April 1, 1996

Shadow on the Subcontinent

“The relationship between India and Pakistan continues to be unsatisfactory, and the potential for conflict is high. Each of these nations possesses nuclear capability, so every effort must be made to avoid military confrontation. India is making preparations for a nuclear test, and we assume that, if one nation conducts a test, the other will follow.”–John M. Deutch, Director of Central Intelligence, in the CIA’s annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment Brief,” presented February 22, 1996, to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Pilotless Aircraft

“We’re doing it now [using pilotless, uninhabited aircraft]. Certainly in the Predator for surveillance aircraft, we are doing that. . . . We [also] basically made the decision that the surveillance-warning-navigation missions that we had in space could best be accomplished unmanned. That decision was made a long time ago. It has to do with the nature of the medium and [the fact that] the times in which we can have a satellite operate in that environment are measured in the tens of years. We make those decisions all the time. There’s a lot of excitement about what the Predator has been able to accomplish, but at the same time we also are getting great utility from the U-2 [manned reconnaissance aircraft]. It’s very, very important to understand that there’s a balance here.”–Air Force Secretary Sheila E. Widnall, in a February 16, 1996, press conference at AFA’s Air Warfare symposium in Orlando, Fla.

Compared to $40 Billion Today

“What we must now do is ensure that we put more money into recapitalizing the force and into modernizing the force. . . . In my judgment, you’re talking about $60 billion a year . . . somewhere in . . . the 1998 time frame. . . . It’s a good benchmark to discipline the system so we don’t each year take money out of acquisition accounts to pay for other things.”–Army Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in February 15, 1996, remarks to the Defense Writers Group in Washington, D.C.

Double . . .

“I want to stress that it’s not the job of the military to run a police state, and it’s not their job to go out aggressively to search for war criminals, and they don’t intend to do that.”–Pentagon spokesman Kenneth H. Bacon, in a February 13, 1996, press briefing on US military missions in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

. . . Vision

“I think we served clear notice on Karadzic, Mladic, and other indicted war criminals that they will be brought to justice and that, sooner or later, they will be arrested if they do not voluntarily surrender.”–John H. F. Shattuck, assistant secretary of state, in a briefing the next day on a US diplomatic mission to Bosnia. He referred to Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb political leader, and Gen. Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military leader.

Ralston and the Revolution

“In my view, [the term] ‘revolution in military affairs’ refers to the recognition that future war will be fought in the context of an information-rich battlefield. . . . This recognition calls for a different way of thinking about battle, as well as the training and equipping to prepare for it. In an environment of ever-increasing information, the commander will have staggering situational awareness. . . . The real challenge of our future is to understand more precisely what we recognize intuitively–that the information-age battlefield will be very different, and the force that masters the means and methods will have a decisive advantage.”–Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, USAF, former commander of Air Combat Command and now vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a January 22, 1996, letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Iran Nightmare

“Iran is undertaking a major program to develop a nuclear weapon. . . . Iran is also pursuing a biological warfare program that could give them a weapon near the turn of the century. We expect Iran to become essentially self-sufficient in chemical weapon precursor production in the next three to five years. Iran has negotiated with North Korea to purchase the No Dong 1 [long-range missile], which is especially worrisome, given the threat that it would pose to Israel.”–USAF Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper, Jr., then director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in secret testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. A partial transcript of the testimony, delivered January 17, 1995, was recently declassified.

Thinking the Unthinkable

“War between China and Taiwan is unthinkable today. It makes no sense. It is as unthinkable as an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was in July 1990, as unthinkable as China entering the Korean War against the United States was in November 1950, as unthinkable as Britain having to expel the Argentines from the Falklands seemed in 1982.”–Foreign affairs analyst Jim Hoagland, writing in the February 11, 1996, Washington Post.

Deutch’s Reassurances

“The June presidential election will be an important juncture in the brief history of democratic Russia. Should the Russian people choose a Communist or hard-line nationalist, further progress toward democracy and economic reform would be in question. Even if a hard-line government takes power, however, Russia is not likely to be transformed back into the Soviet Union. Moreover, the Russian military, struggling to cope with numerous problems, is not likely to regain its former strength.”–CIA Director Deutch in the “Worldwide Threat Assessment Brief.”