The US Flag flying over the USS Arizona Memorial (c) 2011 Dan Mosqueda

“American power and influence have been decisive factors for democracy and security throughout the last half-century. However, after more than two years of serious effort, this Commission has concluded that without significant reforms, American power and influence cannot be sustained. To be of long-term benefit to us and to others, that power and influence must be disciplined by strategy, defined as the systematic determination of the proper relationship of ends to means in support of American principles, interests, and national purpose. . . We have concluded that, despite the end of the Cold War threat, America faces distinctly new dangers, particularly to the homeland and to our scientific and educational base. These dangers must be addressed forthwith.”

These thoughts were submitted by the The United States Commission on National Security for the 21st Century on February 15, 2001, seven months before the horrific attacks on the United States of America by radical Islamist Jihadists which shook this nation to its core. “If the Free World is not confronting the expanding terrorist threat, or is not doing so in the right ways, the threat will grow stronger and more enduring in the near, medium and long term. If the Free World identifies the threat as existential (as it did with Nazism, fascism, and Bolshevism), the corresponding policies will have to be undertaken and whatever hardships arise will have to be endured.”

The United States knew before 9/11, while being arguably the most advanced nation on earth, that it had serious issues with which to deal in order to ensure its national security answering to responsibilities levied onto the government by the Founding Fathers.

The United States of America faces a difficult future. Current terrorist threats, a national debt spiraling out of control causing dramatic and draconian spending cuts, a morose economic future, record unemployment figures domestically, a weakened and declining industrial base, eroding international influence, an increasingly uncompetitive educational system, rising dependence on government support for average citizens, a marked decline in scientific and technological capabilities, all add up to a potential erosion of overall national power. As the United States tries to find its way, adversaries and potential adversaries sense an opportunity to wrest power away from the last great superpower on the planet. Through deliberate analysis, careful planning, and determined execution, the United States can find within its tools of national power methods to mitigate these threats ensuring its obligation “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

The Constitution of the United States of America, a short phrase, charges the government of the United States with a truly awesome responsibility. “The constitutional order with respect to national security established by President Truman in the early Cold War and the all-encompassing struggle against the perceived threat of communism formed an important baseline for understanding our post-9/11 governmental and constitutional reality. The constitutional order prior to World War II did not have to cope with global military commitments, U.S. troops permanently stationed in foreign countries, intelligence agencies engaged in covert action, or nuclear weapons. The Cold War constitutional order involved apprehension of an existential threat, a perceived danger from an appealing global ideology that mandated increased internal security, assertions that we had to stand ready to violate long held values and beliefs, and enforced acceptance that we were in totally unique circumstances, never before seen in American history, involving an indefinite “long war” against an implacable foreign enemy.”

On September 24, 2001 President George W. Bush submitted a letter to the United States Congress informing them “I have taken these actions pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.  It is not now possible to predict the scope and duration of these deployments, and the actions necessary to counter the terrorist threat to the United States.  It is likely that the American campaign against terrorism will be a lengthy one.”

The final thought of this critical letter continues to this day, the campaign against terrorism has been lengthy and there is no end in sight. Constitutionally, the President’s role is deceivingly simple put forth plainly: “Article II, Section 2: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States.”

President William H. Taft, the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913) and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930) succinctly outlined the President’s duty: “When we come to the power of the President as Commander-in-Chief it  seems perfectly clear that Congress could not order battles to be fought on a certain plan, and could not direct parts of the army to be moved from one part of the country to another.”

The former President and Chief Justice is making it clear the Executive Branch has an awesome duty, but that duty is not performed in a vacuum Congress certainly plays a critical role ensuring the requirements of the Constitution are met.

Congress, constitutionally, actually has a larger role than the Executive Branch. Its role is to define and enact legislation the Executive Branch will then execute. In Article I, Section 8 the Congress has responsibility:

“To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations; To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

Another critical role Congress has been constitutionally granted falls under Article I, Section 9: “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

In response to its responsibility, the Congress, through 50 U.S.C. § 404a : US Code – Section 404A: Annual national security strategy report, has determined the President shall transmit to Congress each year a comprehensive report on the national security strategy of the

United States (hereinafter in this section referred to as a “national security strategy report”).

This report will meet the requirements of this law.

The Current Environment

The United States, since 9/11, has entered a new era which has placed the nation in a “long war,” though the nation has not mobilized as it has in the past. “In the new era, sharp distinctions between “foreign” and “domestic” no longer apply. We do not equate national security with “defense.” We do believe in the centrality of strategy, and of seizing opportunities as well as confronting dangers. If the structures and processes of the U.S. government stand still amid a world of change, the United States will lose its capacity to shape history, and will instead be shaped by it.”

In order to understand how the government will meet its constitutional responsibilities, it must clearly understand the current environment and its current capabilities.

