STATEMENT OF
GENERAL TOMMY R. FRANKS
COMMANDER IN CHIEF
US CENTRAL COMMAND

HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE

27 FEBRUARY 2002 

INTRODUCTION

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee.

I am honored to appear before you today to describe the great work the men and women of US Central Command (USCENTCOM) are doing in the Central Region.  Also, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on USCENTCOM's role in America's Global War on Terrorism -- a fight that involves every element of our national power and extends around the world.  As part of ENDURING FREEDOM, I am privileged to command a coalition force of about 80,000 men and women.  I am very proud of them and their families -- their professionalism, commitment, resolve, successes, and sacrifices.

While conducting ENDURING FREEDOM we have not lost sight of the fact that our area of responsibility is diverse and volatile.  The nature of the Central Region, its security environment, and our other ongoing operations are worthy of review and will put the potential instability of the region into perspective.  Within this context, an assessment of our security cooperation program shows why it remains a critical element for promoting stability.  Finally, we will discuss our key requirements and how those priority systems and programs will help USCENTCOM to achieve the Nation's interests in this critical part of the world.

NATURE OF THE AOR

As you know, the USCENTCOM area of responsibility includes 25 nations, extending from Egypt and Jordan to the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan in South Asia, and the Central Asian States as far north as Kazakhstan for a total of 6.4 million square miles.  Included are the waters of the Red Sea, the Northern Indian Ocean, the Arabian Gulf, and the key maritime chokepoints of the Suez Canal, the Bab el Mandeb, and the Strait of Hormuz.

The area is home to more than 500 million people, three of the world's major religions, at least eighteen major ethnic groups, and national economies that produce annual per capita incomes varying from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

The area includes governments in transition toward democracy, humanitarian crises, resource depletion and overuse, religious and ethnic conflict, and military power imbalances that generate social, economic, and military volatility.  This is particularly significant given the geographical and economic importance of the region.  The natural resources of the region, especially those of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, provide extraordinary economic opportunities.  However, they also give rise to a range of socioeconomic problems and rivalries.  States such as Egypt and Jordan have compensated for their lack of mineral wealth through the industry of their people.  Yet, there are nations in the region which have not generated the will, resources, or organization to move ahead.  These factors will not be easily overcome and portend additional challenges in the future.

US INTERESTS

The Central Region is of vital interest to our country and our allies. Sixty-eight percent of the world's proven oil reserves are found in the Gulf Region, and 43 percent of the world's petroleum exports pass through the Strait of Hormuz.  Qatar contains one third of the world's natural gas reserves.  The developing energy sector of the Central Asian States, with the potential for discovery of additional oil and natural gas reserves, further emphasizes the importance of the Central Region to America and the world. 

Operating within, and staging from, our area of responsibility are terrorist organizations with global reach.  These networks pose a direct threat to our citizens abroad and at home, while Iraq and Iran are likely developing weapons of mass destruction which potentially threaten our deployed forces and regional friends.  

USCENTCOM MISSION

USCENTCOM's core objectives are to enhance US security, promote democracy and human rights, and bolster American economic prosperity.  To meet these goals, we promote regional stability, ensure uninterrupted access to resources and markets, maintain freedom of navigation, protect US citizens and property, and promote the security of regional friends.

SECURITY ENVIRONMENT

General

In the Central Region, we expect those opposed to US presence and interests to avoid direct confrontation with US military and coalition forces.  Our adversaries will pursue asymmetric capabilities and strategies.  Their attacks will focus on US national will, coalition unity, and world opinion.  Adversaries will attempt to inflict US casualties, defeat our precision strike capabilities, deny access, and prevent us from achieving information and battlespace superiority.  While specific approaches will vary, the use of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction are the most significant threats in the region. 

Terrorism

The events of 11 September 2001 impressed upon all of us the vulnerability of a free and open society to those who do not value human life and, in fact, despise the principles for which America stands.  The violence of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon indicate the increasing lethality of terrorist networks with global reach.  These attacks further define a pattern we have seen emerge over the past several years. They are increasingly more deadly and sophisticated.  

During my confirmation hearing in June 2000, I described the nature of the threat posed by a number of terrorist organizations, many of which are resident in USCENTCOM's area of responsibility.  As you know, this region has long been associated with some of the most dangerous terrorist organizations, including Al Qaida and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.  Three of the seven nations on the State Department's list of states sponsoring terrorism are in our area.  Over the past seven years American interests in countries within this region have been attacked five times: the Office of Program Management for the Saudi Arabian National Guard, 1995; Khobar Towers, 1996; the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998; and the USS COLE in 2000.  As I said last year in my remarks to this committee, "The complex terrorist threat we face today is less predictable and potentially much more dangerous than we have seen in the past."

Hegemony

Iran continues to view itself as the natural leader of the Islamic World.  It pursues the goal of regional hegemony through an orchestrated campaign of economic, cultural, and political influence, backed by increasingly modern Armed Forces.

