Intel-Dump

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Big News Day
:
North Korean fighter crosses into South Korean airspace;
U.S. deploys combat troops to Philippines


The Associated Press reports that a North Korean fighter jet crossed into South Korean airspace this morning over a disputed portion of the Yellow Sea. South Korea scrambled its defense system. Ultimately, cool heads prevailed and the incident did not escalate. However, given my experience on the peninsula during some spy-sub incidents, I think the entire Korean peninsula remains tense right now. My gut instincts tell me this was a navigational error or mistake on the North Korean pilot's part. But it could have also been a probe by the North.

The North Korean MiG-19 jet fighter crossed a western maritime boundary over the Yellow Sea at 10:03 a.m. Thursday. The warplane flew nearly 8 miles into South Korea's airspace — all over water — before heading back into communist territory two minutes later.

A South Korea anti-aircraft missile unit based near the port of Incheon was given the order to be ready to fire. At the same time, two South Korean F-5E jets flew to intercept the intruder, the Defense Ministry said. Later, four more South Korean F-5E jets were deployed.

The first South Korean jets were 19 miles, or a two-minute flight, from the enemy fighter when it began retreating, said air force Col. Oh Sung-dae.


On this side of the globe, the New York Times reports that the Pentagon has decided to send 3,000 military personnel to conduct anti-terrorist operations in the Philippines. This is a significant development in America's war on terrorism, and I will be watching for more developments here. [I imagine Chris Baker at Half Baked will have some good analysis too, given his Marine Corps infantry experience.]

Unlike a six-month training mission that involved 1,300 American forces on Basilan Island last year, this will be a joint operation with the Philippine military that has no fixed deadline. It marks a significant escalation in the war against terror even as the United States builds up for a possible war against Iraq and continues to hunt for Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

The plan calls for 750 American ground troops, including about 350 Special Operations forces, to conduct combat patrols in the jungles of Sulu Province with Philippine forces. In addition, 2,200 marines armed with Cobra attack helicopters and Harrier AV-8B attack planes will stand ready on ships offshore to act as a quick-response force, provide logistics and medical support.

A military assessment team, the vanguard of the larger combat force, is expected to arrive in the Philippines in the next few days, and the full American force could be conducting combat operations against the Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf within a month, a Pentagon official said. The American forces will be led by Maj. Gen. Joseph Webber, the commander of marines in the Pacific.

John Walker Lindh begins sentence in California prison

American Talib's transfer raises questions for the cases of other 'enemy combatants'

After pleading guilty to charges of helping the Taliban in July 2002, John Walker Lindh began his prison sentence last month at the federal prison in Victorville, California. News of Lindh's imprisonment broke in a local California paper after federal officials tried (purportedly for Lindh's own safety) to keep his transfer and lock-up a secret. According to his plea bargain, Lindh will serve 20 years in federal prison for the two counts he pled guilty to. In return, he agreed to spill his guts to American defense and intelligence officials seeking to learn more about the Taliban and Al Qaeda organizations.

I was present in July 2002 for Mr. Lindh's plea bargain. While working in Washington last summer, I took off that Monday morning from work to attend what I thought was going to be an interesting 5th Amendment skirmish between Lindh's attorneys and the Assistant U.S. Attorneys on the case. The issue was a motion to suppress Lindh's statements made in military custody as a battlefield prisoner. After about 40 minutes of haggling over procedural details, James Brosnahan announced for his client "Your honor, we have a change in plea." The scene could have been lifted straight from a movie. Several reporters dashed out of the room to phone their editors with the story. And you could've heard a pin drop as Judge T.S. Ellis III interrogated Lindh about his plea and the underlying facts.

After the event, I wrote a short commentary for The Washington Times titled "The Seam Between Law and War" which analyzed this plea agreement. I felt then -- and still believe today -- that the government decided to cut its losses in the Lindh case to get what they could in the face of overwhelming legal opposition from Lindh's crack defense team.

Weary from his months in combat and confinement, John Walker Lindh stood before U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in green prison scrubs on Monday and pled guilty to two felony counts relating to his sojourn as a Taliban soldier in Afghanistan.

By pleading guilty, Lindh secured his own fate of 20 years behind bars - a light sentence given the possibility under his indictment. But more importantly, Lindh also contributed to the American war on terrorism in two very important ways.

First, Lindh agreed to cooperate fully with American law enforcement and intelligence agencies without the possibility that his sentence may be reduced. Though Lindh was a foot soldier, he did see much of the organization and leadership of the Taliban and al Qaeda. His knowledge of those organizations will be invaluable in building a sketch of those two organizations. This basic sketch will aid intelligence officers and prosecutors as they decide the fate of the detainees we now house at Guantanamo Bay.
* * *
Second, this plea bargain serves as damage control for the federal government. It ends a case that could have easily shattered its entire legal strategy in the war on terrorism. Lindh's defense team was very good. They objected to virtually every piece of evidence and made it very difficult for the federal prosecutors to build their case. Defense Attorney James Brosnahan was not about to roll over when the government cried "exigencies of war" or allow Lindh's initial treatment to go unnoticed. Whether these things happened in the fog of war or not was irrelevant - they were objections which could be made in the court of law.

Mr. Brosnahan and his legal team exploited the fact that Lindh's case fell on the seam between law and war. They highlighted the ways that American soldiers do not capture enemy combatants for the purpose of trying them in civilian courts. Lindh's legal team made great use of photos which showed him lying supine on a stretcher. This treatment would not be aberrational in war, but it shocked the conscience of many observers because it was such a departure from our norms of criminal justice. Mr. Brosnahan also objected to evidence gathered in the conduct of war, such as Lindh's weaponry, because they could not satisfy the peacetime standards of the Federal Rules of Evidence. All these objections made it abundantly clear that though Lindh may be guilty of crimes in war, he may not be convicted in a court of peace because of our high constitutional standards.

Indeed, if there were ever a case which screamed for a military commission, it was that of Lindh. His case exemplified the reasons why civilian courts are ill-equipped to deal with the exigencies of war. Instead of allowing for the realities of battlefield capture, the federal courts punished the prosecution for it. Similarly, the federal rules punished the prosecution for the need to immediately interrogate Lindh on the battlefield, and almost quashed his statements altogether. Military courts, designed by soldiers for soldiers, better understand the exigencies of war.


