense Command because that was exactly the
responsibility that fell. And the situation you have posed, if there was
a missile launched and we intercepted it, would I advocate a response?
In that scenario, in that narrow scenario, absolutely not. In fact, as
we sat there in Cheyenne Mountain and showing, taking people through the
mountain, we played a simulation of what an attack on the United States
might look like. And the frustrating part was, you know, we do a pretty
good job of telling folks we're under attack with very high assurance,
but there's nothing you could do about it.
It would be wonderful if we had that capability. And it would give the
national command authorities time then to refine a response. And it
might not be to retaliate, which might help stabilize the situation.
REED: General, again, I think your experience and your service is
extraordinary. And it gives us, at least it gives me, confidence because
you're going to be confronting these very difficult issues, some of
which are, at this point, mercifully hypothetical. But your judgment and
your experience is extremely valuable.
If I have additional time, I'd like to turn to a more, I think,
procedural issue; that is, with the damage to the Pentagon, when do you
estimate that the QDR might be publicly released?
MYERS: Excellent question, sir. And I can tell you, we've been meeting
for the last, whatever, 48 hours or so and our sole focus has been on
the issue at hand. The QDR word has not come up once.
And I regret that I don't have a good answer for you. I think that since
that is the secretary's product, I know he has been totally consumed by
the current situation. We can get an answer for the record for you.
I'm sure he is thinking about that, probably about now as well. But I
don't have an answer for you, sir.
REED: And just, if I have additional time, a final question, which goes
back to the events of last Tuesday. And this was a national tragedy of
But it seems to me, in a very narrow point of force protection, that in
terms of the Pentagon, a major military facility, you had absolutely no
advance warning that such an attack was being contemplated, prepared,
planned or executed. Is that correct?
MYERS: There was no strategic warning that this was contemplated or
planned, to the best of my knowledge.
REED: And I presume, based on your discussion with Senator Cleland, that
this has been a source of almost immediate examination and review by the
Department of Defense, as to what can be done in the future to avoid
MYERS: Absolutely. And it's not just the Department of Defense, but all
the civil agencies as well that have intel apparatus, given that this,
you know, that they may have knowledge as well.
REED: Thank you very much.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Reed.
COLLINS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
General Myers, let me join my colleagues in congratulating you on your
appointment. But also, I want to express my sorrow and sympathy to you.
I realize that all of you who work in the Pentagon have friends and
co-workers and associates that are missing.
And it must be a very difficult time for all of you. And I just want to
extend my sympathy and condolences to you.
MYERS: Thank you, senator.
COLLINS: In the priorities that you submitted to the committee in
response to an advance question, you said that we should better define
the military's role in homeland security. And obviously, given the
events of this week, we're very happy to see that you have included that
as a priority.
Under the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols law, most of the world has been divided
up into geographic areas, each assigned to a specific regional
commander-in-chief, the CINCs, who in time of crisis serve as the
military's top crisis manager or warfighter in that area. It's my
understanding, however, that the United States territory itself is not
thought of in those same terms.
If we're going to increase our focus on homeland defense, does that mean
that we should consider the possibility of treating our own country as,
to some extent, a military operational command, the way we have divided
the rest of the world?
MYERS: Senator Collins, I think the best way to answer that is that, in
a sense, we have already done that. We have the Joint Forces Command,
which is located in Norfolk. And the forces in the United States, for
the most part -- there's some exception with Naval forces and Marine
forces on the West Coast -- but for the most part, the forces in the
United States, the components of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines,
report to Joint Forces Command.
In addition, we have, within the last year-and-a-half, stood up a joint
task force for civil support at Joint Forces Command, which has the
responsibility to handle incidents of weapons of mass destruction in
these United States. On top of that, we've got the North American
Aerospace Defense Command, which worries about the air sovereignty over
Canada, over the North American continent, over Canada and the United
I think what we need to do beyond that is what I think you're
suggesting: is there a larger role for the Defense Department in
handling potential incidents in the future and exactly what that role
will be. And that's one that, as I've indicated, I think will take a lot
If you remember, the first time this was brought up, to my knowledge,
and the debate was made public, there was a lot of concern about the
Department of Defense getting into areas that were traditionally those
areas of civil responsibility. And this is a huge question. You know,
what do you want your United States military to do for this country?
And so, we've been tiptoeing around that issue for quite some time. My
view is that this tragedy is going to help crystallize our thoughts. And
we'll have some thoughtful debate and find a way forward.
COLLINS: It is a difficult issue about the military's appropriate role
in our society. And I'm struck by the fact that the attacks that we
experienced this week are being treated more as a matter of law
enforcement, that the Department of Justice, for example, is the lead
agency, rather than as an act of war, where the Department of Defense
would be, I would assume, the lead agency.
