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UNITED STATES POLICY AND ACTIVITIES IN HAITI
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION
FEBRUARY 24, 1995
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
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u.s. government printing office 90-899 washington : 1995
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 ISBN 0-16-047349-7
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey DAN BURTON, Indiana JAN MEYERS, Kansas ELTON GALLEGLY, California ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina DANA ROHRABACHER, California DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois EDWARD R. ROYCE, California PETER T. KING, New York JAY KIM, California SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas DAVID FUNDERBURK, North Carolina STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South
Carolina MATT SALMON, Arizona AMO HOUGHTON, New York
Richard J. Garon, Chief of Staff Michael H. Van Dusen, Democratic Chief of Staff Roger F. Noriega, Republican Professional Staff Member Parker H. Brent, Staff Associate
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut TOM LANTOS, California ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey HOWARD L. BERMAN, California GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York HARRY JOHNSTON, Florida ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey SHERROD BROWN, Ohio CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland MICHAEL R. McNULTY, New York JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia VICTOR O. FRAZER, Virgin Islands (Ind.)
The Honorable Charles B. Rangel, a Representative in Congress from the
State of New York ................................................................................................ 2
The Honorable Porter J. Goss, a Representative in Congress from the State
of Florida............................................................................................................... 4
The Honorable Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State .................................. 7
The Honorable Walter B. Slocombe, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy ...... 9
Bernard Aronson, former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American
Prof. Allen Weinstein, president, the Center for Democracy ............................... 38
Peter Johnson, executive director, Caribbean Latin American Action ............... 41
Major F. Andy Messing, Jr., USAR (Ret.), executive director, National Defense Council Foundation .................................................................................... 44
The Honorable Charles B. Rangel..................................................................._ 61
The Honorable Porter J. Goss ......................................................................... 65
The Honorable Strobe Talbott ......................................................................... 68
The Honorable Walter B. Slocombe ................................................................ 84
Bernard Aronson .............................................................................................. 88
Prof. Allen Weinstein ....................................................................................... 91
Peter Johnson ................................................................................................... 96
The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman............................................................... 106
The Honorable Donald M. Payne .................................................................... 110
The Honorable Christopher H. Smith............................................................. 112
The Honorable Cynthia A. McKinney............................................................. 113
Article entitled "A Peacekeeping Job Half-Done", by F. Andy Messing, Jr.,
Los Angeles Times, February 21, 1995 .............................................................. 114
Article entitled "No Time for Defense Downsizing", by F. Andy Messing
Jr., "The World and I" ......................................................................................... 115
Responses to questions from the Department of State......................................... 121
Responses to questions from the Department of Defense .................................... 125
UNITED STATES POLICY AND ACTIVITIES IN
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1995
House of Representatives, Committee on International Relations,
The committee met, pursuant to other business, at 9:48 a.m. in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin A. Gil-man (chairman of the committee) presiding.
Chairman Gilman. The subject of today's hearing is Haiti, a tiny Caribbean nation where the United States has made an extraordinary investment of military resources, international credibility, and $850 million in tax dollars.
The task before our committee is to assess whether the administration's strategy promises the best and most effective return on our investment. I would like to offer a few observations and recommendations that I hope would serve as a basis for a bipartisan, sustainable Haiti policy that, quite frankly, does not now exist.
I submit we cannot truly help nations by making them dependent on aid programs with short-term, short-lived benefits. Immediate incentives for the private sector are urgently needed to create sustainable jobs in Haiti and to meet high expectations among Haiti's desperate poor.
Many of our colleagues and I are disappointed that this key sector was virtually ignored in the initial U.S. emergency aid plans. Since the occupation, some new programs are being developed and will soon be announced.
We must also strengthen all of Haiti's democratic institutions so that democrats who struggled in vain for decades finally get the chance to rebuild their own nation. That, after all, is why President Clinton rushed to invade, occupy, and effectively run Haiti without seeking any congressional authorization.
Not all of Haiti's democrats serve in the executive branch or follow the Lavalas movement. To the extent that any Haitian perceives U.S. favoritism, the stated objective of institutionalizing democracy is undermined.
Regarding the elections, immediate steps should be taken to help ensure a level playing field and a secure environment leading up to parliamentary and presidential elections this year. I am pleased to note that the delegation of former President Carter, Senator Sam Nunn, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell is in Haiti this very day pursuing this and other issues.
Regarding the professionalism of Haiti's new security force, its leaders and members should be chosen based on merit alone, not
loyalty to any particular political movement. It should also meet at least minimal human rights standards.
I encourage the administration's efforts to ensure the integrity of these programs and will continue to monitor those developments closely. These are just a few key issues that I hope our witnesses will be able to address this morning. Progress in these areas will be scrutinized as Congress evaluates the soundness of a sustainable Haiti policy.
We are pleased that we have several Congressional witnesses this morning. Our first witnesses are Congressman Charles Rangel of New York and Congressman Poter Goss, two of the most knowledgeable Members of Congress on the issue of Haiti. We are pleased to welcome them this morning. We invite you to make brief statements and submit any written statements for the record, but before proceeding, I would like to recognize our ranking minority member, Mr. Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I have no statement, I would just welcome Mr. Rangel to the committee this morning. We are delighted to have you with us, Charlie, and likewise Porter Goss, although I don't see him at the moment. We look forward to your testimony.
Chairman GlLMAN. Before allowing our witnesses to proceed, are there any opening comments that any of our members would like to make?
If not, Mr. Rangel, please proceed.
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES RANGEL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. Rangel. Mr. Chairman, I would like permission to submit my testimony and just highlight my thoughts.
Assuming that permission is granted, I want to thank you, Mr. Gilman and Mr. Hamilton for the sensitivity that you have shared over the years, but more particularly the last few years with regard to this fragile country.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Rangel, could we ask you to move the mike a little closer to you. It is voice activated.
Mr. Rangel. Ever since I can remember, Haiti was always described as a beautiful country but the poverty was so devastating that people just did not want to leave their hotel or leave the beaches to even see it. For a variety of political reasons, dictatorships have just sapped the blood out of this country; Yet dramatically, when given an opportunity to vote for democracy, I can think of no time in recent history, where people actually were killed; and they still came out to vote even though the military was doing all that they could to stop that vote.
Finally one of our Ambassadors decided that he was going to convince the military that it was in the best interest of Haiti to allow the elections; while it was true that the United States had a different candidate, President Aristide received the overwhelming support of the people in Haiti. I don't think that that set politically well within our State Department, but nevertheless he had to be supported and to a certain degree he was.
For whatever reason, the military took over that country, and we saw a reign of absolute terror. To my surprise, there was substan-
tial support for the military regime right within our own State Department; but because of you, Mr. Gilman and Mr. Hamilton, other Members of Congress, including the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, we knew that we could not tolerate in this hemisphere seeing democracy overturned by ambitious military leaders.
I got the impression that it wasn't just Haiti we were talking about, we were talking about the reputation of the United States of America where President Bush and President Clinton had indicated that we would not tolerate that in this hemisphere. Even though there was very little political support for the use of the military in Haiti to restore Aristide and democracy, President Clinton exercised extraordinary courage by doing this; it was one of the most successful excursions and intrusions into another country in terms of seeing democracy returned. I was pleased to see that Speaker Gingrich had spoken publicly about the success of this venture.
I cannot think of a more proud day that I felt as an American than when I had the deep honor and high privilege to return to Haiti with President Aristide. I witnessed the unharnessed love and emotion extended to those who alit from the plane saying United States of America. I saw the love and deep appreciation the Haitian people extended to our courageous military forces, who too felt so proud that they played a part in the restoration of democracy to Haiti.
I have talked with the new Prime Minister, and it is just unbelievable the talent that exists in Haiti. This talent is rarely acknowledged because we only have the media to share with us the many bright people and leaders that we do have in this country.
I have spoken with businesspeople and well over half of those that were in Haiti before the coup have started back into business. I think one of the greatest things that has happened, and I think Congressman Torricelli certainly has had more experience in these international matters than I, was to see the CARICOM nations come together on anything in support of Haiti, to see the Organization of American States actually make an appeal to the United Nations for help; and to see the United Nations going in with the United States to lead the course in attempting to resolve this very sensitive question.
I think Haiti is coming back. I think all of the nations of the world are cooperating under our leadership and investing so that we can see our roads, infrastructure, and businesses restored, because the name of the game, of course, is the economic recovery. No democracy can survive with the people not working. But I think that this committee should be proud of itself for the work that its leadership has done in knowing that in our lifetime we can say that we actually witnessed and was a part of restoring a President to his country and to see that the support that was promised was actually given. We hope to soon return to Haiti, under the leadership of Chairman Gilman, as the President and the people of Haiti have invited us to formally thank us for actually bringing liberty back to them.
And so, distinguished members of this committee, I thank you for what has been done; but I would also like to remind all of us that we have some very sensitive days in front of us. I hope that we will
all be able to find some way to put our differences of how best to have approached this problem behind us and to have the U.S. Congress and our President clearly on the record in supporting this fragile country in returning to some type of economic independence. And I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rangel appears in the appendix.]
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Rangel, we thank you for your comments.
We know you have been spending a great deal of your time and efforts in the Congress in support of the Aristide regime and to try to put Haiti back on its feet.
Do you have any major recommendation that you would like this committee to explore with regard to trying to enhance the future of Haiti?
Mr. Rangel. Yes. I don't understand why there seems to be a division between reports done by the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department. Over the last several years it was as though I was working with two different governments, and I don't know whether this has stopped or not.
There have been reports that have been given by the CIA that has portrayed President Aristide in such a way that anyone just reading those reports would have the man committed, indicted, and sent away; yet the State Department would say that they have checked out everything, and they have convinced the President that this doesn't exist.
I don't know how this can happen in our country because I have talked with the people in the CIA, and they said their opinions haven't changed. True, they haven't got any facts, but that is not their job to be accurate. All they do is gather information and disperse it. I don't think the time is right to have these allegations made public when they are not based on fact; and I don't really think that we have heard enough from the Congress in a positive way saying, "If you can't prove it, don't say it." Certainly not the CIA.
I hope that we could do this in such a way that it doesn't cause any embarrassment to our Government. I think you know exactly the reports that I am talking about.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Rangel.
I would like to ask Mr. Goss, who we are pleased to have before us, would you care to do your statement now or would you want to vote first and come back and do the statement? Whichever you prefer.
Mr. Goss. Whichever the chairman prefers, of course.
Chairman Gilman. Well, we want to accommodate you.
Mr. Goss. Mr. Chairman, in that case, may I submit my full statement for the record at this time and make a few brief remarks.
Chairman Gilman. We will be pleased to accept it. Why don't you proceed, Mr. Goss.
STATEMENT OF HON. PORTER GOSS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. Goss. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I have a statement, and I am going to go beyond it because in addition to that, I have just read the report again.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Goss, will you put the mike closer to you.
Mr. Goss. I will be happy to. Is that a little better?
I have just had a chance to read the February 8 report, quarterly report, and I feel that a serious number of questions have been raised by that report. It is somewhat retrospective in reporting what has happened, and to quote it, it says, "This report documents the success of our operation in Haiti to date."
As a good American, I am delighted we have had some success, and I agree we have, but as a good American with oversight responsibility, I would suggest it is not all a record of success and the report does leave some very clear questions on matters that I would consider not to be too successful so far.
The report goes on to say that "we have restored the legitimate democratically elected government of Haiti to power." It is that type of delusion that is causing us a problem. We have just had an exchange on that here. We are focusing on Aristide. Aristide is not the Government of Haiti. Aristide is part of the Government of Haiti. We have a serious problem with the parliament, getting a parliamentary election taken care of there, and I am afraid that what has happened is there has been so much time focused on the debate over Aristide and getting him off the dole in the United States and back into Haiti and getting him back in power as President, as the duly elected and popularly elected President by 70 percent of the people, which is a wonderful accomplishment, but it is not the end game of what we are trying to achieve in Haiti.
When I went through this report, I found a number of problems that really derive from that. They go to the actual costs of this program, which are extremely high, and are going to continue for some period of time. I am not sure we are entirely on focus in the way we are delivering our aid. There are immense aid packages that any Congressman or woman would be delighted to have coming into their districts, great efforts being done to rev up the economy, and that is a wonderful thing.
I am not so sure it isn't being done at the wrong level. The people I am talking to at the bottom level, the people who are in the front lines of commerce, are not experiencing the same kinds of success as is being reported in this document, and I think we need to refocus our ideas there.
Talking to the parliamentarians and others thereand I will close with this commentI find that there is a very deep concern that the U.S. program there, as good as it is, is very much biased toward a pro-Lavalas side, and that is causing many of the others who are participating in democracy there to have concern and to have worry that we in fact are not going to achieve the stability and security and the opportunity for economic investment that we are all hoping for and frankly spending an awful lot of money on right now.
Mr. Chairman, I hope I would be able to come back and pursue some further questions on this with some of your other witnesses if possible.
Chairman Gilman. We would welcome that. Mr. Goss. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Goss appears in the appendix.] Chairman Gilman. Mr. Rangel, will you be able to return?
Mr. Rangel. Yes, but I would like to say, as I indicated before Mr. Goss got here, that it was abundantly clear that the United States of America unfortunately was backing a candidate in the last election other than Mr. Aristide. I would hope that in the next election that we just mind our own business and let the people of Haiti decide who their President should be.
Mr. GOSS. May I respond to that briefly, and just simply say the next election is a parliamentary election, and we want to make certain that it has an across-the-board pluralistic atmosphere to it. I would agree we should not be backing a presidential candidate, but we should be backing democracy, and if we just back the pro-Lavalas side, we are not doing that.
Chairman Gilman. If both our panelists are willing to return, we will stand in recess until the vote is over.
Mr. Burton [presiding]. Chairman Gilman had to go to a leadership meeting, and he has asked me to chair this hearing until his return.
Due to time constraints, we are going to go ahead with the second panel because Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott I understand has to leave by noon.
Is that correct, Mr. Talbott?
Mr. Talbott. Yes, sir.
Mr. lantos. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Burton. Yes, sir.
Mr. Lantos. Will you indulge me for a moment?
Mr. Burton. Yes, sir.
Mr. Lantos. I thank you very much.
Mr. Secretary, even though these are turbulent times, there is a touch of civility and compassion left in this body, and I would like to ask you on behalf of all of us to carry to Secretary Christopher our warmest wishes for his speedy recovery. I have a card which I will pass around in the firm knowledge that all Republicans and Democrats will sign it. This will not be one of those cases where we wish him well by a vote of 6 to 5. We publicly want to acknowledge his enormous contributions to the foreign policy, the national security of this Nation, and we hope he will return in full strength very soon.
Mr. Burton. Thank you, Mr. Lantos. I concur in that and I am sure everybody on the Republican side as well.
Our administration witnesses this morning are Mr. Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State, and Walter Slocombe, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. We received your written statements which we will make a part of the record, and we invite you to be brief in your opening remarks to allow ample opportunity for Members' questions.
We also understand that along with Mr. Talbott we have Mr. David Rothkopf of the Commerce Department, who heads the Haiti Economic Development Working Group, who may be available to answer questions, along with Mr. Mark Schneider, USAID Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, and a pretty nice fellow.
STATEMENT OF HON. STROBE TALBOTT, DEPUTY SECRETARY
Mr. talbott. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I might add that I am also joined by Ambassador James Dobbins, who is the coordinator of our programs in Haiti, and I would hope that you might also extend your hospitality to him.
Mr. Burton. We certainly do. I am sorry for that oversight. I didn't have his name on our list here. So, Mr. Ambassador, welcome.
Mr. Talbott. Before going to the matter at hand, let me thank you, Mr. Chairman and Congressman Lantos, and indeed all of you, for your collective sentiment, your good wishes to Secretary Christopher. As it happens, I spoke with Secretary Christopher by telephone a little over an hour ago. He is, as you know, in Ottawa, although he is returning to Washington today. He sounded fine. He sounded slightly annoyed at this development because he has a lot of important work to do. He is eager to get back both to Washington and to work, including the good work that he is doing with you and with this committee and with your colleagues in the Congress. But I will certainly convey your good wishes to him.
Under Secretary Slocombe and I welcome the chance to give you a progress report on the U.S.-led, 31-nation effort that has rescued a neighboring country from disaster, shored up stability in our region, and defended our Nation's values and interests. Operation Uphold Democracy has peacefully ousted Haiti's brutal dictators, restored its legitimate government, established a secure and stable environment and is now preparing to pass the baton to a U.N. force under a United States commander.
Had it not been for the deployment of the U.S.-led multinational force on September 19 last year, your committee might well be holding a very different sort of hearing today, a hearing to survey the damage sustained and the damage to come as a result of a crisis allowed to fester.
Think for a moment where we would likely be today had it not been for the intervention last September. The dictators would still be in power, and their campaign of murder and terror against the Haitian people would be continuing. Tens of thousands of Haitians would be seeking refuge abroad, posing a threat to America's borders and to regional stability. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard would still be diverting massive resources on an open-ended, if not permanent basis to manage migrant interdiction and refugee processing along our own coastline.
Instead, thanks to Operation Uphold Democracy, life in Haiti is generally secure today. The simple activities of everyday life, street vendors plying their wares, children going to school, and families attending church services have come alive again. Thousands of men, women, and children who were in hiding or in exile during the dark days of military rule, from members of Parliament to mayors to clergy to entrepreneurs, have resumed normal lives.
The flood of migrants from Haiti which hit a high of over 3,000 per day in July, last year has virtually stopped. When our troops arrived in Haiti there were an average of 10 to 15 serious incidents of organized political violence reported each week. Today there are virtually none.
Over 3,000 members of the interim public security force, trained and recruited by our multinational force, are now on the streets of Haiti and acting as public servants rather than as official thugs. The interim forces are monitored and assisted by more than 600 international police monitors, or IPM's, spread throughout the country. The IPM's are police officers recruited from more than 20 countries on 6 continents and they are under the leadership of former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
As for the Haitian Armed Forces, we are ready to work with the Haitian Government officials to make sure that the process of demobilization, however far it may go, takes place in an orderly and equitable fashion, consistent with President Aristide's emphasis on reconciliation. To that end, more than 2,000 former soldiers have been enrolled in a program of counseling and job training funded by USAID.
Mr. Chairman, one measure of the security of the situation in Haiti is the pace with which we are moving to turn the multinational forces responsibilities over to the U.N. mission. I am pleased to report that we are on schedule.
The U.N. force in Haiti will take over on March 31. It will be commanded by an American, Maj. Gen. Joseph Kinzer, and include about 2,400 American troops as part of a total force of 6,000. The United Nations will assume the costs for the American and international forces and the international police, costs that the United States has been paying up until now.
Mr. Chairman, from the beginning our primary goal has been to promote the process of democracy. Here, too, we are on schedule. We are working with the U.N. mission and the Organization of American States to ensure that the June legislative and local elections, as well as the Presidential elections in December, are as open and fair as possible.
With this objective in mind, the responsibilities of the U.N. mission will end by February 1996 with the inauguration of President Aristide's democratically elected successor. However, we all know that no matter how successful the Haitian people are at establishing a secure environment or building democratic institutions, stability will allude them without strong, steady, broad-based economic growth.
For its part, the international community is doing its share by funding programs that provide temporary jobs as well as emergency food and medical care, that strengthen key democratic and legal institutions and that spur economic growth.
At a meeting in Paris last month, international donors pledged $1.2 billion. Non-American donors and lenders will provide over 75 percent of these funds, making this from an American standpoint the most successful instance of burden sharing in the history of the hemisphere. This demonstrates that American leadership can leverage tremendous power and resources on behalf of a common good.
Haiti's real economic future, however, lies in the private sector. That is why President Aristide has committed his government to far-reaching programs of free market reform.
On March 7-8, I will lead a delegation of several dozen corporate CEO's to Haiti to explore ways to spur private investment. I am
pleased that Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney will be accompanying us on that mission. So, too, will Peter Johnson, Executive Director of Caribbean and Latin American Action, who will be addressing your committee later this morning.
We are also organizing nearly a dozen sector-specific business missions to Haiti, bringing more than 200 United States business executives in direct contact with Haitian businesses and Government decisionmakers. In view of the significant overhaul needed for Haiti's infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, these missions will concentrate on telecommunications, power generation, transportation, and the environment.
Mr. Chairman, our intervention in Haiti made sense for reasons of American self-interest. That includes our economic self-interest. Of course the operation has been costly, but these costs must be judged in context, and that means, among other things, against the costs we would have incurred had we continued with inaction.
Since September 19 the U.S. Government has spent about $700 million on Operation Uphold Democracy, most of which are onetime-only costs, instead of continuing to pay some $300 million a year for the costs of nonintervention. In Haiti we have made an investment that protects our borders, that has helped consolidate democracy in our hemisphere and that will help Haiti become a good neighbor and stable partner in diplomacy and trade. Our intervention also does justice to America's core values and principles.
The best defense of our Haiti policy is simple. We intervened because it was in our national interest, we intervened after every other alternative had been exhausted, and we intervened because it was the right thing to do. We cannot say yet mission accomplished, but we can say so far so good.
Five months after President Clinton sent our troops to their country, Haitians are constructing roads to advance commerce and build a civil society rather than roads to escape terror. Now we must see the job through and that means until the completion of the U.N. mission 12 months from now.
Much of the credit that we have seen so far goes to Generals Shelton, Meade, and Fisher, to their officers, and to the troops under their command.
With that in mind, I would like to turn the microphone over to Under Secretary Slocombe who has some opening remarks of his own.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Talbott appears in the appendix.] Mr. Burton. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Mr. Slocombe.
STATEMENT OF HON. WALTER B. SLOCOMBE, UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR POLICY, ACCOMPANIED BY MARK SCHNEIDER, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, USAID
Mr. Slocombe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Again, like my colleague from the State Department, I appreciate the opportunity to be here to update the committee on developments in Haiti, particularly from the point of view of the role of the U.S. military. You have my prepared statement, and with your
permission I will summarize it, focusing particularly on the plans for the transition to the U.N. force.
The United States military forces entered Haiti, as you all know, on September 19, 1994, as part of a multinational force, authorized by U.N. Security Council resolution to use all necessary means to secure the departure of the coup leaders, to restore the legitimate democratically elected Government of Haiti, and to create a secure and stable environment that would allow the Haitian people to resume responsibility for building their own country.
After less than a month, the coup leaders departed, and President Aristide returned to Haiti to assume control of his Government. In the period before that transition, the U.S. military forces, with the participation of other countries, had begun the process of establishing their presence throughout the country to promote a more secure environment and to make it possible to create a context which was possible for international humanitarian assistance to flow freely.
Although we recognized from the outset that it was not feasible to attempt to search out every weapon in Haiti, the MNF has seized nearly 30,000 weapons of various categories, including grenades and explosives, as well as the entire very modest inventory of heavy weapons possessed by the former Haitian army.
Essential public services such as electric power have been restored in key areas, although there is still work to do in this area. The military has provided limited assistance to Haitian Government ministries by military civil affairs specialists whose role has been key in helping those ministries on the process of reestablishing functional governments. As conditions improved, it became possible to repatriate over 13,000 Haitians who had been at Guanta-namo after fleeing Haiti under the military regime.
Throughout this process the problem of establishing a local public security force has been central. The Government of Haiti, with the assistance of the United States, has established an interim public security force of approximately 3,000 people who used to be in the Haitian Army, the FAd'H, who have been vetted, that is reviewed by both the Haitian authorities and the United States, and about 1,000 people who had been trained from among the refugees at Guantanamo.
With routine attrition there are now about 3,800 people in the IPSF. That is now the police force in Haiti. Their purpose is to provide a transitional police presence. They operate under the general supervision of something over 600 international police monitors. They will continue this function until the new civilian Haitian national police is trained.
That Haitian police is to be comprised of about 4,000 people. The first class has entered the police academy, which has been set up for the purpose of training them. In addition, about 250 former FAd'H have been assigned to a Presidential security detachment which is being trained to provide a personal security for the President of the country.
FAd'H personnel who failed the vetting process have been reassigned to nondefense ministries or offered 6-month career transitional training with pay under a contract program administered by
the USAID. Thus far, 2,000 screened out FAd'H members have signed up for the training.
The new Haitian national police will be deployed incrementally over the next 18 months. The first class entered training at the first of this month with a similar number to begin training each month until the force is fully staffed. The IPSF, that is the interim police force, will be incrementally retired as the new national police force takes over.
The accomplishments of the U.S. military are, I think, a subject of which we can all be proud. They are accomplishments in a novel environment and with a need to make literally within hours a shift from a forcible entry to an entry pursuant to an agreement but into a potentially hostile atmosphere, and their work since that time has been a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of our Armed Forces. The military has acted decisively, responsibly, humanely, and effectively in a difficult and complex mission.
Though U.S. forces lead this mission, high appreciation and similar acknowledgment should go to the other 27 nations whose contributions have made Operation Uphold Democracy a model for international cooperation. We believe that same spirit of cooperation will continue as we transition from the multinational force to the U.N. so-called UNMIH mission.
This transition has always been planned to take place at about this timeframe, and on January 30 U.N. Security Council passed a resolution which in effect recognizes that the MNF sent to Haiti has accomplished its tasks and it is now appropriate to transition responsibilities to the U.N. mission in Haiti.
The U.N. Security Council resolution passed at the end of last month specifies that this transition is to be completed by March 31, and we have every expectation that that will, in fact, be the date.