Iraq's ambition is to assume leadership of the Pan-Arab world and, as such, Iraq represents a continuing threat to short-term regional stability.  Its attempted annexation of Kuwait 12 years ago and continued efforts to subvert UN sanctions through economic blackmail, are a continuing challenge to our interests.  Repeated attempts to down coalition aircraft, continued refusal to accept the UN weapon inspections regime, and threatening gestures toward Iraq's neighbors indicate Saddam Hussein has not been deterred from his desire to dominate the region.

Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missile Proliferation

Several states in the Central Region are attempting to acquire or develop chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons.  These weapons of mass destruction are viewed as symbols of prestige, counters to conventionally superior forces, and instruments of influence.  Because the resources required for nuclear weapons programs are often unavailable, some states seek less expensive chemical, biological, and radiological weapons.  Organizations in Russia, China, and North Korea are the primary suppliers of this technology, as well as advanced ballistic missile expertise.

The three-year absence of UN arms monitors from Iraq has permitted Baghdad to pursue ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.  This absence, and unmonitored cross-border traffic, have provided opportunities to acquire sensitive and dual-use materials.  We assess that Iraq continues to pursue biological, chemical, and prohibited ballistic missile capabilities.

Iran also places a high priority on developing such weapons.  It is pursuing nuclear technology from both Eastern and Western sources and is operating a large-scale, nearly self-sufficient, chemical warfare program.  Tehran is able to field chemical weapons and is likely to have developed a small arsenal of biological agents.  Of equal concern is Iran's expanding ballistic missile program.  Over the past 6.5 years Iran has developed the Shahab-3 medium-range missile to augment existing SCUD-B and SCUD-C systems, and as these programs mature they pose a significant risk to the region and to our deployed forces.

In South Asia also, the missile and nuclear competition between Pakistan and India has had a destabilizing effect on the region.  Both nations continue to develop advanced missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and the risk of miscalculation by either side is very real.

Given these facts, the most alarming problem we face is the possibility of terrorists acquiring and employing weapons of mass destruction.  Terrorist groups have shown an unambiguous interest in these capabilities.  Exploitation of more than 50 suspect sites in Afghanistan indicates the Al Qaida terrorist network has explored methods for producing toxins, and was working to establish a biological warfare capability.  In light of this evidence we continue to focus our efforts on defending against, mitigating, and responding to this very real threat.

Other Regional Concerns

In addition to Iranian and Iraqi hegemonic aspirations, terrorism, and the desire of some states to obtain weapons of mass destruction, our region offers other areas of concern.  Following is a brief discussion of these concerns.

Gulf States

The people of the Arabian Peninsula remain focused on the violence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and there continues to be widespread support for a Palestinian State.  Perceptions of US bias in favor of Israel were diminished somewhat by the return of US special envoys to the region.  However, failure to resolve the Palestinian-Israel issue will make it difficult for governments in the region to support other US foreign policy initiatives while maintaining their popular support.  Demands will continue for US participation, and subsequent progress, in peace negotiations. 

Last year's decline in oil prices exacerbated regional tensions and several nations now face significant budget deficits.  Decreased revenues combined with expanding youth populations, high unemployment, and declining social services may lead to increased social strife.  The messages of terrorists and extremists can find fertile ground in such environments.  Each country will address these long-term problems differently.  Increased oil revenues will ameliorate but not solve the problems.

The long-standing Bahrain-Qatar border dispute over the Hawar islands was resolved peacefully this past year when both parties accepted the judgment of the International Court of Justice, but the dispute between Iran and the United Arab Emirates over the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tonb, and Lesser Tonb continues to threaten peninsula security.

Northern Red Sea

The Middle East remains unstable as the Palestinian-Israel crisis continues to affect Egypt and Jordan.  President Mubarak and King Abdullah are key partners with the US in attempting to resolve the Middle East conflict and strengthen military cooperation.  They remain strong supporters of ENDURING FREEDOM, but the Palestinian-Israel crisis has had a severe impact on both economies.  Economic recovery in both countries hinges on stability in the region.  The continuing crisis has hindered foreign investment and has stalled efforts to privatize Egyptian businesses.  Tourism, Egypt's major source of hard currency, continues to suffer due to regional tensions.  Despite its economic hardships, the Egyptian government remains strong and committed to fighting terrorism and finding peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Jordan's economy shows promise with the opening of Qualified Industrial Zones and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, but Jordan continues to experience water shortages, as well as high unemployment and deficit spending.  This makes it heavily dependent on its neighbors (Israel, Syria, and Iraq) for water and trade. 

South and Central Asia

In South Asia, Pakistan's support of ENDURING FREEDOM has been fundamental to our success.  The Pakistanis have committed substantial national resources to the fight against terrorism, and President Musharraf has taken firm action against terrorism, arresting a number of leaders and hundreds of followers of Kashmiri terrorist groups and the Al Qaida organization.  He has also frozen the accounts of known terrorists and banned fundraising to support Kashmiri militancy.  He has pursued these actions despite recent tensions with India, and he continues on a path toward democracy and sustained economic development.

