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August 29, 2006



Barnett sees $$$ where the real value is moral. He is an expert on the first, but a moron on the second. He thinks the first will win, while the second is winning. So what do you expect?

Anton Vereshchagin

I can't wait for the US Gov's Department of Everything Else because the US Gov's Department of War (Defense) has been doing such a great job.

Michael Tanji

Easy to stick another requirement into a ruck sack pocket since aside from the Peace Corps (hmmm) DOD is the only serious USG element to fly away and do heavy lifting. Not a lot of airborne capability in HUD or DOE I suspect. Besides, unleashing the bureaucracy of our softer agencies on gap nations would probably be viewed as an act of war.

Not that I don’t see value in the broader ideas, I just don’t see an impetus strong enough to drive the change. The government’s answer to past failures is to build an environment that facilitates more failures, and we’re supposed to get excited about bringing BFE into the core?

Anton Vereshchagin

Would a defeat in Iraq would be an impetus? Or would DoD focus its attention on the upcoming war with China in 2016? Like parts of DoD did after Vietnam, “forget this COIN stuff lets fight the Russkies in the Fudla Gap”.


" I point out that this is a bad idea and they think I am all doom and gloom. ???"

Groupthink kills.

Anton Vereshchagin

Speaking of Doom and Gloom On Iraq...even Ralph "Never Quit the Fight" Peters is throwing in the towel. http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/arabs_last_chance_opedcolumnists_ralph_peters.htm



The USG can't even figure out how to fix Oakland CA or Gary, IN. I think in Oakland the murder number for this year is now one short of the number for all of last year.

Hell we can't even fix NOLA and there aren't any IEDs there. Yet.

Michael Tanji

Four planes and 3,000 dead and our response is more offices and warm @sses in seats. Failure in Iraq isn't going to stop the JSF or DDX. Now would be a case when 'preparing to fight the last war' would be a good idea but no one is calling for tripple the number of Ranger Regiments or double the SF groups. Not that you could fully man them, but that's the kind of language we ought to hear. We've got the 'train a million to eat dirt and absorb bullets' routine down pat; building those 'special' elements you need for the small and dirty fighting of the future takes a lot more time.

John Robb

It is a little like the joke about the man that goes to the doctor and says, "Doctor, it hurts when I do this.." as he begins to bash his head against the wall. The Doctor, of course, says, "don't bang your head against a wall" and hands him the bill.

Not sure you would think the Doctor is a pessimist.

However, to be fair to these guys. They are all smart and they mean well. We are just on different wavelengths.


In fairness to Tom, one of his most memorable comments at PopTech a few years back was that security globalization in the 1990s did not keep pace with (the rosy) financial globalization. I think that was probably right. The American and Chinese governments should evolve their day-to-day and strategic positions to recognize the course of history; global, open intelligence sharing should accelerate. But, in the big scheme, those are marginal optimizations--not rule-set resets. I don't see that "take downs" and big "connectivity box" installs elegantly apply.

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