Much remains to be done in Haiti, particularly as Secretary Talbott's statement made clear on the economic front, but the military role is largely completed, although there will be a continuing need for military presence. The security environment throughout the country, although far from perfect, continues to improve.
Common criminal activity and Haitian on Haitian violence continues, but reported incidents are declining. The tragic incident with the American soldier killed at the toll booth sometime ago indicates that an operation like this is never without risk, but we know of no organized group capable of seriously threatening the Haitian Government or the international presence, including the American forces.
Nevertheless, the MNF security posture remains alert and prepared to respond as necessary while preparations continue to transition responsibilities to the U.N. mission in Haiti. For several months we have been consulting with the U.N. to determine how the United States can best contribute to the UNMIH mission and to promote continued recovery of Haiti's democratic institutions.
While there are still a few details to be concluded, I can provide a general outline of how that force will operate. The force will be authorized 6,000 troops. The United States is prepared to contribute approximately 2,500. About a dozen other countries are expected to provide the remaining 3,500 forces. Most of these are already a part of the MNF and will continue their participation in
the UNMIH and a schedule has been established for the rest to arrive.
We are very close to final agreement on the force structure for UNMIH. The U.S. forces will comprise less than half the total, but they will represent critical capabilities.
In addition to providing the force commander, the members of the headquarters staff, we expect to contribute a number of specialized forces such as medical, engineers, transportation, military police, civil affairs, special forces, aviation, and logistics.
In addition, there will be a contingent of combat units for a quick reaction force. The largest single portion of our contribution to UNMIH will be special forces units for training and coalition support, and a reaction force built around approximately just under 1,000 people, about 700 people in the quick reaction force.
Let me explain what the command structure will be. The U.N. Mission in Haiti force commander will be an American officer. Maj. Gen. Joseph Kinzer from the U.S. Army has been named as the commander for U.N. forces in Haiti. He will also be the designated commander of United States forces in Haiti.
As the UNMIH force commander, General Kinzer will make all the decisions involving UNMIH military operations. The U.N. Secretary General will, through a representative in Haiti, provide political direction and guidance.
All U.S. forces assigned to UNMIH will be under the operational control of General Kinzer. As United States force commander in Haiti, he will remain under the command of the Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Command, General Sheehan, and will report directly to him. Thus, the chain of command from the President to the lowest United States commander on the ground in Haiti will remain unbroken.
General Kinzer will also have a United States Army Brigadier General who will serve as his deputy commander of the U.S. forces in Haiti. The deputy will carry out the day-to-day management of the United States contingent for General Kinzer.
It is also worth making the point that we have a clearly defined end date for our participation in UNMIH. In accordance with the relevant U.N. resolutions, UNMIH's mandate will end on February 1996. This will be, as Secretary Talbott said, after Haiti's December 1995 Presidential election, and the inauguration of President Aristide's democratically elected successor.
Because I know it will be of concern to the Congress, let me outline a few basic points about the facts about the costs. The incremental costs for United States participation in operations in Haiti is projected to be out of defense resources $416 million in fiscal year 1995. This funds U.S. participation in the multinational force on the transition to the U.N. funded operation.
The fiscal year 1994 costs, that is for the year ending October 1 last year, were about $200 million for Operation Uphold Democracy and $174 million for maritime interdiction of Haiti and the subsequent care, housing, and feeding of Haitian migrants at Guanta-namo Bay.
The proposed DOD supplemental which is now before the Congress, which covers operations in Haiti, among others, is crucial to maintaining current levels of training and readiness for our mili-
tary services. This year's shortfall, if not corrected in a timely manner, will have serious results on readiness.
Let me conclude by saying that the way in which the MNF mission has been planned and executed has incorporated many of the lessons learned in past operations, both under U.N. auspices and the operation in Panama. Similarly, as we assume a role in UNMIH, we intend to apply the same lessons.
We are now entering a new phase of the task we undertook in September of last year. This mission under the U.N. and the United States role in it will be somewhat different, but our focus on ensuring a stable and secure environment that will give Haiti the clear opportunity to revive its economy and rebuild its institutions of government will remain clear.
I should make the point also that one thing will not change. U.S. forces and all the other forces in the country will have the full authority to take whatever actions are necessary for their own self-defense as they carry out their missions.
I am confident that the success achieved in the past months will continue in the weeks and months ahead as we proceed with the transition of responsibilities. This is a difficult and challenging task both for military and for the civilians, for the Americans there, and for third country people, most of all for the people of Haiti. We are well on our way toward a significant accomplishment.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Slocombe appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Burton. Thank you, Mr. Slocombe, Mr. Talbott.
I was in Haiti last Friday. The picture that you paint isn't exactly what I saw.
I first of all want to say that General Shelton, General Meade, General Kinzer are all doing extraordinarily good jobs. The military down there, every American ought to be proud of what they are doing, but it is an extremely difficult situation for all of them.
I understand from Mr. Goss's testimony it is going to be about $1.2 billion that will have been expended by February 1996, and in your comments you said that a lot of that is going to end very quickly because we are going to be turning that over to the United Nations.
According to information that I received, in 1993 we spentwe paid for 40 percent plus of U.N. peacekeeping operations, and in 1994 it was close to 80 percent, including all of the expenditures that we paid for through the United Nations.
So saying it is going to be turned over to the United Nations is kind of misleading because we are paying most of the freight for these U.N. peacekeeping missions, even if we do turn that over to someone else.
What I saw when I was down there was that there is a need for some kind of a generation plant or generation plants, electrical generation plants, because large parts of the country in Port-au-Prince are without electricity for long periods of time. There is garbage everywhere.
One of the enlisted men that I met with privately told me that I should go visit the national prison in Port-au-Prince. They tried
to dissuade me from going, but I insisted, along with my delegation.
Mr. Slocombe. I have been there. It is appalling.
Mr. Burton. I went into that prison and found that there had been one cell where 500 prisoners had been housed for 6 months standing in 6 inches of excrement, and that some of their feet became gangrenous and they had to be amputated and many of them suffer from hepatitis and other diseases.
That has since been cleaned up in large part by our troops, but I also witnessed a wall about 30 feet high that had excrement, garbage, and everything else hanging from it down at an angle of about 30 or 40 feet. And our troops, one sergeant in particular had been put in charge of cleaning that mess up, and I want to tell you, he is doing yeoman's service for the people of Haiti and his country, and fortunately he had some prisoners that were helping him. But our troops are doing some real extraordinary work down there, and I wish every American could see what I saw as far as their work is concerned.
My major concern is that we are pouring all of this money into that country, and unless there is a marked change in the way the roads are being handled, American industry and other industries around this country aren't going to want to go in there because they can't function because you can't get through the two main arteries of Port-au-Prince. It is bumper to bumper. We had a police escort and we still had to wait for about 10 minutes in several parts of that city. So it seems to me that that is one of the things, along with the port, that have to be dealt with.
When I talked to the AID Director down there, we asked him about his attempts to get the private sector of this country and other countries in there to take up the slack so that the American taxpayer doesn't have to pay the whole freight. His answer to me was pretty much that they had been hiring people to clean up the garbage and the mess there, several hundred people, but he didn't indicate to me there had been any appreciable direction or movement in the direction of getting the private sector involved.
I want to say to Mr. Talbott I am very happy that you are going down there with a delegation of businessmen to try to get them interested in getting that economy moving, but at the present time it is an absolute shambles, and I am very concerned about the way we are going about it. I would rather get the private sector involved, as one Member of Congress, rather than have the American taxpayer pay the freight for what appears to be an endless amount of expenses down there.
Now, I had the opportunity at the request of President Aristide because he had not yet entertained a Republican delegation, and he was anxious to meet with somebody from the majority, so I did go over to meet with him with our delegation, and I was concerned about some of the things that had been brought to my attention prior to our meeting. One, that Mr. Aristide still has people like Mr. Cherubin in his inner circle.
Mr. Cherubin, you will recall, was kind of a butcher in Mr. Aristide's administration and was responsible for many human rights violations, and alleged murders. Mr. Cherubin is still an adviser to Mr. Aristide, although Mr. Aristide told the Ambassador
who accompanied us after I left that he was going to make a change.
I would strongly urge the State Department, Mr. Talbott and Mr. Slocombe, to insist that the people who were perpetrating these human rights violations in the Aristide administration before he left the country be replaced because if those people are still in power or advising Aristide, I am very concerned about long-term human rights abuses.
I also talked to Mr. Aristide about the necklacing that he talked about in some of his speeches, and I was happy to hear that he is now going to try to reconcile the country and bring everybody together and stop these human rights abuses, and if that is the case, if he does do that, I think that will be something we can all applaud.
Now, regarding the national police, I met with Mr. Kelly, whom you refer to, and I think he is a perfect person to get that police force in order. The problem is, of the first 1,200 people that had been approved by the commission, the U.S. and Haitian commission, of the 1,200 people that had been approved to be members of that new police force, Mr. Aristide out of hand had dismissed all of them.
Now, we talked to him about that, and we understand that he has since relented and said he would accept about 800 of the 1,200. I think it is extremely important for our Government to make sure that the police force down there is not of one mind and one thinking process because what I am afraid that would lead to is more human rights abuses and violations.
So I would urge the administration and the Defense Department and State Department to make sure that the commission recommendations are observed and that there is a truly independent police force that is going to administer law and order and justice in a very fair way. I think that is about all I have to say.
I do have a couple quick questions, and I am sorry I didn't start my time, Mr. Hamilton, but I will try to conclude here pretty quick-
Why wasn't jump starting the private sector, particularly the assembly sector, taken into account when USAID was designing its massive aid program over the last year or more? For example, the first formal mention of the enterprise development fund was in Paris on January 31, 2>V% months after the occupation, and you might want to ask the USAID representative to comment on that.
I might say before he comments or before you respond that I was disappointed in the answers of the USAID person in charge when I was down there because his indications to me were not that we were trying to get private sectors involved but that we were going to continue to have U.S. Government carry the bulk of this economic solution. So that is my question. I will be happy to yield.
Mr. Talbott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would be appreciative if Mark Schneider would join us at the table.
Let me just say while he comes to the microphone, you shared with us several exhortations, and I can answer you very succinctly and I hope satisfactorily. The answer is yes. We, too, have had our concerns about Mr. Cherubin. We have raised them persistently and insistently with the Government of Haiti, and we are totally
confident that we are going to have a satisfactory resolution of that issue forthwith.
Also, we are satisfied that, after some wrinkles which you referred to, proper vetting of the interim public security force is now taking place and that it will indeed be the kind of broad-based organization that is consistent with President Aristide's own commitment to reconciliation, and also I might add the commitment of his Prime Minister Michel.
I don't know if you met with Prime Minister Michel when you were there. You may know if you did meet with him that there are representatives of six different Haitian political parties in his Cabinet.
Before turning the microphone over to Mr. Schneider, I would just point out that as for jump starting, as it were, the economy in the private sector, we had that very much in mind. Our priority and strategy is very much the same as yours, but of course job one was establishing a secure and stable environment. That had to take precedence over everything else.
That said, when several of us visited Haiti very early on after the intervention, and I went down there with Deputy Secretary of Defense Deutch and Deputy National Security Advisor Burger, we made a point of meeting with representatives of the Haitian private sector in order to understand their needs and concerns so that we could factor that into our decisionmaking back here.
Mr. Schneider. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
If I could, I would like to go back to your point about Haiti's infrastructure and its importance in terms of permitting the private sector to want to return and reinvest in Haiti. At the beginning, we basically set ourselves a task of creating an environment that would induce the private sector to reinvest in Haiti. Then we looked at the steps necessary to get there. As you recall, Deputy Secretary Talbott testified that we have just secured pledges of some $1.2 billion from a variety of international donors, in what is probably the most successful effort ever in that regard. And about $187 million worth of those pledges from the World Bank, the IDB, and the European Union are specifically focused on transportation infrastructure. There are specific loans that will be used for road building, bridge construction, ports, and the network of facilities for the transportation sector. This is obviously crucial to the return of the private sector.
The second point I would make is that in order for the private sector to get the loans that it needs to operate, Haiti had to get back in the good graces of the international financial community. They were in arrears by some $83 million to the World Bank, the IDB, and the IMF. We worked with Treasury in a very integrated, coordinated, fashion, and Treasury put together a collection of donors that helped Haiti clear those arrears and become eligible to receive the kinds of loans for infrastructure, roads, industry, et cetera, that will help spur the private sector recovery.
More directly, though, your point about the assembly sector is something that we have been working on. The Deputy Secretary is going to Haiti, as he said, in a week or so, and we are working with OPIC, to produce very quickly a loan guarantee program. OPIC has indicated they are ready to provide $100 million over the next sev-
eral years, and a portion of that will begin to flow immediately, to be used to provide the kind of working capital that hopefully most of the private sector will use to come back in.
The head of the Haitian industrial association, John Baker whom you may have met on your trip there and who has been named by President Aristide to head a Government private sector commissionindicated that about 32 of those firms have reopened their doors with a low level of employment at this point, about 5,000. He said, but he does expect that to increase, and we hope that the OPIC process will encourage that.
I should tell you that so far as USAID directly is concerned, when you go through the various elements of the private sector, we expect to be spending this year about $9 million in different programs aimed at providing credit to small businesses, and direct support for the Mixed Commission led by John Baker looking at reform of the private sector, including the agricultural area.
I should add that since two-thirds of the Haitian labor force is in agriculture, spuring small farmers and agriculture production is one of the crucial issues in trying to get the private sector operating in that country.
One additional point I would like to make, Mr. Chairman, is that in our view we are now at a point where the private sector is beginning to look at ways in which they can reopen their doors quickly, and we are looking at ways that we can support them.
Mr. Burton. Thank you.
I am going to yield now to Mr. Hamilton. Before I do, let me just say one thing.
OPIC is going to loan, what, $100 million or come up with $100 million, but there is still a lot of concern that private banks will still be willing to go in there because there are other safer areas where they may want to go. So it is going to be very important that OPIC convince them that this is still going to be a safe investment environment.
You don't need to comment on that right now, so I will yield to Mr. Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I see our chairman has come in. Perhaps I should yield to him if he would like to proceed.
Chairman Gilman [presiding]. No, no, go ahead.
Mr. Hamilton. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your having these hearings. A couple of quick questions. You now believe that we have a stable and secure environment in Haiti?
Mr. Talbott. Yes, sir, and that view comes in the first instance from our military commanders there and has been endorsed of course by the international community.
Mr. Hamilton. Does President Aristide fully support the timetables you have laid out for the United States and the United Nations to complete their responsibilities, the March 31 date and the February 1996 date?
Mr. Talbott. Yes, Congressman Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton. Fully supports that?
Mr. Talbott. Yes.
Mr. Hamilton. Let me tell you what worries me more about Haiti. I am much less worried about Haiti in the next year than I am what happens to Haiti when the United Nations pulls out.
One of our prominent journals yesterday accused you of timid globalism. These journalists come up with some great phrases, don't they, Mr. Talbott? The idea here is that our approach is too tentative, that we are trying to do too little, that we are going to get out too quickly, that as soon as the United Nations and the United States are out, the thugs and the military will come back in, and Haiti will be a mess within a short period of time.
That is my worry. How do you respond?
Mr. Talbott. Thus. First of all, I think it is worth recalling that there were some prophecies of doom earlier on as well. There were predictions that the intervention, regardless of whether it was in a permissive or a nonpermissive environment, would trigger violence, particularly Haitian-on-Haitian violence. There would be recrimination, vengeance, riots, necklacing, and the like.
The Haitian people have made clear, I think, in their response to Operation Uphold Democracy that they want and are prepared to take advantage of what it is that we, the United States, leading the international community, have given them, namely a chance to continue the work of building a democracy that was taken away from them with the coup.
What happens after February 1996, you are quite right to worry about, Mr. Hamilton, but the chances of things going well after February 1996 will depend in very large measure on how we use the year ahead of us now, namely to use the year ahead of us in the ways that we are outlining here, to make sure that there is an enduring, secure and stable environment, that there is a competent, professional, nonpartisan police force, security force that will be able to put in the hands of Haitians the maintenance of a secure and stable environment, that there are free and fair elections, that a new parliament comes in that is strong and vigorous, and that something is done about the economy, and we have already addressed that.
Mr. hamilton. Do you think all of those things can be accomplished in a year?
Mr. Talbott. I think we can make the necessary good start on which the Haitian people demonstrating what they have already demonstrated can then build.
Mr. Hamilton. How do you define the U.N. mission? When you come to February 1996, what do you at that point expect to have accomplished?
Mr. Talbott. The principal goal of the U.N. mission in Haiti will be to maintain the secure and stable environment that now exists so that in such an environment the work that we are talking about in the area of politics and economics and the building of a civil society can go forward.
Also, the U.N. mission will continue the good work that has begun by the multinational force, Ray Kelly and the rest, to complete the transition from a dictatorial repressive military to a security force under civilian control.
Mr. Hamilton. Are you reasonably confident that Haiti can accomplish these good things?
Mr. Talbott. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hamilton. After the United Nations pulls out?
Mr. Talbott. Yes. I have been down there now twice since the multinational force went in. While my trip, like Congressman Burton's trip, of course, opened my eyes wide to the immense problems, the horrible legacy of the past, the magnitude of the challenges they face, they were also basically encouraging.
Mr. Hamilton. So, come February 1996 you would expect that you would have a secure and stable environment that would allow the Haitian people to assume responsibility for rebuilding their country?
Mr. Talbott. That is correct. I would also not only hope but expect that Haiti would have gone through what President Aristide himself said is the most important election with a new democracy, and that is the second election, that it will have a new President, it will have a functioning parliament, local governments, a judicial system which is another important part of the work that we are doing down there, a private sector that will be up and running to an extent that it is not now and an international community that is engaged and prepared to stay the course.
Mr. Hamilton. And you would anticipate that they would have a functioning court system, a functioning parliament, and in addition to that secure environment, that there would be economic progress, I presume?
Mr. Talbott. You are of courseI am giving you affirmative answers, and I don't want to qualify those. I simply want to make sure that all of us consider the fact that Utopian predictions would be nonsense in this case.
Haiti is far and away the poorest country in this hemisphere. It was for a very long time before this catastrophe of the coup in 1991 befell it, and the coup in 1991 set the economy even further back.
Congressman Burton provided some vivid images of what they have to cope with. Unemployment, particularly in the cities, is astronomical, but the Haitian people are proud, they have 200 years of experience of independence and having their own state, and now they have an international community that has joined to help them finally make it, and I think they can do so.
Mr. Hamilton. When all of this washes out, what we will have really accomplished, is it not, is giving them an opportunity to proceed toward a democratic government and improve their economy and have a stable and secure environment?
Mr. Talbott. That is correct. If I could take advantage of what I think may be an implied invitation to refute a phrase that is sometimes used in connection with this kind of operation, we are not engaged in nation building in Haiti. First of all, Haiti was a nation before. It has been a nation since the early 19th century.
There is, however, a huge challenge of rebuilding that nation that is before the Haitian people themselves. They need, however, to have a democracy in order to do that, and they need to have the support of the international community and they now have both.
Mr. Hamilton. And at the end of the day, of course, whether they succeed or not depends not on us but on them?
Mr. Talbott. Emphatically, and they know that, and they wouldn't want it any other way, and President Aristide, Prime Minister Michel are eloquent on that point.
Mr. Hamilton. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.
A few brief questions, then I will turn to our colleagues.
Mr. Talbott, what is the total cost of our operation? I note in your testimony that you indicated some costs for 1995 and some for 1994. What is the total costs to date that we have incurred with regard to this operation?
Mr. Talbott. If you will permit, Mr. Chairman, I will speak to the costs under the international affairs account and Under Secretary Slocombe will speak to the DOD costs. Is that appropriate?
Chairman Gilman. Please.
Mr. Talbott. Actual obligations in fiscal 1994 were $146.4 million. I should say, Mr. Chairman, I would be happy, of course, to provide you with a full breakdown on these costs, line items.
I can review those in summary orally now, but let me just give you the bottom-line numbers. Fiscal 1994 we are talking about the international affairs budget, actual obligations $146.4 million, fiscal 1995, estimated obligations $288.8 million, and for fiscal 1996 we have requested $115 million. That is in economic support funds and Public Law 480.
Under Secretary Slocombe will speak to the defense costs.
Mr. Slocombe. For fiscal year 1995, that is the current year.
Chairman Gilman. Did we spend any in 1994?
Mr. Slocombe. I will do it in the other order. I was going to start with fiscal year 1995.
For fiscal year 1995 we expect that the incremental cost of United States participation in operations in Haiti will be $416 million out of the defense budget. In addition, there will be costs which are projected for the care, housing, and feeding of Haitianthat is for the MNF and the U.S. participation in the UNMIH.
In addition, there will be costs for Haitian migrants at Guanta-namo Naval Base which were originally projected at just under $50 million. That may be somewhat lower because of the relatively early repatriation of the Haitians.
For fiscal year 1994, the costs for preparing Uphold Democracy and for the 2 weeks or so when it was carried out in fiscal year 1994 are $201 million and the costs for the maritime interdiction force and migrant-related operations were $174 million.
In addition, the Department of Defense expended $126 million under the Food and Forage Act by the Army in fiscal year 1994.
So if my arithmetic is correct the total for Defense Department expenditures is $967 million.
Chairman GlLMAN. That is the overall expenditure from fiscal year 1994 through to the present time?
Mr. Slocombe. Well, through 1995, projected through 1995.
Chairman Gilman. It is $967 million.
Mr. Slocombe. Yes.
Chairman Gilman. And the total for State Department then is approximately? Mr. Talbott. Four hundred and thirty-five point one. Chairman Gilman. It is $435 million?
Mr. Talbott. Point one.
Mr. Chairman, I am advised by staff that Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations Wendy Sherman provided the committee through you a detailed accounting in a letter of February 3 which I have just been given a copy of.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton. I thank the chairman for yielding.
I want to make one point. I worry about these arbitrary deadlines. The task ahead of us and the United Nations for the next year to February 1996 is a very formidable task by anybody's definition, and it seems to me the better thing to do, rather than to say the United Nations is going to be out of there on a certain date, is to say that we are going to be there long enough to give them an opportunity to create a stable environment, and then we will get out.
I know the political pressures that operate on you are very strong here, some of them coming from this institution, but it just doesn't seem to me to be sound policy to say we are going to get out as of a certain date. That is the only point I want to make.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.
I note then from the figures you gave us we have roughly expended about $1.4 billion with regard to the Haitian initiative. Is that about correct, including both DOD and the international operations?
Mr. Slocombe. Yes.
Chairman Gilman. We are accurate on that?
Now can you tell us exactly how much are we paying third-party countries for their involvement in Haiti? Have we paid to train them, to equip them, to deploy them?
Mr. Slocombe. Mr. Chairman, it is a little hard to hear.
Chairman Gilman. Are we making contributions to third countries who are involved in the Haitian operation and has that been included in your estimate of the total costs?
Mr. Slocombe. On the part of the Defense Department, we provide certain support to other members of the multinational force. The Department of Defense is reimbursed by the State Department for that assistance, and we can-
Chairman Gilman. Well, how much are you paying these third countries?
Mr. Slocombe. We can get you the exact amount. It is a relatively modest amount, but we can get you the exact amount for the record.
Chairman Gilman. According to a December-
Mr. Slocombe. The number I have is something like $8 million in support of the MNF.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Slocombe, according to the President's report of December 31, 1994, your support for foreign forces were $61 million. Is that an accurate statement?
Mr. Slocombe. This is "Annex A"? Yes. What we havethe numbers I have are for the Army 18, for the Air Force 4, and for State 40, so it would be $61 million, yes, sir.
Chairman Gilman. Do we actually pay their salaries while they are out there?
Mr. Slocombe. What we pay, as I understand it, is an amount with the MNF, for some of the MNF countries equivalent to what the United Nations pays for peacekeeping forces, which is just under $1,000 a person a month.
Chairman Gilman. Would that take into account the increased number of U.N. people who will be coming in to take the place of our forces?
Mr. Slocombe. We won't pay it once it becomes a U.N. operation, the United Nations will pay it. We would pay a share of the U.N.-
Mr. Burton. Will the chairman yield?
Chairman Gilman. I would be pleased to yield to the gentleman.
Mr. Burton. One of the things I found when I was down there, when I talked to our enlisted men they were very upset because the U.N. peacekeeping forces when they take over are going to get something like $35 a day in salary, and that is what I understand these troops that you are talking about right now are getting, and our troops are getting much, much less than that, and yet they are doing the bulk of the work.
I think that that is something that should be looked into by our Government because they really resent, our troops who are doing yeoman's service down there, resent being paid so much less than these international forces who are coming in there under U.N. auspices who are being paid indirectly or directly by the U.S. Government at a higher rate than our soldiers are getting.
I would like for them to respond to that, Mr. Chairman, if they would.
Mr. Bereuter. Mr. Chairman, would you yield to me briefly on this point?
Chairman Gilman. Yes. Can we first get a response to Mr. Burton's inquiry.
Mr. Bereuter. I didn't know there was a question.
Chairman Gilman. Could you respond to Mr. Burton's inquiry.
Mr. Slocombe. The money is paid to the countries involved. I have no reason to believe that the countries involved pass 100 percent of it through to the troops on the ground. It is intended to reimburse the countries for the costs of having the troops there.
If it is passed through by the countries in question, as I say, I would be surprised, because it is meant to be payment for the costs of the forces, and after March 31 United States will get it for its people who are there. We will not pass it through to the soldiers, they will continue to get their regular pay.
Mr. Burton. I don't want to prolong this, Mr. Chairman, but if I could follow up very briefly.