Sequel: Lindh's transfer to Victorville raises an interesting question: has the intelligence community exhausted his intelligence value? Presumably, they would not commit him to this facility until they had gotten all they could from him. Does this mean that he has no further intelligence value? If this conclusion is right, does that mean the same could eventually be true for Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, who are being held as Taliban and Al Qaeda members by the Defense Department? A major part of the government's argument for keeping these men in DoD custody is that they have continuing intelligence value, and any contact with counsel, fellow inmates, the legal system, or the outside world might disturb their interrogations. (See Mobbs Declaration and Woolfolk Declaration) Is there some future point where these two men will also exhaust their intelligence value, and thus be released back to the criminal-justice system (or released entirely)?
WSJ: Marines prepare for chemical warfare


The Wall Street Journal has a great front-page article today on the ways the 7th Marine Regiment are training for chemical warfare in the Kuwaiti desert. The article describes the different drills the Marines go through, including their unmasking drill. For the uninitiated, most ground forces still employ a final fail-safe method for testing the air before giving the "all clear" message to soldiers wearing their gas masks. After getting a clean reading from all their chemical-surveillance gear, the Marines choose 2-3 men in a platoon and take away their weapons. While the platoon medic watches (with nerve-agent antidote in hand), the Marines gradually breathe in the outside air, testing it for contamination. In essence, these Marines become human "canaries", testing the air for their buddies the way canaries do for coal miners.

The harsh reality of chemical and biological warfare is that, despite all the sophisticated testing equipment the Pentagon has deployed to defend its troops, the only way to be sure the air is fit to breathe is for some brave -- and possibly unlucky -- soul to take his mask off.

And the harsh reality of military life is that the guy would have to be someone relatively expendable.

"You're basically the Marine who has to unmask first to make sure everyone else lives," says Cpl. Jose Valadez, a 23-year-old rifleman from Albuquerque, N.M. "You're the guinea pig."


This is an unpleasant but necessary reality of modern warfare, as the article says. However, the Marines have every possible safeguard to ensure the air is actually clean when the young Marines go through their "selective unmasking" drill. In fact, the Pentagon has gone so far as to buy chickens for the front-line units in Kuwait, the latter-day equivalent of the coal miners' canaries.

Meanwhile, the military has come up with an additional chemical-detection plan, this one more akin to the canaries miners once took into shafts to detect toxic air. Wednesday, division headquarters delivered to the regiment 43 chickens and a supply of feed. The chickens will be in cages in armored and other military vehicles. If any should drop dead crossing into Iraq, the Marines will know there might be something foul in the air. The division has even come up with a military designation for them: Poultry Chemical Confirmation Detectors, or PCCDs.

The 7th Marine Regiment's chem-bio specialists prefer Kuwaiti Field Chickens: KFC.

"E-Bombs" May Be Deployed in Gulf War II

But experts disagree on the legality and efficacy of these devices

The New York Times Technology Section carries a long and well-written piece today on the Pentagon's newest weapon: the "e-bomb." This is a euphemism to describe a "directed energy" weapon, which uses some kind of electromagnetic wave to target electronic gear, natural resources, or even human beings. Long predicted by military affairs experts, these electronic weapons bring a tremendous promise: the ability to neutralize enemy communcations & equipment without killing enemy soldiers or civilians.

Think invisible lasers, using high-powered microwaves and other sorts of radiation rather than the pulses of visible light common in science fiction. These new systems, which have been under development in countries including Britain, China, Russia and the United States for at least a decade, are not designed to kill people. Conventional bombs, guns and artillery can take care of that.

Rather, most of the directed-energy systems are meant to kill electronics, to disrupt or destroy the digital devices that control the information lifeblood of modern societies and modern military forces. By contrast, traditional jamming equipment blocks communications gear from functioning but does not actually damage the device.

"If there is a war in Iraq, there is no question in my mind that we will see the use of both directed-energy and radio-frequency weaponry,'' said John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., referring to both the new sorts of weapons and traditional jamming technology. "Over the last several years, a great deal of research has been undertaken in this area both by the United States but also by other countries, not all of them allied with us."

That is why, like the genie escaping its bottle, directed energy may harbor danger for the United States itself, not just for its adversaries. With its increasing reliance on digital communications and information systems, the United States is perhaps the most vulnerable potential target for directed-energy devices, military experts say.


Indeed, this risk is great enough that the Wall Street Journal reports today that the Pentagon has decided not to use e-bombs at all.

Top Pentagon and military-service officials are leaning against using the e-bomb, though. They are concerned its use could alienate the Iraqi populace by crippling Baghdad's phone and electrical systems and, hence, the city's hospital and emergency-services infrastructure. Because of the permanent nature of the damage it causes, it would significantly raise the financial cost of rebuilding Iraq's economy once a conflict is over.

There are other practical considerations as well. Military and industry officials say the use of the experimental weapon could burn out electronics on U.S. military equipment in the vicinity. Electronic circuitry on most Air Force systems hasn't yet been redesigned to survive a concentrated onslaught of electromagnetic pulses, according to a February 2000 report by Air Force Col. Eileen Walling. The Air Force declines to comment on the weapon or its potential uses.


More importantly, the Pentagon is worried about blowback from this device's first use. After all, no military uses digitization and electronics to the extent that the U.S. military does. From hand-held GPS receives to Apache helicopters, our military depends heavily on sometimes-delicate electronics to get the job done.

"The U.S. doesn't want the rest of the world to get their hands on something that we're highly vulnerable to," says Loren Thompson, executive director of the Lexington Institute think tank based in Washington, which is set to issue a 64-page report on the topic in coming days. Traditionally, new weapons often spur the development of similar systems and countermeasures to render them less harmful. Some who have studied the use of electromagnetic pulses in warfare say that a cheap version of the weapon could be made for as little as $400.
College professor arrested in Florida for alleged ties to terrorism


The Associated Press reports that the Justice Department has taken Professor Sami Al-Arian and two others into custody for their ties to terrorist networks. Attorney General John Ashcroft is going to detail the charges this afternoon in a press conference. Al-Arian, a professor of computer engineering at the University of South Florida, had been under fire from both his university and federal officials for some time as a result of pro-Palestinian/anti-Israeli activities and other concerns.

