The terrorist threat and a new form of warfaregreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
CDI Russia Weekly #178 Contents Plain Text
#5 Izvestia November 1, 2001 SLIPCHENKO: GUIDED MI
SSILES ARE FUTILE AGAINST TERRORISTS The terrorist threat and a new form of warfare Author: Alexander Khokhlov
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
AN INTERVIEW WITH MAJOR GENERAL PROFESSOR VLADIMIR SLIPCHENKO, PROMINENT MILITARY ANALYST, WHO SAYS AN ERA OF UNPRECEDENTED WARFARE HAS BEGUN. THIS ASYMMETRIC WAR IS GOING TO FOLLOW THE RULES ENFORCED BY INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, AND MAY EVEN SPREAD BEYOND THE TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES.
Question: What kind of wars will we face from now on?
Vladimir Slipchenko: They will not be waged by armies or weapons systems. Actually, the first such war is already underway. Terrorism delivered an unprecedented strategic strike... America is paralyzed with fear.
Question: What's new? Terrorism has been around forever.
Vladimir Slipchenko: There is more to it than a strategic terrorist act. The fact is that an entirely new form of asymmetric warfare has been attempted by international terrorism. I'm not talking about a revolution in warfare; rather, this is the international terrorists' response to the revolution in warfare seen in the no- contact wars of the past decade. I mean the wars in which the Americans forced Iraq and Yugoslavia to their knees with air-strikes alone.
Question: How do these new wars differ from classic warfare?
Vladimir Slipchenko: It takes just a few non-military strikes to accomplish some truly amazing results.
Question: Who do you think planned and organized the attacks against the United States?
Vladimir Slipchenko: Trapped in Afghanistan, as he has been in recent years, Osama bin Laden could not have organized this alone. Entire countries and international organizations, with substantial financial backup, could have been behind the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11.
Question: Why then did the United States find the "enemy" so fast and begin air-strikes?
Vladimir Slipchenko: The United States got confused, not knowing what to do. Any further delays were impossible because American taxpayers, voters, would have viewed it as weakness by the administration and the president.
It is also perplexing that powerful secret services of the United States and other states missed preparations for such a war. It only reinforces the assumption that this asymmetric war is going to follow the rules enforced by international terrorism, and may even spread beyond the territory of the United States.
Question: Do you think the terrorists have achieved what they set out to achieve?
Vladimir Slipchenko: Undoubtedly. The unexpected methods and forms of violence in the terrorist attacks are evidence of substantial preparation, something only a general staff is capable of.
The war was arranged and executed in such a manner that virtually all world media all but complimented international terrorism on its successes.
Question: Are there any blind spots left in the terrorist attacks?
Vladimir Slipchenko: I cannot understand the idleness of the NORAD system. Or the inaction of the Pentagon's air defenses. Was it treason?
Question: Your opinion of the American retaliatory strikes?
Vladimir Slipchenko: They are primitive. The methods used are copied from contact or no-contact warfare manuals. It turns out that nobody in the world, or in the United States for that matter, has worked out any effective anti-terrorism methods. It means there are no guarantees that similar attacks won't be undertaken against storage facilities with nuclear fuel or spent nuclear fuel, nuclear power plants, or chemical plants.
Neither can we rule out the possibility of the use of chemical or biological weapons against civilians.
Question: How do you think global terrorism should be fought?
Vladimir Slipchenko: Adequate asymmetric methods are needed in the asymmetric war forced on the international community. The American example shows plainly that conventional weapons or high-precision weapons systems are useless against global terrorism.
Effective defense from asymmetric global terrorism requires immediate creation of an entirely new "shield" and "sword". The "shield" may imply establishment of a "civilian branch of the military service", for want of a better term. That means forces of civilian defense of a state against all sorts of terrorist acts and emergencies, both natural and technocratic. This "branch of the service" needs a reliable automatic control system, its own special and financial intelligence in the country and abroad, counter- terrorism forces and means, rescue services, etc. In my view, this structure should control all visa, passport, and customs control services, air transport, and air defense in peacetime.
Besides, I think NATO in its current form should be disbanded in order to fight an effective war on terrorism. The Alliance has outlived its usefulness.
Instead of NATO, a new alliance - counter-terrorism alliance, European alliance - is needed, including Russia. This new alliance should use entirely new forms and methods of combating terrorism. What really counts is that we should abandon old political cliches and initiate a coordinated and effective war on terrorism, which has already proved itself an inventor of asymmetric warfare.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 03, 2001