Select Committee on Defence Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 161-179)

WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2001

AIR MARSHAL SIR TIM GARDEN, KCB, AND PROFESSOR PAUL ROGERS

Chairman

  161. Gentlemen, thank you for coming. As you know, our inquiry is directed towards the consequences to the UK of the events of 11 September and the way in which we should, if necessary, realign our forces, increase the defence budget, decrease it, or whatever. We look forward to hearing what you have to say. Is there anything that you would like to say by way of introduction?

  (Professor Rogers) I am happy to help the Committee by answering questions.
  (Sir Tim Garden) I am happy to do that too.

Rachel Squire

  162. In the aftermath of 11 September, do you agree that the terrorist threat is different? Do you agree that what we are now dealing with is new? Perhaps you would comment on whether you think it is different in terms of its scale and its nature or both.
  (Sir Tim Garden) Technically the threat is no different after 11 September because it was already there. It was merely that we did not understand the nature of it. I believe that is the right thing to say. As the terrorists who carried out the acts in New York and Washington had been preparing for some years to do this, the threat had existed before. We can debate whether our intelligence preparations were adequate for that threat. The real point that I believe you were getting to is that this kind of terrorism is different from most terrorism that we have dealt with before. Although it was difficult to deal with, there was a degree of restraint on the part of the terrorist. We used to talk about Northern Ireland being kept to acceptable levels of violence. A terrorist organisation whose purpose is to kill as many people as possible and to carry out acts that attack the economy of the West and the like—I believe that someone has categorised it as strategic terrorism—is a different threat which requires a different approach from the way in which we have carried out counter-terrorism operations before. In the past we have felt that we can build things up over a period of time, but now there is an urgent danger in that those involved in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon attacks were not the only terrorists. So other terrorists remain and that problem needs to be addressed.
  (Professor Rogers) If you look at the problem in broad historical terms, you will find many examples of what you may call mass-casualty attacks. Most forms of terrorism are conducted by states against their own populations and by quasi-state organisations. There have been many examples of death squads and paramilitary gangs conducting massacres on vast scales in a number of Latin American countries over the past 35 years. In 1988 the Iraqi regime gassed the town of Halabja and killed about 5,000 people. That was an example of state political violence. We have experienced this kind of mass-casualty on many occasions, but not affecting Western countries and certainly not affecting major Western cities. However, in the past 10 or so years there have been a number of examples where attempts have failed. You could certainly categorise the Aum Shinriko, Tokyo subway attack as an example. That was intended to kill thousands of people. The Algerian radicals who hijacked an Air France jet in December 1994 were intent on crashing it onto the centre of Paris. That was an early example of what happened on 11 September. In January 1996, the Tamil Tigers used a huge bomb to destroy parts of the central business district of Colombo, killing 100 people and injuring 1,400. The World Trade Center attack in February 1993 was intended to destroy the entire twin tower structure instantly, which would have killed 30,000. So there have been a number of examples during the past decade of specific attempts that have failed. One problem is that relatively few people in the intelligence and security community saw the significance of this kind of development—economic targeting, mass-casualty attacks and broadly asymmetric warfare against advanced urban industrial states. To some extent one can say that the atrocities on 11 September were symptoms of the trend that was already under way.

