- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 2, 2001

The Pentagon will put new firepower behind defending America against terrorists and ballistic missiles, while shifting forces to the Pacific to check an ambitious China, says a new framework for military operations released yesterday.
The military's new No. 1 mission: Defend America's soil. The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), released three weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, says that the Bush administration is "restoring the defense of the United States as the department's primary mission."
And, in a victory for the generals and admirals who fought a bureaucratic battle to save their troops and ships from budget cuts, the new QDR keeps the armed forces at their current sizes.
"So in the end, what we did is we kept moving the pieces around the board, asking ourselves, 'Do we like this picture?'" a senior Defense Department official told reporters at the Pentagon. "And in the end, it came out with the force pretty much where it is now."
The QDR adjusts a two-war capability that has guided the strategy of the armed forces since the end of the Cold War. The new requirement calls for defending American soil, first and foremost, winning one regional war decisively and repelling a foe in another theater.
That "force sizer," as planners call it, is already getting its first test.
The department official declared yesterday that President Bush's war on terrorism is one of those regional conflicts. Mr. Bush has ordered hundreds of warplanes to airfields within striking range of Afghanistan, the hiding place for Osama bin Laden, the chief suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The president has also authorized special-operations troops to be deployed in the region.
"In fact, what we are engaged in now is one of those regional conflicts in which we are bound and determined to win," said the official, signaling U.S. plans to use a substantial amount of firepower, personnel and intelligence assets.
The military today is roughly built around 12 Navy carrier battle groups, 10 active Army divisions, 12 active Air Force fighter wings and three Marine Corps expeditionary forces.
Planners largely completed the QDR before the terrorist attacks, and the official maintained that planners already had identified terrorism as a major threat to national security.
In a forward to the QDR written after the attack, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the review "recognizes that it is not enough to plan for large conventional wars in distant theaters. Instead, the United States must identify the capabilities required to deter and defeat adversaries who will rely on surprise, deception, and asymmetric warfare to achieve their objectives."
The report states that "As the U.S. military increased its ability to project power at long range, adversaries have noted the relative vulnerability of the U.S. homeland."
But the report offers few details on how the job will get done. Officials say National Guardsmen and Reserves will play a large role.
The kamikaze-style attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have thrust the military into new types of missions unimaginable when the QDR study began in June. Air Force jet fighters are flying patrols over major cities, with new rules of engagement on shooting down commercial planes carrying innocent civilians. Army helicopters are monitoring nuclear facilities. National Guardsmen are helping with airport security.
Congress has mandated the submission of a QDR to ensure that the president and his national security team adjust military strategy for a fast-changing world.
Concerning the communist regime in Beijing, the QDR orders the Navy and Air Force to realign forces toward the western Pacific, and for the Marines to conduct more training for Asian operations. The Navy will increase aircraft carrier battle groups in the Pacific, while the Air Force will develop additional plans for basing warplanes in the region.
Said a defense official, "This implements President Bush's campaign rhetoric about viewing China as a competitor and not a partner. China's response to the president's request to the war on terrorism is not sufficient to reduce the department's concern on the rise of China's power."
The Chinese media have quoted two colonels who wrote a book called "Unrestricted Warfare" as saying that the Sept. 11 attacks mark the beginning of America's decline as a superpower.
Mr. Bush ordered Mr. Rumsfeld to begin a top-to-bottom review aimed at transforming the U.S. military in order to prepare for 21st-century threats such as terrorism. The QDR is part of that reassessment. The president has said the Pentagon should look at canceling some major developing weapon systems in favor of more futuristic ones. But the officials indicated that the armed services need new weapons now to replace aging systems worn out during the past two decades. The transformation will, officials said, proceed by infusing weapons that are currently being developed with newer technologies.
The military must also invest in systems that can counter what planners call "anti-access" defenses. These are anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapons designed to keep American forces from gaining access to theaters of war.
The QDR calls for the development of deep-strike weapons, possibly the B-2 long-range bomber. "There's got to be a way in which it's possible for us to reach on a global basis to find the ability to strike where we need to against adversaries," the senior official said.
Some of the report's goals already have surfaced in Mr. Bush's first defense budget, which takes effect in the fiscal year that began yesterday.
He won from Congress a huge boost in spending of more than $8 billion to build defenses against ballistic missiles. Other policies, such as new weapons purchases, will become clear in December when the Pentagon writes a five-year defense budget that takes effect Oct. 1, 2002.

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