This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Episode Number: 329 Episode Title: Battle Plan Description: The Pentagon is making decisions to build up a big, "culturally sensitive" ground force meant to police cities and occupy foreign territory. Why? Pentagon brass thinks that's what's "most likely" down the road. And few in government are asking critical questions. TEASE: SENATOR EVAN BAYH, (D) INDIANA We need to prepare ourselves for a much different kind of warfare, requiring different kinds of capability and really a different kind of mindset. There's not really ever going to be a going back to the old way, if we're gonna protect America. DAN RATHER You're not suggesting that when we tell ourselves the United States military is the greatest fighting force the world has ever known, that we're kidding ourselves? COLONEL DOUGLAS MCGREGOR Yes. Because while we do many, many things very well, we have limitations. Those limitations are evident today in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. AIR FORCE MAJOR CHARLES J. DUNLAP, JR. The enemy never knows whether he's being watched or not. I want him to be worried all the time about what our capabilities might be. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) THE FUTURE OF THE US MILITARY, TONIGHT ON DAN RATHER REPORTS. BATTLE PLAN: DAN RATHER (ON CAMERA) GOOD EVENING. TONIGHT WE’LL GIVE YOU A LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES. SURPRISINGLY, THERE’S AN EMERGING CONSENSUS ABOUT WHAT THAT FUTURE SHOULD LOOK LIKE -- MORE GROUND TROOPS TO ACT AS POLICE, MORE CAPABILITY TO FIGHT INSURGENTS IN CITIES. SO SAYS SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN; SO SAYS SENATOR BARACK OBAMA. IT’S WHAT ARMY BRASS WANTS, AND WHAT EDITORIALS URGE. AND IT'S ALREADY HAPPENING. AS YOU’LL SEE TONIGHT, WE AS A NATION ARE BUILDING ENTIRE CITIES IN THE DESERT TO TRAIN SOLDIERS FOR JUST SUCH BATTLES AHEAD.
RATHER (VOICE OVER) THE U.S. ARMY HAS A GLORIOUS HISTORY, AND MOST OF THAT GLORY WAS EARNED IN ONE WAY: TYPIFIED BY THE LIBERATION OF FRANCE IN WORLD WAR II, THE AMERICAN ARMY MARCHED IN HEAVILY ARMED COLUMNS ACROSS SWATHS OF TERRITORY. THESE WERE WARS OF DEFINED FRONTS, AND ANYTHING AHEAD OF THE TANKS WAS FAIR GAME. BUT THE ARMY TODAY IS FIGHTING A DIFFERENT KIND OF WAR. STAFF SERGEANT MCGRATH We're trying to get a nice pulse of the town, and where they currently stand at this time. RATHER (VOICE OVER) AND GEARING UP TO FIGHT MORE. THESE ARE WARS FOR HEARTS AND MINDS, AS LIKELY TO BE FOUGHT WITH A HANDSHAKE AS A GUN. LT. COLONEL BILL BENSON Deputy Mayor's over here. MCGRATH Ooh! Salaam Aleichem. How you doin'? The Deputy Mayor. RATHER (VOICE OVER) THIS IS A WAR OF COUNTERINSURGENCY. IT ENTAILS HOUSE-TO-HOUSE SEARCHES FOR ILLEGAL WEAPONS . . . BENSON I've got an IED detonator, a weapon, and a box of 7-6-2 rounds so far. I'll keep looking. RATHER (VOICE OVER) AND INTERROGATION OF HIGH-VALUE TARGETS. SOLDIER 1 You don't know? I think there was some shooting just not too long ago. RATHER (VOICE OVER) BUT IT'S ALSO ABOUT PROVIDING SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS TO LOCAL VILLAGES. SOLDIER 2 Hey sir, I found the woman you're looking for. Salaam Aleichem. GHASSAN ZUHAIR MUWAFA ANI AL TAMIMI, IRAQI ACTOR Aleichem Salaam. SOLDIER 2 Here's the baker, if you want to talk to her.
SOLDIER 3 We just wanted to let you know that you were approved for your grant... TRANSLATOR [ARABIC] RATHER (VOICE OVER) SCENES LIKE THIS ARE ALL IN A DAY'S WORK FOR THE ARMY IN IRAQ. BUT THIS ISN'T IRAQ. THE WEAPONS AREN'T REAL, AND THESE TOWNS WERE CONSTRUCTED BY HOLLYWOOD SET-BUILDERS. AND WHAT YOU'RE SEEING HERE IS THE ARMY'S NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER ON FORT IRWIN, IN THE MIDDLE OF CALIFORNIA'S MOJAVE DESERT. IRAQI WOMAN [ARABIC] RATHER (VOICE OVER) AND ALTHOUGH THIS SEEMS LIKE A VERY REAL INTERACTION BETWEEN AN IRAQI VILLAGER AND AMERICAN FORCES, THIS IRAQI-AMERICAN ACTOR WORKS FOR A GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR HIRED TO POPULATE THE CALIFORNIA DESERT WITH ARABS. AND WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE AT FORT IRWIN IS MORE THAN JUST TRAINING -- IT'S THE ARMY OF THE WORLD'S ONLY REMAINING SUPERPOWER FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGING ITS MISSION. FORT IRWIN ROTATES BETWEEN TRAINING FOR IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN TEN TIMES A YEAR, HOSTING GROUPS OF 6000 SOLDIERS AND OFFICERS ON THEIR WAY TO THOSE BATTLEFIELDS. HALFWAY BETWEEN LOS ANGELES AND LAS VEGAS, IT’S OVER A THOUSAND SQUARE MILES, BIGGER THAN THE STATE OF DELAWARE. WE VISITED DURING AN IRAQ ROTATION. AND WE SAW THE ARMY BUILDING A CITY ON THE SAND, HUNDREDS OF BUILDINGS SIMULATING A MIDDLE-EASTERN METROPOLIS TO TEACH AMERICANS HOW TO WIN URBAN COMBAT, AND WIN OVER HEARTS AND MINDS. SINCE FORT IRWIN OPENED IN 1980, IT'S TRAINED SOLDIERS FOR AMERICA'S NEXT BATTLEFIELD. DURING THE COLD WAR, THESE SANDS STOOD IN FOR THE PLAINS OF CENTRAL EUROPE, THE PLACE WE EXPECTED TO FACE THE SOVIETS. COLUMNS OF MOCK-ENEMY TANKS REMAIN AS REMINDERS. BUT AFTER 9/11, THE ARMY THOUGHT IT WOULD HAVE TO SEND SOLDIERS INTO A VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF BATTLE, ONE IN WHICH SOLDIERS HAVE TO MAKE TOUGH CULTURAL CALLS ON THE FLY. LISTEN TO THIS CONVERSATION ABOUT NOT BARGING INTO THE HOME OF A MULLAH AND HIS WIFE. MCGRATH We've got to find a way to get into the courtyard; the door is closed. BENSON We don't want to be inappropriate if she's home by herself.
