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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Rice Confirmation Hearings Part 1

Aired January 18, 2005 - 08:59   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: The president's choice for secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, locking horns with senators at her confirmation hearing. Tough questions for a tough job. And all starting right now on this AMERICAN MORNING.
ANNOUNCER: From the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is AMERICAN MORNING with Soledad O'Brien and Bill Hemmer.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody, from New York. A very close eye on Washington at this hour. Just moments away from the confirmation hearing for Condoleezza Rice. Take you inside the Hart Office Building on Capitol Hill.

She is not in the room yet. Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd are, as the senators start to trickle into the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It will get under way momentarily. Again, we have not seen Dr. Rice, but any moment now we do expect her to come into this room.

Everyone expects Rice to be confirmed. That does not mean, though, that she will have smooth sailing today, or if this goes a second day, tomorrow. Democrats expected to ask some tough questions about 9/11 and also about Iraq. Expected to be topics one and two today on Capitol Hill -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: And, of course, today's goal is to set the tone and set the agenda. We're going to bring that confirmation hearing to you live, the whole thing.

Also, helping us cover the story this morning from Washington, D.C., is Jeff Greenfield, our senior analyst. Suzanne Malveaux is at the White House. Ed Henry is our congressional correspondent. We're going to be talking with all of them for analysis this morning.

HEMMER: We'll keep watching this room, certainly.

First to the headlines, quickly, and Heidi Collins, who has that.

Good morning.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning to you guys. And good morning, everybody.

Want to get straight to a story coming to us this morning out of Spain. There has been a bombing in Spain's Basque region. We are just getting word of this coming into CNN now. We're going to keep you posted on the details. So far, there's reports of at least one injury there. Again, we'll follow that story and bring you the very latest details just as soon as we get them.

Turning to Iraq now, officials there announcing they will expand restrictions ahead of the elections. Borders will close from January 9 until the 31st.

Soledad now.

O'BRIEN: And, of course, Iraq's going to be foremost of on some of the senators' minds this morning as they question Condoleezza Rice. There she is. She's just arrived for the start of her confirmation hearing. It's supposed to get under way any moment.

The order of the day today is that Condoleezza Rice will speak. In addition to that, she'll be hearing from remarks from the committee chairman, Senator Richard Lugar, and the ranking Democrat, Senator Joseph Biden, as well. And then questions and answers this morning from the Republican and Democratic committee members.

There is Dr. Rice taking -- taking her seat. Obviously, lots of interest in this, although, as many people have pointed out, to a large degree she's a shoo-in. But she will set the tone and set the agenda for President Bush's next four years in office, certainly on the foreign policy front. Many questions as well about just how she's going to be able to handle some tough customers.

HEMMER: It was back in April, Soledad, when she testified in front of the 9/11 Commission. And we got a lot of questions there about intelligence before the attacks of September 11, how the White House, how the administration, how she handled that evidence and that information.

We expected here today talk about diplomacy. And to borrow a view phrases that have been given us, to CNN here in advance, "We must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom. And the time for diplomacy," she's expected to say, "is now."

With regard to the Middle East, she says, "The stakes could not be higher." With regard to public diplomacy, "Our interaction with the rest of the world must be a conversation and not a monologue."

O'BRIEN: Of course, her close relationship with President Bush is what some critics have said, not a good thing in that he has surrounded himself with people that think very much like he does. Others have said not at all, it's actually a big positive. As she goes to meet with foreign leaders everywhere, it will be very clear to them just how much weight and how much -- how much here -- that relationship has, certainly in those relationships with other leaders of foreign countries. So it will be interesting to see if any of the committee members have questions for her on that front.

We've got Jeff Greenfield joining us, of course, in Washington, D.C., for this, this morning, all the way through the inauguration in the next couple of days.

Jeff, you know, we were talking a little bit earlier about this close relationship with the president. And while we have a moment before this hearing gets under way, let's talk a little bit about some of the criticism. Some have said she's been so committed to the president's vision that sort of losing sight of the forest for the trees to some degree. What do you think of those critics?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: I think it really depends on whether you think the secretary of state should be a more independent voice, the way Secretary of State Colin Powell was said to be in that first term. I mean, the advantage, as Richard Holbrooke pointed out today in a "Washington Post" op-ed, is when she speaks to foreign leaders, there's no question that she is speaking for the president.

If you think that part of the problem in Iraq now is that dissenting voices wash it out of the process. And someone who is that close to the president's not going to provide it.

I just want to point out one quick thing. Seated next to Condoleezza Rice is Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, a Democrat who will introduce her, because she was provost at Stanford University before taking on the national security job. That's a bit of bipartisanship here that -- we'll see how much that lasts.

O'BRIEN: All right, Jeff. Thank you very much. We're going to continue to check in with you. Let's listen in on the hearing.

(INTERRUPTED BY LIVE EVENT)

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R-IN), CHMN., FOREIGN RELATIONS CMTE.: I want to introduce Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mel Martinez of Florida and Barack Obama of Illinois.

We're delighted that you have chosen to be on this committee. And we assure you that we will have activity and, we hope, progress. We appreciate you're coming with us.

Appreciate all members' attendance this morning.

We will proceed with an opening statement that I will give. In the event that the distinguished ranking member Senator Biden arrives during that time, he will then deliver his statement. If he does not, he'll deliver the statement following Dr. Rice's statement and before our questioning.

And I will ask, after the two opening statements, our distinguished colleague from California, Senator Feinstein, to introduce Dr. Rice.

The Committee on Foreign Relations meets today to consider the nomination of Dr. Condoleezza Rice to be secretary of state.

We are especially pleased to welcome Dr. Rice to the committee.

As a result of her distinguished service as national security adviser to President Bush and her earlier assignments on the NSC, she is well-known to many members of this committee. And we admire her accomplishments.

We're particularly thankful for the cooperation that she has provided to this committee in its work.

The enormously complex job before Dr. Rice will require all of her talents and experience.

American credibility in the world, progress in the war on terrorism, our relationships with our allies will be grateful affected by the secretary of state's actions and the effectiveness of the State Department in the coming years. Dr. Rice is highly qualified to meet those challenges.

We recognize the deep personal commitment necessary to undertake this difficult assignment. And we're grateful that a leader of her stature is willing to step forward.

The secretary of state serves as the president's top foreign policy adviser, as our nation's most visible emissary to the rest of the world, as a manager of one of the most important departments of our government.

Any one of those jobs would be a challenge for even the most talented public servant. But the secretary of state at this critical time in our history must excel in all three roles.

Since 2001, we have witnessed terrorists killing thousands of people in this country and destroying the World Trade Center and a part of the Pentagon.

We have seen United States military personnel engaged in two difficult and costly wars. We've seen the expansion of a nihilistic form of terrorism that is only loosely attached to political objectives, and is therefore very difficult to deter. We've seen frequent expressions of virulent anti-Americanism in many parts of the Islamic world. We have seen our alliances, our international standing and our budget strained by hard choices we've had to make in response to terrorism.

In this context, many diplomatic tasks must be approached with urgency.

In particular, our success in Iraq is critical. The election scheduled for January 30 must go forward. And the United States must work closely with Iraqi authorities to achieve the fairest and most complete outcome possible.

At the same time, you must understand that those forces that want to keep Iraq in chaos will commit violence and intimidation, and both Iraqis and the coalition will have to be resilient and flexible in the election's aftermath.

The Bush administration and the State Department also must devote themselves to achieving a settlement of the Arab/Israeli conflict; to coming to grips with the nuclear proliferation problems in Iran and North Korea; to continuing urgent humanitarian efforts in Sudan, the Indian Ocean region and elsewhere; to maintaining our commitment to the global fight against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases; to advancing democracy in Afghanistan, Ukraine and elsewhere; to repairing alliances with longstanding friends in Europe; to reinvigorating our economic and security relationships in our own hemisphere; and to engaging with rapidly changing national powers, especially China, India and Russia.

Well, even though this list of diplomatic priorities is daunting, it is not exhaustive and does not anticipate unforeseeable events.

Just weeks ago, none of us could have predicted that an earthquake and a tsunami would change the face of the Indian Ocean region. And our efforts must include the expansion of our foreign policy capabilities so we're better prepared for crises that cannot be averted and better able to prevent those that can be.

I would like to outline a handful of initiatives brought forward by this committee on which I would ask for your assistance.

First, the committee intends to report out a foreign affairs authorization bill no later than March.

With the support of the Senate leadership, I'm confident the obstacles -- the Senate passes we have encountered in the past will be overcome.

It is crucial that the executive branch, especially the State Department, work together with our committee on this legislation. Not only does the authorization fund the department and foreign affairs programs, it also contains personnel and other authorities important for the department to carry on its work.

We will be calling upon you for your advice and to exercise your considerable persuasive power at key moments as the legislation works its way through Congress.

Second, the Bush administration must continue its efforts to safeguard and destroy vulnerable stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

To this end, I plan to reintroduce legislation designed to eliminate impediments to the Nunn-Lugar program. And my bill would drop conditions on weapons dismantlement work that in the past have slowed or threatened to slow the urgent task of eliminating nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

Furthermore, the legislation removes the $50 million cap on the president's ability to utilize Nunn-Lugar funds outside the former Soviet Union.

I will also reintroduce the Conventional Arms Threat Reduction Act, designed to improve the State Department's efforts to combat proliferation of advanced conventional weapons, including MANPADS. The bill would unify program planning, coordination and implementation of a global strategy...

HEMMER: Richard Lugar is the chairman of this committee. As he concludes his remarks, we've seen a number of shots of Condoleezza Rice. If confirmed -- and that is what is anticipated -- she'll be the first African-American to hold the position as U.S. secretary of state. The last national security adviser to be elevated to secretary of state, Henry Kissinger.

She's expected to be confirmed, and that may take place, actually, on Thursday morning, shortly before the inauguration of President Bush on Capitol Hill, which would make two headlines in one day out of Washington. Condoleezza Rice just turning 50 back in November. November 14, 1954, born in Birmingham, Alabama, at a time great accomplishments for this woman throughout the past 50 years of her life. Not to mention, being raised in the segregated South of Birmingham, Alabama, provost at Stanford, a concert pianist. The list goes on and on for the accomplishments of what she has done in the past 50 years.

