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Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Says U.S. Will Need to Rely on Allies

Posted October 23, 2001

— The former North Carolina general who headed America's Armed Forces visited his college alma mater in Raleigh Monday and spoke out on the war on terrorism.

Retired General Hugh Shelton spoke at N.C. State University for the opening ceremony of a symposium on the first 100 years of flight.

Gen. Shelton said he has not seen any surprises so far in the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan, especially the use of Special Operations Forces.

"Special Ops can come at you in a variety of different directions and using techniques, some of which they are not even aware of," he said.

With the element of surprise and secrecy essential to success, the General said that he is outraged by recent Pentagon leaks about military actions.

"Here you are dealing with very elusive individuals in small cells. You are not dealing with massive amounts of armor or artillery that takes a long time to move," he said. "If you have leaks, you won't be effective and we can't afford to have leaks. We ought to vigorously prosecute those that leak information, particularly those who contribute to the loss of life of our American sons and daughters."

Shelton also said that America will have to use allies in different situations as it fights the war on terrorism.

He said allies such as the Northern Alliance will be used to erode forces of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But he says the U.S. military will have to balance military friendships with diplomatic ones.

Shelton said that Americans should expect a long conflict with terrorism and does not see an end until organizations that support terrorism are rooted out completely.

The Edgecombe County native was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until he retired earlier this month after a 38-year military career.


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