Trasformazione irta di tranelli

Tesi David
, commentatore Washington Post, pro-Rumsfeld:

  • D. Rumsfeld (USA, Difesa) incontra difficoltà a far
    passare la “trasformazione” delle Forze Armate, per i diversi interessi delle
    diverse armi.
  • E’ in corso confronto per la definizione del nuovo piano
    quadriennale della Difesa (QDR)
    , in cui Rumsfeld voleva inserire
  • progetti per bombardieri e navi teleguidati ed altre
    tecnologie avveniristiche, ma soprattutto incentrare gli investimenti in
    tecnologie e formazioni snelle antiterrorismo (e antiguerriglia tipo Iraq) anziché
    armamenti per guerre convenzionali,
  • aumentando i finanziamenti ad esercito e marines, che
    sostengono il grosso della guerra in Iraq, e riducendoli ad aviazione e
    (in discussione numero di caccia, portaerei e sottomarini).
  • Si è quindi aperto scontro politico, con politici delle zone
    minacciate dai tagli mobilitati per salvare portaerei e aerei caccia, col
    risultato di bloccare la ristrutturazione.
  • Scontro anche di “analisi”: “trasformazionisti” danno come
    più probabili attacchi terroristici alla al Qaeda; aviazione e marina
    sottolineano la minaccia Cina per avere più stanziamenti


The Washington Post

October 10, 2005

WASHINGTON — Transformation is a tricky
business. The U.S. military is discovering that fact on a daily basis in Iraq.
And at home, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is reckoning with the
obstacles to his ambition of transforming the U.S. military for the 21st century.

Mr. Rumsfeld created a special "Office
of Force Transformation
" to foster acceptance of radical ideas that
could alter the fundamentals of warfare. The transformationalists let
themselves imagine bombers without pilots, ships without crews, networks of
sensors and precision-guided weapons
that could see an enemy that lived in
caves and take him out. They were intriguing ideas, leveraging America’s
overwhelming advantage in technology. The problem was that for a military
hungry for money to up-armor its Humvees and maintain its re-enlistment rates,
some of these transformational concepts haven’t been very practical.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s engine of change
transformation was meant to be a budget process known as the Quadrennial
Defense Review
, usually referred to by its acronym, "QDR." This
four-year budget planning exercise was started in 1997 under President Clinton.
This year’s installment was intended to provide a road map for Mr. Rumsfeld’s
ambitious plans. Pentagon aides spoke of it as Mr. Rumsfeld’s legacy document
— one that would put his stamp on the Pentagon for a generation.

A hint of what Mr. Rumsfeld had in mind —
and the political hurdles that stood in the way — came in a document called
"Program Budget Decision 753" that leaked in January. It proposed
shifting resources away from several expensive Navy and Air Force programs to
help pay for the ballooning cost of the Iraq War, which is being fought mostly
by the Army and Marines
. Worried Air Force and Navy partisans knew where to
go for help. The day after the document leaked, members of Congress from
affected districts were racing to save the very aircraft carriers and fighter
jets Mr. Rumsfeld had proposed to cut
. In the end, PBD 753 was shelved
and the decisions were postponed.

Mr. Rumsfeld still had big ideas this past
summer. His aides say he hoped to organize a Pentagon summit in July of top
uniformed and civilian leaders, dubbed "Key West II" after the 1948
meeting between Defense Secretary James Forrestal and the Joint Chiefs of Staff
that altered the roles and missions of services. But that meeting never
. Meanwhile, Mr. Rumsfeld’s new deputy, Gordon England, took
over supervision of the QDR process and began applying his business management
experience to the transformation agenda. According to The New York Times, Mr.
England identified 150 separate questions, including such acute practical
problems as balancing reserve and active-duty forces

The transformationalists had a powerful
intellectual weapon in a document that came to be known as "the quad
" It was a standard matrix, graphing threats to the U.S.
according to their likelihood and the nation’s vulnerability. At the top
right, the zone of greatest likelihood and vulnerability, were
"catastrophic" threats such as a terrorist WMD attack. At the bottom
left, the area of least likelihood and vulnerability, was a
"traditional" attack involving conventional air, sea and land forces
or established nuclear forces

The quad chart suggested that the imminent
danger to America came from al Qaeda, not from a rising conventional-nuclear
power such as China
. That obviously was more bad news for the services
that would fight a war against China, the Navy and Air Force.
You don’t
have to be a cynic to recognize that recent studies warning of the Chinese
military threat are, in the code of Pentagon budget wars, arguments for more
Navy and Air Force spending

This process of tempering big revolutionary
ideas into smaller evolutionary changes is part of how the Pentagon works. John
Hamre, who helped direct the 1997 QDR as deputy secretary of defense, recalls:
"You start with a grand vision of the future and end up patching holes
in the budget

Mr. Rumsfeld met this week with his top
military and civilian brass to begin hammering out final decisions on QDR
issues. The betting in the Pentagon is that Mr. Rumsfeld will fight for
a document that focuses on the basics of transformation — quicker, more
flexible forces that can fight an Iraq War, and also would do a better job of
putting that country back together, postwar
. He’ll also push for personnel
and budget changes that will focus more of the nation’s 2.2 million military
on the problems that are proving so difficult for the 140,000 troops in Iraq
Perhaps he will revisit the question of whether we need so many fighters,
aircraft carriers and submarines. But don’t look for unmanned bombers or
captain-less ships anytime soon.

Transformation is one of Mr. Rumsfeld’s best
ideas. It would be a shame if his laudable effort to modernize the U.S.
military got chewed up by the grinding pressures of Iraq, and by the
internecine wars between the services.

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