RATHER (VOICE OVER) A FAR CRY FROM GENERAL PATTON MARCHING ACROSS EUROPE. BRIGADIER GENERAL DANA PITTARD As the operational environment has changed so has-- our-- our combat training centers. We have, now, transformed into being able to make sure that our units are prepared for irregular warfare-- which is what's taking place in Afghanistan and Iraq-- a counterinsurgency environment. RATHER (VOICE OVER) OVERSEEING THIS WHOLE OPERATION IS BRIGADIER GENERAL DANA PITTARD. IT’S HIS JOB TO TURN THE THOUSANDS OF YOUNG AMERICAN MEN AND WOMEN WHO PASS THROUGH FORT IRWIN INTO SOLDIERS WHO CAN FIGHT THIS NEW KIND OF WAR. PITTARD Stability operations has primacy. But there are still elements of offensive operations and defensive operations. And you'll see that during a rotation here. RATHER (VOICE OVER) STABILITY OPERATIONS. THAT'S ARMY-SPEAK FOR THINGS LIKE KEEPING THE PEACE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. MCGRATH Unemployment rates are high, and maybe with the boost of a microgrant, they start a business that will help boost the economy. RATHER (VOICE OVER) AND DISTRIBUTING FOOD AND MEDICINE. AID WORKER That one's a little bit heavier. RATHER (VOICE OVER) WHILE THERE IS TRAINING HERE IN FIGHTING AND BATTLEFIELD MEDICINE, THE EMPHASIS EVEN IN COMBAT IS ON LOW-INTENSITY MILITARY OPERATIONS IN CITIES. HERE, AN ARMY PATROL SEARCHING A NEIGHBORHOOD FOR A SUSPECTED GUN-RUNNER COMES UNDER SNIPER ATTACK. MCGRATH Up top you got talk! BENSON Keep fire in that window!
MCGRATH Get in here! There you go; there you go. BENSON We got a patrol coming up from the south! Have them stop and secure the south side! SOLDIER 4 This is another one of our targets we’re looking for. This guy is his known friend. RATHER (VOICE OVER) HERE, THE CIVILIAN IN THE BACKGROUND IS ACTUALLY A TRAINER HIRED TO TEACH SOLDIERS HOW TO BEHAVE WITH THE LOCAL POPULATION. SOLDIER 4 The question of -- they gave us false names. TRAINER You don’t want them to know too much. RATHER AND HERE, THE TRAINER WARNS A SOLDIER ABOUT REVEALING TOO MUCH WHEN BRIEFING IRAQI SOLDIERS. SOLDIER 1 See him, be on the lookout for this guy, and we have to capture this guy. TRANSLATOR [ARABIC] DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) AND THE TRAINING EXTENDS EVEN TO ARMY TRANSLATORS. TRANSLATOR I never saw him here before but they are coming from outside. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) IT'S ALL PART OF THE EMPHASIS ON REALITY, WHICH STRETCHES NOT JUST TO MILTARY REALISM, BUT ALSO TO ARCHITECTURE, MARKETS, AND MOST OF ALL, LANGUAGE. PITTARD If you go through and-- and-- and you-- you don't have Arabic-speaking role players, that's an issue because that's not real. Or if it's a-- Afghanistan rotation, they're not speaking-- Pashtun or Dari, that's not real. The kind of towns, the urban towns we're creating, the signs, it must hit all five of your senses. You must see Iraq and Afghanistan. You must smell it. You must touch it.
GHASSAN ZUHAIR MUWAFA ANI AL TAMIMI, IRAQI ACTOR [ARABIC] PITTARD You must hear it. And that's what we're trying to create. BASSAM KALISHO, IRAQI-AMERICAN We believe in this is Iraq right now. We don’t believe in this is desert in California, no. When I come in here, when I step in my village, “hey this is my house this is my village I live over here so you guys do whatever you have to do. If you’re going to do it in Iraq, do it over here.” DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) BASSAM KALISHO IS ONE OF THE HUNDREDS OF IRAQI-AMERICANS HIRED TO RECREATE THEIR HOMELAND AT FORT IRWIN. KALISHO We got a script and we play by the script but sometime we play "free play" and we just put it to them like they going to face it in Iraq. I been a U.S. citizen for a long time and this country give me a lot: freedom, nice wife, beautiful kid. My family’s here, so I owe this country so whatever I do over here, it’s not just the money—it’s just something I believe in it; I’m saving life. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) KALISHO PLAYS THE MAYOR OF THE FICTIONAL IRAQI TOWN OF MEDINA WASL AND HE HOPES AMERICAN SOLDIERS LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES THEY MAKE HERE, WHERE THE BULLETS AREN'T REAL. KALISHO When they go to Iraq, they will remember hey I did in Medina Wasl I made that mistake, I killed innocent people, I don’t want that to happen over here again, so if we save a life, it’s worth a lot. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) THE NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER'S PRIORITY IS TO CREATE THE MOST REALISTIC PERSONAL INTERACTIONS POSSIBLE. PITTARD Anything that the local commander can do to assist with stability of that particular area is what we're trying to accomplish here. BENSON You learn to operate and use all of your systems, your communications systems, your intelligence systems. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) LIEUTENANT COLONEL BILL BENSON IS TRAINING FOR HIS THIRD TOUR IN IRAQ
BENSON There's someplace he's going up here, and I would say that this is probably how weapons are getting into Al Sharq. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) AND HE THINKS THE TRAINING AT FORT IRWIN IS JUST WHAT BAGHDAD-BOUND SOLDIERS NEED. BENSON Life in America has not trained anyone for the experiences they're about to encounter when they get to Iraq. It's not one-hundred percent authentic, but it's close enough so that when they're in Iraq and they're meeting someone for the first time, and they’re meeting real Iraqis for the first time, they know what to expect. PITTARD The current national strategy-- and then the military strategy that supports the national strategy of the United States, we need more forces. And that's, obviously, been recognized by-- by both the executive branch as well as-- as well as Congress. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) AND THERE ARE SOME IN CONGRESS WHO THINK THE MILITARY'S TRANSFORMATION NEEDS TO BE EVEN MORE DRAMATIC. SENATOR EVAN BAYH, (D) INDIANA Going forward, we need to prepare ourselves for a much different kind of warfare, requiring different kinds of capability and really a different kind of mindset. RATHER (VOICE OVER) SENATOR EVAN BAYH OF INDIANA SAYS HE’S ON A MISSION TO REMAKE THE U.S. MILITARY, AND HE'S CALLING FOR A TOP-TO-BOTTOM REVIEW OF HOW OUR FIGHTING FORCES ARE ORGANIZED. BAYH Dan, we're living in a much different world than we did, even ten years ago. The threats that face our country have changed dramatically since the time of the Cold War. And to meet those threats, and with all the money that we spend to meet those threats, we need to make sure we're doing it in the most effective way possible. That's currently not the case. And that's why we need a review. RATHER (VOICE OVER) THE RESULT OF SENATOR BAYH'S BROAD STUDY WILL BE A LENGTHY WHITE PAPER THAT OUTLINES A MAJOR RETHINK OF THE WAY THE PENTAGON DOES BUSINESS. HE’S SPEAKING ABOUT HIS CONCLUSIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME TONIGHT.
