From the Washington Post:

Ability to Wage ‘Long War’ Is Key To Pentagon Plan

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 4, 2006; A01

The Pentagon, readying for what it calls a “long war,” yesterday laid out a new 20-year defense strategy that envisions U.S. troops deployed, often clandestinely, in dozens of countries at once to fight terrorism and other nontraditional threats.

Major initiatives include a 15 percent boost in the number of elite U.S. troops known as Special Operations Forces, a near-doubling of the capacity of unmanned aerial drones to gather intelligence, a $1.5 billion investment to counter a biological attack, and the creation of special teams to find, track and defuse nuclear bombs and other catastrophic weapons.

Has sort of a an ominous feel to it, doesn’t it? War forever and ever, amen?

Moreover, the review’s key assumptions betray what Pentagon leaders acknowledge is a certain humility regarding the Defense Department’s uncertainty about what the world will look like over the next five, 10 or 20 years, as well as its realization that the U.S. military cannot attain victory alone.

“U.S. forces in all probability will be engaged somewhere in the world in the next decade where they’re not currently engaged. But I can tell you with no resolution at all where that might be, when that might be or how that might be,” Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said at a Pentagon news briefing unveiling the QDR.

Compare and contrast such “happy thoughts” with this description of the “endless war” in George Orwell’s 1984:

The world of Nineteen Eighty-Four is built around an endless war involving the three global superstates, with two allied powers fighting against the third. The allied states occasionally split with each other and new alliances are formed, but as Goldstein’s book explains, this does not matter, as each superstate is so strong it cannot be defeated even when faced with the combined forces of the other two powers. The war rarely takes place on the territory of the three powers, and actual fighting is conducted in the disputed zone stretching from Morocco to Australia, and in the unpopulated Arctic wastes. Throughout the first half of the novel, Oceania is allied with Eastasia, and Oceania’s forces are engaged with fighting Eurasian troops in northern Africa. Mid-way through the novel, the alliance breaks apart and Oceania, newly allied with Eurasia, begins a campaign against Eastasian forces in India. During “Hate Week” (a week of extreme focus on the evilness of Oceania’s enemies), Oceania and Eurasia are enemies once again. The public is quite blind to the change, and when a speaker, mid-sentence, changes the enemy from Eurasia to Eastasia (speaking as if nothing had changed) the people are shocked as they notice all the flags and banners are wrong (they blame Goldstein and the Brotherhood) and quite effectively tear them down.

The book which Winston receives explains that the war cannot be won, and that its only purpose is to destroy the produce of human labour and maintain a constant death toll, thus keeping the totalitarian society intact. The book also details an Oceanian strategy to attack enemy cities with atomic-tipped rocket bombs prior to a full-scale invasion, but quickly dismisses this plan as both infeasible and contrary to the purpose of the war.

One final note of comparison from the Washington Post’s story:

To strengthen homeland defense, the report calls for improving communications and command systems so that military efforts can be better coordinated with state and local governments.

Any questions?

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