Do you have any comments on how we better define the role of the
Department of Defense?
MYERS: Well, as I indicated earlier, it was on the question on cyber
warfare as well, it's the same issue. Is this a civil law enforcement
issue? Or is it one of national security? Because, however you decide
that question, then will decide who has got primary responsibility.
This is the same issue. I think the debate needs to occur. And we need
to define our roles and responsibilities, probably in ways that we
haven't yet today.
I will tell you though, that the cooperation among all the departments
and agencies of this government has been absolutely superb. And yes,
this was a terrorist act and the FBI and the Department of Justice are
working the evidentiary piece of this. And that's appropriate.
There are pieces being worked, of course, by the Department of Defense
and the United States military. And that's appropriate as well. And the
cooperation between all of these agencies and departments is very, very
COLLINS: General, I recall that after the terrorist attack on the USS
Cole, there was discussion that the military's force protection
planning, while quite comprehensive and effective, had neglected part of
the picture, that we had been prepared for asymmetric threats from
ashore, when a vessel was in a foreign port, but that we had not been
properly prepared for an attack from small harbor vessels. And in some
ways, this came to mind when I thought about the attack on the Pentagon.
It strikes me that a great deal of our force protection efforts have
focused upon ensuring the security of facilities and military personnel
overseas. Does what occurred this week at the Pentagon suggest that the
department needs to refocus its planning on force protection issues here
in the United States itself?
MYERS: Well, I think the answer to that is yes. And I think some of that
has already begun. I think the force protection here in the United
States has always been front and center.
I know when I was at Peterson Field, Colorado, that was an issue for us.
We conducted exercises throughout all the bases that were under our
purview on just that very issue. And I know the other services are doing
I think the United States Army has just recently taken steps to start
closing bases that were formerly open to the public and closing them in
the sense that you have to go through an entrance procedure at a gate to
meter the flow in and to check the flow out. So I think there are steps
Two other comments. What the Cole showed us, as you correctly described,
senator, was that there were some scenes that we hadn't thought about.
But it goes to the larger issue of how we deal with this in the first
And I would just tell you that what will keep me awake at night in this
job is: are those things that we haven't thought about? I mean, we've
been surprised before. We were certainly surprised on Tuesday.
There are probably more surprises out there. And my job and the job of
the armed forces and everybody that supports us is to try to be as
creative in our thinking as we can, to try to plug these seams and these
Having said that, we're deployed worldwide to do this nation's bidding.
And we know that we'll never be 100 percent effective. But what we ought
to answer to is: have we thought about everything we can think about?
Are we doing all we can possibly do? Have we asked for the resources to
do that? And if I can't say yes to that, then I'm not doing my job.
COLLINS: Thank you, general.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Collins.
Before I call on Senator Bill Nelson, let me just make an announcement.
For the information of members of the committee, there will be a bus at
the corner of First and C Streets at 6: 30 this evening, to take members
over to the Pentagon and to bring them back. And please let the
committee chief clerk know if you want to go.
Senator Bill Nelson.
BILL NELSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Myers, Mrs. Myers, last week, I moved into an apartment
overlooking the Pentagon. Tuesday morning, I was here in the Capitol in
a meeting with Senator Daschle. But my wife was at our apartment. And
she witnessed the whole thing.
And each evening, as I have been home since then, I have witnessed the
very heroic efforts of a lot of people out there, as I get up
periodically through the night, fitfully sleeping, and my
congratulations to you. Now, that leads to my question to follow up
Senator Collins' line of questioning.
The second World Trade tower was hit shortly after 9:00. And the
Pentagon was hit approximately 40 minutes later. That's approximately.
You would know specifically what the timeline was.
The crash that occurred in Pennsylvania after the Newark westbound
flight was turned around 180 degrees and started heading back to
Washington was approximately an hour after the World Trade Center second
explosion. You said earlier in your testimony that we had not scrambled
any military aircraft until after the Pentagon was hit. And so, my
question would be: why?
MYERS: I think I had that right, that it was not until then. I'd have to
go back and review the exact timelines.
BILL NELSON: Perhaps we want to do this in our session, in executive
session. But my question is an obvious one for not only this committee,
but for the executive branch and the military establishment.
If we knew that there was a general threat on terrorist activity, which
we did, and we suddenly have two trade towers in New York being
obviously hit by terrorist activity, of commercial airliners taken off
course from Boston to Los Angeles, then what happened to the response of
the defense establishment once we saw the diversion of the aircraft
headed west from Dulles turning around 180 degrees and, likewise, in the
aircraft taking off from Newark and, in flight, turning 180 degrees?
That's the question.