  163. Both of you appear to have answered my second question which concerned whether we should have been better prepared and less surprised by what happened on 11 September. Both of you appear to be indicating that that is your view, that all the indications were there, that there had been previous attempts of mass murder and that frankly the US, ourselves and others were being over-complacent in believing that they would not eventually succeed in what had clearly been their previous goals.
  (Sir Tim Garden) I am not sure that I am in a position to make that criticism. I would separate Paul's state-sponsored terrorism from the non-state actors because one addresses those problems in different ways. Concentrating on the non-state actor problem, there were indications, particularly of the Tokyo event that there were fanatical cults around who had rather dramatic ideas about how to conduct mass terrorism. There is plenty of literature available on the subject. I do not believe that it was a lack of awareness. The great trouble with terrorist activity is that the terrorist has the advantage of surprise and can choose how to carry out the act. Without knowing to what extent the intelligence services were aware of the threat, I do not think I can make a judgment as to whether they were unprepared. Even with the best intelligence possible, there will still be the possibility of terrorists succeeding because they have the advantage of surprise.
  (Professor Rogers) It is fair to say that if you are looking at the matter specifically in terms of the perceived vulnerabilities of advanced urban industrial states, in my experience over the past 10 years or so, attending Ministry of Defence seminars and lecturing at the senior defence colleges, there has been an interest in this. When I raise this kind of subject with military audiences there has been more interest and concern there than if one has tried to raise the subject with politicians or business people. In some ways, within the military area people tend to be more far-sighted about the longer-term problems that may be emerging.

Mr Hancock

  164. Do you think that we took our eye off the ball of the violent terrorist, the terrorist who wants to kill a lot of people? Following what President Clinton said about attack via a computer system and other things that we need to look at, do you think that the intelligent services and governments were side-tracked down an avenue where people predicted that the terrorists would go and, therefore, we took our eye off the crude heavy-kill, big-bang type of terrorist?
  (Sir Tim Garden) There is plenty of evidence to show, particularly in the United States, that they were following all the different possible forms. A lot of work and money had gone into countering biological warfare-type terrorism. It is difficult to do. They pursued a number of different avenues and because terrorists choose to use a Stanley knife on an aeroplane, in this particular case, it does not mean that the other threats have gone away. Many of these things are, as always, about relative priorities for investment decisions. What changed after 11 September is that now there is much greater awareness of the need to prepare in lots of different ways for these possible threats. That was something that was much more difficult to sell when we did not appear to be under a threat. The standard thing is that we project our forces overseas these days, and homeland, territorial defence is a thing of the Cold War past. That has been the philosophy. I think that lots of investment has gone into all these things, of which cyber-warfare is just one.
  (Professor Rogers) At the same time I believe that one of the problems has been that while there has been a certain recognition of these kinds of vulnerabilities, the response by and large has been how to control it, how to intercept them before events take place, how to catch those responsible and how to deal with them, as we are witnessing day by day now. There has been much less concern with the root causes of the conditions from which these groups develop. That is a rather general criticism of most anti-terrorism studies. The emphasis tends to be on prevention of events, ameliorating the effects and catching those responsible. Far less attention is given to the underlying context from which these types of groups arise.

  Syd Rapson: We are led to believe that Al-Qaeda planned these attacks two years or so ago. It is evident that if that had been going on for two years, other planned attacks are in the pipeline, with sleepers who are ready to be enacted with a phone call or whatever. By attacking the head and cutting it off in Afghanistan, do you think that the possibility of sleepers being brought to life has gone away, or is there a secondary system that will pick that up? Will we see, in another two years, planned attacks? Do you consider that the intelligence gathering capability that the Americans have is sufficient to try to retrace their steps to try and track down these people?

