Transformation during War

By Krause, M. E. | Joint Force Quarterly, July 2005 | Go to article overview

Transformation during War


Krause, M. E., Joint Force Quarterly


America and its allies face a threat as great as any in the Nation's history. The danger posed by extremists, particularly terrorists armed with weapons of mass effects, spans borders and threatens the stability and economic prosperity of free states across the globe. This fourth year after the 9/11 attacks against citizens, civilians, and allies finds America still in recovery and engaged in a war on terror and a global economy slowly stabilizing.

Although individual memories may be short, the return to normalcy is not complete. We are recalibrating to find a new definition of normal. The world has changed: we live with color-coded alerts, anthrax scares, and not-so-friendly skies. Lest we become accustomed to this state of affairs, we must remember that the war is not over and liberty remains threatened. With enough commitment, resolve, and cooperation, those who embrace fear over freedom can again be overcome. But we will not win by guns and guts alone. Indeed, all freedom-loving nations, using their combined instruments of national power, will be required to establish and maintain a lasting peace. Unfortunately, those are a lot of moving parts to synchronize, so the challenge is vast.

On December 17, 2004, the President of the United States signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Support Act. This was a major change to America's traditional security system, and it demonstrated a recognition and willingness to act and move beyond legacy arrangements of government into new and more effective relationships. Before signing the bill, President Bush said:

Nearly six decades ago, our nation and our allies faced a new threat--the new world of the Cold War and the dangers of a new enemy. To defend the free world from an armed empire bent on conquest, visionary leaders created new institutions such as the NATO Alliance. The NATO Alliance was begun by treaty in this very room. President Truman also implemented a sweeping reorganization of the Federal Government. He established the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Council.

America, in this new century, again faces new threats. Instead of massed armies, we face stateless networks; we face killers who hide in our own cities. We must confront deadly technologies. To inflict great harm on our country, America's enemies need to be only right once. Our intelligence and law enforcement professionals in our government must be right every single time. Our government is adapting to confront and defeat these threats. We're staying on the offensive against the enemy. We'll take the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.

The new National Defense Strategy for the United States describes in more detail the Department of Defense approach to modern security threats and the war on terror. …

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