Friday, February 17, 2006

Rumsfeld Aims To Elevate Role Of Special Forces

That's the Saturday lede for the Wall Street Journal. [pay site]

Money Quote

Well into the Bush administration's second term, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is concentrating much of his energy on remaking a small but important corner of the military: special-operations forces.

The Pentagon chief's focus on these elite forces reflects his conviction that the Iraq war -- in which about 140,000 U.S. troops are struggling to rebuild a country from the ground up -- is an anomaly that is winding down and won't be repeated, say senior defense officials.

"We are not going to invade and occupy our way to victory in the long war against Islamic extremism," said Michael Vickers, who served as a senior adviser on the secretary's recently released review of Pentagon spending and strategy.

Instead, Mr. Rumsfeld's top-to-bottom review posits that the gravest long-term threat to national security comes from small cells of al Qaeda and its radical offshoots scattered across more than 80 countries. To take them down, Mr. Rumsfeld wants to build a much larger and more aggressive special-operations force with broader latitude to both work with indigenous forces and take action in countries where the U.S. is technically not at war.

What he is shorting, IMO, is building a good "Sys Admin" force for countries that collapse and cannot be left to chaos.


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