He used the words "Long war" about 150 times just to make sure we understood his point. We ain't coming home from Iraq, or Afghanistan, and the rest of the Middle East any time soon.
He also made clear several times that this "Long war" was of course about fighting "terrorism" but then slipped in a statement at least twice that we've got to control diminishing supplies of "water and fossil fuels" around the world.
He acknowledged that the Army has a serious manpower problem and made quite a number of references to the "families" of GI's now in Iraq, or who had recently returned, making quite clear to me that there is a mutiny going on with the families. He promised to bring more troops into the Army and Marines in coming years. Where will they come from? The economic draft.
Mullen repeatedly talked about the Pentagon not having enough money and needing the country to recognize that in order to fight the "Long war" we were all going to have to pony up more cash. Of course this cash will come from cutbacks in social spending thus ensuring a steady stream of poor and working class kids having to go into the military for lack of jobs, education funding, etc....
It will also mean more reliance on privatizing the military in order to fight the "Long war" and so the headline in the Washington Post today, Immunity Deal Hampers Blackwater Inquiry, comes as no surprise.
The first two lines of the article read: "The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month's deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned. The immunity deal has delayed a criminal inquiry into the Sept. 16 killings and could undermine any effort to prosecute security contractors for their role in the incident that has infuriated the Iraqi government."
Well, well. Condi-sleeza has found a way to cut the heart out of the prosecution of Blackwater. Who would have ever predicted that one?
Admiral Mullen also yesterday very lightly touched on the role of the Navy in the coming period of resource wars. He talked about the need to, working with chosen allies, be able to choke off vital shipping lanes at sea. [Naval Aegis destroyers made right here in Bath, Maine.]
Why? Well just keep in mind that China imports 80% of its oil through the Taiwan Straits. If the U.S. could shut down that route then the U.S. would essentially be able to strangle China's economy and hold them hostage to any policy.
But in order to do all this Admiral Mullen says the Pentagon needs more of your tax dollars. So every dime we keep in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education, environmental programs, public transportation, and the like is money that will not be going to fight the "Long war."
Fight for social progress and make the world a more peaceful place.