Sen. Pat Roberts Says U.S. Lacks Clear Military Strategy
Ten years after the Cold War, it is clear that we are operating
without a clear national security strategy," said Sen. Pat
Roberts, R-Kan., in a speech to defense professionals. "If
we had endless resources and our deployed forces had the ability
to always fight and win, then it would be fine. But our resources
are very limited," he said.
In explaining his role as former chairman of the Senate Armed Services
subcommittee on emerging threats, Roberts noted that there is an
overlap in government agency responsibilities. "There is a
collection of national leadership, all working to deal with the
same threats," he said.
Roberts said that federal agencies that have units working on national
security threats, in addition to the Defense Department, include
the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and
the Departments of Treasury, State, Transportation and Justice.
States, local police and emergency medics also have roles in preparing
for national disasters. "But who is in charge here?" Roberts
asked the audience.
Republicans Complain About Rumsfeld’s Review
"The Republican leadership on the House Armed Services Committee
has held the line on defense for eight years; we’re not going
to get shut out now," said a senior congressional aide who
spoke on condition of anonymity. He noted that sweeping change in
force structure, force management and defense policy are not easy
tasks and "will require heavy lifting by the Hill."
The Pentagon’s new leadership has not been quick to start
building relationships with the Armed Services and Appropriations
Committee members in the House of Representatives, who will play
an important role in the implementation of Secretary of Defense
Donald H. Rumsfeld’s review, according to the aide. At a recent
two-hour meeting on Capitol Hill with members of the Armed Services
Committee, "nothing was resolved," the aide said. "We
came to the meeting with two questions: Are you going to get rid
of the two-war readiness strategy, and when are we going to see
the budget?" he said. Rumsfeld did not address either issue.
"My boss has a great personal level of respect for Rumsfeld,
and we all really feel that he has assembled an ‘A’
team. But he might be squandering relationships in Congress by not
talking to us about the review," the aide said.
Rumsfeld’s undertaking, an across-the-board strategic defense
review, has been clothed in secrecy since his installation as secretary
of defense in January. "What should be happening now is that
we should start working on a supplemental appropriations bill. Send
over the people from the Pentagon to talk to us," the aide
"That supplemental would go a long way in restoring confidence
between Congress and the Defense Department." The aide also
pointed out that Rumsfeld should not operate as if he were the chief
executive officer of a company, with sole discretionary power and
a permissive board of directors. "He’s chief operating
officer of the Defense Department, but Congress is his board of
directors," he said. "Congress needs to be brought into
the substantive debate of the review."
Rumsfeld spoke to reporters after the House Armed Services Committee
meeting. He imparted that he would send a supplemental appropriation
bill to the Hill to address near-term readiness. However, about
the larger issue of inclusiveness, he was evasive. "We’re
living in a world where there are uncertainties, and we need to
think about that. We need to arrange our forces and develop those
capabilities in a way that will give us the maximum flexibility,
given the reality that it is very difficult to know what’s
going to happen next," Rumsfeld said.
Wolfowitz Cautions on Ballistic Missile Threat
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, at a speech in Washington,
D.C., said that proliferation of missile technology is only now
receiving the attention it has deserved for the past 10 years. "In
1989, a single Scud missile killed 28 soldiers in Saudi Arabia–but
we are still a couple of years away from the deployment of the PAC-3,
our answer to the Scud. Ten years is a long time to respond to a
threat of that seriousness. We didn’t, I might point out,
get to the moon in 10 years with that kind of approach," he
Wolfowitz said the threat of Saddam Hussein’s regime is still
real, but it is ultimately doomed. "Dictatorships grow out
of weakness, and Saddam is a failure because his regime rests on
fear. He faces opposition both inside and outside of Iraq.
"We must see Saddam without illusion, if we are to know how
to deal with the dangers that he creates," Wolfowitz said.
He added that the tyrannical regime in Baghdad is "the root
cause of the most immediate dangers that we face in the Persian
Gulf." According to Wolfowitz, "peace in the region rests
on the liberation of that country from the tyranny of Saddam’s
But the most urgent threat to U.S. security, Wolfowitz said, "comes
from a small number of missiles in the hands of the world’s
most irresponsible states." The way to deal with those threats
is to form strong diplomatic alliances with both friends and enemies,
and to have a strong military capability. "Military strength
is not antithetical to peace," he said.
New Acquisition Official Outlines Priorities
Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge, the new undersecretary of defense
for acquisition, technology and logistics, presented a vision for
"achieving acquisition excellence," to a group of U.S.
and South Korean defense industry representatives. The goal, he
said, is to "obtain a force that is more mobile, lethal and
easily supportable, that maintains superiority by incorporating
today’s best U.S. and allied technologies, and by leaping
ahead to ‘generation-after-next’ technologies."
Aldridge outlined his office’s five basic goals:
Investments Can Save Industry From ‘Obsolescence’
There is a correlation between the strength of the industrial base
and long-term national security, said James MacAleese of MacAleese
and Associates. MacAleese presented a report entitled "A Compelling
‘National Security/Business Restructuring’ Model is
Critical to Long-Term U.S. National Security," at the American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics global air and space conference.
He explained that the forthcoming "defense business model"
created by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and his team,
"must integrate long-term drivers of national security with
the shorter term scrutiny of shareholders."
Though they are tasked with the lofty goal of protecting the security
of the United States, MacAleese said, contractors are engaged in
a "constant struggle for capital" while facing limited
growth and lowered profitability. What will save the industry from
obsolescence is "a constant infusion of capital," or an
increase in top-line defense spending, which is important for contractors
to finance production, he added.
Navy Carriers Not Easily Targeted While Moving
Critics of Navy aircraft carriers often cite their vulnerability
as a reason why the United States should de-emphasize its reliance
on these large ships as vehicles of national security. Large-deck,
90,000-ton carriers, these critics say, are "sitting ducks."
But that is not the case, says Donald Pilling, a retired four-star
admiral who recently served as vice chief of naval operations. Carriers,
he said, are "constantly moving." Sometimes, Pilling said,
"people think that because a carrier is such a large ship,
that it is easy to target–it’s not. The carrier is moving
all the time."
Keeping track of where a carrier is in real time is a "very
demanding task for anybody," he said. "You would need
a [sophisticated] satellite system, targeting information to be
processed, a command-and-control procedure that would allow for
quick decisions and a [robust] weapon." For that reason, ships
are much more likely to be targeted when they are not moving.