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Group Helps Evaluate, Revise Terror War Strategies

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2006 – An informal study group that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff set up is helping to evaluate and revise strategy for the war on terror, Pentagon officials said today.

The group is composed of 16 officers from all services with recent combat experience – mostly in Iraq. They will work on the Joint Staff for a short time to give workers there a fresh perspective.

“Any ideas or thoughts or suggestions that they will be making will go through the normal chain of command and will be considered by the chairman,” said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman. Their ideas could influence what military advice the chairman, and the rest of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provide the president and the secretary of defense.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman, formed the group in September. The idea was for the group to “lead strategic thought and dialogue” on all aspects of the war on terror, said a senior military official speaking on background. The group meets every day to discuss “unfettered, fresh ideas.”

The group meets with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff twice a week, the official said. “They often tee things up for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to work on,” the official said. They continually review where the United States is in the global war on terror, what the end state should be, what’s going right, what’s going wrong, what the obstacles to success are and how to surmount them.

Pace will continue to “seed” the group with leaders fresh from the combat zones, the official said.

The group will not prepare a formal presentation of its recommendations for anyone. The chairman makes recommendations on a regular basis to national leaders, and some of the insight the group gives him probably will find its way into his best military advice, the official explained.

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Gen. Peter Pace, USMC

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