Sam Nunn: Pinpoint strikes by U.S. military could replace costly occupations

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn is wondering whether pinpoint strikes like the one that took out Osama bin Laden could become an alternative to the use of massive U.S. military resources to occupy whole countries.

From this morning’s Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn of Georgia. Associated Press

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn of Georgia. Associated Press

“I think this is the wave of the future,” Nunn said in an interview Tuesday in Columbus after the annual shareholder meeting at TSYS, of which he is an emeritus director on the firm’s board. “We’ve seen the downside of occupation in Iraq and continuing in Afghanistan. This is the kind of skills that we have and the kind that we can execute with great pride.”

…..The former senator stopped short of saying U.S. troops should exit Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible. They’ve been there since shortly after the 2001 attacks.

“But occupying another country is a different mission than what America is historically accustomed to, and I think it’s extremely difficult when the cultures are totally different,” he said. “It’s enormously expensive. It’s expensive most of all in lives and in casualties, and it’s expensive in funds.”

The former Georgia senator also offered this thought we haven’t heard elsewhere:

Nunn said the demise of Bin Laden also was a welcome development simply because it allays the worst fear held by himself and others, including the intelligence community.

“That would be that one of these days Bin Laden would die and we would never know it,” he said. “And he would go on as almost immortal in the minds of the extremists. So this is a big thing.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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16 comments Add your comment

The Rev. Dudley Doright, Sr. Pastor, First Apostolic Church of the Good God Almighty in Christ Jesus with adjoining Rib Shack

May 4th, 2011
1:07 pm

I think Brother Nunn is making sense. It never made sense to me to have uniformed troops fighting an enemy hiding in civilian clothes. Ferreting out these terrorists will ultimately me the work of an international police force like Interpol or some other special unit like the Seals.


May 4th, 2011
1:25 pm

There sure are a lot of people working at the AJC who get paid for cutting and pasting other newspapers articles. Gee, I wonder why the AJC is losing money/viewership?

Retired Soldier

May 4th, 2011
1:29 pm

Wow, Sam Nunn you are brilliant. I’m sure no one has ever thought of that.


May 4th, 2011
1:29 pm

I suspect President Obama has given Leon Panetta this new task, as Security of Defense, as part of Obama’s soon to be released budget reduction program. Yes! We need to turn our attention to our needs at home. We are headed to a medical service and health care cost crisis if we don’t train more doctors and nurses starting NOW.

Mary Elizabeth

May 4th, 2011
3:42 pm

This pinpointed tactic is a more just one than traditional methods of warfare because the specific, guilty terrorists are identified and punished instead of masses of innocent people.

For moral reasons, I would suggest that – in the future – it would be better to capture, rather than to kill, those who are guilty.


May 4th, 2011
3:45 pm

Yeah, great idea. Immediately after a successful military operation bring in Leon The Knife to decimate the Defense Department so that we can siphon dollars (that we still do not have) to pay for ObamaCare. That way Obama will ensure that both health care AND national security will fail.

Ummm, I thought ObamaCare was supposed to REDUCE spending and therefore IMPROVE the deficit. Are you saying Obama wasn’t telling the truth.


May 4th, 2011
3:45 pm

Wow. We can just have the soldiers shoot the AK-47s out of the hands of the terrorists like they do on TV.


May 4th, 2011
4:15 pm

Pinpoint strikes will only work if you gain intel through EITs…which we all know Obama and crew won’t authorize, so the only reason this hit on UBL worked was due to Bush’s authorization of EITs and our superior US Navy SEALs abilities…to which I say Thank You.

Ole Guy

May 4th, 2011
4:57 pm

There are only two problems with this proposal: 1) diminished requirements for the “hardeware of war” would directly impact the military industrial complex and the voting blocks comprising the constituencies of Congress, 2) the Pentagon “might go into foreclosure”.

Overnight, the Government would have no reason to generate the annual hysteria of government shutdowns. With no “distractions”, the Congress would have no alternative but to get to work on the business of getting our Country back on track and off the global dunce chair.

Charlie Sheen

May 4th, 2011
5:13 pm

Not for nothing, but I think JFK (and Ike) felt the same way. JFK was the one who gave the Army Special Forces (”green berets”) and SEALs a seat at the DoD table, and if you believe Oliver Stone, it is why JFK was killed. Kennedy saw the future (wars of national liberation, low intensity conflict and un-conventional/guerilla wafare). Of course, there’s no money (military-industrial complex) in low-intensity/unconventional anything. I don’t have Sen. Nunn’s vooting record while he was Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, but I suspect he “fed the beast” as opposed to the ’snake eaters” and “spooks”.

Name (required)

May 5th, 2011
7:39 am

Good. Let’s quit funding these other countries and wasting American lives over there when we need our borders secured at home. Democracy just does not work everywhere.


May 5th, 2011
5:16 pm

I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for
$94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again
pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss
for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to
get all this stuff,

[...] Sam Nunn: Pinpoint strikes by U.S. military could replace costly occupations — AJC [...]

Ole Guy

May 7th, 2011
11:12 am

There’s a strange nom de guerre…MILITARY and INTELLIGENCE, a strange combination.

SamNunn IsAHero

May 8th, 2011
8:38 am

sam nunn was a heck of a good senator that saved the military from the clinton backed radical homosexual agenda for 18 years. (kiddies, read a little “history” about how clinton tried to ram through the homosexual lobbies radical agenda, the Week After He Took Office).

he is also too savvy and classy to demand an end to our preposterous, anti-american occupations of iraq and afghanistan (the latter being the longest war in the history of our country).

but his message is clear, we (americans) don’t do occupations, and these wars are breaking us apart morally and economically.

have you ever noticed how only Retired pols can actually speak the truth? ok kiddos, if you are really feeling grown up, go read a review of jimmy carters book about how basically the good ‘ol usa is responsible for all the israeli atrocities against the displaced palestinians …

Oh Rly

May 9th, 2011
5:15 am

It’s already been said this raid would of been impossible without being in Afghanistan because the travel time from an aircraft carrier would of been close to 5 to 6 hours whereas from the base in Afghanistan it was less than 1 hour. Flying low level undetected over radar from the south over the ocean would of been much harder than flying over a mountain pass. Had something gone wrong they would of been left to die for sure, whereas being only an hour away they could of been rescued if necessary.

The US has never flown into a country of notable military without a follow up invasion, because its simply not possible, and “precision” strikes are not viable unless you have on the ground live Intel. If we had not invaded Afghanistan and had such a cozy relationship with Pakistan, we would not have had the CIA agents living so close to bin Laden to monitor his activities. Imagine relying on a foreign source for live Intel and calling in a 40 man strike team in what could easily be a trap, and then not being able to do nothing about it because your only recourse be full scale war.

Iraq definitely did not need to be invaded, but Afghanistan did. I can’t think of any notable terrorist who has been eliminated by a precision strike involving a cruise missile, and sending Predator drones are not viable over any country with any sort of viable air defenses.