I leave it to you as to how you would like to answer it. But we would
like an answer.
MYERS: You bet. I spoke, after the second tower was hit, I spoke to the
commander of NORAD, General Eberhart. And at that point, I think the
decision was at that point to start launching aircraft.
One of the things you have to understand, senator, is that in our
posture right now, that we have many fewer aircraft on alert than we did
during the height of the Cold War. And so, we've got just a few bases
around the perimeter of the United States.
So it's not just a question of launching aircraft, it's launching to do
what? You have to have a specific threat. We're pretty good if the
threat's coming from outside. We're not so good if the threat's coming
In this case, if my memory serves me -- and I'll have to get back to you
for the record -- my memory says that we had launched on the one that
eventually crashed in Pennsylvania. I mean, we had gotten somebody close
to it, as I recall. I'll have to check that out.
I do not recall if that was the case for the one that had taken off from
Dulles. But part of it is just where we are positioned around this
country to do that kind of work because that was never -- it goes back
to Senator Collins' issue. Is this one of the things that we'll worry
about. You know, what's next?
But our posture today is not one of the many sites and the many tens of
aircraft on alert. We just have a handful today.
BILL NELSON: Well, that one is one that we need to talk about together
as we get prepared for the future.
MYERS: Yes, sir.
BILL NELSON: Because we know of a new kind of threat now, unfortunately.
My second question -- and this will be my last question, Mr. Chairman,
because I know you want to move on and get into the executive session.
You were talking about, particularly from your experience, which I
greatly value, having been in Space Command, of our surveillance assets
and the necessity of having those assets there and working and being
able to get those assets to orbit.
We have a risk factor of catastrophe on such launch vehicles like the
Titan down to about one in 20. In the old days, when we first started
launching, it was one in five. But it is one in 20.
And that may necessitate the only other access to space that we have,
which is the manned vehicle. I bring this up to you because just last
week, I was invited to have, as a member of the Science, Space and
Technology Subcommittee of the Commerce Committee, a hearing on space
The essence of the hearing and the unanimity of the five witnesses was
that the NASA budget has been starved sufficiently, over the years and
presently, such that space shuttle safety will be severely compromised
in the future. Not today, but in the future.
And so, I wanted you to know the conclusion of that hearing because, in
your new capacity as chairman, it is clearly in your interest that you
have the access -- reliable access -- to space when you need it. And
although your payloads are configured for expendable booster rockets,
should that access to space ever go down, you would need that backup,
even though there would some considerable time delay because of
reconfiguration of the payloads.
And so, I would certainly commend you to have your folks start checking
into this. I think, because of the actions of the tragedy of this week,
that we're going to be able now to turn around that budget and start
getting the shuttle upgrades, over the course of the next five years, in
place in order to give the United States that reliable access to space
that we have in the space transportation system.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
LEVIN: Thank you, Senator Nelson.
General Myers, just a very brief request. When I asked you what time it
was that the FAA or the FBI notified the Defense Department after the
first World Trade -- the two crashes into the World Trade Center and you
indicated you didn't know the time. Could you ask someone on your staff
to try to get us that time, so that we will have that either before this
session here or for executive session?
MYERS: Mr. Chairman, I just did that.
LEVIN: Thank you.
BILL NELSON: Mr. Chairman, may I, just for the record? Commenting from
CNN on the timeline, 9:03 is the correct time that the United Airlines
flight crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center; 9:43 is
the time that American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. And
10:10 a.m. is the time that United Airlines flight 93 crashed in
Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
So that was 40 minutes between the second tower being hit and the
Pentagon crash. And it is an hour and seven minutes until the crash
occurred in Pennsylvania.
LEVIN: The time that we don't have is when the Pentagon was notified, if
they were, by the FAA or the FBI or any other agency, relative to any
potential threat or any planes having changed direction or anything like
that. And that's the same which you will give us because that's . . .
MYERS: I can answer that. At the time of the first impact on the World
Trade Center, we stood up our crisis action team. That was done
So we stood it up. And we started talking to the federal agencies. The
time I do not know is when NORAD responded with fighter aircraft. I
don't know that time.
LEVIN: Or the time that I asked you for, which was whether the FAA or
FBI notified you that other planes had turned direction from their path,
their scheduled path, and were returning or aiming towards Washington,
whether there was any notice from any of them, because that's such an
obvious shortfall if there wasn't.
LEVIN: And in any event, but more important, if you could get us that
MYERS: It probably happened. As you remember, I was not in the Pentagon
at that time, so that part of it is a little hazy. After that, we
started getting regular notifications through NORAD, FAA to NORAD, on
other flights that we were worried about.
And we knew about the one that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania. I do
not know, again, whether we had fighters scrambled on it. I have to . .
