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Military News Briefs for the Week of Feb. 23, 2001

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2001 – (This is a summary of the American Forces Press Service news stories for the week ending Feb. 23, 2001)


Bush Says Raid Sends Message to Hussein

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2001 -- President Bush said Feb. 22 that recent coalition air attacks against Iraq sent a strong message to Saddam Hussein that “this administration will remain engaged” in Southwest Asia.

Bush, speaking at his first White House press conference, also said the Feb. 16 raid was designed to get Saddam Hussein’s attention and to degrade his capacity to harm coalition pilots patrolling the no-fly zones.

Bush said Secretary of State Army Gen. (Ret.) Colin Powell would address the issue of Iraq during an upcoming Middle East trip. “The Secretary of State is going to listen to our allies as to how to best effect a policy, the primary goal of which will be to say to Saddam Hussein, we won’t tolerate you developing weapons of mass destruction, and we expect you to leave your neighbors alone,” Bush said.

Bush said Powell would review the sanctions policy with Gulf states. He said sanctions that work are sanctions that “reflect the collective will of the region.”

News reports indicate U.S. munitions missed several radars in the attacks around Baghdad. Reporters asked Bush about whether the mission was successful. “My job as Commander- in-Chief is to get input from the commanders in the field, and we will do everything needed to protect our pilots, to protect the men and women who wear the uniform,” Bush said.

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Intelligence Chief Details Threats Facing America

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2001 -- The world is in transition from the Cold War to something new and the top military intelligence officer expects the next 10 to 15 years to be “at least as turbulent, if not more so” as the past 10.

Navy Vice Adm. Thomas Wilson, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Feb. 7. In his written statement to the committee he said the basic forces bringing stress and disorder to the world will continue.

“No power, circumstance, or condition is likely to emerge capable of overcoming these [forces] and creating a more stable global environment,” Wilson said. “Within this environment, the ‘Big C’ issues – especially counter drug, counter intelligence, counter proliferation, counter terrorism … will remain key challenges for the United States.”

Driving all, according to Wilson, is globalization. “Globalization is generally a positive force that will leave most of the world’s people better off,” he said. “But in some ways, globalization will exacerbate local and regional tensions, increase the prospects and capabilities for conflict and empower those who would do us harm.”

The transfer of information and technology increases the dangers from weapons of mass destruction. Wilson said this trend “will increasingly accord smaller states, groups, and individuals destructive capabilities previously limited to major world powers.”

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Admiral OKs USS Greeneville Inquiry

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2001 - The U.S. Pacific Fleet commander has ordered that a Court of Inquiry be convened next week to investigate the circumstances leading to the Feb. 9 collision between a Navy nuclear submarine and a Japanese trawler off Honolulu.

At a Feb. 17 press conference in Pearl Harbor, Admiral Thomas B. Fargo noted that he had completed his preliminary review of the collision between the USS Greeneville and the fishing vessel Ehime Maru. The submarine was conducting an emergency surfacing exercise when it struck the Ehime Maru about nine miles out from Diamond Head, DoD officials said.

"The Court of Inquiry is the Navy's highest form of administrative investigation and a formal hearing," Fargo said at Pearl Harbor. "I've elected this course of action after reviewing the facts, opinions and recommendations expressed in the preliminary inquiry, because a Court of Inquiry provides the necessary legal safeguards for the affected parties, complete subpoena power and a forum for public disclosure."

Fargo said the court would convene Feb. 26 at Pearl Harbor. It will not conflict with the ongoing National Transportation and Safety Board investigation, he said.

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Military Researchers Working to Lower Rate of Combat Deaths

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2001 -- Ninety percent of people who die in war die before they reach a medical facility, and military researchers are working to lower that number.

"We're looking for something to use on the battlefield that will make a difference," Dr. Jeannine Majde-Cottrell said. Majde-Cottrell is the program officer for casualty care and management with the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Va.

She said nearly 50 percent of combat casualties die from bleeding, and most of them die between five and 30 minutes after injury. If researchers can develop products to treat these patients, they can cut down these numbers. But combat imposes practical limitations on what medics can use, Majde-Cottrell said.

In December, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new hemostatic dressing that works to reduce blood loss. Navy and civilian researchers developed a bandage impregnated with algal polysaccharide, which constricts blood vessels in the wound and traps red blood cells. "It promotes clot formation," Majde-Cottrell said.

Navy researchers are also working on a hand-held ultrasound cautery device. "This will allow us to deal with some internal injuries," she said. "We hope to be able to use ultrasound first to detect a bleed by a Doppler imaging system and then focus ultrasound in such a way that we can cauterize that bleed without having to (surgically) open the patient."

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