More than thirty years ago, the Canadian journalist, Marshall McLuhan predicted that the new means of rapid communications and rapid transportation would turn the world into what he called the "global village." From our viewpoint today, it is clear that his prophecy was accurate. What he foresaw has happened, and with the additional technology of computer networks, international business and other relations have become so tightly intertwined that there really exists today a "global village." While this is true, it is also true that only a fraction of the world's people benefit from the existence of the "global village." Only those who can afford the technology, the television sets, the personal computers, and the airline fares actually experience it. While these things are all relatively cheap, there are still a great many people in the world who do not have access to the technology. Therefore, they feel that they do not belong to the "global village." Those who exploit these feelings have used the same technologies that make the "global village" possible to sponsor terrorism and social conflict all over the world. In short, while McLuhan's prediction of the benign "global village" has come true, he did not foresee the darker consequences that have also accompanied the application of the technology that he was probably the first to truly understand. (INSERT MARSHALL McLUHAN'S SLIDE)
The existence of the "global village" has, without doubt, had a unifying effect on the human race, or at least that part of it that populates this new entity in cyberspace. At the same time, however, another trend has developed which has resulted in much suffering and which seems to be caused by a reversion to what can only be called "tribal warfare" in many areas of the world. This trend is almost diametrically opposed to the development of the "global village" in that it tends to fragment the world rather than unify it. Paradoxically then, we have two movements that seem to be in opposition, occurring simultaneously around the world. If the human rape is, indeed, to reap the benefits of the "global village", then it must also learn how to control the "tribal warfare" which afflicts us.
The most serious decision that any president of the United States is called upon to make is to put U.S. military forces in "harm's way." This paper is an attempt to develop some guidelines that might be useful in reaching the conclusion that military intervention is the correct course of action in some of the many conflicts-I have called them "tribal wars" for reasons that I will explain shortly-that are now in progress around the world. (INSERT GLOBAL VILLAGE; HARM'S WAY SLIDES)
II. Different Kinds of Warfare
What is meant by a "tribal war"? It is important to try and distinguish between four different types of wars: wars between nations, civil wars, guerrilla wars, and tribal wars. Such distinctions may not be very clear, and there will be considerable overlap in the definitions. Nevertheless, the attempt to draw such distinctions is important because the responses-political, economic, and military that the United States and other nations may be called upon to make-depend upon the clarity of the objectives and the precision of our thinking. (INSERT DIFFERENT KINDS OF WARFARE SLIDE) Here are some distinctions that might be useful:
1. Wars Between Nations
These are defined as conventional conflicts between nation states with established governments that are fought using regular military forces. The governments can usually control the situation. They can make alliances with other nation states that may or may not share common ethnic or religious heritages. Usually, they can make armistices and also stop wars when that is deemed to be in their respective interests. An example of an incident between two nations was the border clash between Peru and Ecuador in 1995. The dispute over some territory near the headwaters of the Amazon did lead to a short conflict, which was then suspended when the two countries declared an armistice. In short, both governments were in control and could stop the conflict when policy dictated. A more recent (1998) example is the skirmish in Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Since the partition of British India in 1947, the province of Kashmir has been disputed territory. Periodically, there have been armed conflicts in Kashmir between the two successor nations, India and Pakistan. These conflicts have always been tightly controlled by the two governments and have been carried out by the regular military forces of each nation. Wars between nations can be large or small, and the great world wars of this century were, of course, the most destructive examples of this kind of conflict. (INSERT WAR BETWEEN NATIONS SLIDE)
2. Civil Wars