LEVIN: If you could get us those times then. We know you don' t know
MYERS: But we'll get them.
LEVIN: Now, Senator Bunning is next.
BUNNING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I join with my colleagues in thanking you and your wife for your service
to our country. Tuesday's tragic events have again reminded us of the
importance of a continuous vigilance in the defense of this nation.
You will have a very large job ahead of you to protect this great nation
from this and other threats. I look forward to working with you and your
colleagues to fulfill our constitutional responsibility to protect our
I want to get on to some other things that haven't been discussed. Many
air power advocates believe air power alone can accomplish our defense
goals. They believe that ground and sea power should be minimalized at
best. General Billy Mitchell subscribed to this kind of thinking, yet in
every bombing campaign we have engaged in, our initial bombing
assessments were more optimistic than what was actually accomplished.
No one here denies we should be the supreme commanders of the air.
However, air power is just one component of the combat power.
To be able to respond to all threats, we must have a balanced and
combined armed forces. We must assert sea and land power, as well as air
power. The administration has heavily pushed air and space power. This
is fine because we need to continue in proving our capabilities.
But I am a bit concerned. There are some who believe we can simply fight
battles and wars with cruise missiles and laser-guided bombs.
General Myers, how do you view the role of air power and all the other
components that make up our armed services?
MYERS: Senator, the United States needs the capability that all our
services bring to our armed forces. And I would just simply say that. I
mean, we can't do without . . .
BUNNING: Do you subscribe to the fact that we can bring people to
submission just with air power?
MYERS: I think it takes, it's going to take a balance of all our
capabilities. And one particular scenario may lend itself more to ground
power than to air power. One scenario might be more air power- dominant
than ground power or naval power. That doesn't mean that you don't need
all those elements, so the president can have the flexibility to do what
the objectives of the mission call for.
So I don't subscribe to just one element of our service power as
LEVIN: Senator Bunning, would you hold just for one moment?
My estimate of when our executive session will start is now 5:00 because
there's four, five, six people -- six senators here who have at least a
first round. So that's my best estimate as to when we'll initiate that
And Senator Ben Nelson, I would ask if he will now chair so that --
excuse the interruption, Senator Bunning.
BUNNING: Thank you. Tuesday's tragic events highlighted to us the threat
posed by terrorism. For some time, there has been a debate in academic
circles and among the counter-terrorism community as to whether the
proper response to act of terrorism should be a legal one or threatening
them as crimes or military, treating them as act of wars. Which do you
believe is the proper way to respond to acts of terrorism, whether
abroad or here in our country?
MYERS: Senator, this is an issue a little bit outside the military's
lane, in the sense that it's a policy and a political decision.
BUNNING: You mean the military are not political? General, Is that what
you're telling me?
MYERS: I hope we're not political.
MYERS: Senator, I hope we're not political. What we need to do is
provide the president the best military advice that we can.
BUNNING: What I'm getting as is we don't want the end result of a
terrorist attack on the United States to be handled in court because we
believe it's an act of war. Now, if it's an act of war, the military
should be involved in determining how the punishment should be dealt
out, through the administration's use of the military.
We surely don't want any terrorist you can think of to use a court
system, rather than a military solution, to an act of terrorism, whether
it be against the USS Cole or whether it be against the Pentagon.
MYERS: And I think the president has said it exactly right, and that is
we will essentially use all elements of national power to thwart this
aggression. And that includes use of the United States military.
BUNNING: Would you call this an act of war then or not?
MYERS: Again, I don't want to get into the semantics of whether it's an
act of war. I think there's -- I mean, we can get wrapped around a legal
. . .
BUNNING: That's what I'm afraid of.
MYERS: Well, I'm not for doing that. I'm for responding exactly as our
national command authorities want us to respond. And if they make the
decision that it's appropriate to use U.S. military force, I absolutely
BUNNING: The horrific acts against us on Tuesday will obviously require
a reassessment of our defense priorities. If confirmed, what action
would you take to ensure the security of our nation, of our armed
forces, from terrorist attacks?
MYERS: Senator, some of the ones we've already talked about. But I think
we need to look really closely at our intelligence capabilities, our
ability to analyze the information we get. We get a lot of information.
It's the ability to analyze it, I think, and disseminate it in a timely
manner that make the difference.
I think we need to look at our communications as well. And again, I go
back to the other issue, and that is the issue of homeland security,
homeland defense. There are a lot of unanswered questions in this area
that we've just got to wrestle to the ground. And we can't keep putting
these off or we'll not be prepared in the future.
BUNNING: Thank you. My time is expired.
BEN NELSON: According to the chairman, who has departed, I am next in
line, so it may serve a useful purpose to call upon myself.
