U.S. military not prepared for internal security threat: Gates

10:54, January 16, 2010      

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U.S. military is not well prepared for internal security threat, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Friday when briefing on a review of the Fort Hood shootings.

"It is clear that as a department, we have not done enough to adapt to the evolving domestic internal security threat to American troops and military facilities that has emerged over the past decade," said the secretary.

Pentagon kicked off a 45-day investigation into the massacre in Fort Hood, an Army base in Texas, where a 39-year-old military psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Hasan, killed 13 and wounded over 30 others.

"The report raises serious questions about the degree to which the entire Department of Defense is prepared for similar incidents in the future," said Gates. "It also reveals shortcomings in the way the department is prepared to defend against threats posed by external influences operating on members of our military community."

There is growing evidence showing that Hasan had been in contact with someone on a U.S. "kill or capture" list of al-Qaeda and Taliban targets.

Gates also admitted that "the absence of a clear understanding of what motivates a person to become radicalized and commit violent acts" makes the problem even more complicated.

At the same time, there is no well-integrated means to gather, evaluate and disseminate the wide range of behavioral indicators that could help commanders better anticipate an internal threat, he added.

Source: Xinhua
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