O'BRIEN: And as you mentioned, she would be the first African- American woman who would be the secretary of state. Obviously Colin Powell, African-American, who was her predecessor in this role.

You sit here and watch her face as she listens to some of the remarks by Senator Lugar. We're also expecting to hear from Senator Biden as well. They present their own agenda and sort of set up what the plan will be for the rest of the day, because it will be a long day for her in many ways, just time-wise.

The plan is to essentially listen to remarks, then have questions by the panel. They'll take a break for lunch, then pick it up again. And as you say, could even continue into the next day.

HEMMER: Four years ago, in 2000, Colin Powell breezed through in four-and-a-half hours. And he was finished.

O'BRIEN: Exactly. Four-and-a-half hours was considered breezing through. He was, of course, a superstar in his arena. And many people have said that she's got some very big shoes to fill, although you have the fact that she is significantly, I think it is fair to say, closer to President Bush than Colin Powell was. And it may, in some ways, the closeness of that relationship, help her to have the ear of the president and -- and certainly allow less friction than you saw with Colin Powell's reign as secretary of state during his four years, the first four years of President Bush.

HEMMER: Outside of the president, she will be the spokesperson for U.S. foreign policy in this country and around the world. Expected today to sketch out her vision for U.S. foreign policy. Expected to emphasize the need to promote democracy in the Middle East, especially as it pertains to Iraq right now.

Only 12 days away from the expected elections on January 30. And also the continuing crisis between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

She will also talk about reform efforts for U.S. diplomacy. How she will address that today remains to be seen. I mentioned Middle East peace and also fighting the spread of HIV-AIDS, which really has not been on the front burner given the events overseas, especially as they pertain to Iraq today.

O'BRIEN: She has released her statement, what she plans to certainly present to the committee members and the chairs as well this morning. And she said in part in this statement, "I will work with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to build a strong bipartisan consensus behind America's foreign policy." And certainly, if any of the word from President Bush is any indication, that will be a focus of not only Condoleezza Rice, but the entire administration.

We, of course, have numerous folks standing by for us this morning to talk a little bit about what lies ahead. Let's check in with Jeff Greenfield as he continues to stand by for us.

To some degree, Jeff, without sounding disrespectful, but what does it matter? I mean, she's a shoo-in for this. There is not one person who will come out and say Condoleezza Rice is not going to be confirmed today. So is it just that questions will be tough and pointed?

GREENFIELD: Yes. Senate committees traditionally, except when there's a real contention on confirmation, they're forums for senators to put on the record problems they will have. And this committee has a very strong tradition.

Back in 1966, when Senator Fulbright, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, convened hearings on the Vietnam War, that was first real national public debate on a war that seemed to be going south. This was also the committee that helped block Woodrow Wilson's efforts to get the United States into the League of Nations under Senator William Borah.

So this is a committee that is often seen as a counterweight on the Hill to executive power in foreign policy. I mean, we always talk about the president having significant, if not almost total foreign policy power. The Senate, and particularly the Foreign Relations Committee, is a counterweight.

I also point out that on this committee you have John Kerry, who ran for president in November; Richard Lugar, who tried to run for president in '96; Joe Biden, the ranking member, who ran for president in 1988; Chuck Hagel, of Nebraska, who may well be running in 2008; and freshman Senator Barack Obama, who has already been talking about it. So these hearings are also a place for people who have a national sense of their own -- their own place and ambitions to put on the record their concerns about foreign policy, their beliefs, their values. So I think it's a pretty significant forum -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: We should mention, Jeff, we've been showing some shots of folks laughing, Condoleezza Rice and also Senator Joseph Biden, who has shown up. He was a little delayed and apparently explained to the committee somewhat out of breath that he couldn't get a train. And that brought a little bit of laughter and I'm sure a little bit of a tension easier for Dr. Rice, who has been looking a little tense as, of course, this is a very big day for her.

I think it's Joe Biden now who is going to take the mike and continue making, as we continue through this process, making his remarks for the next five minutes or so. There he is. And lay out his, as you mentioned, Jeff, his agenda and sort of the issues that are forefront in his mind as the next four years approach. Let's listen to a little bit about what -- what concerns and issues Senator Biden has.

(INTERRUPTED BY LIVE EVENT)

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), RANKING MEMBER, FOREIGN RELATIONS CMTE.: As you know as well as anyone, America faces two overriding national security challenges in this century: We must first win the struggle between freedom and radical Islamic fundamentalism and, in my view, and with the leadership of this chairman of this committee, Senator Lugar, keep the world's most dangerous weapons away from its most dangerous people.

To prevail, we obviously have to be strong, but we also have to be smart, wielding the force of our ideas and our ideals, as well as the force of our arms.

Today, after a necessary war in Afghanistan and an optional war in Iraq, we are rightly confident in the example of our power, but we sometimes forget the power of our example.

Foreign policy is not a popularity contest, as you well know. We have to confront hard issues. And sometimes it simply requires us to make hard choices that other countries don't like.

But above all, these hard decisions require American leadership, the kind that persuades others to follow. We've been having a tough time doing that the past few years; that is, persuading others to follow.

Clearly, we pay a price, in my view, for being the world's sole superpower. We inspire as much envy and resentment as we do admiration and gratitude, even if we do everything correctly, in my view.

But the fact is relations with many of our oldest friends are, quite frankly, scraping the bottom right now and we need to heed the advice of the president of the United States just before his first inaugural when he talked about acting with humility as well as force.

In the Muslim world, despite the hundreds of thousands of Muslims that we have helped save in Somalia, in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and yes, in my view, in Iraq as well, our motives are still suspect, our actions are resented and, as bizarre as it sounds to most Americans, the polls show that Osama bin Laden has a higher approval rating than not only President Bush but than America as a whole in most of those areas.

And the result is, despite our great military might, we are, in my view, more alone in the world than we have been in anytime in recent memory and the time for diplomacy, in my view, is long overdue. As a result, we're in, in my view, a less secure position than we should be in the world. That's because virtually all the threats we face, from terrorism to the spread of weapons of mass destruction, to rogue states flouting the rules, to the pandemic diseases that we face now and will face, none of them can be solved solely by American soldiers by themselves.

America is much more secure working with and reaching out to others than it is walking alone.

HEMMER: As Joe Biden continues, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, let's bring in Ed Henry right now to give a little more insight as to what we anticipate once the question and the answer begins.

Ed, what do you have for us on the Democratic side there?

ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning again, Bill.

It looks like we're hearing from senior Democratic aides that Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California is really going to become the attack dog today. We're being told that she now is circulating an online petition, going after Condoleezza Rice, saying that she needs to be held accountable during this nomination process. Also, that Senator Boxer through her PAC is running some ads on liberal blogs and is saying that Condi Rice has to be held accountable.

In her opening statement -- we've obtained a little bit of it -- Senator Boxer is going to say on the question of Iraq, Senator Boxer thinks that Condoleezza Rice overstated the threat from Saddam Hussein. And she is going to say, "I personally believe that your loyalty to the mission overwhelmed your respect to the truth."

Now, that gets to the issue that Jeff Greenfield has been talking about, about whether or not Condoleezza Rice is too close to the president, whether or not she's more interested in pushing a cause, pushing the mission, as Senator Boxer put it, or whether or not she will stand up and push her own point of view, or whether she's too close to the president. So I would look for some very aggressive questioning and some attacks from Senator Barbara Boxer.

As Jeff Greenfield noted, Condoleezza Rice used to be the provost at Stanford University. And Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is helping to introduce her to this committee. Very interesting that the other Democratic senator from California is going to be going on the attack. So look for that -- Bill.

HEMMER: Dovetails the comments Barbara Boxer made yesterday, saying -- and quoting now -- "She," meaning Condoleezza Rice, "was the key cheerleader regarding Iraq."

Michael O'Hanlon is with us again down in D.C.

How does she defend herself and stand up against this today, Michael?

MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Well, the simplest defense, of course, is simply that President Bush won re-election, even though these debates were very vivid and very central in the campaign. And at the end of the day, yes, there were some mistakes. But the overriding accomplishment of deposing Saddam Hussein and giving the Iraqi people a new chance was worth, basically, some of the downsides, some of the consequences.

And you can't always plan for everything in war. You can't always get good intelligence. You can't always be sure of what you know. But you've got to go based on the best available reading of the intelligence that you have at the time.

Those are the sorts of arguments I'm sure that she'll make. And in the end, of course, she will be confirmed because President Bush did win re-election. And so he gets to choose, to some extent, his secretary of state.

If the worst sin that she committed was to essentially be complicit in the Iraq war, the American public has already essentially said Mr. Bush did a better job on balance than his critics have alleged. So I don't think that issue will prevent her from getting this confirmation. It is still fair game to debate, however, and obviously a reminder of some of the problems that occurred on her watch in the past.

HEMMER: Michael, hang with me a second here. Back inside that room for our viewers. One person you will come to recognize on this committee is the senator from Massachusetts, John Kerry. We have not seen him at the table just yet.

He sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It will be one of the few public events we have seen him attend since losing the election to President Bush back in early November, a little more than two months ago.

Michael, can -- can Condoleezza Rice be more effective than Colin Powell as U.S. secretary of state globally?

O'HANLON: There certainly is a chance, Bill. And the reason, of course, is because of the closeness that she feels and has in the relationship with the president. Which means that you are not going to have this situation where the secretary of state as the more moderate person, relative to Cheney and Rumsfeld, is sort of on the outs.

Rice and Bush are as close as anybody else in this administration to each other. And so if Condoleezza Rice wants the president's ear, she'll always have it.

Also, he trusts her in a fundamental way that perhaps he didn't quite get to be able to trust Colin Powell, who is a political heavyweight in his own right. So in other words, Powell may have had the more distinguished resume in some ways than Rice, and certainly the longer career, but his relationship with the president was much ifier and the chemistry didn't seem to work as well as it might have with this top team in the first term. It should work better now.