BAYH The threat of insurgencies, nontraditional warfare, is likely to be with us for some time. And-that really needs to be our focus going forward. It's unlikely we're going to be fighting this sort of traditional-- land based-- large tank war in the northern European plain. RATHER Do we need a larger force? Or do we have a large enough force now that needs to be restructured and redirected? BAYH Most people who've looked at this and I would agree-- suggest we need to add a couple of divisions. RATHER A division being 15, 20 thousand? BAYH Thereabouts, that's right. RATHER (VOICE OVER) IN ORDER TO PAY FOR THESE TROOPS, SENATOR BAYH WANTS TO ELIMINATE EXPENSIVE LEGACY WEAPONS -- SYSTEMS LEFT OVER FROM PLANNING FOR THE COLD WAR. SOME TARGETS MIGHT BE THE AIR FORCE'S F-22 FIGHTER, ITS C-130J TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT, THE JOINT V-22 OSPREY, THE NAVY'S VIRGINIA CLASS SUBMARINE, AND THE MISSILE DEFENSE PROGRAM ALSO KNOWN AS STAR WARS. TAKEN TOGETHER, JUST THESE FIVE PROGRAMS CONSUMED $19.7 BILLION IN PENTAGON PROCUREMENT AND R&D FUNDING LAST YEAR ALONE. RATHER Well that brings us to Congress. A Representative wants the ship building in the state or the aircraft that you're manufacturing, they want to earmark it to make sure they take care of their constituencies. There's a long history of this. And perhaps you could forgive Mr. and Mrs. Average Citizen who say you know, Congress is not gonna give that up. BAYH Well, the average citizen has a right to feel skeptical about that-- Dan, given the history here. But we need to give it up. RATHER (VOICE OVER) AND BACK AT FORT IRWIN, THE ARMY'S IN THE MIDDLE OF A HUGE PROJECT THAT'S IN LINE WITH SOME OF SENATOR BAYH'S THINKING. HE THINKS MORE IRAQS MIGHT BE DOWN THE ROAD, AND SO DOES THE PENTAGON. THAT'S WHY, RUMBLING ACROSS MAKESHIFT ROADS THROUGH THE SAND, THESE TRUCKS ARE CARRYING SUPPLIES TO A MASSIVE CONSTRUCTION SITE.
PITTARD We've seen the need throughout our army to increase the sizes of our urban training facilities. We are, now, building-- a little city of 600 buildings that'll be finished by the end of 2009 to meet that need here at the National Training Center. RATHER (VOICE OVER) THE ARMY AS POLICE FORCE AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, YOU WON’T JUST FIND THAT ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ; IT’S NOW THE SERVICE’S OFFICIAL POLICY. IN 2008 THE U.S. ARMY UPDATED WHAT'S KNOWN AS THREE-DOT-O, ITS BASIC MANUAL FOR ALL FIELD OPERATIONS, THE FIRST UPDATE SINCE SEPTEMBER 11TH. AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, THE MANUAL PUT STABILIZING WAR-TORN NATIONS ON EQUAL FOOTING WITH BATTLEFIELD VICTORY AS A PRIORITY FOR THE U.S. ARMY. PITTARD Right now, we're fighting a war in both Afghanistan and Iraq. And primacy in that war is stability operations with components of offensive operations and defensive operations. So what 3.0 has really stated is what is happening. RATHER (VOICE OVER) BUT IT'S NOT JUST FOR THE HERE AND NOW THAT THIS NEW MILITARY DOCTRINE IS BEING FORGED. WHEN THESE SIX HUNDRED EMPTY BUILDINGS ARE SWARMING WITH THOUSANDS OF MOCK CIVILIANS AND SOLDIERS IN TRAINING, IT MAY NOT BE AS IRAQ BUT AS ANOTHER URBANIZED COUNTRY WHERE THE U.S. COULD GET INVOLVED IN A GROUND WAR. MOST EXPERTS -THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT IT NOTWITHSTANDING -- AGREE THAT WOULD BE IRAN OR PAKISTAN. SENATOR JOSEPH LIEBERMAN, (I) CONNECTICUT I want to welcome Lieutenant General William Caldwell. RATHER (VOICE OVER) ACCORDING TO WILLIAM CALDWELL, THE THREE-STAR GENERAL WHO WROTE THE NEW MANUAL, THIS DOCTRINE WASN'T JUST WRITTEN WITH IRAQ IN MIND. GENERAL WILLIAM CALDWELL You know, we've spent a lot of time looking at the threat out into the future and examining that as part of this Manual development. And one thing we do say is that they will continue to be -these type of operations for the next 10 or 15 years.
RATHER (VOICE OVER) BUT THE PENTAGON IS NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT THE FUTURE; THEY'RE STUDYING THE PAST. IN 2002, THEY HIRED A CONSULTING FIRM TO LOOK AT THE EMPIRES OF GENGHIS KHAN AND THE ROMANS, TO SEE WHAT THEY CAN TEACH US ABOUT REGIME CHANGE AND OCCUPATION. AND WHAT GOES ON AT FORT IRWIN REFLECTS THE LESSONS OF MORE RECENT OCCUPYING FORCES -THE 19TH-CENTURY EMPIRES OF FRANCE AND BRITAIN. SO SAY NOT JUST STRATEGISTS AND SCHOLARS, BUT ALMOST EVERY OFFICER AND INFANTRYMAN WE SPOKE TO. HERE'S THE BATTLE-TESTED COLONEL BENSON. BENSON The lessons learned out of Vietnam-- the French experience in Algeria and the-- British army in Malaysia-- are just a few examples of the kind of counterinsurgency-- fundamentals and doctrine that have been around with us for a long time. As an army, though, we kinda had to relearn that. Alright, is this the guy you got? MCGRATH Yes, sir. And-BENSON Okay that's him. MCGRATH He was under an alias name. RATHER (VOICE OVER) BUT EVEN WITH ALL THIS NEW DOCTRINE AND TRAINING, SENATOR BAYH IS STILL WORRIED THAT THERE'S NOT THE WILL TO CHANGE. BAYH There's too much intransigence. Even after Iraq and Afghanistan which need to have been a wakeup call and have been for some, there's still a desire on the part of many to well, once that's over, we'll kind of go back to the traditional ways of doing business. That's not good enough anymore. There's not really ever going to be a going back to the old way, if we're gonna protect America. RATHER (VOICE OVER) NO GOING BACK TO THE OLD WAY. FAIR ENOUGH, BUT THERE IS MORE THAN ONE APPROACH TO FINDING A NEW WAY FORWARD. SOME VOICES, EVEN SOME WITHIN THE MILITARY, STRENUOUSLY OPPOSE THE ARMY'S FOCUS ON MORE TROOPS AND THEIR CONSTANT PRESENCE ON THE GROUND ABROAD. AIR FORCE MAJOR CHARLES J. DUNLAP, JR. We will never have the size of the armed force that the counterinsurgency manual tells us the force ratios that they want.
