FTN - 9/7/03

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BOB SCHIEFFER, Chief Washington Correspondent: Today on Face The Nation, Secretary of State Powell and Senators McCain and Biden on Iraq and the trouble in the Middle East.

U.S. casualties keep mounting in Iraq as the administration launches a new drive for international help. Will they get it?

Tonight, President Bush addresses the nation. What does he need to say?

We'll get three views from Secretary of State Colin Powell and Senators John McCain and Joe Biden. David Brooks of The New York Times will join in the questioning, and I'll have a final word on 9/11.

But first, America and the war on terrorism -- where do we go from here?--on Face The Nation.

ANNOUNCER: Face The Nation with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.

And now, from CBS News in Washington, Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: And we begin this morning with the Secretary of State, Colin Powell.

Joining in the questioning this morning: David Brooks, now of The New York Times, formerly of The Weekly Standard. His column will now appear twice a week on the op-ed page of The New York Times.

David, congratulations.

DAVID BROOKS The New York Times: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Secretary, let's begin with this UN resolution. So far, what you have proposed to the UN has been rejected by both France and Germany. How much control, how much say, is the United States willing to give the United Nations now over what happens in Iraq?

COLIN POWELL, Secretary of State: Well, first of all, I wouldn't use the headline that appeared in a number of papers about the rejection of the resolution. Both France and Germany have said they saw it as a positive step. It didn't go as far as they thought it should. So we're in a process of discussion and negotiations with the French and the Germans.

And let's keep in mind there are 15 members of the Security Council, not just three, us, France and Germany. I think that, as we pursue our discussions with our Security Council colleagues, we'll be able to find a way to move forward with this resolution.

We want the UN to play a vital role. The president has said this from the very beginning. And when you read this resolution you will find that there are many areas we want the UN to work in with respect to electoral reform, putting in place an electoral system in Iraq, reconstruction, humanitarian efforts; many, many things for the UN to do. We also want the UN to work with the Coalition of Provisional Authority, Ambassador Bremer, and with the Governing Council of Iraq to come up with a political process.

The resolution asks the Governing Council, the Iraqis themselves, these 25 leaders now also with 25 Cabinet ministers -- for them to come up with a plan as to how they want to resume control for their own government, their own country, and on what timetable. Seems to me, that's the best way to do it: have them come up with it, working with Ambassador Bremer and with the UN's representative there, and let them come forward with a plan to present to the Security Council and not have it dictated by either the United States or Germany or France or any other Security Council member.

SCHIEFFER: But what -- the idea here is to make it possible to get troops from other countries to come in there with the UN's approval. And so I go back -- what you seem to be saying to me this morning is the resolution you've put forward -- so far -- is really just a first offer; that you're willing to work with other countries to maybe...


SCHIEFFER: ...give more control than they would think that that resolution presents.

POWELL: Well, I'm not sure what we're going to give, if anything, yet. What we're going to do is we'll start discussions with other countries. Somebody always puts forward a resolution, and then a negotiation begins on that resolution. And that's what we're going through now.

SCHIEFFER: All right. David...

POWELL: Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it takes more time. If I can just make one more point. There are some 28 or 29 -- the number shifts by the arrival of units -- countries that are standing alongside of us in Iraq now with over 20,000 troops. This resolution would put an umbrella over that, making it a multinational force with a UN mandate, and hopefully that would encourage more countries to contribute troops. I'm not expecting a huge number of additional troops, but there are some countries who have asked for a broader mandate than the current mandate that exists under UN Resolution 1483.

And welcome.

BROOKS: When -- thanks. When you mentioned the UN, you did not mention -- and you've just said not many more troops; I've heard you say elsewhere 10,000 or 15,000, which, considering the troops we have there, seems like a pittance. It seems like we're going to the UN a long way of compromising with the UN, not getting much out of it -- a few lawyers to help with electoral reform. Is that the point of going to the UN?