General Myers and Mrs. Myers, I certainly appreciate very much your
public service and your commitment to the United States and to our
country and to our citizens. And I welcome you in advance of your
confirmation to this very important position that you'll occupy.
I was looking very carefully at your biography to determine whether or
not you had been stationed at Offit to claim you as a Nebraskan. But
somewhere along the line, you may have escaped Offit, but I'm sure you
visited there on occasion, and that's close enough.
MYERS: Absolutely, senator, many times.
BEN NELSON: The acts of this week, Tuesday, have probably, in the most
indelible way, framed the issue for us for the future and that is that
national security requires that we be prepared, both internationally and
internally. There are those who would suggest that, as Senator Collins
and Senator Bunning and others, that we make certain that we not treat
the acts of this week as some sort of a legal or criminal matter alone;
that they must, in fact, be dealt with as a military matter, with a
military response to the situation.
I am one of those. I believe that we need to -- I think it's important
that we do the forensic work, in order to establish the particulars of
what have happened here. And I commend those who are doing that.
As a matter of fact, it leads me into the area of cooperation internally
that I think may set, if you will, the protocol, if not the framework
for internal national security. Before I do that, I do note with some
irony that it's important to document all of the timeframes by using our
most able informant, CNN, about the timeframe and other particulars.
But as we look at how we can bring together the intelligence community,
as well as the military establishment and our law enforcement agencies
-- the FBI, the Justice Department -- it's important to point out that
the FBI has recognized and has stated four separate situations where the
military is most likely to be called upon to assist in a domestic law
enforcement situation, which involves either a threat or an act of
terrorism, including weapons of mass destruction terrorism.
One, to provide technical support and assistance to law enforcement and
other crisis response personnel -- obviously, I think that is being
undertaken; interdicting an event and apprehending those responsible;
restoring law and order following an incident; and finally, abating the
consequences of a terrorist act.
I hope that I'm learning from you today not only your reaction to the
events of this week, but not only your determination and commitment, but
perhaps some idea of what you would take, what you would bring to the
table to bring about the kind of protection that we're looking for today
to preserve our security for internal national defense, as well as for
international national defense. Is there anything that you haven't said
about that that you might say to help us come to terms with the
importance of it and perhaps some general thoughts about what can be
MYERS: Well, obviously, the importance of it is very high. And I think
I'll just go back to defining the department's role inside the United
States. And that is, I mean, that's one that legitimately requires very,
very serious debate.
I think the one thing that we must do is to continue to enhance our
intelligence capabilities and not just inside the military but in the
civil agencies as well.
BEN NELSON: If it isn't predictable, it's not protectable.
MYERS: In some cases, that's true. In some cases and probably in many
cases, that's true.
And so that's where I would, again, that's where I'd focus our efforts.
I think this review we have ongoing on the whole intelligence community
is appropriate. And I think they'll pick up on this and probably come
out with some really good recommendations on how we can do a better job
of coordinating and cooperating.
The human side of our intelligence collection has been bolstered in
recent years, but could probably be bolstered some more. We've just got
to look at this whole spectrum of how we, when we gather all this
information, how we can quickly analyze it and get it to people that
need to know it.
And my personal view is, we're not as good as we need to be, not just
because of this recent incident, but previous things that I've seen
indicate that we need to really work on that issue as well. So that
would primarily be where I'd focus my efforts.
BEN NELSON: I have confidence in your ability to do this and
particularly in the military setting because, whether it's true or not,
I think the general public perception is that the military knows how to
cooperate without stepping all over itself. At least you have given us
that impression. I hope that the reality is the same, even in spite of
But it would seem that if there is any hope for it to occur, that you
will be able to bring it about.
MYERS: Senator Nelson, I think we can do that.
BEN NELSON: I thank you.
MYERS: Thank you.
BEN NELSON: Senator Hutchinson is the next, call upon you.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you, Senator Nelson, Mr. Chairman.
General Myers, congratulations. I am very pleased to support your
nomination. I think listening to Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado,
Oklahoma all try to claim you. If Arkansas could, we would.
I haven't found a way we can, but I'm very pleased to support your
nomination. I know you'll do a wonderful job. And thank you for your
service to our nation.
I know some of my colleagues are going out to the Pentagon later today.
I went out earlier today. And I join those who have been out there and
those who have seen the work that's going on in commending those brave
responders and those who are risking their lives in still an unstable
I do not have reservations about FBI being lead on this and Department
of Justice because I, like Senator Nelson, believe that evidence has to
be and we have to have the forensics. We have to have the evidentiary
base in order for the military to take an action or for the
commander-in-chief to order actions. And I am convinced that when we
have that, that indeed there will be a military response to the attack
upon our nation.
