Secretary Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace and Gen. Peter Schoomaker, chief of staff of the Army, testified today before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the FY 2007 budget. Following are some highlights of the secretary’s testimony.
Our nation is engaged in what will be a “long war.”
This long war is the central security issue of our time.
The campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and other theaters in the Global War on Terror have added new impetus and urgency to transformation efforts that were already underway in the Department of Defense before September 11 th .
In this long war, the task ahead – to continue to pursue the enemy, bolster our defenses, and enable our friends and allies to manage their own defense – requires us to not only meet today’s threats, but also to plan for tomorrow’s uncertainties.
As the Department has transformed the past several years, we have shifted emphasis from the practices and assumptions of the past:
From preparing to fight conventional wars – which we are still prepared to do – to a greater emphasis on fighting unconventional, or irregular, or asymmetric wars against terrorist cells or enemy guerillas.
From simply de-conflicting the branches of the Armed Services and keeping them out of each others’ way on the battlefield -- to more fully integrating them in ways that complement and leverage each Service’s strengths.
From reacting to crises -- to preventive action, such as in the Horn of Africa, where we’ve undertaken security and development missions to keep them from becoming a new haven for terrorist activity, such as Afghanistan became in the 1990s.
From knowing where the enemy has been -- to better ascertaining where he is going next by improving our intelligence capabilities so we can “find” and “fix,” as well as “finish.”
From our typically American impulse of trying to do everything ourselves -- to helping partners and allies develop their own capacity to better govern and defend themselves. This is particularly important in the war on terror, where many of our most dangerous enemies exist within the borders of countries with whom we are not at war.
Within the Executive Branch, we are seeking ways to work more closely with our partners at the departments of State, Justice, Treasury and Homeland Security and the CIA.
Other important shifts in our posture and thinking:
From a peacetime tempo to a wartime sense of urgency;
From operating in an era of certainty to one of surprise;
From avoiding risk to managing and balancing risk;
From confronting other nation states to confronting decentralized terrorists networks;
From garrison forces defending fixed frontiers to expeditionary forces that can be deployed anywhere;
From having the bulk of personnel in the institutional military – the so-called “tail,” to moving troops to the operational side that deploys and fights – the “teeth”; and
From separating people and information in vertical “stove pipes” to sharing data and coordinating operations across organizations, military services and agencies.