POWELL: No, I think we can get a lot more than a few lawyers to help with electoral reform. I think we can get more troops, as I said, and on top of the roughly 20,000 to 22,000 that are there now, that would not be an insignificant number.

But in addition, to help with electoral reform and the writing of a constitution, there are a number of UN agencies that can do a number of things having to do with medical care, having to do with infrastructure development, having to do with community development, having to do with political reform, and all of these can be brought to bear on this challenge that we have before us. So much has been done that we overlook as we, you know, just focus on the problems.

But most of the towns and cities in Iraq now are being governed by councils that have been formed, spontaneously formed. Schools are open. Hospitals are open. The power systems are coming back up. The sewage systems are coming back up. A lot of the damage caused by Saddam Hussein is being repaired. And so we are on our way to creating the kind of country the Iraqi people deserve, and as soon as we can, we want to turn sovereignty over to the Iraqi people and come home.

BROOKS: But...

SCHIEFFER: But how many more troops, Mr. Secretary, do you think are going to be needed?

POWELL: I don't know that. I don't have an answer to that question. Right now our military commanders think that they have enough U.S. troops, and I would hope for as many additional coalition troops as we can get.


POWELL: But the real answer to the question is not how many outsiders can come in but how quickly we can build indigenous forces: a new national army, police forces, border patrol forces to secure the border. That's the answer to the problem, not how many more additional foreign troops. But: How quickly can we build up Iraqi forces to take control of their own country?

BROOKS: Every time you take an endeavor this big, you're bound to make mistakes. What mistakes did this administration make, and what are you doing to correct them?

POWELL: Well, you know, I think what we might have underestimated was the fact that all of the institutions would collapse. We didn't realize how rotten the whole place was, so that when it really got hammered, all of the institutions collapsed: the political institutions, military, police, the governing bodies all over the country. And it has taken us more time than I think we might have anticipated to deal with this and start to put in place a plan to reform governing councils, to put in place town councils and city councils and all the rest of it.

I think we did not realize how badly the infrastructure was, how much damage had been done in the 30 years of Hussein's regime. And so it's taking us perhaps a little longer than we might have anticipated to bring those systems back online. And until we have the infrastructure working -- electricity, power -- I mean, electricity and power, water, the oil pumping now -- all of that's starting to come up. We've done a great deal to put this country back on its feet.

And, you know, you can't anticipate every problem you're going to run into. The real challenge is: Can you adjust to the situation? And I think we're adjusting very well.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Secretary, we've heard estimates of $60 billion to $80 billion as to what this might cost. Are they -- is that right?

POWELL: Well, the president, in his speech tonight to the nation, will talk about the successes we've had in the global war on terrorism, and he'll talk about Iraq and Afghanistan. And he will also say to the American people that there is more work that has to be done, and he will be asking for a supplemental. But I think I'll leave it to the president to make the announcement.

SCHIEFFER: Are we -- is that the right ballpark, what I've just...

POWELL: I've leave it to the president to make the announcement.

BROOKS: Will he talk about the sacrifice the American people are going to have to make?

POWELL: Yes. I think...

BROOKS: This is clearly going to cost more. That's what he fears, isn't it?

POWELL: It's going to cost more, and there will be continued sacrifice on the part of our young men and women. Hopefully, the number of incidents will go down, and hopefully in the very near future we'll get control of the security situation. I have no doubt about the competence of our commanders in the field to do this. And slowly but surely the security will be brought under the control the terrorists will be dealt with and more evidence will emerge of the success we're having in rebuilding the infrastructure, getting the economy going and taking care of this country and these people.

BROOKS: But if you look at the polls, the American people still agree with the mission. They still know we can't cut and run. But they're not convinced you have a plan. And they're not convinced the administration acknowledges how badly things have gotten in some certain respects.

Is the president going to level with the American people and say, `Yes, I acknowledge things went wrong we didn't anticipate'?

POWELL: He will level with the American people. He will say, `We're in this for the long haul. There have been some difficulties, but we do have a plan and we have a strategy.'