HEMMER: Let me try to get back to what Ed Henry was poking away at there with Barbara Boxer, described as the lead -- the lead attack dog, I think, was the right phrase that Ed used a short time ago. We expect Condoleezza Rice to say the following thing: "The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were difficult and necessary and right."

Joe Biden's opening statement said the war in Afghanistan was necessary, the war in Iraq was optional. Are we going to go tit for tat today throughout the entire hearing regarding that very issue?

O'HANLON: To some extent. Although, as you know, Senator Biden also supported the war and did not in the end criticize what was just done. In fact, he pointed out, we saved a lot of Muslim lives in Iraq. And so I think Biden is probably in a way the more important voice here.

Certainly Boxer is going to criticize Condoleezza Rice for the mistakes in the first term. And there were plenty. And they're fair game.

But I think Biden's raising the challenge of where do we go from here, how do we repair the relationship with the Islamic world? How do we help that part of the world reform? How do we deal with the big challenges before us in the future? So I think the debate about the past will be a part of this, but probably a smaller part than as it should be, the debate about the future.

HEMMER: Michael, thanks.

We continue to watch the room here, the Hart Office Building there on Capitol Hill, as Joe Biden continues his opening remarks there.

Condoleezza Rice is an avid football fan, sports fan in general. But football fan to be specific. Football is her favorite pick. And what a time of year this is for the NFL with the conference championships coming up this weekend.

More as we listen here on Capitol Hill -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Yes. In fact, she has said she would like to be one day maybe the football commissioner. That being said, though, she's got this hurdle to get through first, which, of course, is front and center today.

Let's listen a little bit more to what Senator Joe Biden is saying as he makes his opening remarks.

(INTERRUPTED BY LIVE EVENT)

BIDEN: ... some of those pots are boiling over, starting with the nuclear program in North Korea and Iran, the dangerous backsliding of democracy in Russia, and genocide in Sudan, and the lack of focus on public diplomacy, which I hope and I expect you'll talk about. Over the past few years, North Korea has increased its nuclear capacity by as much as 400 percent and now may have as many as eight nuclear weapons, which it can test, hide or sell to the highest bidder.

You have said, quote, "It is unacceptable," end of quote, for North Korea to have nuclear weapons. What does that mean? And what do you propose to do to stop this growing threat?

Over the past few years, the reform movement in Iran has been literally crushed in front of the whole world. Surrounded by about 200,000 forces, it very openly just reached out and crushed the democracy movement.

So much for the notion of leveraging power.

Over the past four years, things have gotten considerably worse in Iran, and it has accelerated its own nuclear program. There may be nothing we can do to persuade Iran not to develop weapons of mass destruction. But our European allies are trying, through a combination of carrots and sticks.

They believe they cannot succeed unless the United States engages in this effort. And in my view -- and it may not be true; I'm anxious to hear what you have to say -- we seem to be sitting on the sidelines.

What do you propose to do to defuse or, if necessary, defeat this emerging danger?

Over the past few years, President Putin has reversed the course of democratic development, human rights and the rule of law in Russia.

The administration has been largely silent. How can we be so concerned about the advancement of democracy in the Middle East and so unconcerned about the regression in Russia?

At the same time, we've gotten little in return for turning a blind eye to Russia's regression. Just last week, the press reported -- hopefully it's not true, but I worry it may be -- that Russia is about to sell new missiles to Syria, which would threaten stability and progress toward peace in the Middle East.

One of the most important programs to protect American security, the effort to help Russia account for, secure and destroy weapons of mass destruction and related materials, has become mired in red tape that the two presidents need to cut through.

How are we going to approach this problem? How are you going to approach it as secretary of state?

And finally, the administration has done, in my view, an admirable job of promoting peace between north and south in Sudan, but in Darfur we have watched the terrible tragedy unfold, as militias supported by the Sudanese government have killed as many as 100,000 civilians and chased as many as 2 million from their homes. I literally, as I was getting off the train, spoke to John Danforth who called me. He said he hoped I would keep an open mind about the notion of carrots and sticks to deal with this problem.

I'd like to know how it seemed as though that process worked in Libya. I can't believe had we not made the concessions or agreements we made relative to oil and their ability to produce more in cooperation from the West and us in particular, I doubt very much in my meeting that -- I want to be precise -- when I went to meet with Gadhafi I believe at the president's request, I know it was at yours -- I am confident that -- and I think you did an incredible job -- I'm confident it wouldn't have happened unless there were carrots as well. The last four years we've not seen many carrots but there, and that process started earlier.

Four months ago before this committee, Secretary Powell rightly called what was going on in Sudan genocide. Since then the situation has gotten worth. What do you believe the administration and Congress can do now to stop this slaughter and to help African allies develop their own peacekeeping capacity?

There's much, much more to talk about and will not be able to be talked about here at this hearing -- relations with emerging powers like China, faultline friends like India and Pakistan, long-time allies in Europe and Asia and, closer to home, the trouble -- the trouble but ignored in many respects, Latin America.

I spent a little bit of time in Europe recently and I have one simple message: Get over it. Get over it. President Bush is our president for the next four years, so get over it and start to act in your interest, Europe. But that requires us to engage the hoped for diplomacy, more from the gentlelady from Stanford.

We want to hear your thoughts about bolstering capacity to handle post-conflict reconstruction.

I listened on the radio and I know you spoke about that.

Chairman Lugar has drafted important legislation to do just that, which I was pleased to co-sponsor. And I hope you'll support it.

And I intend to ask you about the source of an urgent opportunity: the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Abu Mazen's election provide a rare second chance to forge a lasting secure peace in Israel and to give the Palestinians a state of their own. I'd like to know what you believe we should do to seize this opportunity and how urgent you think it is.

But let me end with something you've talked about and that I hope you'll elaborate on today: putting diplomacy back at the center of American foreign policy.

I strongly agree that this is a time for new diplomatic offensive with old friends, rising powers, and even hostile regimes. But it has to be sustained, it has to be persistent, and it has to do as much listening as it does talking.

And it has to use all the tools at our disposal, our military might, but also our intelligence, our public diplomacy, our alliances, international organizations, treaties and agreements, and development assistance, trade and investment, even if it is frustrating, even if the payoff takes years, even if it takes a generation.

You often point out to me privately and to others, with some degree of accuracy, in my view, that the corresponding difficulty after World War II corresponding to the situation in Iraq.

I'm not sure how applicable it is, but one way it clearly is: a major, major, major, major piece of our post-reconstruction effort in Germany and after World War II was diplomacy, public diplomacy. We convinced many parts of the world that our ideas were ascendant, that we provided -- we provided what is needed and would provide what was needed to bring security to the region and freedom.

I remember when Lech Walesa first walked into my office like he did many of us here. He walked up, I said, "Congratulations." I said, "Solidarity, ya, da, da." He said, "No, no, no, Radio Free Europe."

And now we are faced with a new but no less dangerous set of challenges and it seems to me we have to recapture the totality of America's strength.

Above all, we must understand that those who spread radical Islamic fundamentalism and weapons of mass destruction, although they may be beyond our reach, we have to defeat them. But there are tens of millions of hearts and minds around the world that are open to America's ideas and ideals. There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world and we have to reach out to them.

So I'm looking forward to working with you to do just that. And I'm anxious to hear what you have to say, and I'll have some questions.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me to make my statement.

And again, welcome.

LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Biden.

I call now on Senator Feinstein for her introduction.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you very much, Chairman Lugar, Ranking Member Biden, distinguished members of the Foreign Relations Committee.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce a friend and fellow Californian, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, as the president's nominee to be the next secretary of state.

Dr. Rice's story began 50 years ago with her birth in Birmingham, Alabama. A precocious child, she began piano lessons at age 3, could read by 5, and skipped the 1st and 7th grades. She attended public schools before enrolling at Birmingham Southern Conservatory of Music in 1964.

Her mother and father are here in spirit today.

Her father, an educator and pastor, aptly nicknamed his only child Little Star. Today, she is, indeed, a big star.

Dr. Rice's family moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1969, where she entered an integrated school for the first time as a tenth grader.

Staying close to home, she opted for the University of Denver, and was awarded her B.A. degree with honors at the age of 19.

By this time, Dr. Rice was engrossed with Soviet military issues and the related problems of arms control. She began her graduate studies on the topic at Notre Dame, and was awarded an M.A. degree in 1975. Thereafter, she returned to the University of Denver, to finish her dissertation on the Czech military's effects on society.

Dr. Rice's career as an academician then brought her to my alma mater, Stanford University, in 1981, where she became an assistant professor of political science.

During this time, she authored "Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and Czechoslovak Army, 1948 to 1963," and continued to follow her great interest in football and piano.

From 1989 to 1991, in the first Bush administration, she proved her mettle in government for the first time as a senior director for Soviet affairs and East European affairs at the National Security Council.

President George Bush had this to say about her abilities, quote, "Condi was brilliant. She disarms the biggest of big shots. Why? Because they know she knows what she is talking about," end quote.

It was then back to Stanford in the early 1990s, where she was named provost of the university. She was the first woman, first African-American and the youngest person, at age 38, to hold the position in the school's history.

For six years, she managed a $1.5 billion school budget, 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students.

She returned to the White House as the first African-American woman to serve as national security adviser in January 2001.

As a young girl, Condi stood at the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with her father, telling him, that, quote, "Daddy, I'm barred out of there now because of the color of my skin, but one day I'll be in that house," end quote. She's delivered on that promise.

Now she is the president's choice to be our country's next secretary of state. As both the chairman and the ranking member have so well stated, American foreign policy today is at a crossroads. In Iraq, across the Middle East, in North Korea, in our relations with China and in so many other places we face major challenges.

I would submit that Dr. Rice has the skill, the judgment and the poise and the leadership to lead in these difficult times.

If confirmed, she will have the deep personal trust and confidence of the president; a real asset. She's been by his side for every crucial national security decision in the last four years.

My sense is that the president trusts her implicitly. When Dr. Rice meets with Hu Jintao or Ariel Sharon or Vladimir Putin, there will be no doubt that she speaks for and on behalf of the president of the United States.

The problems we face abroad are complex and sizable. If Dr. Rice's past performance is any indication, though, we can rest easy.

It's difficult to know ahead of time how anyone will perform as secretary of state. Time and events test vision, facile thinking and resolute problem solving.