The tenured computer engineering professor was placed on forced leave and banned from campus shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and his subsequent appearance on Fox News Channel. The school also is trying to dismiss him.

He was quizzed about links to known terrorists, and asked about tapes from the late 1980s and early 1990s in which he said ``Death to Israel'' in Arabic.

Al-Arian has said that he has never advocated violence against others and that his words were a statement against Israeli occupation. He also has consistently denied any connection to terrorists.

The university says that hurt the school's fund-raising efforts and resulted in threats being made against the school.

The university also claimed the professor raised money for terrorist groups, brought terrorists into the United States, and founded organizations that support terrorism.

Al-Arian and his brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najjar, founded the World and Islam Studies Enterprises, a now-defunct Islamic think tank at USF that was raided by the FBI in 1995. Al-Arian also founded the Islamic Concern Project Inc. in 1988.

Al-Arian has lived in the United States since 1975 and had taught at the university since 1986.

Last month, the faculty union at the University of South Florida filed a grievance on Al-Arian's behalf, saying that banning him from campus violated the union's contract, Al-Arian's right to academic freedom and its own policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of ethnicity and religious affiliation.

His brother-in-law, who also had taught at the university, spent more than 3 1/2 years in jail on secret evidence linking him to terrorists. He was released in 2000 but arrested again in November 2001 and deported last August.


I'm not sure what's really happening here; we'll know a lot more when the AG makes his announcement this afternoon. I suspect this is linked to the Arnaout plea bargain in Chicago from last week, but have little confidence in that guess. More to follow...

UPDATE: Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the indictment of eight people for their financial, material and other support to terrorist organizations.

The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Tampa, Fla., was unsealed Thursday. It charges that the men are members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, designated by the United States as a terrorist organization. Among them are a Palestinian professor at the University of South Florida, 45-year-old Sami Amin Al-Arian, who is described as the group's U.S. leader and secretary of its worldwide council.
* * *
In announcing the indictment, Attorney General John Ashcroft said the eight supported numerous violent terrorist activities.

"Our message to them and to others like them is clear: We make no distinction between those who carry out terrorist attacks and those who knowingly finance, manage or supervise terrorist organizations," he said.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Ridge takes message of preparedness to the American public


Welding anti-terrorism expertise with American common sense, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge today told Americans Wednesday that they should prepare for terrorism in much the same way they would prepare for any other natural disaster. "We can be afraid, or we can be ready," Mr. Ridge said. "Today America's families declare, we will not be afraid and we will be ready." The core of Secretary Ridge's recommendations were three recommendations for every American:

1. Have a communications plan so the family can get in touch during an emergency
2. Put together a disaster kit with a few days of critical supplies
3. Know where to turn for information during a crisis

This is sound advice. It's also nothing new for Californians and other Americans who have lived with the threat of natural disaster for their whole lives. That's not accidental. Many of the "consequences management" functions for terrorism are exactly the same as those for disaster relief. I've been telling my friends for some time that there's little you can do if you're unfortunate enough to be at the epicenter of a terrorist attack. But by taking measures like these, you can prepare for the secondary and tertiary effects of a terrorist attack. A major incident here in L.A. could shut down public infrastructure, power grids, food distribution networks, transportation arteries, and the phone lines -- just to name a few. A little bit of planning & preparation can make your family ready for these events, if they occur.
Naming the Operation


Until WWII, the naming of military operations typically had something to do with operational security ("OPSEC"). Operation Overlord, for example, was used to describe the D-Day operation because they didn't want officers to casually refer to the invasion of France while walking around London. Same with Operation Torch, the allied invasion of North Africa in 1942. Although these names took on significance later in military history, they started as innocuous words for describing/disguising the content of an operational plan.

Today, things are different. As Gregory Sieminski writes in the Autumn 1995 issue of Parameters (the U.S. Army War College journal), naming operations today has more to do with Madison Avenue and advertising than with OPSEC:

"Since 1989, major US military operations have been nicknamed with an eye toward shaping domestic and international perceptions about the activities they describe. Operation Just Cause is only the most obvious example of this phenomenon. From names that stress an operation's humanitarian focus, like Operation Provide Comfort in Turkey, to ones that stress an operation's restoration of democratic authority, like Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, it is evident that the military has begun to recognize the power of names in waging a public relations campaign, and the significance of winning that campaign to the overall effort. As Major General Charles McClain, Chief of Public Affairs for the Army, has recently written, "the perception of an operation can be as important to success as the execution of that operation." Professor Ray Eldon Hiebert, in a piece titled, "Public Relations as a Weapon of Modern War," elaborates on that view: "The effective use of words and media today . . . is just as important as the effective use of bullets and bombs. In the end, it is no longer enough just to be strong. Now it is necessary to communicate. To win a war today government not only has to win on the battlefield, it must also win the minds of its public."

Some recently named operations include:
Operation Desert Shield - The initial deployment of forces in 1990 to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraq
Operation Desert Storm - The air/ground campaign conducted to oust Iraq from Kuwait in 1991
Operation Desert Spring - The continuing, quarterly exercises conducted by the Army in Kuwait to rotate battalions through the country
Operation Joint Endeavor - The initial peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, initiated in 1995 with NATO support
Operation Infinite Justice - The original name for Operation Enduring Freedom (see below), which was scrubbed after people claimed it had religious overtones
Operation Noble Eagle - The military homeland-security effort since Sept. 11; includes guarding of airports, bridges, depots, etc.
Operation Enduring Freedom - The military campaign against terrorism around the world, including Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Officially, the current deployments of U.S. forces to Southwest Asia (Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Diego Garcia, etc) are part of Operation Enduring Freedom. (This according to the APO postal addresses of my friends who I've sent packages to over there) That's significant, because it means these operations are officially part of the global war on terrorism -- not a separate operation to prosecute Iraq for violations of UNSC Res. 1441. However, I don't think that's entirely accurate. More importantly, it's depriving us of the chance to name this operation, and add another phrase to the pantheon of American military history.