These can be defined as armed struggles between people of the same background for control of the government of a nation. Civil wars are often rebellions or revolutions against existing regimes by a regional or a political group within the same nation, and they are fought using regular military organizations. An example of a straightforward civil war was the conflict in Spain from 1937 to 1939 in which regular armed forces were used on both sides. The brutal conflict between the Khmer Rouge and the constituted government in Cambodia during the 1970s and early 1980s is another more recent case in point. Very often in civil wars, each side makes alliances with other nations around the world that sympathize with their respective causes. This was, of course, the case in both Spain and Cambodia. (INSERT CIVIL WAR SLIDE)
3. Guerrilla Wars
Guerrilla wars are closely related to civil wars, and the distinction made here is mostly one of means. In the case of a guerrilla war, the rebels are, again, usually of the same ethnic and religious background as the people in power, but they do not use regular military means to conduct the conflict. In contrast to a civil war where the two sides may occupy well defined regions of the nation, in a guerrilla war, there is not the same tendency to be "territorial." Good examples of guerrilla wars were the conflict between the Sandinistas and the government in Nicaragua; Fidel Castro's conquest of Cuba in 1959; and the "dirty war" in Argentina during the decade of the 1970s. Guerrilla wars may have similar political objectives to the "civil wars" defined earlier, but they differ in the military tactics used. (INSERT GUERRILLA WAR SLIDE)
4. Tribal Wars
A "tribal war' is a war within a nation or a group of nations based on ethnic, cultural, religious, or racial differences. Recent examples of these are the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Kurdistan, the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, and possibly Mexico. The bloody war between Iraq and Iran fought during the 1980s, is an example of a "tribal war" that is also a "war between nations." In this case it was Arab and Sunni Moslem Iraq against non-Arab and Shiite Moslem Iran. Note that the term "tribe" has been applied broadly here to identify any group having clearly distinct religious, ethnic, racial, or cultural characteristics. A good case can be made that the situation that developed in Los Angeles some years ago, following the acquittal of the police officers responsible for the beating of Rodney King, was also really a "tribal war" between the different racial factions living in that city. "Tribal wars" may be conducted by "regular" military forces under the usual discipline; as is, for example, the case in the former Yugoslavia, or by guerrillas or street mobs that are not controlled by anyone. Many "tribal wars" are particularly bitter such as, the conflict in the Middle East between the Arabs and the Israelis, which could also be called a "war between nations", and the conflict between different religious groups among the Moslems and the ethnic Arabs. In these cases, the differences that cause the conflict are, essentially, irreconcilable and that, in turn leads to the extremely vicious nature of these conflicts. It is, of course, this point that makes the understanding of "tribal" conflicts particularly important. (INSERT TRIBAL WAR SLIDE)
III. Tribal Warfare
It is true that the world has been afflicted with "tribal warfare" since the beginning of recorded history, and somehow, mankind has both survived and prospered. What is new and what makes tribal wars particularly dangerous, aside from their generally vicious and intransigent nature, is the spread of high technology weapons, including nuclear weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction around the world. A century ago, it was possible for the world at large to ignore most tribal conflicts. Many were localized in regions of the world that were, so to speak, off the beaten track as far as the "mainstream" of civilization was concerned. This is no longer true, and it is for this reason that means must be sought to deal with tribal wars wherever they occur. The very same technologies that made the "global village" possible also make tribal wars more dangerous. The perceived increase in the incidents of tribal warfare recently is certainly a consequence of better communications with organization such as CNN now distributing "instant news" on a worldwide scale. Although data are scanty, there may really be more tribal wars today than there have been in the past, and that this may actually be a consequence of the globalization of much of the world's culture and economy. People who feel excluded from this culture and the benefits of the global economy may look inward toward their "tribal" groups for identification and self-fulfillment. In an increasingly homogenous cultural and economic world, this may be the psychological response of many people who feel that they not part of this new world.
Tribal wars, also because of modern means of travel, may spread around the world, primarily through acts of terrorism. Such acts are extremely difficult to predict, and measures to deal with them, unfortunately, may often infringe upon the freedoms enjoyed by people not involved in the tribal conflict. The attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 was a "spill over" of tribal wars being conducted in the Middle East in which the United States has occasionally intervened.