But indeed, this is a remarkable woman that I introduce to you today, and it is with great pride that I do so.

LUGAR: Well, Senator Feinstein, we thank you for a truly remarkable introduction of our candidate.

And, Dr. Rice, before I call upon you for the opening statement, I'm going to ask you to rise and to raise your right hand so that I might administer the oath.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I do.

LUGAR: I thank you.

Please proceed with your statement.

RICE: Thank you very much.

Thank you, Chairman Lugar, Senator Biden and members of the committee.

I'd also like to thank Senator Dianne Feinstein, who, as a fellow Californian, I have admired as a leader on behalf of our state and our nation, and on whose wise counsel I have relied and will continue to rely.

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, it is an honor to be nominated to lead the State Department at this critical time, a time of challenge and hope and opportunity for America. September 11th, 2001, was a defining moment for our nation and for the world. Under the vision and leadership of President Bush, our nation has risen to meet the challenges of our time, fighting tyranny and terror and securing the blessings of freedom and prosperity for a new generation.

The work that America and our allies have undertaken and the sacrifices we have made have been difficult and necessary and right. Now is the time to build on these achievements to make the world safer and to make the world more free.

We must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom. The time for diplomacy is now.

I am humbled by President Bush's confidence in me to undertake the great work of leading American diplomacy at such a moment in history.

If confirmed, I will work with the members of this Congress, from both sides of the aisle, to build a strong bipartisan consensus behind American foreign policy. I will seek to strengthen our alliances, to support our friends, and to make the world safer and better.

It is a time to reflect on this challenge, and I do so humbly.

I will enlist the great talents of the men and women of the State Department, the foreign and civil services and our Foreign Service nationals.

And if I am confirmed, I will be especially honored to succeed a man, a man that I so admire, my friend and my mentor, Colin Powell.

Four years ago, Secretary Powell addressed this committee for the same purpose that I do now. Then as now, it was the same week that America celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

It is a time to reflect on the legacy of that great man, on the sacrifices he made, on the courage of the people he led, and on the progress our nation has made in the decade since.

I personally am indebted to those who fought and sacrificed in the civil rights movement so that I could be here today.

For me, this is a time to remember other heroes as well.

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, the old Birmingham of Bull Connor and church bombings and voter intimidation, the Birmingham where Dr. King was thrown in jail for demonstrating without a permit.

Yet, there was another Birmingham, the city where my parents, John and Angelena Rice, and their friends built a thriving community in the midst of terrible segregation. It would have been so easy for them to give in to despair and to send that message of hopelessness to their children.

But they refused to allow the limits and injustices of their time to limit our horizons.

My friends and I were raised to believe that we could do or become anything; that the only limits to our aspirations came from within. We were taught not to listen to those who said, "No, you can't."

The story of Birmingham's parents and teachers and children is a story of the triumph of universal values over adversity. And those values, a belief in democracy and liberty, and the dignity of every life and the rights of every individual, unite Americans of all backgrounds, all faiths, and all colors. They provide us a common cause in and a rallying point in difficult times and they are a source of hope to men and women across the globe who cherish freedom and work to advance freedom's cause.

And in these extraordinary times, it is the duty of all of us, legislators and diplomats and civil servants and citizens, to uphold and advance the values that are core to our identity and that have lifted millions around the world.

One of history's clearest lessons is that America is safer and the world more secure than ever and wherever freedom prevails.

It is neither an accident nor a coincidence that the greatest threats of the last century emerged from totalitarian movements. Fascism and communism differed in many ways but they shared an implacable hatred of freedom, a fanatical assurance that their way was the only way, and a supreme confidence that history was on their side.

At certain moments, it seemed that history might have been on their side.

During the first half of the 20th century, much of the democratic and economic progress of earlier decades looked to be swept away by the march of ruthless ideologies armed with terrible military and technological power.

Even after the Allied victory in World War II, many feared that Europe and perhaps the world would be forced to permanently endure half enslaved and half free.

The cause of freedom suffered a series of major setbacks: communism imposed in Eastern Europe, Soviet power dominant in East Germany, the coup in Czechoslovakia, the victory of Chinese communists, the Soviet nuclear test five years ahead of schedule, to name just a few.

In those early years, the prospect of a united, democratic Germany and a democratic Japan seemed farfetched.

Yet America and our allies were blessed with visionary leaders who did not lose their way.

They created the great NATO alliance to contain and eventually erode Soviet power. They helped to establish the United Nations and created an international legal framework for this and other institutions that have served the world well for more than 50 years.

They provided billions in aid to rebuild Europe and much of Asia.

They built an international economic system based on free trade and free markets to spread prosperity to every corner of the globe.

And they confronted the ideology and propaganda of our enemies with a message of hope and with truth.

And in the end, though the end was long in coming, their vision prevailed.

The challenges we face today are no less daunting. America and the free world are once again engaged in a long-term struggle against an ideology of hatred and tyranny and terror and hopelessness. And we must confront these challenges with the same vision and the same courage and the same boldness that dominated our post-world war period.

In these momentous times, America has great tasks and American diplomacy has great tasks.

First, we will unite the community of democracies in building an international system that is based on shared values and the rule of law.

Second, we will strengthen the community of democracies to fight the threats to our common security and alleviate the hopelessness that feeds terror.

And third, we will spread freedom and democracy throughout the globe. That is the mission that President Bush has set for America in the world and is the great mission of American diplomacy today.

Let me address each of these three tasks.

Every nation that benefits from living on the right side of freedom has an obligation to share freedom's blessings. Our first challenge is to inspire the American people and the people of all free nations to unite in common, to commonly solve problems that confront us.

NATO and the European Union and our democratic allies in East Asia and around the world will be our strongest partners in this vital work.

The United States will also continue to work to support and uphold the system of international rules and treaties that allow us to take advantage of our freedom, to build our economies and to keep us safe and secure.

We must remain united in insisting that Iran and North Korea abandon their nuclear weapons ambitions and choose instead the path of peace.

New forums that emerge from the broader Middle East and North Atlantic Initiative, offer the ideal venues to encourage economic, social and democratic reform in the world. Implementing the DOHA Development Agenda and reducing trade barriers will create jobs and reduce poverty in dozens of nations. And by standing with the freed peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan, we will continue to bring hope to millions and democracy to a part of the world where it is sorely lacking.

As President Bush said in our national security strategy, America is guided by the conviction that no nation can build a safer, better world alone. Alliances and multilateral institutions can multiply the strength of freedom-loving nations.

If I am confirmed, that core conviction will guide my actions.

Yet when judging a course of action, I will never forget that the true measure of its worth is its effectiveness.

Our second great task is to strengthen the community of democracy so that all free nations are equal to the work before us.

Free peoples everywhere are heartened by the success of democracy around the globe. Together, we must build on that success.

We face many challenges. In some parts of the world, an extremist view threatens the very existence of political liberty. Disease and poverty have the potential to destabilize whole nations and whole regions. Corruption can sap the foundations of democracy. And some elected leaders have taken illiberal steps that if not corrected could undermine hard-won progress for democracy.

We must do all that we can to ensure that nations which make the hard choices and do the hard work to join the free world deliver on the high hopes of those citizens for better lives.

From the Philippines to Colombia to the nations of Africa, we are strengthening counterterrorism cooperation with nations that have a will to fight terror, but need help with the means.

We're spending billions to fight AIDS and tuberculosis and malaria and other diseases, to alleviate suffering for millions and help end public health crises.

America has always been generous in helping countries recover from natural disasters and today we are providing money and personnel to ease the suffering of the millions afflicted by the tsunami and to help rebuild those nations' infrastructure.

We are joining with developing nations to fight corruption, instill the rule of law and create a culture of transparency.

In much of Latin America and Africa, we face the twin challenges of helping to bolster democratic change while alleviating poverty and hopelessness. We will work with reformers in those regions who are committed to the increasing opportunity for their peoples and we will insist that leaders who are elected democratically have an obligation to govern democratically.

Our third great task is to spread democracy and freedom throughout the world.

I spoke earlier of the grave setbacks to democracy in the first half of the 20th century. The second half of the century saw an advance of democracy that was far more dramatic.

In the last quarter of that century, the number of democracies in the world tripled. And in the last six months of this new century alone, we have witnessed the peaceful democratic transfer of power in Malaysia, a majority Muslim nation, and Indonesia, the country with the world's largest Muslim population.

We've seen men and women wait in line for hours to vote in Afghanistan's first ever free and fair presidential election.

We -- and I know you, Mr. Chairman; and I want to thank you for your role in this -- were heartened by the refusal of the people of Ukraine to accept a flawed election and heartened by their insistence that their democratic demands would be met.

We have watched as the people of the Palestinian territories turned out to vote in an orderly and free election.

And soon the people of Iraq will exercise their right to choose their leaders and set the course of their nation.

No less than were the last decades of the 20th century, the first decades of this new century can be an era of liberty. And we in America must do everything we can to make it so.

To be sure, in our world, there remain outposts of tyranny, and America stands with oppressed people on every continent, in Cuba and Burma, and North Korea and Iran and Belarus and Zimbabwe.

The world should really apply what Nathan Sharansky called the town square test. If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment and physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society.

And we cannot rest until every person living in a fear society has finally won their freedom.

In the Middle East, President Bush has broken with six decades of excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in hoping to purchase stability at the price of liberty.

The stakes could not be higher. As long as the broader Middle East remains a region of tyranny and despair and anger, it will produce extremists and movements that threaten the safety of America and our friends.

But there are hopeful signs that freedom is on the march.

Afghanistan and Iraq, are struggling to put dark and terrible pasts behind them and to choose a path of progress.

Afghanistan held a free and fair election and chose a president who is committed to the success of democracy and the fight against terror.

In Iraq, the people will soon take the next step in their journey toward full, genuine democracy. All Iraqis, whatever their faith or ethnicity, from Shias to Sunnis to Kurds to others, must build a common future together.

The election later this month will be an important first step, as the people of Iraq prepare to draft a constitution and hold the next round of elections, elections that will then create a permanent government.