So what should President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld name the current operation? A few light-hearted suggestions:
- Operation Stomp Out (we're stomping out the fires of aggression, weapons of mass destruction, etc)
- Operation Clean Up (as in, we're cleaning up our mess from 12 years ago)
- Operation Unfinished Business (same theme, but more explicit)
- Operation Desert Redevelopment (in keeping with this Administration's pro-business theme)
- Operation Desert Inferno (psychological operations to tell the other side what they're about to face)
- Operation Everlasting Endeavor (let's be honest -- the occupation of Iraq will take some time)

I'm sure the Pentagon and State Department are consulting their high-priced Madison Avenue ad agencies now for the answer. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Book Update - The Mission


I finished Dana Priest's new book The Mission late last night, fueled by a pot of Peet's coffee. Great read -- I highly recommend the book.

However, I'm not sure I agree with the author's major arguments. Ms. Priest argues, among other things:

1. The U.S. military has gradually squeezed out diplomatic efforts abroad. This has occurred because military funding has remained constant while funding for diplomatic agencies (State Dept, USAID, Commerce, etc) has declined. I agree with the author's argument here, and think this is a dangerous trend. We ought to be engaging foreign governments, economies, and societies -- not just their militaries.

2. In this vacuum, military commanders (the "CinCs") have initiated a number of "military diplomacy" programs. These include the use of Special Forces to train foreign soldiers, sharing of intelligence, promotion of foreign military sales, etc. In the absence of diplomatic workers from traditional agencies like State and USAID, these soldiers have become the biggest group of American government personnel operating abroad. I agree with the author here too; the soldiers have filled a diplomatic vacuum created by tremendous funding disparities. Ironically, this occurred even in the Clinton Administration, where human rights and international engagement had a kindred spirit in the White House.

3. Soldiers are ill-trained and ill-equipped to do this job on behalf of America. Using soldiers abroad has led to a number of breakdowns in American foreign policy, such as the failure to establish a lasting and self-sustaining peace in the Balkans. Moreover, soldiers have contributed to conflict and human-rights problems in various ways, especially through the training of foreign troops. Here, I strongly disagree with Ms. Priest. U.S. soldiers have left a powerful and lasting legacy in places like Bosnia. They may remain there for some time. But the mission is a success story. 10 years ago, snipers dueled over the streets of Sarajevo, killing civilians with impunity. Today, civilians can walk through Sarajevo without fear. A similar, if not-yet-perfect, situation exists in Kosovo, where U.S. soldiers secure the future of Serbs and Albanians alike.

Bottom Line: Soldiers don't make the best diplomats in the world. They should not replace political, social and economic diplomacy, as they have done because of funding disparities between the Pentagon and other federal agencies. But soldiers do a pretty good job at policing the peace. And while the American infantry isn't automatically ready to assume such missions, it can be trained to do so. With good training and leadership, American soldiers can make and keep peace in some of the world's worst places -- just as they have done in Bosnia and Kosovo. On occasion, mistakes will be made. However, American soldiers have proven their ability to stop the killing -- a goal that thousands of diplomats could never attain in the Balkans.
Muslim U.S. Army National Guard soldiers says he won't go

Case raises issues of religious freedom; soldier will lose if he fights this one

Sunday's New York Daily News reports that a New York-based reservist named Ghanim Khalil has said "Hell no, I won't go." It's more complicated than that. Basically, he has stated that he will not go if called to fight in Iraq, because he does not believe in the cause for which he would be fighting. Khalil, who is a supply specialist in the New York National Guard, has no mobilization orders -- but he's been told "it's only a matter of time."

"If I'm asked to go to the Middle East, I will not," Khalil, of Staten Island, said at a news conference yesterday before he headed over to the anti-war rally near the United Nations.

"I believe if this war occurs, it is a violation of human rights," added Khalil, a Muslim with Pakistani roots.

"As a Muslim, I have objections" to the war, he said. But he called his protests universal, saying people of all faiths have spoken out against Persian Gulf War II.
* * *
National Guard spokesman Col. Dan Stoneking wouldn't comment on Khalil specifically, saying, "All Americans have First Amendment rights," but that reservists who won't serve would be sanctioned.


Analysis: This is a ridiculous case on so many levels.

1. I think Mr. Khalil has been influenced by some people close to him to make this stand, probably because it will bolster the alleged moral credibility of the anti-war movement if they have a few martyrs. I go to law school with such an individual, who "made his bones" in the peace movement by encouraging Marines to go AWOL during the first Gulf War. If that's the case, Mr. Khalil ought to think carefully about what he is doing. It is technically possible that he could be court-martialed for his conduct. He will serve the jail time; not them.

2. As a matter of religious freedom, Mr. Khalil is on very shaky ground. The First Amendment has been tested by conscientious objectors who sought to avoid Vietnam service, and they were instead drafted as medics and other types of soldiers. More recently, in the all-volunteer force, the First Amendment was tested by an Air Force rabbi who wanted to wear his yarmulke in uniform. The Court held that the Air Force was not infringing his religious freedom by ordering him to conform to uniform regulations. In general, the Supreme Court defers to military judgment on matters like this. (See Goldman v. Weinberger, 475 US 503, Decided on March 25, 1986) And in this case, religion or not, the Court would probably uphold Mr. Khalil's conviction for failing to report for duty.

3. I'm not sure there's a legitimate religious issue here. First, Saddam Hussein's no Islamist -- he runs a secular regime in Baghdad with little if any tie to the Muslim religion. If America were about to wage war on Saudi Arabia -- or even Iran -- things might be different. Second, Islam itself contains no proscriptions on warfare in its entirety, the way the Quaker religion does for example. Islam embraces "just war" just as Christianity and Judaism do. Thus if our ends are morally just, then Mr. Khalil ought to have no religious objection to them. Personally, I consider the goal of liberating the oppressed Iraqi people to be a pretty just end.

4. This isn't a conscription Army -- Mr. Khalil voluntarily joined the National Guard. He's probably gotten some benefits, like the GI Bill or tuition assistance, and has at least enjoyed the pay from the National Guard since joining. It's not like America's problems with Iraq are new. He should've seen the writing on the wall before and never joind the military if he thought it was so bad.

5. It's not like Mr. Khalil is an infantryman -- he's a supply specialist. If he sees any fighting at all, it will be by accident. If his Guard unit hasn't been called up yet, it may not be called. If his unit was called, it's just as likely to be called for some homeland-defense mission as an overseas deployment. I might cede him some credibility if he were a high-speed Airborne Ranger in the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, or something like that. But then again, I doubt someone with convictions like Mr. Khalil could make it through that kind of selection and training process.