The US has expressed gratitude to the Pakistani people for their support during ENDURING FREEDOM by lifting sanctions and granting economic assistance.  In the coming months we should continue this support and build closer security cooperation relationships.  The Pakistani military remains a stabilizing force within Pakistan and further security cooperation will serve to bolster that stability.

In Afghanistan, the removal of the Taliban regime and associated Al Qaida supporters holds the promise for change.  It also holds the promise of greater security for Afghanistan's neighbors and bodes well for stability throughout the region.  Although faced with many challenges in rebuilding a country devastated by more than 20 years of war, Afghanistan has improved prospects for the future.

The Central Asian States are dedicated partners in the Global War on Terrorism.  Each country declared its support for the US immediately after the attacks of 11 September 2001, and Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have offered basing rights for units involved in ENDURING FREEDOM.  This was a difficult decision given their proximity to the conflict in Afghanistan, their recent history as part of the Former Soviet Union, and the threat posed by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.  We will expand our security cooperation efforts in Central Asia in the coming year.

Horn of Africa

Countries in the Horn of Africa also responded positively to President Bush's call for support against worldwide terrorism.  Unfortunately, the Horn of Africa remains in a state of conflict and desperation.  Well over 21 million people remain at risk of starvation as wars exacerbate natural disasters, forcing people to leave their homes in search of food, medical care, and safety.

Somalia is a case-in-point, where anarchy and open conflict flourish as the Transitional National Government (TNG) attempts to establish its legitimacy.  Mogadishu remains in turmoil, while Somaliland and Puntland, the semi-autonomous regions in northern Somalia, have fared better, holding elections and building limited infrastructure, military forces, police forces, and judicial systems.  It is likely that Somaliland will continue to be the most stable region in Somalia.  Puntland's stability is threatened as ousted President Yusuf's forces battle President Jama Ali Jama's forces for control of major cities.  This fight will continue to split along clan lines until a clear victor emerges.  Rumors of pending US attacks against terrorist elements in Somalia have caused al-Ittihad al-Islamiya (AIAI) and suspected Al Qaida elements to shift in and out of the country.  Reported AIAI elements in Somalia have moved away from known camps to escape possible US attacks.

Sudan's civil war is the longest ongoing conflict in the region.  The government is using increased revenues from oil sales to support actions against the rebels, and Sudanese rebel forces continue to lose ground as their support bases slowly dry up.  It is likely that the government's forces will increasingly take control of more areas in the south, causing rebel forces to seek shelter in neighboring states.  With Inter-Governmental Agency for Development Peace Talks unable to reach consensus, we expect the war to continue with little chance of mediated peace in the near future. 

Ethiopia and Eritrea are moving forward cautiously in the peace process.  The UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) continues to monitor the common border with an estimated 4,000 peacekeepers, and the UN Boundary Commission is currently meeting in The Hague.  Ethiopia and Eritrea have stepped up their political rhetoric against each other and are becoming increasingly anxious as the border announcement draws near.  If either country is dissatisfied with the results of the Boundary Commission, the situation could deteriorate rapidly.

Under the leadership of President Moi, Kenya is working to add stability to the Horn of Africa.  Sponsoring several recent regional peace summits, Kenya is seeking peaceful solutions to the conflicts in Sudan and Somalia while internally, the Kenyan people are concerned about presidential succession.  While the Kenyan Constitution is clear on term limits, it is possible that it will be amended to allow Moi to remain in power.  Expect a degree of internal tension in Kenya until this issue is resolved. 

Djiboutian President Guelleh expressed his solidarity with the US following the 11 September attacks and has acknowledged US concerns over the possible presence of AIAI and Al Qaida in Somalia.  In the past five months we have seen credible reporting of Al Qaida and its regional affiliate, AIAI, targeting western interests in Djibouti for its support of coalition operations.  Djibouti continues to have economic difficulties but the government has taken only limited steps to improve the situation and to better monitor fiscal performance.  Significant positive results have not been observed. 

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM

The USCENTCOM area of responsibility was a dangerous neighborhood prior to 11 September.  The events of that day galvanized a command already heavily engaged in the region.  Our operations thus far in support of ENDURING FREEDOM represent the first steps in what we all know will be a long, difficult, and dangerous campaign.  We have been successful to this point, but much work remains to be done.  I have visited Afghanistan several times since the campaign started and can attest to the dramatic changes coalition forces have brought to the lives of the Afghan people.  Talented and dedicated men and women in uniform, side-by-side with diplomats, arm-in-arm with Anti-Taliban Afghans, supported by the American people and the international community, executing an unconventional war -- these are the characteristics of the fight we've seen.

On 11 September 2001, I was enroute to Pakistan to meet with President Musharraf to discuss a number of issues, among them security cooperation and terrorism.  The events of that day caused me to return immediately to Tampa, Florida, where my staff was already working along with Defense and other government agencies to ensure what we refer to in the military as "command and control survivability" while continuing to develop "situational awareness."  On 12 September the Secretary of Defense directed the preparation of "credible military options" to respond to international terrorism.  For Central Command, that directive guided the preparation of the plan we see unfolding in Afghanistan today.  The concept, which I briefed to the President on 21 September, proposed that "US Central Command, as a part of America's Global War on Terrorism . . . would destroy the Al Qaida network inside Afghanistan along with the illegitimate Taliban regime which was harboring and protecting the terrorists."

