Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bush's new War Czar confirms "The Long War"

Pentagon general to be 'war czar'

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer
18 minutes ago

In the newly created position, Lute would serve as an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, and would also maintain his military status and rank as a three-star general, according to a Pentagon official.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Bush had not yet made an announcement.

Creation of the new job comes as the administration tries to use a combat troop buildup in Iraq to bring a degree of calm so political reconciliation can take hold.

The White House has sought a war coordinator to eliminate conflicts among the Pentagon, the
Major General Douglas Lute: "The long war amounts to an offensive from the Horn of Africa to the borders of Afghanistan".
I would like to add that this can only happen if approved by congress, and as far as I'm concerned this is once again confirmation of the incompetency of the Bush administration and their overbearing policies that have so far over-ridden the intelligence and the military in the handling of this war. There are more ex generals and ex CIA men than you can shake a stick at, and most of them are calling for an end to this terrible occupation of a country that was defeated in the first month of war.

Pentagon plans for 'long war' on terror

By Peter Spiegel
Published: August 25 2005 03:00

The obstinacy of the Iraqi insurgency and the sudden surge in violence in Afghanistan may make it appear that the US military in the region is spending all of its time fighting a war on two fronts.

But senior officers within US Central Command, the Pentagon body responsible for the Middle East and surrounding regions, have already begun planning for what one top commander terms "the long war": the battle that will come once Iraq and Afghanistan are finally pacified.

According to Major General Douglas Lute, who as director of operations for Centcom is responsible for near-term planning, the long war amounts to an offensive from the Horn of Africa to the borders of Afghanistan to ensure that al-Qaeda and its affiliated terror organisations do not find a safe haven once they are forced out of their current bases.

To Maj Gen Lute and his Centcom counterparts, the Iraqi insurgency - which he argues is 90 per cent home-grown - may prove a short-term challenge, but the growing threat from a loosely affiliated network of extremists runs the risk of causing more damage in the region, indeed worldwide.

"The broader fight for Central Command, while we deal with both those insurgencies, is against the extremist network," he said. "This is the cellular, franchised, network-like structure where al-Qaeda holds the ideological standard - bin Laden, al-Zawahiri are still the standard-bearers for the ideology - but increasingly, we've seen beneath the umbrella of that ideology a loose, not-at-all hierarchical network of franchises, if you will, crop up that we believe constitute a regional and even global threat. "We call that the long war."

On the most basic level, Maj Gen Lute said, that offensive was likely to include tracking Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant who has emerged as a leader of the Iraqi insurgency, once the war in Iraq is over. To Centcom, Mr Zarqawi is not in Iraq to die for the cause, but rather to build on his network and take the fight to the entire region.

"We're concerned in our area of operations about what happens to Zarqawi when Iraq is stabilised, which we believe it eventually will be, and the path of least resistance takes Zarqawi somewhere else," Maj Gen Lute said. "It is clear that even a network as I've described, which is not fundamentally state-based or state-sponsored, still requires some sort of physical sanctuary where they can organise themselves, train themselves, marshal forces, marshal assets, and then proceed from there."

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