|Home Front: WoT|
|The Backlash Industry|
[DAILYCALLER] The history of the looming anti-Muslim backlash that never arrives is instructive. Logically, the original post-9/11 anti-Muslim backlash should have been the largest and most ferocious of the various backlashes, and indeed George W. Bush, members of his administration and members of Congress frequently warned Americans not to blame all Muslims for the acts committed by Al-Qaeda.
|Home Front: Culture Wars|
|When failure carries no cost|
|h/t Gates of Vienna|
This week, after a three-and-a-half-year delay, US Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was finally placed on trial for massacring 13 and wounding 32 at Ft. Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009.
Hasan was a self-identified jihadist. His paper and electronic trail provided mountains of evidence that he committed the massacre to advance the cause of Islamic supremacy. Islamic supremacists like Hasan, and his early mentor al-Qaida operations chief Anwar al-Awlaki, view as enemies all people who oppose totalitarian Islam's quest for global domination.
Before, during and following his assault, Hasan made his jihadist motives obvious to the point of caricature in his statements about the US, the US military and the duties of pious Muslims. But rather than believe Hasan, and so do justice to his victims, the Obama administration, with the active collusion of senior US military commanders went to great lengths to cover up Hasan's ideological motivations and hence the nature of his crime.
On the day of the attack, Lt.-Gen. Robert Cone, then commander of III Corps at Ft. Hood, said preliminary evidence didn't suggest that the shooting was terrorism. Cone said this even though it was immediately known that before he began shooting Hasan called out "Allahu akhbar." He called himself a "Soldier of Allah" on his business cards.
In an interview with CNN three days after the attack, US Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said, "Our diversity, not only in our army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse."
I wonder what a man who gave us "A reverence for life does not require one to respect nature's obvious mistakes." would've made of this?
|Home Front: Politix|
|Obama May Opt For New Military Advisers: 4 Generals to Retire|
|President Obama, who has clashed with the military top brass over war and gays, will soon have a chance to reshape the Joint Chiefs of Staff as he faces contentious decisions next year on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and on ending some weapons systems.|
The admirals and generals who today make up the six Joint Chiefs were largely nurtured by Bush administration Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who took a keen interest in finding and promoting officers who impressed him.
Mr. Obama has had differences with some of them. The outgoing Marine Corps commandant, Gen. James Conway, for example, has openly questioned the White House's July 2011 deadline to start a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Mr. Obama and his top military adviser clashed privately over Afghanistan troop strength, a new book reveals.
Next year, the president will have the opportunity to replace four of the six, unless he breaks with tradition and extends their tenures. The pending exits include the Joint Chiefs chairman, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, whose term ends in September, and Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman, whose term ends in August.
Also due to retire in 2011 are the heads of the Army, Gen. George Casey in April, and the Navy, Adm. Gary Roughead in September. Mr. Obama made his first appointment to the chiefs this summer when he nominated Gen. James Amos to replace Gen. Conway.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Pentagon stonewalls in Fort Hood probe|
|What and when did US Army brass know about Maj. Nidal Hassan's extremist views and his ties to a key jihadist cleric and why didn't they act before he gunned down 13 soldiers at Fort Hood six months ago? It's a simple question and a very significant one, to boot. But neither the Pentagon nor the Justice Department wants that information made public.|
Which is why the two top senators on the Homeland Security Committee Joe Lieberman (I/D-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have subpoenaed stonewalling Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder. We have repeatedly sought your departments' cooperation,' they wrote. Our efforts have been met with delay, the production of little that was not already public and shifting reasons for why the departments are withholding [information] that we have requested.'
Before he went on his terrorist rampage, Hasan was in regular e-mail contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born imam who ministered to at least three 9/11 hijackers as well as the would-be Christmas Day underwear bomber. Indeed, FBI and Army investigators reportedly intercepted those e-mails, and also knew that he'd been heard making statements justifying suicide bombing. Given the warning signals about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's extremist radicalism,' ask Lieberman and Collins, why was he not stopped before he took 13 American lives?'