Planning involved not only an evaluation of the enemy situation, but also the history of military operations in Afghanistan and the political and military situation across the region.  This "mission analysis" resulted in my recommendation of a military course of action which was approved by Secretary Rumsfeld on 1 October.  I briefed the concept to President Bush on 2 October, and he directed that combat operations should begin on 7 October -- 26 days after the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

Operations would involve the full weight of America's national power, and would include significant contributions from the international community.  Coalition nations were already joining the fight against terrorism and many were sending military liaison teams to our headquarters in Tampa.  The coalition has grown to more than 68 nations, with 27 nations having representatives at our headquarters.

With the cooperation and support of this coalition and the integration of virtually every agency of our government, we have executed multiple "Lines of Operation," attacking simultaneously on several fronts.  Our intention from the outset was to seize the initiative and reinforce success, while keeping in mind the lessons of previous campaigns in Afghanistan -- avoid "invading," and work with (rather than against) the people.  A critical enabler of the strategy was the coordination of basing, staging, and over-flight rights.  This political-military coordination set (and maintains) the conditions necessary to execute and support sustained combat.  Among the lines of operation which characterize the campaign have been "Direct Attack of the Leadership of Al Qaida and the Taliban," and the provision of "Humanitarian Aid" to the Afghan people.  Another line has focused on "Destroying the Taliban Military," using unconventional warfare forces alongside Afghan opposition groups whose goals were consistent with our own.  And, "Operational Fires" directed by horse-mounted Special Forces troopers have also proven to be unique and successful.  Additionally, we have employed Special Operations Forces in "Reconnaissance and Direct Action" roles while maintaining the capability to introduce "Operational Maneuver" (conventional forces) if required.  Through the course of the operation, more than 100 "Sensitive Site" exploitations have been conducted, seeking evidence of Al Qaida/Taliban or weapons of mass destruction.  As forces have attacked "Caves and Tunnels" to deny our enemy safe harbor, "Radio Broadcast and Leaflet Programs" have effectively informed the population of our goals and encouraged enemy forces to surrender. 

The success of these lines of operation, which have been applied simultaneously rather than sequentially, is a matter of record.  On 7 October, the Taliban controlled more than 80% of Afghanistan, and Anti-Taliban forces were on the defensive.  Al Qaida was entrenched in camps and safe houses throughout the country.  Afghanistan was, in fact, a terrorist sponsored state.  By October 20th we had destroyed virtually all Taliban air defenses and had conducted a highly successful direct action mission on the residence of Mullah Omar in the middle of the Taliban capital, Qandahar.  During this time frame Special Forces detachments linked up with Anti-Taliban leaders and coordinated operational fires and logistics support on multiple fronts.  Twenty days later, the provincial capital of Mazar-e Sharif fell.  In rapid succession, Herat, Kabul, and Jalalabad followed.  By mid-December, US Marines had secured Qandahar Airport and the Taliban capital was in the hands of Anti-Taliban forces.  Within weeks the Taliban and Al Qaida were reduced to isolated pockets of fighters.  On 22 December I traveled to Kabul to attend a moving ceremony marking the inauguration of the Afghan interim government -- 78 days after the beginning of combat operations.

Today, the Taliban have been removed from power and the Al Qaida network in Afghanistan has been destroyed.  We continue to exploit detainees and sensitive sites for their intelligence value in order to prevent future terrorist attacks and to further our understanding of Al Qaida -- their plans, membership, structure, and intentions.  We are investigating each site to confirm or deny the existence of research into, or production of, chemical, biological, or radiological weapons.  Coalition forces continue to locate and destroy remaining pockets of Taliban and Al Qaida fighters and to search for surviving leadership.  The coalition continues to grow and remains committed to America's Global War on Terrorism.

In the 169 days since 11 September, our forces have amassed a remarkable record of achievements.  Following are but a few examples.

        All positioning and most of the resupply of forces in the theater has been accomplished by air as a result of a remarkable effort by US Transportation Command.

        In addition to providing the firepower and "staying power" of two carrier battlegroups, the Navy steamed USS KITTY HAWK 7,000 miles at flank speed to establish an afloat, forward operating base for Special Operations Forces.

        In terms of operational fires, Navy, Marine, and Air Force pilots have delivered in excess of 18,000 munitions, of which more than 10,000 were precision guided.

        During DESERT STORM we averaged 10 aircraft per target; in ENDURING FREEDOM we have averaged 2 targets per aircraft.

        Our airmen have flown the longest combat fighter mission in our nation's history (more than 15 hours), and conducted the longest surveillance mission (26 hours).

        The extensive use of unmanned aerial vehicles has permitted around- the-clock surveillance of critical sites, facilities, and troop concentrations.

