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July 20, 2007
Notes from the Pentagon

New Chinese missiles
China's military this week quietly showed a new medium-range missile that is part of Beijing's rapid military buildup of nuclear and conventional forces, according to a new think tank report.

Chinese Internet sites posted a photograph of what specialists say is the new Dong Feng-25 missile that could be used by China in a conflict with Taiwan, or to target U.S. forces in Japan and the region, said Richard Fisher, a specialist on the Chinese military and author of the forthcoming report by the International Assessment and Strategy Center in the Washington area.

"The apparent new medium- to intermediate-range missile constitutes another surprise" from China's military, the report said. "China's missile threat is likely to strengthen resolve in Tokyo and possibly Delhi to proceed with increased missile defense cooperation with Washington."

Little is known about the new missile but the report stated it could have a range of up 1,860 miles or more depending on the warhead.

One Chinese Web site that first mentioned the missile on Sunday stated that it has a range of about 2,000 miles and can carry up to three multiple nuclear warheads.

The report also stated that China's normally secretive military has revealed a new version of the DF-21 short-range missile, also known as the CSS-6, that is outfitted with an advanced guided warhead.

"The significance of these revelations is that China is upgrading its regionally targeted missile forces, which will soon pose additional threats to, among others, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea and to U.S. forces in the East Asian region," Mr. Fisher said in an interview.

Mr. Fisher said the shorter-range DF-21 missile is China's first anti-ship ballistic missile designed to attack U.S. aircraft carriers and other warships. New Chinese radar and photographic satellites are signs that the new anti-ship ballistic missile may be close to initial operational status, the report said.

The new anti-ship ballistic missile poses a serious threat to U.S. ships because "the U.S. does not have anti-missile capabilities to defend large U.S. ships against this threat, so vulnerable targets, most importantly aircraft carriers, will have to remain out of missile range in order to survive," the report said.

The report also discloses for the first time that China has deployed its third Type 093 nuclear-powered attack submarine, which also was pictured for the first time this week on a Chinese Web site.

China's government has said nothing about the new missiles and submarines.

CIA sabotage
Former Inside the Ring co-author Rowan Scarborough has written a new book revealing a key reason the Bush administration pressed hard for the 2006 deal for the United Arab Emirates-based Dubai Ports World to take over management of several U.S. ports.

According to Mr. Scarborough, the administration wanted the deal to go through because the UAE government had agreed to let the United States post agents inside its global port network who could report on world shipping.

Dubai Ports currently runs port facilities at key U.S. intelligence targets, including Venezuela, China, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia.

"Dubai Ports, in essence, was going to become an agent of CIA," Mr. Scarborough said in an interview. "The arrangement is helping us detect whether any kind of terror contraband was being moved around."

The management deal to run ports at New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami was initially approved by the Treasury Department-run Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, but was eventually scuttled in 2006 after pressure from Congress. Both Republicans and Democrats raised concerns that the deal would affect U.S. port security since al Qaeda had used UAE as a major financial base for its terrorist network.

The book, "Sabotage: America's Enemies Within the CIA," highlights the battle between the agency and the Pentagon over Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and how CIA careerists subverted CIA Director Porter J. Goss' efforts to transform the CIA. It is also critical of CIA intelligence support for the Iraq war, and reports that Justice Department officials think the CIA itself leaked that they had referred the press exposure of CIA officer Valerie Plame to Justice, which triggered the administration's biggest political crisis.

Deadly hesitation
A U.S. military officer said the Army is still putting out rules of engagement (ROE) that are dangerous and could cause U.S. soldiers to get killed in the war on terrorism. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, recently expressed concerns that soldiers fighting insurgents and terrorists do not have clear guidance on the use of force.

One recent session at the Army Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School in Charlottesville included an instructor who taught one class that "we must hesitate and be careful when we pull the trigger," the officer said.

"They are teaching that even following ROE, while not illegal, may not be a good idea," the officer said. "They are teaching that to win the hearts and minds that we may have to take casualties through hesitations."

A Defense official said the problem with hesitation is that it is similar to saying that if a solider is confronted by an armed terrorist, he may have a legal right under the rules to fire but that he should hesitate on the theory that the terrorist could be won over through appealing to their "hearts and minds."

The official said such advice is deadly.

"As statistics show, hesitation in a situation like this gets a soldier killed," the official said. "Second, 'hearts and minds' in counterinsurgency operations refers to winning the hearts and minds of the innocent civilians through protecting them from terrorists."

The official said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. should find the instructor and have him fired. "Either that or teach him the words to 'Kumbaya' and send him into al Qaeda territory in Iraq, unarmed," the official said.

Bin Laden hunt
Former Defense official Michael Maloof wrote to comment on the frustrations expressed last week by U.S. intelligence officials on not being able to find al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, despite the belief that he is still alive and hiding somewhere in a remote area of Pakistan.

"While not surprising, I still believe that he is alive and well in the eastern part of Iran in Baluchistan," said Mr. Maloof, noting that he stated this to senior Pentagon policy official Douglas J. Feith in April 2002.

The reason: the most recent videotape of bin Laden showed a well-nourished terrorist who appeared relatively healthy. "He could not look that well or obtain such quality videotaping in Waziristan," Mr. Maloof said.

The Defense Intelligence Agency acknowledged two years ago that al Qaeda had a training camp in eastern Iran, Mr. Maloof said to bolster his case. Mr. Maloof was part of the special Pentagon analytical team that clashed with CIA analysts over links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime.

Mr. Maloof also challenged the comment before the House Armed Services Committee by Deputy Director of National Intelligence Thomas Fingar, who testified that al Qaeda will not use cell phones in remote areas of Pakistan. "It's mountainous, highly remote with no means of installing cell phone towers," Mr. Maloof said. "I have the same problem on the Skyline Drive. Unless Pakistan, of all places, has a better cell phone service than we do, there will be no cell phones up there, and [bin Laden] knows better than to use a satellite phone." Mr. Fingar "must think we're all idiots," Mr. Maloof said.

  • Bill Gertz covers the Pentagon. He can be reached at 202/636-3274 or at

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