The Pentagon conducted an internal investigation, and in January released an 86-page report that blamed what Gates called 20th-century processes and attitudes mostly rooted in the Cold War.' Whatever the hell that means.
Astonishingly, there was not a word, as Lieberman noted, about the specific threat posed by violent Islamist extremism to our military.' Or maybe not so astonishing. After all, just hours after Hasan's rampage, Army Chief of Staff George Casey said it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.'
Both agencies have rebuffed the subpoena as they have all other committee requests by claiming that releasing the info would jeopardize Hasan's criminal prosecution. That's nonsense: As the senators note, they are not investigating the massacre but rather whether the government agents responsible for protecting our homeland . . . correctly did their jobs.'
Here's hoping the committee keeps pressing this until Holder and Gates are forced to make the information available no matter how embarrassing it may prove to be.
|Home Front: Culture Wars|
|Army to oppose immediate suspension of gay firings|
|WASHINGTON -- The Army's top uniformed officer said Tuesday that he has "serious concerns" about efforts to overturn a 17-year policy that bans gays from serving openly in the military and supports a yearlong study into the matter before any changes are made.|
The carefully crafted comments by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey to the Senate Armed Services Committee indicate reluctance by some within the military's senior ranks to President Barack Obama's plan to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."
Obama says the policy is wrongheaded and should change. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agrees but wants to move slowly, and has tasked a lengthy assessment on how to lift the ban without affecting the force.
Casey's testimony as a service chief is considered crucial to the debate. As the top uniformed officials in each service, a service chief is in charge of recruitment and preparing troops for deployments. If the policy on gays is overturned, the chiefs would have to decide how to implement the changes.
"I do have serious concerns about the impact of a repeal of the law on a force that is fully engaged in two wars and has been at war for eight-and-a-half years," Casey told the Senate panel. "We just don't know the impacts on readiness and military effectiveness."
As 17 years worth of discharged Gays file lawsuits charging discrimination and damages you will learn more about the 'impacts.'
Casey also said he would oppose legislation being considered by Sen. Carl Levin, the committee's chairman, that would force the military to immediately suspend dismissals. Levin says he wants a moratorium on firings under the law until Congress and the Pentagon can agree on how to repeal the law.
Among the questions to be answered through broader legislation is whether the military would recognize gay marriages and extend benefits to gay partners.
Don't forget joint domicile.
Casey and Army Secretary John McHugh said a moratorium on "don't ask, don't tell" would put existing cases in legal limbo and introduce confusion.
Barry and Holder will take care of tghe 'legal limbo' with the stroke of a pen.
"This process is going to be difficult and complicated enough," Casey told Levin. "Anything that complicates it more, I think I would be opposed."
Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the committee, agreed. "It flies in the face of what the defense secretary has committed to," McCain said of Levin's proposed moratorium.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee he thinks the law unfairly forces gay troops to compromise their integrity by lying about who they are.
McHugh, a former New York congressman and Republican, said he would support a repeal if that is what the president and Congress decides. "My job is to try to provide" the "best possible information and views from the Army side," he said.
"When I first enlisted, homosexuality was illegal. Twenty years into my career no one could talk about it. I'm glad I retired before it became mandatory."
|Home Front: Politix|
|Lessons from John Galt|
|Recent headlines seem lifted directly out of an Ayn Rand novel. President Obama decries the "fat cat bankers on Wall Street". Harry Reid attacks insurance companies for making too much profit. House Democrat leaders call Tea Partiers "Racist, Nazi, Gun Nuts". How about this nauseating statement made by Army General George Casey after the Muslim terrorist attack on Ft. Hood?|
As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as wellEach of these headlines might well have been uttered by an Ayn Rand character. Rand, whose father's pharmacy was confiscated by the Soviets during the communist revolution of 1917, and who came to America in 1926, seems uniquely able to speak to us about the inverted morality of our times. Virtue is to be apologized for. Depravity commands respect. Success is cast as evil and punished while failure is blamed on others and rewarded. Rand's insights into the psychological state of collectivists--those who demand that we sacrifice our individual freedom and happiness for the sake of the state--explain what often seems incomprehensible to thinking people.
