Leadership: July 3, 2001

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UNDERSTANDING THE TWO WAR STRATEGY- Anyone trying to understand the classic "Two War Strategy", and the changes planned by the Bush Administration, won't figure it out from the reports in the traditional media. The first thing to understand is that the strategy really cannot be abandoned. The concept is that if the US has enough forces to win a war, no war will start except by misadventure or miscalculation (e.g., the Kuwait War). If such a war started and the US only had enough forces for one of them, any number of other enemies might take advantage of the distraction. The Bush Administration is not abandoning the idea of fighting two wars, just the idea of campaigning offensively on both fronts. The new strategy is to stop the first aggressor, then deploy forces to defeat him. If a second aggressor appears, forces would be used to stop and contain him until the first aggressor is defeated. The problem is that the "tip of the spear" has had enough steel to deal with two wars, but the stout oak shaft has always been a little thin and a little short. There are not enough air transports to support two offensive campaigns and never were. No one has gotten around to inventing a faster type of ship (or airship) able to carry heavy armor faster. The key specialist units (e.g., water purification, engineers, cargo handling) are in short supply and are mostly reservists. The other problem is that the first or second war could appear anywhere. It is generally expected that one of them would be a new war in Korea (where the US has conveniently positioned ground forces and tactical air forces). The other strong possibilities include the Persian Gulf and Taiwan. Conveniently, Taiwan would not require ground troops, but only air and naval forces (which are easier to move).--Stephen V Cole

 


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