Chairman

  165. Do not answer the last part of that question as we shall come on to that matter in a moment.
  (Sir Tim Garden) I think you are absolutely right. It was probably much longer than two years when you look at the complexity of the operation and the fact that the World Trade Center, as Paul said, has come under attack before. This was another way of tackling the same target. I do not know how many, but some figures that are bandied around suggest that 10,000 people have passed through the training camps at some time and the American forces suggest that we are talking about people associated with the organisation being in 60 or so countries. This is a world-wide problem. Certainly the capture or death of bin Laden and his leadership makes not a lot of difference to that particular threat one way or the other. I do not think it makes it more or less because these people believe that it is worth dying in order to carry out their particular attacks. That belief, presumably, will continue. They may have a loose organisation that will say, "Do this or do that", or they may decide to do it themselves, anyway. The important point about taking out the leadership is, first, that it was a criminal act and they need to be brought to justice. That is the basic point. The second point is that we need to stop the creation of more terrorists and I sympathise with Paul's view that there is a long-term game-plan which is removing the underlying support that comes from some countries, but that is a very long-term process. If you can remove the economic support, if you can stop the training, and if you can show that such people are brought to justice, you can reduce the risk a little, but not by much.
  (Professor Rogers) Looking back over the past decade, there have been five major attacks and a number of intercepts and a number of minor attacks: the World Trade Center in 1993, the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, the attack on the USS Cole, the embassy bombings and now the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The nature of the groups responsible for all those attacks is unclear. There appears to be a kind of federation of coalitions, of which Al-Qaeda network maybe a very significant part, and in turn bin Laden a very significant player within that network. There are clear signs of close connections between that network and the 1993 World Trade Center attack. So we are dealing with a much wider phenomenon than that currently being attacked in Afghanistan. One should also appreciate that the groups responsible are sophisticated in their thought and planning; they will have thought through very carefully the United State's reaction to 11 September and they will have anticipated major US military action and a considerable increase in US forces in the Middle East and South West Asia. We know that there are now quite substantial US army units being moved into Kuwait and that is one example of that wider-region phenomenon. From their perspective, they will have planned that this kind of eventuality will take place, which lends credence to the idea that probably most of the members of the network are no longer in Afghanistan. It also lends credence to the idea that there is a capability for further attacks. I would have thought that there was very little likelihood of further attacks until now. Over the past two or two-and-a-half months, if they were trying to draw the United States into the region, they were succeeding. Now it is clear that the collapse of the Taliban regime in much of Afghanistan is increasing the rate at which the United States can target the remains of the Taliban and at least elements of the Al-Qaeda network that are still in Afghanistan. For that reason, I would have thought on balance that further attacks are more likely now and in the coming months.

Jim Knight

  166. Picking up some of the points about how terrorist organisations are unconventional and one step ahead of the game, some evidence that we have received suggests that perhaps we are too conventional in our thinking and that we are always responding to the last event and not anticipating the next one. Is there some truth in that? Our current reaction is looking at things coming out of the sky and perhaps we need a more generic understanding of the whole situation.
  (Sir Tim Garden) Yes, there is some truth in that. Every time there is an operation of any sort, we end up with lessons learned and the Committee will examine those lessons and try to plug the gaps that were found in a particular part of the operation. In that sense we end up equipping ourselves to do better next time we fight the last war. Each war is different. This particular event, the counter-terrorism operation, is not purely a military activity. In a military sense, the approach that one uses is to play the red team; you attempt to consider the things that you would do if you were the enemy. That is standard procedure. I am not totally clear whether in the UK we have an ability to play the red team in this case, although with developments in the US it looks as though they are setting that up. If you are a terrorist there are so many choices. You have to prioritise which things you cannot afford to allow to happen and perhaps devote more of your resources to that issue, otherwise we would end up spending the whole of the national budget on every measure and you would make life impossible for people. It is a difficult matter of prioritising.
  (Professor Rogers) In terms of trying to look at the underlying causes and whether one can look ahead, both in this context and in the wider context, there is important work to be done. The Al-Qaeda network comes from a defined set of circumstances in and around the Gulf. It is worth remembering that most of the people involved in the massacres on 11 September were citizens of Saudi Arabia and some north African states. We have to look at the circumstances from which that group arose if we are to have any chance of getting to grips with the longer-term problems originating in that region. More widely, I believe that we see a generic problem world-wide, which is that there is a range of instabilities that are developing in the global system that suggest that kind of action may become more common in the long term, and not coming specifically from the Middle East. That leads us into much wider questions that you may want to discuss, but they are beyond the immediate remit of the 11 September, although I believe that is a clear and a dangerous symptom of future problems.

