Monday, September 29, 2008

Gates warns of the limits of US military power

Gates actually thinks a city will be poisoned or reduced to ruble in our next attack. This most certainly will be a false flag operation to justify Marshall law. We will be shocked and awed into submission.

Published: Monday September 29, 2008

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday warned rising officers of the limits of US military power and encouraged them to be skeptical of technological solutions to complex wars.

In a speech on "hard power" at the National Defense University, Gates also said the US military needs to strike a better balance between spending on high-tech weaponry and meeting the requirements for fighting low-tech wars in broken states.

"Let's be honest with ourselves," he said in remarks prepared for delivery. "The most likely catastrophic threats to our homeland -- for example, an American city poisoned or reduced to rubble by a terrorist attack -- are more likely to emanate from failing states than from aggressor states.

"The kinds of capabilities needed to deal with these scenarios cannot be considered exotic distractions or temporary diversions. We do not have the luxury of opting out because they do not conform to preferred notions of the American way of war," he said.

The speech was the latest in a series in which Gates, a former CIA analyst, has sought to jar a slow-to-change military and government into rethinking its approach to national security challenges.

In previous speeches, he pressed the military to focus on conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, chiding it for "next-war-itis."

He also has advocated greater reliance of "soft power," such as diplomacy and economic influence, over "hard" military power.

At NDU, Gates said the United States remains the strongest military power on earth.

"But not every outrage, every act of aggression, every crisis can or should elicit an American military response, and we should acknowledge such," he said.

"Be modest about what military force can accomplish, and what technology can accomplish," he said.

He said advances in precision weapons, sensors, information and satellite technology had led to extraordinary gains, enabling a drone piloted in Nevada to attack an insurgent pick up truck in Mosul, for instance.

But the human dimension of warfare "is inevitably tragic, inefficient, and uncertain," he said.

"Look askance at idealized, triumphalist, or ethnocentric notions of future conflict that aspire to upend the immutable principles of war: where the enemy is killed, but our troops and innocent civilians are spared.

"Where adversaries can be cowed, shocked, or awed into submission, instead of being tracked down, hilltop by hilltop, house by house, block by bloody block," he said.

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