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Rumsfeld's Leaked Memo
Last uploaded : Wednesday 29th Oct 2003 at 01:31
Contributed by : Carol Devine-Molin



[Editors' Note: Carol Devine Molin is not a staff writer but we felt her article was of utmost importance, inasmuch as terrorism seems to be enveloping the world. The crucial issues raised in the memo by United States Defence Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld have also exercised Israeli leaders for generations and are relevant to readers of this site. Secretary Rumsfeld's memo of 16 October has been analysed worldwide, and we also recommend an analysis in 'The Jerusalem Post' that may be found at:]

and Bill Berkowitz's 'Rumsfeld's Sticky Wicket':

[Photograph of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld by Tech Sgt Andy Dunaway, Department of Defence:]

October 27, 2003
by Carol Devine-Molin

A leaked memo written by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, intended only for the eyes of a few Pentagon bigwigs, has generated considerable controversy in recent days. The left-leaning media pack is out in full-force as they attempt to wield that ?internal memo? as a weapon to undermine Rumsfeld?s public credibility. Part of the disparaging spin being propagated by media sharks is that Rumsfeld himself purposely leaked the memo in order to publicly convey his frustration with a lumbering and somewhat unyielding Pentagon establishment.

However, the accusation against Rumsfeld sounds like pure claptrap, given his signature no-nonsense, no-holds-barred style. In other words, if Rumsfeld has anything to say, he says it himself directly and to the point. Either the memo was leaked accidentally (as stated) or by a member of Pentagon staff intent on embarrassing Rumsfeld. In any event, the liberal media is having a field day with a leak that plays right into their overall agenda of denigrating the Bush team during this year run-up to the next presidential election.

Well what was the October 16th memo all about anyway? It was a prelude to a Pentagon meeting, with Rumsfeld asking a number of questions for the purpose of spurring pivotal discussions concerning the ?war on terror?. In fact, Rumsfeld was raising precisely the issues that must be explored to effectuate long term, comprehensive war planning. Apparently, the memo is in sync with his management style of problem-solving through innovative thinking and flexibility. And Rumsfeld is considering the creation of a new institution that will readily address military matters posed by terrorism and asymmetric warfare.

Could talk of a ?new institution? have ruffled some feathers within the Pentagon, which later came back to bite Rumsfeld in the form of a ?leaked memo?? I think that?s a distinct possibility.

The following are key excerpts from the Rumsfeld memo: ?The questions I posed to combatant commanders this week were: Are we winning or losing the Global War on Terror? Is DoD changing fast enough to deal with the new 21st century security environment? Can a big institution change fast enough? Is the USG changing fast enough? DoD has been organized, trained and equipped to fight big armies, navies and air forces. It is not possible to change DoD fast enough to successfully fight the global war on terror; an alternative might be to try to fashion a new institution, either within DoD or elsewhere - one that seamlessly focuses the capabilities of several departments and agencies on this key problem. With respect to global terrorism, the record since September 11th seems to be: We are having mixed results with Al Qaeda, although we have put considerable pressure on them - nonetheless, a great many remain at large...Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us? Does the U.S. need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists? The U.S. is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort into trying to stop terrorists. The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists' costs of millions. Do we need a new organization? How do we stop those who are financing the radical madrassa schools? Is our current situation such that "the harder we work, the behinder we get"? It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog??

Apparently, much media hoopla has been made over Rumsfeld?s characterization of the ?war on terror? as ?a long, hard slog?, as if the phrasing contradicts his prior statements and those of the Bush administration. But the truth is this: From the get-go, President Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and the rest of the Bush team have reiterated that this ?war on terror? will not only be difficult, but of long duration possibly lasting decades.

Rumsfeld is also on record stating that ?there?s no silver bullet? to squelch terrorism and war is a ?tough, long, grinding, dirty business?. Moreover, Rumsfeld?s statement that ?we are having mixed results with al-Qaeda, although we have put considerable pressure on them - nonetheless, a great many remain at large? cannot be disputed. For instance, we know that Iran continues to harbor and support al-Qaeda, which has perpetrated assaults in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in Asia during 2003.

The media has also sensationalized Rumsfeld?s assertion that ?Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror?. Well, that?s true as well. We may be able to estimate our progress in Iraq and Afghanistan where we?re actively involved, but we have no definitive way of calculating overall advances in fighting terrorism globally with jihadists currently plaguing numerous nations.

Although worldwide terror incidents notably decreased in 2002, there is every reason to believe that radical Islamists managed to regroup and accelerate their assaults in 2003 throughout the Mid-East and elsewhere.

In his October 24th column, journalist Bill Gertz of the Washington Times covers Rumsfeld?s response to the Pentagon ?memo leak?. Gertz states that ?Mr. Rumsfeld suggested a ?21st-century information agency in the government? to help in the international battle of ideas, to limit the teaching of terrorism and extremism, and to provide better education, he said. His memorandum said private organizations could counter Islamist ?radical madrassas?. Asked why he thought that little had been done to develop a long-range plan for fighting terrorism, Mr. Rumsfeld blamed government bureaucracy.?

In this ?war on terror? we are not only fighting jihadists and rogue nations, but the pernicious ideas that they disseminate. America and allies must contend with a radicalized Islamic population that will eventually wreak havoc on the western world unless we bring some semblance of freedom of ideas to them.

Simply put, we need to change the thinking in the Islamic world and help institute democratic reforms, thus thwarting the indoctrination of young radical Islamists. There is no other way to establish long term security for the West, and even smart liberals such as journalist Tom Friedman understand this notion and support US action in Iraq. America et al. are attempting to develop a new synergy in the Islamic world with the knowledge that ?freedom is contagious? and that democracies are not interested in promulgating terrorism.
Carol Devine Molin is a regular contributor to GOP USA :

JewishComment is grateful for permission to reprint material from GOP USA.

We are also grateful to the Department of Defence Press Dept for permission to use Tech Sgt Dunaway's photograph.

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