RATHER (VOICE OVER) Air Force Major General Charles Dunlap, one of the highest-ranked officers in the service, thinks that the way the Army is going about planning for the future is inherently flawed, relying on numbers that he says just aren't possible. DUNLAP They wanna have 20 soldiers for every 1,000 persons in the population. So you can do the math on various countries around the world, if we do it the old way. So we need to figure out how to do it the new way. RATHER (VOICE OVER) ACTUALLY, THE ARMY'S COUNTERINSURGENCY MANUAL SAYS THAT TWENTY SOLDIERS IS USUALLY CONSIDERED THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF TROOPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL OPERATION. OF COURSE, FULL-SCALE COUNTERINSURGENCIES WON'T BE FOUGHT IN EVERY INCH OF A COUNTRY. BUT FOR IRAQ, THE FORMULA WOULD WORK OUT TO OVER A HALF-MILLION SOLDIERS. CURRENTLY, THERE ARE ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF THAT IN IRAQ. IF APPLIED TO IRAN, THAT FORMULA WOULD CALL FOR ALMOST A MILLION AND A HALF SOLDIERS. FOR PAKISTAN, OVER THREE MILLION. RATHER That raises the question of-- at a time where we talk about increasing force levels, from where are these people going to come? DUNLAP That is a huge question because I think-- especially for the Army, they really are-- pushing the envelope. They've done, I think, about everything they can in terms of recruiting and incentives. And it is hard for them to get the kind of sophisticated soldier that you need today. As we see with counterinsurgency-- they need high-end liberal education. In other words, languages-knowledge of other cultures, history, politics, and so forth. RATHER It's possible, it’s probable? That we could keep the force level at or about where it is now, not increase it dramatically, if we're pretty smart about how we plan and spend? Or not? DUNLAP Yes. If-- if we're pretty smart about how we plan and spend, we can-- keep the numbers of human beings in the Armed Forces about the same. RATHER (VOICE OVER) “BOOTS-ON-THE-GROUND ZEALOTS” IS WHAT GENERAL DUNLAP CALLS THOSE IN CONGRESS AND THE ARMY WHO NEGLECT TECHNOLOGY AND PREPARE TO QUOTE, “REFIGHT THE LAST WAR”— IN THIS CASE, THE CURRENT OCCUPATION OF IRAQ. HE WORRIES WE'RE DISTRACTED FROM WHAT REALLY MATTERS -BUILDING A MILITARY TO FIGHT FLIES WHILE THE VULTURES CIRCLE.
DUNLAP As much as we're concerned about-- a weapon of mass destruction getting into the hands of an individual terrorist or-- or group, the fact of the matter is as horrific as that would be, a few of those weapons are not going to destroy the United States. It would take a major state power to be able to do that. But we will see them resurging in the future, and we have to be prepared. SOLDIER 5 Get down; get down. RATHER (VOICE OVER) AS FOR INSURGENCIES, DUNLAP ACKNOWLEDGES WE HAVE TO FIGHT THEM, BUT SAYS THAT WHAT WE CAN DO WITH TECHNOLOGY HAS FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED. SCIENCE NOW ALLOWS US TO TARGET ENEMIES WITH DEADLY PRECISION, AS WE SEE IN THIS BATTLEFIELD VIDEO. GENERAL DUNLAP SAYS WHEN THE UNITED STATES PROVIDES THE HIGH TECHNOLOGY, THE NATIVE GOVERNMENT'S ARMY CAN DO THE WORK ON THE GROUND. DUNLAP I believe that we ought to leverage technology to do some of that counterinsurgency. My disagreement with the counterinsurgency manual was that it was based on historical studies when, quite frankly, airpower's technology did not have all that much to offer. RATHER You're talking about Vietnam, Malaysia, those kinds of battles. DUNLAP Exactly. Exactly. And what's happened, what's different now, is what I call the precision revolution. It's a little bit unpopular these days to talk about high technology because it's equated with high cost weapons. But the fact of the matter is, in my judgment, this country is a technological country. That's always been our strength. That's not to say that there's no role for boots on the ground. There's always gonna be boots on the ground. But anything we can do to remove young Americans from being at the pointy end of the stick I think is a good thing. And we ought to look to do that. One of the things that I like about our reconnaissance capability is the enemy never knows whether he's being watched or not, or listened to, or how he's being tracked. SOLDIER 6 What are these guys going to do? SOLDIER 7 Looking around. SOLDIER 6 It's a guy in the field -- get the guy in the field. SOLDIER 7 Roger. See this?
SOLDIER 6 Yep. SOLDIER 7 I've got a guy running-- throwing a weapon... SOLDIER 6 Smoke him. Hit him. SOLDIER 7 Got him. SOLDIER 6 Good. SOLDIER 7 Second one. SOLDIER 6 Hit the other one. DUNLAP I want him to be worried all the time about what our capabilities might be. Because in a perfect world, what we do is we drive the Saddam Husseins in the world into spider holes because if their command and control is in a spider hole, we win, and so that's what I think we can do with our technology, and we can do it better than anyone else. RATHER (VOICE OVER) STILL, WHETHER ITS GENERAL DUNLAP'S HIGH TECH WEAPONS, OR FT. IRWIN'S BOOTS ON THE GROUND, THERE’S AGREEMENT THAT COUNTERINSURGENCIES WILL CONTINUE TO BE A MAJOR FOCUS FOR THE U.S. MILITARY IN THE YEARS AHEAD. DAN RATHER (ON CAMERA) NOW, WHEN WE RETURN, WE TALK TO ONE WAR HERO WHO SEES THE MILITARY HEADING DOWN A SELF-DEFEATING PATH.
DAN RATHER (ON CAMERA) AS WE’VE SEEN TONIGHT, THE MILITARY IS CHANGING IN WAYS THAT CHALLENGE OUR VERY DEFINITIONS OF WAR FIGHTING. WE MET THE MEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF THAT TRANSFORMATION, WE MET A SKEPTICAL AIR FORCE GENERAL, AND NOW WE TURN TO ONE OF THE LEADING VOICES OF DISSENT WITHIN THE ARMY. A MAN WHO THINKS THE CHANGES WE SAW AT FORT IRWIN COULD BRING AMERICA’S MILITARY DOMINANCE IN WORLD AFFAIRS TO AN UGLY END.
DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) DOUGLAS MACGREGOR IS A WARRIOR, AND A SCHOLAR. HE LED THE SOLDIERS OF THE SECOND ARMORED CAVALRY TO VICTORY IN THE FIRST GULF WAR, AND GOT A BRONZE STAR FOR IT. BUT HE ALSO HAS A PH.D IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND HAS WRITTEN TWO CONTROVERSIAL BOOKS ON MILITARY REFORM. COLONEL MACGREGOR, NOW RETIRED, FEELS THAT THE DIRECTION THE MILITARY IS HEADED TODAY COULD HAVE DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES TOMORROW. RATHER Does the United States, at this moment, have a strategic world view, and are we following in that strategy? COLONEL DOUGLAS MCGREGOR Well, that's the $60,000 question and the answer is no. There is no larger strategic framework that links the use of military power to attainable, political military objectives of any kind. We really haven't had any such strategic framework for at least the last 130 years. RATHER In your considered judgment, what should be the purpose of our strategy at this time? MCGREGOR We absolutely must do business with the rest of the world to survive. We have, for the last 200 years increasingly become the engine of prosperity for the world. In other words, our economy drives the world economy. Which is a very good thing. To do that we have to have access to markets and business. So you maintain forces for the purpose of protecting your commerce and having access to markets and business. This is why the British organized the alliance against Napoleon, who was trying to exclude them from continental Europe. It's ultimately why we opposed communism, because we wanted to open these countries up to make them part of the larger world economy to which we need access. So access, more than anything else, to markets and business drive your interests, security wise. And that says something about the kind of force you want to maintain. RATHER What does it say about the kind of force we want to maintain? MCGREGOR We don't have borders that we need to defend. Our borders are already defended. We're surrounded, largely, by water. So how do you justify a large land force, when there are no enemies impinging on your territorial integrity? You don't is the answer. You can't maintain a large, standing army. You can only maintain enough land-power that is required for your ability to periodically intervene for short periods of time to maintain access to markets and business.
RATHER At the present time, we have obligations to the defense of Europe, the defense of Israel, the defense of Japan, South Korea. Can we meet our obligations with the size military force that we have now? MCGREGOR Absolutely. There are no large armies mobilizing to invade-- central East Europe. The Russians maintain large armies largely because they have very serious enemies to the south and to the east-- because they have indefensible borders. We don't face that kind of strategic problem. So there's no requirement for us to do that. There are no large armies mobilizing in Iran, about to overwhelm Iraq, contrary to popular belief. There are no armies anywhere in the world today, quite frankly, that present a huge strategic threat to the United States. RATHER How is it that an officer with the kind of combat record that you have winds up having such, what many people would say, such modest goals for the U.S. military? MCGREGOR Well, first of all, I don’t think that the United States economy or the society that we maintain is designed to produce exclusively military power. I don't see that territorial conquest has any place in American foreign policy. I think the days when the United States and Great Britain and France, and the Netherlands, and the Spaniards and others could go into the countries belonging to non-Europeans and essentially occupy them, govern them and exploit them are over. People are very, very expensive. Every 10,000 troops costs well over $1 billion to maintain. So it would stand to reason that you need to organize this ground force efficiently and effectively, so that you get the maximum, potential combat power out of it. That's not how we're organized right now. We're still organized as small versions of World War II formations. You've got to be able to cross service lines to get the capabilities that you need when you need them without interference from this enormous service bureaucracy-RATHER Don't we have that now? MCGREGOR No. Absolutely not. The services control all of the money. If you want to know who has power in Washington, you ask, "Who's got the money?" Anyone who thinks that-- a senator from Indiana-- like-- Evan Bayh, who's a terribly nice guy, is as powerful as Senator Inouye from Hawaii, who sits on the Appropriations Committee, is delusional. Senator Inouye is much more powerful because he controls money. Move to the military. The money resides with the service chiefs. The service chiefs preside over enormous bureaucracies that have grown up over the last 40 or 50 years of the Cold War. They are married to the defense industries. Both have an interest in Congress and appropriating money for the things that the services want because the services preeminently, like every bureaucracy, are interested in maintaining the status quo.
RATHER When it comes to land forces, you're talking about a combined U.S. Army and Marine Corps about the size it is today, which would be what, 700-MCGREGOR About 700,000 men, total. RATHER 700,000. Big enough, you think? MCGREGOR Yes. Absolutely. Because remember, we have never withdrawn from most of the Cold War garrisons that we've maintained around the world. We-- we have aircraft sitting in Northern Japan. We still have troops in Iceland. We've got forces in Germany. We've got forces all over the place and we've been trying to push them further east into Poland and Romania and Bulgaria and places like this. Quite frankly, there's no rationale or justification for these forces anymore. The states that we formerly provided defense to are now at least as rich and well off as we are and can easily defend themselves. And there is no detectible tangible threat to them. So we don't need to maintain the vast overseas garrisons. We've never gone back and asked questions along the lines of, first of all, where are all the soldiers? What are they doing? I mean, we had more men in the United States Army in 1950 and the United States Army of 1950 couldn't fight its way out of a paper bag. Because most of that was a garrison constabulary force in Germany and Japan, riding on light vehicles and under strength in its combat formations. So the first thing you’ve got to do is say, we’ve got all of these men, all of this manpower, but we don’t seem to get much bang for our buck. Where are all the soldiers? We have generals galore inside the United States Army and Marine Corps. We are increasingly like a South American military establishment with a surplus of four-star and three-star generals presiding in single service headquarters that we simply don't need. And these bureaucracies are bankrupting us. But we've got to retain what makes sense. We've got to retain capability, but the emphasis has to be on teeth. Not useless overhead and not an extensive tail. RATHER Well, what if someone made the argument, let me make the argument-- you don't change a winning game. MCGREGOR Well, that's-- that is obviously the argument that the generals set forth to guarantee no change in the structure or organization and modernization of the force after '91. I would argue that Desert Storm was not the great success story as presented to the American people. It was analogous to the high school fight-- football team taking on Third Graders and soundly defeating them. And then walking off the field thinking that they were the finest football team that had ever been fielded, without having actually taken on anybody who was any good. And that was a mistake. The ultimate reason we went back into Iraq in 2003 was that the 1991 war was an unfinished war. We failed.