Chairman Gilman. But time is running.
Mr. Burton. This is very important because the morale of our troops is at stake down there. I can tell you, they are very upset because they have been told that the U.N. peacekeeping forces are getting $35 a day, which is much more than most of the enlisted men are getting.
Mr. Slocombe. But, Mr. Burton, as I understand it, it is about $1,000 a month, so it is about $35 a day, but it doesn't go to the troops as individuals unless for some reason one of the governments chose to pay that. And I would beobviously, to the coun-
tries involved, $35 a day is a fortune. I would be very surprised if they are paying anything like that as supplemental pay for being in Haiti.
Mr. Bereuter. Mr. Chairman, would you yield, please. Chairman Gilman. I would be pleased to yield to the gentleman. Mr. Bereuter. I thank the Chairman.
My colleagues may remember this is the issue I brought up in the markup of H.R. 7. That is why the amendment that I offered on the floor, which was accepted by unanimous consent, attempts to direct our U.N. mission to examine this issue and come up with recommendations.
Some countries are basically getting a 1,000 percent markup on their troops, and believe it or not, surprise, it doesn't go to the troops' pocket, it goes to the treasury. But I am sure our troops believe that these troops are getting not $3 a day but $35, but it ought to be changed.
Mr. Slocombe. But it is not intended simply to compensate for the salary costs, in any event. Mr. Payne. Would the chairman yield?
Chairman Gilman. I would be pleased to get into the order in which you have appeared. We have just got a report that U.N. sources informed us that for the U.N. operation in Haiti there will be a cap put on all procurement for American companies as a way of retaliating against our Nation for its insistence on naming a United States commander as head of the Haitian operations.
Are any of our panelists aware of any cap or limitation on United States companies competing for procurement opportunities for the troops in Haiti?
Mr. Talbott. No, sir, not aware of it. Could I ask Ambassador-
Chairman Gilman. Could I ask our DOD panelist. Mr. Talbott. And also Ambassador Dobbins who may have something.
Mr. Slocombe. I am not aware of any such arrangement. What I am trying to confirm is I believe one of the major contractors is an American firm. I will consult with my aides.
Chairman Gilman. Do we have any information? This comes to us from a U.N. source.
Mr. Dobbins. Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gilman. Would you identify yourself, please.
Mr. Dobbins. I am sorry, my name is James Dobbins with the Department of State responsible for coordinating Haitian affairs.
I am sure that the United Nations has taken no steps in the form of a retaliation for naming an American commander to this operation. I know of no limitations whatsoever on American contractors in this operation. I do know that one of the main contractors that has been in discussion with the United Nations is an American company.
Chairman Gilman. I would welcome if the panelists would provide us with any information following this hearing.
Now let me go back to our list. Mr. Hastings.
Mr. Talbott. Could I just say, could we maybe be in touch at the staff level to get more information on the assertion and the allegation. It will help us be responsive.
Chairman Gilman. I would welcome it.
Mr. Hastings. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, thank you so very much for your testimony, and let me make just one statement that in spite of the potential bear traps that may be in Haiti's future, the fact of the matter is that in my considered opinion the manner in which the United States Government through its administration has conducted the activity in Haiti is a spectacular success in terms of where we were as opposed to where we are today and where we likely will be after the UNMIH forces are transferred.
Strobe, I would like to just personally thank you for an outstanding job as well as Secretary Christopher and those at the Department of Defense that are deserving of praise as well.
I would like to ask you, Secretary Talbott, if you would agree with this statement that President Aristide, to his credit, has repeatedly counseled national reconciliation to his people and practiced that himself by reaching out repeatedly to the business community and to rival political parties.
Mr. Talbott. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hastings. Do you agree with that statement? Mr. Talbott. I would.
Mr. Hastings. Let me ask you, Mr. Slocombe, because I am in South Florida and we continue to have our immigration problems, we are constantly concerned about the Haitians who are in Guan-tanamo as well as others who are there.
Are there children still in Guantanamo? And I direct my question to you because you mentioned the repatriation of Haitians. Are there still children in Guantanamo?
Mr. Slocombe. There are about 700 Haitians of all ages and descriptions in Guantanamo. They come under several categories. I know that one of the major categories and which amounts to several hundred is minors.
Mr. Hastings. Right. My understanding is that some of those minors are unattended and are without, you know, any direction as far as parenting is concerned in Haiti. However, according to various sources in Miami, there are potential sponsors for those children in the United States.
Do we have any plans to either repatriate the children or to bring them to the United States under appropriate sponsorship?
Mr. Slocombe. The responsibility for that, of course, lies with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and not with the Department of Defense.
Let me tell you what I know about the subject, but an authoritative answer would have to come from INS. Maybe Jim Dobbins, Ambassador Dobbins knows more about this than I do. Why don't you try.
Mr. Dobbins. These unaccompanied minors cases are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine where they would receive the best care. Some of them have family in Haiti, some of them may not have family in Haiti, some of them may have rel-
atives or people prepared to care for them in the United States or in third countries. So the process is a case-by-case review of each one to determine where the child would receive the best care and based on that determination is made where to send them.
Mr. Hastings. Well, to the extent that my urging has any value, I would urge that those that can, move to expedite this matter as best we can. It is just an unfortunate situation, should not continue in the pattern that we are in.
Mr. Chairman, because of the interests of time, I will yield on any further questions.
Mr. Bereuter [presiding]. Mr. Salmon.
Mr. Salmon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I do have a couple questions. The first one I don't want to dwell a lot on, I think it can probably be answered succinctly, but my understanding of our vital national interests and military intervention in the first place was probably twofold: one, of course, the refugee issue; two, the issue of the humanitarian violations.
Can you expand on that for me? What other vital national interests were at stake?
Mr. Talbott. Haiti is, of course, a neighbor in the most literal sense. We share an ocean boundary with Haiti. When things go very, very badly for one of our neighbors, it affects our national interests in several ways, particularly if the catastrophe, the humanitarian and human rights catastrophe in a given case results in an outpouring of refugees, virtually all of whom want to come to the United States. It confronts us not only with a moral dilemma but also with a political and practical dilemma which we saw in extreme form last summer.
We also have a national interest in the continuing trend of democratization in this hemisphere. Haiti was a fledgling democracy when it had the election in December 1990 that produced President Aristide by an overwhelming majority. Haiti thus joined a trend which had swept through the hemisphere.
The reversal of democracy in Haiti was bad not only for Haiti but also, had it been allowed to stand, would have sent an ominous signal elsewhere in the hemisphere.
Mr. Salmon. Thank you.
I will leave it at that. I know that we were effective in restoring Aristide, but how effective were we in the real goal of restoring a true democracy in that country?
And the follow-up question to that would be, let's say hypo-thetically that 2 years down the road the democracy goes belly up and a dictatorship again is in power and economic improvements, free enterprise improvements that have been made to that point are completely wiped out. Are we going to then reconsider again military intervention, or do you have more thoughts? Have we learned anything from this time that maybe we could possibly improve upon for next time if indeed there is a next time?
Mr. Talbott. I might say both by prelude and in parenthesis that one of the reasons that Operation Uphold Democracy has been as successful as it has been is because we did draw upon the lessons of earlier experiences. We drew upon the lessons of Panama, of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and the gulf war, and in this respect in particular we saw this from the beginning not just as a military op-
eration but as a political operation and indeed as an economic operation.
Closely integrated into the military planning were plans to make sure that we help the Haitian people reestablish the infrastructure of democracy. This I think is responsive to your point.
One of the first things that our troops did when they arrived in Haiti was to put the parliament back in shape so that it could resume work. One of the things that Mark Schneider and AID are doing is working with the institutions there, not just the parliament, which will have of course new members when the elections are held in June, but also municipal and local bodies as well. That is one of the reasons that we are optimistic that the hypothetical that you raise will not occur.
Mr. Salmon. One final point. I see that my time has expired.
The multinational mission to me is somewhat of a misnomer. How many other countries are paying, not that we are paying the pay, but how many other countries are actually participating? How many forces have they sent and when we arrived September 19, 1994, when did the third-country forces arrive?
Mr. Talbott. Shortly afterwards, but Under Secretary Slocombe will respond to that.
Mr. Slocombe. There are nowI am always suspicious of numbers to four significant figuresbut there are now 1,884 non-U.S. military personnel participating in the MNF, with Bangladesh as the largest contingent, just over 1,000. Over 20 countries have a total of 665 international police monitors in Haiti. The largest contingents there are Jordan, Bolivia, and Argentina and Bangladesh.
My recollection is that the very first third country people were in in significant numbers within a couple of weeks. I know I went down to Haiti within less than, a month, and the port security, for example, at that point was being turned over, I think, to Bangladeshis. There was a CARICOM, the Caribbean group which had taken over some of the security in Cape Haitien, so that within a period of a few days they started to arrive and they were taking over significant functions within a month.
Mr. Talbott. But with the indulgence of the Chair and the red light, I would just add one thing. One of the many reasons why we have planned from the beginning and now welcome the imminence of the hand-off from the multinational force to the U.N. mission is that the multinational force was overwhelmingly American, both in personnel and in who was paying for it. The U.N. mission will be an assessed U.N. operation, of which the United States will only pay 25 percent rather than virtually all of it, and we will have less than half the personnel.
That is part of the point here. We are handing this off to a truly international-
Mr. Salmon. I understand that, and just a quick question. Will our troops be under the U.N. command then?
Mr. Talbott. Our troops will be under American command, as Under Secretary Slocombe made clear in his opening statement.
Mr. Bereuter. The time of the gentleman has expired.
The gentleman from New York, Mr. Engel.
Mr. Engel. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me first make a statement. We have all been hearing a lot of harping and carping about Haiti and about what we should have done and what we shouldn't have done, but, you know, if we look at what we have done and what has happened, I think if we went back 6, 8, 10 months or a year and look at the position we are at now, I think it is really miraculous, quite frankly, the constructive role that we have played in Haiti; the fact that there were virtually no American casualties in Haiti; the fact that the Haitian people have welcomed us with open arms. And, I think by all standards our involvement in Haiti has been a tremendous success.
First, we heard that it wasn't in our national interest, in some quarters it was said, to get into Haiti. Although I don't know how anyoneI think Mr. Hastings and some of the others have mentioned with refugees coming to our shore in south Florida and bursting at the seamshow anyone could say that Haiti wasn't in our national interest or isn't in our national interest just amazes me.
We are told that we ought not to have incursions on the other side of the world. Haiti is right in our own hemisphere, so it certainly seems to me that it is in our national interest.
We also heard last year in some quarters that Aristide wasn't worth defending. I would say that we are not defending Aristide, we are defending a democracy. The fact of the matter is that the United States took the lead in mobilizing international support for Haiti's democratic election in December 1990. The Haitian people elected Mr. Aristidethat is not my choice, it is their choicein a fair and free election, and therefore I think that we are defending democracy there.
The last statement I want to make before I ask a couple of questions is that I don't think that the Somali syndrome, quite frankly, ought to pervade our foreign policy much the way for so long the Vietnam syndrome pervaded our foreign policy. I think we have to take each situation as it comes, and I think Haiti is different from Somalia. I think the fact that it is very close to our shore makes it different, the fact that there are so many people who have escaped makes it relevant to us, and I think that frankly the President did the absolute right thing and that the operation has been successful.
Having said that, I would like, Secretary Talbott, if you could give me your assessment of the job that Mr. Aristide has played. We tend to either hoist people up as great leaders or knock them down as villains, I think that those of us who have been involved in public life understand that leaders usually represent neither extreme and are somewhere in the middle, and all human beings. But, I would like you to please rate the job that Aristide has done since he has come back.
Mr. Talbott. It is such an important question I don't want to appear to be giving it short shrift, but in the interests of time I will try to be very succinct. If you want elaboration I will, of course, provide it.
The short answer is, he has done a splendid job. He has lived up not only to our hopes and expectations, but he has lived up to the promise that he made before going back to be a President who personified reconciliation. And there were concerns about that, and
those concerns were not entirely baseless. But it is not just what he said since coming back, it is also what he has done.
He has almost single-handedly forestalled an outbreak of the kind of retribution and violence that many were concerned about. By bringing Mr. Michel in as the Prime Minister, he has demonstrated his commitment to a principle that a couple of your colleagues have enunciated earlier, and that is the importance of engaging the Haitian private sector, which incidentally, I think it is fair to say, voted overwhelmingly against President Aristide, unlike the Haitian populace as a whole, in the December 1994 election, but Michel is a businessman himself and has reached out to the business community.
Now, obviously because of the magnitude of the challenges he faces, there are certainly going to be points on which we are going to not see the situation the same way that he does, but our relationship with him is extraordinarily trusting and cooperative. He listens to us, we listen to him, sometimes he does what we advise him to do, sometimes he doesn't. But he is the President of that country, and it is ultimately up to him and all Haitians to make the key decisions.
Mr. Bereuter. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. Engel. If I could, Mr. Chairman, just very quickly speak to the concerns that Mr. Hamilton raised earlier in terms of our leaving Haiti prematurely. The same aiticle that he was referring to mentioned three things that really need to happen before we can really breathe well: The old army-
Mr. Bereuter. I remind the gentleman we have five members here yet.
Mr. Engel. But, Mr. Chairman, I have frankly sat here all morning and listened to people go on for 15, 20 minutes.
Mr. Smith. There will probably be a second round, and some of us do have to leave.
Mr. Engel. I don't mind. I just wish these things would be applied uniformly.
Mr. Bereuter. Would the gentleman continue and just make his points briefly. Mr. Engel. Thank you.
The old army being fully dismantled, new civilian police force put in place, credible elections held, and the economy begin to grow. Would you concur that really those are the four things that need to be put in place before we can breathe freely in Haiti?
Mr. Talbott. Before we can-
Mr. Engel. Before we can feel that we have really done what needs to be done, have created the stability at which point we can leave?
Mr. Talbott. The ultimate status of these institutions is up to the Haitian people to work out, and surely the new Haitian Parliament will have an important role to play in that as well.
Mr. Engel. Thank you.
Mr. Bereuter. The Chair is trying to take into account the fact that Secretary Talbott needs to leave at 12. We have five members who have not had a chance. We had some abuses of the process early which I understand may irritate those of us that remain. It is the Chair's turn for his time at this moment, according to the
order of appearance, but Mr. Smith has an appointment so I yield my place in line to him in return.
Mr. smith. Very briefly, I really thank my good friend Doug Bereuter for yielding. I want to associate myself with Mr. Hastings' comment about the need for bringing those Haitian children who are in Guantanamo here, especially if a family member can be found. I think that ought to be a very, very high priority. I want to associate myself with his remark.
Very briefly, at the January 29 meeting, the donors meeting, my understanding is that $1.2 billion was pledged. The Haitian Government has said that justice reform, agriculture, education, public works, and health are the five primary areas. And perhaps, Mark, you might be the best one to answer this.
What is the status currently of the children of Haiti as it relates to illness? Is there any thought being given to a massive vaccination day to try to catch up on some of those kids who over the last several years have not gotten their DPT shots and their other shots, to do what has been done in other countries under UNICEF, PAHO, and U.S. sponsorship, a day where everyone is vaccinated to catch up? I yield.
Mr. Schneider. Thank you very much, Congressman.
You are right that the health area is one of the gravest challenges facing the government in Haiti. One out of every 10 children die before the first birthday.
What we did was just what you are suggesting. On approximately November 20, President Aristide announced in conjunction with PAHO, UNICEF, and USAID, a nationwide immunization campaign, and I am pleased to be able to report that in Port-au-Prince, 600,000 children have now been vaccinated. It reached more than 90 percent of the goal.
The objective obviously is to extend this nationwide, with the hope of completing that level of coverage by June. However, the vaccination campaign outside Port-au-Prince was disrupted by Hurricane Gordon, and although this resulted in a delay, they are now catching up. And they now expectaccording to the people who are organizing the campaign with whom I talked in Paristo reach the 90 percent goal by the end of June. The focus was on measles which has caused a serious epidemic in the past, but includes the other childhood diseases as well. It is beginning, in the crucial health area.
Mr. smith. Thank you.
Mr. Bereuter. I thank the gentleman for his courtesy. The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Payne. Mr. Payne. Thank you.
It is hard to get seen back here in this corner here. I get glossed over.
Let me first of all, though, also let me state my deep pride in the job that has been done by the United States military in Haiti.
First of all, I think that the decision to go, and I sit here and listen when people talk about why are we moving out so quickly and why is the United Nations moving out, and you know just a year or so ago there was absolutely no one other than I guess Congressional Black Caucus and Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Oberstar, maybe Mr. Dodd and a few others that said we ought to go in. And
I am sure that one of the reasons for, it in my opinion, the premature pullout, is because it was tough enough to get in and I guess you had to say, Well, we are going to come out more quickly than we even feel we ought to come out, but a lot of times we kind of forget history, and the fact that probably one of the most courageous decisions made by any President in the history of this Nation was made when President Clinton decided that it was the right thing to do even though there was absolutely no support other than outside of the few members, the few friends of Haiti, and the Congressional Black Caucus. So I commend him for that decision. I guess it almost parallels Truman bringing MacArthur back in the late 1940's, early 1950's when that was an unpopular decision, but he did it anyway.
But I am so proud of what our troops have done, and I, too, wish that they were not going to withdraw when they are going to withdraw. And second, I wish that the United Nations did not have this time certain because I think time certain and all of our military men on the ground all indicate that dates certain are not the best way to go.
But saying all that, let me ask quickly, one, how is the military downand finally, in my comments I was one of the few who advocated that the time that President Aristide was out of the country should have been put out of his term because he really has had very little time to govern, and the fact that the elections are coming up and they have no provision for reelections I felt was unfair anyway and that he should have had an opportunity to serve for the 5 years or whatever the term was, but he will only have half a term.
Quickly, how is the military downsizing going, and second, how is the creation of the public sector jobs that was supposed to be a 50,000 number but have not gotten up to that number yet?
Finally, once again, I would like to know how you are doing with the judicial system which was certainly compromised in the past.
And last, let me just mention that I don't know how much my colleaguesand I wish Mr. Burton was here, he is my long-time friendbut it is not uncommon that United States troops supervise things that are not pleasant. In World War II it was the United States troops that supervised in every European country the redevelopment of those countries. And so I just don't understand why all of a sudden because United States troops are supervising unpleasant tasks in Haiti, it is what the troops that are in charge have done throughout the history of the military.
But anyway, could you respond to the question about wanting to downsize and to the 50,000 public sector jobs that were promised? And, No. 3, what is happening with the prosecutors and judges, I guess in the 1 minute that I have left.
Mr. Slocombe. Do you want me to respond on the downsizing first?
We have gone from over 20,000 in the early part of October down to about 6,000 now. As I said in my statement, the United States contribution to the U.N. mission in Haiti will be on the order of 2,500 people. We would expect to reach that level not obviously on the moment of the transition on March 31, but within a few weeks after that.
The downsizing has gone very well. It is also worth making the point that there is a rotation. It is not all the same people who arrived at the beginning.
Mr. Payne. Also, quickly, the Haiti downsizing of their military.
Mr. Slocombe. The Haitian military is now effectivelythe old FAd'H is effectively gone as an institution. About 3,000 people who were from the old army. The old army/police have been vetted by agreement with both the United States and the Haitian authorities. They now constitute the bulk of the interim public security force.
As was alluded to earlier, we have had a problem about making sure that the people who were vetted are the ones who are there and the people who are not vetted are not there. That is being worked now and I think satisfactorily.
Over time we will be training a civilian police force. The police academy to do that is open and has had its first class. Over the period of the next 18 months, that national police will gradually replace the interim public security force.
There are transition job training and payment programs for the people in the old FAd'H, the old army who are not going to be in either the IPSF or the new police force.
Mr. Bereuter. The time of the gentleman has expired.
The chairman will take his time at this point.
First I would ask unanimous consent that the opening statement of Christopher Smith be made a part of the record. We will conclude then with the 5 minutes for Ms. McKinney after the chairman has his time.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Smith appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Bereuter. First of all, for the record, I strongly disagree with the military incursion in Haiti. I continue to disagree with it. I just want that a part of the record. I think it was ill-advised.
But I would like to make sure we have all the costs down. Secretary Talbott, if you can tell me, the figures that you gave us from the 150 account, do they include the $56 million plus for this fiscal year for the U.N. mission costs in Haiti and the $27 million plus for the voluntary contributions, the peacekeeping operation?
Mr. Talbott. For this fiscal year?
Mr. Bereuter. For this fiscal year.
Mr. Talbott. Fiscal 1995. I see that the breakdown I have of the figures that I gave to Chairman Gilman earlier under the $288.8 million for fiscal year 1995 include $18.2 million for non-U.S. multinational force. Let me see if Ambassador Dobbins has anything on that.
Mr. Bereuter. They don't agree with the figures I have here.
Mr. Slocombe, perhaps you can tell me, what about the 1996 request from the Defense Department for the peacekeeping activities in Haiti.
Mr. Talbott. Just to clarify, I hope that I was clear both before and now that I was referring only to the function 150, the international affairs budget portion. That may possibly get to whatever discrepancy you are seeing.
Mr. Bereuter. Now I am switching to fiscal year 1996, Secretary Slocombe. We have a dash on our information saying "to be pro-
vided by the Department of Defense." What will be the cost out of the Department of Defense ficy peacekeeping activities for Haiti?
Mr. Slocombe. I will have to get you that number. There will obviously be some cost because almost half the year will have been gone before February 1996.
Mr. Bereuter. I heard Secretary Talbott say that we will have a stable and secure environment in Haiti, not only now but in February of 1996, and I really think you are extraordinarily optimistic. I hope you are right, but I have my doubts.
When we look at what we are trying to leave there, some elements of democratic institutions where none have existed for the most part for the history of the country, I would think that one of the things we would focus on would be the parliament and the judiciary.
There are indications at least by letters of U.S. AID memoranda, on December 29, that very little had been done in the way of assisting the parliament. In fact, there is a letter from you dated December 27, Mr. Talbott, that says that of the Parliament they should take the initiative to develop their own institution rather than awaiting initiatives from the United States and others. You may know that the Congress itself has, especially the House, taken great actions to help the parliaments emerging out of the old Warsaw Pact countries across the face of Central and Eastern Europe.
I would ask any of you what are we doing to assist the parliament assume some of their responsibilities because they have of course a major role in the time that is remaining if we are not to be moving back to a dictatorship there, and what are we doing to support and help Haiti's judicial branch, which is badly in need of assistance?
Mr. Talbott. We as a group welcome your question, Mr. Chairman, first, because it gives us a chance at least to partially respond to an unanswered question or two of Congressman Payne's. Second, because it gives me a chance to reiterate that despite the passage that you have mentioned from my letter, of course we are, as I indicated earlier, working with the Haitians to develop their parliamentary and judicial institutions. But let me turn to Mr. Schneider.
Mr. Bereuter. If your answer is extensive, I would appreciate it if you could just summarize it and then give it to us in writing. It is important. We would like to have it, but I want to give Ms. McKinney her time.
Mr. Talbott. Tfhank you.
Mr. Schneider. Two things. First, we began by facilitating the return of the parliamentarians to Haiti as soon as the crisis was over. We began to provide immediate assistanceoffice supplies, typewriters, radios, et ceteraearly on.
There was an initial expectation, that Haiti would have parliamentary elections in November, and we designed our parliamentary support program, which is obviously crucial for democratic institutional strengthening to begin when the new Parliament takes office.
We are working now with the Congressional Human Rights Foundation and the Center for Democracy. You will hear from them later on plans for orientation for the new legislators, training
the permanent staff of the Parliament, providing for a legislative reference service, computerization, and other support, including commodities for them. We can go into detail in the written response.
Mr. Bereuter. Would you please provide us that kind of detail for judicial branch and for the parliament. I would appreciate it.
Mr. Schneider. Fine. On justice we have a major support program. At present, we have 20 judicial mentors in the 15 Haitian communities where there are trial courts. And the members of multidonor program met last week to set out the support for the justice sector.
Mr. Bereuter. Ms. McKinney, you and I have been very patient. You have the last 5 minutes. I recognize the gentlelady. Ms. McKinney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I ask unanimous consent to insert my statement into the record. Mr. Bereuter. Without objection.
[The prepared statement of Ms. McKinney appears in the appendix.]
Ms. McKinney. Thank you. I don't think I will take up the entire 5 minutes.
First of all, I would also like to share my pride to Deputy Secretary Talbott and Under Secretary Slocombe and the rest of the members of the administration on the fine work that you have done in Haiti. I do have one concern.
Under Secretary Slocombe, you wrote in your statement that no organized group is capable of seriously threatening the Haitian Government or the international presence. I am concerned about the number of weapons that still exist in Haiti that are in the hands of people who are not friendly to democracy.
I am also concerned about the status of FRAPH and where they are and what they are doing, and I would also like to know if Emmanuel Constant is in this country.
Mr. Slocombe. With respect to weapons, as I said, we have rounded up a large number of weapons, most of them, although not all, from exactly the groups that you are concerned about. There is no way to get up all the weapons in Haiti.
The statement in my paper is a fair summary of the views of the intelligence community and the military there on the state of the threat. FRAPH, which was this sort of auxiliary group for the coup leaders, is effectively broken as an institution.
Now that is not to say that there are not plenty of resentful people who could do all kinds of very bad and dangerous things. It is simply that we watched this situation very closely and we don't see an organized group.
There is a story today that there will be something that will happen during carnival. It is perfectly possible, but we don't see any organized force, and we are looking right hard.