Post Script: As a U.S. Army officer and Jew, I dealt with this issue several times in my military career. A number of fellow soldiers -- from sergeant to colonel -- asked me in a variety of contexts how I would act if American went to war against or on the side of Israel. A related quesiton was whether I would desert the U.S. Army for the Israeli Defense Force should Israel be attacked. (American military personnel have done this, so it's not a baseless question) My answer was always that I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, and that I would remain true to that oath. The questions usually went away as I got to know these individuals. But I think they reflected a larger insecurity in America's uniformed ranks towards Jews and Muslims, and unease over each faith's true allegiances. Thus, I sympathize with Mr. Khalil -- but I cannot support his position in any way.
Lawyers at War


International law professor Ruth Wedgwood has something to say to the American Bar Association in this morning's Wall Street Journal: stop impeding America's war on terrorism. Ms. Wedgwood, who is often consulted by the Bush Administration on dicey matters of international law (such as the treatment of enemy combatants), knows what she's talking about. I read the ABA report, and think for the most part it's a flawed document. The ABA, like many lawyers, cannot break with their paradigm that everything is a problem of law; that terrorism must be dealt with by courts and attorneys. Nearly every recommendation in the ABA report hinges on that assumption.

The American Bar Association has entered the fray over the president's detention of enemy combatants in the war on terrorism. At its recent meeting in Seattle, ABA delegates helpfully urged the administration to do what it is already doing -- namely, allowing Americans captured with the Taliban or al Qaeda to seek "meaningful judicial review" of their legal status. In addition, suggested the ABA, any U.S. citizens or residents captured as combatants should be granted access to defense counsel in a way that "accommodates the needs of the detainee and the requirements of national security."

Unfortunately for the rest of us, this second step involves a balancing act that isn't so easy. Americans hold liberty dear, but they also are acutely aware that the need for intelligence on anticipated attacks by al Qaeda is urgent, and the supply is scarce. The prime source of intelligence will be captured combatants; and lawyers, alas, will inevitably turn off that flow of time-critical information.
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The president has employed his constitutional power as commander-in-chief to treat al Qaeda and Taliban fighters as combatants, to keep them from returning to the battlefield. Under the established law of armed conflict, he can civilly intern a captured combatant until the end of active hostilities. Military commanders are entitled to interrogate all combatants at length, to learn as much as possible about al Qaeda's cells, weapons and future plans for attack.

In a conventional war, a habeas corpus petition by enemy soldiers would likely be dismissed out-of-hand. With an enemy who does not wear any distinctive insignia or uniform (contrary to the laws of war) and who makes the world a 24/7 battlefield, the inquiry can be more delicate. But not always. Consider the situation in Virginia, where the federal appeals court cut the Gordian knot after three rounds of appeals related to Yaser Hamdi, a Saudi-American found on the Afghan battlefield carrying an AK-47.

Hamdi, now in the Norfolk naval brig, was born in Baton Rouge and raised in Saudi Arabia. He traveled to Afghanistan to take weapons training with the Taliban and was captured by the Northern Alliance "in a zone of active combat in a foreign theater of conflict." Hamdi admitted to military intelligence teams that he'd trained and deployed with the Taliban, and carried an automatic weapon until his capture.

The Fourth Circuit found no reason to reject the factual or legal basis of the president's decision to detain Hamdi as a combatant, in light of his out-of-court admissions and the recorded circumstances of his capture. The appellate court rebuffed the district judge's hunting-call for more battlefield details, including whether Hamdi had actually fired his gun in battle or was merely held in ready reserve.

The proposed "excavation" of battlefield scenes from a half-world away might be characteristic of a criminal investigation, but wasn't adapted to the "rubble of war," ruled Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson and his colleagues. There are, after all, no crime-lab investigators on an Afghan battlefield ready to record whether a combatant's clothing has powder residue. So, too, the demand for review of all classified screening criteria for the transfer of combatants, all raw intelligence interviews of Hamdi, and the names and addresses of all interviewers, was held to be an unwarranted excursion into the president's domain.

The principle of separation of powers unavoidably has a large footprint in wartime. It is the president who is constitutionally charged with successfully prosecuting a war and protecting the American people against renewed attacks.
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Al Qaeda has learned quickly. Its planners are smart enough to use American "mules" once they realize that stateside recruits are immune from effective interrogation. The government could create an expeditious surrogate procedure, using military commissions and counsel to establish the status of any citizen combatants, thus simplifying the federal courts' task of habeas review. But in the meantime, the dilemma remains. We have stationed anti-aircraft batteries around government buildings. We have tasked environmental clean-air sampling stations around the country to watch for biological reagents. Yet intelligence remains a key to citizen safety.

The federal courts will take this issue case-by-case and may vary their procedure according to the clarity of the government's affidavit. But journeys to Afghanistan and planning sessions with al Qaeda leave little room for doubt that someone has signed up with the bad guys.


Analysis: Terrorism is a round peg that cannot easily be pounded easily into the square holes of law or war. It requires innovative solutions, sometimes from the war paradigm and sometimes from the criminal-law paradigm. Forcing the President to choose all his options from the law paradigm will tie his hands in a way we can't afford. America cannot afford to let terrorists have a tactical advantage like that the criminal courts or 4th Amendment would confer -- we must have the ability to gather intelligence and pro-actively stop terrorism.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Firefighters' masks fail to stop chemical agents


This disturbing report from Noah Shachtman at Defense Tech:

FIREFIGHTERS' MASKS CAN'T STOP GAS
The gas masks used by almost every fire department in the country can't keep chemical agents like sarin and mustard gas from getting in. Many firefighters have no idea their equipment is deficient, according to CBS News.

When he received the report (of the masks' shortcomings), the chief of the Arlington Virginia Fire Department, Ed Plaugher, says he was, "devastated - literally devastated."

Plaugher led the Sept. 11 response at the Pentagon. Even though his rescue teams presumed there might be poison gas, they rushed in anyway, certain their gear would protect them. That confidence is gone.

"The failure of the test is a very, very big deal for us, because it means we have to re-evaluate and re-ramp the way that we attack an incident like this," says Plaugher.

What he means is delay. Today, if the alarm rings and a gas attack is suspected, the Arlington teams will not rush in.