        Our psychological warfare operators have delivered more than 50 million leaflets, and transport crews have delivered 2.5 million humanitarian daily rations, 1,700 tons of wheat, and 328,200 blankets.  More than 5,000 radios have been provided to the Afghan people, and our broadcast capabilities continue to bring music to people for the first time in more than six years.

        We also have made enormous improvements in our ability to bring firepower to bear rapidly.  Through improved technology and training, the Tomahawk targeting cycle has been reduced from 101 minutes during ALLIED FORCE to 19 minutes during ENDURING FREEDOM, with half of our Tomahawks having been fired from submarines.

We are now in the preliminary stages of capturing the lessons of this campaign.  It is too early to draw final conclusions because the fight continues, but we do have some emerging insights.

        Combining the resources and capabilities of the Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and other agencies of the Federal government has produced results no single entity could have achieved.  Similarly, adopting flexible coalition arrangements has enabled us to leverage the strengths of individual nations.  "The mission has determined the coalition; the coalition has not determined the mission."

        This operation continues to be commanded and controlled from Tampa, Florida with fielded technology providing real-time connectivity to air, ground, naval, and Special Operations Forces operating 7000 miles away.  Our forces were deployed from 267 bases; are operating from 30 locations in 15 nations; and currently over-fly 46 nations in the course of operations.  Yet, our ability to "see" the battlefield literally and figuratively at each location provides unprecedented situational awareness.

        Security cooperation, diplomacy, and military-to-military contacts have built relationships that have proven invaluable during the campaign.  Humanitarian airdrops; economic and security assistance to coalition partners and regional allies; visits to the region by senior Administration, Congressional, and military officials; and a US commitment to post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan have permitted us to build upon these essential relationships.  Our investment in security cooperation has been repaid tenfold in access to basing, staging, and over-flight rights with regional partners.  We must not underestimate the worth of our commitment to these programs.

        Precision guided munitions are more than a force multiplier.  They have reduced the numbers of air sorties required to destroy targets and have resulted in unprecedented low levels of collateral damage.  From this perspective, use of precision guided munitions has produced a positive strategic effect.

        As we have said in the past, the availability of strategic airlift is critical to the success of operations that require force projection.  Our current airlift fleet requires strict management and innovative scheduling and our experience in ENDURING FREEDOM would seem to validate the testimony the committee received last year -- we must expand our strategic lift capabilities.

        The importance of combined and joint operations training and readiness has been revalidated.  The power of a well-trained air-ground team has permitted the combination of 19th Century Cavalry and 21st Century precision guided munitions into an effective fighting force.

        A continuous, unimpeded flow of intelligence remains key to success on the battlefield.  Human intelligence is essential when mission objectives include locating, identifying, and capturing or killing mobile targets.  This requires people on the ground.  Similarly, unmanned aerial vehicles have proven their worth in the skies over Afghanistan.  We must continue to expand their use, develop their capabilities, and build and deploy more of them.

        Information Operations also have been vital to the success of ENDURING FREEDOM.  Psychological operations, electronic warfare, and a number of special capabilities have proven their value and potential.  Continued development of these capabilities is essential.

Again, these are only glimpses of lessons we may take from the campaign in Afghanistan.  Much study is required to separate "useful truths" as they may relate to the enduring nature of warfare, from observations which, while interesting, may not offer much as we prepare for an uncertain future.

President Bush said in a joint statement with Chairman Hamid Karzai, that our two nations have committed to building "a lasting permanent solution for Afghanistan security needs . . . based upon strengthening Afghanistan's own capacities.  We will work with Afghanistan's friends in the international community to help Afghanistan stand up and train a national military and police force."  We are working today with Afghanistan's Interim Authority to fulfill this promise.  The standup of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul is an example of progress to date.  The ISAF's daily operations with local police are providing needed security and stability for the citizens of Kabul, and USCENTCOM will continue to support these efforts.  Our operations to this point represent a first step in what will be a long campaign to defeat terrorism.  The terrorist attacks of 11 September have impressed upon all of us the importance of taking the fight to the enemy and maintaining the initiative.  Our command remains "on the offensive" as part of ENDURING FREEDOM.  There is much work left to be done, and to quote the President again, "It will take as long as it takes."

OTHER ACTIVITIES

OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH 

USCENTCOM continues to enforce UN Security Council resolutions 688 and 949 in order to protect Iraq's population from their own government, deter enhancement of Iraq's military capability, and prevent Iraqi aggression against its neighbors.  To accomplish this, our Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia (JTF-SWA) enforces a no-fly zone over southern Iraq.  During 2001, JTF-SWA forces flew more than 16,000 sorties in support of this operation with almost 7,000 in Iraqi airspace.  Iraq engaged our aircraft with surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft weapons 300 times in 2001, and our forces responded to these provocations on 25 occasions. 

MARITIME INTERCEPTION OPERATIONS (MIO)

Through ongoing MIO we are enforcing UN mandates to prevent illicit trade with Iraq and limit the smuggling of Iraqi oil by sea.  Pressure by US, Canadian, Australian, United Kingdom, and other regional navies, combined with the willingness of Gulf Cooperation Council States to accept diverted smugglers, has reduced the level of smuggling in the Arabian Gulf.  During 2001, MARITIME INTERCEPTION OPERATIONS successfully boarded 1,275 vessels and diverted 112 found to be in violation of UN sanctions.