An epic demonstration of the inverted morality that Rand described was on display in Copenhagen last week as the world's worst most evil dictators--Mugabe and Chavez--partnered with the world's most visible and misguided progressives--Al Gore , Gordon Brown, Barack Obama--in an orgy of depravity. Sadly, even the Pope lent his moral support to the lunacy, saying, "Industrialized nations must recognize their responsibility for the environmental crisis, shed their consumerism and embrace more sober lifestyles."
John Galt, the industrialist hero of Rand's 1957 masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged, refers to those in power who stripped men of their minds, wealth and freedom, as mystics. The mystics of spirit were the religious leaders of centuries past who proclaimed that faith is superior to reason. Galt is no fan of these mystics but it is the mystics of muscle--the progressives who force us to submit to their version of the common good--that Galt despises.
And Barack Obama is a mystic of muscle in its purest form, able to corral the worshipping media, the always superficial Hollywood elites, America hating academics, state-sponsored capitalists (e.g., Goldman Sachs), and grant hungry "scientists" & environmentalists hoping to cash in on a trillion dollar loot of the American people called global warming. These are the pillars of deceit Obama used to get elected. This was how he convinced enough of us to give up our minds for the the mystical concept that Rand called the collective. True to form, Barack, master of the mystics of muscle, has used his power mightily to loot from the producers, and hand it to the parasites, crooks and undeserving (read; SEIU, ACORN, UN Climate Fund, General Motors).
John Galt leads a revolt by the productive class and outlines Rand's philosophy in his 60-page radio address. Here, he explains how human beings--alone among life forms--can choose to be mindless:
A living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil, would not survive. A plant that struggled to mangle its roots, a bird that fought to break its wings would not remain for long in the existence they affronted. But the history of man has been a struggle to deny and destroy the mind.Sad to say, for a movement powered by the mindlessness, there is plenty of fuel to sustain "hope and change":
The assault on reason by our President and Congress goes on ad infinitum. It is mindlessness that elected "hope and change" and mindlessness that sustains it. Ayn Rand recognized that the greatest struggle on earth is that between the individual and the collective, and to submit to the collective, the individual must lose his ability to think for himself. Howard Roark, hero of The Fountainhead explains;
The mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain.The last thing a mystic of muscle wants is for us to start using our minds to uncover their fraud. Galt gets to the heart of the evil of progressive demand that we all serve the state when he says,
By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man--every man--is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose.
|Home Front: WoT|
|What are we doing to ourselves?|
|The two recent events most important to America's future had nothing to do with health care or the economy. They had everything to do with our ability -- more accurately, our willingness -- to defend ourselves from enemies that want us dead.|
The two recent events most important to America's future had nothing to do with health care or the economy. They had everything to do with our ability -- more accurately, our willingness -- to defend ourselves from enemies that want us dead.
And they both beg the question: what are we doing to ourselves?'
Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan's alleged massacre of 14 people (13 adults and an unborn baby) was bad enough; Senator Joe Lieberman rightly labeled it "the worst terrorist attack since September eleventh." What made the attack worse was its preventability.
Hasan left marker after marker, indicator after indicator, that he was a sympathizer of radical Islamism. The intercepted e-mails between Hasan and radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who pronounced the accused gunman a "hero" for his actions. The lecture to medical colleagues that non-believers in Islam should have their throats cut and boiling oil poured down their throats. Even the business cards declaring himself to be an "SoA" -- Soldier of Islam. The Army knew all this and more....yet allowed Hasan to stay, defying common sense. The prospect of removing a Muslim from the ranks was apparently deemed a greater threat to the Army's image than retaining a powder keg just waiting to explode. The virus of political correctness, hatched in the fetid fever swamps of Harvard Yard and Cal-Berkeley in the mid-1980s, has metastasized into a beast that is eating us from within.
The madness continued after the murder spree. In an incomprehensible display of tone-deafness, top Army General George Casey said as bad as the shootings were, "...if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse." Worse, General? Worse than 14 people murdered? Worse than 31 others whose wounds may affect the rest of their lives?