With respect to Constant, I think my knowledge of that subject is largely what I know from the newspapers.
Mr. Talbott. I' can do just a sentence or two on that. It is a long and tangled story that doesn't have a very clear ending. We will get you the long version if you want it.
The long and short of it is, he got a tourist visa quite sometime ago which was reinstated when all visas that had been suspended
were reinstated at the time that the sanctions were lifted. The State Department has revoked his visa.
I think the short answer is, we don't know where he is now, but he does not have a valid visa. We will get you more on that.
Ms. McKinney. You can get me the long story, too. Thank you.
Mr. Talbott. OK. And the ending when we know that.
Mr. Burton [presiding]. Gentlemen, we have some questions we would like to submit for the record from some of the members who weren't here.
I have one more question, then we will let you go because I know you have to leave just about now.
It has been reported to me that there have been possibly some incidents of hostility toward our troops down there. Have there been such incidents in addition to the one we know where the one soldier was killed and the other, a Ranger, was killed and one was wounded? Have there been other incidents, and if so, can you give us a number?
Mr. Slocombe. I better get you the answer to that for the record. There have certainly been other incidents where there has been firing and so on in the area. We can get you a complete report. But the overwhelming response to the American presence is that the American military are liked and respected in Haiti. It is a country where you go around and you see signs, signs on the wall, to which we do not intend to conform, that say "Americans stay for 50 years." We don't intend to do that, but I think that is a fair measure of the response.
Mr. Burton. But there have been incidents where our troops have been shot at?
Mr. Slocombe. There have been a very few. I will get you the exact record, but overwhelmingly the troops have rightly established both that they are there to be helpful and they are not to be tampered with.
Obviously there was the incident right at the beginning in Cape Haitien where a group of police made the mistake of pulling a weapon on an American unit and then a significant number of them were killed when the American unit fired back. Most of them were at the beginning, and I will get you a list.
Mr. Burton. If you could get us as close to an accurate account, we would really like to know.
Mr. Slocombe. We will get you all we know.
Mr. Burton. Thank you very much, gentlemen, appreciate it.
We welcome our final panel of distinguished witnesses. I will recognize each of you for a brief opening statement. We have received your written statements and your biographies. I understand Mr. Aronson has some time constraints, so we will let him speak first.
We have Prof. Allen Weinstein, founder and president of the Center for Democracy, a nonprofit organization created in 1984 to promote and strengthen the democratic process around the world. The center continues to play a singular role in the search for peaceful and lasting solution in Haiti.
Mr. Peter Johnson is executive director of the Caribbean Latin American Action, a private nonprofit group that promotes U.S. relations and development in the Caribbean basin. C/LAA and its
Miami conference are unparalleled sparkplugs to regional commerce, a rcfle they are now playing in Haiti.
Our good friend Mr. Bernard Aronson, former member of the State Department, has returned to the Hill to relive fond memories testifying before us.
Are they fond?
Mr. Aronson. They are, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Burton. He served 4 remarkable years as Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs in the Bush administration, where he was the architect of the democratic transitions in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Haiti.
And my good friend Maj. Andy Messing is executive director of the National Defense Council Foundation. He is a retired U.S. Army special forces officer who earned two Purple Hearts in service in Vietnam. Major Messing has extensive experience in political transactions and has directed humanitarian and refugee relief operations in many hot spots.
I welcome all of you, and we will start out, Mr. Aronson, with you. Do you have an opening statement?
STATEMENT OF BERNARD ARONSON, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS
Mr. Aronson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The issue of Haiti is I think much more complicated than our domestic debate would suggest. As you know, the United States took the lead in mobilizing tRe international effort to make the elections possible. I think we therefore had a stake in defending that outcome.
Second, it is less well known that Haiti was the first test case of something called the Santiago Declaration, which the OAS adopted in June 1991. That was a very important change in hemispheric geopolitics because every nation in the hemisphere committed themselves collectively to defend democracy in any member state.
As you well know, for most of this century Latin America practiced the doctrine of nonintervention and they argued we should not get involved, even in the cas"e of Panama where you had a dictatorship that overthrew an election. So there were legitimate issues at stake in Haiti. I would stipulate that there.is disagreement about whether we should have intervened, the manner we did so, and the decision of the President to do so without consulting Congress. But I think the issue before us today is not whether we should have gone into Haiti, but what do we do now that we are there. I think it is important that those who disagreed with the original decision not express that by a precipitous demand that we pull out too soon because I think that would in fact be the worst outcome. We have now committed our prestige and our Nation.
I will submit my statement for the record, but let me just make a few suggestions on points that the committee might want to watch in the interim period.
One, I think we have learned from Panama and El Salvador that it always takes longer than we predict to recruit and train and make operational an entirely new police force, and we should build that into our timetable. Deadlines always slip; it is a very cum-
bersome process. If you give it enough time it can work, as it has in Panama and El Salvador, but it can't be done quickly. If you try to do it too quickly, you put on to the streets a force that is really not up to the job.
Second, the issue of the Haitian Army is being debated now inside Haiti, the future of the institution. That is not a decision for the United States to make, but I hope we do not tilt against what seems to be the trend, which is the abolition of the army, as was done in Panama. I think the Haitian people may make a decision that they want that institution abolished, that they don't need a standing army.
I happen to think that that is a wise decision. I think if it is done, we should insist that it be done constitutionally through two successive votes of the Parliament. If it is done, then I think we should cooperate in perhaps helping to create some new forces, a coast guard that could operate under the Ministry of Transportation, a border patrol that could operate, perhaps, under the Ministry of Finance, which could perform functions that the FAd'H used to perform that are necessary and could satisfy those who feel that it would be useful to have some balance of forces inside Haiti without recreating or resurrecting an institution which I think has been corrupt and antidemocratic.
Third, I agree with the points made by I think Mr. Bereuter and others that we need to focus attention on judicial reform.
Fourth, I think we should resist any efforts to delay the holding of Presidential elections in December 1995. It is critical that they go forward because the real test of our policy will be the peaceful transition to a successor. Some may argue that the Haitian electoral system is going to be overloaded, because municipal and parliamentary elections will be held in June, maybe we should wait and delay the Presidential elections. I think we should resist that. I think that could provoke a crisis. I think that election has to take place as contemplated.
Finally, I think those who cautioned against setting an arbitrary deadline for withdrawal have a point. One of the lessons I think we learned from December 1990 is that we celebrated the success of the elections too quickly and we pulled out the international monitors too quickly, and Haiti was beginning an experiment in democracy that it wasn't quite prepared for. In retrospect, had we kept a civilian international presence after the December 1990 elections for a period of time, maybe some of this crisis could have been avoided.
So I would urge that under a U.N. umbrella, some international presence continue after February 1996, perhaps for as long as a year. They could be civilian monitors in the human rights area, they could be police monitors and trainers, but they ought to be visible, they ought to be in the country, and give the new government about a year to get on its feet for a balance of forces to develop inside and for this experiment to take off.
I don't think U.S. troops should be part of any such presence, but I think it is a mistake to just let a new government begin in February 1996 with no international presence, given everything that has happened.
The final point I would just make is that we ought to give some consideration if budgetary realities would permit to seeing whether we could create a tax incentive for the assembly sector plants that were in Haiti prior to the coup and then left as a result of our sanctions and the crisis to see if we could induce them to return. As you know, Mr. Chairman, all of these companies can enjoy the same trade preferences under the Caribbean Basin Initiative in neighboring countries.
I think a lot of them that have left will not come back to Haiti unless something extra is added, and perhaps with a very minimal budget impact, some sort of a grace period, a tax relief could be provided for 10 years for a company that was in Haiti after the elections and left since then, which would return. That actually might be a more effective expenditure of our funds than to try to put in direct aid and create whole new industries. Those are the only wage-earning jobs really that Haitians have, and I think we need to make every effort to see if we can start them up again.
President Cristiani of El Salvador was in Washington yesterday. I happened to see him, and he reminded me of something that I think we forget, which is that we sometimes put an enormous amount of our resources and attention in a country when there is a crisis. Then after we think we have solved it, we tend to forget it too quickly. El Salvador still needs our help, and I hope we don't make that mistake in Haiti.
I know this has been a contentious political issue, but we are there now. The worst outcome would be to pull out too quickly, to do too little and to leave nothing behind. So I hope we stay the course without risking American lives unduly, and my sense of the spirit of the hearing is that there is some consensus to do that.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Aronson appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. Let me just say to the panel, and I hope I can ask for your patience, I just heard all these bells go off. I think we have two or three votes coming up altogether. You have to leave, do you, Bernie?
Mr. Aronson. No, I am OK, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Burton. If you wouldn't mind waiting, we will try to get some of the other panel members back. I have some questions for you, Mr. Aronson, if it is possible for you to stay.
Mr. Aronson. My time is actually OK. I didn't know how long the hearing would run, but I can stay for at least an hour or so.
Mr. Burton. OK. We will be voting, I will say it will probably be about 15 to 20 minutes before we return, so please accept our apology. We have got a lot of things going on on the floor. We will be back just as soon as possible.
Chairman GlLMAN [presiding]. The committee will come to order.
I apologize to our panelists for keeping them waiting. We regret we have no control over the House floor proceedings, and there probably will be another two votes. But we will try to continue without interruption if we can. We will share responsibility for getting to the floor. Mr. Burton will be with us shortly, and we are going to do a little tandem running to the floor.
So I am pleased that we have our second panel with us. I understand from my staff that Mr. Aronson has already made his statement. We have Professor Allen Weinstein, founder and president of the Center for Democracy.
Mr. Weinstein, if you would like to proceed.
STATEMENT OF ALLEN WEINSTEIN, PRESIDENT, THE CENTER
Mr. Weinstein. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am Allen Weinstein, president of the Center for Democracy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation created in 1985 to assist in strengthening the democratic process in countries undergoing a transition to democracy.
Since 1991, the center has worked in Haiti with the Haitian Parliament. We have cooperated with pro-democratic Haitian business and political leaders and have assisted municipal officials. My testimony today reflects personal perspectives and is in no Sense an organizational statement on behalf of the center.
America's immediate goal in Haiti, Mr. Chairman, that of restoring President Aristide to power, was achieved 4 months ago. Unfortunately, our larger mission, that of facilitating development in Haiti of democratic institutions and processes, has proceeded since then only fitfully and at best unevenly.
The burden of my testimony is to urge this committee, the Congress, and the administration to pursue on a bipartisan basis an accelerated focus program of Support in the 5 weeks ahead prior to formal transfer of troop authority on the island from United States to U.N. command on March 31, measures that will lay essential groundwork for a lasting democratic system.
Now that the United States has returned Jean Bertrand Aristide to Haiti, it must use its remaining weeks of virtually complete" authority to help the Haitian people pursue the even more difficult mission of building democratic structures and habits atop the ruins of tyranny.
A decade ago testifying before the Senate at another watershed in the struggle for democracy, I noted that the country in question, prior to an historic electionin that case the Philippinesstood poised between hope and despair. The words apply to Haiti today.
Haiti confronts in the next critical 5 weeks the departure of half the remaining United States troop complement, de jure transfer of authority to U.N. control, and most importantly, a defining moment of preparation for the parliamentary and municipal elections now scheduled for June.
This hearing is especially timely, Mr. Chairman, coming 5 months after Operation Uphold Democracy was begun and 4 months after President Aristide's return, in the end, in my view, assuring that democracy in Haiti has been and will continue to be in the foreseeable future primarily an American responsibility.
For that reason, the United States military and civil personnel responsible for coordinating our occupation of Haiti deserve our gratitude for the skill, tact, and bravery with which they have implemented this policy, whatever their views of it.
As a result, democracy's beachhead has been secured in Haiti, and at minimal cost thus far in American or Haitian lives. Now,
however, in the 5 weeks remaining prior to turning over primary responsibility for Haiti to the United Nations, the moment has come for the United States to lead decisively the process of helping to consolidate a democratic future for all Haitians.
I believe that four major efforts to be undertaken under American leadership in cooperation with Haitian and U.N. authorities in this month plus ahead, if achieved, can help to confirm an unprecedented politics of hope on the island. If not taken now, however, the bright promise of a new beginning which U.S. soldiers brought to Haiti may quickly turn to popular disillusionment. These four steps are crucial.
One, consolidating democracy for Haiti requires immediately energizing a sluggish and divisive pre-election process. Electoral conditions minimally acceptable to the broad spectrum of Haitian political parties and leaders, whether pro- or anti-Aristide, must be created.
An election constitutionally stipulated in late 1994 now slouches toward possible achievement in June 1995 under U.N./OAS auspices after President Aristide's recent election decree, despite horrendous procedural difficulties. These include an absence of* current voter rolls and an electoral council comprised largely of political novices. Political parties remain disorganized and mainly unfunded. There are no campaign ground rules, and one overriding concern permeates the entire political atmospherea fear for personal security.
Guaranteeing security for political candidates and their supporters remains a Herculean task in a country filled with hidden weaponry. In this effort, American leadership will be required to encourage consensus among the major political groupings so that they choose to participate fully without threat of withdrawal on grounds of unfairness should defeat loom.
Nor is the election of parliamentary and municipal officials in June the only concern in this respect. Haiti will elect a new President in December, and Jean Bertrand Aristide made a solemn commitment both prior to his return and since then not to be a candidate for reelection, something which the Haitian Constitution proscribes. President Aristide has stated that he will preside over a fair and free Presidential election, handing over power for the first time in two centuries of Haitian history to his elected successor.
The President deserves praise for this pledge, made more generous still by the years he spent in exile deprived of his office, and the United States and the international community must help Aristide assure that such a peaceful transfer of power does occur at year's end or early in 1996.
Two, in order to reduce the residue of Haiti's historic climate of fear, ironclad procedures must be installed for verifying that the officer corps and recruits in the country's new police force now undergoing training respond to professional and not political direction. Otherwise, we will witness the replacement of the old blatantly oppressive military with merely a newer, subtler but no less oppressive police.
Efforts from whatever quarter in Haiti to employ alleged human rights violators, insert recruits unvetted by American or U.N. ex-
perts or to otherwise undermine professional training procedures for the new police will badly injure its credibility at the outset and open the door to future abuses.
Continued close monitoring of the police training process by experienced U.S. Department of Justice and military personnel should be the norm. Any Haitian officials or government advisers incapable of adapting to this demanding standard of police behavior should be replaced.
Preventing the integrity of a largely U.S.-based professional police training program from being undermined, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, will require special vigilance in the weeks ahead. Here; as in safeguarding Haiti's fragile and incomplete new electoral process, American political will and leadership can mean the difference between nominal and genuine compliance with international norms.
Three, strengthening and accelerating national reconciliation is immediately essential to the establishment of democratic habits in Haiti. For two centuries, Haitian political losers have felt unsafe, going into hiding or exile but not into domestic opposition. The practice of protected political opposition has'little meaning for most Haitians.
Given the evident absence of security for ordinary Haitians of all political viewpoints, I trust it will not appear hopelessly naive on my part to suggest that the process of national reconciliation in Haiti' would benefit from some immediate steps under American leadership in the remaining weeks of our mandate.
These specific actions could include: (a) convening, as a number of Haitian leaders have suggested, a national dialogue prior to the parliamentary municipal elections, one comparable to those which have helped to develop civic links across party lines in countries elsewhere with few democratic traditions like Haiti, such as Nicaragua; (b) encouraging adoption by consensus of a formal code of conduct among leaders in Haiti to define the conditions and limits on political behavior during the two elections which lie ahead, a code which would deal voluntarily with accepted or acceptable and prescribed conduct during the campaigns; and (c) recognizing the institutional legitimacy of the remaining handful of legally elected Haitian senators, since the entire Chamber of Deputies and all other senators are now up for election, thus acknowledging the Haitian Parliament's institutional continuity and importance as an independent and coequal branch of government rather than neglecting Parliament as the United States has largely done in practice and assistance to date since President Aristide's return.
These are only some of the practical steps which the United States could take in the weeks ahead to assist in national reconciliation. They would reaffirm our commitment to the primacy of democratic process and procedure over personality in Haitian policy. Such actions would have special relevance today when there does not exist in Haiti even the beginnings of an independent and effective judicial system.
Finally, point No. 4: helping the newly resurgent Haitian private sector, especially the pro-democratic businessmen and women anxious to rejoin the inter-American market system that is vital in de-
veloping Haitian democracy. However, I am going to leave that discussion for one of my colleagues, on this panel, Mr. Johnson.
I will simply say, Mr. Chairman, that if my friends within Haiti's business community, which was devastated by the embargo's impact, have a common complaint, it has been with the elephantine pace of delivering the support measures promised by the various mega-packages of economic aid periodically announced by this country.
Surely a country such as ours, which could draft and begin implementing assistance to all of devastated post-World War II Europe through the Marshall plan in a matter of months, can finally in the weeks ahead respond to the job-creating proposals of Haiti's responsible business leaders.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, each of the goals previously described can be addressed dramatically and effectively by American leaders in the 5 weeks remaining prior to handing over our present unilateral responsibilities to officials representing the United Nation. Each is an interrelated factop in the overall mosaic of democratization in Haiti, assuring fair and free elections, guaranteeing personal security under professional police protection, encouraging genuine national reconciliation, and supporting the revival of a strong private sector.
Nor is funding the primary problem. Rather, the major difficulty has been in reassessing the American mission in Haiti to focus on today's, not yesterday's, realities and imperatives.
If democracy in Haiti is not to be left on the beachhead, the time has come to move out, to recognize that our initial goal, that of restoring President Aristide to power beyond challenge, has long been achieved. That was then, this is now.
Five weeks from now we must leave as our legacy to the U.N. command and to the Haitian people a coordinated framework to sustain and consolidate democratic procedures in the months and years ahead. Achieving that framework, Mr. Chairman, will require 5 strenuous weeks of effort between now and the end of March, a period in which we Americans must confront our problems in Haiti as candidly as we do our initial success.
In that fashion we can best seize our opportunity to extend and develop what nascent democracy has already achieved in Haiti during its 5 fragile months of existence.
Mr. Chairman, thank you. I have submitted a fuller statement to the committee.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Weinstein appears in the appendix.]
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Weinstein. The statement will be accepted as submitted.
We now turn to Peter Johnson, executive director of the Caribbean Latin American Action, a private nonprofit group that promotes U.S. relations and development in the Caribbean.
STATEMENT OF PETER JOHNSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CARIBBEAN LATIN AMERICAN ACTION
Mr. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We appreciate the opportunity to testify before this committee on this important issue.
The testimony we have submitted for the record is presuming that from an organization like ours-
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Johnson, would you put the mike a little closer, please.
Mr. Johnson. The testimony that we have submitted for the record is submitted with your understanding that our organization is supported by some 120 American and largely American but some Caribbean companies, and that the prespective on the future of these companies and the role that these companies could play in the redevelopment of the Haiti political process would be a role expected of us.
The burden of the testimony therefore is rather sharply on the role of the private sector and what is being done to get the 85 percent unemployment and underemployment rate in Haiti today down to something that would reasonably be able to support a democratic process.
In C/LAA, as you know, Mr. Chairman, there are some 30 or 35 companies which in fact have been involved in Haiti, but this unemployment figure that I just referred to can only be knocked down if we can apply the appropriate instruments to return some of these companies back to Haiti.
I share all of my colleagues' comments about the political future of Haiti. I simply want to stress as strongly as I can that that political future at the end of the day is going to depend on jobs, and if we can't get those jobs back in, we are aiming for serious problems.
During the second half of the 1980's, as this committee certainly knows, and the early 1990's before the embargo and the coup, the light manufacturing and the agricultural sector in Haiti probably employed between 100,000 and 150,000 people. Today that figure is probably closer to 3,000 to 5,000.'
Our friend from U.S. AID this morning earlier today mentioned that some 5,000 were reemployed in the assembly sector, and that was a bright start. That is just not the right reading. The fact that there are 4,000 to 5,000 or 3,000 to 5,000 or whatever that figure is, this reflects some companies which in fact have put a very small percentage of work on a very low-risk basis back into Haiti.
The companies that I am referring to remained during the embargo period and were largely very banged up by the embargo itself. They tried to stay the course through different arrangements that were made available to them, but when they finally left, for El Salvador, Honduras or other places, they really were fairly crippled financially.
Now, I would submit and have submitted to the administration and, Mr. Chairman, we have talked about this ourselves several times, that there needs to be some kind of a program urgently devised that would in fact help these crippled companies back to Haiti. You might ask, why these companies, if they are crippled, why not have other companies come back such as those that might be involved with Strobe Talbott's mission, that was mentioned again this morning, on March 7 and 8.
Well, the point is that the political environment and the business environment and in Haiti is not the kind of an environment where a new company for Haiti out of Peoria, IL, is going to accept an
invitation to invest in that business environment. We should be dealing with those companies which are accustomed to the environment, which know Haiti, which in fact are interested in returning to Haiti, knowing all of its problems. By and large, these aren't large companies.
I know you have a letter from the Kellwood Corp. that we have received a copy of by virtue of their involvement with us. This is one of the biggest apparel companies in the country. They have in fact put a little work in Haiti, but they are not going to do any more for another 8 to 10 months as stated in that letter until they see a better business and political environment and things straighten out somewhat.
There is another letter that came in from a smaller artisan company from Vermont, and this company is quite different from the Kellwood example. This is a company that in fact stayed the course as far as they could in the artisan area, employing 200 or 300 people when they were at their best, employing no one today, but needing some assistance to get back in.
That was again mentioned this morning by the administration. I think those of us who are following the issue closely are clearly aware of the U.S. Government's efforts to involve the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in some kind of a combination with two American banks, Bank of Boston and Citibank, both of which are in Port-au-Prince, to solve this working capital issue, to solve the problem of these crippled companies.
The problem with this issue, with this conceived program, is two fold. One is it is not going to be ready for several weeks. More importantly than that, OPIC, adhering to its own responsibilities and regulatory processes, must fund financially sound enterprises. You are certainly going to have to say the same thing about Bank of Boston and Citicorp.
So at the end of the day we are going to be funding companies to go back to Haiti through that program which have virtually no experience in Haiti, therefore they are not going to go back in the short term or we are going to be financing major infrastructural projects which are fine and very important long term.
The advantage of the companies that I am trying to address here and identify is that they can probably return without all of this new infrastructural which really will be necessary for the long term development of Haiti, but we have got to solve the 85 percent unemployment problem today.
I think I will end there, Mr. Chairman, because I get more critical perhaps than I should be and I have tried to tone down the written testimony to portray as much detail as I can about this whole issue of trying to fill jobs in the middle of the society. AID and the other funders are dealing with the micro side, and with the infrastructural side.
What I am trying to do is to address a solution which is practical and which the companies want to capitalize upon if they can to do something in the middle.
You, Mr. Chairman, in your own experience have a case in your district that I am aware of called RSK Industries. RSK Industries, just to put on the record, in the late 1980's and early 1990's employed 3,000 to 4,000 people in Haiti at better than minimum
wage, good working conditions, and sought very eagerly to return to Haiti and restart. RSK was very, very beaten up through the embargo process.
The kind of product they had was not able to be easily transferred to another country. It was very much Haitian. The company is in very bad shape today, desperately looking for some development help to go back. It would seem to me that a perfect place for some development resources, fitting perhaps in with OPIC and with the banks.
So I am not going to try to lay out a scheme, but it would seem to me that we have a development issue here, and a fundamental political issue where some development resources on a short-term working capital guarantee kind of a loan basis could help enormously as we look toward the objectives that Allen Weinstein and that Strobe Talbott and others speak of that we must be addressing within a year. I see a fundamental disconnect between our political objectives over the year and what we are really putting in place in terms of instruments to solve the unemployment problem in Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Johnson appears in the appendix.]
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Johnson.
You certainly focused attention on a very critical need, and we would like to explore that further with you.
The last speaker on our panel, Maj. Andy Messing, retired Army, executive director of the National Defense Council Foundation.
I may have to declare further recess if Mr. Burton doesn't return because we have about 7 minutes remaining on a vote. I may have to go to the floor, but why don't you start your testimony.
Major Messing. Would you like to go to the floor right now, sir?
Chairman Gilman. That might be appropriate. Why don't we declare a 10- or 15-minute recess pending the return of Mr. Burton and myself. Thank you.
Mr. Burton [presiding]. We will reconvene. I don't know who testified last. Mr. Johnson.
Major Messing, would you like to testify now, then we will get to questions.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. F. ANDY MESSING, JR. (USAR RETIRED), EXECUTD7E DIRECTOR, NATIONAL DEFENSE COUNCIL FOUNDATION
Major Messing. Yes, sir, thank you. My name is Major Andy Messing, National Defense Council Foundation. We are a foundation that looks at low-intensity conflict, special operation low-intensity conflict, and we also do a measure of refugee relief.
We have put 134 tons of food and medicine into the hottest combat areas of the world. The reason we do that as a side bar is because that gives us entree into some of the most denied areas of the world, like Somalia and Upper Huanuco Valley of Peru and places like that. It gives us a little bit of edge on our academic reports because we have what Sir Robert Thompson used to say is the IWT, "I was there."
Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit two articles for the record, an op-ed piece that I did on Haiti, which is 3 days ago in the L.A. Times, which talks about our half effort in Haiti, and also an article about "No Time for Defense Downsizing," which was published in another magazine which talks about how, with the increased threat against the United States and the free world, that we shouldn't be taking a meat-ax approach to the downsizing of our military, and we should be reorganizing our military to meet the threats and meet the kind of missions that we have going toward the 21st century, one of them being peacekeeping.