OPERATION DESERT SPRING

Through DESERT SPRING, USCENTCOM contributes to the defense of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and deters Iraqi aggression.  This operation, which conducts combined training with the Kuwaitis, employs infantry, armor, special operations, attack helicopter, and Multiple Launch Rocket System assets, under the command and control of Combined Joint Task Force-Kuwait.  The units represent both active and reserve components with an average deployed strength of approximately 2,500 personnel.  

SECURITY COOPERATION 

Much of the success we have enjoyed in gaining basing, staging and over-flight rights for ENDURING FREEDOM is attributable to an active security cooperation program.  The USCENTCOM Theater Security Cooperation Plan provides direction and a common vision to shape the security environment.  This plan integrates the activities of our command with those of other US government agencies, non-governmental and private volunteer organizations, and our friends and allies.  It draws resources from various agencies, the Department of State, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and the military services.

Security Cooperation activities are divided into eight broad categories.  Significant aspects of several of these are summarized below.

        Exercises and Combined Training -- The Joint and Combined Exercise Program is integral to security cooperation.  The goals of the program are to ensure access to the region, demonstrate commitment to regional security through presence, enhance warfighting readiness, and improve coalition warfighting capabilities.  During fiscal year 2002 we planned 74 exercises with the annual BRIGHT STAR exercise in Egypt serving as our capstone event.  In May of this year, EAGLE RESOLVE, a senior-level symposium and coordination exercise in Qatar, will be our principal mechanism for advancing the Cooperative Defense Initiative -- an effort to enhance the ability of the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jordan, and Egypt to operate in chemical and biological warfare environments.  We are also assisting in the restructuring of Central Asian State militaries through seven special operations-focused exercises and border security programs.  These events focus on countering insurgency, fighting terrorism, and interdicting the trafficking of narcotics and weapons.  REGIONAL COOPERATION is another annual multinational peacekeeping exercise we will conduct with Central Asian States and NATO.  In late July, we will sponsor the GOLDEN SPEAR symposium in Kenya, bringing together the Ministers of Defense, Chiefs of Defense, and Foreign Ministers of 11 East African nations to formulate regional strategies for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.  During the remainder of this year, we will execute several major sub-regional exercises in Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Kenya, and the United Arab Emirates.

        Combined Education and International Military Education and Training (IMET) -- These programs are low-cost, high-value investments which help shape the future security environment.  They afford military members of regional states the opportunity to attend courses in our military institutions.  Attendance at schools, such as Command and Staff Colleges and Senior Service Schools, supports Congressionally mandated democratization initiatives.  And, participation in these programs exposes regional military officers and civilians to the concepts of military professionalism, respect for human rights, and deference to civilian authority.  An estimated 975 students from the Central Region are scheduled to attend training this year.

        Security Assistance -- Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and Sales Programs have sown the seeds of trust and interdependence which continue to bear fruit in ENDURING FREEDOM.  Our work with the Central Asian States, including small grants through FMF has proven especially effective.  These initiatives are important to building relationships, as well as to developing interoperability.  Continued support of security assistance will enable USCENTCOM to improve the capabilities of friendly nations, enabling them to provide for their own security.

        Humanitarian Assistance -- These activities focus on developing a self-sustaining, indigenous, disaster-response capability.  Since ENDURING FREEDOM started, our humanitarian assistance efforts have focused on Afghanistan.  In the future we will reenergize our efforts in the rest of the region.  We will work to complete projects related to mine awareness and victim assistance, disaster preparedness, transportation of DOD excess non-lethal property, public health surveys, medical and dental support, and veterinary health over the coming year.

        Humanitarian Demining -- USCENTCOM provides training in Yemen, Oman, Djibouti, and Jordan.  This program instructs military and civilian personnel in demining tactics, techniques and procedures, with the goal of establishing local train-the-trainer programs.  Our operations offer significant benefits to both the host country and the US by providing urgently needed humanitarian support, while enhancing US military readiness.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

Given our mission, ongoing operations, the need for continued security cooperation and the concerns stated above, our key requirements, as reflected in my integrated priority list, focus on deploying, building combat power, and executing combat operations.  The diverse and volatile nature of the region requires military capabilities that are versatile as well as agile. 

        Strategic Lift -- One of the critical enablers in the execution of current operations.  With few permanently stationed forces in the region, our power projection capability depends upon strategic lift and robust land- and sea-based prepositioned assets.  Our ability to deploy forces and equipment quickly remains the linchpin for responding to contingencies in USCENTCOM's area of responsibility.

Continued procurement of the C-17, modernization of the C-5, and support of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet Program are critical to meeting major theater war deployment timelines.  Our requirements for strategic and intra-theater airlift are addressed adequately in Mobility Requirements Study 05.  We support expanding the C-17 aircraft buy, and funding for the C-5 Aircraft Reliability Enhancements and Re-engining Program.