I want to present a little scenario to you. What happened at the twin
towers, while unprecedented in magnitude, is not unprecedented, the type
of attack. As a nation, we have had Oklahoma City. We have had attacks
upon towers. We have had experience in plane crashes.
And so, while this is a national tragedy of unprecedented proportions,
it is not unprecedented the type of situation that we're dealing with,
excavating and trying to uncover bodies. With the understanding that
there is an ongoing debate as to the proper role of the military in
protecting in a domestic terrorist attack, if this attack had been,
instead of airliners, flying bombs, piercing the Pentagon and piercing
these towers, if the attack had been -- and I think the estimate is that
there could be up to 50 people who were co- conspirators or participants
in this -- if it had been 50 people going into 50 U.S. cities carrying
briefcases with biological pathogens, biological weapons, what would
have been the consequences?
And how vulnerable are we? And how prepared are we, in your considered
MYERS: Again, I mean, this is hypothetical. But in the scenario that you
painted, I think we're vulnerable. And I think the consequences could be
HUTCHINSON: Indeed, I agree. We're talking tens of thousands, which is
an absolutely unimaginable tragedy for our nation. Our vulnerability to
a biological or a chemical attack could result in millions of victims.
Or, to put it in military terms, had it been a private jet, a private or
a general aviation aircraft loaded with biological weapons, flying into
that Pentagon, are we prepared? Would we have had protection in that
MYERS: Limited protection. But obviously, there are a lot of folks
around the Pentagon.
HUTCHINSON: Right. I was very pleased, in the advance questions, with
your response to the issue of vaccine production. You said, "I support
establishing a long-term, reliable national vaccine production
capability. The Department of Defense has a long-term need for reliable
sources of FDA-approved vaccines for any biological health threat that
may impact our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines now and in the
I appreciate that. I think that commitment is absolutely essential.
You say earlier in your comments, you speak to anthrax, but you also
expand that to recognizing that there are a lot of biological threats to
force protection that confront us. What concerns me is that, while we
have a terrible shortage in vaccines now, we are not able to protect our
men and women in uniform, that the estimates, if we go with a GOCO, if
the determination is that that's the best way for us to address this,
we're still talking years.
I think we've got to do better. I think we have to place a high priority
on that. We've got to protect against this threat.
And the added benefit of that kind of production capability will be to,
I think, also provide protection to the American people who are equally
vulnerable. So I think you for your commitment to that. I want to urge
that that be given a priority under your leadership and that we
expedite, to the extent possible.
We spend hours, and we did during defense authorization, on missile
defense. I don't object to that. We need to debate that. That's a
serious issue that there's a lot of pros and cons.
We spent relatively little time talking about what we ought to be doing
in the national commitment on vaccine production. And the cost, compared
to missile defense, is miniscule.
Any response or comment?
MYERS: Senator Hutchinson, the only response is that this particular
issue has been highlighted again in the defense planning guidance and in
the quadrennial defense review. I think it's a recognized shortfall,
speaking largely now about the ability to combat weapons of mass
destruction to include chemical and biological and that it will get
attention and increased resources. That is the intention at this point.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you, general.
MYERS: Thank you.
BEN NELSON: Senator Dayton?
DAYTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Myers, I share the admiration of my colleagues for your many
years of very, very distinguished service to our nation. And I also want
to express my admiration for your candor and directness in your replies
In the eight months I've been a senator, in all the meetings I've sat
through, your candor and directness stands out, first among them all and
in marked contrast to some of the difficulties getting candid and direct
answers from others in the last 48 or 60 hours, I would say,
particularly. So thank you very much.
MYERS: Thank you, senator.
DAYTON: I think that bodes very well for the working relationship that
you'll have with the members of this body and the other.
MYERS: Thank you, sir.
DAYTON: In response to one of Senator Carnahan's questions, you brought
up the role of the National Guard, which Minnesota has both components.
And also we have reserves as well who, among other things, certainly
stand ready and willing to serve their country and have done so
admirably, but who have expressed to me some concerns about their future
assignments, which now are extending to as much as five months or so.
Could you just outline? I realize we're at limited time to cover that
whole terrain, but the appropriate roles, as you alluded to, of those
MYERS: I think we can state today that for us to carry out, for the
Armed Forces of the United States to carry out their missions around the
world, that we cannot do that without the Reserve component, both the
Reserve forces and the National Guard forces. I mean, we just can't do
I would also say that I think each service has worked very hard to
mitigate the impact on the lives of our Reserve component individuals so
they can contribute, but it doesn't destroy their job and their life
that they were leading. We probably haven't done that perfectly. And
that will continually need to be evaluated. But they are absolutely
essential to our conduct of missions today.