Rachel Squire

  167. Perhaps I can pick up a number of comments that you have made. Turning to the Strategic Defence Review and the review of the SDR following the 11 September, there is a question about the way in which our outlook and perception are structured by the society in which we have grown up and our ability to put together a valid review of that. The MoD have said that this review of the SDR is looking at how we can "deter, dissuade and . . . defeat groups or states". Are we able to have a clear enough understanding of what motivates these individuals, this federation of coalitions? Can we address that goal of deterring, dissuading and defeating them with any real effectiveness? How can one deter states that are not interested in engaging in international diplomacy? How do you defeat them, when by taking military action against them you feed the militancy of those who think, "This is outrageous, this is another example of the United States and its allies trying to colonise the entire world"? In relation to the root causes, what can the West do, if anything, to mitigate the down side of globalisation that some terrorist groups clearly use to promote their causes? How effective will the MoD's review of the SDR be in tackling that issue of understanding, deterring and defeating the groups or states responsible?
  (Professor Rogers) I think the Strategic Defence Review went further than previous reviews. Within the context of the responsibilities of the Ministry of Defence, to that extent, it is an important document. The problem is that the kinds of difficulties that we shall face in the future go way beyond the traditional defence brief and we do not have the kind of joined-up government system yet that can respond in an interdepartmental way to the longer terms problems that we face, although improvements are taking place. Perhaps I can return to a point that you made. Over the past few days there have been two occasions, in and around Mazar-i-Sharif, in which large concentrations of Taliban have been killed. About 500 were killed 10 days or so ago when the town fell and between 400 and 800 in the last 72 hours. In the United States that will be seen as an example of responding to the atrocities of 11 September. The use of the AC130 gunships against the fort in the past two days was remarkably effective and certainly put down the uprising. From the perspective of the several thousands of nephews and cousins of the people killed, who will know much of what happened—it will have been widely covered in the media in South West Asia—the reaction will be different. In other words, what from one perception is seen as a very important step in the defeat of the Taliban, is seen within the wider region as yet another example of something that is almost on a par with the 11 September. We may disagree with that, but that is the perception. That is always the problem in responding in that way. Another point is the Israeli security policy of selective targeting, or assassination as some people have called it, and the vigorous suppression of the problems that they face. That seems to be producing, if anything, more and more opposition and more radicalisation. Our thinking has to go beyond the way in which we are responding at present. We have to get to grips with some of the fundamental problems in this context and in the global context.
  (Sir Tim Garden) There are two issues in your question: one is how the SDR will play its revisiting, and the other is the way in which one attacks these kinds of problems from a military perspective. On the SDR, the Chairman will be glad to know that I re-read it, and I re-read the report of the Select Committee to see how you had spotted things to which you drew the attention of the MoD. I also re-read my evidence that I gave you in 1998, which said that I had some regret that the wider security issues were not being investigated with the same thoroughness with which the MoD were addressing the military aspects of security. That is at the core of this problem. We are put into little boxes and the Committee is a reflection of the boxes. There is a department of state which is the Ministry of Defence, but much of this kind of activity, particularly looking at the long-term rebuilding of countries as we have done in the Balkans and as we have promised we shall do in Afghanistan, the solving of international problems like Israel and Palestine, is not a matter for the MoD. That department has an interest in the implications of what happens if you do that, but there is a conflict prevention budget which is tiny, between DfID, the Foreign Office and the MoD. That is a start. This particular problem is different in nature. As I tried to say earlier, we have an urgent danger which requires something to go on in parallel with the longer-term aim of trying to follow the Prime Minister's agenda that he set at Brighton. That was a pretty long agenda and will take a long time to do and will require much international collaboration. From the MoD's point of view, when it looks at the SDR, it will inevitably focus on what it can do with armed forces. There are limitations on what can be done in this kind of anti-terrorism activity because there are many cross-departmental matters. How this plays in terms of UK security, rather than dealing at a distance with a problem that has happened, is one which we have not got to the bottom of yet. I worry that by saying that the SDR will get an extra chapter, that we believe we are solving the terrorist threat in the UK. That will only be a part of the picture.

