Rumsfeld Offers Strategies for Current War
 

 

Pentagon to Release 20-Year Plan Today

By Josh White and Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Friday, February 3, 2006

 

The United States is engaged in what could be a generational conflict akin to the Cold War, the kind of struggle that might last decades as allies work to root out terrorists across the globe and battle extremists who want to rule the world, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday.

Rumsfeld, who laid out broad strategies for what the military and the Bush administration are now calling the "long war," likened al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin while urging Americans not to give in on the battle of wills that could stretch for years. He said there is a tendency to underestimate the threats that terrorists pose to global security, and said liberty is at stake.

"Compelled by a militant ideology that celebrates murder and suicide with no territory to defend, with little to lose, they will either succeed in changing our way of life, or we will succeed in changing theirs," Rumsfeld said in a speech at the National Press Club.

The speech, which aides said was titled "The Long War," came on the eve of the Pentagon's release of its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which sets out plans for how the U.S. military will address major security challenges 20 years into the future. The plans to be released today include shifts to make the military more agile and capable of dealing with unconventional threats, something Rumsfeld has said is necessary to move from a military designed for the Cold War into one that is more flexible.

He said the nation must focus on three strategies in the ongoing war: preventing terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, defending the U.S. homeland and helping allies fight terrorism. He emphasized that these goals could take a long time to achieve.

Indeed, the QDR, mandated every four years by Congress, opens with the declaration: "The United States is a nation engaged in what will be a long war."

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First are "irregular" conflicts against insurgents, terrorists and other non-state enemies. Iraq and Afghanistan are the "early battles" in the campaign against Islamic extremists and terrorists, who are "profoundly more dangerous" than in the past because of technological advances that allow them to operate globally, said Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England in an address on Wednesday.

The QDR also focuses on defending the U.S. homeland against "catastrophic" attacks such as with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Finally, it sets out plans for deterring the rising military heft of major powers such as China.

The strategic vision outlined in the QDR has won high marks from defense analysts for diagnosing the problems the U.S. military will likely face. However, it is less successful in translating those concepts into concrete military capabilities, the analysts say.

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The strategy does call for devoting resources to accelerate a long-range strike capability directed at hostile nations, and for new investments aimed at countering biological and nuclear weapons -- such as teams able to defuse a nuclear bomb. But it makes relatively minor adjustments in key weapons systems, with the biggest programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter and the Army's Future Combat Systems escaping virtually unscathed. This leaves less room for investments in innovative programs and forces to address the types of problems that the QDR identifies, analysts say.

"A lot of tough choices are kicked down the road," said Andrew F. Krepinevich, executive director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

One of the toughest battles facing the United States, Rumsfeld said yesterday, is recognizing the seriousness of the terrorist threat and the immediacy of fighting the nation's enemies. He said the task facing Western nations could be arduous, as terrorists operate in numerous countries around the world, hidden, and with the willingness to wait long periods between attacks. Military leaders and officials in the Bush administration have taken to calling the global war on terrorism the "long war," which defense experts say is a recognition that there is no end in sight.

"Dealing with the issue of terrorism and extremism is going to take a long time," said Robert E. Hunter, senior adviser at Rand Corp. and a former ambassador to NATO. "But we have to define success. You're never going to get rid of all terrorism."

Rumsfeld said he does not believe the war will end with a bang but, instead, with a whimper, "fading down over a sustained period of time as more countries in the world are successful," much as how democracy outlasted communism in the Cold War. He added that the early decades of the Cold War also brought confusion and doubt.

"The only way that terrorists can win this struggle is if we lose our will and surrender the fight, or think it's not important enough, or in confusion or in disagreement among ourselves give them the time to regroup and reestablish themselves in Iraq or elsewhere," he said.

 

Washington Post Friday, February 3, 2006

 

 

 

 

 Ο «πόλεμος κατά της τρομοκρατίας» της κυβέρνησης Μπους πρόκειται να αντικατασταθεί από έναν «μακρύ πόλεμο», σύμφωνα με Εκθεση του Πενταγώνου που κατατέθηκε στο Κογκρέσο των ΗΠΑ. «Κοιτώντας πέρα από τα πεδία μάχης του Αφγανιστάν και του Ιράκ, οι Αμερικανοί στρατιωτικοί διοικητές προβλέπουν έναν πόλεμο κατά του ισλαμικού εξτρεμισμού που δεν θα διέπεται από χρονικούς ή γεωγραφικούς περιορισμούς», γράφει η βρετανική «Γκάρντιαν».

 

 Δεν θα είναι στρατιωτικές επιχειρήσεις μεγάλης κλίμακας, αλλά «ιδιαίτερα ευκίνητων αντιτρομοκρατικών δυνάμεων», κάτι που θα κάνει πιο εύκολη -και άρα πιο πιθανή- τη χρησιμοποίησή τους. Επίσης, θα χρειαστούν νέα κατάλληλα όπλα, μεταξύ των οποίων και πυρηνικά, τα λεγόμενα «μίνι πυρηνικά» που θα βαφτιστούν «συμβατικά» ώστε να νομιμοποιηθεί η χρήση τους. Βεβαίως, και νέες στρατιωτικές δαπάνες, που θα εκτοξεύσουν το στρατιωτικό προϋπολογισμό των ΗΠΑ το 2007, στα 513 δισεκατομμύρια δολάρια!

Η ανθρωπότητα βρίσκεται μπροστά σε νέο εφιαλτικό πολεμικό σενάριο. Τα σχέδια για «μακρύ πόλεμο» βλέπουν το φως σε μια κρίσιμη στιγμή, που εξαπλώνεται η διεθνής αναταραχή με αφορμή τα σκίτσα του Μωάμεθ, η οποία έχει ήδη κοστίσει δεκάδες ανθρώπινες ζωές, πυροδοτούμενη από εμπρηστικές συμπεριφορές, όπως το μπλουζάκι του ανεκδιήγητου υπουργού τού Μπερλουσκόνι. Το πιθανότερο είναι ότι η άκρως επικίνδυνη αυτή κατάσταση θα επιβαρυνθεί, καθώς η έκθεση του Πενταγώνου προσδιορίζει ως εχθρό για τον «μακρύ πόλεμο» τον «ισλαμικό εξτρεμισμό» και την αντιμετώπισή του με στρατιωτικά μέσα. Αυτό πρακτικά μπορεί να σημαίνει πόλεμο εναντίον του Ιράν ή της Παλαιστίνης, που οι κυβερνήσεις τους μπορεί εύκολα να ενταχθούν σ' αυτή την κατηγορία από τους «φονταμενταλιστές» της Ουάσιγκτον.

 

 ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΟΤΥΠΙΑ - 25/02/2006

 

 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review

 

The United States is a Nation Engaged in What Will be a Long War