DAYTON: Thank you. I was intrigued by your answer on page 20 of your
response about you believe it's in the national security interest of the
United States that all land-based ICBMs be de-MIRVed. And you said there
are no significant military advantages to the elimination of MIRVed,
land-based ICBMs, which has particular relevance, given President
Putin's comments that that might be a Soviet response to our pulling out
of the ABM Treaty.
Could you elaborate on that, please, sir?
MYERS: As I recall that question, I think I was talking about the
significance of U.S. missiles. We have, as you know, de-MIRVed some
under previous agreements. And we still have some that are MIRVed.
DAYTON: Maybe I'm misinterpreting because the question that preceded
that referred to the Russians, that they may not de-MIRV. And you
pointed out correctly that START II Treaty is not in force.
DAYTON: So that they're not being required to do so. So maybe I
misunderstood. Let me just rephrase it then and say would that be of
strategic and security concern to the United States if Russia took the
position that it would not de-MIRV its nuclear warheads in response to
something such as withdrawing from the ABM Treaty?
MYERS: I don't think the issue of whether they're MIRVed or de- MIRVed
is really the issue. The issue to me would be, first of all, what is our
strategic relationship with Russia? And today, I think it's quite
different than it was, obviously, during the Cold War.
The second point would be that it would be the overall levels of
warheads that would be of concern. The missile defense system is
conceived as one of limited defense, so whether they're MIRVed or de-
MIRVed, that's really not an issue about overwhelming defenses because
it will probably never be the case that we'll have a defense against a
large attack. I would be more concerned with the total number of
warheads that are on delivery vehicles and, in accordance with
presidential guidance, trying to take that to the lowest level possible,
consistent with our national security needs.
DAYTON: Thank you. Finally, I was very impressed with your statement
about the lessons you learned in your previous positions. You said,
"First the armed forces aren't made up of people; rather, that the
people are the armed forces." Sometimes we lose that focus. I thought
that was very well stated and very appropriately so.
This committee, in my brief time here, has focused itself on meeting
some of the needs that haven't been sufficiently addressed in support of
the men and women who make up our armed forces. And I know that the
authorization bill we're going to be acting on next week will take a
further step forward.
What else can we do or must we do to provide the kind of support they
MYERS: I think we need, senator, I absolutely agree with you. And we
made great strides. And this committee has led the charge. And, in fact,
the Congress has led the charge in making sure we have appropriate pay.
We've worked some housing issues. We've worked medical benefits. These
are issues, though, that if you don't keep working them, you're going
And so pay comparability is an issue we need to continue to work. And
you saw in the '02, the bill you've just all worked very hard on, that
was a big issue. There is the housing issues, not only the adequacy of
the housing that we provide, but the housing pay to our folks to make
sure there is not exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses for their housing
And then I would say access to medical care continues to be an issue, as
we try to find that right balance between what we do in- service and
what we do with managed care. And I'm sure your constituents have
probably told you, there are issues there with access that we need to
continue to work.
DAYTON: Thank you very much, general. I'm assured that you will help us
not only make sure we don't go backward, but also that we can move
forward. We're going to ask you also to apply that consideration to the
reserves as well, the National Guard, the men and women who make those
MYERS: Any time I talked about armed forces, sir, I'm talking about the
total team, which includes, by the way, those civilians, those
Department of Defense civilians, some of whom were tragically killed in
the recent attack on the Pentagon. We are one team.
DAYTON: Well stated. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
BEN NELSON: Senator Sessions?
SESSIONS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Congratulations, General Myers. It's a great honor to be given this high
post. And I know that you will give your very best to it. I congratulate
your wife and for your great career together.
Everybody wants to claim a piece of your background. And I certainly
will. I note that you attended Maxwell Air War College in Montgomery,
Alabama and got your master's degree from that great -- one of America's
great universities, Auburn University.
MYERS: Yes, sir.
SESSIONS: So we're delighted to see you achieve this great and high
honor. You know, I was at the Pentagon yesterday. And in the course of
that, had the opportunity to talk to a lieutenant colonel who was in his
office when the plane hit, on that very side.
He said he was blown across the room, up against the wall. He got
outside and realized just how bad it was.
And he and a sergeant broke out a window and went back in; described one
person coming out all in flames, that they had to put him down and put
the fire out. And that gentleman was saying over and over again, "There
are others in there. Please go back and help those who are in there."
And they went back repeatedly until the fire marshal told them not to go
It's the kind of courage and commitment and dedication to unity and to
one another, I think, that is characteristic of our armed forces. And I
do believe we have the greatest armed forces in the world. And I know
that you are terribly honored to be able to lead that.
MYERS: Definitely, senator.