The gravestones of every Fort Hood victim should be engraved with the following: "died of political correctness."
On the heels of the Hasan debacle came the Obama Administration's outrageous decision to grant 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged conspirators the full rights and benefits of a civilian trial.
Set aside the lunacy of allowing people who have already -- proudly -- admitted their guilt in the worst attack on American soil. Forget the absurdity of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder declaring Mohammed et al. guilty while simultaneously promising a "fair trial" will be rendered.
What many people fear -- and fully expect -- is that KSM et al will ultimately not be the ones on trial. Just as OJ Simpson's trial morphed into a judgment of the Los Angeles Police Department, the terrorists' proceedings will become a circus maximus whose focus will be George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, the Patriot Act, the Guantanamo Bay detention center, "extreme rendition," the entire war on terrorism. That's what the Angry Left has wanted for years. Thank to its agents in power -- beginning with Obama and Holder but certainly not ending with them -- that's what it's going to get. The uproarious, happy sound in the distance is our enemies laughing themselves into a frenzy at our national security death wish.
Since 2003, we've heard that America's methods in fighting radical Islamism have simply "created more terrorists." How many terrorists will be inspired by watching KSM and friends spew their anti-American hatred on a worldwide platform -- courtesy of the American taxpayer? How many new agents of terror will that create?
Our enemies no longer have to plot grandiose attacks against America. We're doing the work for them, and they barely have to lift a finger.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Fort Hood slayings prompt full Pentagon review|
|The Pentagon will investigate its procedures in light of the Fort Hood shooting rampage, looking at how all the military services keep a watch on potential problems in their ranks, officials said Tuesday.|
The probe is still in the planning stages, but would be a broad examination beyond the particulars of Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, officials said. Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants a unified probe that hits all corners of the Pentagon, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said. "This is shaping up to be a DoD effort," Morrell said, using shorthand for the Department of Defense.
"This is larger than the Army. There are issues that need to be looked at department-wide, and the focus at this point is trying to figure out some of those questions," he added.
The investigation would consider some questions Morrell described as immediate, although he would not be specific, and some he said will take longer to frame and sort through.
Another official said there will be a fast look at whether the military has missed red flags that might signal there are other potentially dangerous service members out there.
The Army has also been preparing to launch its own internal probe. The Pentagon review could supersede that, although it is not clear whether the Army will still go ahead separately. Though it's still undecided who would do such a review and exactly what it would include, officials are working to make an announcement on it soon, a senior defense official said Tuesday on condition of anonymity because plans are still fluid.
Morrell said there has ben no decision on the structure, time line or staffing for a review. "He's trying to come to a resolution of this as quickly as possible, but this has not been nailed down quite yet," Morrell said of Gates.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey had said earlier that the service would take a hard look at itself following the Nov. 5 shooting.
|Home Front: Politix|
|By Ralph Peters|
As President Obama belatedly appears at Fort Hood today, will he dare to speak the word "terror?"
He won't use the word "Islamist." If he mentions Islam at all, it'll be to sing its praises yet again.
We've already learned that Islamist terrorist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan attended the Northern Virginia mosque of Imam Anwar al-Aulaqi, a fiery al Qaeda supporter who later fled the United States. We know that Hasan's peers, subordinates and patients repeatedly raised red flags that his superiors suppressed. We know he was a player on Islamist-extremist Web sites. The FBI's uncovering one extremist link after another.
But to call this an act of terrorism, the White House would need an autographed photo of Osama bin Laden helping Hasan buy weapons in downtown Killeen, Texas. Even that might not suffice.
Islamist terrorists don't all have al Qaeda union cards in their wallets. Terrorism's increasingly the domain of entrepreneurs and independent contractors. Under Muslim jurisprudence, jihad's an individual responsibility. Hasan was a self-appointed jihadi.
Yet we're told he was just having a bad day.
Our politically correct Army plays along. Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey won't utter the word "terrorism." The Forces Command Public Affairs Office guidance for officers never mentions "Islam" or "terror," leaving you unsure whether there was a traffic accident down at Fort Hood, or maybe an outbreak of swine flu.