Mr. Chairman, these are the two articles here in case you have a staff member who wants to get them.
[The articles appear in the appendix.]
Major MESSING. Mr. Chairman, I want to expressI may not look like it, but I am very outraged. I am very angry. I am angry as an American, and I use that as a capital A and use it as a small a American in terms of being a U.S. citizen, and then as a member of the Western Hemisphere, I am angry in that respect.
I am angry as a former officer of the military; I am angry as a human being about some of the things that have transpired both in Somalia and Haiti. And I would like to elaborate on that.
Having worked for over 6 years with Gen. Edward Lansdale as a protege of his before he died, he taught me a lot of valuable things about whenever we look at foreign policy and defense, we should always look at it in a multispectrum kind of way; we should not just lookas right-of-center people look at economic and security concerns, and not allow the liberals on the left to just look at the social and political concerns; but we should indeed look at the full spectrum of concerns because, in doing that, that is the only way you can get a clear picture of what is going on and address the proper solution to what is transpiring.
When I worked with Richard Nixon on a book called "No More Vietnams," one of the subjects we discussed was the security of the Western Hemisphere. And as a matter of fact, I brought General Lansdale up in a historic meeting in 1986, and the three of us sat around and just brainstormed about where America was going into the 21st century; and what we saw was America not with a clear vision of how to deal with emerging and amorphous threats to our country.
But one thing that struck me listening to these two historical figures, General Lansdale and President Nixon, is they always referred to history. And Mr. Chairman, I want to refer to history. I want to refer to 30 years ago when the United States parachuted the 82d Airborne into the Dominican Republic, which is incidentally, as you know, contiguous to Haiti and had a similar situation with military generals in revolt and a basic, similar environment.
And one of the things that transpired when Lyndon Johnson did that incursion into Haiti, one of the things that the military did was take the full-spectrum approach to adjudicating the situation. They jumped in with rifles and as soon as the situation was stable, they broke out the shovels.
Indeed, Grenada, indeed Panama, indeed Kuwait, we did that. And where we have failed in Somalia, in spite of valiant attempts, in spite of the dedication of the troops, in spite of the fact that not
one but two American Presidents have had a sincere dedication toward adjudicating that particular conflict in Somalia, we failed because we always kept the rifle and we never picked up the shovel in Somalia; and I see the sanae thing happening in Haiti, which brings me great frustration and great sadness because the Haitian people are very pro-United States and very wonderful people on an individual basis. And to see this transpire just breaks my heart, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to bring to this committee's attention a book that was written by a very famous general, G,en. Bruce Palmer, Jr., and in the back of it he cites the commander summary of the report of stability operations Dominican Republic. And it is on file at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA. Obviously, nobody thought to look at that particular summary when we did the Somalia operations; and certainly, they have not broken out the same darned report for our Haiti operations. It causes me great frustration because our military is not learning by its own history, by its own famous generals. It is a major failure of leadership that has been promulgated by those in charge of the executive department decisions on these two particular deployments.
Now Strobe Talbott, whom I briefly worked for in the transition between the Republican and Democratic administrations when I was working with Rich Armitage at State as a consultant, I heard him talk here. Rather ironically, I heard him talk when I was at State about Russia and I disagreed with him about a lot of stuff that he was articulating then.
So it is no surprise that I adamantly disagree with him now, Mr. Chairman, when he talks about stability right now, that is, a misimpression that he is trying to convey to you, the representatives of the people.
I left tact and diplomacy at the doorway, Mr. Chairman, because I feel that this is a travesty on the American public that things like 42 hostile incidents against American military forces over the past couple of months haven't been reported to Congress or made available to the media.
Now, I obtained this information from a retired officer, and I corroborated this with a DOD official, that somewhere these hostile incidents are not being reported to you, the people's representatives, which indicates the degeneration of our capabilities and influence and capabilities over the situation. And I am very disturbed about this because if it was stopped at Army, then that shows short-sightedness; if it was stopped at DOD, that shows a little bit of political short-sightedness; if it was stopped at State or NSC, it shows even a further problem; and if it was stoppedwho knows, even by Bill Clinton.
I was told that one general made the statement that if American soldiers were not hit in sniping incidents, then it wasn't an incident. Well, I don't look at it that way, Mr. Chairman. I have been to 27 different conflicts around the world, as you know, 57 times into El Salvador alone; and when a bullet goes by me, I get excited. And I know if my son was on the groundand I have two children serving in the military right now, a daughter and a sonvery proud of them; if a bullet came whizzing by their ears, I would
want to know about it. And the failure of DOD or State or NSC or whoever to be forthright with you is embarrassing at the least.
Say, for the sake of argument, that it hasn't been 42 incidents. Say it was 21 incidents, OK, say it was 11 incidents; if we cut the figure down even more conservatively, it still shows that we are losing a grip on the situation in Haiti.
Mr. Burton. If I might interrupt, I am going to have to go vote and in about 5 minutes what I would like to do, Chairman Gilman will be back, I would like to ask a couple of questions. The first one I will ask of you. You said there are 42 instances that you heard of where troops have been fired upon or their lives have been put in jeopardy.
Major Messing. Yes, sir, one resulted in the death of an American forces soldier that you are aware of, that you made reference to earlier, sir.
Mr. Burton. I asked that question earlier, and they were very vague; they said they would get me some information. I would like to see some documentation from you, as well, if I could get that.
Major Messing. At this point it is an allegation that has been made to me by an A-l source and corroborated by a DOD official.
Mr. Burton. If you could talk to that source and ask them to give it to me, I would like to talk to them.
You were talking about keeping the troops there until the situation was stabilized. I was just down there and I don't know that the economy is going to be able to come back in a year, and maybe not even 2 years; and the American people, I am not sureand I might address this to Mr. Johnson as well. I am not sure that the American people will tolerate keeping their troops down there, especially if some unfortunate incidents occur where American troops are killed, because most people didn't want us to go in there anyhow, and having been there and seeing the lack of infrastructure and the terrible problems they face in getting businesses back and there are less than 500 of 45,000 jobs that have returned, and many companies will not investhow can we justify keeping troops there to stabilize the situation beyond 1 year or 2 years when there may be no end in sight? And is there any hope of bringing these jobs back?
Mr. aronson. Mr. Chairman, the point I was making is that some international presence ought to stay following the inauguration of the new government in February 1996 because I think it is asking too much for a brandnew government to take office and suddenly face an environment in which they have to test all of these new institutions with absolutely no security blanket. That will be the acid test. Are the new police loyal? Are they competent? Are there remnants of the old guard that are going to overthrow them?
I am not advocating that the United States forces stay, but under U.N. auspices, some visible presence remain in Haiti as a warning to everybody that the international community remains engaged and committed. I just think we are testing the system too much to pull everybody out just as a new government takes office.
That is exactly what we did with President Aristide's government; we really pulled out all the international monitors after the election and, in retrospect, we should have kept them there.
But I am not advocating United States troops; I think we could design a presence with a significant number of U.N. monitors and maybe some armed police trainers and monitors from other countries, Canada and elsewhere, that would be significant enough that everybody would know that the international community is still in Haiti. There is a risk in that, clearly; and if they were targeted, the smaller the force, the more likely somebody might take them on.
Mr. Burton. Unfortunately, I have to run and vote. I will run and vote and come back.
But I would like to say this, Bernie, there was a policeman that was dragged out of the police force and killed by five people who were not accepted into the academy just recently, and that happened just because our troops pulled out of that area after they thought they had stabilized it, in a fairly stable area, and they said they thought they would have to go back in for an indeterminate period of time.
Think about that.
Mr. Aronson. I am going to have to leave because I have a commitment that I absolutely can't break.
Mr. Burton. Are you going to be up here on the Hill in the next 2 weeks?
Mr. Aronson. At your pleasure.
Major Messing. Mr. Chairman, I would like to finish my remarks when you get a chance.
Mr. Burton. We will be back in just a minute. Would you gentlemen mind waiting for just a minute? I really apologize. We will be right back.
Mr. Burton. I want to thank you gentlemen for your patience. I have some questions and I think Congressman Goss has as well. Major Messing.
Major Messing. Sir, just to briefly elaborate on one thing. The 42 combathostile combat actions against American troops that have taken place over the past few months, that I referred to, in theory you should be able to obtain that particular documentation that you referred to from your previous request earlier to the DOD representative.
I am just pointing out that this level of incidents indeed has been masked, and it has been verified to me by a DOD official. And the point I am trying to make is if, indeed, we are having these levels of hostile incidents against American troops, it shows that we are starting to lose a gYip in Haiti and that the tide has turned. And I would like to elaborate on why I think the tide has turned.
When you approach any peacekeeping mission, just as in the Dominican Republic, just as in Grenada, whichas you know, I was there with youjust as Panama, which I visited after it occurred, and in the gulf war, Kuwait, which I was there, you have to always keep in mind as soon as stability occurs, you have to start working that shovel hard. You have to bring up the ability of the people to have clean water, to have a postal system, because you cannot have commerce without a postal system. And believe it or not, the U.S. Army has reserve units that do nothing but the postal stuff in civil affairs.
You have to bring up the medical care of the place. You have to do a myriad of things to bringto resuscitate the dead body, or the body in a coma that you have come upon.
Clean water, you know, 80 percent of infant mortality can be associated with bad water, as you are well aware from your travels in El Salvador.
The point I am trying to make is, you have to have a very comprehensive plan before you go in. Before, not as you go in or i-num-ber of months after.
I was appalledappalled listening to the Government representatives talking about, oh, we are going to do this now and we are going to do this now. They should have had that in thefront-loaded into their planning. Military planners and State Department planners and NSC planners should have had that front-loaded into their thinking, and as soon as hostilities ended, they should have been paving roads. And I have seen them pave a mile a day when I was in Vietnam.
. The engineer brigade should have been digging wells and restoring the electrical grid. They did restore the electrical grid, but to the point it was a temporary fix. They went down to 30 megawatts a day and less. I think it is low as 20 megawatts a day. That means food spoilage, you can't manufacture; it goes on and on.
The point I am trying to make is, without the military going in there and making an initial fix or attempt at nation-building or infrastructure work or whatever you want to call it, then you have an automatically built-in failure like we had in Somalia.
And I am not denigrating the troops. The troops are magnificent. I am denigrating the leadership. Let's separate the troops and the leadership; I want that perfectly clear. Because the troops there, they go there, they leave their families; because the fact is, they want to do the right thing, they want to do the honorable thing, and they suffer thethe 10th Mountain Division is suffering the highest divorce rates in the military right now because of three back-to-back deployments, Mr. Chairman: Hurricane Andrew, Somalia, and now Haiti. And they just pulled out and their division is in turmoil because of the family problems that have been generated to this family-oriented volunteer army.
Mr. Burton. What I think we would like to do, Andy, you have raised a lot of issues. I think we would like to ask some questions about that. I know I would. I would also like to, as I said when I was leaving, ask Mr. Johnson and Mr. Weinstein some questions as well. But what you all are saying is that what has happened so far will only lead to failure because they didn't have a plan going in, or they have not yet developed a full-spectrum plan to deal with the problems you are talking about?
Major Messing. I think that is correct and that, coupled with the fact that nobody wants to talk about the drug aspect of this and the fact that President Aristide has a $4.5 million bounty on his head.
Mr. Burton. Where do you get that figure?
Major Messing. I got it from people who were protecting him, who had access to the information. Nobody wants to talk about how the drug dealers want to knock off President Aristide. America
shouldn't spend $1.6 billion and x number of lives in an effort that is honorable, not to have it succeed.
Mr. burton. Mr. Johnson, you indicated that you didn't think the 130,000 or 140,000 jobs that were there at the time Mr. Aristide left and later when our invasion took placeyou don't think that those are likely to return and there are less than 5,000 now. If that is the case, how can this economygiven the infrastructure problems that you and Major Messing and others have talked about, how can this economy ever hope to recover; and if it doesn't recover, it seems if we stay there 1 or 2 or 3 years, it is not going to change anything.
Mr. Johnson. The point I was making, somehow those jobs have to return. If those jobs don't return, no other jobs will return. Those are the jobs that arethose employees have been working for companies which have Haitian experience and are the likely ones to return. Given the environment in Haiti, to expect a company which is looking for, as all companies do, a good business environment, a good political environment where there is stability and so on, it is just unreasonable to expect that a company searching for that kind of an offshore location is going to go to Haiti.
Mr. Burton. I think it was you that indicated that there ought to be tax credits given and tax incentives for American business to go there or other businesses to go there. To what country are you talking? And to what country are you asking these tax credits be given? Haiti can't give the tax credits because they don't have the money.
Mr. Johnson. Bernie Aronson indicated at the end of his remarks that some consideration be given to some kind of a tax credit system for companies. I suppose he was talking about American tax credit for companies that would begin to return to Haiti or invest in Haiti.
I don't quite see how that would work, myself. I don't think that is really the fundamental need. I think the fundamental need that we see in the companies that we have surveyedand we have really done a survey of the companies and we can supply that information to you and the committeethey really do need working capital. They are small capital companies, that produce in Haiti, and supply to the major retailers, the WalMarts and the Kmarts. But they themselves are not major, deep-pocket companies. That combined with the fact that they were very beat up during the embargo when they were forced out and had to move their equipment and sever their employees. For a small company, that was an expensive proposition.
As they come back now to their banks, the banks are telling them that you are not in good enough condition to take a $500,000 or $2 million loan to return to Haiti. This is an endemic problem for virtually all of these companies that we characterize as the kind of companies that have to return to Haiti if we are going to solve the problemif we are going to get anywhere near that 100,000-150,000 number again.
Mr. Burton. Let me ask one more question. I see our Chairman has returned, and we have Mr. Goss with us and Mr. Payne.
I have listened to everybody's testimony, hit and miss, running back and forth. And after hearing Major Messing saying there was
no plan going in that was going to take care of the necessities that you have to have to get an economy moving again and to have stability in a country like this, and because the infrastructure is not there, and because there really isn't a completely elected government, and because Mr. Aristide continues to have his cronies around him who, before, were a large part of the problem, it seems to me it is going to be very difficult to return democracy as you talked about, Mr. Weinstein, and develop an economy that is going to be able to employ another 140,000 people, because people don't have the incentives to go back in and there is still a problem with instability.
I will ask all three of you, how are we going to get this done, even if we put all this money in there and keep our troops there a year or 2 years? It seem it is like it is a Gordian knot.
Major Messing. I would like to address that real quickly. Congress, from the get-go, should have funded this up front. When they don't fund up front, then the DOD will do it on the cheap. When this happens, you have to wind upwhen you decide that there is going to be a peacekeeping mission somewhere in the world, you have to notify DOD that we are going to cooperate with you on this, because if you don't convey that impression right off the bat, and they think they are going to have to take a- lot of things out of hide, then they are going to wind up doing it on the cheap and not doing a full-spectrum type of thing where they don't deal with the rifle and the shovel and do the proper infrastructure work that needs to be done in order to have a successful missionpeacekeeping mission in this case. That is the first thing.
The second thing is, future peacekeeping missions that you mandate, the President or the Congress mandate, you have to make sure that DOD understands that they are going to have the rifle in one hand and the shovel in the other.
And the third thing is you should, right now, concentrate on directing DOD, State Departmentparticularly AID and DODto concentrate on the infrastructure while they have the last vestige of muscle there. They should have done it at 21,000 soldiers, but now that we are down to 5,000 soldiers, it can still be accomplished. We can rotate Reserve and National Guard units in, that are combat engineer companies, the postal units that I was talking about, civil affairs units, a lot of them out of Senator Strom Thur-mond's home State, that have the capability to do it. They were activated for Kuwait, and they did it in Panama and Grenada. There is time to do that before we turn it over to the U.N. mission.
I am offended, as a Monroe Doctrine advocate, that U.N. forces are in our hemisphere; they should be OAS forces, like Gen. Bruce Palmer talks about. You ought to hear the laudatory remarks about combined United States-OAS forces; you saw them in Grenada, and that is what we should be having. Bangladeshi soldiers on the pier at Port-au-Prince, watching the repatriation of American hemisphere Haitians, Americans guarding them, when they can't speak Creole or English; they don't have the vested interest as somebody from our hemisphere would have, especially from the Caribbean grouping. This should be an OASwe shouldn't be turning over control to the United Nations. I find this completely bizarre.
Mr. burton. Thank you, Andy. I would like to hear from the other two gentlemen and then recognize the chairman.
Mr. Weinstein. Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, the figure $1.5 or $1.6 billion was floated about this morning as a figure, a total figure to date of what this mission has cost. It is not my impression that the American taxpayer is going to respond to a request for some huge amount to deal with the Haitian economy and all the social problems of 200 years.
I tell a story in Haiti that my Haitian friends of all political persuasions find amusing and agreeable. There are two solutions to the Haitian problem; one is realistic and one is Utopian. The realistic solution is for 100,000 angels to come down from heaven armed with Uzis and disarm the island; the Utopian solution is, Haitian political and economic leaders get together and begin to talk through and work out their problems. And that has been the Utopian solution, and we have 5 weeks now, 5 weeks before this is out of our hands.
I know that is not a popular position to take in Washington today because, for all we know, President Clinton will be down there to preside over the transition. I am very proud of the small role our center played in working with the parliament to get the amnesty passed. We flew down in a military plane at that point to try to begin getting the generals out and President Aristide back and things moving.
But not everything that could have been done in the last 5 months has been done, and we are still harking back to what Haiti needs. I think you have heard some realistic talk from Peter Johnson here about what Haiti needs economically. I have tried to be realistic about what it needs politically.
There is no rational way in which all of this can be done in 5 weeks, or between now and next February or whatever, but we have to make a beginning. And if we do not, it seems to me that we at least ought to acknowledge that fact and settle for a more modest set of goals. But at least a beginning, Mr. Chairman.
At least a beginning is the idea that this election that is going forward can be held, under the circumstances, in as stable a way as possible and we emerge with an opposition that doesn't have to fly to Miami or Orlando or the Dominican Republic immediately after that election, if they lose, but they can stay at home and their minority rights will be protected.
At least what we have a right to expect is that this police force will not have hundreds of folks slipped in unvetted, but that it will be a responsible police force bereft of human rights abusers and not anybody's political guard.
And finally, Mr. Chairman, since we seem to be venting, I will vent a little bit myself, if I may. I feel it is important to get on record the outrage I feeland surely others in this roomat the rather shameful response by some Haitians, whether impulsively or inspired, to the current mission by President Carter, General Powell, and Senator Nunn. How quickly they forget. An unnamed advisor to President Aristide is quoted in the Washington Post, stating about President Aristide's dinner guests, that we know, quoting, we have to watch all three of them carefully because they are tricky, sneaky.
One may disagree with the purposes of the mission honorably and responsibly. President Aristide seems to have been courteous about their presence, hospitable, but apparently this particular advisor does not recognize how many Haitian and American lives might have been shed needlessly to obtain the President's return but for the earlier efforts of President Carter, General Powell, and Senator Nunn. I think that particular remark has hovered over my testimony this morning. Thank you for letting me get it off my chest.
Mr. Johnson. You really asked the fundamental question. You are putting it right there. How are we going to get from here to there in a year? And we have lostMajor Messing is absolutely right; there has been a lot of time lost, and we are still losing time.
I have to come back to where I came from in my remarks and in the written testimony, that the only real fundamental way to stabilize a democracy, to put the underpinnings to a democracy, is to get the middle sector of the society cooking again in terms of" job creation.
I don't see any magic wand to do something like this. The American taxpayers are certainly not going to pay for this for very much more time.
So I think a little invested in business and getting small businesses going in the middle of the community and in the middle of society is a very inexpensive price to pay for permanent jobs in Haiti.
Chairman GlLMAN. I want to thank Congressman Burton for taking on the chairmanship. I have to go over to the Senate. I want to thank our three panelists. If I am hearing you correctly, the three most important elements right now are infrastructure, economy, and political structure. Getting all three done simultaneously with our limited resources in the short-term is not going to be easy. But I think we all recognize how important those three factors are.
So again, I want to thank our panelists. I am sorry that you have been delayed by the interruptions of voting. I thank Dan Burton for taking on the chairmanship for us. You will forgive me; I have to go over to the Senate and meet with my counterpart over there.
Mr. Burton. Mr. Payne.
Mr. Payne. Thank you very much. I also agree that it is a pity that there is a time put on the removal of our troops rather than the mission.
I did have some questions regarding theI think that there was an attempt initially to try to get people from our hemisphere, as you mentioned, Major, that OAS and the Monroe Doctrine countries should be in charge. I think that there was an attempt early on to get the OAS involved, but there was not very muchsince the main portion of the OAS is run out of Latin America and South America, there was not too much support, I think, other than Venezuela was the only Latin American country that showed any support.
But could you explain a little more about the problem that Aristide has with the drug dealers? I know that heunder the old system, it is alleged that the police chief of Port-au-Prince, Michel Francois ran the drug operation, and his brother, and that Aristide
was always opposed to the drug situation and that was one of the reasons why the military sort of wanted him out.
Could you just, if you know anything about that, elaborate on that situation? Because during the time that Aristide was out, the drug situation did increase. And I wonder now, has it started to decrease?
Major Messing. The experts on this are based out of Miami with the DEA. There is an individual whose name I will give you after this hearing that you could consult with to get the full historical significance of drug trafficking for the past decade in Haiti.
Part of the problem with Aristide before, and one of the reasons he was removed was because of the fact that he dragged his feet on the drug trade activity under his first administration. I mean, it was a compilation of things, but that was one of the factors. Now that he is back and American forces are backthe American forces came in, drug traffic went down considerably.
I remember the first time I went into Haiti, which was August 1993myself and a Frontline TV reporter wentgoing down to one of the places to look at where the boats were being built; and from herefrom where I am sitting to where you are sitting were bales of marijuana and cocaine ready to be transported to the United States by awaiting boats. I mean, before Aristide and the American forcesthe American forces came in and Aristide was returned to power, there was considerable amount of transshipment of drugs through Haiti. That is a fact.
After we came in, it dropped off precipitously to just about zero for a while, but now it is on the way up, according to the antidrug forces that I talk to.
But the point is that the economic nomenclatura, or however you say it, of Haiti and other dark side capitalists, in conjunction their Colombian counterparts, have threatened Aristide, according to an A-l source that had been in the bodyguard detail of President Aristide. I will tell you one thing, if that American bodyguard detail leaves Aristide, he is a dead man. He is a dead man. So just keep that in mind as you are doing your deliberations.
But the point I am trying to make is, the Colombian drug cartels are interested in gettingby the way, tonight on "NBC Dateline" they are going to be talking about some of these drug activities and one of our advisers, a former U.S. Customs Commissioner, Willie von Raab, is going to be on there talking about the volumes of drugs that are coming into our country now. But Haiti was a major transshipment point, and when Haiti was shut down, all the drug activity went over to the East, to the Dominican Republic and to Puerto Rico. And the reason it is significant that it went to Puerto Rico, then containerized cargo is not inspected when it comes back to the United States. Nobody wants to talk about this drug activity. I am kind of appalled, personally.
Mr. payne. I couldn't agree with you more. The issue seems like it has come off the radar screens. We used to have a Select Committee on Narcotics, but that was eliminated even before the contract. Charlie Rangel did an excellent job of keeping a focus on the drug problem worldwide, but now that we have saved a few dollars by eliminating the committee, there is no focus in the Congress at all on the whole problem of drugs.
But my time has just about expired. I just want to say that I really think that our troops did such an excellent job in Haiti. It is almost unbelievable that after 20,000-some-odd personnel that were sent there, that there has really been only 1 hostile casualty.
I was just reading several months ago of a maneuver in Florida where we lost five or six personnel by accident, just in that one maneuver, and to have such a large-scale operation and not have lost any person but one person is justit is almost mind-boggling.
The other thing, just in conclusion, I heard you talk about the morale problem, and it is a whole new era, but this whole question of a military and what do we have a military for or what do people when they volunteerwhen I was a kid they used to draft you, but when they volunteer for the military, I don't know what the expectations are of a person who is volunteering.
I mean, it is great to be able to stay at home, I guess, or be in a local place in Maryland, but when you join the military, I guess whatever happens happens. And you expect the worst, although you hope it doesn't happen. And I am just a little baffled about the fact that you were saying that we have some peopleI guess we have been there a year or less, but that there are somethat there is a bad morale problem and people don't like to be there.
What I am trying to do is come to grips with the new military and what do we tell them the expectation is? What does a person in the military expect life to be for the 2 years they join?
Major messing. To give you a quick verbal burst, Congressman, when most people join the military right now, they have a vision that if they go to Somalia, they go there not to provide security but also to save lives. They don't go there just to stand around with a rifle in their hand. They want to build schools. Whether they are infantry or whether they are combat engineers or whether they are civil affairs people or whoever, they go there with the idea that they are leaving their wife and their children with the idea that they are going to do some altruistic mission. That did not occur. That created a major morale problem from our forces in Somalia and, guess what, that happened again in Haiti, except for the American special forces who were in the South.
But basically everyone goes like this while they wind up doing their civil action and civil affairs mission as they were trained to do. But the major conventional force units, which were the predominant force of Haiti, were precluded from participating or interacting with the Haitians and doing things like building schools, paving roads, and doing this and they cited budget reasons. Gee whiz, we are going to spend $1.6 billion and we are not going to have too much to show for it; and we have had 42 combatwe have had 42 hostile incidents against the American military force in the past few months. That is an indicator that people have expectations, and the expectations are not being filled; and it reflects in the attitude of our American military. And again you were not here, sir, when I said, separate the troops from the leadership. The troops did a great job.
