The View from West Point (fwd)

kelley kwalker2 at
Mon Oct 1 04:26:58 PDT 2001

>From: "Fred Bothwell" <fredboth at
>To: "David Farber" <dave at
>Subject: Responses to Terrorism - The View from West Point
>Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 11:22:35 -0500
>Retired General Barry McCaffrey was President Clinton's "Drug Czar".
>A 1964 graduate of West Point, he had a distinguished military career.
>He is now the Olin Professor of National Security Studies at West Point.
>His recent remarks concerning U.S. responses to terrorism were
>forwarded to members of the West Point Association of Graduates.
>Question from Cadet: Sir, I was hoping you could describe what you think
>the United States should consider as an "endstate" on the matter of
>dealing with terrorists ... eradication, containment, or some other
>option? And what would the United States consider the literal and
>figurative center of gravity? Thanks for your time.
>GEN McCaffrey's Answer: Great issue to consider...we have too liberally
>borrowed from the language of science to deal with the imperfections of
>political and security analysis. There will be no endstate ... we will ,if
>successful, manage this chronic threat to our survival, economy, and
>self-confidence by dramatically lowering the risk. We will build a series
>of defensive programs that will make a multiple order of magnitude increase
>in our day-to-day security. Second, we will form a coalition based on
>common danger. Much of the globe will join us to leverage foreign
>intelligence services and security forces to fight these FTO's forward in
>the battle area. Finally, we will at last take the gloves off and use
>integrated military power to find, fix, and destroy these organizations.
>We are going to disrupt these people thru pre-emptive attack. We will
>deceive them, we will run psyops on them,..... at selected points and
>times they will be killed suddenly, in significant numbers, and without
>warning. Tomahawk missiles, 2000 lb laser guided weapons dropped from
>B2's or F22's at very high altitude, remote control booby traps,
>blackmail, and at places...small groups of soldiers or Seals will appear
>in total darkness
>...blow down the doors and kill them at close range with automatic weapons
>and hand grenades. We will find their money and freeze it. We will arrest
>their front agents. We will operate against their recruiting and
>transportation functions. We will locate their training areas and surveill
>or mine them. We will isolate them from their families. We will try to
>dominate their communication function and alternately listen, jam, or
>spoof it. We will make their couriers disappear. If we can find out how
>they eat, or play, or receive rewards, or where they sleep...we will go
>there and kill them by surprise.
>The military component will be a supporting but lessor aspect of a
>strategy that will be based fundamentally on diplomatic and economic
>leverage to compel cooperation with international law. Of prime
>importance, we must reduce the environmental factors that feed this type
>of extremist
>madness.....foreign aid must be dramatically increased to address the
>misery and poverty of the Palestinians, the Afghan's, the Sudanese and others.
>We must also not be unwilling to confront the State sponsors of
>terror..Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Cuba, North Korea....none can be allowed to
>provide the base for another sickening strike against our civilian
>population or our Allies. Conventional military power will be used at the
>end of the day to place at risk those states who present a direct threat
>to our security. If deterrence does not work with coherent political and
>economic measures in support of a threat capability...then their political
>will must be shattered with overwhelming violence directed at their armed
>forces and the political decision-makers.
>The big challenge will be to organize America to protect our
>transportation, our economic activity, our entertainment ... etc with
>minimal invasion of our privacy and our free movement. We will constrain
>domestic law enforcement through the protection of our Judicial System. We
>will ensure the unfettered operation of a free press. We will have to be
>zealous to protect the Bill Of Rights and the dignity and safety of
>foreigners living among us during this War. We can do all of this. We have
>no option. The American people will depend on you and your fellow soldiers
>to step forward and stand between us and the barbarians.
>For archives see:

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