Complex searches do not work with Word Press but simple ones do. Robert Steele has not reviewed this book but provides the link to an earlier guest review here an amplifying comment below the fold with many links. A search result that works: < Review Lessons Not Learned >
ROBERT STEELE: All of the services have toxic leadership issues. All of the services lie, cheat, and steal. All of the services lack ethics, fall short in leadership, and eschew ethical evidence-based decision-support. The US Navy has its own unique spin rooted in history, combining the blockheadness of the Battle of Jutland (do not question authority) with a Master after God complex that is dangerous now. When I briefed the 450 ship Navy concept in 1992, deeply rooted in a new expeditionary environment study the Navy had not bothered to read, the bloated Captains called for my firing. To question the centrality of the carrier group far from everywhere was heresy — today we also know that carriers are toast in the face of Chinese submarines with German diesel engines and Russian supersonic missiles. Today, although CNO has created a strategist track, this is receiving lip service, in part because none of the services are capable of holding three complicated thoughts in their heads at one time: Whole of Government; four levels of analysis where the threat and the force structure need changes at each level; and waging peaceful preventive measures instead of blindly embracing elective wars based on ideology and lies. Now there is some good news. There is a TINY possibility that the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (a Marine with above average integrity) and the new Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (an Air Force officer that understands why the Air Force has to be good at long-haul movement), might open the way for respecting the fundamentals. I never tire of quoting Senator Sam Nunn, then Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC):
I am constantly being asked for a bottom-line defense number. I don’t know of any logical way to arrive at such a figure without analyzing the threat; without determining what changes in our strategy should be made in light of the changes in the threat; and then determining what force structure and weapons programs we need to carry out this revised strategy.
It has been my honor to do more thinking along the lines we need — embracing holistic analytics, true cost economics, and open source everything engineering that optimizes by, with, and through possibilities — than anyone else in the US ranks. For this I have been marginalized. Just as my solution to the Somali pirate issue, devised for CENTCOM J2P in 2005 and refused by SOCOM and Irregular Navy for years because it was — in their almost identical words — “not an expensive enough problem,” so today we have Service Chiefs that continue to fight for budget share and protect waste because that is what they know how to do and no one is holding them accountable for being honest and effective. We should be eradicating the 45% to 75% documented waste (from acquisition to Afghanistan) and easily meeting the President’s objective of a 30% cut in the defense budget while also creating a 450 ship Navy, a long-haul Air Force, an air-mobile Army, and a Marine Corps that is once again focused on being a 911 force also capable of forced entry, carried by a Navy that is 33% littoral instead of 9% littoral. Here are two contrasting quotes that I find useful in evaluating where we are today:
The danger is, you’ll become like a moron. You’ll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours” [because of your blind faith in the value of your narrow and often incorrect secret information]. Daniel Ellsberg speaking to Henry Kissinger
When things are not going well, until you get the truth out on the table, no matter how ugly, you are not in a position to deal with it. Bob Seelert, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide (New York)
It will be interesting to see how General Vincent Stewart, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, deals with all of the enemies of a sound national defense at each of the four levels — enemies as much domestic as they are foreign.
2001-04-01 “Threats, Strategy, and Force Structure: An Alternative Paradigm for National Security in the 21st Century” Chapter 9 in Steven Metz (ed.) Revising the Two MTW Force Shaping Paradigm (Strategic Studies Institute,April 2001)