Senator Hails Joint Chiefs Chairman’s Midwestern Roots
Freshman Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., a member of the Senate Armed Services
Committee, made comments welcoming fellow Midwesterner Gen. Richard
B. Myers as the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Because
Myers hails from Kansas, some hope he will work to avert base closures
in Kansas and Nebraska. In a statement, Nelson complimented Myers’
military record while also ribbing him on his home state, invoking
some famous Kansas-Nebraska state rivalry.
Gen. Myers, according to Nelson, has an “exemplary record
of service and credentials [which] give him a unique insight into
how the military works and what challenges it will face in the future.
“Gen. Myers is the first Air Force general to serve as chairman
since 1982. His selection exemplifies the vital role that the Air
Force will play in the coming years and is surely good news for
the U.S. Air Force Base at Offut, Neb.
“During the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his
nomination this fall, I will be sure to quiz him on national missile
defense, the quadrennial defense review, and most important to me,
his level of support for the Huskers come November 10th, when the
KSU Wildcats visit Lincoln.”
Gen. Says Iraq Liberation Act is “The Law of the Land”
The Iraq Liberation Act “is the law of the land,” said
Lt. Gen. Paul T. Mikolashek, commander of the Third U.S. Army Forces
Central Command, which has jurisdiction over the Persian Gulf.
The act, which in 1998 provided $97 million for military assistance
and training to the Iraqi National Congress, was earmarked for the
U.S. military to assist Iraqi nationals in overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s
regime. Now that the funding has made its way to the Army, Mikolashek
said that there have been changes in the region. He spoke at a recent
gathering of defense reporters in Washington, D.C.
On any given day, Mikolashek has 3,000 soldiers forward deployed
on the ground in Saudi Arabia, pre-positioned to defend Kuwait.
“We have a heavy battalion of armor there 365 days a year,”
he said. “Since Desert Storm, we have deployed in the area
six different times. It’s a tough, hostile and harsh environment,”
“Iraq has a very robust biological and chemical threat program.
He [Hussein] has it and seeks to develop it. He’s used it
on his own people.” To those engaged in efforts to dismantle
Hussein’s regime, “I truly wish them luck. I’d
like to see them succeed,” Mikolashek said.
Can ‘Hit-To-Kill’ Work Consistently?
Despite an apparently successful mid-summer test, Air Force Lt.
Gen. Ronald T. Kadish, director of the Defense Department’s
Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, admitted that he still is
not “totally comfortable” saying “that we can
make the hit-to-kill technology work consistently” in the
National Missile Defense Program.
“And it not only has to do with the actual collision of the
vehicles,” he said to a group of military journalists “It
has to do with: Can we get the vehicle in the right place to accomplish
this? Does it have enough margin in the design and those types of
Kadish said that he wasn’t worried about the interceptor’s
ability to discriminate between a target and decoys “at this
point in time.” He is worried, he said, “that we don’t
have the reliability we need in the system.” That’s
why, he added, that his organization plans to repeat the test in
Will the “Bad Guys” Shoot Down U.S. Satellites?
“There’s nothing for the U.S. to shoot at in space,”
said space analyst John Pike of globalsecurity.org, arguing that
the United States does not need to put up weapons in space. Pike
spoke at the Cato Institute conference on military and space, in
Washington, D.C. He said, in turn, the “bad guys” have
plenty of things to shoot at in space, referring to enemies of the
However, Pike warned the ground stations that monitor satellites
in space are more vulnerable than the satellites. If North Korea’s
military wanted to send troops to attack those stations, it could
easily do so, he said.
The United States has three satellite monitoring ground stations:
in Washington, D.C.; Hawaii and the United Kingdom. “Ground
stations are easier and cheaper to attack,” agreed Cato’s
Charles Peña. “The U.S. has more to lose by making
space an extended battle space,” Peña added.
He said the United States should focus on countering the threat
of micro-satellites that China is developing, and also on deploying
Peter Huessy, missile defense expert at the National Defense University
Foundation in Washington, D.C. countered Pike’s and Peña’s
statements by saying the United States has to protect its space
assets to avoid a “Pearl Harbor in space.”
U.S.-Russian Early Warning System Debated
Cooperation between the United States and Russia in developing an
early warning missile-defense system could get underway by late
2002, said Phil Jamison, deputy director of strategy, forces and
operations for the office of the secretary of defense. He spoke
at a recent Cato Institute conference on military and space in Washington,
The system received $5.9 million in the fiscal year 2001 National
Defense Authorization Act. Called the Joint Data Exchange Center
(JDEC), the early warning information and testing exchange seeks
to build confidence between the two nations and reduce the risk
that false missile-attack warnings could result in an inadvertent
launch of nuclear missiles. Tests will be conducted by both nations
together. JDEC will be implemented in three phases: During the first,
Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), Space-Launch Ballistic
Missiles (SLBMs) and Space Launch Vehicles (SLVs) belonging to either
country will be launched from either U.S. or Russian territory.
In the second phase, ballistic missiles 1,500 km in range or 500
km in altitude will be added for testing. During the final phase,
a third-party ballistic missile or Space-Satellite Launch Vehicle
(SSLV) will test a launch greater than 500 km in range or altitude,
ABM Treaty Should Not Be an ‘Inhibitor,’ said Rumsfeld
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld directed the Defense Department’s
Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) not to consider the
elements of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, “as an
inhibitor” in the way it executes the National Missile Defense
(NMD) program, BMDO director Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald T. Kadish
told a recent gathering of reporters.
The treaty, signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in
1972, is credited by many as having contributed to today’s
diplomatic security between the two countries.
BMDO “is trying very hard” to execute President Bush’s
NMD Program, “as best we understand it right now,” Kadish
said. “What we do now is, if anything pops up during the course
of our program planning … is to get the treaty compliance
review activity underway a lot sooner than we have in the past.”
Eventually, Kadish said, “it is up to the secretary to decide
what we should do.”
Code Red Virus Wormed Into Pentagon Computers
Even though the Defense Department has invested heavily in cyber-security
in the past few years, the Code Red computer virus did serious damage
to the Pentagon’s computers, said John P. Stenbit, assistant
secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence.
“It has had its effect. There is no question about that,”
he told the Armed Forces Press Service.
Today’s computer attacks are highly evolved compared to those
launched by hackers years ago, he added.
The Code Red virus attacked systems rather than individual hard
drives. It infected approximately 250,000 systems in nine hours,
and at that time, officials informed military Web site operators
to cut their connections to the public. The Pentagon’s public
network went back online five days later.