The procurement of Large, Medium Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off ships is on track and will significantly enhance our lift capability.  Under the current procurement plan, we will meet USCENTCOM force and sustainment deployment timelines with these vessels and Ready Reserve Fleet assets by the end of FY03.

Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4) -- Robust C4 is imperative for situational awareness and to ensure real-time command and control.  We are developing a deployable command and control headquarters that will provide the necessary flexibility to direct operations throughout our area of responsibility.

The complex strategic environment in our area requires a reliable and secure Command, Control, Communications, and Computers infrastructure.  Additionally, intelligence, operations, and support systems increasingly rely on assured communications bandwidth.  We have made progress in enhancing our theater systems and have been successful in getting critical information directly to the warfighters; however, there is still work to be done. 

We are concerned with the lack of available satellite bandwidth as the current military satellite infrastructure is saturated.  The Predator and Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles demand large bandwidths and currently use nearly twenty-five percent of that which is available from commercial satellites.  As we look toward the future, we need a secure, joint theater infrastructure that takes advantage of fiber optic cable and commercial satellite services now available in the Gulf States, and must also consider approaches to support forces in the Central Asian States.

The Coalition Coordination Center, located at our Headquarters in Tampa now supports National liaison teams from 27 Nations.  This poses an increasing demand on our infrastructure.  We must factor in these requirements and ensure our ability to expand to meet coalition requirements in the future.

        Full Dimensional Protection -- The goal of our force protection program is to protect our personnel, family members residing overseas, and infrastructure from acts of terrorism.  Over the past year, several improvements have been made to our program.  We have revised our Antiterrorism Operating Procedures, incorporated policy changes, and streamlined our terrorism threat assessment and force protection condition implementation process.

As part of this process improvement, our vulnerability assessment teams have taken a country wide approach to identify and eliminate potential 'seams' and 'gaps' in our force protection coverage.  We have expanded our assessments from a focus on the physical security of sites to a more comprehensive look at vulnerabilities and patterns that could be exploited by terrorists.  These include travel routes, lodging sites, and air and seaports of debarkation.  Our objective is to harden these areas and mitigate risk.

To combat the ever-changing terrorist threat, we must continue to take advantage of technological solutions to force protection challenges.  Physical security systems are needed to improve our ability to screen personnel and vehicles and to detect the presence of explosives.  Additionally, perimeter surveillance systems are needed to enhance our ability to detect intruders.  Critical manpower increases are also required in order to provide our component commanders with the manning necessary to accomplish their antiterrorism responsibilities.

Since the attacks of 11 September 2001, USCENTCOM has challenged all previous assumptions concerning terrorism, as well as the methods for prevention of terrorist attacks.  Our goal is to provide the right level of protection and response capabilities for all US assets.

        Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance -- This tiered-system

approach enables our forces to react rapidly and decisively to changes on the battlefield.  Predator and Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles have been proven to be invaluable in providing long dwell surveillance, tracking, positive identification, and collateral and strike damage assessment.  Global Hawk, for example, flew sorties approaching 30 hours in duration and imaged over 600 targets during a single mission over Afghanistan.

Our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance strategy is sound but is constrained by the scarcity of assets -- both platforms and trained linguists and analysts.  The necessity of maintaining 24-hour focus on disparate targets amplifies the effects of critical shortages in key surveillance platforms and crews.  We are forced to choose between applying resources to competing high-value targets in different locations.  Continued congressional support is essential to these vital intelligence programs, which are central to our ability to provide force protection and actionable intelligence to our combat forces.

        Security Cooperation -- The importance of continued investment in Security Cooperation cannot be overstated.  It is not a "one size fits all" program; it must be tailored to our interests in each country.   We have designed our program to assure regional allies, friends, and partners of our long-term commitment.  Because of the great diversity seen in this region, we make use of a wide range of funding options.  Overseas Humanitarian Disaster and Civic Aid programs enable us to conduct demining and humanitarian assistance actions, which are vital tools for maintaining our influence in many of the economically challenged nations in the region.  The Warsaw Initiative, Traditional CINC Activities, and Cooperative Threat Reduction funding enable participation in exercises, symposia, officer and noncommissioned officers exchanges, and small unit training.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Exercise Program must continue to be funded robustly.  This program tests our doctrine, command and control arrangements, and tactics during command post and field-level training to confirm the feasibility of our planning efforts.  These exercises include participants and representatives from numerous nations as observers.

As noted earlier, IMET is a valuable cooperative education program that has paid the US dividends for decades.  Similarly, Foreign Military Financing continues to be a vital tool to enhance cooperative security and pursue US interests in our region.  We are advocates of this program for Afghanistan so that we can fund the very important work of helping that country build a viable, professional military, subordinate to legitimate civilian authority.

We will continue to pursue cooperative security opportunities throughout the region.  The most effective way to do this is by putting US boots on the ground, US ships in ports, and US aircraft in the skies alongside the forces of our regional partners.