Meanwhile, the media try to turn Hasan into a victim. A sickening (and amateurish) Washington Post article portrayed him as a poor, impoverished minority living in a $320-a-month rathole apartment and driving a down-market car -- as if the squalor made him a terrorist.
Squalor he chose to live in, by the way: As a major drawing added professional pay for his medical credentials, plus his benefits, Hasan made a six-figure income. And he was single, without college loans or medical bills. Has anybody asked where the money went? I'll bet a chunk of it disappeared in cash donations to hard-core Islamist causes. Will a single journalist track the missing bucks?
Rest at link
|Home Front: WoT|
|Fort Hood Suspect Warned of Muslim Threat Within Military|
|The Army psychiatrist suspected of killing 13 people at Fort Hood reportedly warned senior Army physicians in 2007 that the military should allow Muslim soldiers to be released as conscientious objectors instead of fighting in wars to avoid "adverse events."|
According to The Washington Post, Major Nidal Malik Hasan was supposed to make a presentation on a medical topic during his senior year as a psychiatric resident at Walter Reed Medical Center. Instead, Hasan lectured his supervisors and two dozen mental health staff members on Islam, homicide bombings and threats the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting against other Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A source who attended the presentation told the paper, "It was really strange. The senior doctors looked really upset."
"It's getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims," Hasan said in the presentation.
Under a slide titled "Comments," he wrote: "If Muslim groups can convince Muslims that they are fighting for God against injustices of the 'infidels'; ie: enemies of Islam, then Muslims can become a potent adversary ie: suicide bombing, etc." [sic]
The last bullet point on that page reads simply: "We love death more then [sic] you love life!"
On the final slide, labeled "Recommendation," Hasan wrote: "Department of Defense should allow Muslims [sic] Soldiers the option of being released as 'Conscientious objectors' to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events."
An Army spokesman told the Post Monday night he was unaware of the presentation, and a Walter Reed spokesman declined comment.
A classmate of Hasan, meanwhile, told FoxNews.com that the warning signs were all there -- the justification of homicide bombings; spewing anti-American hatred; efforts to reach out to Al Qaeda -- but that the military treated Hasan with kid gloves, even after giving him a poor performance review.
And though he was on the radar screen of at least one U.S. intelligence agency, no action was taken that might have prevented the Army psychiatrist from allegedly gunning down 13 people and wounding 29 others in the Fort Hood massacre last week.
"There were definitely clear indications that Hasan's loyalties were not with America," Lt. Col. Val Finnell, Hasan's classmate at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He and Hasan were students in the school's public health master's degree program from 2007-2008.
"The issue here is that there's a political correctness climate in the military. They don't want to say anything because it would be considered questioning somebody's religious belief, or they're afraid of an equal opportunity lawsuit.
"I want to be clear that this wasn't about anyone questioning his religious views. It is different when you are a civilian than when you are a military officer," said Finnell, who is a physician at the Los Angeles Air Force Base.
"When you are in the military and you start making comments that are seditious, when you say you believe something other than your oath of office -- someone needed to say why is this guy saying this stuff.
"He was a lightning rod. He made his views known and he was very vocal, he had extremely radical jihadist views," Finnell said. "When you're a military officer you take an oath to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic.
"They should've confronted him -- our professors, officers -- but they were too concerned about being politically correct."
Finnell said the warning signs were clear to many, not just classmates. Faculty members, including many high-ranking military officers, witnessed firsthand his anti-Americanism, he said. Finnell recalled Hasan telling his classmates and professors, "I'm a Muslim first and I hold the Shariah, the Islamic Law, before the United States Constitution."
Finnell says he raised his hand. "I asked the professor, "What does this topic have to do with environmental health?"
"When he was challenged on his views, Hasan became visibly upset. He became sweaty, he was emotional."
But despite questioning from the other students, Finnell said, the professor allowed Hasan to continue. He said Hasan's anti-American vitriol continued for two years as he worked toward his degree in public health.
