Leadership: January 16, 2000

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THE TWO WAR MYTH: According to a new Pentagon report submitted to Congress, if the US had been faced with a second major conflict after the Kosovo War was over, it would have suffered heavier casualties and taken longer to win than it should have. The report notes that the scenarios studied fell far short of the "two war scenario" which forms the National Military Strategy. This falls on the heels of a previous report that stunned Congress by noting serious risks if a second war had developed during the Kosovo War. Both reports insisted that the US would still win two wars, but that it would take longer and cost more in blood, time, and money to do so. Both reports noted "strategic concerns" over mobility, logistics, C4 (Command, Control, Communications, Computers), intelligence, terrorism, information warfare, and weapons of mass destruction.
All of the services show continuing problems in readiness, both in personnel and equipment. Key "enabler" forces (those needed to leverage attacks and open the door to other units) are particularly stressed. The Air Force has the most problems, as its front-line units were worn out over Kosovo. The Marines report problems with keeping their equipment maintained, while the Army reports problems in personnel readiness and training. The Navy reports problems across the board. The Navy complains that its EA-6B aerial jammer force is reconstituting from its "wartime surge" but will need extra money and an entire year to get back into top shape. The Air Force notes that three of its key systems (the precise ones are classified) exceeded expected wartime surge levels during the Kosovo Campaign (a single war, not the vaunted two-war strategy) and will need months to rebuild. Special Operations Command reports that its personnel are ready, but that key "enabler" systems have been worn out in other operations and lists serious concerns for its level of training. --Stephen V Cole

 


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