The success of freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq will give strength and hope to reformists throughout the region and accelerate the reforms already under way.

From Morocco to Jordan to Bahrain, we are seeing elections and new protections for women and minorities and the beginnings of political pluralism.

Political, civil and business leaders have issued stirring calls for political, economic and social change. Increasingly, the people are speaking and their messages is clear: The future of this region is to live in liberty.

And the establishment of a Palestinian democracy will help to bring an end to the conflict in the Holy Land.

Much has changed since June 24, 2002, when President Bush outlined a few approach for America in the quest for peace in the Middle East and spoke the truth about what would be required to end this conflict. Now we have reached a moment of opportunity and we must seize it.

We take great encouragement from the elections just held in the Palestinian territories.

And, Senators Biden and Sununu, I want to thank you for representing the United States at those historic elections.

America seeks justice and dignity and a viable, independent and democratic state for the Palestinian people. We seek security and peace for the state of Israel.

Israel must do its part to improve the conditions under which Palestinians live and to build a better future. Arab states must join to help and deny any help or solace to those who take the path of violence.

I look forward to personally working with Palestinian and Israeli leaders and bringing American diplomacy to bear on this difficult but crucial issue. Peace can only come if all parties choose to do the difficult work.

And the time to choose peace is now, but there can be no permanent peace without an end to terror.

Building a world of hope and prosperity and peace is difficult. As we move forward, America's relations with world's global powers will be critical.

In Russia, we see that the path to democracy is uneven and that its success is not yet assured. Yet recent history shows that we can work closely with Russia on common problems.

And as we do so, you can be assured that we will continue to press the case for democracy and we will continue to make clear that protection of democracy in Russia is vital to the future of U.S.- Russian relations.

In Asia, we have moved beyond the false assumption that it is impossible to have good relations with all of Asia's powers. Our Asian alliances have never been stronger, and we will use that strength to help secure peace and prosperity.

Japan, South Korea and Australia are key partners in our efforts to deter common threats and spur economic growth.

We are building a candid, cooperative and constructive relationship with China that embraces our common interests but recognizes our considerable differences about values.

The United States is cooperating with India, the world's largest democracy, across a range of economic and security issues; this even as we embrace Pakistan as a vital ally in the war on terror and a state in transition toward a more moderate future.

In our own neighborhood, we are cooperating closely with Canada and Mexico. And with our close neighbors in Latin America, we are working to realize the vision of a fully democratic hemisphere, bound by common values and free trade.

But perhaps most importantly, we must realize that America and all free nations are facing a generational struggle against a new and deadly ideology of hatred that we cannot ignore. We need to do much more to confront hateful propaganda, dispel dangerous myths and get out the truth.

We will increase our exchanges with the rest of the world. America should make a serious effort to understand other cultures and learn foreign languages. Our interaction with the rest of the world must be a conversation, not a monologue. And America must remain open to visitors and workers and students from around the world.

We do not and will not compromise our security standards. Yet, if our public diplomacy efforts are to succeed, we cannot close ourselves off from the rest of the world. If I am confirmed, public diplomacy will be a top priority for me and for the professionals I lead. In all that lies ahead, the primary instrument of American diplomacy will be the Department of State, and the men and women of its Foreign and Civil Services and Foreign Service nationals.

The time for diplomacy is now. And the president and I will expect great things from America's diplomatic corps.

We know from experience how hard they work, the risks they and their families take, the hardships they endure. We will be asking even more of them in their service of the country and of a great cause. They will need to develop new skills and rise to new challenges.

This is a time that calls for transformational diplomacy. More than ever, America's diplomats will need to be active in spreading democracy and fighting terror and reducing poverty and doing our part to protect America's homeland.

I will personally work to ensure that America's diplomats have all the tools they need to do their jobs, from training to budgets to mentoring to embassy security.

I also intend to strengthen the recruitment of new personnel, because American diplomacy needs to constantly hire and develop top talent.

And I will seek to further diversify the State Department's workforce.

This is not just a good cause, it's a necessity. A great strength of our country is its diversity. And the signal sent to the rest of the world when America is represented abroad by people of all cultures and races and religions is an unsurpassed statement about who we are and what our values mean in practice.

Let me close with a personal reflection.

I was in government in Washington from 1989 to 1991. I was lucky enough to be the Soviet specialist in the White House at the end of the Cold War. I got to participate in the liberation of Eastern Europe and the unification of Germany, the beginnings of the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union.

It was a heady time for all of us.

But when I look back, I know that we were just merely harvesting the good decisions that had been made in 1947 and 1948 and in 1949 when Truman and Acheson and Vandenberg and Kennan and so many wise and far-sighted statesmen in the executive and legislative branches recognized that we were not in an limited engagement with communism, we were in the defining struggle of our time.

Democrats and Republicans united around a vision and policies that won the Cold War. The road was not always smooth, but the basic unity of purpose and values was there and that unity was essential to our eventual success.

No president and no secretary of state could have effectively protected American interests in such momentous times without the strong support of the Congress and from this committee.

And the same is true today. Our task and our duty is to unite around a vision and policies that will spread freedom and prosperity around the globe.

I've worked directly with many of you and in this time of great challenge and opportunity, America's co-equal branches of government must work together to advance freedom and prosperity.

In the preface to his memoirs, published in 1969, Dean Acheson wrote of the post war period that, "Those who acted in this drama did not know, nor do any of us yet know, the end," close quote.

Senators, now we know. And many of us here were witness to that end. The end was a victory for freedom, the liberation of half of a continent, the passing of a despotic empire and vindication for the wise and brave decisions made at the creation.

It is my greatest hope and my deepest conviction that the struggle we face today will someday end in a similar triumph of the human spirit. Working together, we can make it so.

Thank you very much.

LUGAR: Dr. Rice, thank you.

The committee asked you to make a comprehensive and thoughtful statement and you have certainly fulfilled our request. And we appreciate the time and effort that you have given to that statement and likewise to the responses you've given to all of our questions.

Now just for the benefit of senators and those following the hearing, during the past few weeks, senators have submitted to Dr. Rice folios of questions and they have been answered. And they will all be made a part of the record.

For the record some senators may wish to reiterate some of those questions today, but we know you will be well prepared because you have already written some remarkable answers that give us a great deal of assurance.

I've consulted with the distinguished ranking member, Senator Biden, about the format, and we have will now have a round of questions and each member will have 10 minutes. And I'll ask members to be respectful of that time so that they will not infringe upon the opportunities of others.

And then, following that, if members wish to ask additional questions, we will have a second round of 10 minutes per member. And, if required, a third and even a fourth round.

I've consulted with Dr. Rice. She is prepared for a number of hours of questions, and I appreciate that. We'll proceed at least until noon and maybe a little beyond that; commence again at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

If it appears that the hearing might be concluded at some time in the early evening, it would be my privilege to continue on and to preside and to be with any member that wishes to keep asking questions throughout that period of time.

And my hope is that members on both sides of the aisle will be prepared at the conclusion of all of the questioning, whether it should occur today or tomorrow, to have a business meeting of the committee so that we might take a vote upon this nomination and that it might be available, therefore, for action on the floor of the Senate on Thursday, January the 20th.

Dr. Frist has indicate that after 3:00 roll call votes will be in order. My prayer is that one of the roll call votes will be on this nomination.

But in any event, this is a potential road map for us to proceed through the hearing in an orderly way that is fair to all members.

And I want to make that point clear. We have offered two full days so that in the event members have a lot of questions, they will have an opportunity to raise them for a complete record of the hearing.

Now, Dr. Rice, I'll begin and I'll ask the time keeper to be as vigorous on my questions as on anyone else's for the next 10 minutes.

Let me say that last year, I introduced legislation intended to relieve the burdens placed on the Nunn-Lugar program by the Congress in the form of conditions, certifications, reporting requirements. These have occurred over many years and many were points well taken at the time as there was gross distrust of the Russians and, likewise, reason for progress sought through these restrictions.

Nevertheless, they have inhibited substantially in some years the amount of work that could be done to actually work with the Russians in cooperative threat reduction, to take warheads off of missiles, to destroy the missiles, destroy the aircraft that might fly over our country, even on the Shchuchye project, to move toward a neutralization of the chemical weapons.

So I simply ask -- the goal of my legislation is to provide President Bush with more flexibility and utilization of this program in achieving nonproliferation and dismantlement goals. Does the administration support this legislation?

RICE: Thank you, Senator Lugar.

Yes, we do. And I want to start by saying thank you very much for the tremendous leadership that you have given and that earlier Senator Nunn gave to this. And I know that a number of senators on this committee and other committees have been stalwarts in this extremely important initiative.

I'm an old student of the Soviet Union and of the Soviet military, and I really can think of nothing more important than being able to proceed with the safe dismantlement of the Soviet arsenal, with nuclear safeguards to make certain that nuclear weapons facilities and the like are well secured, and then the blending down -- as we are doing -- of a number of hazardous, potentially lethal materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons as well as, of course, you mentioned Shchuchye and the chemical weapons.

So this is an extremely important program.

I want to be clear that we do pay attention, in our relationship, to the progress or lack thereof of democracy. We pay attention and push the Russians on questions of accounting fully for their chemical weapons stockpiles, for permitting an understanding of their biological weapons programs.

But flexibility in being able to administer the program would be most welcome. And it is just an extremely important program that I think you know that we continue to push.

LUGAR: I appreciate that statement very much. And we will be working with you and the department, likewise continuing with the Department of Defense, and DITRA and the cooperative threat reduction groups who have been so helpful.

The future of U.S.-Russian cooperation on nonproliferation and dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction as contingent also upon the continuation of the Nunn-Lugar umbrella agreement that undergirds all of our efforts in this area. To date, the Kremlin has not submitted the agreement reached in 1999 to the Duma for approval.

What are your views on the prospects for the United States and Russia reaching agreement on such things as liability, tax-free status and the other issues that are covered by the umbrella agreement?

RICE: Senator Lugar, the president has raised with President Putin the issue of ratification in the Duma of the umbrella on a number of occasions, including most recently when they were at Sea Island. I'm sure that he will raise it when he sees President Putin in the next several weeks.

And we are ourselves reviewing what we may want to do about the liability procedures here.