Sequel: Want to know another not-too-secret fact? Standard-issue military gear won't protect against many of the industrial chemical hazards that firefighter's gear is designed to protect against. Military protective masks are designed to protect against battlefield chemical/biological weapons, but not against industrial/urban hazards like what might happen if you accidentally blew up a chemical factory in Baghdad. Are there suits that will protect you against everything? Yes, but they're expensive, hard to use, and delicate. (If you saw the movie Outbreak, you know what I mean)
Women Warriors


Sunday's New York Times Magazine ran a great photo essay on female warriors who may lead the way to Baghdad if we go to war with Iraq. In many ways, the article reprises the cover article I wrote in December for the Washington Monthly on women in combat. I encourage you to check both out.

Since the Gulf victory in 1991, a series of largely unnoticed policy changes have opened new opportunities for women to fight alongside, and even to lead, front-line troops. The Navy and Air Force, with some fanfare, allowed women into the cockpits of fighters and bombers. But less well known is how vastly the Army has expanded the role of women in ground-combat operations. Today, women command combat military police companies, fly Apache helicopters, work as tactical intelligence analysts, and even serve in certain artillery units--jobs that would have been unthinkable for them a decade ago. In any war in Iraq, these changes could put thousands of women in the midst of battle, far more than at any time in American history.

This new role for female U.S. troops is the product of three different forces. One is congressional pressure to integrate the military by gender as it previously had been integrated by race. Another is the ongoing enlistment shortage; the military remains reluctant to admit women yet is unable to recruit enough competent men to staff an all-volunteer Army. But the most important reason has been pressure from women within the Army who need combat experience to advance their careers, nearly all of them in the officer corps. And yet this experiment has been conducted largely below the threshold of public awareness.

The wisdom of this integration is sure to be tested in any sizable ground war with Iraq. If female soldiers perform poorly, they could put their comrades' lives at risk, strengthen the hand of conservatives who oppose women serving as soldiers, and provoke a backlash from the American public. But if, in the heat of battle, women fight bravely and effectively, it could spark a different sort of debate among the military and the public at large over why regulations and military culture still conspire to keep women from many prime assignments in the nation's service.



Some thoughts on duct tape and plastic wrap

Knowing my background in anti-terrorism and force protection, some friends and family members have asked for my opinion on whether they should buy a stockage of duct tape and plastic wrap -- and whether they should build a safe room in their house. I usually qualify my advice by saying I was an MP, not a Chemical Corps officer. I know the general details of biological and chemical warfare, but not the intimate details that make these deadly things work. That said, I think this is good advice, and I wish there was more of it out there.

1. Will duct tape and plastic wrap protect my house? Maybe. If you can use these materials to make an air-tight box in your house, then in theory, you can keep out any biological or chemical agent. Try it on a small scale -- take a decidedly non-airtight cardboard box and use these materials to seal it. Then put that box into a tank of water and see if any air bubbles escape. Do this again until you get it right. It's not easy work. Though very strong, duct tape is still somewhat porous; you need to layer these materials to achieve a complete seal. Plastic wrap is notoriously weak too; it rips and tears quite easily. If you can do this well enough to build an air-tight box that withstands the water-tank test, you're better than me. In any case, it's theoretically possible to build an air-tight container in your house to protect yourself against chemical or biological agents. It just takes a lot of effort -- and the type of engineering skill that usually comes with an MIT degree and lots of experience.

But there are a myriad of issues to be resolved next.

2. How will you get fresh air in/out of this safe room? Without some filter mechanism, it will be impossible to refresh the air in your safe house. You can deal with this in several ways. One might stock oxygen tanks inside, though that may cause interesting overpressure issues if you release those pressurized tanks within your sealed room. (The overpressure may blow the seals on your tape) With some engineering expertise, you could add an air-filtration system with a HEPA filter and a carbon filter to screen out all chemical and biological agents (much like a gas mask does). But this would be difficult and costly.

3. How do you eat? Assuming you have a perfectly sealed box and you can recirculate the air, you'll also have to eat and drink at some point. In theory, you can just stock some canned goods and bottled water and you're good to go. But how much do you stock? This is manageable, but it must be planned ahead of time. If the threat is real and your house is contaminated, you can't expect to step out of the box for a quick trip to the fridge. (Theoretically, you also have to plan for the removal of human waste, but I'll leave that to you)

4. How do you know when to get in/out of the box? The answer here is far from clear -- this is the hardest question of all. Except for certain high-threat locations like the Pentagon and White House, we have no national chem/bio surveillance system which would tell us there's been a nerve-gas or anthrax attack. Scary, huh? Chemical weapons would be detected by large numbers of casualties, and possibly through the signature of the delivery device. Police, fire and specialized National Guard units would outline the contaminated area and attempt to seal it off as best they could. But that would take time. If you're in that area, you may or may not get any warning of the chemical agent. You simply aren't going to get the real-time warning you need to get into the box fast enough to make a difference, unless you happen to have your own personal M8A1 Chemical Agent Alarm.
- Biological agents are even trickier -- no one may know they're there until they start killing people in many cases. Until recently, the military didn't have a system for real-time detection and warning of biological agent. It does not -- the so-called BIDS system. But it's not perfect, and it's not fielded all that widely. If news helicopters flew over Los Angeles and sprayed anthrax spores or some other nasty bug, we would not get the warning in time to hop into our sealed boxes. Indeed, we may not learn of this incident until the first casualties start walking into local emergency rooms.

5. How would you know it's 'all clear'? Again, you wouldn't. No system exists today to go around to every neighborhood and decontaminate it after an attack. Even if such a system existed, how would you know your neighborhood had been decontaminated? In theory, TV or radio stations might broadcast such information, but would you be willing to trust the local news station with your life? In the military, we train to decontaminate personnel and critical equipment. But some areas themselves may stay contaminated until the agent dissipates naturally. This is especially true of so-called "persistent nerve agents" like VX, which occurs as a gelatin-like substance and is one of the most lethal substances in existence. In the right weather, this stuff can persist for days or weeks. Luckily, however, this stuff is fairly static. If we know where the device was blown and we know the wind, we can predict where the agent will go. If you stay out of this hazardous area, you'll live. But if you're in the contaminated area and you're in your box, you may be stuck in a really bad place for some time.

