Because of its proximity to Afghanistan, Pakistan is central to many discussions of U.S. strategy in the war on terrorism. But retired Pakistan Navy Commander Muhammad Azam Khan reminds us that India remains central to his nation’s security policy. Particularly troubling is India’s Cold Start doctrine, designed to fight a swift, limited war to destroy Pakistan’s military potential. Commander Khan also warns that should U.S. naval forces in Asia diminish, the void would be quickly filled by China or India.
Many no doubt recall Art Pine’s superb profile of new Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp that appeared in our August issue. This month we’re thrilled to welcome the Commandant to our pages as a contributor for the first time since he assumed his post. In “Charting the Coast Guard’s Course,” Admiral Papp gives a state-of-the-service report and lays out his agenda going forward. One of his major concerns is the great stress placed on both the Coast Guard’s personnel and equipment. Pulling no punches, he says he will reduce the service’s “range of capabilities and activities until we are properly resourced to perform them.” He knows this will force tough choices but they will be necessary to sustain the Coast Guard’s mission of protecting and saving American citizens.
Some consider former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to be one of the most polarizing political figures of the past decade. Not long after he stepped down from his post, we tried to persuade him to sit for an interview with Proceedings , without success. “He will not be granting interviews until he’s finished with his book,” we were told. When news broke that the book would finally be released, we reconnected with his office and landed our interview, scheduled a mere three business days before deadline. Managing Editor Fred Schultz plowed through the 800-page tome and composed a list of questions he would ask Secretary Rumsfeld face-to-face in his Washington office. A major player in this team effort was Rebecca Smith, who transcribed the recorded interview over the ensuing weekend. Becky is officially the Naval Institute’s Web administrator, but she’s also a talented “Jill of all trades,” always willing to lend a hand. The result, titled “So Much We Don’t Know,” appears here in the classic Proceedings Q&A format.