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Pace Says Military Should Get Credit for Adapting

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2006 – People should give the same credit to the American military that they give the nation’s enemies, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses questions from Pentagon reporters Nov. 10. Left to right, the reporters are Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News; Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service; Nick Simeone, Fox News; and Barbara Starr, CNN. Earlier, Pace paid tribute to the 30 million American veterans during television interviews with CNN, Fox News, CBS and MSNBC. Photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, USAF

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace spoke to a small group of reporters after appearing on the television morning news shows.

“We give the enemy credit for looking at us, seeing what we are doing and changing their tactics,” Pace said. “We should give ourselves the same credit and do the same thing. We should expect it of ourselves. We should not expect to go with a plan that’s chipped in stone and stay with that plan no matter what.”

Pace said the objective must remain constant, but the methods used to reach that objective should be allowed to change as the enemy changes.

Pace said the Joint Chiefs of Staff meet a couple of times a week and continually study recommendations for improving operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are also listening to recommendations being made by officers recently returned from the combat zones. “We’ve asked (the officers) to take a look at the objectives, the impediments to those objectives, what’s going right, what’s going wrong, what are the trends,” Pace said.

The group gives its recommendations on tactics and strategies that work and those that don’t, and how the military can improve, the chairman explained.

Pace said the informal group approach is going to be a continuous process. “I’m going to seed that group with new people coming back so we have fresh views all the time,” he said.

Pace said the change in leadership in Congress will not change his job. “My responsibility in uniform is to look at the objectives that the nation has set for us and … give my best military advice without regard to which political party is in power, without regard to the political winds of the day,” he said. “We have a mission. We should continue to focus on that mission until somebody changes that mission.”

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Gen. Peter Pace, USMC

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