Ambassador Bremer spoke to the Iraqi people on Friday and laid out a seven-step plan that leads to their assuming control of their country again. And we are well on the way into that plan, where we are forming constitutional commissions, we are expanding the role of the international community through this new resolution. And the resolution builds on earlier resolutions. But he will also make it clear to the American people that we have a long way to go, sacrifices will be required, and it's going to cost quite a bit of money.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Secretary, if we're not able to bring in troops from other countries, does that mean we will have to put more American troops in Iraq? And if so, how do we do that without expanding the overall size of the American military?

POWELL: Our commanders are satisfied with the number of American troops there. And I think if more troops are needed to guard things or to secure things, let's build the Iraqi army back up as quickly as we can and not ship in highly qualified combat troops from the United States to do those kinds of jobs. We ought to be turning those things over to others, which is what we're doing with some of the coalition troops that are coming in. And that's what I know our commanders are planning to do and Ambassador Bremer's planning to do with the Iraqi security forces they have created. And there is a very aggressive plan -- Abizaid, our CENTCOM commander, has been briefing on it, an aggressive plan to create the Iraqi army again, police forces, border patrols, militias, all of these kinds of forces, so that our troops are not tied down with these sorts of missions.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Secretary, thank you so much.

POWELL: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: We'll look forward to what the president has to say tonight.

In a minute, John McCain and Joe Biden. In a minute.


SCHIEFFER: And to continue the discussion, from Wilmington, Delaware, now, Senator Joe Biden, ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee. Here in the studio, Senator John McCain of the Armed Services Committee, who is just back from Iraq.

Senator McCain, Senator Biden, you just heard Secretary Powell. I go back to what I said at the beginning of the broadcast. This whole business of going to the United Nations has to do with getting more troops on the ground in Iraq. Senator McCain, do you have any indication that any nation at this point is going to be willing to put more troops in there?

SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-AZ: No, but I think some personal diplomacy like Secretary of State going to Islamabad, Ankara and New Delhi might be very helpful. I'm afraid this process with the UN is going to be a very slow one. It's obvious that the French and the Germans, unfortunately, are acting more like an adversary than an ally, at least on this issue.

SCHIEFFER: What about some of our allies? Do you have any indication that they would be willing to put more troops in there?

McCAIN: Well, I think it's not only troops but it's also money. We'd like to get additional financial assistance, but I think it's all worth trying. I don't have any problem with that, but I think that for us to not appreciate it's the United States' war. We're the ones that started it. It's our responsibility to finish it. We need more troops and we need more money and we need it quickly and time is not on our side. That's, in summary, why this is so time important. And I'm not sure that a UN resolution, even if it passed tomorrow, we would be addressing the immediate issues.

SCHIEFFER: The Secretary of State indicates that commanders on the ground there have told him we do not need more American troops. You were just there. Did you get that response?

McCAIN: Well, if you need more foreign troops, you probably need more American troops, but our commanders and our men and women over there are doing a magnificent job. It's tough. It's very difficult conditions, and my conversations with them is that clearly they could use some more assistance, and from what I see and the statistics of Americans killed, wounded, the state of the situation particularly in the more sensitive areas, the so-called Sunni triangle or the Ba'athist Triangle, argues for a whole lot more money, more Marines, more Special Forces, more civil affairs people and quickly.

We've got a million and a half roughly men and women in the military. There's 140,000 there, which, by the way, was supposed to be down to 60,000, according to the original plans and we need to get them there and we need to get them there quickly.

SCHIEFFER: Butyou were hearing while you were there that the commanders wanted more troops.

McCAIN: When they -- when you say that, these are loyal people.


McCAIN: They're not going to undercut their civilian or military leaders. But the fact is, that just their description of the challenge they face argued that they're not able to get the job done in the manner in which they would like to. We need people who are there to secure oil pipelines. We need people to do civil affairs. We need all kinds of that kind of help, not more tanks, particularly. But...