Recommendation: Save your money and avoid the long lines at Home Depot -- don't buy the duct tape or plastic wrap. Even if you could solve all of these problems, it's still unlikely you'd get enough advance warning from the government to get into your "safe" house in time. Instead, your best bet is to listen to the news. If an attack happens, look for information about where it hit and where it's predicted to spread. Then do everything you can to avoid that area. I know it sounds simple. But often times, the simplest plans are the best ones.
Reserve call-ups strain city/county public safety departments


Today's Los Angeles Times carries a front-page article on the strain that extensive call-ups of American military reservists puts on police, fire, and civic agencies at the state and local level around the country. Here in California, more than 8,000 reservists (including me) have been called to active duty since Sept. 11, 2001. Many of these tours have lasted for a few months; some have lasted a year or longer. With war looming in Iraq and occupation duty on the horizon after that, it's not clear when these callups will end. Conceivably, many soldiers will be called a second time if this trend continues.

For a number of complex reasons, a disproportionate number of these reservists work in the public sector -- especially in local police and fire departments. Police and fire departments like to hire military veterans because of their physical aptitude, military training, education, experience, and professional maturity. Many departments, like the LAPD, award extra points to veterans in the hiring process. These agencies also have generous reserve-duty policies, sometimes paying their personnel for the time they serve in the reserves (on top of their reserve salaries). Police officers and firefighters often rely on reserve service for much-needed extra money in the early years of their careers. For their part, police/fire departments encourage reserve service because the military provides leadership training/experience their personnel can't get as easily in the civilian world.

However, there's a basic tension here -- the public-safety needs of the state/local community vs. the military personnel needs of the U.S. government.

"Are these people better off guarding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, or can they do more service to the country as police officers back in their communities?" asked Lynchburg Police Chief C.W. Bennett, who is struggling to make do with three of his most experienced officers gone or about to go. "We have to make some tough decisions about where these people can do the most good."

The Chief is right -- someone needs to be thinking about why we're calling up so many reservists, and whether these men/women can do more good if they're left in the departments they work in. Current Army mobilization policies (FORSCOM Regulation 500-3-3) do not allow for the exemption of reservists from mobilization for external work reasons, i.e. "the city needs me." Compelling personal reasons can sometimes exempt a soldier, but that's about it. I know a lot of people who do important public-sector work in the anti-terrorism community who don't serve in the military reserves for this reason.

There's a second issue: why does the Pentagon need to call up so many reservists in the first place? The answer is that after Vietnam, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Creighton Abrams decided to restructure America's military to require a massive reserve callup in any future war. The theory was that a reserve callup would test the political resolve of America's leaders, and force them to account for the war to America's people. (Vietnam was fought largely by conscripts and the existing Army -- with little reserve mobilization at all.) Consequently, critical support units like military police, logistics, intelligence, civil affairs, etc., were moved to the reserve component. The Air Force pushed a number of its tactical fighter wings to the Air National Guard and Air Force reserve.

Today, this has come around to bite the Pentagon in the backside. With our current commitments to Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Egypt, and a dozen other places, America barely has the forces it needs to fight the war in Afghanistan and the buildup in Kuwait. Moreover, the active force structure relies on critical support units (see above) that exist only in the reserves . Consequently, the President must call up a substantial number of reservists to fight the war on terrorism, and any subsequent/related war on Iraq.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Signing off until Monday


I'm going camping north of Santa Barbara this weekend, and will be taking a break from 'blogging for the next three days. Despite the current sophisticated state of cellular telephony, laptops, and high-speed Internet service, I've made a conscious choice to leave my laptop behind and get away for a few days. I may take a book, but that's about it.

I promise to do a full Intel Dump on the weekend's events when I return. I'm sifting through materials on the new "Terrorist Threat Integration Center" and will have some thoughts on that (and more) when I return.
Book Recommendation: The Mission

Washington Post reporter Dana Priest's new book on the American military

I just picked up Dana Priest's new book The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military. (W.W. Norton & Co., 2003) This book is the latest of its popular/political/journalistic genre to hit the racks on America's military. By my count, we've had David Halberstam's War in a Time of Peace, Eliot Cohen's Supreme Command, Max Boot's Savage Wars of Peace, Wes Clark's Waging Modern War, and several others in the past 1-2 years. Ms. Priest is an outstanding reporter for the Washington Post; she now covers the White House. I will withhold judgment on the book itself, having just finished the first chapter. However, I already sense an argument against many of the ways that Presidents Clinton and Bush used the military during the last five years. It's a very provocative argument, and a book that I look forward to reading.

Here are a couple of sample passages from the Prologue:

Long before September 11, the U.S. government had grown increasingly dependent on its military to carry out its foreign affairs. The shift was incremental, little noticed, de facto. It did not even qualify as an "approach." The military simply filled a vacuum left by an indecisive White House, an atrophied State Department, and a distracted Congress. After September 11, however, the trend accelerated dramatically with the war in Afghanistan and the likelihood of U.S. military operations elsewhere. Without a doubt, U.S.-sponsored political reform abroad is being eclipsed by new military pacts focusing on anti-terrorism and intelligence-sharing.

All this comes at a time when decision-makers understand less and less about their military. Our elected leaders often treat men and women in uniform with either suspicion or excessive reference, failing to ask probing questions or push hard enough for reform. Yet it is the responsibility of those civilians to set the military's direction, to use it as a tool when appropriate and otherwise to refrain from using it. At a minimum, Americans should understand the consequences of substituting generals and Green Berets for diplomats, and nineteen-year-old paratroopers for police and aid workers on nation-building missions.
* * *
The heightened reliance on generals, grunts and Green Berets arose when the prospect of big, direct confrontation and smaller unconventional wars between the superpowers ended. For a while, U.S. political and military leaders flailed about trying to redefine the country's national interests. Military budgets and force sizes shrank, but even so, the Defense Department had more money and more people than any other foreign-focused government agency. With fewer threats, strategic-level commanders also had time and resources to worry about other things. More important, they had the inclination. Many officers, connoisseurs of history, viewed peacetime as an intermission between big wars. They wanted to use this intermission to prevent the next big conflict, which their think tanks predicted would be fought asymmetrically with low-tech weapons: suicide bombers, toxic chemicals, and deadly viruses wielded by worldwide terrorist cells funded by drugs, diamonds and dirty money. The key to prevention, many came to believe, was to create multinational "neighborhood watch" groups - regional coalitions of nations - that would discourage the bad guys in the `hood from straying too far and that would stop them if they tried something stupid.