Another feature of tribal wars is that they may be very difficult to stop. Since the wars are based on religious, racial, ethnic, or cultural differences, these cannot be easily changed, and therefore, the conflicts cannot be easily ended. It is important here to distinguish between the various factors that might motivate "tribes" in such wars. If the purpose of the war is extermination of the other "tribe" (ethnic cleansing) in a certain region, then the war is probably impossible to stop. This is the case in Palestine and also probably the former Yugoslavia. On the other hand, if the objective of the "tribe" is to be included in the general society, then an accommodation may be possible. An argument can be made that this is the situation in the Mexican province of Chiapas. If one takes the Zapatistas at their word, then what they want is inclusion in the larger Mexican society. Thus reaching an accommodation in this case may be easier than in those tribal wars in which one side or the other wants to fight to the bitter end. In the latter instances, "containment" should be the objective. It is the containment of such "bitter end" tribal conflicts that becomes extremely important, especially in view of the availability of extremely destructive, high technology weapons.
The central thesis of this paper is that tribal wars of the kind described are the most important single threat to world peace. Therefore, developing the diplomatic and military means for dealing with such situations becomes critical if, indeed, we are to build the "global village" that Marshall McLuhan foresaw. (INSERT FEATURES OF TRIBAL WARFARE SLIDE)
IV. Intervention in Tribal Wars
There are, essentially, three reasons why the world community might wish to develop means for intervening in tribal wars. The first is the necessity for a stable environment to maintain the global village. Tribal wars can often spread and become a larger regional or worldwide conflict. The second is to control the spread of biological, nuclear, and chemical weapons. If one side or another acquired nuclear weapons, they could create destruction that would be unacceptable. The third reason is for humanitarian intervention to relieve the suffering in tribal wars. In 1992, the U.S. became involved in Somalia to mitigate the effects of famine. In 1995, the U.S. intervened in the former Yugoslavia to put a stop to ethnic cleansing and prevent this conflict from spreading to neighboring regions.
In the previous paragraph, I have listed reasons why the "world community" might want to intervene in a tribal war. There are also cases in which the President of the United States might want to make the decision to intervene unilaterally when vital national interests of the United States are threatened.
The most benign kind of intervention in a tribal conflict is non-military, which typically involve political and economic sanctions. In the case of a political "intervention" this may mean voting with one side or the other in the United Nations or other international bodies. It may also include providing aid to refugees from one side preferentially to the other. Finally, it may simply mean making political speeches that support one side or the other.
Economic "intervention" generally means imposing various sanctions on one side or the other. In a relatively closed society, such as Cuba and Iraq, the effectiveness of economic "intervention" is not clear. However, this action is sometimes effective before taking other steps are taken. In the case of military action, the lowest level of intervention is indirectly by providing weapons and other kinds of military assistance to one side or the other. Conversely, an arms embargo can be imposed on one side or the other. Stationing military advisors in the conflict zone is another choice. Another kind of military intervention is the establishment of a "peace keeping" mission in the territories where the conflict is occurring. This means sending troops to the area. In that connection, it is extremely important to make a distinction between "peace keeping" and "peace making." A "peace keeping" operation is one where both sides have decided to have an armistice, and where keeping the peace is, in fact, a real possibility. In this case, the intervening troops may not have to fight, but must just keep the parties in the conflict apart. The problem of "peace making" is, of course, much more difficult because that involves engaging in direct combat with one or both sides in a tribal war and separating them so that peace is made by force. This normally would require the insertion of a much larger military force.
It is most important, when discussing intervention, to develop and use alliances or cooperative efforts. The United Nations has been most effective in humanitarian efforts such as reducing the famine in Somalia. In a peace keeping role the United Nations is only somewhat effective. Their peace keeping role in Cyprus and in the Middle East was effective; conversely, the United Nations was ineffective in Somalia. In a peace making role the U.N. has not been effective.
NATO and regional alliances can be effective in peace making. Recent demonstrations include the international coalition force's ability to minimize the bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia and the Organization of African Unity's ability to stabilize the turmoil in Liberia. It is critical that the United States develop and participate in cooperative efforts such as these.
Any intervention is likely to be much more effective if it is imposed by a large fraction of the community of nations or by the community of nations at large rather than by the United States alone. This may be difficult to do, but it is most important to develop the appropriate diplomatic means for peaceful intervention that may prevent or stop a conflict before military measures are applied.