BROOKS: Senator Biden, do you agree? Do we need more troops?

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN, D-DE:I agree with John we need them, but the most important thing I think John said, and I've been a broken record on it, is a sense of urgency. We need much more attention paid, many more resources now. We needed them last month, the month before, because every assumption the administration made about what would happen after the war was dead wrong. Oil revenues, an infrastructure in place, a civil affairs that they could go to, a military, a police force, all were fundamentally wrong, and Powell knew that before he went in. He was arguing for something else. But so -- but we still have time. We still have time but there's a sense of urgency that John is talking about that I agree with completely.

BROOKS: Now that also means money.

BIDEN: Absolutely. Positively.

BROOKS: Now there's talk now of $60 billion appropriation, $80 billion based -- appropriation.

Is your view this is so important we've got to spend whatever it takes to get the job done?

BIDEN: Absolutely. And I predict to you over the next 12 months, it will be a $100 billion price tag. That's why we ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, get those commanders and civil affairs people what they need now while we're attempting to get in foreign troops. I've spoken to a number of foreign leaders. I think there's a prospect of getting up to one division each from Turkey, from India and from Pakistan. I think you'll see if we do this right, we'll get up to 10,000 French troops...

BROOKS: Yet some...

BIDEN: ...before this is over.

BROOKS: Sometimes it seems your party is marching to the beat of Howard Dean, who is not singing this song, and that Dick Gephardt calls this whole project a miserable failure. Are a lot of Democrats singing your song; that we need more, we need a lot more troops, more money?

BIDEN: Well, I don't know, and quite frankly, I don't care. You know, Howard Dean doesn't hold office. He may be our nominee. I'm on the Foreign Relations Committee now. I've been there in Iraq. I've come back. Most of the people who have been there, I think John will tell you, Democrat or Republican, come back with the same general view, a sense of urgency. The window's closing. The Hammer Report said there's very little time for the Iraqi people before they start to forget about wanting us around, and I'm more concerned about the American people. That's why I hope tonight the president genuinely levels with the American people about what we need, what our objectives are and what he's going to ask of them. I think there's still time but it's urgent.

SCHIEFFER: What does that mean, Senator McCain, because you, too, have said he needs to level.

What does that mean?

McCAIN: Well, I think the president...

SCHIEFFER: Is he not leveling?

McCAIN: I think the president should say that the United States entered that conflict for good reasons and good things can come of it. We must succeed. The consequences of failure are immense, and it's going to require an enormous expenditure of American blood and treasure, hopefully a minimum of blood, but we must do it and we must do it quickly. And I'm confident the American people will support it.

BIDEN: So am I.

McCAIN: I visited mass graves of 3,000 people. You know one of their cute little tricks was to tie two people together and shoot one and bury them both together. These were bad people. But the Iraqi people also know, or believe, that we supported them in the '80s, we supported them in the war against Iran. We put economic sanctions against them in the '90s, we told them in '91 we'd get rid of Saddam Hussein and we didn't. And so there is suspicion out there about American motives. How do you resolve those? Get the money in there and get the people in there and of course get the government over to the Iraqi people as quickly as possible.

SCHIEFFER: What do you think, Senator McCain...

McCAIN: You can't do that without civil...

SCHIEFFER: And let me ask both of you...

McCAIN: Sure.

SCHIEFFER: General Zinni, who was the commander of the Central Command before Tommy Franks, is comparing this -- what he calls a lack of planning to -- and the word he used was the `garbage' that we heard and saw in Vietnam. He made an extraordinary speech to a group of retired officers.

BIDEN: Bob, he made that speech -- he made that speech before my committee.

SCHIEFFER: Well, do you feel that...

BIDEN: Uh-oh, I dropped -- here. Here, grab this real quick.

SCHIEFFER: Do you feel that the uniformed military has lost confidence in the civilian leadership? And I would say, Secretary Rumsfeld in particular?

