Magazine article National Defense

Panel Concludes U.S. Defense Still Shaped by Cold-War Thinking

Magazine article National Defense

Panel Concludes U.S. Defense Still Shaped by Cold-War Thinking

Article excerpt

U.S. policy makers would "invite folly" if they tried to use the same old formulas that were designed for a different time and set of circumstances in international affairs, said former U.S. Senator Gary Hart.

Hart co-chairs a commission chartered by Defense Secretary William S. Cohen to address U.S. national security concerns for the 21st century. The other co-chair is former U.S. Senator Warren B. Rudman.

Briefing reporters in Washington, D.C. last month, Hart and Rudman noted that the last major update to U.S. national security occurred in 1947. The first chapter of their three-part study is entitled, "New World Coming: American Security in the 21st Century."

"We may be facing low intensity, urban warfare for the first time since 1812," Hart warned. "It's going to be a different world."

A second report will follow in April, 2000, Hart said. A final installment is slated for delivery to a new administration in February, 2001.

Rudman noted that the U.S. military force structure has remained virtually unchanged for the past 50 years. "Stealth, speed, range and superior intelligence is what we will need for next 25 years," he stressed.

Commission member and former Secretary of the Air Force Donald B. Rice told reporters that old assumptions must be challenged. …

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