Regional alliances and the United Nations also can be used to some effect to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. This is important, and even though the results are not perfect, treaties such as the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) should be maintained. There are some changes warranted in that particular agreement. It is possible that making a distinction between "rogue" nations and those that have legitimate reasons for creating nuclear weapons could and should be made. For example, it is generally conceded that India has good reasons for maintaining nuclear weapons. India has implacable enemies with a long history of conflict that is based on ethnic, religious, and cultural differences. Furthermore, India is a democracy, and it can be argued that the threshold that India would apply to the use of nuclear weapons would be much higher than in the case of "rogue" nations such as North Korea, Libya, Syria, and Iraq. There is a good argument to be made that putting the cards face-up on the table in the nuclear weapons proliferation business would have beneficial effects for the entire world. An approach might be for the five major "admitted" nuclear powers (the United States, Russia, England, France, and China) to invite specific nations, such as India, Pakistan, and others to join the nuclear club. The five major nuclear powers might provide incentives by sharing certain elements of nuclear weapons technology that the other powers are already know to have but that would still be useful. By taking such a step, it might become easier to diplomatically isolate the "rogue" nations with sanctions that do not have substantial "leaks." Also, it might become easier to control the flow of weapons grade nuclear materials around the world. It is not clear whether this suggestion can be implemented given the current situation that we face. On the other hand, it is extremely important to propose creative ideas at this point to prevent catastrophes that are waiting to happen in future tribal wars. (INSERT INTERVENTION IN TRIBAL WARFARE SLIDES)
V. The Role of the United States
For better or for worse, the United States is now the world's only military superpower. It is, therefore, impossible or very difficult for the United States to opt out and to say nothing in the tribal conflicts that are going on around the world. A decision not to intervene in such a conflict is as positive a decision for the world's only superpower as a decision to intervene. The political factors that would lead to nonintervention must, therefore, be as carefully thought out as those that would lead to a decision to intervene. All of this was recently captured by Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, when she said that the United States has become the "indispensable nation" in the post Cold War world.
In addition, there may very well be triggering events that cause intervention by the United States based on domestic policies and other considerations-possibly beyond the control of the political authorities. The ethnic lobbies in United States are very strong, and therefore, they are able to influence foreign policy and the decision to take military action. There is, for example, the "CNN Factor" which, perhaps, caused the intervention in Somalia. There is also the "Randall Robinson Factor"-the fast by Mr. Randall Robinson who is a lobbyist for African Affairs in Washington-that led to American intervention in Haiti. The abuse of U.S. citizens around the world was a factor in the intervention in Panama. Treaties and other commitments would also be a cause for intervention. In all cases, as a general principle, it is better to intervene as a member of a coalition or as part of a United Nations force than to do so unilaterally. However, it should be recognized that the United States cannot, also as a matter of principle, give up the idea that unilateral military intervention in a tribal war might be justified.
Direct military intervention by the United States in a tribal war means the insertion of American combat aircraft, ships, and ultimately, ground forces in the region of the conflict. Direct military intervention may be executed, either unilaterally, as a member of an alliance such as NATO, or as part of a United Nations peacekeeping force. Because of the status of the United States as the only superpower, the responsibility to build these coalitions has devolved on the United States. It is not clear how well prepared the American people are to accept this role at the present time. There has been much rhetoric about not becoming the "world's policeman." This is an open issue that will eventually be settled by the outcome of the debate now going on in this country on this matter. (INSERT FACTORS AFFECTING INTERVENTION SLIDE)
VI. The Criteria for Military Intervention
Given the kinds of military intervention that might be contemplated in a tribal conflict, it is important to develop a calibrated set of criteria that can be used to help in reaching a decision as to whether intervention is desirable in a particular instance. While the United States is very likely to find itself in a leadership position during any discussion of international intervention, the criteria outlined here apply primarily to political decisions that need to be made within the United States when military intervention is contemplated. The following three statements might serve as criteria for military intervention by the United States in a tribal war:
1. When the War Directly Threatens the Vital Interests of the United States This was the case in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 because of the oil resources controlled by Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Not only were the vital interests of the United States affected, but also the vital interests of our major allies around the world since they all depend on Middle Eastern oil. In the case of the intervention in Panama, the vital interests of the United States were connected to the existence of the Panama Canal. In a number of cases, there are treaty commitments, for instance, that could be regarded as vital national interests where the United States might intervene. Our commitment to the State of Israel might be an example. Any threat to a member of the NATO alliance could also lead to direct intervention in a tribal war by the United States. The direct invasion of one nation by another (the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, for example) could also lead to intervention. Actually, the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein had strong "tribal" elements between Iraq and the family that rules Kuwait. The Iraqis do consider Kuwait to be their "19th Province."