RATHER With General Powell, with General Schwarzkopf, every flag rank officer I know of would say-not only would say that's wrong, but those are fighting words so far as they're concerned. MACGREGOR Well remember the generals traded very heavily on the success story. And because the politicians were anxious to join what they saw as an easy victory band wagon and wave the flag- we ended up rendering generals almost invulnerable to the point where we've eliminated accountability for generals. So that nothing that generals say is questioned. Nothing that generals want is challenged. And regardless of a history of almost continuous failure in both Afghanistan and Iraq, we have yet to remove a single senior officer. And I think this goes back to the 1991 war and the mythology created in the aftermath of that war. That something really great and stupendous had happened, that we had fought, as the generals like to call it, the fifth largest army in the world. But the truth was, no Arab army had taken on and defeated a European force since the Renaissance. RATHER You're not suggesting, or are you, that when we tell ourselves, as we've been telling ourselves, that the United States military is the greatest fighting force the world has ever known, that we're kidding ourselves. MCGREGOR Yes. I think that we're- we have to be very, very careful about what we assume we can and cannot do. Because while we do many, many things very well, we have limitations. Those limitations are evident today in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. We are an English speaking democracy and we do not look favorably upon long wars of attrition. In fact, we dislike them intensely. Which is one of the reasons that Franklin Roosevelt ended World War II as quickly as he possibly could and so did Truman. It's why Eisenhower ended the Korean War as completely as he possibly could under the best terms that he could get. He understood that we could not sustain long wars without endings in sight. And-- we-- we seem to have forgotten that. RATHER Do you think there's any chance of changing hearts and minds in the Middle East through changing regimes? MCGREGOR There is no chance of changing hearts and minds anywhere in the world today that is not European through military occupation. RATHER That's a pretty radical view.
MCGREGOR I don't think so. I think it stands the test of time and history. And I think if you look at the historical record, you will see that efforts to go into places like the Philippines, where we effectively waged genocidal warfare for several years, killed perhaps 100,000 Filipinos, to bring the place under our control-RATHER This was in very early 20th century. MCGREGOR Yeah. But it's, you know, we did similar things, tragically, in Vietnam. We have gone into these non-European countries. Our occupations inevitably have created rebellions against us because our government is unwanted. RATHER Can you describe what you consider to be the ideal plan for reorganizing army for-- formations into groups, based on specific capabilities. To streamline-- Army command and control structures, and for that matter, the Marines as well. MCGREGOR People at the lowest level, at the tactical level, captains, sergeants, lieutenants, lieutenant colonels, majors, have to be in a position where they can make decisions on the basis of the information they have and the situation that is developing. We have resisted this, because we have the citizen soldier model which is a legacy of World War II and Vietnam that says, "People at the lowest level are simply not capable of making these decisions. Therefore all decisions must be elevated to the highest level where the man with the most experience, who's a long-termservice soldier, can review the facts and make the right decision." Well, that paradigm is irrelevant today. We have very capable people at the lowest levels. They don’t need more supervision; they don’t need micromanagement; they need more capability and greater independence and autonomy. So we've got to attack this very complex system of many, many echelons that separate the strategic level from the tactical. We need to compress those. One way to do that in my view was to eliminate -- in warfare-- the division organization and the brigade. And to essentially take away the division and the brigade and create a new intermediate formation which you could call a battle group, whatever you would like to, but is commanded by a brigadier general with a robust staff. And that formation is 5 to 6,000 men and it's either a maneuver formation, or it is a strike formation, or is it a support formation. Or it's an intelligence surveillance reconnaissance formation. RATHER Well, isn't it or is it true that the Army, particularly the Army, has already moved toward some of the reforms that you've outlined here?
MACGREGOR What the Army generals did is that they looked at aspects that would not fundamentally change anything. In other words, they-- they were interested in avoiding structural organizational changes that would have an impact on culture and promotion systems. And so they-- they-- in their new mini brigade-- of about 3,500, they have two battalions. But otherwise, the staff structure is the same, and the formation is too small to operate independently. RATHER Let's turn to something recent. Anbar Province in-- in Iraq. MACGREGOR Right. RATHER Doesn't it or does it vindicate the light armor, highly mobile, intense civil affairs, integrated-approach to occupation as-- Secretary Gates suggested. MACGREGOR No. Let's look at what's actually happened in Anbar Province. Thousands of Marines were killed and wounded in 2003, 2005, and into 2006. And then the Marine Corps leadership, along with the Navy Special Forces, your SEALS, began to notice that there was growing friction between al-Qaeda, both indigenous and foreign, and the local tribal sheiks. And they began to question whether or not this was not an opportunity to reduce the casualties that the Marines in particular, the conventional forces, were taking by striking a deal with the Sunni sheiks. What we did is something that we could have done in 2003. We went to the sheiks and we said, "Listen, we'll essentially turn over control of the province to you. We'll let you stand up and arm your security forces. We'll back you. But we want your assistance in eliminating al-Qaeda, which we know you also dislike. And, oh, by the way, there will be handsome cash payments to you in the form of millions of dollars in hard cash, Sheik." RATHER Well, it worked.
MACGREGOR And it worked. Absolutely. And as I said, we could have done that in 2003 before al-Qaeda even had a foothold in the country. There was never any requirement to occupy Anbar and govern it. But we should not interpret this as a sudden outpouring of affection, love, or understanding for the United States. We should not interpret this as the foundation for AngloSaxon democracy. The sheiks are calling the tune. We have been living in this very fictitious world where we have been encouraged to look at anyone who doesn't immediately agree with us or shares a different viewpoint or has interests that don't necessarily coincide with us in all cases as an enemy. Today we're looking at the Russians as though they're enemies, which is absurd. There is absolutely no reason why the United States and Russia should not be on excellent terms. But Putin, apparently, is not sufficiently democratic. Americans tend to see the world in terms of personalities. Is Putin good or is Putin bad? Putin is irrelevant. He represents Russia, 130 million Russians. He represents 1,000 years of Russian culture and history. We have tended to personalize these things and trivialize international relations on the assumption that someone's personal relationship is gonna make any damn difference to how things actually happen RATHER Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, now gone. He came to the Pentagon with some ideas about change, certainly in the military's view-- radical change in some ways. MACGREGOR I think in-- in large part he was on the right track. An enormous constraint was imposed from the outset on Rumsfeld, and that was his inability to fire generals. It was made very clear from the White House that he could not replace general officers. And one of the things that Rumsfeld privately did understand: you don't change institutions and culture unless you change people. RATHER The way it's been put to me by some military people, listen, U.S. military doctrine, at least since the time of General Grant and General Sherman, is that you need overwhelming force at point of attack. And that that remains military doctrine and that overall in the main it has served us well. We need big combat units. MACGREGOR I absolutely fundamentally disagree with that assumption because, once again, that goes back to three very unique events in the history of the United States: the Civil War, World War I, and World War II, where we mobilized millions of citizen soldiers for a very narrow and specific purpose. General Grant says in his memoirs that we fought the war the way we had to because we had to crush the South with numbers and material. It was the only way we could fight because he did not have competent commanders. He did not have trained formations. We did the same thing in World War I. And, ultimately, we did the same thing in World War II. And after each war we returned to the status quo of maintaining a small, innocuous, volunteer army that truly was not professional, that was largely treated to abject neglect, while we focused our attentions on the Navy and the Air Force. My point is we don't need millions of men under arms, but we do need a very competent standing professional force that has more teeth than tail and overhead, that is designed for the kinds of limited operations that we must undertake in expeditionary warfare.
