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Rumsfeld Speaks on Process Behind Budget, QDR

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2006 – No nation has the resources or capability to defend against every conceivable attack, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.

That's why the military must "focus on developing a range of capabilities, rather than preparing to confront any one particular threat."

This is the heart of both the Quadrennial Defense Review and the president's 2007 defense budget request. Congress received both documents yesterday.

Rumsfeld, Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Gen. Peter Pace and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker testified in support of the budget request.

Rumsfeld said the department has taken on major initiatives since 2001 with the idea of developing capabilities to handle 21st century threats. "And they have been informed by operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations in the global war on terror," he said.

The changes made in defense strategy, manning and doctrine will help the country prevail in what officials now call the "Long War." This war - like the Cold War before it - will be a struggle against a hateful ideology that has attempted to hijack Islam for its nefarious purposes. Rumsfeld said the Long War, "also has the effect of transforming the way our forces fight and defend our country."

When al Qaeda attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, the process of rethinking and reconfiguring the U.S. military was already under way. "Within three months, the Taliban regime and its al Qaeda 'guests' were routed in a landlocked country several thousand miles away," Rumsfeld said. "And within three years, our military had removed a dangerous and brutal regime from Iraq and helped to stand up a new democratically elected government that is now fighting terrorists instead of harboring them.

"This would not have been possible without an historic change in the way our military is arranged and operates."

But the enemies still believe they can win, the secretary said. They cannot hope to win a conventional fight against the United States, so they hope to sap the country's will via asymmetric attacks using terror as their weapon of choice.

"Their goal is to break America's resolve through the deft use of propaganda and carefully plotted attacks that garner headlines," Rumsfeld said.

"In a few short years they have become experts at manipulating the global media to both inspire and intimidate," he continued. "They have media committees and handbooks that advise their operatives when and how to lie - in particular to claim torture when captured - in order to generate coverage and commentary that damages vigorous anti-terrorism efforts. They have multiple Web sites that display videos of bombings and beheadings that are shown around the world.

The enemies' goals are to force the coalition to abandon Iraq before that country is ready to defend itself, he said.

The enemy - as personified by Osama bin Laden - wants to extend the jihad around the world. "And have no doubt, should these fanatics obtain the weapons of mass destruction they seek, the survival of our free way of life would be at risk," he said.

Progress in Iraq and Afghanistan will help to win the Long War. Rumsfeld told the senators to look at the war from the enemies' viewpoints.

"The terrorists tried to stop Afghanistan's presidential and parliamentary elections -- and they failed," he said. "They tried to stop the elections for a provisional Iraqi government a year ago -- and they failed. They tried to stop the drafting and approval of a new constitution --and they failed. And they tried to stop elections last December for a permanent democratic government -- and they failed again."

The Iraqis now are seizing responsibility for their own security, the secretary said. The Iraqi 8th Army Division, for example, took over control of an area the size of Kentucky, he said.

But it is more than simple security, it means getting control of corruption and politically taking charge. That means putting together a competent government that respects the interests of all Iraqi ethnic and religious groups and that involves the people. The secretary called for "a government where the people involved ... commit to governing from the center and have a program they agree to and then go about implementing."

The American military must change the way it does business, Rumsfeld said. While combating terrorism is the main threat, there are any number of other threats that could pop up. Chemical and biological attacks are a threat; a missile launched by a rogue regime is a threat. A friendly nation overthrown by Islamic radicals is a threat, and the U.S. military must be ready to confront all of these and more.

To that end, the budget calls for more than doubling special operations forces. This includes a new Marine component to U.S. Special Operations Command. The increase will mean the largest special operation force in decades, the secretary said.

The enemy is different, and all U.S. forces must adjust. The budget and Quadrennial Defense Review call for increasing foreign languages capabilities in the force. The QDR and budget request also assign priority to post-conflict and stability operations in the military's overall training and doctrine, the secretary said.

Rumsfeld dwelt on shifts under way in the role and importance of intelligence. "The U.S. military has long excelled at engaging targets once they have been identified," he said. "In the future we must better ascertain where the enemy is going next, rather than where the enemy was: to be able to 'find' and 'fix,' as well as be able to 'finish.'

"The United States military has enormous capacity to finish and insufficient capacity to find and fix," he continued. This means upgrading U.S. intelligence capabilities - both human and technical - and more effectively linking operations in real time in the field.

He said the military is shifting from the impulse to try to do everything, to helping partners and allies develop their own capacities to better govern and defend themselves.

"This is particularly important in a global war on terror where many of our nation's most dangerous enemies exist within the borders of countries with whom we are friends," he said. "This shift is at the heart of the effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as smaller-scale 'train and equip' missions in places like the Republic of Georgia and the Philippines."

He said other important shifts are occurring. These include shifting from a peacetime tempo to a wartime sense of urgency; shifting from operating in an era of certainty to one of surprise; and moving from avoiding risk to managing and balancing risk and from confronting other nation states to confronting decentralized terrorists networks.

Changes include moving from the Cold War "garrison forces" to expeditionary forces that can be deployed anywhere quickly. It will also mean a force with less logistical "tail" and more combat "teeth," he said.

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Donald H. Rumsfeld

Related Sites:
Fiscal 2007 Defense Budget Request
Quadrennial Defense Review

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