Chairman

  168. You were one of the great and the good attached to the SDR?
  (Sir Tim Garden) I was indeed.

  169. Were you able to persuade them? You obviously were not because it was not reflected in the SDR. Were many people arguing this line in 1997?
  (Sir Tim Garden) What happens is that everyone understands that that is the way in which we do business in Whitehall, that the MoD looks after the armed forces bit of it and we all agreed that the SDR made a pretty good fist of that. My regret to you was that there are wider security issues that can be dealt with department by department, if you want, but none of them received the same kind of intense look that the SDR gave to the armed forces part; and no one is taking a judgment on the relative priorities for investment between these long-term matters and the short-term, urgent measures and the military activities that still continue. The SDR is not wrong because of 11 September. All the matters that were generally predicted in the SDR have come to pass. Kosovo happened. We have things happening in Sierra Leone and we did East Timor and all those sorts of things. So the SDR remains something that has to be resourced in order for it to work, but we have to do extra things because of 11 September.

  170. It seems to me that the Government saying that they are writing a new chapter is a little like rushing out the second edition of a book, but simply putting in a new introduction and a new page and a half at the end, as though that is a substitute for rewriting it. The bits in the middle are exactly the same as in the first edition. By saying that they will write a new chapter is the wrong way of going about it. They should revisit the whole document.
  (Sir Tim Garden) Let me disagree with you, if I may, Chairman. We have a defence review every three years at the moment, because we run out of money every three years for all the reasons that everyone knows. How long ago is it since the last SDR? It is about three years. If you rewrite it I would not be surprised to discover that the amount of money allocated to defence remains the same, but the tasks may now reflect 11 September more. I do not think that the tasks that the SDR addressed have changed; indeed, I believe that they are under-resourced. There is a danger that if you go for the rewriting of the whole SDR that you will get fewer of the things that we all thought were good in it, in order to fund measures against the new threat. If you add a chapter you also add the money to pay for it.

  171. You ought to join our team on the SDR and not the MoD's team and we may then be able to solve all their problems. Turning to Professor Rogers, any sane-minded person would say that you have to address the causes of terrorism, but how in our lifetime or in our children's lifetime are we to solve the issues of poverty, unemployment, Kashmir, the two Chinas, and so on? Is that not looking for a solution that is not a solution? Even if you solve the problem somehow of Israel, Palestine and the Middle East, it is a little like saying in 1938/39 that if you had solved the problem of Czechoslovakia you would have solved the problems of international security for the next 20 years. If you solve the problems of the Middle East, the focus of the terrorist groups will move elsewhere because terrorism is not simply geographically based. Most people who argue that you should solve the problems are really copping out. Even beginning to address the problems will not remotely solve them.
  (Professor Rogers) I would disagree quite fundamentally. I think our paradigm tends to be one of trying to maintain control of a rather unstable world with some deep, inbuilt problems. It has been called "liddism"—keeping the lid on things. We have to pay progressively more attention to turning down the heat than to keeping the lid on. In a sense, the events of 11 September were an example of what can happen when things go so badly wrong. We need to separate the issue of the Al-Qaeda network and its relationship to events in the Gulf from the wider global problems. Clearly, at the global level there are two very dangerous trends on the way. One is the increased polarisation between about a billion people who are doing very well indeed and about 5 billion who are increasingly marginalised. Even now, in 2001, we have nearly half the world's population surviving on less than $2 a day. That is a generic problem and it is throwing up a whole range of conflicts. Probably the most significant news item of the past 48 hours has been the Nepalese government's declaration of a state of emergency. That is a country which now has 40 per cent of its territory controlled by Maoist guerillas, an insurgency that has almost been ignored in most of the Western media. That is an example of a problem that we see across the world in many different ways, a kind of anti-elite insurgency developing. The idea of the age of insurgencies is much more plausible than a clash of civilisations.

  172. I think you said that in your evidence to us in 1997, which we quoted.
  (Professor Rogers) Thank you. Unless we devote major attention to looking at the long-term problems, we are storing up great instabilities ahead of us. That brings us back to the matter of defence reviews. There is a limit to which a review within one department of state can take on such issues. I believe I suggested last time that what is really required, at least within the House, was the possibility of some joint committee work.

  Chairman: You are touching a raw nerve, Professor, because I tried that and it did not work. We do not have joined-up government, but our Select Committees are even less joined up.

Mr Hancock

  173. Where do you start with what you have said? It is nice to think that you can tackle insurgencies around the world and can pick them off one at a time. But that is a confused statement. Where would you start and how would you start? Who would do that?
  (Professor Rogers) The general problem is that the global economy delivers patchy economic growth but fails to deliver economic justice. A wider and wider division is developing. You have to address that at the root which involves the major issues like debt relief, trade reform and certainly substantial increases in assistance for sustainable development. I am talking not about two to three years' time, but about five to 10 to 20 years' time. If we are trying to avoid a bitterly divided world in 20 or 30 years' time, we have to take progressive action over the next decade. That is why I asked you to separate this out from the immediate events of the past two to three months. We also have to recognise that we are now moving into an era of severe environmental constraints. One of the effects could well be huge changes in food productivity across much of the tropics. That is now quite well documented and indicates massive increases in migratory pressures. Issues like climate change are long-term security issues. If we want to avoid a much more unstable global system, we have to start doing work to address those issues now to prevent major problems in 20 to 30 years' time. I do not believe that our thinking is up to it yet. The paradigm is very much about maintaining the status quo and not looking at the longer term. One has to say that the reaction since 11 September in that more narrow context is of wanting to regain control. Here again, I fear that we are not looking at the underlying issues sufficiently.
  (Sir Tim Garden) While I agree with virtually everything that Paul has said on that, I think that we shall look back on the 1990s as a golden age in which we squandered our chances. We could have done much more to start solving some of these problems at the end of the Cold War and we did not in the rich part of the world. Having said that—I fully support the agenda he is putting out there—it does not take away the kinds of risks about which we are talking. Certainly, there is terrorism that comes from feelings of injustice, but there is also the Oklahoma bomber and there is also the Aum cult that we talked about in Japan—not a country that is known for the rich and poor problem. There will still be the risk of terrorism and now that it has been demonstrated that you can really grab the attention of the world if you kill lots of people, that risk is higher from a range of terrorist organisations or fanatical individuals. Quite small numbers of people can do these things because some of the means of mass casualties now can be carried out with a tiny organisation of perhaps one or two people.

Chairman

  174. Ironically, most of these terrorists are not deprived people, but they are professionally qualified. Even if you managed to give everybody in society an income of £20,000 a month I am not sure that you would necessarily eliminate the problem—quite the reverse. I recognise the problem of dealing with the causes, but the problems of poverty have not been solved in my constituency yet, so I do not know how we shall succeed in dealing with poverty elsewhere. In the mean time, is knocking on the head a partial solution? You are not dealing with the underlying causes. Is it desirable to use military means to shore up the problem that by itself is surely an end in itself and worthy of doing?
  (Sir Tim Garden) I do not think one can generalise. The ideal way is to use the normal processes of law to bring to justice criminals who have carried out criminal acts. That ought to be carried out on an international basis.

  175. It ought to be.
  (Sir Tim Garden) It ought to be, but the International Criminal Court has not found favour in one significant part of the world—the United States. The international community should get its act together to address some of these problems, but in this case, I accept the implied criticism that if you use military means the collateral damage probably will spawn more terrorists, but I do not see that as a major problem in Afghanistan. If we manage to put in place a government that allows Afghanistan to rebuild and to be a better place than it has been since 1973, over a period of time, just like the Balkans, we should see communities behaving more responsibly and becoming economically more viable. The military action was a necessary precursor to that in this particular case. So I do not think that generalisations can be made.

Jim Knight

  176. Picking up on Paul's point about the age of insurgency and so on, I feel that there is a danger in the United States that public opinion is moving towards saying, "We are winning and it is great and everything is fine". That feeling of vulnerability which may have provided particularly the United States with the opportunity to engage more internationally, and not to see itself as a unilateral player, and to start to make room on the top table for some of the poorer people of the world, may be disappearing. Do you share that view? Do you see any ground for optimism?
  (Professor Rogers) I do share that view. Prior to 11 September there were pretty clear signs that the bush administration was pursuing a stronger unilateralist position than had previously been the case in the United States, although towards the end of the Clinton term, Congress was favouring policies, for example, on the comprehensive test ban treaty, which were pretty unilateralist. Since the Bush administration came to power on a whole range of issues from the bioweapons convention, light arms talks, Kyoto and many others including the International Criminal Court, it has been a singular policy of the United States to look at its own interests. Among a number of commentators there was a presumption that the tragedies of the 11 September would see an end to that, and that the United States would engage much more multilaterally. I am bound to say that I believe that it is reinforcing the unilateralist perspective very strongly. It is significant to see the view being expressed much more freely in the past few days about the need to move on to other areas of presumed terrorist activity: Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and particularly Iraq, which I think is now much higher up on the political agenda. One has to recognise that President Bush has immense domestic support. Quite recently, I was in the United States and it is instructive to look at the normal television news channels. The support is absolutely solid. That means that the security advisers in the Bush administration who, by and large are hard-lined in their attitude, have a great deal of influence at the present time. Therefore, what is happening in Afghanistan I think will extend to other countries. I do not think it will happen quickly because the rate of use of specialist munitions in Afghanistan has been remarkable. Recently, the United States has had to move some of its key supplies to Kuwait where it can feed the air war in Afghanistan. It will take some months to build the precision-guided munitions and other materiel to make taking the war to Iraq militarily possible. I believe that it is much more likely that that will happen in the next six to nine months than it was, say, two months ago.

Chairman

  177. Could you argue that the US has acted with commendable restraint in this conflict? While it is possible to side with Wolfowitz in the Pentagon, on the other hand it would appear that those who are not in that camp had the upper hand and that the United States, as a result of all these endeavours, has discovered, maybe for the wrong reasons, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. The support of the coalition is not necessarily evidence of how unilateralism is working, but an equally strong argument could be made for multilateralism. We should not be confused by loud noises as though the administration is going to retreat once again into its bunker when this crisis is over. I would have thought that it would draw them out rather than push them into the caves.
  (Professor Rogers) I do not think that there was ever a question of the administration retreating into a bunker. Much more likely is that the ethos behind the administration is to be more engaged in US security interests worldwide. There is an interesting parallel between political changes in the United States between 1977 and 1981 and between 1997 and 2001. Towards the end of the Carter administration a number of effective Republican groups, such as the Committee on the Present Danger and others, advocated the re-arming of the United States to face the perceived Soviet threat. In the last four years there has been a similar phenomenon. Groups such as the Project on the New American Century , which has included the participation of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and I think Paul Wolfowitz as well, advocated very strongly that the United states has an international mission to promote global security, necessarily in its interests, but a kind of civilising role worldwide. I think that has been reflected in a lot of the security thinking in the United States. That is one of the reasons why this combines a global view of a particular kind of international security with US interests and explains much of the unilateralist thinking that has gone on.

  178. Do not use the word "unilateralist" to me. It brings back pretty appalling memories, Professor Rogers.
  (Professor Rogers) It is an unfortunate term. It is common parlance.

  179. Used by two very different people.
  (Professor Rogers) I am conscious of that.


 
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