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Outreach Efforts Help Explain Unconventional War

Outreach Efforts Help Explain Unconventional War

By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service.

Washington D.C. -- (AFPS) September 5, 2002 – The global war on terrorism is unlike any war the United States has ever fought.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has explained that the war will require the full spectrum of American power. Traditional military might is a part of this, but so are financial muscle, intelligence assets, law enforcement activities and diplomatic maneuvering.

Rumsfeld has said on more than one occasion that sometimes results will be in the open for people to see and other times the results will be hidden.

Explaining this unconventional war to the American people is also important to the campaign against terrorism. Building and sustaining support for the war is the purpose of the Defense Department's Defend America—National Outreach program. "It was an initiative brought out right after September 11," said Brent Krueger, the director of community relations and public liaison in the Pentagon. "It is designed to reach out to the American people and give them the most up-to-date information about this unconventional war."

Speakers from various departments within DoD have fanned out across then United States and addressed more than 100 organizations. Other speakers have addressed groups who have journeyed to Washington. The speakers are, in effect, stand-ins for Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

Senior members of the department often participate in these programs as adjuncts to already scheduled trips. The organizations run the gamut from small, special interest groups to larger organizations. The department does not seek out groups. Speakers only address groups who have issued invitations.

For example, Navy Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, a Pentagon spokesman, addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Nashville, Tenn. On another occasion, Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Halbig, DoD press officer, will speak to communications students at Hofstra University in New York. In yet another, DoD officials are slated to brief the chiefs of staff of the nation's governors when they visit the Pentagon.

"This helps Americans put the war in perspective," Krueger said. "Secretary Rumsfeld said Americans need to think about the war on terrorism and the country's role in it. This is an opportunity for the Defense Department to help this debate."

Groups that want to invite a Defense Department speaker can write the office at "Defend America—National Outreach, The Pentagon 1E776, Washington, D.C. 20310-1400 or call 703- 695-2733.

(Linda D. Kozaryn supplied new material to this revised article.)


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).