Though he’s a warrior, not an economist, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, ranks the financial crisis as a higher priority and greater risk to security than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The scope of it is, to me, mind-boggling,” said Mullen in an interview with Military Update Wednesday, just hours before President Barack Obama made his first visit to the Pentagon as commander in chief.
Mullen said it is a testament both to the nation’s strength and to the severity of the fiscal crisis that Congress last fall swiftly approved a relief fund of $700 billion to bail out banks and try to thaw frozen credit markets.
The amount nearly matched last year’s defense budget, Mullen noted, contrasting the speed of that action to the long, detailed process of setting military requirements, debating programs and passing a defense budget.
That’s “not even to speak of discussions, literally today, of a stimulus package that’s going to be another 800 or 900 billion (dollars). I think that’s going to affect all of us much more than personally,” Mullen said.
“I’ve been concerned and remain concerned about the impact of this on security,” he continued. “It’s a global crisis. And as that impacts security issues, or feeds greater instability, I think it will impact on our national security in ways that we quite haven’t figured out yet”
U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and top military commanders from four nations – Britain, France, Germany and Italy – flew into the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear this weekend aboard the jumbo jet that is used as Air Force 2 when the vice president is aboard. The group of powerful military leaders met in Lake Placid to discuss mutual security issues, including Afghanistan. Photo: Larry Miller
Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and military leaders from several countries discuss Afghanistan and other issues.
LAKE PLACID – Some of the most powerful military commanders in the world met in Lake Placid over the weekend.
Speculation was rife after a C-32, the military equivalent to a Boeing 757 airliner, touched down Friday at the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear.
The 155-foot-long jumbo jet, which is used as Air Force 2 when the vice president is aboard, was emblazoned with “United States of America” on the side and parked on the eastern edge of the airport.
“I was contacted by the Department of Defense approximately a month ago, and they indicated they had some foreign dignitaries that they wanted to bring in through the airport,” said Ross Dubarry, the airport’s manager.
Following the landing, a motorcade led by State Police rushed Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and top military commanders from four nations – Britain, France, Germany and Italy – to a resort in Lake Placid.
WASHINGTON — The ongoing disarray among Pakistan’s new civilian leadership, including its refusal to accept a U.S. military training mission for the Pakistani army, has led to intense frustration within the Pentagon and reignited a debate over whether the U.S. should act on its own against extremists operating in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal regions.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen: ‘A Third Front … Would Be Extremely Stressful’
U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman warned against any Israeli attack on Iran Wednesday. (AP Photo)
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, who was in Israel over the weekend, issued a strong warning today about the dangers of a military attack on Iran.
At a Pentagon press conference, Mullen was asked, “How concerned are you … that Israel may undertake a unilateral strike against Iran by the end of the year?”
“My strong preference, here, is to handle all of this diplomatically with the other powers of governments, ours and many others, as opposed to any kind of strike occurring,” he answered. “This is a very unstable part of the world. And I don’t need it to be more unstable.”
Tags: Afghanistan, Bush administration, Economy, George Bush, Government, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Michael Mullen, Middle East, Military, nuclear program, Politics, U.S., Uranium, War
Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the Pentagon is planning “potential” military actions against Iran, reports The Washington Post.
Mullen criticized Iran’s “‘increasingly lethal and malign influence’ in Iraq,” writes Ann Scott Tyson for the Post.
Addressing concerns about the US military’s capability of dealing with yet another conflict at a time when forces are purportedly stretched thin, Mullen said war with Iran “would be ‘extremely stressing’ but not impossible for U.S. forces, pointing specifically to reserve capabilities in the Navy and Air Force,” Tyson notes.
“It would be a mistake to think that we are out of combat capability,” she quotes the U.S.’s top military leader at a Pentagon news conference.
A prior incident involving U.S. forces in the Strait of Hormuz and Iranian speedboats in January of this year–which Republican White House candidates used (with the notable exception of Ron Paul) as a saber-rattling opportunity during a nationally-televised debate–was later discredited as a virtual fabrication.
Excerpts from the Post article, available in full here, follow…
…Mullen made clear that he prefers a diplomatic solution to the tensions with Iran and does not foresee any imminent military action. “I have no expectations that we’re going to get into a conflict with Iran in the immediate future,” he said.
Mullen’s statements and others by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates recently signal a new rhetorical onslaught by the Bush administration against Iran, amid what officials say is increased Iranian provision of weapons, training and financing to Iraqi groups that are attacking and killing Americans.
In a speech Monday at West Point, Gates said Iran “is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons.” He said a war with Iran would be “disastrous on a number of levels. But the military option must be kept on the table given the destabilizing policies of the regime and the risks inherent in a future Iranian nuclear threat.”
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, who was nominated this week to head all U.S. forces in the Middle East, is preparing a briefing soon to lay out detailed evidence of increased Iranian involvement in Iraq, Mullen said. The briefing will detail, for example, the discovery in Iraq of weapons that were very recently manufactured in Iran, he said.
Source: The Raw Story