It is extremely important that this work go forward. And to the degree that there are bureaucratic logjams that need to be broken, we've simply got to break them.

The other possibility, which is that you leave materials unsecured and you don't take as full initiative as you can under these very important programs, is simply not acceptable.

And so we are working to see how we can move this forward with the Russians. We had discussions just recently with the Russian defense minister when he was here about moving forward. So you can be assured that we're looking to break whatever bureaucratic logjams have emerged over this period of time.

LUGAR: I appreciate that response. And I'm hopeful that you will work with the president so that will be on the agenda of his meeting with President Putin. Because, clearly, President Putin is cognizant of all of these programs, but bureaucracy in Russia sometimes moves slowly, as it does in our country. To the extent that we can expedite this, this will be helpful. Because, as the president has pointed out, weapons of mass destruction or materials of mass destruction, improperly secured, are the basis for many of the terrorist threats, whether it be al Qaeda or the Russians' fear of the Chechens or whoever. It is there to be picked up and to be utilized without research and difficulty.

So these are critical items that I see and I know that you see.

Let me also mention that the G-8 meeting, the so-called 10-plus- 10-over-10 program, attempted to enlist our allies in matching the effort of about $1 billion a year that we are putting into these programs: Defense, State and Energy Departments. It's been difficult for them to do that because they do not have satisfactory umbrella agreements in most cases either.

So while the president is visiting with President Putin in behalf of the bilateral, perhaps likewise he could mention our seven allies with the G-8 that we really badly need to enlist in this type of work.

RICE: I agree completely, Senator. In fact, the president has talked to President Putin about the difficulties that others are having extending money.

I think one of the really great breakthroughs was when we came up with this Global Partnership Initiative, because it permitted to us multiply the resources that the United States was putting in by resources from Japan and Italy and Great Britain and other places. And it's important that those resources get spent.

This is one part, an extremely important part, of a broad nuclear nonproliferation initiatives agenda that we are pursuing with our allies to try and deal with this very nettlesome, difficult problem.

And, of course, also, as the president visits with the German leadership and perhaps the French leadership and what have you, they are parties to this.

RICE: They are.

LUGAR: And are hopefully eager to be a part of it.

RICE: In fact, I think the nonproliferation story is a quite remarkable story of cooperation among the major allies. We have outstanding cooperation with France and Germany and our other allies.

We have been working, for instance, in something called the Proliferation Security Initiative, which 60 countries are now party to and a number of others have expressed interest, to try to interdict -- consistent with international law to try and interdict suspicious shipments.

This has given us new means of intelligence cooperation, law enforcement cooperation, naval cooperation. And these are very important. We work best when we're putting the alliance to use and to work on difficult problems together.

LUGAR: And this is a great way to do so.

I would add in agreement, this is also important, the AMEC agreement. We have enlisted the support of Norway and friends who want to work in that area, particularly on the submarine issues and the pollution of nuclear material that may have been dumped or could be dumped without activity on our part.

Let me turn to another issue. In your answers to questions for the record -- and I cite that because I've asked this question for the record and you have responded -- I particularly appreciate your response on the Law of the Sea Convention.

You urged the committee to favorably report it out and said that you will work with the Senate leadership to bring the convention and implementing agreement to the floor vote in the 109th Congress.

And you also said the following: "Joining the convention will advance the interests of the United States military. The United States, as the country with the largest coastline and the largest exclusive economic zone, will gain economic and resource benefits from the convention. The convention will not inhibit the United States nor its partners from successfully pursuing the Proliferation Security Initiative. And the United Nations has no decision-making role under the convention in regulating uses of the oceans by any state party to the convention."

That's clearing up an issue sometimes raised by opponents of the convention.

Finally, you said, "The convention does not provide for or authorize taxation of individuals or corporations."

I cannot think of a stronger administration statement in support of the Law of the Sea Convention. Should I assume that the president would like to see this convention passed as soon as possible?

RICE: Would certainly like to see it pass as soon as possible.

And, Senator, I think you know the history of this better than I, as well as senators like Senator Warner and others who worked very hard to make sure that some of the early concerns about the convention were addressed and that the convention as it now stands serves our national security interests, serves our economic interests. And we very much want to see it go into force.

LUGAR: I thank you for that response.

In your responses to questions for the record, you embraced the partner's role as the lead on an interagency team working for a more cooperated approach to stabilization and reconstruction efforts, a role that I've been pushing, as Senator Biden and many others in our committee, as a new core mission for the Department of State.

Your support for the department's Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization in the department will be crucial as it seeks the personnel, resources and budget to succeed.

Can you outline your own vision for the Department of State in this area? And how would you integrate USAID with this effort?

RICE: We have learned a lot of lessons over the last several years, and one of them, I think, is that we need to be better able to marry civilian expertise in reconstruction and stabilization with whatever we need to do militarily to stabilize the situation.

These post-conflict situations require a wide range of skills and talents that we've had to assemble in a rather ad hoc fashion from within the United States government when we faced Afghanistan or faced Iraq.

And frankly, we will face these again.

We face it in Liberia. We face it in Sudan -- we will face it in Sudan if those situations can be stabilized.

And so, we have been and I've been very heartened by the work that has been done on this new Office for Reconstruction and Stabilization. I know, Senator, that you and your staff have had a lot of conversations, first with the people who were on my staff in the NSC who were interested in this. And now that the office has been created in the State Department, I've had briefings on what Carlos Pascual and his people are already doing.

We are going to try to make sure that they have the resources for this first phase effort that they are in. I think we need to look at what further functions and what further requirements there are for this especially important task.

But the State Department does need to lead this effort. There is great enthusiasm in the State Department for being able to do this as I've talked to people in briefings and the like.

And so, the office will not only have my support, but I'm counting on it to be able to help us make better efforts as we face these stabilization problems around the world.

LUGAR: Great.

And we'll count upon you for leadership of our legislative efforts so we work together on this. RICE: Thank you.

LUGAR: Senator Biden?

BIDEN: Thank you very much.

Dr. Rice, you're, I'm told, a great football fan. I notice when I go in your office you are. I'm not going to ask you this under oath. But are you aware who the national champions of 1-AA football were last year?

RICE: Did they come from Delaware, sir?

BIDEN: Yes, they did.

(LAUGHTER)

University of Delaware.

Thank you very much.

I knew you'd know that. Very important point.

Dr. Rice, I would like to talk to you about Iraq if I may start there. You quote eloquently and you write eloquently in your opening statement, "But when I look back, I know that we were merely harvesting the good decisions that had been made in '47, '48 and '49, when Truman and Acheson and Vandenberg and Kennan and so many other wise and foresighted statesmen in the executive and legislative branch recognized that we are not in a limited engagement with communism, we're in the defining struggle of our times."

Based on discussions over the years, I think we agree that the defining struggle of times right now is this debate, this struggle between freedom and radical Islamic fundamentalism. That's not the only problem in the world, but it's the one I think takes a long time.

And Truman and Acheson and others came up with and leveled with the American people about how long and hard and expensive it was going to be. The Truman Doctrine, the establishment of NATO, the Bretton Woods agreement, the Marshall Plan, well over 300,000 troops in Europe. We still have a considerable number of troops in Europe. And we flat-out told the American people.

And yet I'm a little concerned that the American people don't have a clear sense of what is expected of them in this defining struggle that we always talk about. And it starts -- it doesn't start, but the focus right now is primarily in Iraq.

And we have an exit strategy, which I happen to agree with. The ultimate exit strategy is a stable, secure Iraqi government brought about as a consequence of a series of elections -- this one just being the first of a series -- and the training of the capacity -- providing the Iraqis with the capacity to maintain order and peace not only in the streets, but along their borders. And toward that end, we had significant discussions in this committee prior to going in, and a number of experts, from RAND to others, indicated that we were going to need somewhere in the order of 5,000 European paramilitary police types in addition to the military.

I think the number was 5,600.

And my first question is, did your outfit write a report suggesting how many military forces you thought -- your team thought would be needed in Iraq?

RICE: No, Senator, we did not write a report of that kind.

We, obviously, were aware of all of the literature out there about how one stabilizes. And we looked at that literature. We considered it.

But as a part of a team, that is the National Security Council, and that is the -- where the president's primary national security advisers sit, I sat through briefing after briefing that assessed the plan for both the war and for the immediate postwar period and, as a part of that plan, the troop levels that were recommended by General Franks and by his commanders.

The president had good military advice from General Franks, good military advice from Chairman Myers, who represents, of course, not just himself but the corporate body of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

And they were very clear that they believed that the plan that they were going to execute, including phase four, that is the stabilization phase, was adequately resourced in terms of troop strength.

BIDEN: In retrospect, do you think it was adequately resourced?

I mean, I'm not trying -- what do you think now?

Everybody gets a chance to determine whether or not what they signed onto or thought, recommended by professionals, was workable or not. Do you think it was adequate now, looking back?

RICE: Senator Biden, I would not presume to try to give the president military advice. But I do believe that he got good military advice and I do believe that the plan and the forces that we went in with were appropriate to the task.

We did meet with some unforeseen circumstances, most importantly as we swept through the country really rather rapidly, the core of this insurgency, that is the Baathists and many of Saddam's loyal forces, melted into the population. They didn't stand and fight.

When they reemerged, they reemerged as an insurgency I think that, frankly, cannot be dealt with by military power alone and certainly not by overwhelming military power, but must now be dealt with through the political mobilization of the Iraqi people -- which is why these elections are so important -- through economic reconstruction -- and I would be the first to say we want very much to accelerate that reconstruction -- and most importantly through Iraqi forces.

BIDEN: So bottom line, getting a chance to look back you think there were an adequate number of forces beginning, middle and now? I mean, you have no -- you wouldn't, if you got to go back, change the force structure?

RICE: I don't think I would, Senator.

BIDEN: OK.

You're aware that Mr. Bremer suggests that we needed -- he is the former, as we all know, ambassador, who was in charge up until we handed over sovereignty.

And I've made three trips since 2003. And every trip I make, I meet with the flag officers and I have -- they're all telling me they need more force and they needed more force.

But the reason I asked the question is not to assess blame, because who the heck knew?