2. When There is a Real Threat That the Tribal War Could Expand Military intervention may be necessary, even if the vital interests of the United States are not directly threatened. If a tribal war threatens to expand to become a world war, then it is in the vital interest, not only of the United States but also of other nations in the world, to take the necessary steps-including military ones-to stop that from occurring. If for example, collective action fails to prevent the spread of a tribal war of this kind, then the United States may have to intervene unilaterally. It is conceivable that the conflict in the former Yugoslavia may fall in this category. The United States has already made a unilateral deployment of a small unit in Macedonia, for example, to help prevent the spread of the conflict to Greece or Turkey. The participants have thus been put on notice that they will have to kill Americans if they expand the conflict into Macedonia. Hopefully, this will raise the threshold of risk for them to the point where they will not expand the conflict.
3. When a "Rogue" Nation Acquires Nuclear or Biological Weapons This is the real problem in places such as North Korea, Iran, or Libya. North Korea is capable of plutonium production. Iran has attempted production of nuclear weapons, and, like Libya, they probably have produced biological weapons too. If such nations develop or acquire nuclear or biological weapons capabilities, then they could interfere decisively in tribal wars around the world. Such threats could clearly become very serious and justify military intervention. Once again, unilateral intervention by the United States may be necessary if collective action fails.
The importance of "triggering events" that might precipitate military intervention, even if the military intervention criteria that are established are not met has already been mentioned. Such triggering events are inherently unexpected and unpredictable and this must be clearly understood. That being the case, they must still be anticipated. Intervention with military force is ultimately a political decision. However, in making such a decision a critical factor is to evaluate the military capabilities of the intervening coalition or nation and the capability of the United States to support the coalition or nation and, if necessary, to intervene unilaterally. The military capability of potential opponents must also be carefully evaluated. All of this is necessary to judge whether military intervention can lead to something useful and decisive. (INSERT CRITERIA FOR MILITARY INTERVENTION SLIDE)
VII. Preparations for Military Intervention
If military action is to be a credible option in either deterring or actually participating in tribal wars, then some preparations must be made. If careful preparations are not part of the agenda, then military intervention is likely to fall. Furthermore, many preparations can and should be made publicly so that the threat of military intervention, either by a coalition of nations, the United Nations, or unilaterally by the United States, is actually credible. In preparing for military actions of this kind, here are some important considerations:
Interventions cannot be undertaken without some political support. Public opinion polls will always be against intervention, at least in the United States. Thus, there is always public opposition, and therefore, an effort must be made to persuade the public that it is wise to intervene. Essentially, a persuasive argument must be made that, in the long term, the cost of not intervening is higher than that incurred by intervention. The most important political consideration that affects military action is to minimize casualties. There are promising technical means that permit us to do that, and this will be considered shortly. Latent opposition to intervention could lead to riots in the streets if casualties are large. Remember that President Clinton decided to withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia after eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed in a fire fight with Somalis. This is a very critical point in developing the political support necessary for intervention in tribal wars.
What kind of weapons are especially suited for intervention in tribal wars? Non-lethal weapons may be very important in this instance. Many people who have participated in such actions say that it is often hard to identify who is the opposition. There is often no visible difference that permits distinguishing a "good guy" from a "bad guy." Non-lethal weapons have the peculiar advantage of not requiring bloodletting. Hopefully, this will help to keep casualty rates down and make the intervention more politically acceptable. There are a number of effective non-lethal weapons in the inventory today, including things such as rubber bullets and non-lethal chemical weapons that have been successfully employed. Weapons delivery systems are also important, and this means advanced missiles of all kinds. If one side in a tribal war can threaten another or even third parties with missiles, then this is an important factor in deciding on intervention. Nuclear weapons are even more important. It is critically important to determine whether one side or another in a tribal war may have access to nuclear weapons. Conventional high-tech weapons can be decisive, as well, which was the case with the "Stinger" missiles that the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan deployed against the Soviet forces.
