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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?


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lunarchick - 03:54pm Aug 18, 2001 EST (#7903 of 7908)
lunarchick@www.com

Rumsfeld signals cuts to armed forces By Edward Alden in Washington www.ft.com Published: August 17 2001 20:26GMT

The US is set to abandon its military policy of being capable of winning two big regional conflicts simultaneously and replace it with what could be termed a "1 war strategy", Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary, said on Friday.

In his most detailed statements yet on the Bush administration's plans to restructure the armed forces, Mr Rumsfeld said the new policy would be based on the US winning one war decisively while simultaneously repelling an attack somewhere else in the world.

The savings from this shift would allow the US to maintain forces for a variety of smaller conflicts and peacekeeping missions such as that in Kosovo. It would also free up funds for building new weapons systems and modernising the armed forces, he said.

Since the end of the cold war, US defence planning has been based on the need to win two big conflicts at the same time at opposite ends of the earth. The most likely adversaries have been seen as Iraq and North Korea.

The doctrine required the US to maintain half a million troops, half a dozen aircraft carriers and accompanying air support for each conflict.

But Mr Rumsfeld said on Friday that US forces were simply unprepared for two missions on such a scale. "Because of shortage of transport, shortage of troops, shortage of high-demand assets, the little secret of the whole thing was that we had the construct but we didn't have the capabilities to fit them."

In addition, the effort to meet that strategy had kept the military from funding other urgent needs, he said. The two-war doctrine "took priority over people, it took priority over modernisation [and] it took priority over transformation".

Mr Rumsfeld has previously made clear his wish to abandon the two-war strategy but had been vague as to what would replace it. He made clear yesterday that a final decision would not be made by President George W. Bush until the quadrennial defence review was completed at the end of next month.

The essential requirement of the new posture would be that the US could win one regional war on its own terms, including occupying an enemy's territory, while for the other conflict the US would remain capable of defeating an attack but not be able to end the war on such decisive terms.

The shift in posture will almost certainly result in some cuts to the overall size of US military forces, something that could face strong opposition in Congress. But Mr Rumsfeld said he might simply spell out the requirements and budgets for each of the armed services and allow them to make their own decisions on whether to cut troops or find savings elsewhere.

"This is a big organisation," he said. "The services make a lot of decisions. It would be foolhardy to try to micro-manage from the top."

Mr Rumsfeld added on Friday that the US was not planning to send extra troops to Macedonia to support any Nato operation.

The US has agreed to participate with logistics, intelligence and medical support, and has offered the use of Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo for hospital care if needed, he said. "The forces that would be used are forces that are already in Macedonia or Kosovo," Mr Rumsfeld said. "So we're not planning on sending extra forces."

more from FT.com Special report: Bush defence plans - shield or charade?

lunarchick - 03:58pm Aug 18, 2001 EST (#7904 of 7908)
lunarchick@www.com

Special report: Bush defence plans - shield or charade? Published: August 8 2001 17:27GMT

Despite the extravagant costs involved, doubts about technical feasibility and the effect on relations with Russia, China and European allies, US President George W. Bush and his advisors appear determined to press ahead with development of a missile defence plan.

Mr Bush has defended his proposal as a "search for security, not a search for advantage." Responding to criticism that the US is treading islolationist grounds, Mr Bush has argued that his plan would also benefit American allies. In deference to Europe, he dropped the word "national" from the missile defence plan proposal.

Mr Bush also faces a US congress reluctant to fund the expensive proposal. And many strategists and scientists are asking: will the shield even work? FT.com provides background and breaking news to explain Mr Bush's ambitious - and perhaps dangerous - plan. (gives background links)

lunarchick - 05:24am Aug 19, 2001 EST (#7905 of 7908)
lunarchick@www.com

Oz tv : People who say they are x_Viet_Vets are sorted out by the US Seals who follow through this long list of bragging cheats - the great 'pretenders' .. yet the greatest pretender of all was omitted from the list .. perhaps he'll make it soon.

Putin was shown on his August_break throwing clay pots. Out with the people, magnanimously learning new crafts and skills. This take on Russia was the new entrepreneurs are doing well, but, there are many who are poor, alcoholic and destitute.

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