Worth a look….coincides with what Chuck Spinney has been saying.
Defense Budget Debate:
January 13, 2011 Harry C. Blaney III
Rethinking National Security
(Center for International Policy)
Among the first security issues of the year is the release of information about China’s military capabilities and the recent release of the U.S. defense budget request, which is not coincidental . Each year, when key decisions are made about the coming annual DOD budget, we see media reports about China’s new potential and physical military ambitions and weapons programs. They arise from statements by U.S. military commanders, anonymous Pentagon sources and conservative think tank pundits. The intent is to create a “boogeyman,” to depict the Chinese as nine feet tall and America as a “Lilliputian.”
I remember this same bizarre scenario took place during the Cold War. At that time, I had a bit of responsibility from time to time looking at these issues and especially the bureaucratic warfare between the military establishment and the intelligence community analysts who had to provide assessments about how far the Soviets were ahead of America and who in reality were behind us. The interagency fights were often fierce with billions of dollars at stake along with real command over new resources, programs and especially planes and ships – whether needed or not. There was the prospect of a nice rich job in the defense industry if your program won out.
Today, the kabuki is not much different but the reality of today’s security challenges is dramatically different in substantive ways.
Phi Beta Iota: We are observing with fascination the moral and intellectual struggle of the one and two star flag officers. They know the four-stars got them in this mess by ignoring reality in the 1990’s, blowing the peace dividend, ignoring the Army War College when it spelled it out in 1998, and then going on with “business as usual,” aggravated by allowing the neo-cons to lie to Congress, the US public, and the United Nations over 9/11 and Iraq. These younger flag officers are well-intentioned, intelligent, and troubled–they want to get it right but lip service from the top is not the same as the authority to do the right things. They can “go along” and be the four-star failures of the future, or they can assume risk, connect with reality, hold everyone accountable for the truth, and actually build the four forces after next, with cyber-information as the driving force for strategy, for policy, for acquisition, and for M4IS2 operations in which superior information harmonizes and influences over one trillion a year in other people’s money. Let’s see how they work it out, with every hope for their success in choosing to do the right things, not the wrong things righter….