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Gen. Richard Myers: U.S. Enemies Seek WMDs to End 'Our Way of Life'

By Jim Meyers   |   Wednesday, 25 Mar 2009 05:51 PM

Former top military commander Gen. Richard Myers tells Newsmax that America’s enemies in the war on terror are “ruthless” and “relentless” and will not hesitate to use nuclear or biological weapons if they obtain them.

“They want to do away with our way of life,” Myers tells Newsmax TV’s Ashley Martella. “They could bring great harm to this country and our friends and allies.”

Myers, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 2001 until September 2005, tells Newsmax that the U.S. focused too narrowly on tactical battles and failed to develop a long-rang strategy to battle terrorism.

[Editor's Note: Watch Gen. Richard Myers discuss that threats facing America in the coming years - Go Here Now]

“After 9/11 we had some things we had to do right away,” said Myers, author of the new book, “Eyes on the Horizon: Serving on the Front Lines of National Security.”

“Afghanistan was one of them. Then we went into Iraq. But the development of a strategy to deal with the whole issue of violent extremism — we didn’t take the time to do that because we were so busy with the day to day.

Myers said the further America gets from the events of 9/11, the more complacent it gets, and the more danger the country is in.

“I’m not an alarmist but I did spend four years right after 9/11 looking at all this intelligence from violent extremists,” he says. “ They could [attack America] through biological weapons. God forbid if they get their hands on nuclear materials, they could do it that way as well. And they’re ruthless so we know they’d use them.”

Martella asked Myers about a new official British government report warning that the threat of a terrorist attack using a weapon of mass destruction, such as a nuclear or biological weapon, on a major city is higher than ever.

“I don’t see the intelligence on a daily basis anymore, but I do think the threat is very high,” Myers responded.

“It wasn’t that long ago, just a little more than a year ago, when that plot to bring airliners down over the North Atlantic [was thwarted]. I think there were 10 or 20 airliners involved in that plot. If that hadn’t been thwarted we’d be talking about 2,000 dead potentially from that.

“So like I said, they’re relentless, they’re ruthless. If they can get their hands on dangerous material, nuclear material, biological weapons, they wouldn’t hesitate to use them. They want to bring down the United States in particular and the West in general.”

Martella asked Myers for his assessment of the current situation in Iraq.

“I think things in Iraq are going extremely well right now,” said Myers. “But I think, as all the leaders in Iraq and General Petraeus himself say, it’s reversible…

“I think there is real reason for optimism. I think we have to be very careful, though. There are people who would like it not to be a success. The al-Qaida are part of that. They are pretty much decimated in Iraq, but they never give up.

“And there are other factions inside Iraq, and of course Iran. You never know exactly how they’re going to want to influence events inside Iraq.”

On the Iranian threat, Myers declared: “Any country that sponsors terrorism, which Iran does, that doesn’t believe in the existence of the state of Israel, that is aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons — this is not a good thing.”

Martella asked if it would be a mistake for the Barack Obama administration to abandon plans for a U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

“One thing is for certain: The only country in the world that can build an effective missile defense system is the United States of America,” said Myers, a former fighter pilot who also served as Commander in Chief of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

“Implicit in that is the obligation to at least offer our allies and our friends our ability to protect them from the rogue nations that can develop missiles now and could possibly threaten them.”

Martella asked: “With the every-escalating drug violence along the Mexican border, how do you feel about sending U.S. troops there?”

Myers responded: “Active-duty U.S. troops? I think it would have to get a heck of a lot worse before you’d want to send U.S. troops under congressional or presidential decree to go down there. U.S. troops are not trained for law enforcement action. That would be an extreme action.

“The other option is that you could send the National Guard. I know the Texas and Arizona governors have talked about that potential. They can go and act in a law enforcement capacity … If they need more manpower on the border the National Guard is an option. but active duty troops I think would be a big mistake.”

[Editor's Note: Watch Gen. Richard Myers discuss that threats facing America in the coming years - Go Here Now]

[Editor’s Note: Get Gen. Richard Myer’s new book, “Eyes on the Horizon: Serving on the Front Lines of National Security” — Go here now.]

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