Leadership: March 3, 2002

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CIA Director Tenet has given the US Senate a rundown on the problems facing the US in keeping the world stable:

@ The India-Pakistan conflict is the top of the list. Wars between them are fairly common and the possibility for escalation to nuclear weapons is high because neither side really understands the other sides' "red lines".

@ China is building up forces near Taiwan. By 2005 it will have enough forces to risk war if Taiwan tried to declare independence. By 2010, China might have enough forces to force the issue, and will have a "sophisticated and integrated air defense system" (including Russian S300s) that could make US counterstrikes problematical.

@ Russia is not spending enough money to maintain its armed forces. Its nuclear and conventional forces will continue to dwindle and to pose a smaller and smaller threat to the US.

@ Iran heads the list of rogue nations able to field a wide variety of capable and even advanced weapon systems. While much attention is focused on Iran's missile programs, equally alarming is its almost unknown program to acquire conventional naval weapons of advanced types.

@ North Korea is determined to maintain its current military strength at all costs and to develop long-range missiles. It poses a serious proliferation problem.

@ Iraq is "determined to thwart UN sanctions" and resurrect is pre-1990 military force.--Stephen V Cole

 


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