SESSIONS: I thought I would just ask you a few questions that are real
fundamental and will go to your challenges in your job, not unlike what
you and I discussed when you came by for a visit, and that is basically
about our budget. President Bush this year is proposing -- and will
achieve, I believe -- a $38 billion increase, over $30 billion increase
in our defense budget from $290-something (billion) last year to nearly
$330 (billion) this year and with a supplemental in between.
So it's a major increase. But we've committed to do more for our men and
women in uniform and their pay and benefits. And much needs to be done.
It's distressing to me -- and I'll ask you if you will agree -- that
even with this largest increase we've had in over a decade, that we
still are not able to do as much as we need to be doing to recapitalize
our aircraft, our ships and our Army and Marine equipment.
MYERS: Senator Sessions, that's absolutely the case. The account -- the
modernization account, if you will -- has been, for a lot of this past
decade, been used to ensure current readiness and current operations. So
we borrowed from that account to make sure we're ready to do what we
have to do today.
We're reaching the point now where our shipbuilding accounts, our
aircraft modernization accounts, Army transformation accounts are short.
And the average age of our aircraft continues to go up. Things are just
The consequences of that are that it costs more to maintain them and
that they're not always as ready as we want them to be when we have to
call upon them. That is a major challenge, is how to balance our
modernization and transformation needs with our current readiness needs
and our personnel needs, the three major elements of our budget.
So I agree with you. That's the challenge. That's one of the things that
I feel that I have to focus on and have to provide advice to the
secretary, as required to do so.
SESSIONS: As chairman of the joint chiefs, that will be, perhaps I would
suggest, long-term service to the Department of Defense, that will be
your greatest challenge, would you agree? How to handle our
transformation and recapitalization?
MYERS: Yes, senator. It's got to be right up there. I would mention one
other, and that is to make sure that the national military strategy, the
national security strategy, national military strategy and our defense
strategy are in balance with the force structure we have to do the job.
And that, I mean, it kind of goes hand in hand with what you're talking
about. But those are probably the biggest challenges.
SESSIONS: Well, I think that's well said. So let's look at this. I've
heard several talking heads in the last several days say that this
terrorist attack was what we're going to see in the future. It's the
21st century war.
I believe Secretary Rumsfeld has said something like that. We know that
doesn't mean there won't be any other kind of wars. We have to be
prepared for others. But it certainly, I think, has an element of truth
to it, that we are in an asymmetric threat situation that presents new
and unique challenges, different from the time when we faced the
Russians on the plains of Europe.
Question: do you think the leaders of these services fully understand
that we do need to make transformation? Do they also understand that
there will not be as much money as we'd like to have to hold on to
everything that we may like to do? And is there enough commitment within
the uniformed services to make the transformations that will be painful
at times to get us ready to handle the threats we will be seeing in the
MYERS: Senator Sessions, as you know as well as I do, the service
chiefs, members of the joint chiefs that I've been with here for the
last year-and-a-half are the best this country has to offer. They are
very smart men and they understand very well the challenges of the
They understand the need to modernize. They understand the need to
transform their capabilities, to be responsive to the asymmetric threats
that we have faced and that we will face. And I think they are
absolutely the right ones to do that.
The question is always this is a tough balance between today's problem
and tomorrow's challenge. And it's one, I mean, we wrestle this every
day. But they are absolutely the right people to do it. And they are
committed to doing it.
SESSIONS: Well, I think you're going to have to lead that. And at times,
some are going to have to give up with cherished dreams for their
service. Some of us in Congress may have to find some more money than we
actually have been able to find so far. Even with this large increase,
it's still not enough.
So I think it's going to take a combination of change, refitting for the
future. I believe Secretary Rumsfeld is doing the right thing. I think
he's got to challenge old established thinking. I hope you'll help him
MYERS: Sir, I will. And I am committed to that as well.
SESSIONS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
BEN NELSON: Thank you, Senator Sessions.
I believe Senator Allard is the -- you've already asked -- have you
asked questions? Okay, it's 5:00. And we are going to move to Hart 219,
which is out that door. And we will ask those senators who are within my
sound of my voice to come there.
Secretary Wolfowitz, I believe, is within earshot and we'll notify him.
One other announcement, which is important, which is going to affect the
length of this executive session. There's going to be a 5:20 roll-call
vote on the Harkin Amendment on Commerce, State, Justice, which means
that we're going to have perhaps a half an hour probably for our
executive session. So we are going to begin immediately. Room 219, just
for senators, General Myers, Secretary Wolfowitz.
Again, general, thank you. And we look forward to a very speedy
MYERS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all.
???? - Indicates Speaker Unknown
-- - Indicates could not make out what was being said. off mike -
Indicates could not make out what was being said.
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