It is critically important to make certain that a cadre of trained people is available for military actions of this kind. Military attaches around the world are most important in evaluating an early situation. Much more attention needs to be paid to training military attaches who will be assigned to nations likely to be involved in interventions in tribal wars. Specialized forces are also important. Specially trained units may very well have decisive effects in tribal wars, much beyond the actual numerical strength of such units. Specialized forces equipped with special weapons should be part of the military inventory available. The motivation of the troops used in military interventions is particularly critical. How do soldiers react to taking risks in a cause that may not be related directly to the interests of the nations which provides the troops? Motivations that will cause soldiers to take high risks need to be carefully considered. Interventions in tribal wars, therefore, should be treated more like police rather than military actions. How can this be handled in an effective manner? These are some unanswered questions that need to be dealt with in training military personnel for peace making and peace keeping missions. International training is particularly important; soldiers must receive training in languages, culture, and political understanding. The people participating in collective military interventions in tribal wars must properly take international relationships into account.
4. Rapid Identification of the Opposition
Before intervening, the United States must be able to rapidly determine who are the "bad guys" and where they are located. In addition, the United States also has to identify the "good guys," if there are any. It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the warring tribes. (INSERT PREPARING FOR MILITARY INTERVENTION SLIDES)
VIII. Military Action
In making the decision to intervene with military force in a tribal war, the political and military judgments that have been outlined must be combined. The most valuable commodity in these circumstances is hard knowledge. The president of the United States or the leadership of a coalition of nations must have the very best possible military intelligence to judge how best to use the military if a decision to intervene in a tribal war is made. The following considerations are important if a decision is reached to execute a military intervention:
1. The Military Objectives Need to Be Clearly Defined
This is necessary to judge the size and composition of the force that would be deployed in order to achieve the military objectives. Obviously, hard knowledge of military opposition in such a case is critically important.
2. Criteria for a Success Must Be Established
What would be considered as a successful outcome of a military intervention? What is the definition of victory? In doing this, a clear distinction must be made between peace making and peace keeping, which has already been mentioned. Without clear criteria for success, military interventions are likely to bog down in endless attrition, which is politically unacceptable.
3. An Accurate Estimate of the Capability of Opposing Forces Must Be Made
This is probably the single most important function that must be carried out by intelligence agencies of various nations involved in an intervention or by the intelligence agencies of the United States. What kind of weapons does the opposition have? Are there allies for the opposition that might lead to an expansion of the conflict? What are the logistics considerations? Can a potential opponent sustain a long conflict? These are all questions that need to be posed and answered in developing the strategy for peace making or peace keeping in a tribal war by military means.
4. An Exit Strategy Must Be Developed
Having intervened, how does a coalition or how does the United States get out of the situation? The example of Somalia is perhaps a good one here when contrasted with what happened in the Persian Gulf. In this case, the defeat of the Iraqi military and its destruction was the first objective. Once that was achieved, Kuwait could be liberated. Both of these objectives were achieved. In the case of Somalia, the initial objective was clear-to get food to people who were starving. Once this was achieved, the objective then escalated into taking sides in the tribal war going on between the various factions in Somalia. It was at this point that things became complicated. The United States finally had to withdraw its forces unilaterally because it was felt that the position had become politically untenable. The withdrawal of troops was probably not a good thing to do in the longer run. There will be more trouble in Somalia, and other interventions may be necessary.
