Long-Range Plans Key to Winning Antiterror Effort
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
GLENDALE, Ariz., Mar. 30, 2005 Defense, offense and long-range actions characterize U.S. operations in the war on terror, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said in a speech here March 29. And while the first two are important, it's long-range actions that will ultimately help the U. S. win the war.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers tells members of the Garvin Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Ariz., how the United States is doing in the effort against terror. Photo by Jim Garamone
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Looking at defense, the U.S. cannot build walls high enough or armored enough to stop all terror attacks, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at the Garvin Graduate School of International Management here. It's also not something that U.S. citizens want to do, he noted.
The U.S. military remains on the offensive -- the second leg of the strategy -- in Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, the Philippines and many other places around the world. And the United States is very successful at tracking down and killing and capturing extremists, Myers said.
"The military can continue to kill terrorists forever, and we'll get better at it," he said. "But in the end, it's not going to solve the problem.
"The problem," Myers continued, "is going to be solved by creating an environment where people aren't interested in extremism, where they think they have a political opportunity, an economic opportunity and a better way forward for their families. That's the secret."
The United States and its allies have to create a world where "young people don't want to join jihad," he said.
This is much broader than the U.S. military alone, Myers told the students. Calling the effort against terror a war does not capture the whole picture. Calling it a war leads people to believe that the military is the executive agent of choice. But in fact, he added, all aspects of national power must be deployed.
"Security is so much more than the military dimension," Myers said. "It's so much more than people in uniform. It's good government. It's the rule of law. It's an infrastructure that is developed enough to support economic growth. And it's communications. All these have to occur simultaneously."
The chairman told the students and faculty that the U.S. armed forces had to be forced to work together via the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986. "Now we work together very well," he said. "The trick is going to be working as closely with the other agencies in the government, as well as allied governments, nongovernmental agencies.
"The U.S. military can't win this war alone," he said. "It's impossible."
The Garvin Graduate School of International Management, is based at what was Thunderbird Army Airfield during World War II. The private institution is still called Thunderbird and specializes in master's degrees in business administration. About half of the student body hails from overseas.