- The Washington Times - Friday, August 17, 2001

Chinese missile testing
China's strategic missile forces conducted ground tests of an intermediate-range ballistic missile that was detected last week by U.S. intelligence agencies.
"We saw them putting it up and down several times," said one official familiar with satellite photographs of the testing activity.
The road-mobile missile was identified as a CSS-2, also called the Dong Feng-3A by the Chinese. According to Air Force intelligence, China currently has deployed about 40 CSS-2 refire-capable launchers at six field garrisons and launch complexes throughout China.
The CSS-2 has a range of between 1,860 and 2,480 miles and has been in service since the 1970s. It is the primary nuclear missile targeted by the People's Liberation Army Second Artillery Corps against Russia and India. It is being replaced by the newer CSS-5.

Iraq's fiber optics hit
U.S. and British military attacks on Iraq last week were part of a deliberate effort by the Pentagon to try and knock out Iraq's new Chinese-made fiber-optic communication grid that is being used to link Iraqi air-defense missile sites.
Fiber-optic lines are considered hardened communications and are much more difficult to disrupt electronically.
The Aug. 10 strike involved 20 U.S. and British warplanes that blew up military communications sites and vehicles in southern Iraq.
Intelligence officials familiar with the bomb-damage assessment said photographs of the sites showed that many of the bombs hit their targets, although it was not clear whether the fiber-optic network was damaged.
The raid occurred on military air-defense facilities near An Numaniyah, about 70 miles southeast of Baghdad and included attacks against a mobile early warning radar system — vans and radar dishes — and a surface-to-air missile site near An Nasiriyah, about 170 miles southeast of Baghdad.
The jets included U.S. Navy F-18s and F-14s, U.S. Air Force F-16s, and British air force Tornados.
China's government has ignored U.S. government protests about construction and maintenance of the Chinese fiber-optic network in Iraq. It has claimed the Chinese company involved in the project is operating outside of Beijing's control, something U.S. officials reject as very unlikely.

Rumsfeld's guidance
We've looked through some 20 pages of guidance from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to those writing a new Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).
It says the administration's top military priority is recruiting "the finest personnel available." Another goal is to convince potential enemies not to build threatening armies. And Mr. Rumsfeld wants his planners to come up with broader military options President Bush would use in peacetime and in war.
A new transformed military will evolve over three distinct timelines, the document says, and one way of getting there is for commanders to experiment with different types of warfighting while still deployed.
"The degree of uncertainty that characterizes the future argues against redesigning the force all at once," the guidance states. "The approach, therefore, should be to devote a portion of [the Defense Department's] resources to experimentation, including the conduct of experimentation as part of routine forward operations."
The document, titled "Guidance and Terms of Reference for the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review," says in part:
"The foundation of a peaceful world for ourselves and for our posterity rests on the ability of the U.S. Armed Forces to maintain a substantial margin of national military advantage relative to others."
DoD must improve morale, reverse the decline in readiness, replace or retire worn-out equipment, purchase necessary spare parts and manage the frequency of deployments."
"DoD will transform U.S. forces so that in the future they can defeat adversaries that are more capable than today, and do so at acceptable cost."
"Given the growing concentration of population in cities around the world, the U.S. military will require certain capabilities and forces capable of operating in urban environments, as well as other complex terrain and varied climatic conditions."
The guidance also spells out four goals for the new defense strategy: assure U.S. allies by showing resolve; dissuade potential adversaries "from developing threatening forces or ambitions; deter threats; and decisively defeat an adversary at the time, place and in the manner of our choosing."
It says the QDR must dictate how to transform the military in three phases: 2003-06, 2006-12 and 2012-20. Near term, Mr. Rumsfeld wants to maintain current war-fighting capability, while shoring up morale and quality of life. By the midterm, Mr. Rumsfeld envisions forces reorganized for "more rapidly responsive, scalable, modular task-organized units, capable of independent combat action as well as integration into larger joint and combined operations."
The guidance says the 1.4 million active-duty force must be sized to deter aggression in four "critical areas of the world:" Europe, Northeast Asia, East Asian littoral and the Middle East. The force must "when directed by the president, decisively defeat an adversary in any one of these critical areas of the world."
Mr. Rumsfeld is banking on real-life experiments. "On the basis of what the U.S. learns — about what weapons systems are feasible and effective, what organizational changes and operational concepts take best advantage of new systems, and how to execute those concepts — DoD will be in a position to make broader adjustments over a longer period of time."
And for special operations forces such as Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, Mr. Rumsfeld has a specific requirement. "Special operations forces must be capable of conducting and sustaining limited direct action, deep reconnaissance and forward target designation activities in area denial environments," his guidance says. "This will require the ability to insert sufficient forces with stealth deep into enemy territory."

Intelligence officials say China's large-scale military exercises now under way along the coast opposite Taiwan include between 14 and 24 commercial freighters, once again showing Beijing's willingness to use its nonmilitary forces for operations. Three of the freighters participating with the militarized commercial ships, as we reported recently, include mounted artillery on their decks.
The U.S. Air Force has grounded the F-16 pilot who violated Syrian airspace during a 23-minute sortie Wednesday on the way to patrolling the air exclusion zone over Iraq. Defense officials said the incursion was a mistake. But it showed Syrian air defenses to be weak. The Syrians were caught off guard by the fighter and did not scramble interceptor jets until it was too late to catch the errant F-16.
The F-16 pilot was notified of the mistake by a patrolling U.S. Air Force Airborne Warning and Control aircraft.
The Pentagon is sending an information warfare specialist to Beijing as its new defense attache. The post is normally reserved for intelligence spooks. Navy Rear Adm. Richard J. Mauldin, formerly of the Navy space information warfare office and Joint Staff command and control shop, will replace outgoing attache Army Brig. Gen. Neal Sealock.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide