Monday, November 08, 2010
U.S. Must Stand Vigilant in Face of New Threats, Flournoy Says
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
The most vicious and elaborate attacks of terrorism in the past decade have originated in
, “and it’s on the Pakistani side of the border that Afghanistan ’s senior leadership continues to evade justice and plot future attacks,” Flournoy said. Afghanistan
Terrorists can easily access technologies of mass destruction, and they have the will to use them, she added. The recent cargo plane bomb effort by terrorists in
is one example of how such attacks can be unpredictable, she said. Yemen
Free nations in the world cannot allow terrorist groups to perpetuate, Flournoy told the council.
“From the threat of [improvised explosive devices] in
and Afghanistan , to the proliferation of long-range ballistic missiles, it is clear that a wide range of current and future adversaries … will be able to employ technologies that can undermine the conventional advantages of Iraq forces,” Flournoy said. U.S.
The spread of highly sophisticated technology in a multipolar world -- defined as “a world of dynamic shifts in power and influence” -- has created a global trend that is reshaping the face of
security, Flournoy said. She compared the post-World War I era, when the United States isolated itself from other countries, to the world after World War II, when the nation partnered with other countries to build strong alliances such as NATO. U.S.
also made commitments to United States Europe and Asia for economic and social development, which resulted in a global order that served the world well for decades, the undersecretary said.
With President Barack Obama en route to
next week, Flournoy noted how that country is an example of a new world power amid global change. India
is deeply invested in enhancing a partnership with United States for economic trade and investment to defense cooperation,” she said. India
Combating piracy off the coast of
is a Somalia and Indian effort, she said. The two countries forged diplomatic and security ties following terrorist attacks on both nations. In 10 years, bilateral trade has tripled, and both countries have a landmark agreement on civil nuclear cooperation, she said. United States
“We are seeking in the Defense Department a greater commitment from
to a more consistent and transparent military-to-military relationship,” Flournoy said. “This is vital to maintaining stability and preventing needless misunderstanding.” China
From a security standpoint, the
welcomes strong regional forces that share a commitment to democracy, pluralism and economic development, Flournoy said, citing United States . It is the fourth-most populated nation and home to the largest Muslim community in the world. Indonesia
] is a strong and valued partner of the Indonesia and United States Southeast Asia,” Flournoy said. The and United States recently signed a defense agreement to cooperate in maritime security, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Indonesia
“The high seas, international airspace, outer space and cyberspace are the connective tissue of our global economy,” the undersecretary said. “The global community makes commerce and the spread of technology possible; conversely, the spread of technology makes the global commons ever more vital to our strategic position and our national prosperity.”
These commons are increasingly contested and need defending against threats such as pirates in the world’s sea lanes, viruses and hackers in computer networks, and harmful space debris and potential antisatellite weapons in space, Flournoy said.
Such global trends force the
to reconsider how to define national security and even how to define war. Hybrid war also is of concern to the military, in which more than one approach is used in warfare. United States
Flournoy said a hybrid war could involve an enemy that uses a wide range of means simultaneously, such as conventional forces or guerilla tactics. “It might sponsor an act of terrorism of weapons of mass destruction, disrupt its rival’s economy through financial manipulation, hack into an opponent’s information networks, wage a global information campaign, or do several of these things all at once,” she said.
Flournoy told the council that members of the public are more resilient to enemy threats when armed with knowledge.
“Your work has never been more important,” she told the audience. “This kind of forward thinking is how we successfully protected