Pentagon wants new WMD task force

The Pentagon’s latest strategy review proposes a new military unit
that would prevent the transfer of weapons of mass destruction from
states such as North Korea and Iran to terrorist groups, The Washington
Times reported on Friday.

The WMD task force would be comprised
of several hundred troops, including special operations forces and
intelligence personnel, the Times said.

The Times said the
proposal was included in the Pentagon’s 2005 Quadrennial Defense
Review, a sweeping assessment of U.S. defense strategy Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will send to the White House and Congress on
February 6.

Portions of an unclassified summary of the document were made available to The Washington Times, the newspaper said.

section on combating weapons of mass destruction said future U.S.
military forces will have the capability to interdict and ‘render safe’
weapons of mass destruction before terrorists can use them,” the
newspaper reported.

A Pentagon spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the report.

The Times said Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita declined to comment on the strategy review which has not been made public.

have over the past few years focused on ways of having a standing and
rapidly deployable task force,” DiRita was quoted as saying. “It’s
something that can respond quickly to a tough problem.”

The Times
said the Pentagon review stated that a core element of the new joint
task force would be the Army’s 20th Support Command, which would become
a rapid deployment unit “to command and control WMD elimination
missions by 2007.”

“They will possess an expanded ability to
locate, tag and track dangerous individuals and other high value
targets globally,” the review was quoted as saying.

officials this week confirmed the planning document calls for the
addition of nearly 8,000 troops to its elite Special Operations Forces
next year to bolster the U.S. military’s ability to fight terrorists
and insurgents worldwide.