Mr. Payne. I saw-
Major Messing. They believe, they sweat, they sacrifice; they do what they did when I was in Vietnam, what they did in Grenada,
what they did in Panama and Kuwaitthey do what they do best. It comes to the leadership, sir.
Mr. Payne. In Rwanda, in 48 hours, they turned cholera around, where 5,000 people were dying a day just from drinking the water. In 48 hours, they dropped the number down to 800. When our troops go in, they do it well and make me proud to be an American and to see them in action. I saw them in Rwanda; when the people were dying in Goma, they turned the water around just like that.
Major Messing. When you let them do civil action, civil affairs, and you let our combat engineer units go nuts doing infrastructure work they are happy troops. A busy troop is a happy troop. More than that, had we had that attitude, had the military leadership had that attitude, had they felt that the funding would have been given them by Congress, front-loaded so they didn't worry about it being out of hide, and had the executive branch at NSC and State Department and other places said, have at it, this would be an entirely different situation and you would not have a crabby Andy Messing here talking about how disappointed I am that we frittered away $1.6 billion and several lives, one being an American special forces sergeant.
One other thing. There is an American captain that deserves a medal, not being admonished, for going down and checking on the civil rights, the humanitarian rights in that prison. Right now he is being threatened with a court martial because he decided he wanted to go there and take a look at things that were happening in a prison in Port-au-Prince. Half that prison was front-loaded by people put there by Francois before Aristide came back to power. Some were Aristide supporters.
He wanted to see the living conditions and what the treatment was of those prisoners; and this American captain, instead of being given a medal, he is being slapped and his career is finished and he is being threatened with a court martial. Unless I don't know something about this incident, unless he went down there and was threatening to blow up the place or went naked and was not doing what he felt morally correct in doing, then this is Wrong and this is a reflection again on our military leadership.
Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Chairman, can I add a footnote related to the broader discussion we were having earlier?
Congressman Payn'e, good to see you again. There is a real difference between the status of forces of American troops in Haiti and some of these other examples you were using. Take Rwanda. American troops did an extraordinary job there. In Rwanda there was no government to have a dialog with. The troops were the de facto government, running the good things in Rwanda; just as when, during our Revolution, George Washington was the government, essentially as he moved about the country making civil decisions. The same was certainly true in Grenada, and the same was true in Panama; the same assuredly was true in West Germany and Japan after the Second World War.
You have a situation here, however, where we have terms of reference that complicate life enormously for American troops. Even if they want to do something, you have a Haitian Government skel-etally in operation, many branches of which were assisted by civic
action teams, some of whose leaders I met on one of the six trips I have taken to Haiti since last September.
You have the United Nations moving around. You have the OAS moving around. They are going to be monitors. You have the embassy. This hodgepodge of decisionmaking, frankly, sometimes got in the way of doing good things.
And then you have another problem, something that the chairman alluded to earlier, and it is a terrible problem, getting around. Mostly our troops there drive around very slowly just trying to get up, at least the ones in Port-au-Prince. So the government, the Prime Minister is in Petionville, the President is in Port-au-Prince; the communication process is, to say the least, very rudimentary.
Mr. Bueton. Mr. Goss. You have been very patient.
Mr. Goss. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman.
It has been a long day, and we have had many things interceding since we started this hearing this morning; and it is good to get back to the subject. I am delighted to see these witnesses. They have all corroborated some of the thoughts and information we have had about the problem of getting on target with the economy and making it work. I think Mr. Johnson's remarks are on the mark there.
The costs that Mr. Weinstein has alluded to are staggering, and I don't think we know them all yet. I think there are clearly more coming, because we seem to be in there ironclad until February; and there are a lot of sort of unannounced arrangements that are going to have to be paid for, and I suspect the American taxpayer will pay for that.
As the major said, he is extremely frustrated and has shown it very well with what I would call the misuse of the military in a situation, in part, which has caused some real morale problems and left us wondering.
I "have very few questions to address to you gentlemen because I think you have made yourselves very clear and the testimony you have given us is valuable. I hope you all have time to read the fourth report, or the report submitted on February 8I don't know whether it was the fourth one or not, by President Clinton who has inquired to the Congress on what the situation is in Haiti. I am sorry I had to miss the questioning of the witnesses from the administration earlier today and I would like permission to submit to you, Mr. Chairman, through this committee, some questions that strike me as relatively important.
Mr. Burton. Without objection.
Mr. Goss. I think they have given us a report, which I recommend for your reading if you haven't seen it, which clearly underscores some of the successes that have been there which we should, as Americans, be very proud of, the fact that we have tried very hard on behalf of a friendly neighbor nearby to do something right to help them develop a viable economy and a stable democracy and peace and freedom, the fact it is a country that has never known that in its 200 years of existence and it is a very tall order.
What is not in the report from the White House, however, is perhaps more compelling than what is in. We get back into some of the cost areas there.
I am not quite sure what the new rules of engagement are going to be when we get the U.N. peacekeeping in there. We are going to have some of our military, 2,000, 3,000something in that area; there is apparently going to be a double chain of command. The general in charge is going to report both to the representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations on the one hand and to his superior in the U.S. military, which is a somewhat curious arrangement.
But more than thatwhether that is going to work well or not, we will seeone of the cautions we have in that area in Congress is that we, I think, all felt a little bit that the Clinton administration had done an extremely assiduous job of discussing the Haitian affair with the United Nations, but perhaps had been less diligent discussing it with the U.S. Congress; and I hope we are not going to find ourselves back in that situation again.
But when you get down to the U.S. armed personneland I presume armed is the right wordI don't know whether these will be lightly armed or not armed; I don't know whether they truly are going into some kind of unarmed civil peacekeeping arrangement where the only time we can use force is in our defense if we happen to have it. The report is unclear.
The report is both retrospective and prospective. In the prospective areas, it says we will have a quick reaction force to provide backup support for other UNMIH forces. That has a bit of an ominous ring to it. What kind of backup support is that? And what is going to happen if we have the type of situation that we have read about since the report from the White House.
This is an AP report, if I may, Mr. Chairman, that talked about Limbe Haiti where a mob marched in and took over as soon as our forces left the local police function there, beat the lieutenant to death. We can be proud of ourselves for confiscating weapons, but it is not going to stop the habit in Haiti of beating and burning people. And this lieutenant was beaten and then burned and then buried.
The same gentleman who is going to be the top of the chain of command for United Nations, representing the Secretary, Gen. Laqueda RameniI don't know him; perhaps you dohe has commented and said, well, these are not problems that prevent the country from moving ahead.
I would suggest that stability is a very serious problem. I think it is great we have had no major incidents there, and I would expect we would have none. Sending 20,000 troops to basically an unarmed country should mean we do pretty well; the odds are quite good in our favor. We have, in fact, taken over the management of a small Caribbean nation in my view, and it is not Florida, but Haiti. We are the power.
The White House report starts very proudly suggesting that the mission has been accomplished, that we had to use all necessary means to secure the departure of the coup leaders, that has been done well and peaceably primarily thanks to the statesmanlike efforts of the three gentlemen who went there and saved the day at the last minute.
"To restore the legitimate democratically elected Government of Haiti to power" is an interesting question. I would suggest that the power in Haiti today is the U.S. military.
And then going on for the third objective, which is the tough one for the year ahead, which is to create a secure and stable environment which will allow the Haitian people to resume responsibility for rebuilding their country. That is what we want to help them in, but I have to cautionit is not selected Haitian people; it is all Haitian people and there is a very strong perspective in that country now that United States aid is all pro-Aristide, and if not pro-Aristide, it does not matter. We have to overcome that as well.
Going back to the cost questions, I read in this report a very plaintive request from the administration; and I know it is legitimate because we have just completed the process of the debate and the vote in the House on the supplemental DOD bill. The statement in this report is, without a timely passage of the supplemental appropriations bill, the net effect will be a significant decrease in overall military readiness. We are not talking about overall military readiness in Haiti, we are talking about the protection and security of the United States of America.
We have a shortfall here of $2.6 billion. I would hope that we are not jeopardizing our national security and our readiness capability for $2.6 billion. Be that as it may, I happened to go back to look and see that all those Members of Congress who were here, who advocated the invasion of Haiti and use of troops and this extraordinary commitment of dollars, these same folks could not find it in their hearts to vote in support of that emergency supplemental, by and large, that we passed earlier this week, which means there is a disconnect in the administration's political support on this Hill and is something they perhaps should look to. It is a fairly important disconnect.
The final point is, I read about all these other countries that are going to help us in the UNMIH operation, and it is quite a bunch. And on top of that, some of these are folks that are already there helping us with the multilateral force.
But when I look at the countries, they are small countries, and in many cases, I know they are countries that we have made arrangements that we are basically paying the troops. So we are in a position, it seems, where we are paying other countries for mercenary troops to give us either the camouflage of a multinational force in Haiti or the comfort of having other people there. At the same time, we are threatening the readiness of our own military forces of the United States of America, so says the White House report.
That is a very curious position to be in, and one, I think, Mr. Chairman, that your committee ought to pursue diligently in your role of oversight. Any comments, I would welcome. My desire is to bring stability and better economy and peace and democracy, but there are a lot of indicators there that show us we have a very tough struggle.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Burton. We need to wrap this up in a few minutes for all our sakes. I am about to collapse and I have to catch an airplane.
Major Messing. Congressman Goss, I couldn't agree with you more. There is a disconnect, and there is a disconnect of downsizing the military, at the same time giving them more tasks and less money, and not focusing them on things that wind up enabling them to accomplish their mission. So your perceptions, sir, are clear in that respect.
The solution to it is that we have to understand that these kinds of peacekeeping missions, when authorized by the executive and the legislative branches in a combined way, the legislative branch has the obligation to provide a measure of oversight in requiring the administration, the executive branch, to understand that they are going to have the money that they need to accomplish the mission in a correct manner; and this is part of the problem that has not occurred both in Somalia and here. If you don't front-load the operation with dough, it ain't going to get done right, and that is part of the main problem here.
And then we get into a problem where we whiz away money at a quantum rate and we don't get the job done; and we lose face and we have to drag in these cover forces. I am appalled, personally, that U.N. troops are being paid $900 to $1,000 per soldier. Some of these people, their wage in their own country is $25 a month. A lot of these people view these nonregional forces coming in here as mercenaries, as you correctly put it, and a lot of these U.N. forces send in poorly trained and poorly disciplined troops. That is another aspect that we haven't addressed, the poorly disciplined U.N. troops that are engaging in this.
Mr. Weinstein. The Congressman has raised a number of important issues. Let me point out the one that is likely to give a few nightmares to all of us within the next month and a half. United States becomes UNMIH command on March 31. By mid-April the election campaign is in full swing,' and we have in Haiti 6,000 troopsabout half of those United States troops under U.N. command, the rest, troops from different countries.
We will have the new police trainees beginning to trickle out in various ways. We will have some OAS election monitors wandering about. Will we have a plan? Will we have a structure? Will we have even a 911 number to call if you are getting the heck beaten out of you in the same town that the Congressmen indicated? This is not an abstract problem.
What happens then? Who comes from where through the traffic jams of Port-au-Prince, or do we use my 100,000 angels to deal with that? That is the concrete issue that I wish we could spend more time on.
Chairman Gilman. I thank you for your comments and for your patience. I think is that this is a severe problem that we are going to have to deal with. We didn't front-load the planning, and hopefully it is not too late.
Thank you. This meeting stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 2:50 p.m., the committee was adjourned to reconvene at the call of the Chair.]
STATEMENT BY HON. CHARLES B. RANGEL COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS HEARING ON HAITI
FEBRUARY 24, 1995
CHAIRMAN GILMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR HOLDING THIS IMPORTANT HEARING AND FOR INVITING ME TO TESTIFY.
I WISH TO EXTEND MY CONGRATULATIONS TO CHAIRMAN GILMAN, WHO HAS WORKED WITH THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, TO ASSIST IN THE RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY TO HAITI. I ALSO WISH TO COMMEND PRESIDENT CLINTON, WHO DESPITE THE ENORMOUS RESISTANCE IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT, PENTAGON, AND THE CIA, FOLLOWED THROUGH ON HIS PLEDGE TO RETURN PRESIDENT ARISTIDE TO HIS CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICE AND ASSISTED IN HAITI'S ECONOMIC RECOVERY. I ALSO WISH TO EXTEND MY PRAISE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, COUNTRIES IN THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS) WHICH DEMONSTRATED WHAT UNITY IN THIS HEMISPHERE CAN ACCOMPLISH.
FOR THREE YEARS, THE UNITED STATES AND COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD MAINTAINED A COMMITMENT TO HAITI OF RESTORING THE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT. AT THE END OF THAT LONG STRUGGLE ON OCTOBER 15, 1994,1, ALONG WITH SEVERAL MEMBERS OF HOUSE, HAD THE HONOR OF LEADING A CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION THAT RETURNED WITH PRESIDENT ARISTIDE TO PORT-AU-PRINCE. IT WAS A HEART WARMING AND MEMORABLE JOURNEY. PRESIDENT ARISTIDE ELOQUENTLY SPOKE OF RECONCILIATION "NO TO VIOLENCE, NO TO VENGEANCE, YES TO RECONCILIATION" HE UTTERED. THIS WAS A SPECIAL DAY FOR AMERICANS, BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION FOR A CARIBBEAN NEIGHBOR RATHER THAN PART OF THE PROBLEM.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF OPERATION UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, PRESIDENT ARISTIDE'S UNRELENTING CALL FOR RECONCILIATION HAS BEEN ADHERED TO. IN THE FIVE MONTHS SINCE OUR TROOPS ENTERED HAITI, WE HAVE LOST ONE AMERICAN SOLDIER. OUR TROOPS HAVE BEEN WELCOMED BY THE HAITIAN PEOPLE. HAITIAN-ON-HAITIAN VIOLENCE REMAINED AT AN ALL TIME LOW. ON JANUARY 30, THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL, HAVING DETERMINED THAT A SECURE AND STABLE ENVIRONMENT EXISTED IN HAITI, PASSED RESOLUTION 975, PROVIDING FOR THE TRANSITION FROM THE MULTINATIONAL FORCE (MNF) TO THE UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN HAITI (UNMIH). THE UNMIH TRANSITION WILL BE COMPLETED ON MARCH 31. THE NUMBER OF US FORCES IN HAITI HAS DECLINED FROM 20,000 TO ABOUT 6,100 AT THE PRESENT TIME. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT APPROXIMATELY 3,000 US TROOPS WILL BE PART OF THE UN MISSION.
DESPITE THE OBVIOUS SUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS BY THE ARISTIDE GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE HUMAN RIGHTS CLIMATE IN THE COUNTRY, I AM SURPRISED THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT WOULD, ONCE AGAIN, RELEASE A REPORT MAKING UNSUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. THIS REPORT NOT ONLY WENT BACK FOUR YEARS TO THE TIME JUST PRIOR TO ARISTIDE'S ELECTION, IT AGAIN INCLUDED ALLEGATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS WHO SUPPORTED THE COUP. FURTHERMORE, IT FAILED TO REPORT SYSTEMATIC EFFORTS BY THE ARISTIDE ADMINISTRATION TO CARRY OUT JUDICIAL REFORM, HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION AND PROMOTION AND ACTIONS TO BRING TO JUSTICE INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE THOUSANDS OF MURDERS COMMITTED DURING AND AFTER THE COUP.
AFTER THE OUSTING OF PRESIDENT ARISTIDE, THE LEVEL OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS DID, IN FACT, ESCALATE. DURING THIS TIME, ATTACHES, FRAPH MEMBERS AND ARMED BANDITS TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE CLIMATE TO CARRY OUT POLITICAL AND CRIMINAL KILLLNGS. HOWEVER, AS THE REPORT POINTED OUT, UNDER "ARISTIDE II" THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION HAS IMPROVED DRAMATICALLY. FURTHERMORE, FOLLOWING THE RESTORATION OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY INITIATED A PROGRAM THAT CREATED AN INTERIM POLICE FORCE. THE PROGRAM INCLUDED: INTERNATIONAL POLICE MONITORS (IPM'S), AN INTERIM PUBLIC SECURITY FORCES (IPSF), POLICE TRAINEES FROM THE US SAFE HAVEN IN GUANTANAMO, AND A NEW POLICE ACADEMY.
THE INTERIM POLICE FORCE WILL OPERATE IN HAITI UNTIL A PERMANENT PROFESSIONAL POLICE FORCE CAN BE TRAINED. IN COOPERATION WITH CANADA AND FRANCE THE US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE'S INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE TRAINING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HAS ESTABLISHED A NATIONAL POLICE ACADEMY TO TRAIN A PERMANENT PROFESSIONAL POLICE FORCE. THE FIRST CLASS BEGAN TRAINING ON JANUARY 31. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 4,000 INDIVIDUALS WILL BE TRAINED.
THE HAITIAN ECONOMY IS IN THE INITIAL STAGES OF RECOVERY. THE HAITIAN GOVERNMENT HAS COMMITTED ITSELF TO A VARIETY OF MEASURES TO IMPROVE THE ECONOMY SUCH AS PRIVATIZATION OF MOST PUBLIC ENTERPRISES, TRADE LIBERALIZATION, AND REASSURANCE TO POTENTIAL FOREIGN INVESTORS. I HAVE RECENTLY MET WITH THE PRIME MINISTER, SMARCK MICHEL, WHO EXPRESSED HIS CONCERNS ABOUT THE SLOW PROGRESS OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND THE NEED FOR JOB CREATION.
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ALONG WITH THE UNITED STATES HAVE STRENGTHENED THEIR COMMITMENT TO ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION. DURING THE JANUARY 30-31 CONSULTATIVE GROUP MEETING IN PARIS DONORS PLEDGED UP TO $900 MILLION IN -ASSISTANCE TO HAITI. MAJOR DONOR SUPPORT THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN APPROVED AND PARTIALLY DISBURSED INCLUDE BALANCE OF PAYMENTS SUPPORT FROM THE WORLD BANK ($40 MILLION), INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK ($40 MILLION) AND US GOVERNMENT ($40 MILLION). THE UNITED STATES HAS COMMITTED $87 MILLION IN ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND $57 MILLION IN HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE. IN THE INTEREST OF OUR MAINTAINING OUR REPUTATION, WE MUST FOLLOW THROUGH ON THIS PLEDGE.
KEEPING THE COMMITMENT TO ADVANCE COMMERCIAL REGENERATION IN HAITI, DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE, STROBE TALBOTT, WILL LEAD A PRESIDENTIAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MISSION IN MARCH. THIS MISSION WILL BE COMPRISED OF SOME 30 US FIRMS FROM A BROAD SPECTRUM OF INDUSTRIES. IN ADDITION, THE US-HAITI BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL, WHICH WILL BE INAUGURATED DURING THIS VISIT, WILL PROVIDE A FORUM TO FOSTER GREATER INTERACTION BETWEEN US AND HAITIAN OFFICIALS AND BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE OPENED ITS OFFICE IN HAITI ON FEBRUARY 6.
RANGEL / HAITI 4
US AND FOREIGN COMMERCIAL SERVICE ONE-STOP SHOP CENTER. LOCATED IN NEW YORK CITY, WILL PROVIDE ON-SITE TRADE AND INVESTMENT COUNSELING TO US EXPORTERS AND INVESTORS INTERESTED IN DOING BUSINESS IN HAITI.
THE HAITIAN CENTRAL GOVERNMENT UNDER PRIME MINISTER SMARCK MICHEL IS FUNCTIONING. THE TRAINING OF JUSTICES OF THE PEACE WAS LAUNCHED BY THE US ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE PROGRAM ON JANUARY 17 IN COOPERATION WITH THE HAITIAN JUSTICE MINISTRY. IT IS EXPECTED THAT PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS WILL TAKE PLACE IN JUNE AND PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER.
INITIALLY, THE US MILITARY PEACEKEEPING PRESENCE IN HAITI WAS MET WITH A GREAT DEAL OF SKEPTICISM. BUT TODAY, THE UNITED STATES AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD BE PROUD OF WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. I SALUTE PRESIDENT CLINTON AND CONGRESS FOR BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION FOR A CARIBBEAN NEIGHBOR. IT IS INCUMBENT UPON US NOT TO ALLOW LEGITIMATE SECURITY CONCERNS TO SHRINK FROM OUR RESPONSIBILITY AND TO WORK WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IN REBUILDING THE ECONOMY OF HAITI.
I URGE THAT CONGRESS CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE ADMINISTRATION'S POLICY AND THAT WE HONOR OUR PLEDGE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF HAITI.
THANK YOU, MR. CHAIRMAN
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TESTIMONY BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS BY PORTER GOSS (FL-14) 24 FEBRUARY 1995
It has been 159 days since more than 20,000 U.S. troops occupied Haiti. Although there are now fewer than 6,000 U.S. troops there, the bills for U.S. operations in Haiti are still mounting and have now passed the $850 million mark. Despite all of this manpower and money, little lasting progress has been made toward an orderly and safe withdrawal of our troops and a shift of responsibility for the fate of Haiti to the Haitian government.
Recent reports indicate that the Clinton Administration has been less than candid about operations in Haiti by failing to acknowledge the genuine fragility of both the security situation there and the reconstituted Aristide government. The tenuousness of both of these could lead to deadly consequences for our troops as the transition to a UN mission is made.
The much-touted "secure and stable" environment is clearly tenuous. We have seen reports of unrest in Limbe, prison riots in Port-au-Prince, politically motivated intimidation campaigns, periodic food rampages, rampant crime, violent land disputes, and signs of growing frustration about the lack of jobs and progress in some sectors of Haitian society. Problems that are simmering today could easily erupt during the transition when the U.N. plans to rely heavily on Haitians to provide law and order.
The Aristide government isn't up to the job. Today, for example, it often takes the direct intervention of the Prime Minister or the President to get a ship offloaded by workers in one of the government run ports. As a whole, the Aristide government lacks institutional depth and today our troops are taking up the slack by providing many governmental functions through out the country. In instances when our troops have attempted to hand responsibilities over, such as fuel deliveries for example, Haitian authorities have been largely unable to follow-through.
The problems the Aristide government faces are being compounded daily by the flood of refugees being forcibly returned from all around the Caribbean and the 4,000 Haitians we repatriated against their will in recent weeks. The refugees are often disgruntled and frightened and many are camped in Port-au-Prince demanding jobs from a government that simply cannot deliver.
It is also clear that the Haitian Interim Police Force are not up to the job of providing for law and order, as it will be called
THB STATIONERY PWNTED ON PAPER MADE OF RECYCLED FWEFS
upon to do when UNMIH takes over on 31 March. The Haitian IPSF remain afraid to patrol on their own, generally do not command the respect of the Haitian people, and are largely lacking in training. Across the board, while the Aristide government may have the will to follow-through it does not yet have the ability.
These problems come as no surprise to many of us who maintained throughout the lead-up to the occupation that moving from the return of Aristide to a safe and orderly hand-off of Haitian affairs to Haitians was NOT going to be a short-term, low-cost venture. The Adminsitration is now talking about having our soldiers in Haiti as part of the U.N. mission until February of 1996 and pouring untold amounts of money (recent estimates project $1.6 billion by early 1996) into a small nation that seems utterly incapable of absorbing that kind of infusion.
How do we make genuine progress from where we are today? The first priority must be to move the elections process forward at the earliest possible date. In 1991, President Aristide appeared not to understand that democracy means shared power rather than consolidation of power. Today, lack of progress on the elections means that Aristide rules without any checks or balances. Already we have seen his willingness to take action by what amounts to decree. He apparently promulgated his own version of the electoral law, for example, rather than that passed by the duly elected National Assembly. You cannot build a democracy without a parliament. The time for elections is clearly now.
Hand-in-hand with those elections must be concerted effort by U.S. policymakers to seek a more even-handed approach in aid programs and political support. Throughout the Haitian crisis, the Clinton Administration showed a marked tendency to put the interests of one man (President Aristide) above the Haitian constitution, above the Haitian parliament and above true democracy in Haiti.
If you talk to a broad range of Haitians or the OAS observers you will find that Americans are not considered to be "impartial." We appear to have taken sides and that cannot continue. I am particularly concerned about recent reports of Aristide's attempt to politicize the police force and I hope our Adminsitration will follow-through on its pledge not to allow him that leeway.
As the election cycle gets underway the need for balance in what we do in Haiti will become paramount. All political parties will be looking for signs of unfairness. A failed elections cycle could jeopardize everything that U.S. soldiers and U.S. taxdollars have been working for because in Haiti, a contested election is contested forever.
All of the efforts on "governance" issues will mean nothing if we don't redirect current aid programs from "handouts" to programs designed to bring genuine economic development to Haiti. What there was of the Haitian economy has been decimated by a complete
lack of effective governing and the U.S. led embargo of the past three years. It is clear that even a few months of relative calm have not put the economy on the track to recovery. Prices have not come down. It remains extremely difficult to move goods in and out of the country. And currency instability, the lack of law and order, and the lack of meaningful laws to protect private property stand as significant barriers to the return or start-up of businesses. Even the economic elites in Haiti who have traditionally made up the backbone of Haitian commercial activity are unwilling to take the risks associated with jumpstarting the economy.
Despite the obstacles, there are American and Haitian businesses interested in going back to work there. An increased availability of investment capital and incentives would facilitate that process. While we are encouraged by signs that OPIC and U.S.A.I.D. are working on investment programs, time is clearly of the essence.
