The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

EDITORIAL: Bush Administration faces new threats with under-qualified staff

Lost in the typical Washington bipartisan ship of soon-to-be cabinet members Gale Norton and John Ashcroft is the relative ease the three most important cabinet members will have in their Senate hearings.

Colin Powell (secretary of state), Condoleezza Rice (national security adviser) and Donald H. Rumsfeld (defense secretary) all will face little opposition due to their moderate political views, and, in Rice and Powell’s cases, the fact they are the first two minorities nominated to high level cabinet positions.

To give all three credit, they would have been good choices for their positions for President Bush – in 1988.

A lot has changed since the elder George Bush took office – the fall of communist Russia, the Berlin Wall and the Cold War between the East and West.

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The winds of change have blown in the arena of world politics and nothing is in the same place as the last time these three important officials were in political positions.

As George W. Bush was waging his own war in Florida, the CIA, his father’s old employer, was releasing “Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Non government Experts.”

The CIA recognized a huge threat to U.S. national security will affect the most average citizens in the United States. And it’s not Russia, China, Cuba or Japan. It’s terrorism.

From religious extremists to angry Third World countries in the Southern Hemisphere tired of what they perceive as an opportunistic United States, the CIA believes terrorism will be the communism of the next millennium.

Forget Lenin, Castro and Gorbachov, now it’s bin Laden, McVeigh and the U.S.S. Cole.

Powell, Rice and Rumsfeld have the most influence in national security issues with a president who has virtually no foreign policy experience.

Rice is an amazing scholar, having graduated from college at age 19 and becoming Stanford University’s youngest, first female and first African-American provost eight years ago.

She was a member of the National Security Council under the Bush administration serving as a Soviet expert; she also wrote her doctoral thesis about the similarities between the Soviet and Czech military. Rice has been out of the world politics arena while serving at Stanford and, as the CIA has noted, a lot has and will change. Rice’s knowledge of the world is very limited to Russia and a lesser extent to China.

Powell is the clean-up hitter in the national defense line-up. He carries a lot of political weight and probably would have won the presidency in a landslide if he had ran.

His experience includes two tours of duty in Vietnam and chair of the Joint Chiefs under Bush, playing a central role in the Gulf War.

While Powell is an admirable veteran of the military, his soldier mentality is ill-suited for his position. The Gulf War was the last of its kind; fighting rouge nations and terrorist groups will take a much different approach than traditional military strategies.

Not much is known about Rumsfeld. He served as defense secretary for 14 months during the Ford administration, but didn’t face any challenges during that time. He is a close friend of Vice President Cheney and seems to have much of his Cold War mentality and experience.

At press time, the new president has yet to publicly declare his administration’s stance on terrorism or do more than vaguely acknowledge its threat to the country.

Rice and Powell have the capacity to understand and adapt to a new threat, but Bush’s lack of foreign policy experience forces the dynamic duo into covering for the president.

Hopefully, the new administration will wake up and realize this new security threat before it becomes a security reality.

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EDITORIAL: Bush Administration faces new threats with under-qualified staff