This was -- as I said to Bremer and I think the three of us were together the first time. I said, "Mr. Ambassador" -- in the first meeting after Saddam was dethroned and we were in Baghdad -- I said, "If the Lord Almighty came down and sat at this table and gave you the right answer to 60 percent of all of the difficult questions you'll have to answer, you still only have an even chance of succeeding. No one's ever done what we're trying to do."

And I support it, the effort. But it concerns me that in retrospect you still think things were kind of -- you know, the force structure was appropriate. Which leads me to this issue of one element of our exit strategy and that is the training of Iraqi security forces.

On October 21st last year, you said, "The Iraqi security force will number 125,000 by the end of the year. There will be 145,000 security forces by February, and 200,000 by the time of the permanent election."

And in March of last year, Secretary Rumsfeld said, "We now have 200,000 Iraqi security forces that are out there providing security in the country." And a month later he said 210,000 uniformed and called it, quote, "an amazing accomplishment."

And, now, what I'd like to know is what you all mean by "trained Iraqi security force." Do you mean someone who we give a uniform to, someone who had been in the Iraqi military before or the police? Or does trained mean someone capable, absent a physical presence of the United States or a coalition force with them, to, in fact, do their job -- whatever it's assigned in whatever region they're in? What do you mean by "trained"?

RICE: By trained, Senator, what we've been trying to do is take Iraqis -- some of whom have served before, some of whom have not -- and to give them, depending on whether it's police training or army training or commando training, the skills that they need to be able to secure the country.

Now, we have had to, in many cases, understand that the initial training is just that, it's initial training, and that you face a number of other issues. You face issues of leadership.

One of the problems that we've had with the desertion rates that we faced in the Iraqi security forces and with some of the problems of -- I'll call it discipline broadly -- is that we think there has been a leadership gap.

We learned early on that Iraqis were not going to train and then serve coalition leaders and so...

BIDEN: What have we done about that leadership?

RICE: We have a very active program now that Prime Minister Allawi is very involved in himself of vetting proven leaders in the former Iraqi security forces to bring top-down leadership to those people.

NATO, of course, has put in a training mission that is devoted to training leadership and...

BIDEN: That's not even set up yet, is it?

RICE: Well, it's -- we have, on the ground...

BIDEN: I'm not criticizing. I just want to -- look, here's the reason I asked this question. I talked about earlier -- and my time is about up.

I talked earlier about the need to level with the American people. When you say we have 200,000 trained security forces and the secretary of state says we have 210,000, the impression of the average American is we've actually trained up people who can do the job.

Now, I've made four trips there. Three since Saddam has come down. I've spent a lot of time. I've gone to the training facility for police in Jordan.

With the American head trainer, I said without anybody there and I believe my friend and person who has an ideological bent considerably different than mine, my friend from South Carolina was there.

I said, "There's no one in the room. Please cut all the malarkey. Is this training program worth a darn?" And the answer was no -- from our own trainer.

I asked the head of the Jordanian police force who was there and the Canadian Royal Mounted Policeman who was there as the triumvirate running the operation. I've been back and spoke with a General Petraeus on two occasions. He is a first-rate soldier. He has indicated he's just basically beginning.

How many -- and this is my last question.

How many security forces do you think are trained that can shot straight, kill and stand their ground? I don't mean in a uniform. I mean real, live guys that our Marines.

I was spent four hours in Fallujah. Our Marines are not real anxious to stand next to and count on a lot of Iraqi forces except the few that were trained as special forces.

Now, how many do you really think are trained that Allawi can look to and say, "I can rely on those forces"? What do you think that number is?

RICE: Senator, I have to rely on what I get from the field.

And by the way, I think that the trips that you've made and the trips that the others have made have given us information that we can go back with. And I appreciate your doing that.

We think the number right now is somewhere over 120,000. We think that, among those people, there clearly continue to be questions about on-duty time, that is, people who don't report for duty. And so this is being looked at.

We are trying to provide for some of these units mentors who can help, trying to provide leadership from the Iraqis themselves that can help these people.

But this is the reason that Gary Luck has gone out, at Secretary Rumsfeld's direction, to take a hard look at the training program to see what General Petraeus, who, as you say, is a terrific soldier and has a lot of experience in Iraq, what he's been able to achieve; to work with the Iraqis to address some of these problems of leadership and morale and desertion in the armed forces and in the police forces; and to look at some of the equipping of the police forces.

But I do want to note, Senator, that the Iraqis are making a lot of sacrifices here...

BIDEN: No question.

RICE: ... their soldiers, their police, in places like Fallujah, in places like Samarra, in places like Najaf. They have played an active role in their security.

But it is a process that takes some time. We believe that we've made some progress. We have more progress to make.

BIDEN: Well, I thank you for your answer. I think you'll find, if you speak to the folks on the ground, they don't think there's more than 4,000 actually trained Iraqi forces. I strongly urge you to pick up the phone or go see these folks.

And the reason I press it is not that the Iraqis aren't sacrificing. They are. But that's almost irrelevant in one regard. The exit strategy for America is a trained force of several hundred thousand people. We're talking about a year or more to get anywhere close to that. We should level with the American people about it.

But after you take a hard look as secretary of state, I'd like to talk with you more about that.

Thank you.

LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Biden.

Senator Hagel?

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE), FOREIGN RELATIONS CMTE.: Mr. Chairman, thank you.

Welcome, Dr. Rice.

RICE: Thank you.

HAGEL: Mr. Chairman, I have a statement that I would ask to be included in the record.

LUGAR: It'll be included in full.

HAGEL: Thank you.

As has been noted here, and I think eloquently stated by Senator Feinstein, you come before this committee impressively qualified, well prepared. And it is a nomination all of America can be proud of. And I mean that sincerely.

So thank you for offering yourself for another four years of very engaging, responsible leadership. We appreciate that.

I also want to note, Mr. Chairman, for the record, the good work of Secretary Powell and Deputy Secretary Armitage.

I noted, Dr. Rice, that you mentioned them in your statement.

The work that the Powell-Armitage team has done for this country over the last four years has been significant. All those who were part of that team need to be acknowledged, as well.

So thank you, Dr. Rice, for noting Secretary Powell's leadership.

I want to pursue, to some extent, some of the same line of questioning on the same subject, as well as other subjects, in my 10 minutes that Senator Biden was talking about: Iraq.

He left off with exit strategy. Would you explain to this committee what you and the president see as an exit strategy for America from Iraq, which would be, I suspect, connected to a post- January 30th election which will provide an elected Iraqi national assembly? What are our plans after that?

RICE: Well, we do have some things that we have to accomplish after the elections. Senator Biden has talked a lot about the training of Iraqi security forces. I think that's probably in many ways our most important task.

The task of the Iraqis is to find a way forward from their elections for political reconciliation. And we can, of course, try to help in that and do what we can to support that effort. But that's largely an Iraqi task.

I think for us to try and improve Iraq's capability to defend itself.

And I will just say, I have talked with people from the field and I recently talked with General Casey, who was back here, and others.

I think they think that they are doing relatively well on starting to get the numbers up for Iraqi security forces, but that they do need to address these questions of leadership, which then lead to problems with desertion and the like; and that they need to do something that is actually quite promising, which is to work with the Iraqis who have some ideas themselves about how some of the security forces might be restructured.

So we will focus very heavily I think on trying to give the Iraqis or help them get more capacity on the security side.

It is also the case that, of course, we will continue to seek the terrorists, and to help them fight the war on terrorism that they are now fully engaged in, to try and continue to help in building capacity in the Iraqi ministries.

Because ultimately, the coalition is there because the Iraqis lack certain capacities. And if we focus in this next period after the election on helping them to build those capacities beyond where they are now, I think we will have done a major part toward the day when less coalition help is needed across the board.

HAGEL: May I just ask a follow-up to that? How will that change from what we have been doing? Can you give this committee some specifics?

Of what you've stated, you framed clearly. I think we understand what you've said. I support what you're talking about, your objective.

But how will that change from what we have been doing? Fewer troops? Less troops? More NATO troops? Or what will envision the change in what you're anticipating our role to be and connect that to an exit strategy?

RICE: Well, our role is directly proportional, I think, Senator, to how capability the Iraqis are. And so, as Iraqis become more capable, then I would I assume certainly our help will be needed less. I am really reluctant to try to put a timetable on that, because I think the goal is to get the mission accomplished and that means that the Iraqis have to be capable of some things before we lessen our own responsibility.

But we will be working with a newly elected government. And I'm quite sure that they're going to have their own ideas about how we move forward to improve security.

The Iraqis will take more and more responsibility for fighting the terrorists, for rooting out the Baathists, and we have to help them get there.

If I could just add, Senator, we also, of course, have a major task of continuing on the reconstruction front to employ the resources that were given to the executive branch by the Congress so that we can help the Iraqis with their reconstruction tasks.

But I see it as a diminution of our responsibility over time as the Iraqis become more capable, so we need to focus on building their capabilities.

HAGEL: Will that will require a change of policy?

RICE: I don't think it requires a change of policy. We have all had over time an evolution of attitude, which just comes from the fact that as you work with increasingly more representative and legitimate Iraqi governments, they have more say in how this is all done.

And I think that that's only appropriate and right. We are no longer in occupation of the country as we were under the Coalition Provisional Authority, and so this has become a very intensive partnership with the Iraqis to get these tasks done and I think that will probably continue to...

HAGEL: Now let me ask you on the basis of troops, if I have read accurately, and you noted this, General Casey's statements regularly. When some of us were over there last month, we met with General Casey as well as other general officers.

Will that mean that 150,000 or so American troops we have there today will now be refocused on acceleration of training? Or what does this mean in the way of actually accomplishing what you are talking about?

RICE: Well, we certainly right now are very focused on security for the election. And while that will pass on January 30th, there will continue to be important security tasks to make sure that the initial stages for this new government are secure.

But one of the things that the Luck mission is to try and determine is what the path forward is with the Iraqis in terms of security. Are we continuing to train the right security forces? What ought to be the roles and responsibilities of coalition forces in training versus active security? How much can the Iraqis take on some of these active security roles themselves? So, we thought that the time just before the election and leading to after the election was an ideal time to have this mission. And I think we will get some answers from that mission.

