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04 May 2005

U.S. Military Can Meet Any Mission Worldwide, General Myers Says

Chairman of Joint Chiefs says threat assessment changes constantly

Washington  -- The U.S. military can carry out operations worldwide and prevail in anything it is asked to do, says the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"The message I'm sending to Congress is that the United States military can fulfill its tasks under the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy and the National Military Strategy, and we will be successful and prevail in anything that our nation asks us to do under those strategies and that's the bottom line," Air Force General Richard B. Myers said May 3 at the Pentagon.

Myers submitted his annual, classified risk assessment on U.S. military capabilities to Congress May 2.  It is an examination of the worldwide security situation the United States faces and its capabilities to respond.

"We will prevail. The timelines [for winning a new conflict] may have to be extended and we may have to use additional resources but that doesn't matter because we're going to be successful in the end," Myers said.

However, Myers said some of the forecast risk should decrease by the end of 2005 despite the stress on U.S. military forces of current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We are at war and that level of operations does have some impact on troops," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said.  "But the president continues to be confident, as well as his military commanders, that we can meet any threat decisively."

When asked if the United States could handle a crisis on the Korean Peninsula if the heavily armed North Korea invaded South Korea, Myers said, "We will be successful and we will prevail.  No doubt about it."

Myers said a key factor in the ability of the U.S. military to remain agile, flexible and responsive is the support given by Congress in the regular budget as well as the emergency supplemental funding.  The Congress is currently considering an $82 billion supplemental spending bill that would provide nearly $76 billion for the military's current global operations.