Military commanders of the future will employ high-tech sensing equipment to detect the strength and positions of enemy forces, including those attempting to hide from prying electronic eyes. “‘Sensor War’ is a fully two-sided ‘game,'” noted Arthur K. Cebrowski, director of DoD’s Transformation Office and a retired Navy vice admiral. “You want to sense something (and) the person or the thing that you’re trying to sense is owned by someone, so they take measures to make it more difficult for you to find it.” The concept of “Sensor War” isn’t far-fetched, he pointed out. Today’s firefighters, he noted, use heat-detecting equipment to find “hot spots” in burning buildings despite swirling smoke and dust.
American troops deployed overseas for the war against Iraq are much better equipped to deal with possible chemical or biological attacks than their Gulf War predecessors, DoD experts said on Capitol Hill today. “I can assure you our war fighters are much better prepared to fight and win in a weapons of mass destruction environment than they were in 1991,” Dr. Dale Klein, assistant to the Secretary of Defense for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs, remarked to members of the House Armed Services Terrorism Subcommittee. The U.S. government has warned Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his military commanders not to use chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction against U.S. or coalition troops, the Iraqi population, or neighbors in the event of war. If Iraq does deploy WMDs against U.S. or coalition troops, American officials have said that swift and severe retaliation would follow.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon Town Hall meeting that his department is still “not yet arranged to deal successfully” with the new threat of terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, and that a reorganization he began before September 11, 2001 must continue.
A little-known organization that canvasses private industry to quickly find and develop innovative solutions to problems inherent in fighting terrorism may be emerging from the shadows. The Technical Support Working Group seeks “better ideas” from industry for use by military and other government and civilian agencies’ counterterrorism missions, said Jeffrey M. David, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Combating Terrorism Technology Support Office.