        Prepositioning and Forward Presence -- Prepositioning military assets in the region helps mitigate our time-distance challenge, ensures access, demonstrates our commitment to the region, and facilitates sustainment of deployed forces.

        The Navy and Marine Corps Maritime Prepositioning Force program, comprised of Maritime Prepositioned Ship Squadrons 1, 2, and 3, maintains a high materiel readiness rate.  When fully fielded the Maritime Prepositioning Force Enhancement Program will provide each Squadron a fleet hospital, a Navy mobile construction battalion, an expeditionary airfield, and additional warfighting equipment.  The Squadron-1 and -2 Enhancement ships are already on station.

        The Army's prepositioning program is advancing on schedule with a goal of placing a heavy division of equipment in the region.  The brigade set in Kuwait maintains high operational readiness and is exercised regularly.  The prepositioned site in Qatar (Camp As Saliyah) houses the second brigade set and a division base set is estimated to be completed before the end of FY03.  Challenges in this area remain in reaching our end state objectives for equipment on hand, modernization, and filling our sustainment stockage levels.  The afloat combat brigade, APS-3, is complete, and combat ready.  A second afloat combat brigade will augment APS-3 and should be in place by August 2002.  Current plans are to fill 83% of the equipment requirement in the near term.  We support 100% fill of this requirement.

        The Air Force Harvest Falcon bare-base materiel program is vital to USCENTCOM.  These assets support the rapid generation of temporary bases and have been employed effectively to facilitate key bases in ENDURING FREEDOM.  Failure to preposition these bare-base sets would result in further over tasking critical strategic lift assets at the start of a conflict.  Over the past decade, the demand for Harvest Falcon assets by all CINCs has been extremely keen.  The pace of ENDURING FREEDOM, and other operations before it, has continually surpassed the Air Force's ability to replace and repair what has been used.  Currently, on-hand Harvest Falcon assets are 51% mission capable.

        Combat Systems and Combat Systems Support -- We depend on Combat Systems and Combat Systems Support to project power rapidly, maintain full spectrum information dominance, and prevent deterioration of equipment and capabilities.  While various Service programs provide a wide variety of capabilities to our assigned forces, we have identified several systems of particular interest to the Command.

        ENDURING FREEDOM demonstrated the effectiveness of precision guided munitions in improving target effects, lowering collateral damage, and allowing a single aircraft to attack multiple targets.  Funding for these systems must remain a priority effort.

        Amphibious lift is critical to execution of our presence mission, overcoming access challenges, and projecting power as part of USCENTCOM's contingency operations.  The ability to shape the battlefield in high- threat environments requires a fully funded, next-generation Amphibious Transport Dock program.

        We look to the Army for sustained funding and the fielding of additional AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopters and for the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles.

        The capabilities inherent in the V-22 Osprey are invaluable to both Special Forces and conventional forces in the USCENTCOM theater.

Conclusion

Our immediate focus is the Global War on Terrorism.  In the near-term, Saddam Hussein will continue to challenge our resolve.  In the long-term, Iran's moves toward regional hegemony could be of greater concern.  The Central Region is as dynamic as it is volatile.  Weapons of mass destruction, state-to-state conflict, terrorism, and general instability will continue to place special demands on our people and on our ingenuity.

Security cooperation with regional militaries will remain a vital ingredient in enhancing stability and security in this area.  As ENDURING FREEDOM demonstrates, security cooperation equals access and goes a long way toward building trust and confidence with our friends and allies.  Along similar lines, our presence strengthens our relations with nations hosting our forces.

The volatility of this region requires that USCENTCOM remain adaptable and agile.  Without a large footprint in the region, we must be truly deployable.  Responsive command, control, and communications during peace, crisis, and conflict will remain key to our ability to accomplish the mission.

The real story of all our ongoing operations is a story of the human spirit -- US and coalition men and women in uniform and civilian patriots -- those who serve and those who support, those who command and those under command.  From Special Forces troopers representing nine nations in Qandahar to the "Red Shirt" ordnance handlers aboard our aircraft carriers, to Jordanian medics serving in a hospital in Mazar-e Sharif, new standards of excellence are being set.  Our aviators and airlift specialists, intelligence analysts, staff specialists, those who stand sentinel, and members of government agencies whose bravery will likely never be known, are working hand-in-hand toward a common goal, each of them serving tirelessly without complaint, many in harm's way and under extreme environmental conditions.  They come from many nations, but are unified by their sense of duty and selfless service.  Our pride in these people is boundless, our thanks the same.  They are the means by which we will succeed.

In a great work, On War, published in 1873, Baron Carl Von Clausewitz affirmed that successful war requires a "trinity" of the people, the government, and the military.  Our operations today rest firmly upon the foundation of that trinity.  The will and support of the American people, represented by Members of Congress and our Commander-in-Chief, have left nothing to be desired.   The men and women of Central Command express their profound appreciation to the American people, to this body, and to our Commander-in-Chief for continuing steadfast resolve.


[1] On January 2, 2002, the Secretary of Defense established the Missile Defense Agency to manage the development of effective missile defenses.

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