Latest News

Details of the U.S. military plan

Quotes from the Quadrennial Defense Review introduction.

On what is the "long war":

"The Department of Defense conducted the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) in the fourth year of a long war, a war that is irregular in its nature. The enemies in this war are not traditional conventional military forces but rather dispersed, global terrorist networks that exploit Islam to advance radical political aims. These enemies have the avowed aim of acquiring and using nuclear and biological weapons to murder hundreds of thousands of Americans and others around the world. They use terror, propaganda and indiscriminate violence in an attempt to subjugate the Muslim world under a radical theocratic tyranny while seeking to perpetuate conflict with the United States and its allies and partners.

"This war requires the U.S. military to adopt unconventional and indirect approaches. Currently, Iraq and Afghanistan are crucial battlegrounds, but the struggle extends far beyond their borders. With its allies and partners, the United States must be prepared to wage this war in many locations simultaneously and for some years to come. As the Department of Defense works to defeat these enemies, it must also remain vigilant in an era of surprise and uncertainty and prepare to prevent, deter or defeat a wider range of asymmetric threats."

What the military means by "asymmetric" threats:

"Although U.S. military forces maintain their predominance in traditional warfare, they must also be improved to address the non-traditional, asymmetric challenges of this new century. These challenges include irregular warfare (conflicts in which enemy combatants are not regular military forces of nation-states); catastrophic terrorism employing weapons of mass destruction (WMD); and disruptive threats to the United States' ability to maintain its qualitative edge and to project power."


Key parts of the plan (the following is an excerpt from the report):

_To strengthen forces to defeat terrorist networks, the Department will increase Special Operations Forces by 15 percent and increase the number of Special Forces Battalions by one-third. U.S. Special Operations Command (U.S. SOCOM) will establish the Marine Corps Special Operations Command. The Air Force will establish an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron under U.S. SOCOM.

The Navy will support a U.S. SOCOM increase in SEAL Team manning and will develop a riverine warfare capability. The Department will also expand Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs units by 3,700 personnel, a 33 percent increase. Multipurpose Army and Marine Corps ground forces will increase their capabilities and capacity to conduct irregular warfare missions.

_To strengthen homeland defense and homeland security, the Department will fund a $1.5 billion initiative over the next five years to develop broad-spectrum medical countermeasures against the threat of genetically-engineered bio-terror agents. Additional initiatives will include developing advanced detection and deterrent technologies and facilitating full-scale civil-military exercises to improve interagency planning for complex homeland security contingencies.

_To help shape the choices of countries at strategic crossroads, strengthen deterrence, and hedge against future strategic uncertainty, the Department will develop a wider range of conventional and non-kinetic deterrent options while maintaining a robust nuclear deterrent.

_To improve the nation's ability to deal with the dangers posed by states that possess weapons of mass destruction and the possibility of terrorists gaining control of them, the Department will greatly expand its capabilities and forces for addressing such contingencies.

Some other elements of the plan:

_Reduce the B-52 force to 56 aircraft and use savings to fully modernize B-52s, B-1s and B-2s to support global strike operations.

_Develop an unmanned longer-range carrier-based aircraft.

_Extend production of the F-22A, an Air Force fighter jet, through fiscal year 2010.

_Build a larger fleet that includes 11 carrier strike groups.

_Continue to purchase the C-17 transport plane.


To read the full document:

See "click to read report" under the photo of the report cover.


(c) 2006, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Need to map