Tip of the Hat to Contributing Editor Marcus Aurelius.
Comments below the line
01 A good first step toward Whole of Government mind-set, but not there yet.
02 Lacks emphasis on integrity–leadership is not the same thing. Shared view of the battlefield of life is something the military could be, should be, must be, good at, especially in the absence of anything useful from secret intelligence or the Rest of Government. Being based on an extraordinarily inept QDR does not help.
03 Demographic trends too light–overlooks fact that Muslims will be in the majority within a few decades, and that poverty and all that poverty implies in terms of the other ten threats, will be the greatest threat to humanity.
04 Delusional on US remaining the “foremost economic and military power for the foreseeable future.” Fails to recognize that national debt is a Wall Street problem, the hollow home infrastructure, self-poisoning, and death of the middle class are all cancers that could prove fatal within 20 years.
05 Global Commons and Globally Connected Domains is potentially a total strategy in and of itself, but DoD blows it here by failing to live up to its “leadership” and call a spade a spade. Cyberspace is NOT about “defeating” threats, it is about creating and extending to all humanity the benefits of access to cyberspace. For what we are wasting on “cyber-command” (which is a cyber-scam) we could be delivering free Internet access to the Southern hemisphere and ending poverty.
06 DoD goes not “get” non-state actors, hybrid evolving networks, or “movements” such as the young angry connected that are finally flipping the tortilla in the Middle East. It especially does not get the fact that all these non-state actors are treasure troves of useful timely information, and they have no adults to talk to in the US Government.
07 Enduring National Interests and National Military Objectives. Pap. Worse than pap. DoD has evidently not listened to LtGen Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret), and the other members of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change. Today’s threats are generally NOT military, and until the US Government restructures itself to be serious about the ten high level threats to humanity, with the military as the “Core Force,” it will continue to disgrace us all.
08 Countering violent extremism. This section is the best possible justification for cutting DoD by two thirds and moving the savings over to diplomacy, development, and multinational law enforcement. This section means well but it lacks intellectual, moral, and practical weight. Africa Command is the poster child for how incredibly ineffective DoD is with respect to the context, culture, and content of failed states.
09 Deter and defeat aggression. With what? We don’t have a long-haul Air Force or a sustainable fighter-bomber force worthy of the name, we don’t have a 450-ship Navy capable of delivering Marines and non-military capabilities in 24 hours (platoon and Cobra), 48 hours (company with Harriers), and 72 hours (Battalion Landing Team). The Army is hollow, DoD is bloated with hundreds of thousands of redundant paper pushers, acquisition is totally hosed, there is no good news here. “Paper Tiger” is back in the meme world.
10 DoD means well–none of these comments are critical of the good people, only the vacant leadership. On page 8, “a prosperous and interconnected world requires a stable and secure environment, etc (blah blah blah). DoD is still deliberately and with malice aforethought refusing to acknowledge that we have a chicken egg issue, and that for one third of what we spend ostensibly providing “security” (which is not–we’re just killing and pissing off millions)–for ONE THIRD–we could buy a cell phone for every one of the five billion poor and ultimately orchestrate a World Brain and Global Game that would give every person on the planet a dry small self-sustaining home that does not need a monstrous water, sewage and electricity grid.
11 Space and cyberspace. Frighteningly ignorant and blase.
12 Regional security. This is the bulk of the “strategy.” This is NOT a strategy document. This is a publicity paper of no substance. It does not show means (revenue), ways (force structure) and ends (actual tangible outcomes). It’s time to either do away with the regional commanders or turn them into true Whole of Government commands with civilian leadership and an entirely new approach to Program 50 and Program 150.
13 Humanitarian assistance. One paragraph, and the outrageous lack of competence at SOUTHCOM, DIA, and within DoD across the board with respect to Haiti, remain a stain on our national honor.
14 No mention of amputee (75,000?) or suicides (15,000?) and no understanding that the fastest, cheapest, best way to lower the cost of health care is to make it a public service and destroy the insurance companies. This is where the lack of integrity in the holistic scene burns the screen up. DoD has no brain, no heart, and no soul.
15 Capabilities. Total specious crap. We need four forces after next, we need to get real about Whole of Government and global cyber/information operations that harmonize how others spend, and we need the national strategy center Tony Zinni describes in the The Battle for Peace.
This document is not worth reading by anyone, much less the President–UNLESS he is interested in seeing just how back things still are. There is nothing here. It is an empty suit.