DAN RATHER (ON CAMERA) COLONEL DOUGLAS MACGREGOR. AND WHEN WE RETURN, THE SO CALLED "FRONT LINES" OF THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR. THAT’S NEXT. DAN RATHER (ON CAMERA) TONIGHT, WE’VE LOOKED AT THE U.S. MILITARY IN TRANSITION TOWARD LOWER-INTENSITY COMBAT AND SO-CALLED STABILITY OPERATIONS. AT DAN RATHER REPORTS WE’VE BEEN FOLLOWING THESE CHANGES FROM THE NATION’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS MILITARY ACADEMY, TO IRAQ, TO AFRICA. WATCHING THESE SCENES OF AMERICA’S NEW WAY OF WAR, BACK-TO-BACK, DRIVES HOME HOW QUICKLY THESE CHANGES ARE COMING - AND JUST HOW PROFOUND THEY ARE. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) WE START AT THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY AT WEST POINT, ON THE BANKS OF THE HUDSON RIVER. IT IS HERE THAT GENERATIONS OF FUTURE GENERALS LEARNED THE ART OF WAR. BOTH OF THE ARMY OFFICERS WE SAT DOWN WITH FOR THIS PROGRAM WENT HERE, AND MANY GRADUATES HAVE BEEN CALLED UPON TO WIN WARS AND OCCUPY TERRITORY. GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT, CLASS OF 1843, OCCUPIED THE DEFEATED REBEL SOUTH. GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR, CLASS OF 1903, OCCUPIED JAPAN AFTER WORLD WAR TWO. AND MOST RECENTLY, GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS, CLASS OF 1974, IS CURRENTLY IN CHARGE OF OPERATIONS IN IRAQ. EACH CALLED UPON THE HONOR AND EDUCATION THEY’D LEARNED AT WEST POINT. ESTABLISHED BY THOMAS JEFFERSON IN 1802, IT IS THE OLDEST MILITARY ACADEMY IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT IT’S AT THE VANGUARD OF THE ARMY’S NEW WAY OF THINKING. STUDENT 1 It's customary law, sir, so it applies no matter what. BRIGADIER GENERAL PATRICK FINNEGAN Over the course of the summer, we take a lot of cadets and send them to various places around the world. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRAINING OF THE NEXT GENERATION OF ARMY LEADERS IS BRIGADIER GENERAL PATRICK FINNEGAN. FINNEGAN We've seen that in Iraq and Afghanistan, that the application of force is not necessarily the only thing that is going to win these battles and these wars that we're fighting. If we don't-- if we're not available, if our officers are not ready to understand other cultures, to deal with them, to deal with the people, we can win battles and we can kill people, but that is not going to secure America's place in the world and it's not going to secure our liberty.
RATHER Well you've spent nearly all of your adult life in the Army, and you know an argument that goes along the lines, "no no, I want my military people trained to kill people and break things, and if you need to, quote, nation-build, that should be somebody else's job." FINNEGAN And, sir, I agree with that. I agree that generally that's the role of the armed forces, is to apply force, but it's clear that in the wars that we're fighting now, and in the wars that we're likely to fight in the future that's not going to be enough. We have to deal with the people who are there. We're not gonna have another army lined up across the field against us. This is not the Napoleonic wars where we simply shoot at their army and they shoot at us. We have to fight this war-- in the cliché, of course, is winning hearts and minds, but that's what we have to do. We have to have soldiers who are prepared to apply force when it's necessary, and also to know when that is counterproductive to do and when they, instead, need to befriend the people so that they get the information they need about the enemy so they can apply force when they need to. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) WE TRAVELED TO IRAQ DURING THE SURGE, AND SAW WHAT THIS THEORY LOOKED LIKE IN PRACTICE. BEFRIENDING LOCALS TO GET INFORMATION HAS BECOME A COMMON TACTIC. WE SAW AMERICANS MEETING WITH SHEIKS OVER LUNCH TO GATHER CRUCIAL INTELLIGENCE. UNITED STATES MARINE CAPTAIN ANN GILDROY All we need is just for your men and your whole tribe to look out for any movement that's strange, especially as I said in the recent days we've had a lot of reports on the Soldiers of Heaven coming into this province, so if they can be on the lookout for large groups of men moving. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) THAT INTERACTION WAS TYPICAL OF THE THREE WEEKS WE SPENT IN SOUTHERN IRAQ WITH UNITED STATES MARINE CAPTAIN ANN GILDROY. SHE WAS RUNNING STABILITY OPERATIONS IN THAT SHIA-DOMINATED REGION. AND SHE THINKS THE VIOLENCE AGAINST U.S. TROOPS IS DUE MORE TO POVERTY THAN TO IDEOLOGY. GILDROY I really believe a lot of these guys-- it's not their choice to plant an IED, but because the unemployment's hovering probably around 85 percent down here and the situation's just been really difficult here for a long time; I mean the Shi'a were really persecuted under Saddam, so this hasn't just been four years of difficulty for them; it's been decades. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) PART OF THE ARMY’S SOLUTION IS WHAT CRITICS CALL “PEACE-FOR-CASH” PROGRAMS. CAPTAIN GILDROY SHOWED US THOSE, TOO.
GILDROY We basically decided that the people who care most about their security and safety are the people who live in that very house on that very block. We devised a system whereby we would give a standard amount of money per kilometer that was guarded of territory, so every tribe gets the same amount of money per kilometer. Then it's up to them how many people they want to hire to cover that distance. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) NOT TO MENTION THE HEARTS-AND-MINDS OPERATIONS THAT BUILD THE TRUST NECESSARY TO SECURE COOPERATION FROM A BATTLE-SCARRED POPULATION. THESE OPERATIONS COME IN THE FORM OF REBUILDING A CITY . . . OPENING A SCHOOL . . . GILDROY We call these Mary Jane’s in the States. RATHER (VOICE OVER) AND HANDING OUT SHOES TO CHILDREN. CAPTAIN GILDROY THINKS THE MILITARY'S NEW APPROACH WILL BE IMPORTANT IN THE BATTLES AHEAD. GILDROY It’s also really about building relationships. So, we have to give the Sheik a reason to work with us. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) THE UNITED STATES MILITARY IS TAKING UP THESE NEW RESPONSIBILITIES NOT ONLY IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, BUT ALL AROUND THE GLOBE. HERE, ARMY SOLDIERS TRAIN LOCAL TROOPS IN UGANDA, AMERICA’S MOST IMPORTANT ALLY IN CENTRAL AFRICA. STAFF SERGEANT MICHAEL RYAN If you mess up one part, I'm going to make you do it over again, but I don't expect you guys to mess up. DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) STAFF SERGEANT MICHAEL RYAN IS ONE OF THE TRAINERS. RYAN We're not doing war back like in the Revolutionary War where everybody's spread apart, and on line shooting; it's in buildings and cities and in buildings and cities people can jump out in front of you at any time. They might be able to knock your weapon out of your hands; you might drop your weapon; anything might happen, and you have to be able to defend yourself still.