There are a number of other important considerations that might be added to this list. Many of them hinge on logistics and the ability to sustain an intervening force. Once military action is initiated, then the most important thing is to make sure that the military commanders have good relationships and information channels to the political leadership. This is a particularly vital point if intervention is made by a multi-national force under the United Nations or NATO sponsorship. The sharing of intelligence is, probably in that case, the most sensitive matter since nations have a tendency to closely hold and protect their intelligence operations. Obviously, there must be sharing of intelligence in combat situations, and this is a new area for many military people. On the other hand, it may be necessary to develop intelligence products in such a way that unique sources, such as American satellite assets, are protected. There are complex questions here for which some operational doctrine needs to be developed, probably on an international basis.
Careful preparation for military intervention is probably the single most important item that needs to be understood, not only by people in the United States, but elsewhere in the world. Executing these preparations will require political understanding in such a way that popular support for intervention in tribal wars can be sustained. Without such an understanding and without public support, military interventions in tribal wars are likely to fail.
IX. Military Priorities for the Future
Given the leadership role that is likely to be played by the United States, it is important to list those things that the United States needs to do in order to be the effective leader in keeping the peace after the end of the Cold War. Therefore, it might be useful to conclude this paper by listing unilateral steps that the United States needs to take in the coming years.
1. The Enhancement of American Intelligence Services This is very definitely the single most important factor in developing the means to successfully intervene in tribal wars around the world. The military must make the intelligence field a more attractive career in order to attract and keep the quality personnel. It is most important that the military personnel have an accurate and deep knowledge of the history and culture of various regions around the world. A thorough understanding of this factor may be the difference between failure and success. Knowing local languages is also critically important if the United States is to intervene successfully in tribal wars in the future or act as a coalition leader. We must multiply by a large factor the number of people in this country who understand and who are comfortable with foreign languages. The United States has a very diverse population. However, this advantage, used by General Powell in Haiti and General Shalikashvili in Kurdistan, is rarely used to its full advantage.
Knowledge about both sides in a tribal war is also important. In that sense, the intelligence operations in Somalia were a failure. Such wars, from the viewpoint of the United States, may not have any logical "good guys" or "bad guys." The fact is that most tribal wars are those in which both sides have a case that can be reasonable to an outside person who has not been involved directly in the conflict. Thus, human intelligence, including a sophisticated analysis of open source information, is the first priority. Unfortunately, for various reasons the United Sates intelligence agencies have deteriorated in quality during the past decade. This trend must be reversed.
Technological intelligence retains its importance. This means that earth orbiting satellites and air based and ground based surveillance systems must continue to be developed using the most advanced technical means. Finally, the problem of sharing intelligence with allies and coalition partners has already been mentioned. It is important to develop means of doing this if interventions in tribal wars by coalitions are to succeed.
2. The Enhancement of Military Transportation
In order to be first at a trouble spot, military transport must be greatly expanded. This means building, perhaps, 100 or more of the new McDonnell-Douglas C-17 aircraft. This is very definitely the most capable military air transportation vehicle ever created. (The team that developed the C-17 won the Collier Trophy a few years ago for its technical excellence.) The C-17 aircraft is intended to be both a strategic and tactical airlifter which makes it particularly important. More McDonell-Douglas KC-10 tanker aircraft would also be useful. Special purpose aircraft such as the Bell-Boeing V-22 "Osprey" tiltrotor aircraft could easily become the sole means for dealing with situations in which no airfields are available. In addition to the development of military transports, making it easier to convert large Boeing 747-type civil transport aircraft for military missions is also extremely important. Air transport is only part of the problem. Bulk cargo and the people necessary to sustain a military force must ultimately be carried in ships and then deployed in trucks. In the case of sealift, a promising idea might be to convert some of the large American and Russian ballistic missile-carrying submarines (twenty "U.S. Ohio" class vessels and about thirty Russian "Typhoon" class ships) to troop and military cargo carriers. These submarines are large ships in excess of 20,000 tons when fully loaded, and they are very fast. One of them can probably carry up to 2,000 fully armed troops if suitably modified. Thus, these ships could carry large numbers of troops in a few days from their bases to any place else in the world, and because of their ability to do this submerged, they can achieve military surprise due to their stealthy nature. Their capacity and flexibility may, therefore, be particularly useful. Sealift also may require the conversion of civilian ships to military purposes. The British did that very successfully in the Falkland Islands War in 1982.