McCAIN: I don't view it that way. The one thing that all our military people are imbued with is a loyalty and understanding of your civilian authority. But there is no doubt that retired military people, which is their right, are very unhappy about some of the things that are happening and very vocal about it as well. But the American people will support the president when they're told what the task is. And, yes, as Secretary Powell just mentioned, we made some wrong estimates. We always make wrong estimates in every conflict I've ever heard of, but it doesn't mean they can't be fixed.

BROOKS: Some people...

McCAIN: But time is of the essence.

Yes, David?

BROOKS: Some people say one of the reasons we have not sent more troops is because Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is so into transforming the military, which means a lean, mean small army, that he doesn't want to send troops there because that might lead in the future to a bigger Army.

McCAIN: We have to have them.

BROOKS: Do either of you senators agree that transforming the military is taking wrong priority over Iraq?

McCAIN: We have to have a bigger Army. We have to have a bigger military and we have to go about understanding what's necessary in order to do that.

SCHIEFFER: Senator Biden.

BIDEN: I agree with John, and I'd like to add one point about Zinni. Zinni testified before our committees before we went in, explained exactly what the needs were, was dead on about what we were going to run into afterwards. And what I think everybody's a little concerned about is the president keeps making this all about terror.

Remember, the rationale for going in wasn't just going after weapons of mass destruction and al Qaeda, it was to transform the region. We could end terror tomorrow and we still have a country called Iran, that -- if we get this wrong in Iraq, Iran's power expands and our interests diminish. So I hope the president doesn't try to simplify this -- only about al Qaeda and terror. That's real, that's genuine, but it's far bigger than that, and I think that's part of the problem Zinni and many other people have.

McCAIN: Why it's time -- the reason why it's time urgent is the people of Iraq have not made up their minds now. And if they make up their minds that they're going to be against the United States, then you're going to have a problem with this insurgency 'cause the fish will be in the water as the gorilla is to the people. That's why time sensitivity is important.

BIDEN: Absolutely.

BROOKS: Some people say when you go to the administration where Paul Bremer is running the country of Iraq, you don't see any Iraqis there. It's Americans running Iraq as if there were no Iraqis. Is that true from your visits and your opinion?

McCAIN: I think that the process is slower because without security it's -- or I think Ambassador Bremer is doing a fine job, but let me just also finally add: We are doing things with city councils; success in the north, success in some parts of the south. It's not all a terrible story.
There are some bright spots here and it's got to do with some great and wonderful people.

SCHIEFFER: Gentlemen, I'm sorry, we have to -- the clock has run out. Thank you, Senator Biden.

BIDEN: Thank you very much, fellas.

SCHIEFFER: And ...(unintelligible) Senator McCain.

BROOKS: Thank you, John.

SCHIEFFER: Back with a final word in just a minute.


SCHIEFFER: Finally today, this week marks two years since 9/11, but so much has happened it seems like 100. Those days when we could get on an airplane without undressing, when the fear of terrorism did not hang over every part of our lives seems so long ago and, like Scarlett's world, gone with the wind.

It is a different world the president will talk to tonight, and if he says what we expect, he'll tell us we need at least the indirect cooperation of the United Nations because we need other countries to help in the war on terrorism, and that is a change in administration thinking.

The critics say our troubles began when we shifted the war from bin Laden to Iraq. Whether they're right or wrong can be argued later. The overriding point now is that we are in Iraq, and to walk away would give terrorists a victory that would leave us even more vulnerable there and here.

Terrorists cannot be appeased. They must be defeated. And it seems obvious now we can't do it alone.

We survived a terrible blow on 9/11, but every time we go through a metal detector or suffer the inconveniences that safety now requires, we're reminded of just how much of our freedom and our peace of mind the terrorists have already taken from us.

The president's speech tonight will not be the speech he would have made a year ago, but he is right to make it; we must prevail over terrorism. To do otherwise is to condemn our children to a world of fear, where there can be no freedom or security.

That's it for us. We'll see you next week right here on Face The Nation.