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FEATURE ARTICLE  

Washington Pulse 

10  2,001 

by Elizabeth Book 

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,” he added.

“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 things?”

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 October.

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 United States.

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 anti-jamming capabilities.

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, D.C.

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, explained Jamison.

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.

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