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America's New War: Don't Expect Any Immediate Military Action

Aired September 27, 2001 - 06:04   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. A new wave of reserves have been called up in America's New War and making more than 15,000 now summoned to active duty.

Our national correspondent Bob Franken joins us now. He's at the Pentagon. He's got the latest on military movement for us this morning.

Hi, Bob.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Leon.

And what we're seeing now is the culmination of about two weeks of planning to decide which reserve units. So on a day-to-day basis we're hearing small increments of the total that's going to be 35,000 before it's through. As you pointed out, we're up to 15,000 now. Yesterday's call up included 635 more, typical of what we've been seeing all along, reservists who will be assigned a lot of support duties.

One of them was quite interesting as a support unit for special operations which we've come to learn means commando units, special forces, seals, that type of thing. But there also is quite an emphasis on supporting law enforcement agencies, intelligence and the like. The emphasis yesterday was on the naval reserve. That's been where the emphasis has shifted from the Air National Guard and Reserve earlier.

So it was 635 yesterday taking everyone up to 15,000 -- 35,000 will be the first wave of reserve call-ups authorized by the president and the defense secretary.

Now interesting in all this is the daily report on an increased military deployment. At the same time this is going on, there is a consistent message from the administration which is don't necessarily expect any military action soon and that was repeated by the Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz as he briefed NATO defense ministers in Brussels yesterday. He came out and said do not expect necessarily an immediate military action. And of course that has to be a concern.

It's a concern that's been articulated by administration people that there is a feeling in the United States given all the evidence that there is something immediate and they're trying to dampen that down saying that the real picture is a long-range picture. Of course there are those who also have had experience with military planners who know that sometimes the very fact that they say don't expect something immediate means something immediate is on the boards. There's oftentimes a bit of a subterfuge that's going on here, but the line that was repeated by the assistant defense secretary, Leon, was don't expect immediate military action. That is what we're hearing officially -- Leon.

HARRIS: And we've been hearing that consistently as well.

Bob Franken, at the Pentagon, thanks. We'll talk to you later.

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