View Full Version : Rumsfeld Offers Strategies for Current War

02-03-2006, 07:46 AM
3 Feb. Washington Post - Rumsfeld Offers Strategies for Current War (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/02/AR2006020202296.html).

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...

02-03-2006, 07:55 AM
3 Feb. Washington Post - Abizaid Credited With Popularizing the Term 'Long War' (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/02/AR2006020202242.html).

With its formal embrace this week of the term "long war," the Bush administration has turned a simple descriptive phrase into an official name for the war on terrorism, and possibly catapulted it into the ranks of such other era names as "Cold War" and "World War."

The phrase has a long history. It has been applied to the 15-year war between the Habsburg monarchy and the Ottoman Empire that started in the 1590s. It also was a name proposed by University of Texas law professor Philip Bobbitt to cover a collection of 20th-century conflicts, from World War I to the Cold War, which resulted in democracy triumphing over communism and fascism

Its recent rise to rhetorical prominence in the U.S. military, according to several military officers, began in 2004 with Gen. John P. Abizaid, the Central Command chief who oversees military operations in the Middle East. Abizaid invoked the phrase to underscore the long-term challenge posed by al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups...

02-03-2006, 08:56 AM
3 Feb. Washington Times commentary - Bolstering the Military (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060202-085301-8784r.htm).

Today the Quadrennial Defense Review hits the Beltway. While I don't agree with some of the provisions in the document, I was impressed with the commitment of the Defense Department to preserve substantively intact modernization of the ground services. This is a historical departure from the past when the Army and Marine Corps always arrived at the dispensing of materiel largess with hands out and expectations low...

... The Army is substantially in the same place today. A legion of battleship generals, most of them retired officers, have come out of the woodwork to proclaim that today's fleet of massive Cold War fighting vehicles are good enough. Just rearrange some of them into smaller, more agile units. Add some informational technology and, by God, what was good for Patton and Schwartzkopf will meet the needs of a 21st-century Army. Theirs is a seductive voice, particularly to a Congress that wants desperately to help an overstretched Army but is well aware of the fiscal challenges that loom just over the horizon.

The battleship generals are a dangerous lot because they are as wrong today as the battleship admirals were seven decades ago. Today's ground forces are too massive and immobile to be effective in a war against a distributed, dispersed, elusive enemy who has learned to avoid the superior killing power of American weapons by hiding in places that iron monsters cannot reach...

02-04-2006, 05:21 AM
4 Feb. Washington Post - Ability to Wage 'Long War' Is Key To Pentagon Plan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/03/AR2006020301853.html).

The Pentagon, readying for what it calls a "long war," yesterday laid out a new 20-year defense strategy that envisions U.S. troops deployed, often clandestinely, in dozens of countries at once to fight terrorism and other nontraditional threats.

Major initiatives include a 15 percent boost in the number of elite U.S. troops known as Special Operations Forces, a near-doubling of the capacity of unmanned aerial drones to gather intelligence, a $1.5 billion investment to counter a biological attack, and the creation of special teams to find, track and defuse nuclear bombs and other catastrophic weapons

China is singled out as having "the greatest potential to compete militarily with the United States," and the strategy in response calls for accelerating the fielding of a new Air Force long-range strike force, as well as for building undersea warfare capabilities.

The latest top-level reassessment of strategy, or Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), is the first to fully take stock of the starkly expanded missions of the U.S. military -- both in fighting wars abroad and defending the homeland -- since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks...

02-06-2006, 05:44 PM
Another interesting commentary on the QDR:
China Tops Iraq, Osama? (http://www.defensetech.org/archives/002110.html)

02-07-2006, 10:23 PM
I canít help but wonder if our obsession with China isnít some sort of Cold War hangover. We got so comfortable with the two superpower systems we are now trying to recreate it.

02-07-2006, 11:36 PM

I think there is a lot to what you say. I often wonder if it is not the warning about the military industrial complex at work. I heard somebody pointing out how it is inherently dangerous for war to be so profitable (at least for the people supplying the arms - not for those who have to pay the bill).

Fabius Maximus
02-12-2006, 01:52 PM
Anyone recognize this comment on the role of a strong Sec of Defense?

"He can handle the military. Washington is filled with stories of him browbeating the military, forcing them to reconsider, taking their pet projects away from them. As his reputation dims and the defense budget grows (it is not just the war, it is other projects as well), suspicion grows that he had in no real way handled the military, but rather, that he has brought them kicking and screaming to the zenith of their power.

"Perhaps he controlled the military only as long as we were not in a real war, and that the best way for civilians to harness generals is to stay out of wars."

For the analysis and source, see this new article by Fabius Maximus on DNI. Something a bit different.

"Top Secret US Government Documents about Iraq"

3 pages.