DAN RATHER (VOICE OVER) THE UNITED STATES HOPES UGANDA WILL USE THIS TRAINING TO DEFEND AGAINST RADICAL ISLAMIC COUNTRIES LIKE SUDAN AND TERRORIST GROUPS LIKE AL QAEDA. THE BIGGER HOPE IS THAT AMERICAN TROOPS WILL SERVE AS AMBASSADORS TO WIN OVER HEARTS AND MINDS IN THIS TROUBLED REGION. THE U.S. ARMY IS DOING SIMILAR TRAINING HERE, IN THE DRY, WINDSWEPT LANDSCAPE OF THE CENTRAL PHILIPPINES, WHERE THEY'RE TEACHING THE PHILIPPINE MILITARY HOW TO FIGHT THEIR OWN HOME-GROWN INSURGENTS. ALTHOUGH THE PHILIPPINES IS A RELIABLE U.S. ALLY, IT'S ALSO HOME TO TWO OF THE GROUPS OFFICIALLY LISTED AS TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. THE IDEA HERE IS FOR AMERICAN MILITARY KNOW-HOW TO LET LOCAL ARMIES FIGHT COMMON ENEMIES. IMAGES OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY TAKING THE LEAD ARE LESS LIKELY TO CAUSE TROUBLE THAN IMAGES OF AMERICANS FIGHTING FILIPINOS ON PHILIPPINE LAND. BUT SOMETIMES THE GOAL ISN'T BEHIND-THE-SCENES SUPPORT FOR FRIENDLY GOVERNMENTS. SOMETIMES THE U.S. WANTS LOCAL POPULATIONS TO KNOW THAT THE U.S. MILITARY IS AROUND, AND THAT THEY'RE THERE TO HELP. THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES. IN THE PREDOMINANTLY MUSLIM SOUTH, THE UNITED STATES WANTS TO MINIMIZE ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENT, AND SO AMERICAN TROOPS ARE HELPING BUILD A SCHOOL. THAT'S WHAT HEARTS AND MINDS IS ALL ABOUT. AND HERE IN THE NORTHEASTERN AFRICAN NATION OF DJIBOUTI, U.S. SOLDIERS LIKE CASINO EATMON TAKE TIME TO VISIT A LOCAL ORPHANAGE. PETTY OFFICER CASINO EATMON It will show probably years later that America was here for us, they really helped us in a time of need. As we see, a lot of children need help here. RATHER (VOICE OVER) DJIBOUTI, A PREDOMINANTLY MUSLIM NATION WAS AT ONE TIME SEEN AS A RISK FOR BECOMING A HAVEN FOR ISLAMIC MILITANTS. THE AMERICAN MILITARY HAS ESTABLISHED A PRESENCE TO SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS COUNTRY – AND ITS U.S.-FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT. IN ANOTHER PART OF DJIBOUTI, AMERICAN SERVICEMEN RENOVATE CLASSROOMS AND DIG THE SCHOOL LATRINES. BUILDER FIRST CLASS KARL KIEFFER IS PART OF THE U.S. NAVAL CONSTRUCTION FORCE. JUST ANOTHER SMALL EXAMPLE OF THE NEW ROLES THE U.S. MILITARY IS PLAYING. BUILDER FIRST CLASS KARL KIEFFER, US NAVAL CONSTRUCTION FORCE Our sole job is to make life better for people. Whether it be to improve the US image, to gain support for military operations, being someplace where we can build a school for children. It feels good. It's, it's, it’s real good. Being able to support our country, support our military, but doing it at the end of a hammer, not at the end of a rifle.
DAN RATHER (ON CAMERA) “HEARTS AND MINDS.” IT’S FROM THE BIBLE, ORIGINALLY, THIS PHRASE WE USE TO TALK ABOUT WINNING OVER MUSLIM POPULATIONS. DEUTERONOMY. “KEEP GOD’S WORD SO CLOSE THAT IT IS IN YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS.” AS A POLICY TO CONVINCE WARY NATIONS TO ACCEPT WESTERN VALUES, IT’S SUPPORTED BY 289,000 AMERICAN SOLDIERS ABROAD. THEY’RE ON MASSIVE BASES AND IN HUTS IN THE JUNGLE, IN OVER 150 COUNTRIES. TEN YEARS AGO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE GEORGE W. BUSH SAID PROUDLY THAT "AMERICA HAS NEVER BEEN AN EMPIRE." NOW, TWO GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN TOPPLED AND REPLACED, AMERICAN TROOPS ABROAD HAVE INCREASED BY 50%, AND BOTH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES WANT BIG GROWTH IN GROUND TROOP STRENGTH. BOTH SUPPORT AN ARMY DESIGNED TO LIVE AMONG FOREIGN POPULATIONS. THE BRITISH EMPIRE DIDN’T START OUT THINKING IT WAS AN EMPIRE. INDIA WAS JUST A PLACE TO GROW COTTON AND TEA. KIPPLING’S THE “WHITE MAN’S BURDEN” AND THE IDEA THAT NATIVES NEEDED TO BE “CIVILIZED” TO SERVE BRITISH INTERESTS -- THAT CAME LATER, AND BLOODILY. BUT EVENTUALLY, SLOWLY, THE EMPIRE LET GO. AND BRITAIN STILL EXISTS. ITS IDEAS ABOUT NATURAL RIGHTS AND FREE MARKETS ARE ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTIONS OF EVERY FREE NATION. OTHER EMPIRES -THE MONGOL, THE ROMAN, THE INCA – COULDN’T GET SMALLER, OVEREXTENDED, AND IMPLODED. THERE ARE IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EMPIRES PAST AND TODAY’S LONE SUPERPOWER, BUT TIME AND AGAIN WE HEARD ON THE SANDS OF FORT IRWIN THAT THE U.S. ARMY HAD TO LEARN LESSONS FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF FORMER GREAT COLONIAL POWERS. THE SOLDIERS WHO TOLD US THAT WERE TALKING ABOUT BATTLEFIELD TACTICS, BUT OF COURSE THE SAME IS TRUE OF HISTORY. AND THAT’S OUR PROGRAM FOR THIS WEEK. FOR HDNET, FROM NEW YORK, DAN RATHER REPORTING. GOOD NIGHT.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.