3. The Defense of United States Territory
For the first time since the incursion made by Pancho Villa in 1916 across the border to raid Columbus, New Mexico, the United States will have to pay serious attention to the defense of United States territory. A great many people around the world today hate the United States. This is a consequence of the fact that we are the remaining super power. We have intervened politically, culturally, economically, and of course, materially in various conflicts around the world and very often this inspires hatred. There is also a generalized hatred of "western" culture among a number of groups around the world. All of this means that direct attacks against United States territory are now more likely than they were in the past. This situation is made worse by the fact that high technology weapons including nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons have spread around the world. Finally, the ease of transportation and communications makes it possible for people to get into the United States who do not wish us well and to do things that in terms of doing harm would not have been possible two decades ago.
The first priority is to develop defenses against attacks inside the United States by terrorist groups originating elsewhere. First, we must enhance the capabilities of local authorities to deal with such events. These authorities then will be supported by federal agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Guard. Technical support will be provided by a new agency in the Department of Defense, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. It is quite likely that by concentrating on this problem many effective defenses against terrorist attacks can be developed. In addition to defensive measures, other things must be accomplished. There is the ability to retaliate against the sources of terrorist activities. This was demonstrated in 1986 by mounting an air attack on Libya in retaliation for a terrorist bombing of U.S. soldiers stationed in Berlin. In the same way, facilities operated by the terrorist group headed by Osama bin Laden were destroyed in 1998 in response to the attack by bin Laden's group on U.S. Embassies in Kenya and in Tanzania. In addition to retaliatory actions, there is also the possibility now of taking effective international legal actions against terrorists. It is too early to tell whether an international legal system to deal with terrorists can actually be developed, but some recent efforts in that direction look promising.
The United States must also do more to develop defenses against attacks mounted from outside our borders. The enhancement of our air defense system should have first priority. Sometimes our air defense has been penetrated. Some years ago, a Cuban Air Force pilot who wished to defect to the United States flew a MIG-23 fighter aircraft across our border and landed at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida before anyone knew that he had penetrated our air space. The technology exists today to build a very effective air defense system and we should make the investment to do that. Space-based moving target indicators (MTI) would constitute a particularly promising method for making certain that we know when airplanes violate U.S. air space in an unauthorized manner. The technology that would be applied to create this air defense system would also automatically improve our civil air traffic control system. Such a system would not only enhance the safety of civil air travel, but also would make it possible to control worldwide air traffic in such a way that we could deal with any suspicious or clandestine flights.
The development of defense against ballistic missile-carrying nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons should also have a high priority. Because of the spread of these weapons and their delivery systems using ballistic missiles, all nations and regions of the world will eventually be under the threat of such attacks. Much technical progress has been made in the past few years in developing defenses against ballistic missiles. It is now feasible to build a system that could guard the territory of the United States against attacks by a modest number of ballistic missiles. Intelligence estimates are that possible adversaries might be able to mount attacks against the United States with something of the order of 100 missiles and defensive system against attacks are feasible. In addition, some of these defensive systems could be made available to allied nations across the world, and this might be an appropriate step in making the world safer against possible attacks by "rogue" nations or terrorist groups that possess these weapons. In the longer term it should be feasible to build a space-based antiballistic system that could shoot down ballistic missiles launched anywhere in the world, targeted against any nation in the world. The development of such a defensive system on an international basis might be very desirable.
Finally, the United States should tighten border controls to make certain that nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons are not smuggled across our borders. Once again, technical means exist that would make this particular function easier today than it was two decades ago. These measures should be taken in such a way that it is clearly understood. We are not excluding people from the United States. What we are doing is protecting ourselves against those people who would import dangerous weapons into the country in a clandestine way. It is most important to implement the measures that I have suggested in this section. Doing this will make the post-Cold War world safer for all of us so that the global village that Marshall McLuhan dreamed about thirty years ago can really come into existence. (INSERT MILITARY PRIORITIES FOR THE FUTURE SLIDES)