SLUG: 3-233 JAMES G. ZUMWALT / TERROR
TITLE=JAMES G. ZUMWALT / TERROR
/// EDITORS: THIS INTERVIEW IS AVAILABLE IN DALET UNDER SOD/ENGLISH NEWS NOW INTERVIEWS IN THE FOLDER FOR TODAY OR YESTERDAY ///
HOST: The hunt for terrorists in Afghanistan gave the U-S military a chance to employ some of its newest equipment. That included use of the Global Positioning System, or G-P-S, a satellite navigation system that was designed for and is operated by the military. In Afghanistan, G-P-S was used to pinpoint targets and to help troops moving through the unfamiliar terrain know exactly where they were.
However, retired U-S Marine Lieutenant Colonel James G. Zumwalt says there is a new worry relating to G-P-S. Writing in the Washington Times newspaper he says technology has been developed that could jam the system and, for example, cause missiles to miss their targets. He tells News Now's Tom Crosby the Pentagon undoubtedly anticipated this development but it worries him all the same:
MR. CROSBY: What would be the net result if this were to be acquired by some other power?
MR. ZUMWALT: I think it would definitely put our people at greater risk. You're talking now about being able to do an initial salvo at an enemy with surface-to-surface missiles and things of that nature that are guided to their targets by GPS. And obviously a Tomahawk missile does not put anybody from our side at risk, so now you're talking about your pilots having to be directly over their targets or other means of directing fire.
MR. CROSBY: Similarly, does that put our troops on the ground at risk if they're using the Global Positioning System?
MR. ZUMWALT: Yes. They use it on the ground as well to navigate between points. Therefore, it would disrupt their ability to get from one location to another quickly.
MR. CROSBY: When you worry about a power acquiring this technology to jam the Global Positioning System technology, do you have countries in mind when you think about this?
MR. ZUMWALT: I would think that anybody who has been identified as being a member of the axis of evil would obviously have an interest in this technology, as they see the potential for becoming engaged in a conflict with the U.S.
MR. CROSBY: If indeed they were to acquire it, is it that sophisticated as far as you know, or is it something that they could replicate quite easily?
MR. ZUMWALT: I am not a technical person, but from my understanding of it, it was unique enough that it took this one individual inventor a number of efforts to put his theory into practice. So I don't know if it is something that could be reverse engineered or somebody else from one of the countries that we mentioned would be able to produce it.
MR. CROSBY: Have some of these already been sold as far as you know?
MR. ZUMWALT: As far as I know, there have been hundreds of them that have been sold.
MR. CROSBY: Were any possibly applied in Afghanistan?
MR. ZUMWALT: I don't know that for sure.
MR. CROSBY: But they could have been?
MR. ZUMWALT: There is that possibility. I would think, if they were, that we would have had a pretty good indication of that by this point in time. As I mentioned in my article, there was one situation that developed where a bomb was off target, and the thought was that maybe that is what had happened. But it was later determined that the bomb was off target for other reasons.
HOST: Retired U-S Marine Lieutenant Colonel James G. Zumwalt, an attorney and military analyst.
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