HAGEL: Thank you.

Let me move to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. What do you and the president envision as a new role or a different role for the United States now as a result of the Palestinian elections? For example, are you contemplating a special envoy?

How are we going to engage more deeply and widely than we have in the past? Or are we going to?

Give this committee some sense of where we're going in the next year.

RICE: We all believe, and most especially the president, that we have a really good opportunity here, given the election of a new Palestinian leader, and given the Israeli Gaza withdrawal plan, which is linked to the West Bank through the four settlements that would be dismantled in the West Bank as well. We think this is a moment of opportunity.

That means that there is going to have to be engagement at all levels. I expect, myself, to spend an enormous amount of effort on this activity.

I can't substitute for the parties and their willingness to take on their responsibilities, and that's the message that we have to keep sending. We've had to note that how hard this road is going to be was in evidence during this last few days. And we've pressed very hard for the Palestinians to take on terrorism because we're not going to get very far if there is terrorism from the Palestinian militants.

But you can be sure that we will have very active engagement because we think this is a time of responsibility.

I think I need to, for the time being, demure on the question of a special envoy. No one has objections in principle to the idea of an envoy, but it is a question of whether that is appropriate to a particular point in time in the process that we're involved in.

HAGEL: But as secretary of state, you intend to be very engaged with considerable activity as we go forward?

RICE: Absolutely. Because, Senator, I think we can afford to miss this opportunity if the parties themselves are willing to really take advantage of the opportunity.

HAGEL: I probably have time for one question. That's going to be on more -- one more question -- immigration.

You noted in your prepared delivery -- and I thought it was excellent; you covered a number of the areas that we all have interest in and we'll wanting to deeper in them. But you talked about exchange programs. You hit on that, I thought, very important point: immigration reform. Is the president going to push for immigration reform?

RICE: As you know, the president has been concerned about and a proponent of immigration reform going back to the time that he was governor of Texas, when he faced these issues as governor.

He has a proposal on the table for a temporary worker program that would serve the purposes in a humanitarian sense, in that it would help to alleviate what is really a humanitarian crisis for us. It would help us economically, because matching willing workers and willing employers is an extremely important thing for our economy when there are jobs that Americans will not take. It's not an amnesty, and the president has been clear about that.

But it also has for our security real implications, because if we are not asking our border guards and our border personnel to deal simultaneously with immigration that comes out of economic circumstances and dangerous border infringement that comes out of terrorism, and they have a more regularized way to deal with the former, we think that that will make it easier to deal with some of the terrorism and concerns about bad people coming to do bad things.

HAGEL: I'm going to reintroduce my comprehensive -- I think, the only bipartisan immigration reform last year. I'm going to reintroduce it. I look forward to working with you on this.

I don't think there is a more urgent problem America has to deal with today; far more important than Social Security, in my opinion, than this immigration reform issue.

So thank you.

Mr. Chairman, thank you.

LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Hagel?

And, Senator Sarbanes?

SEN. PAUL SARBANES (D-MD), FOREIGN RELATIONS CMTE.: Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.

I want to, first of all, welcome our new colleagues to this committee, Senator Murkowski and Senator Martinez on your side of the aisle, and Senator Obama on our side of the aisle. We're very pleased to have them join the committee.

And, Dr. Rice, I want to join all of my colleagues in welcoming you here before the committee today.

The post for which you've been nominated is, obviously, an extremely important one, perhaps the premier post in the Cabinet. And in an independent and interconnected world, where events that happen thousands of miles away literally within minutes can affect our own economy or our health or our national security, the secretary of state can make a critical difference in our everyday lives.

In my view, a secretary who forges meaningful partnerships to foster peace, reduce global poverty and hunger, promote democratic values and address emerging threats can set our country on a course to greater security and prosperity.

By the same token, I think the secretary who adopts a unilateralist approach in the international environment may miss important opportunities to prevent conflicts and to build alliances.

And in that regard I just note that it's not enough to have the ear of the president. I think the secretary of state must also win the ear of the world.

I do hope -- and before I turn on my first subject I want to cover -- first, I've watched Senator Lugar work assiduously on this cooperative threat reduction issue. I think he and Senator Nunn provided exemplary leadership and Senator Lugar, assisted by others, Senator Biden and others on this committee, have continued to pursue that issue.

And the only counsel I would give you is listen to Senator Lugar on the cooperative threat reduction question. He knows the issue. He's lived with it. He's invested an incredible amount of his own time and effort to try to make it work.

And I would hope the administration would, in effect, follow his counsel and guidance on this issue. I know of no one who knows the issue better or whose advice is more measured and more reasoned than that of the chairman.

I'd extend the same advice, if I may be so bold as to do so, in terms of hoping you would listen to Senator Biden and Senator Hagel as they have an interchange with you about Iraq. They've both been there now a number of times at some risk to themselves, obviously, as anyone who goes out there well knows.

And it seems to me again, that's an instance in which the counsel and advice they've been giving is perceptive. It's measured. It's tough minded and I would very much hope the administration would listen to that.

Now, my text, if I can use that term for the question I want to put to you, is this new book by T.R. Reid, a very distinguished journalist, which has just only recently come out, "The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy."

And I want to talk some economics with you here this morning. I looked through your statement quickly and other -- and a couple of references to prosperity and to free trade. There's not much in it on economics and I think that's a very important part of the dimensions we have to discuss here.

In a review of this book that recently appeared in the New York Times, they said that, you know, small things happen. We're not aware of them, but over time they gather and then they become instrumental. I mean, they really end up having a very significant impact.

Let me just quote here. "Sometimes major events take place quietly, their import obscured by the hub-bub of more arresting happenings. Only with time is the shift perceptible."

And in that regard, I'd like to show you just three charts to set the context.

The first is a chart that shows the U.S. trade deficit.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. We've been listening to some of the questioning of Condoleezza Rice and obviously a moment of levity as they try to figure out which is the up side and the down side of that graph there.

I want to bring in Kiron Skinner, who, as we mentioned a little earlier this morning, is a friend and considers Condoleezza Rice her mentor as well. Kiron, thanks for being back with us and thanks for listening in on this testimony.

First I want to know a little bit about who's surrounding Condoleezza Rice. You could see on some wider shots, there are some particularly young women, it looks like, African-American young women in some of the shots, who are behind her. Can you tell me about those folks?

KIRON SKINNER, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY: I could tell you about one, at least. Sitting directly behind Dr. Rice is Dr. Jendayi Frazer the current U.S. ambassador to South Africa. She was confirmed last summer. Before that, she served as the head of African affairs at the NSC under Dr. Rice. She studied with Rice. I think she met Rice when Jendayi was 19 years old, an undergraduate at Stanford, pursued her Ph.D. in political science under Dr. Rice and wrote a dissertation, a very fine study, on civil military relations in Africa. Many people don't know that Dr. Rice has really thought about Africa in a systematic way much before coming to government. And so her young protege is there today and I think it's quite appropriate.

Two seats away, I also recognize Professor Steven Craftsner (ph), a political scientist at Stanford who has been there well before Dr. Rice arrived as a young 28-, 29-year-old faculty member and has helped to develop her career in international relations as a scholar over the years. And so it's quite fitting that he would be invited to sit with her today. So it's an interesting collection of people who have helped Dr. Rice along the way and whom she has helped as well.

O'BRIEN: Yes, we heard the phrase mentor several times, especially when she was talking about Colin Powell as well. I want to talk a little bit about the emphasis on American diplomacy. We've heard questions about it. We've certainly heard, in her own statement, Condoleezza Rice talking about that being a focus of the administration. Considering the difficult time we are at in our nation's history, do you think that she is up for this, I think, fair to say, enormous task? SKINNER: It is an enormous task. And it always is. And as you know, she referenced Dean Acheson's book, "At the Creation," the beginning of the new world order after World War II, when he was looking back on his years as secretary of state from the 1940s. And I believe that Dr. Rice, given her study of international relations, the empathy that she has for people around the world who have suffered -- she talked and motivated her own testimony this morning with a discussion of her background coming from the segregated South. The fact that she has diplomacy as a part of her intellectual tool kit.

Remember, she helped reunify Germany in her 30s. She helped lead Stanford University through a very difficult time as both the chief budget officer and chief academic officer. She dealt with a lot of issues in a very diplomatic way and she emerged from that experience with many of her detractors having become friends and seeing her point of view, and she, as well, coming to understand points of view that were contrary to hers when she initially took that position.

So her professional career has been marked by diplomacy. During the first four years of the Bush administration, she was an adviser, a personal adviser, private adviser, to the president. And then one who coordinated policy so we did not see her as much out front as a spokesperson. But we will see a Condoleezza Rice that those of us who've known her for a long time really understand to be a diplomat par excellence.

O'BRIEN: What do you think of the job she's doing so far? Obviously we're waiting to hear still from Senator Boxer. Some people have said she's going to be the one who really, truly grills Condoleezza Rice. And I think it is a foregone conclusion that, in fact, Dr. Rice will be confirmed at the end of the day, or -- not literally, but tomorrow maybe if it drags out a little bit longer. What do you think of her poise, how she's answering the questions, things like that?

SKINNER: Well, you know, earlier someone said, when I was listening in on your program this morning, that these hearings aren't necessarily important, it's decided already that Dr. Rice will be confirmed. Is this really just a show? I think her testimony this morning was absolutely important because it is the first time, despite the fact that Dr. Rice has had a long public career, that we've heard from her in a systemic and thorough way about her views of the international system, how she connects domestic political factors like racial segregation in the U.S. to her understanding of the war on global terror.

We heard her speak in a way that we've never heard her before. So I think this is an important statement for her to make to the United States and to the world. And it will set the basis for her tenure as secretary of state. This is a stunning moment, I think, in our administration's history.

O'BRIEN: Kiron Skinner is a friend and colleague of Condoleezza Rice, also a professor at Carnegie Mellon University joining. And also the co-author, we should mention, of "Reagan's Path to Victory." Thank you so much for being with us. We certainly appreciate it, Professor -- Bill.

SKINNER: Thank you.

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