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War on Terrorism Requires More Than Might, DoD Official Says

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2006 – U.S. military might is only one piece of the solution to winning the war on terrorism, a defense official said here yesterday.

"In the war on terrorism, our enemies operate globally," said Jeffrey Nadaner, deputy assistant secretary of defense for stability operations. The effort requires the help of partner nations all over the globe, he said.

Those enemies find opportunity in countries with which the United States is at peace, in countries where the United States is conducting military operations, and in ungoverned areas, he told the audience attending the 17th Annual National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations/Low-intensity Conflict Symposium and Exhibition.

While the United States has a great military force, it's not enough to win the long war the country is in, he said.

"There are many war on terror tasks that can be accomplished better by or with partner nations," he said. "Because the simple matter is, they know the local geography. They know the culture. They know the ethnic and social relations, (and) they know the language."

Building partnership security capacity allows partner countries to disrupt terrorist and criminal networks and other mutual threats, Nadaner said.

Previously, building partnership security capacity meant other countries primarily benefiting from U.S. weapons sales, he said. In a shift from this Cold War mind set, building partnership security capacity now focuses not only on training and equipping a country, but also on what tangible benefit that partnership will provide to U.S. national security, he said.

But building partnership security capacity for the war on terror isn't easy, Nadaner said. For example, he said, the former Soviet republic of Georgia needed training and equipment to deal with a domestic terrorist problem last year. "For the United States to get (them) the training and equipment they needed, we had to stitch together at least seven different ... authorities," Nadaner said.

The Georgia training was successful, he said. After dealing with its domestic problems, the country deployed forces to Iraq. But the experience and other similar situations led Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to call for changes, Nadaner said.

This directive led to a hybrid approach, creating unity between the Defense and State departments. The State Department was involved because it has training and equipping authorities in regard to partner nations, Nadaner explained.

He called that hybrid authority a good first step. It's a two-year authority funded at $200 million per year for training and equipping countries as part of building partner security capacity, he added. Its focus is on counterterrorism and stability operations capability in those countries. "It requires the Defense Department and the State Department to be joined at the hip in terms of how to build these program and the countries they choose," Nadaner said.

The directive requires the president to review the Foreign Assistance Act, the primary vehicle for getting resources to other countries, Nadaner said..

"The next year or two are critical to the implementation and expanding (of) this authority to make the difference in the war on terrorism," he said.

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