NATO Agrees to Work with U.S. on Missile Defense Shield
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has decided to collaborate
with the United States on a missile defense program. NATO Secretary-General
George Robertson recently told defense reporters that meetings with
the administration have indicated there is a high level of interest
in working with NATO to develop a missile defense program. Robertson
said the allies see the need to develop missile-defense capabilities
for security purposes. "Missile defense is the cornerstone
of American and transatlantic security, and we will have no credibility
without security," he said.
Because the Russians "have placed a high priority on the safety
of their nuclear systems," the possible nuclear threat to Europe
from Russia is becoming more real, Robertson said.
Though the Bush administration has been in office only a few months,
talks have already begun internally on the possibility of the allies
contributing funds and being active participants in a NATO missile
defense program, which indicates a sea-change in U.S. diplomatic
and security policy. The current U.S. national missile defense project,
managed by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, previously
the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, began under President
Reagan in the 1980s.
Robertson said, however, that NATO cooperation with the United
States on missile defense will not come without a price. The Europeans
will require "maximum consultation and maximum involvement"
in every step of the process.
Funding problems "will be dealt with," according to Robertson.
There has been a change of mood about defense spending in Europe,
Robertson noted, and many European nations are in the midst of "radical
defense restructuring," to fund for the additional cost of
participating in a missile-defense program.
But restructuring will not be enough, said Robertson. They also
need to increase their overall spending levels. "Europeans
currently spend two-thirds of what the States spends on defense
equipment," Robertson noted.
The first stop for President Bush on a June trip to Europe will
be NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, to talk about missile
defense, said Robertson.–Elizabeth G. Book
Marine Corps Commandant Extols Benefits of ‘Expeditionary’
The Marine Air Ground Task Force "provides our nation a unique
military capability," said commandant of the Marine Corps Gen.
James L. Jones. "It’s tested and proven in various contingencies,
from peacekeeping, peaceful engagement, peace enforcement, to major
theater war," Jones said at a sea power forum on Capitol Hill.
"To Marines, the term ‘expeditionary’ describes
a pervasive mindset that influences all aspects, doctrine, organization,
training and equipment. It is an agile and flexible force organized
to accomplish a broad range of military objectives, in a foreign
country or region.
Such a force must be able to deploy rapidly, enter the objected
area through enforceable means if necessary, sustain itself for
an extended period of time, withdraw quickly and reconstitute rapidly
to execute follow-on missions. The three standard Marine Air Ground
Task Force configurations–the Marine expeditionary unit, the
brigade and the Marine expeditionary force–all possess the
capabilities required for expeditionary operations."
Jones went on to say: "When employed, using a building block
approach, the Marine Air Ground Task Force concept, provides the
joint force commander with extraordinary scalability of combat power."
Jones made the case that America needs more sea power. "Our
nation has far more at stake today in terms of overseas interest,
global economic growth and expansion, as well as a proliferation
of threats, but America’s navy is the smallest its been since
The decline in the size of the U.S. fleet dominated the debate
at the forum, jointly sponsored by the American Shipbuilding Association,
the Navy League, U.S. Naval Institute, the National Defense Industrial
Association, the Naval Submarine League, the Service Naval Association
and the Association of Naval Aviation. –Elizabeth G. Book
U.S. Air Force Wants to Strengthen its Global Reach
The Air Force is developing an innovative concept known as the Global
Strike Task Force (GSTF) that could help the United States dramatically
reduce its dependence on overseas bases, while increasing its global
responsiveness, according to Air Force Gen. John P. Jumper, commander
of the Air Combat Command.
The GSTF concept proposes to use a combination of long-range bombers,
such as the B-2; new, stealthy fighters, such as the F-22 and the
Joint Strike Fighter, and a next-generation transport, called a
common widebody aircraft, to strike at targets around the world,
Jumper told a recent seminar sponsored by DFI International in Washington,
GSTF "applies the lessons of the 1990s to counter the emerging
anti-access threats of today," Jumper said. Many potentially
hostile regimes–unable to defeat U.S. forces in traditional
combat–are focusing instead on strategies that keep the United
States from deploying its units in a theater of operations, he noted.
These include various combinations of ballistic and cruise missiles,
surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), advanced fighters, sea mines, terrorism
and weapons of mass destruction.
Jumper said that he was particularly concerned about recent models
of Russian-built aircraft, which are being sold to other countries.
Those aircraft are good, he said. "We get our hands on them,
and we test them," he told the seminar. "When our pilots
fly them, they are better than our pilots flying our own aircraft.
"Did we skip a generation of technology?" Jumper asked,
in an apparent reference to President Bush’s campaign pledge
to modernize military technology. "You bet, and that’s
the generation that we skipped."
Such anti-access strategies won’t necessarily defeat the
United States, Jumper noted, "but we are going to have to deal
with them." GSTF offers a strategy for doing that, he said.
In GSTF, the B-2s and F-22s would serve as a "kick-down-the
door" access force, Jumper explained. The F-22s would clear
the way for the B-2s, defeating the enemy’s next-generation
fighters, SAMs and other air defenses, Jumper said. Then, he added,
stealthy B-2 bombers could fly thousands of miles from bases in
the United States or other secure locations to hit targets, facing
a diminished threat from defenders.
During the 1999 air war against Yugoslavia, Jumper pointed out,
B-2s flew 2,600 miles from Fairford, England, around Spain and across
the Mediterranean to bomb Yugoslavia. B-2s flying 30-hour missions
out of Whiteman Air Force Base, in Missouri, dropped more than 650
Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs).
After the access force prepares the way, a persistence force would
follow, lingering over the battlefield to provide air support for
ground troops. "This is where the Joint Strike Fighter comes
in," Jumper explained.
The GSTF concept envisions eventual development of a single, common
widebody aircraft that could be configured differently to replace
today’s transports, tankers, airborne warning and control
system (AWACS) and joint surveillance target attack radar system
(JSTARS) platforms, Jumper said.
One of the lessons learned in the Kosovo operation was the need
for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems and aircraft
to have "horizontal integration" to improve handling of
emerging targets, Jumper said.
"During the Cold War, when a satellite produced photographs
of a missile site in Siberia, everybody started popping champagne
corks," Jumper said. "The photograph was the product.
Now, we don’t pop the cork when the photo arrives. We pop
the cork with the target is dead."
Further development of the GSTF concept will have to wait, Jumper
acknowledged, for completion of the Bush administration’s
review of defense strategy, programs and structure. At this point,
the administration has not decided whether it wants to proceed with
several defense programs, including development of the F-22 or the
Joint Strike Fighter.
Still, Jumper makes the point that GSTF fits in well with today’s
low-scale coalition operations, which have limited objectives and
require agreement among allies, low-collateral damage and a minimum
of friendly casualties. He is envious, he said, of Gen. Dwight D.
Eisenhower’s orders during World War II. Eisenhower was told
simply to invade Europe and destroy the forces of Nazi Germany.
"It brings a tear to this old airman’s eye," Jumper
In the February 2001 issue of National Defense magazine, page 23,
the soldier is identified as a member of U.S. psychological operations
unit, talking to a Kosovar Serb after giving him a NATO publication.
Actually, the soldier is Sgt Warren Lewis of the 312th Psychological
Operations Company, Washington, D.C., handing out leaflets in the
Tosciji Market near Camp Dobol in Bosnia, June or July 1997. Sgt
Lewis was a member of the 11th PSYOP Bn Task Force assigned to Bosnia