Jobs @ MG
US preparing for ten-year war
By Michael Evans
|America and Britain are producing
secret plans to launch a ten-year war on terrorism Operation Noble Eagle
involving a completely new military and diplomatic strategy to eliminate
terrorist networks and cells around the world.
Despite the mass build-up of American forces in the Gulf and the Indian
Ocean, there will be no D-Day invasion of Afghanistan and no repeat of the
US-led Operation Desert Storm against Iraq in 1991, defence sources say.
The notion that a US-led multinational coalition would attack Afghanistan
from all sides for harbouring Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi dissident
leader and prime suspect for the terrorist outrages in New York and
Washington, has been rejected in Washington and London. The sources also
say that the planned campaign is not being focused on just bringing bin
Laden to justice.
The build-up of firepower by the Americans in the region, notably the two
aircraft carrier battle groups that are to be joined by a third carrier,
USS Theodore Roosevelt, is seen as a major display of available military
capability. While it is important for these assets to be in the right
place in case of a political decision to launch a strike, there are no
plans for a short-term fix.
The dramatically different anti-terrorism campaign is being planned to
meet what is now regarded as the most dangerous threat to global security,
known as asymmetric warfare. We are expecting it to last from five to ten
years, one source said.
New ideas are needed to counter small groups armed with the minimum of
weaponry, whether conventional or non-conventional. Such groups have the
capability to attack a nation as powerful as the United States, which is
equipped with the full range of modern weapons and professional Armed
Old doctrines for fighting wars, based on lining up tanks and artillery
and layers of troops, are being thrown out and replaced by a more subtle
and wide-ranging doctrine which seeks to defeat the enemy at its own game.
The aim is not to go for the enemys strengths, but its weaknesses, one
source said. American and British planners are working on the basis that
military strikes will take place only as part of a broader global
counter-terrorist operation, embracing every other type of international
action diplomatic, economic and political.
Most of the focus of the ten-year campaign plan, the sources say, is on
using military action as a potent back-up to all the other strands of
Operation Noble Eagle. However, President Bush, conscious of the demand
for revenge from the American public, might sanction shorter-term military
operation by special forces, or airstrikes, but only if there is
sufficient intelligence to guarantee a sucessful outcome. There is no
point in firing a lot of missiles at bin Laden if they miss their target,
or launching Tomahawks at bin Laden training camps if they are empty, one
Donald Rumsfeld, the American Defence Secretary, also gave the strongest
hint of what Operation Noble Eagle is all about. I think what you will see
evolve over the next six, eight, ten, 12 months, probably over a period of
years, is a coalition to help battle terrorists.
He added: This is a very new type of conflict or battle or campaign or war
or effort, for the United States. We are moving in a measured manner. As
we gather information, we are preparing appropriate courses of action, and
they run across the political and economic and financial, military,
intelligence spectrum. q