There were even more warning signs that might have alerted the Army in recent months:
-- In the days and weeks before the shooting, Hasan voiced his objections to Muslims fighting the war on terror to members of his mosque, the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen. Congregants at the mosque said he voiced his objections to Muslims serving in the U.S. military and to his impending deployment to Afghanistan.
On Sunday Sen. Joe Lieberman announced his intention to lead a congressional investigation into the Fort Hood murders, saying there were "strong warning signs" that Hasan was an "Islamic extremist." "The U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance. He should have been gone," said Lieberman, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
In interviews Sunday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey stressed that it was too early in the investigation to know whether these warnings signs could have spared the lives of the 13 killed, dismissing earlier reports about such signs as "speculation" based on anecdotes. "I don't want to say that we missed it," he said.
Finnell said that once Hasan was identified as the suspect in Thursday's massacre, he reached out to the Army to tell them about his experiences with Hasan.
This time, he said, "They listened."
|Home Front: WoT|
|Army general warns of anti-Muslim 'backlash'|
|US army chief of staff George Casey has warned deadly shootings at Fort Hood could prompt a backlash against Muslim soldiers, undermining diversity needed to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.|
Mr Casey, speaking on CNN television on Sunday, warned against guessing at the motives of Nidal Malik Hasan, who is alleged to have killed 13 people and wounding dozens more on a murderous rampage at the Texas military base on Thursday.
Mr Casey, a former commander in Iraq, said he was "concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.
It has been suggested that US-born Hasan carried out the shootings as revenge for persecution about his Islamic faith at the hands of his comrades.
"I worry that the speculation could cause something that we don't want to see happen."
There are an estimated 3500 self-declared Muslims in the US armed forces, although some experts say the true figure is much higher because Muslim soldiers are wary about openly declaring their faith.
The tragedy struck an army that has actively tried to enlist recruits with a knowledge of Middle Eastern languages and culture, to aid its efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It would be a shame - as great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well," Mr Casey said
|Home Front: WoT|
|Army chief: Troops could be in Iraq after 2012|
|The United States could have fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade, the top Army officer said, even though a signed agreement requires all U.S. forces to be out of Iraq by 2012.|
Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff, said Tuesday his planning envisions combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade as part of a sustained U.S. commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism in the Middle East. "Global trends are pushing in the wrong direction," Casey said. "They fundamentally will change how the Army works."
Casey said several times that he wasn't the person making policy, but the military was preparing to have a fighting force deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan for years to come. Casey said his planning envisions 10 combat brigades plus command and support forces committed to the two wars.
When asked whether the Army had any measurement for knowing how big it should be, Casey responded, "How about the reality scenario?"
The reality scenario, he said, must take into account that "we're going to have 10 Army and Marine units deployed for a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Casey stressed that the United States must be ready to take on sustained fights in the Middle East while meeting its other commitments.
He reiterated statements made by civilian and military leaders that the situation in Afghanistan would get worse before it gets better. "There's going to be a big fight in the south," he said.
Casey added that training of local police and military in Afghanistan was at least a couple years behind the pace in Iraq, and it would be months before the U.S. deployed enough trainers. There's a steeper curve before training could be effective in Afghanistan, requiring three to five years before Afghanis could reach the "tipping point" of control.
He also said the U.S. had to be careful about what assets get deployed to Afghanistan. "Anything you put in there would be in there for a decade."
As Army chief of staff, Casey is primarily responsible for assembling the manpower and determining assignments. He insisted the Army's 1.1-million size was sufficient even to handle the extended Mideast conflicts.
"We ought to build a pretty effective Army with 1.1 million strength," Casey said. He also noted that the Army's budget had grown to $220 billion from $68 billion before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
He said the Army is two-thirds of the way through a complete overhaul from the Cold War-era force built around tanks and artillery to today's terrorist-driven realities. The Army has become more versatile and quicker by switching from division-led units to brigade-level command.
Casey said the Army has moved from 15-month battlefield deployments to 12 months. His goal is to move rotations by 2011 to one year in the battlefield and two years out for regular Army troops and one year in the battlefield and three years out for reserves. He called the current one-year-in-one-year-out cycle "unsustainable."