As many of you know, I have had fundamental disagreements from the outset with the Clinton Administration's approach to the crisis in Haiti. Today the occupation is a fait accompli; the invasion debate is over; and the United States is now running a small Caribbean nation. But my bottom line has not changed: we should move as quickly as possible to get our men and women in uniform out of Haiti and to handoff the responsibility for that country to a newly and duly elected parliament and president because, in the end, only Haitians can solve Haiti's problems.
THE HONORABLE STROBE TALBOTT DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE
Mr. Chairman, Under Secretary SlocotrJse and I welcome Che chance to give you a progress report on the U.S.-led, 31-nation effort that has rescued a neighboring country from disaster, restored stability in our region, and defended our nation's values and interests. Operation Uphold Democracy has fully lived up to its name. It has peacefully ousted Haiti's brutal dictators, restored its legitimate government, established a secure and stable environment, and is now preparing to pass the baton to a United Nations force under a U.S. Commander.
We cannot yet say "mission accomplished." We have another year of work ahead at us. But we can say, "So far, so good." This mission, while still a work in progress, is well on its way to being a success. Five months after President Clinton sent our troops to their country, Haitians are constructing roads to advance commerce and build a civil society rather than boats to escape terror.
Let me briefly review how far we have come. It was nearly four years ago that a military coup transformed Haiti's newborn democracy into a nightmare of repression. A violent regime took power, one that crushed its opponents and caused tens of thousands of Haitians to flee from their shores toward ours. With the support of that regime, paramilitary gangs assassinated opposition leaders and priests who spoke out. Murder, mutilation, rape, and the kidnapping of children were not just officially sanctioned -- often officially perpetrated -- crimes,-they were instruments of rule. They became common tools for dealing with citizens and families suspected of supporting democracy. Meanwhile, the economy, long the weakest in the hemisphere, plummeted deeper into ruin.
For three years, the United States and other countries around the world tried everything short of force to remove the coup leaders and restore Haiti's democratically-elected
government. Persuasion, negotiation, mediation, condemnation, sanctions all to no avail. It wasn't until last September, when the coup leaders knew that the President had ordered U.S. armed forces into ac.ion. that they agreed to give up power peacefully.
Think for a momsnt where we would likely be today had we not acted:
-- The dictators would still be in power, and their campaign of murder and terror against the Haitian people would be continuing.
-- Tens of thousands of Haitians would be seeking refuge abroad, posing a threat to America's borders and to regional stability as well. The Bahamas and other small island democracies in the Caribbean would be faced with the prospect of being overwhelmed by a mounting flood of desperate humanity.
-- The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard would still be diverting massive resources, on an open-ended if not permanent basis, to manage migrant interdiction along our own coastline. These are resources that would otherwise be available to stop smuggling, protect our fisheries, reduce the flow of illegal drugs, and save lives at sea. More generally, we would be faced with more years like 1994, when we spent nearly $300 million to deal with Haitian migrants, sanctions enforcement, and humanitarian relief. These were the costs of non-intervention, recurrent costs for which -- absent our willingness to use force -- there was no end in sight.
Furthermore, the enemies of democracy elsewhere in the region -- coup-plotters lurking in the shadows of other capitals in the hemisphere -- would be more inclined to
believe that they could act with impunity; that they, too, like the Haitian coup leaders of 1991, could overthrow democratically fclected governments.
-- And finally, the United States and the international community would have failed to fulfill our commitments in the face of a coup that president Bush described as an extraordinary threat to our national security; that Secretary of State Baker said should not stand; and that President Clinton, the United nations and the Organization of American States declared unacceptable.
Had it not teen for the deployment of the U.S.-led Multinational Force on September 19, your Committee, Mr. Chairman, might well be holding a very different sort of hearing today --a hearing tc survey the damage sustained, and the damage to come, as a result of a crisis allowed to fester.
There was, of course, widespread controversy over our Administration's decision to use force in Haiti. As Deputy Secretary of Defense: Deutch and 1 made clear when we came before this Committee on September 27th of last year, we understood the concern and the skepticism. So did the President. As Commander in Chief, he considers no responsibility more serious than the one he assumes when he sends the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces Into harm's way.
Thanks in the -irst instance to the superb performance of Generals Shelton, Meade, and Fisher, their officers and the troops under their commands, Operation Uphold Democracy has set a new standard for the degree of peace and civic order that has been kept in a peace-keeping operation.
From the moment the armed services began planning, they demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to adapt to change, to
identify and understand the problems, and to solve them effectively. When the Haitian military dictators agreed to step down, within minutes we were able to recall our assault forces, and within hours shift to a force suitable for intervention in a permissive environment. In the months that have passed, our military's accomplishments -- which have ranged from quelling initial outbreaks of Haitian-on-Haitian violence to disarming the paramilitary gangs to, literally, turning the lights back on in Haitian cities -- have been truly outstanding.
From the beginning of the operation. President Clinton instructed the military commanders on the ground that their first responsibility was to safeguard our men and women in uniform, in the five months since our troops entered Haiti, we have lost one brave American soldier in the line of duty: Special Forces Sergeant Gregory Cardott, who was shot when he went to investigate a disturbance that arose from an isolated crime at a toll-collection point.
Mr. Chairman, while we pay tribute to the American soldiers serving in Haiti, we must also remember that Operation Uphold Democracy is a truly multinational effort, with participation from 30 other nations. In this regard, I particularly want to say a few words about the contributions of the ll nations of the Caribbean Community. Haiti's CAR1C0M neighbors took an international leadership role by calling for forceful action to remove the coup leaders, and each of these 11 states has matched its words with deeds, by contributing soldiers or police, or both, to the multinational force.
Mr. Chairman, the success to date of Operation Uphold Democracy was also due to the lessons that we learned from previous experiences in peacekeeping, multilateral and other operations:
-- From U.S. operations in Grenada and Panama, we learned the importance of inter-service cooperation, joint and inter-agency planning and operational flexibility. The lifting of a U.S. Array division from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier took the concept of combined operations to a new level.
-- And from the Gulf War, we learned how American leadership in multilateral fora can spur the actions of others, reduce our burdens, and enhance our effectiveness. UN Security Council Resolution 940 authorizing "all necessary means," the Multinational Force, and the handoff to the United Nations Mission are all conscious adaptations of the Desert Storm experience.
Mr. Chairman, credit for the current success of Operation Democracy is also due to President Aristide, Prime Minister Smarck Michel, members of the Haitian parliament. Mayor Evans Paul of Port-au-Prir.ce, and other democratic leaders of Haiti. And, of course, credit is due to the Haitian people themselves. Remember, Mr. Chairman, some of the fears and warnings that were in the air at the time when this mission began: some said that President Aristide would choose vengeance over reconciliation; that Haitians would fight, rob and slaughter each other in a frenzy of lawlessness; and that efforts to rebuild Haiti's democracy and economy would never get off the ground.
Instead, in overwhelming numbers, the Haitian people have heeded President Aristide's consistent call for reconciliation. They are joining together to begin building a new society. They have shown immense resilience, courage -- and, I might add, restraint in the face of enormous challenges. Moreover, they have also shown a gratifying and richly deserved degree of appreciation for our troops. All across the country, from Port-de-Paix to Las Cayes, our soldiers are now greeted each day by
signs bearing chree simple words: "Thank you, America."
So under Secretary Slocombe and I come before you with a sense of confidence and optimism. But we also come with our eyes open to the magnitude of the challenge that remains -- for us and for the international community in the coming months, and, more importantly, for the Haitian people themselves in the coming years and decades. Before the coup of September 1991, Haiti was, as I mentioned, the poorest country in the hemisphere; it may take until the end of this decade for its people to work their way back even to that level.
A devastated economy is only part of the legacy with which Haiti must cope. This is a country still struggling to banish the ghosts of its past. Its people must learn new habits and new ways of working together as they try to overcome a long history of social polarization, political instability and institutionalized brutality. As President Aristide so frequently and memorably puts it, Haitians will have to work hard simply to move "from misery to poverty with dignity."
But we must also place Haiti's problems in the context of the extraordinary progress that its people have made in just five months. All that we've given to the Haitian people is an opportunity --an opportunity for them to resume the hard work of sustaining their democratic institutions and building a viable market economy. But having been given a second chance -- after four long, lost years -- the Haitian people are making the most of that opportunity.
Today, thanks to Operation Uphold Democracy, the Haitian people live in an environment that is -- in relative terms --safe, secure and free of political violence. They have made progress in breathing life back into democratic institutions. And they have begun to jump start their dead economy, by
initiating free market reforms, and by seeking the investments they need for long-term growth.
Let me examine each of these topics -- security, democracy, and economics -- in turn.
When the united States sent its troops to Haiti, our mission was to restore the legitimate government, and to create a secure and stable environment in which it could function. Thanks to the Haitian people's desire to end the violence that has plagued their nation and the cooperation of our allies in the multinational force, we have been largely successful.
a few statistics illustrate this point. When our troops arrived in Haiti, there were an average of 10 to 15 serious incidents of organized political violence reported each week. Those have virtually disappeared. Incidents of criminal violence remain at a very low level as well: in Port-au-Prince there are now an average of 18 violent crimes being reported each week --a figure far below those of other cities in the hemisphere with similar-size populations.
The multinational force has recovered nearly 30,000 individual weapons, through buybacks, by seizing weapons caches, and by setting up roadblocks. There is no doubt that many weapons are still in the wrong hands. But the multinational force made the right decision not to go door to door to try to root out every criminal, gun, or thug. That was not our mission, and it would have been impossible and indeed illegal under the Haitian constitution, which protects gun ownership within the home. Our goals, instead, were to create a generally secure environment in which the democratic government could take hold and to establish new civilian-controlled professional security forces as the first line of protection for the Haitian people.
In ehis, we have made good progress. In the three months following the intervention, over 3,000 recruits for the Haitian Interim Public Security Force received transition training at a facility provided by the government of Haiti, funded by the Department of State, managed by the Department of Justice, and supported by the U.S. military. Over 900 Haitian migrants received comparable training at the camps in Guantanamo. These interim security forces are now on the streets of Haiti --increasingly responsive to the civilian authorities and acting as public servants, rather than as official thugs.
These interim security forces are monitored and assisted by more than 600 International Police Monitors, or IPMs, spread throughout the country. These IPMs are police officers, recruited from more than 20 countries on 6 continents, under the leadership of former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. They are protagonists in one of the great success stories in the annals of international peacekeeping. Recruited, trained, and deployed in less thsin six weeks, the distinctive IPM "yellow hats" have restored the confidence of the Haitian people that police exist to serve and protect society, not to brutalize it.
In organizing the Interim Public Security Force we have worked with the government of Haiti to remove individuals involved in serious human rights abuses, or narcotics trafficking. All senior officers of the Haitian army have been released from active duty. More than 2,000 former soldiers have been enrolled in a program of counseling and job training funded by USAID, and run by the International Office of Migration. The government of Haiti is continuing to pay these soldiers' salaries as they go through the retraining process.
We have made it clear to the government of Haiti that the decision whether to retain a military is theirs to make. For our part, we are ready to work with Haitian government officials to
make sure chat the process of demobilization, however far it may 90, takes place in an orderly, equitable and constitutional fashion, consistent with President Aristide's emphasis on reconciliation.
Mr. Chairman, candidates for a permanent civilian police force are now being recruited and trained by our Justice Department, in cooperation with French, Norwegian and Canadian police, at the new National Police Academy in Camp d'Application, Port-au-Prince. We have insisted that all trainees enter the Academy on the basis of merit -- their performance in the entrance exams -- rather than personal or political affiliation. We regard the entrance exams as a crucial filter in breaking the cycle of personal and political security forces that have dominated Haiti's history.
The first class of Civilian Haitian Police entered in January and will graduate in May. About 350 graduates will be deployed each month, building up to a force of at least 4,000 that will replace the Interim Public Security Force. This new, accountable, professional, apolitical police force will be a dramatic improvement ever the violent, corrupt security forces of the past.
For all these reasons, life in Haiti is generally secure today. The simple activities of everyday life -- street vendors plying their wares, children going to school, and families attending church services -- have come alive again. Thousands of men, women and children who were in hiding or in exile during the dark days of military rule -- from members of Parliament to mayors to clergy to entrepreneurs -- have resumed normal lives. The flood of refugees from Haiti which hit a high of over 3,000 per day in July of last year -- has virtually stopped. Since September 19, the Coast Guard has helped more than 13,000 Haitians -- including all but a few hundred at Guantanamo -- to
Another measure of the security of the situation in Haiti is the pace with which we are moving to turn the Multinational Force's responsibilities over to the United Nations Mission. We are right on schedule. On January 20, the MNF Commander, Major General Meade, and the member states of the multinational force reported to the UN Security Council that "a secure and stable environment" had been established. On January 30, the Security Council passed Resolution 97S authorizing the U.N. Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) to build up to a force of 6,000 troops and 900 police, and to take over from the Multinational Force by no later than March 31. The process of transition has already begun, and will accelerate through next month.
The United Nations Mission is enabling us to continue the draw down of American forces in Haiti. U.S. forces reached a peak of 21,000 in early October. Together with their colleagues from the multinational force, they established 27 bases and made their presence felt in each of the 133 districts of Haiti. As the situation began to stabilize in November, we started to withdraw our troops. Today there are about 5,600 American soldiers in Haiti. That number will be cut by more than half when the UN Mission begins at the end of next month.
The United Nations forces in Haiti will be commanded by an American, Major General Joseph Kinzer, and include about 2,400 American troops. Two-thirds of the forces that will comprise the UN Mission will carry over from the Multinational Force, and are already on the ground in Haiti, including the Bangladeshis, the Nepalese contingent, and the CARIC0M battalion. The largest contingents still to come are from Pakistan and India. I should add that the United Nations will assume the costs for the American and international forces and the international police, costs that the United States has been paying up until now. This
means that the U.S. ehare of the UNMIH costs will be just over 30% until October 1, and only 25* thereafter. As Secretary Christopher noted in a broader context, when testifying before your Committee last nonth, "this is a sensible bargain I know the American people support."
Our success at helping the Haitian people create a secure environment has also helped Haitians to strengthen their fragile political institutions. Let me turn now to that subject.
President Aristide has set the tone of tolerance and reconciliation for his entire country. He returned to Haiti with one of the largest democratic mandates of any political leader in Che Western hemisphere. Yet from the beginning, he has reached out beyond his own enormous constituency. Through his cabinet and other appointments, President Aristide is building bridges to all sectors of society, from the elite families to the residents of the slumB of Cite de Soleil.
Immediately upon his return, President Aristide met with parliamentary leaders from all sides of the political spectrum to set a common, cooperative agenda. On crucial matters -- such as appointing a Supreme Court and drafting a new police law and amnesty legislation -- he has worked with the Haitian Parliament, not around them. Thanks in large part to President Aristide's leadership, the Parliament passed the first national budget that Haiti has had in fiva years. And he personally helped broker an agreement among all the political factions on the arrangements for the national elections that will take place on June 4.
This is a record of which any executive and legislature could be proud -- even in a country less shattered, polarized, and traumatized than Haiti. But faced with high expectations, Haiti's political leadership still confronts daunting challenges. Aristide's cabinet ministers took over ministries that the
dictators had stripped of basic supplies -- even plumbing. There are few professionals below the ministerial level to implement decisions. Haiti's judicial system, which was never strong to begin with and collapsed under the Cedras regime, must be completely renovated.
The necessary changes will not be accomplished overnight, or by any single person or political party. That is one reason why, from the beginning, our primary goal has been to promote the process of democracy To that end, we are working with the United Nations mission and the Organization of the American States to ensure that the June legislative and local elections, as well as the Presidential elections in December, are as open and fair as possible. With this objective in mind, the responsibilities of the UN Mission will end by February 1996, with the inauguration of President Aristide's democratically elected successor.
However, no matter how successful the Haitian people are at establishing a secure environment or building democratic and legal institutions, stability will elude them without strong, steady, broad-based economic growth. Haiti has a per capita income of about S250 a year, making it one of the poorest countries in the world. It also has one of the worst infrastructures of ciny country in the world, including the most expensive, least efficient port in the western hemisphere. Its roads are almost non-existent, and it has among the world's fewest telephones per capita. Bringing the economy to life will be Haiti's most difficult task, for no amount of goodwill can undo two centuries of damage to natural resources, and no amount of hard work can replace the national treasures that past despots have carted away.
For its part, the international community is doing its fair share by providing aid and technical assistance. Prior to the
deployment of the MNF, International donors and lenders met in Paris in August and determined that Haiti would need $650 million in the first year after democracy was restored. This group met again in Paris last month to review the progress that has been made since President Aristide's return, and the general assessment of this progress was so positive that the donors actually pledged $1.2 billion, nearly double what had originally been proposed. It is anticipated that $900 million of that $1.2 billion will be available over the next 12-18 months.
I should note that the non-American donors and lenders have provided over 75* of these funds, making this, from an American standpoint, the most successful instance of burdensharing in the history of the hemisphere. In Haiti, we are demonstrating that American leadership can leverage tremendous power and resources on behalf of a common good.
For our part, the United States is contributing, through the Agency for International Development, approximately $162.2 million for fiscal year 1995. As in previous years, much of our assistance -- $73.4 million -- will go for humanitarian aid: supplying medical care for two million Haitians, food for 1.3 million people, and providing 50,000 short term jobs until other donor job creation programs become operational. Our Jobs Creation Program will result in 1,100 kilometers of rehabilitated roads; 31,000 hectares of improved irrigated land; and 1,100 kilometers of restored drainage canals.
We will spend $30.7 million for governance: to support municipal, parliamentary, and presidential elections; establish an independent Ministry of Justice,- move local governance from a system of intimidation to one of public participation; provide jobs and outplacement services to members of FAD'H who have not been retained as interim Security Force; strengthen key institutions such as the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate;
assist in conflict resolution and mediation; and provide support to key ministries. Let me note that the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican institute (IRI) have been participants in our democracy program. NDI is currently actively engaged in preparing for the upcoming elections, and we hope IRI will also become involved.
$58.1 million of FY 95 AID funds will go to spur economic growth, by increasing foreign exchange availability; providing assistance in paying arrears to international financial institutions; and by supporting activities in agriculture, education, the environment, and private sector development.
This last item is, of course, particularly crucial: Haiti's real economic future lies in the private sector. That is why President Aristide has committed his government to a far-reaching program of free market reform. That program includes the nearly total abolition of tariffs,- a reduction of the civil service by up to 50V; a fiscally responsible budget; and the privatization of state-held enterprises. Other steps towards a free market include the removal of most exchange controls, the modernization of commercial law provisions, and a decentralization of many economic powers of the central government. These reforms are far sighted, based on sound economics, and deserving of international support.
To encourage private investment, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has announced that it is prepared to provide $100 million in finance and political risk insurance to support American private investment. It is in the process of setting up loan facilities with American banks that have operated in Haiti for many years, and have already identified some good potential ventures.
At the Paris meeting last month, we proposed the
establishment or a multinational enterprise fund, similar to the ones that we have set up for Eastern Europe and South Africa. This proposal has attracted substantial international donor interest; we see it being capitalized at up to $40 million, with funds provided by the European Community, the World Bank, the united States, and Japan. We have also asked that the Senate ratify the bilateral investment treaty with Haiti that is now before it.
On March 7-8, I will accompany a delegation of several dozen corporate CEOs to Haiti to explore ways to spur private investment. The mission will also provide the occasion for the first meeting of the U.S.-Haiti Business Development Council, which will bring together business and government representatives of both countries to strengthen private sector cooperation and development. We are also organizing nearly a dozen sector-specific business missions to Haiti, bringing more than 200 U.S. business executives in direct contact with Haitian businesses and government decision makers. In view of the significant overhaul needed for Haiti's infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, these missions will concentrate on telecommunications, power generation, transportation and the environment.
There is already evidence that the Haitian private sector is getting on its feet: more than 35 manufacturing operations have restarted in Haiti during the past month; exports of mangos and papayas have resumed; and cruise ships are once again bringing tourists to Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, I mentioned earlier that our intervention in Haiti made sense fcr reasons of American self-interest. That includes our economic self-interest. Of course the operation has been costly. But those costs must be judged in context, and that means, among other things, against the costs of inaction. Since September 19, the U.S. government has spent about $700 million on
Operation Uphold Democracy, most of which are one-time-only-costs, instead of continuing to pay some $300 million a year for the costs of non-intervention. This investment protects our borders, has helped consolidate democracy in our hemisphere, and will help Haiti become a good neighbor and stable partner in diplomacy and trade. But our intervention also does justice to America's core values and principles as well.
Mr. Chairman, the best defense of our Haiti policy is a simple one: we intervened because it was in our national interest, we intervened after every other alternative had been exhausted, and we intervened because it was the right thing to do.
Mr. Chairman, the American intervention in Haiti has been successful thus far. Now, we must see the job through, and that means until the completion of the United Nations mission 12 months from now. As I've already stressed, we cannot solve Haiti's basic problems -- the Haitian people must solve those themselves -- but we can help. Indeed, our help is essential: only we can lead a U.N. effort to maintain security in Haiti until the Haician government fields a professional police force of its own,- and only we can lead the international effort to help Haiti strengthen its democratic institutions and build its economy.
As Secretary Christopher has told the United Nations General Assembly, Haiti now has an opportunity "to take its rightful place in the growing community of democratic states; to work with the international community to solve the transnational problems we all face; and to become an inspiration to other nations, not an outcast." And American leadership in Operation Uphold Democracy has shown that the United States is willing to stand up for its own interests and for democracy in the hemisphere, and that our military is second to none, in creativity and
professionalism as well as in strength and courage. This is an effort of which we, and you, can be proud. Thank you.
STATEMENT BY HONORABLE WALTER B. SLOCOMBE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR POLICY BEFORE
THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS L.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FEBRUARY 24, 1995
Since U.S. military forces entered Haiti on September 19 last year, a great deal has transpired. You will recall that OPERATION UPHOLD DEMOCRACY was conducted against a recalcitrant military regime which had defied international will and demands of the United Stated Government since 1991 to return the constitutionally elected government to authority in Haiti.
The United States interests in this action were several: .
The military ouster of President Aristide in 1991, if allowed to stand, threatened to affect stability and democratic development elsewhere in the region.
The outflow of Haitians seeking refuge from oppression and poverty not only threatened social stability throughout the region, but also placed significant strains on our own national security and hemispheric interests.
In response to these threats, U.S. forces entered Haiti on September 19, 1994, as part of a Multinational Force (MNF) authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 940 to use all necessary means to secure the departure of the coup leaders; to restore the legitimate, democratically-elected Government of Haiti; and to create a secure and stable environment that will allow the Haitian people to assume responsibility for rebuilding their country. The peaceful entry of the MNF was achieved only after Haiti's de facto regime realized, literally on the eve of invasion, that they were under imminent threat of removal by force.
After less than a month the coup leaders departed, and President Aristide returned to Haiti to assume control of the government. In the months that followed the U.S. and coalition presence expanded throughout Haiti, providing a more secure environment and coordinating international humanitarian assistance for the most needy Haitians. Aggressive weapons control and reduction measures were initiated that seized weapons posing a threat to the MNF and significantly reduced the number of illegal weapons in Haiti. Although we recognized from the outset that it was not feasible to attempt to search out every weapon in Haiti, these measures were clearly in the interest of promoting overall security for our mission and in establishing a secure and stable environment. In the process, the MNF has seized nearly 30,000 weapons in various categories, including grenades and explosives. I should note also that these weapons will no longer threaten the Haitian people.
Essential public services, such as electrical power, have been restored in key areas. Direct assistance to Haitian government ministries by military civil affairs specialists has been key to helping them reestablish functional governance and begin rebuilding its public institutions. As conditions improved, we repatriated over 13,000 Haitians who had fled Haiti under the military regime.
The GOH, with assistance from the United States, has established an Interim Public Security Force (IPSF) of up to 3,000 vetted FAd'H and up to 1106 GTMO trainees. With routine attrition, there are now about 3,800 IPSF personnel. Their purpose is to provide a transitional police presence, under the general supervision of 655 International Police Monitors (IPMs), until a new, civilian Haitian National Police (HNP) initially to be comprised of 4,000 personnel is recruited and trained. Additionally, 250 former FAd'H are assigned to a Presidential Security Detachment, for which they await training by MNF personnel.
The IPSF has received basic police training by the Department of Justice (ICITAP), and are now under the Ministry of Justice rather than the Ministry of Defense. IPSF have been assigned throughout Haiti. FAd'H personnel who failed the vetting process have been reassigned to non-defense ministries or offered 6-month career transitional training (with pay) under a contract program administered by USAID. Thus far, 2,010 screened-out FAd'H have signed up for such training.
The new Haitian National Police (HNP) will be deployed incrementally over the next 18 months. They are selected from applicants throughout Haiti on the basis of rigorous testing. IPSF personnel may apply for the HNP, but most will not likely qualify. HNP trainees receive a full four-month training program by ICITAP. The first class of approximately 375 HNP candidates entered training 1 February, with a similar number to begin training each month until the force is fully-staffed. IPSF will be incrementally retired as the HNP is stood up.
These accomplishments are a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of our armed forces. Our military has acted decisively, responsibly, and humanely in a difficult and complex mission.
Though U.S. forces led this mission, high appreciation must go to all thirty nations whose contributions to the Multinational Force have made Operation Uphold Democracy a model of international cooperation for peace enforcement. That same spirit of cooperation will continue as we transition from a United States to a United Nations-led mission.