No figures were more convinced of this approach than the generals who led the U.S. military's regionally focused unified commands. With discretionary money and time, these commanders-in-chief, or "CinCs" (pronounced "sinks"), set out on their own parallel course to "shape" the world, as instructed by the president and the secretary of defense. Fairly soon, the CinCs grew into a powerful force in U.S. foreign policy because of the disproportionate weight of their resources and organization in relation to the assets and influence of other parts of America's foreign policy structure - in particular, the State Department, which was shriveling in size, stature, and spirit even as the military's role expanded.
* * *
Although the war against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was clear in purpose, we are now seeing that the hardest, longest, and most important work comes after the bombing stops, when rebuilding replaces destroying and consensus-building replaces precision strikes. As the U.S. Army's experience in Kosovo shows, the mind-set, decision-making, and training of infantry soldiers rarely mixes well with the disorder inherent in civil society. The mismatch of culture and mission can distort the goal of rebuilding a country. In the hands of poorly-formed, misguided troops, it can create disaster.

Such a mismatch was evident even to Pfc. Ian Smith, a nineteen-year-old from Ventura, California, who sat at the computer stall next to mine one evening in Vitina (Kosovo). Downloading music to his laptop, he leaned back in his yellow plastic chair and offered an unsolicited assessment of his Kosovo mission: "If you want to put a country back on its feet, you can't send the military. You have to send reformers," he said, meaning the civilians he imagined do these sorts of repairs.
Smith, however, had already lowered his expectations about the "reformers." "This year all the NGOs (humanitarian organizations) are gone. So we take firewood from the people who need it," meaning the majority Albanians, "and give it to people who need it," meaning the minority Serbs. He rolled his eyes. "The only way to make a difference is when there's a TV in every house, a phone in every house. Make it a first-world country and they'll feel advanced. If they see a difference, that's the key."
Smith's infantry brethren are now in Afghanistan. They, too, believe they are on an unnamed, open-ended mission on behalf of the United States - even if the rest of America hasn't yet figured it out.

Army passes on its 'lessons learned' from smallpox vaccinations

Some side effects, but all can be managed

Today's Los Angeles Times reports on a particularly candid press briefing by the Army on its recent campaign to inoculate 500,000 soldiers against smallpox. Though well planned/executed, the military vaccination effort has run into predictable problems with medical logistics and medical effects. Most of these were anticipated (e.g. side effects), and the military planned for their occurrence. But some were not. It's important to note that the military enjoys several advantages over the civilian population in this effort -- it's more healthy (on average), younger, and more tightly controlled than civilian society. In theory, these problems will be magnified in any civilian vaccination effort.

"The risks [of the vaccine] are still pretty darn low," Col. John D. Grabenstein, deputy director for military vaccines, told a scientific panel created to advise the government's smallpox vaccination program. "Sick leave is rare and short ... and just about everything is occurring at rates lower than historically predicted," he added.
* * *
Even the military, with all its built-in efficiencies, has had some problems with its vaccination program. Tens of thousands of military personnel have experienced fever, malaise and swollen lymph nodes after being vaccinated, and "there has been a rash of rashes," Grabenstein said, about 12 for every 1,000 people inoculated. Almost all are harmless, but as many as seven people have developed what may be generalized vaccinia, a systemic spread of the vaccine's live vaccinia virus in lesions over the body, he said.

In addition, two soldiers were hospitalized with encephalitis, a serious inflammation of the brain, and an airman developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart.

But even these severe cases "have had a full recovery and are not slowing down the military vaccination program," Grabenstein said.

'Lessons learned' from an old soldier

Air war architect from Gulf War I suggests path for Gulf War II

Few airmen earn the right to call themselves a "soldier" or "warrior". Among the services, the Air Force is regarded as the most corporate and least martial. However, some airmen stand out, like Colonel John Boyd and General Charles "Chuck" Horner. These men, through their actions in combat and peace, earned the title of warrior. With help from a brilliant plans staff, Chuck Horner conceived and directed the air war over Kuwait and Iraq in 1990-91. This campaign is understood today to have revolutionized warfare, and to have set the conditions for the massively successful ground assault. When Chuck Horner speaks, I listen.

Today, he writes an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times with a few lessons for military planners engaged in the current campaign:

We knew how Iraq operated its air defenses in 1991, and we attacked vital communication and command nodes. Once they were isolated, individual surface-to-air missiles and aircraft were destroyed so viciously that surviving Iraqi SAM operators and fighter pilots were debilitated by shock and awe, incapable of employing their weapons effectively. Then, we flew at altitudes beyond the range of the Iraqi guns and short-range SAMs and used precision weapons to destroy many targets.

Although we ultimately forced Saddam Hussein's troops out of Kuwait, our approach was not an effective one for changing leadership.
* * *
Another lesson from the Gulf War is to integrate modern air power with ground forces. In 1991, air power destroyed artillery and armor, limiting Iraq's capacity to repel our ground forces. More than 40 Iraqi divisions were defeated with the loss of about 150 Americans, half of whom were killed by our own weapons. Recent action in Afghanistan -- when air and land forces again were closely integrated -- reaffirms the effectiveness of this approach.

In order not to leave Iraq worse off than it is today, we should use our forces efficiently: Don't engage those elements of the Iraqi military that do not resist. In 1991, 88,000 Iraqis chose to surrender. Allow them to do so again. For our own security, advanced surveillance aircraft can monitor the movement of bypassed Iraqi units. If they move to threaten our forces, they would be put down by precision weapons.
* * *
We must keep the Iraqi people informed and reassure them that we will return their country to their control. People who have fled Iraq can communicate with the folks at home to tell them what to expect. Television, radio and leaflet messages will also be important.

Any strategy must recognize the important and difficult issues that will exist after a war. Our land forces will play a major role in areas such as providing food, water and medical care until relief agencies can take over.

There will also be an immediate need to maintain law and order to prevent criminal acts and retribution.

Air power will have the lead role in winning the conflict, but land power will have the more critical role of helping Iraq rebuild itself.