Activities: 2002: Abstract: Hashim

June 20, 2002

Dr. Ahmed S. Hashim, Center for Naval Warfare Studies–Strategic Research Department, U.S. Naval War College.

Dr. Ahmed Hashim from the United States Naval War College briefed the Executive Lecture Forum members and the invited Mississippi Anti-Terrorist Task Force group on the threat of weapons of mass destruction in three distinct areas: Iraq, the Indian subcontinent, and Al-Qaeda. The threat in these three areas has a direct impact upon American national security and on global security. He analyzed these three issues jointly in great detail. As far as Iraq is concerned, said our speaker, the United States did the right thing in lunching Desert Storm.  Had we waited three to four more years, Saddam Hussein could have developed a nuclear weapon system, and the United States would have had great difficulty ejecting the Iraqi army from Kuwait. Iraq learned from its defeat in 1991 that it has no hope of meeting the United States conventionally; so Saddam decided to propel a biological and chemical war capability to assure his regime’s survival in the face of American hostility. Professor Hashim maintained that the best course of action would be to contain Saddam, as we did in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. In the end, the Saddam regime will collapse, as was the case in the Soviet regime.

According to Professor Hashim, the major danger in the Indian-Pakistani conflict is that the command and control structure for nuclear weapons in these two countries are absolutely primitive at the moment. There is a possibility that local commanders could trigger a nuclear exchange and threaten not only their two countries’ populations but the entire world.

The Al-Qaeda organization, pointed out our speaker, is a much greater danger for the United States and the free world than previous terrorist groups. Al-Qaeda is extremely well organized, highly disciplined, and well financed. Their goal is to remove the U.S. forces from Arabia, eliminate American presence in the Islamic world, and destroy Israel. The United States has eliminated the basic infrastructure of Al-Qaeda, but the battle is far from over, concluded Professor Hashim in his very well received lecture.

© 2003 The Radványi Chair in International Security Studies, Mississippi State University.
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