On January 30, the United Nations Security Council passed UNSCR 975 recognizing that a secure and stable environment now exists in Haiti and authorizing the UN Secretary General to terminate the mission of the MNF and deploy the United Nations Mission to Haiti (UNMIH). In effect, this resolution recognizes that the MNF sent to Haiti under the authority of UNSCR 940, has accomplished all of its tasks and is now ready to transition responsibilities to UNMIH. UNSCR 975 specifies that this transition is to be completed by March 31.
We are determined to meet that date. Much remains to be done but the military role is largely completed. The security environment throughout the country, though far from perfect, continues to improve as Haitians are growing more accustomed to going about their daily lives without fear. Though common criminal activity and Haitian-on-Haitian violence continues, the reported incidents are declining. Further, we know of no organized group capable of seriously threatening the Haitian Government or the international presence. Nevertheless, the MNF security posture remains alert and
prepared to respond as necessary, while preparations continue to transition responsibilities to UNMIH.
For several months we have been consulting with the UN to determine how we can best contribute to the UNMIH mission to sustain the secure and stable environment established by the MNF and to promote continued recovery of Haiti's democratic institutions. We intend to accomplish as much advance preparation as we can in order to make the actual transition from the MNF to UNMIH as seamless and as smooth as possible. In this regard, the Joint Staff has been working closely with our permanent mission to the United Nations (USUN) and with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). An UNMIH Advance Team is in Haiti operating alongside the MNF and taking advantage of that mission's experience in an effort to identify requirements prior to the deployment of UNMIH. While there are still details to be concluded, we have accomplished the following:
Of the 6,000 troops authorized for UNMIH by UNSCR 975, we are prepared to contribute up to 2,524. About a dozen other countries are expected to provide the remaining nearly 3,500 of the force, most of which already are part of the MNF in Haiti, and are expected to continue their participation in the UNMIH.
We are very close to agreement on a final force structure for UNMIH. however, refinements are ongoing as other participating nations determine their contributions and requirements. In any event, U.S. forces will comprise less than half of the UNMIH military force structure, but will represent critical capabilities of the mission. In addition to providing the Force Commander and 60 members of the headquarters staff, we expect to contribute a number of specialized forces such as Medical, Engineers, Transportation, Military Police, Civil Affairs, Special Forces, Aviation. Logistics, as well as a limited number of combat forces for a Quick Reaction Force. The largest portion of our contribution to UNMIH will be Special Forces for training and coalition support and a reaction force built around a light armored cavalry squadron.
The UNMIH force commander will be an American officer. Major General Joseph Kinzer, U.S. Army has been named as the commander of UN Forces in Haiti, and he will also be designated Commander of U.S. Forces in Haiti (COMUSFORHAITI). The UNMIH Force Commander, MG Kinzer. will make all decisions involving UNMIH military operations. The UN Secretary General will provide political direction and guidance, through his Special Representative, to the UNMIH Force Commander.
All U.S. forces assigned to UNMIH will be under the operational control of General Kinzer. As COMUSFORHAITI General Kinzer will remain under the command of Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command and will report directly to him. Thus the chain of command from the President to the lowest U.S. commander on the ground in Haiti will remain unbroken. General Kinzer will also have a U.S. Army Brigadier General who will serve as his Deputy COMUSFORHAITI. The Deputy will carry out the day-to-day management of the U.S. contingent for General Kinzer.
We have a clearly defined end date of our participation in UNMIH. In accordance with UNSCR 940, UNMIH will end in February 1996, after Haiti's December 1995 presidential elections and the inauguration of Aristide's democratically elected successor.
The incremental cost for U.S. participation in operations in Haiti is projected to cost $416 million in FY 1995. This funds U.S. participation in the Multinational Force (MNF) and a transition to a UN funded operation (UNMIH). The FY 1994 costs were $200.8 million for Operation Uphold Democracy and S 173.9 million for the maritime interdiction of Haiti and the subsequent care, housing, and feeding of Haitian migrants at Guantanamo Bay.
The proposed DOD supplemental, which covers operations in Haiti among others, is crucial to maintaining current levels of training and readiness for all military services. This year's shortfall of $2.6 billion, if not corrected in a timely manner, will have severe results. If the supplemental is not passed, commanders will be forced again to curtail training, reduce spare parts stockage levels, defer depot level and real property maintenance, and minimize fixed costs. Without a timely passage of the supplemental appropriations bill, the net effect will be a significant decrease in overall military readiness.
While the UN operation is an assessed operation, UN reimbursement to the USG will not fully cover DoD's incremental costs.
Let me conclude by saying that the way in which the MNF mission has been planned and executed incorporated many of the lessons learned in past operations. Similarly, as we assume a prominent role in UNMIH we intend to apply the same lessons. These include:
A clearly defined mission and objectives, as well as an established exit strategy.
Planning that integrates all dimensions military, political, social, and economic -critical to the success of such an endeavor.
A commander on the ground who has been granted the capabilities and operational flexibility he needs to protect his forces and accomplish his mission.
Recognition that in face of the challenges involved, and the interests at stake, it is best for the United States to accept leadership of the mission and to commit the largest share of forces.
Finally, ongoing evaluation of the overall mission objectives, activities of our forces, and their capabilities as the situation on the ground evolves to ensure that these remain mutually consistent.
These factors have contributed significantly to our success thus far in Haiti. We are now entering a new phase of the task we undertook in September of last year. Although the mission, and the U.S. role in it, will be different, our focus on ensuring a stable and secure environment that will give Haiti the opportunity to revive its economy, and rebuild its institutions of government, must remain clear. I am confident that this success will continue in the weeks and months ahead as we proceed with the transition of responsibilities to the UNMIH and as the Government of Haiti continues to assume greater responsibility for its own security and governance.
TESTIMONY OF FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS BERNARD ARONSON
The question of Haiti has always been more complicated than our domestic debate would indicate. The United States took the lead in mobilizing international support for Haiti's first free and democratic election in December 1990. Thus, we had a stake and an obligation to defend the integrity of that election following the coup of September 1991.
The coup in Haiti also was the first practical test in the western hemisphere of an historic and extraordinary new commitment assumed by every member state of the OAS in June 1991 at the organization's General Assembly held in Santiago, Chile. At that meeting, the nations of the western hemisphere committed themselves to defend collectively against any threat or interruption of the democratic process in any member state. That commitment--which does not exist in any other region of the world-reversed a century old principle of non-intervention and committed the United States-and our democratic partners in this hemisphereto work together as never before to defend democracy.
The coup in Haiti was the first test case of the Santiago Declaration. Thus, how and whether the international community met that test was being watched by those in other nations in our hemisphere who might harbor hopes of overturning democracy as well. And of course, the crisis in Haiti created a refugee crisis which impacted our country directly and threatened an unending flow of boat people to our shores. Yet our ability to defend Haiti's election and meet our obligations under the Santiago Declaration were complicated by the mistakes and abuses that occurred during the Aristide government.
Honest men and women disagreed-and still disagree-about the degree to which U.S. interests were at stake in Haiti, about the wisdom of U.S. intervention, and about the decision of the President to commit U.S. forces without first seeking congressional approval. I have no doubt that members of the Committee still disagree about these issues.
But that was then and this is now. The question before the Committee and the country is no longer whether we should have intervened in Haiti. The question is: now that the United States and the international community have committed our prestige and our word to helping the Haitian people begin again their democratic experiment: how can we best meet that responsibility.
It would be a grave mistake, I believe, for those who disagreed with the original decision to intervene in Haiti to force a precipitous withdrawal from Haiti today. Now that we are there, we and the international community should stay long enough to give the Haitian people a fair chance to restart and sustain their nascent democracy.
That does not mean an open-ended commitment. Nor should it mean any change in the scheduled turnover of authority to a UN peacekeeping force. What it does mean is this: the worst outcome for Haiti would be to have committed U.S. forces and prestige and then to pull out so quickly that there is little left behind.
So far, the news from Haiti is good.
The transition to UN authority is proceeding smoothly. The recruitment and training of the new police force is also moving along well. Haiti has cleared its arrears with the international financial institutions and President Aristide's government has adopted a bold free market economic program. Perhaps most important of all, the pervasive fear that smothered Haitian society during the reign of the illegal military regime has been lifted. Haitians breathe freely and speak freely again. President Aristide, to his credit, has repeatedly counseled national reconciliation to his people and practiced that, himself, by reaching out repeatedly to the business community and to rival political parties.
Let me briefly suggest some areas of concern that the Committee might wish to consider:
Our experience in Panama and El Salvador teaches that it always takes longer than predicted to recruit, train, and professionalize an entirely new police force. We need to maintain an international security umbrella long enough to allow the new police force to be formed and become operational.
The future of the army is a matter for Haitians to decide. I hope that the United States will not oppose abolition of the army. From my vantage point, Haiti has no need for a standing army and would be more secure if the institution was abolished as was done in Panama. If this is done, it should be done through democratic, Constitutional means--by the vote of 2 successive Parliaments. A new Coast Guard, perhaps under the Minister of Transportation and a new border guard, perhaps under the Ministry of Finance could be created to perform the necessary functions that the FAHD used to carry out. This would create a certain balance of forces internally without maintaining an institution whose corruption and repression have rendered it incapable of serving the Haitian nation and people.
Judicial reform and institution building has been delayed by the need to replace the Minister of Justice. Funds and programs need to flow now to begin this crucial process.
Presidential elections scheduled for December 1995 must go forward as scheduled. Some may argue that with elections for Parliament and municipalities scheduled for June that the Haitian system is overloaded and presidential elections must be delayed. This would be a grave mistake and could provide a new crisis. The test of our policy in Haiti will be the peaceful, democratic, and Constitutional transfer of Presidential authority in February 1996.
One of the lessons we learned in Haiti is that we celebrated the success of the elections in December 1990 prematurely and in retrospect the international monitors who provided security and stability for the elections were withdrawn too soon. We should not make that mistake again. The UN force is scheduled to leave in February 1996. I believe some significant international presence should remain in the country for at least the next 12 months to provide an umbrella of security and stability while the new government gets on its feet and a new internal balance of forces is established. That international presence might include the civilian human rights monitors and police trainers and monitors. It need not and probably should not include U.S. forces.
The Committee should consider some temporary, special lax incentives to lure assembly sector factories that fled Haiti following the coup to return and re-establish operations. I know that OPIC is providing loan guarantees and that some assembly sector plants are back in business. Yet the sad reality is that once relocated many of these plants may never return since they can enjoy the same trade preferences under CBI in neighboring countries. Perhaps some temporary tax incentives or relief could be crafted with minimal budget impact that would provide incentive for those factories to return. These remain among the few wage earning jobs for ordinary Haitians. Dollar for dollar, this might be a more cost effective way to promote economic development then direct aid.
One final point. We Americans are an impatient people. Our attention span is sometimes short. Places and crises that once galvanized the attention of the Congress and Executive like El Salvador have largely fallen off our national radar screen. But in these countries, as in Haiti, we need to stay the course given the enormous commitment of U.S. resources and prestige that has already been expended.
During the crisis in Haiti, much was written about the Haitians who set off in leaky boats for our shores. But less was written about the vast majority of Haitians who stayed, many risking their lives and safety, to keep alive the flame of democracy. I remember well the pride and dignity that one could sense in the air on election day in 1990. And I remember marvelling as well on inauguration day in February 1991 as ordinary Haitians spontaneously scrubbed the streets of Port au Prince to celebrate their hard won freedom. The Haitian people have enormous dignity and talent waiting to be set free for the betterment of their country. We have an historic opportunity to help them begin their democratic experiment again. This may not be the most popular issue politically, but that opportunity remains a calling worthy of a great and noble country like the United States.
Testimony of Allen Weinstein President and CEO The Center for Democracy
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. My name is Allen Weinstein, and I am President of The Center for Democracy, a non-profit and non-partisan foundation, Washington-based, created in 1985 to assist in strengthening the democratic process, especially in countries undergoing a transition to democracy. Since 1991, the Center has worked in Haiti and, with Haitian leaders, in the United States to help facilitate democratization in that country through various programs. We have been working with the Haitian ) Parliament, cooperating with pro-democratic Haitian business and political
leaders, and assisting municipal officials. My testimony today reflects personal perspectives and in no sense is an organizational statement on behalf of The Center for Democracy.
I have appended to this testimony a description of Center programs related to Haiti. These efforts have led to a half dozen personal visits, together with other Center Directors and staff, to that country since last September. Perhaps my most productive and memorable recent visit occurred shortly after the arrival of U.S. troops on the island last September. Traveling by military transport and encouraged by the Administration, our staff worked with the newly-reconvened Haitian Parliament as it debated and passed the amnesty bill, which sped Generals Cedras and Biamy into exile, clearing the way for President Aristide's return.
At that time, Mr. Chairman, Haiti was the subject of impassioned and elaborate debate in this country as pro- and anti-Aristide, pro- and anti-occupation, arguments raged in Congress and in the country. Today, for the moment, Haiti no longer dominates national debate as an issue; the argument over intervention has been overtaken by the reality of occupation. America's immediate goal, that of restoring President Aristide to power, was achieved four months ago. Unfortunately, our larger mission of facilitating development in Haiti of democratic institutions and processes, has proceeded since then fitfully and (at best) unevenly.
The burden of my testimony is to urge this Committee, the Congress and the Administration to pursue on a bipartisan basis an accelerated and focused program of support in the five weeks ahead, prior to formal transfer of troop authority on the island from United States to United Nations command on March 31, measures that will lay essential groundwork for a lasting democratic system. Now that the United States has returned Jean Bertrand Aristide to Haiti, it must use its remaining weeks of virtually-complete authority to help the Haitian people pursue the even more difficult mission of building democratic structures and habits atop the ruins of tyranny.
A decade ago, testifying before the Senate at another watershed in the struggle for democracy, I noted that the country in question prior to an historic election (in that case, the Philippines) stood poised between hope and despair. The words apply to Haiti today. Haiti confronts in the next critical five weeks the departure of half the remaining U.S. troop complement, de jure transfer of
authority from American to United Nations control and, most importantly, a defining moment of preparation for the parliamentary and municipal elections now scheduled for June. Disquieting revelations in the media earlier this week of the Haitian government's apparent ignoring of the vetting process to screen out human rights violators, injecting instead hundreds of police trainees without prior U.S. consultation, has only added to the unresolved questions regarding selection and control of Haiti's fledgling professional police force. This hearing is especially timely, Mr. Chairman, coming also while a new mission by President Carter, General Powell and Senator Nunn conducts its own on-the-ground review of the Haitian situation five months after "Operation Uphold Democracy" was begun and four months after President Aristide's return.
On its face, the American restoration of the Aristide government appears different from earlier U.S. ventures into military-backed democratization. In Haiti-unlike post-World War II West Germany and Japan, much less our mini-expeditionary forces to Grenada and Panama during the past decade-the United States has acted in concert with and under the framework of United Nations resolutions. In Haiti, also uniquely, the U.S. has shared authority not only with U.N. officials but with a restored President.
But in the end, as in these other instances, assuring democracy in Haiti has been and will continue to be in the foreseeable future primarily an American responsibility. For that reason, the U.S. military and civil personnel responsible for coordinating our occupation of Haiti in all ranks deserve our gratitude for the skill, tact and bravery with which they have implemented the policy.
As a result, democracy's beachhead has been secured in Haiti and at minimal cost thus far in American or Haitian lives. Now, however, in the five weeks remaining prior to turning over primary responsibility for Haid to the United Nations, the moment has come for the United States to lead decisively the process of helping to consolidate a democratic future for all Haitians. I believe that four major efforts to be taken under American leadership, in cooperation with Haitian and U.N. authorities during the month-plus ahead, if achieved, can help to confirm an unprecedented 'politics of hope" on the island. If not taken now, however, the bright promise of a new beginning which U.S. soldiers brought to Haiti while dispersing the entrenched oppressors may quickly turn to popular disillusionment. These four steps are crucial:
1. Consolidating democracy for Haiti requires immediately energizing a sluggish and divisive Pre-election prpcc. Electoral conditions minimally acceptable to the broad spectrum of Haitian political parties and leaders, whether pro- or anti-Aristide. must be created. An election constitutionally stipulated in late-1994 now slouches toward possible achievement in June '95 under U.N./O.A.S. auspices despite horrendous procedural difficulties. These include
an absence of current voter roils and an electoral council comprised largely of partisan novices. Political parties remain disorganized and mainly unfunded. There are no campaign groundrules, and one over-riding concern permeates the entire political atmosphere-a fear for personal security.
Guaranteeing security for political candidates and their supporters remains a Herculean task in a country filled with hidden weaponry. Dealing with thousands of disbanded, discredited and largely unemployed former soliders and~ at the other political extreme-angry and potentially-violent "popular" associations will require a coordinated effort by international observers and military personnel throughout Haiti. In this effort, American leadership will be required to encourage consensus among the major political groupings so that they choose to participate fully, without threat of withdrawal on grounds of unfairness should defeat loom. Persistent American oversight of every aspect of the electoral process during the weeks ahead will help to catalyze a process now assigned to United Nations responsibility.
Nor is the election of parliamentary and municipal officials in June the only concern in this respect. Haiti will elect a new President in December '95, and Jean Bertrand Aristide made a solemn commitment both prior to his return and since then HOI to be a candidate for re-election (something which the Haitian constitution proscribes). President Aristide has insisted that he will preside over a fair and free presidential election, handing over power (for the first time in two centuries of Haitian history) to his elected successor. The President deserves praise for this pledge, made more generous still by the years he spent while in exile deprived of his office. The international community must help Aristide assure that such a peaceful transfer of power occurs at year's end.
2. In order to reduce the residue of Haiti's historic climate of fear, ironclad procedures mutt he installed for verifying that the officer corps and recruits in the country's new police force now undergoing training respond to professional and not political direction. Otherwise, we will witness the replacement of the old, blatantly oppressive military with merely a newer, subtler but no less oppressive "police." Efforts from whatever quarter in Haiti to employ alleged human rights violators, insert recruits unvetted by American experts, and otherwise undermine professional training procedures for the new-hopefully, community-based-police cadre in the country will badly injure its credibility at the outset and open the road to future abuses.
Continued close monitoring of the police training process by experienced U.S. Department of Justice and military personnel should be the norm. Any Haitian officials or government advisors incapable of adapting to this demanding standard of police behavior should be replaced. The model displayed by American troops and those of other nations in Haiti toward ordinary citizens-an
exemplary courtesy, restraint and fairness as they pursue quasi-police duties-must not be subverted in the arduous process of training the new Haitian police force. Preventing the integrity of a largely-U.S. based professional police training program from being undermined, Mr. Chairman, will require special vigilance in the weeks ahead. Here, as in safeguarding Haiti's fragile and incomplete new electoral process, American political will and leadership can mean the difference between nominal and genuine compliance with international norms.
3. Strengthening and accelerating nation?! reconciliation is immediately essential lo the, establishment of democratic habits in Haiti. For two centuries, Haitian political losers have felt unsafe, going into hiding or exile-but net into domestic opposition. The practice of protected political opposition has little meaning for most Haitians. At a time when there are few political guidelines for the elections to come and a negligible number of functioning institutions, it is little wonder that many Kaitians-especially those who have opposed Aristide in the past-assume that the older habits will prevail. Despite the President's admirable and continuing calls for national reconciliation and not vengeance, the degree of disbelief among his adversaries has remained high. Comparably intense, also, is the measure of anxiety among Aristide supporters concerning the potential for violent assaults upon their ranks from armed and unregenerate "attaches" or former Haitian soldiers, especially once "the Americans" have gone or been further reduced in numbers. Given the evident absence of security for ordinary Haitians of all political viewpoints, I trust it will not appear hopelessly naive on my part to suggest that the process of national reconciliation in Haiti would benefit from some immediate steps under American leadership in the remaining weeks of our mandate. These specific actions could include:
convening (as a number of Haitian political leaders have suggested) a "national dialogue" prior to the parliamentary and municipal elections, one comparable to those which helped to develop civic links across party lines in countries elsewhere with few democratic traditions (like Haiti) such as Nicaragua;
e encouraging adoption by consensus of a formal "code of conduct" among key political, governmental, economic and civic leaders in Haiti to define the conditions and limits on political behavior during the two elections which lie ahead this year, a code which deals voluntarily with acceptable-and proscribed-eonduct during the campaign months;
recognizing the institutional legitimacy (through maintaining official contacts, for example) of the remaining handful of legally-elected Haitian Senators (with the entire Chamber of Deputies and all other Senators now up for election), thus acknowledging the Haitian Parliament's institutional continuity and importance as an independent and co-equal branch of government (rather than neglecting Parliament, as the U.S. has largely done since President Aristide's return).
These are only some of the practical steps which the United States could take in the weeks ahead to assist in national reconciliation. They would reaffirm our commitment to the primacy of democratic process and procedure over personality in Haitian policy. Such actions would have special relevance today, when there does not exist in Haiti even the beginnings of an independent and effective judicial system.
4. Helping the newly resurgent Haitian private sector, especially the pro-democratic businessmen and women anxious to rejoin the inter-American market system, is vital in developing Haitian democracy. Although economic discussion of the Haitian situation falls more properly within the realm of expertise elsewhere on this panel, it is appropriate for me to point out the courage and energy of a number of Haitian businessmen and women with whom The Center for Democracy has worked individually and through organizations such as The Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy (known by its French acronym CLED). Not only did they publicly support restoration of President Aristide at some personal risk prior to his return. Just as importantly, they have rejected the traditional Haitian "business" pattern of seeking and dispensing government-supported preferences for politically-favored entrepreneurs. If my friends within Haiti's business community-which was devastated by the embargo's impact-have a common complaint, it has been with the elephantine pace of delivering the support measures promised by the various mega-packages of economic aid periodically announced by the U.S. and/or the "international community."
Surely a country such as ours, which could draft and begin implementing assistance to all of devastated post-World War II Europe through the Marshall Plan in a matter of months, can finally in the weeks ahead respond to the job-creating proposals of Haiti's responsible business leaders. Otherwise, where do the unemployed and desperately-poor majority of Haitians turn in pursuit of a decent economic future, if not to an activated local private sector?
Each of the goals previously described, Mr. Chairman, can be addressed dramatically and effectively by American leaders in the five weeks remaining prior to handing over our unilateral responsibilities to officials representing the United Nations. Each is an interrelated factor in the overall mosaic of democratization in Haiti: assuring fair and free elections, guaranteeing personal security under professional police protection, encouraging genuine national reconciliation, and supporting the revival of a strong private sector.
Nor is funding the primary problem; rather, the major difficulty has been in reassessing the American mission in Haiti to focus on today's-not yesterday's-realities and imperatives. If democracy in Haiti is not to be left on the beachhead, American leadership must recognize that we have dawdled long enough. Sadly, we have watched while our Haitian friends did likewise. The time has come to move out: to recognize that our initial goal, that of restoring President Aristide to power beyond challenge, has been achieved. That was then; this is now.
Five weeks from now, we must leave as our legacy to the United Nations command and to the Haitian people a coordinated framework to sustain and consolidate democratic procedures in the months and years ahead. Achieving that framework will require five strenuous weeks of effort between now and the end of March, a period in which wc Americans must confront our problems in Haiti as candidly as our initial success. In that fashion, we can best seize our opportunity to extend and develop what nascent democracy has already achieved in Haiti during its five fragile months of existence.
Testimony of Pater B. Johnaon Executive Director, Caribbean/Latin American Action
Commitee on International Relation* U.S. House of Representative* February 24, 1995
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee I
My nana is Pater Johnson. I am executive director of Caribbean/Latin American Action, a private, non-profit group dedicated to promoting economic development in the Caribbean and Latin America. C/LAA is familiar to some of you, since we have worked together frequently over the years on issues pertaining to the Caribbean Basin, but I would like to state for the record that Caribbean/Latin American Action was founded to help people in Caribbean Basin countries become more prosperous through the growth of trade, investment and other business activities reflecting vigorous and progressive private sectors and supportive public policies,
I am here on behalf of the Board of Trustees of C/LAA to express our deep concern over the increasingly desperate unemployment situation in Haiti, and to urge you to consider what types of actions on the part of the U.S. Government might moat easily and most quickly put Haitians to work. Unless the urgency of this situation is recognized and some remedial action is taken quickly, there is a grave danger that everything the United States is trying to do in Haiti will be lost.
My testimony today will focus on three thingsi the current situation and prospects in Haiti, the importance of the assembly manufacturing and light agricultural sectors for jumpstarting the Haitian economy, and the need for a mors pro-aotive U.S. approach toward restarting those sectors.
The Haiti ChallengeAn Update
Let us first look briefly at the situation that confronts U.S. policymakers in Haiti in light of the stated objectives of the U.S. intervention. Both the military intervention and the embargo that preceded it were intended to uphold the principle of democratic government in the Hemisphere by restoring President Aristide to his elected office and by creating the conditions for lasting democracy in Haiti. It was clear from the outset that ousting the military usurpers would be, at best, the beginning and not the end of that ambitious assignment.
To institutionalize democracy in a nation whose entire history has been hostile to it, at a time when its always-poor economy lies in total ruin, is an enormous undertaking, fraught with uncertainties and defying cheap or quick solutions. No one can be sure any policy will achieve the desired end. But a well designed policy can go far toward making success at least possible, by trying to remove the impediments that make failure almost inevitable.
In Haiti the survival of democracy translates into simple, primitive short-term objectives I the survival of President Aristide, the survival of his government throughout its constitutional tern, the survival of the fragile constitutional process itsalf by the timely and proper holding of the elections, and the peaceful transition of power to his successor.