This report, the goals, objectives and strategies contained within it are not operating in a theoretical state. This nation is at war. Currently, the United States is actively engaged in the following conflicts:

  • Afghanistan: The USA is engaged in the armed conflict in Afghanistan, as a member of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The US heads a coalition of nations whose forces are in Afghanistan at the invitation of the Afghan Government to help rebuild and develop the country (see, for example, UN Security Council Resolutions 1386, 1413, 1444, 1510, 1563, 1623, 1659 and 1707). US troops are engaged in two missions: a UN-authorized, NATO-led mission, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and a US-led coalition, Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • Iraq: The USA is engaged in the armed conflict in Iraq as part of a coalition called the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I). Formerly part of an occupying force, since 1 June 2004 when the formal transfer of authority for the country was made to the newly elected government of Iraq, the US has been part of an international peacekeeping force that is present in Iraq with the consent of the government of Iraq. Previously an international (inter-state) armed conflict, since the handover of authority from the Coalition Provisional Authority, the conflict has been of a non-international character, pitting the government and the members of the Multinational Force (MNF) against a variety of non-state armed groups. This non-international armed conflict is regulated by common Article 3 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, as well as other provisions of customary international law.
  • Colombia: The USA is also supporting the Colombian Government in its armed conflict with non-state armed groups, particularly through the implementation of Plan Colombia, which is intended to combat the drug trade.
  • Libya: Following UN Security Council Resolution 1973 of 2011 authorizing the use of force in Libya, the United States is participating in a coalition-led military intervention in the country. Libya is engaged in an international armed conflict governed by international humanitarian law with the States participating militarily in the implementation of the measures to protect civilians, including a no-fly zone, authorized by UN Security Council resolution 1973. All concerned states are party to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, and most, including Libya but not the United States, have adhered to the 1977 Additional Protocol I. The conflict is also regulated by customary international law.
  • Pakistan: Success in Afghanistan is heavily dependent on Pakistan’s ability to deny safe haven for terrorists. Funding a robust Counter Insurgency (COIN) capability for Pakistan will serve as a combat multiplier and increase success in OEF. Moreover, extremists in Pakistan threaten the stability of Afghanistan and provide sanctuary for those who plot against the United States homeland. Extremists in Pakistan also threaten the stability of its democratically elected government. Pakistan must have the capability to defeat extremists that threaten the democratic government in Islamabad, our regional partners, and the United States homeland.
  • Horn of Africa: Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa (OEF-HOA) is the name of the military operation defined by the United States for combating terrorism and piracy in the Horn of Africa. It is one component of the broader Afghan war category of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which includes eight African nations stretching from the far northeast of the continent to the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea in the west.
  • Philippines: Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines (OEF-P) or Operation Freedom Eagle is part of Operation Enduring Freedom and the U.S. Global War on Terrorism. About 600 U.S. military personnel are advising and assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Southern Philippines.
  • Trans Sahara: Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara (OEF-TS) is the name of the military operation conducted by the United States and partner nations in the Sahara/Sahel region of Africa, consisting of counterterrorism efforts and policing of arms and drug trafficking across central Africa. It is part of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

Beyond armed conflicts, the United States is projecting its national power in several peace operations around the world:

  • Support to UN peacekeeping
    • The USA contributes to UN peacekeeping missions with 81 personnel (62 police; 8 military observers; and 11 troops) as of August 2009. Missions supported included the following:
      • UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
      • UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT),
      • UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
      • UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)
      • UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)
      • UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI)
  • Support to NATO operations. The USA participates in NATO operations as follows:
    • 1,483 troops in Kosovo (KFOR)
    • 28,850 troops in Afghanistan (ISAF, International Security Assistance Force)

In order to meet these commitments the United States relies on “Full-spectrum dominance, a military concept whereby a joint military structure achieves control over all elements of the battlespace using land, air, maritime and space based assets. Full spectrum dominance includes the physical battlespace; air, surface and sub-surface as well as the electromagnetic spectrum and information space. Control implies that freedom of opposition force assets to exploit the battlespace is wholly constrained.”

In order to carry out Full Spectrum dominance the US currently has a robust infrastructure including approximately 1.5 million active personnel, 1.45 million reserve personnel, 18,234 aircraft, 56, 269 discreet land weapons, 2,384 naval vessels

, and 2,200 nuclear warheads delivered via 851 delivery vehicles.

The United States maintains the “high ground” in space through an array of satellites and facilities delivering communications, weather, missile warning, global navigation, and launch capabilities.

The United States has unparalleled military power, but there are many challenges facing it today. “The U.S. military force structure envisioned by the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and the President’s FY 2012 budget request is inadequate to protect vital U.S. national interests. After the “procurement holiday” during the 1990s and the wear and tear of the “long war against terrorism” in Iraq and Afghanistan, all military services urgently need to recapitalize and modernize their inventories. Over the long term, failure to invest the funds needed to rebuild the U.S. military in the near term will increase not only the costs, but also the risks to the nation and endanger U.S. allies and friends.”

While the military is not the only tool in the government’s quiver to meet its constitutional requirements “other instruments of national power such as diplomacy and economic power, even if deployed effectively, cannot alone substitute for the projection of military power in accomplishing these tasks.” Unfortunately, as is clearly pointed out in the current conflicts with which we are engaged, our military must have “the appropriate structure and technological capacity, weaponry, troop strength and morale, information and intelligence capacity, and other support to meet 21st-century threats. It must remain the strongest fighting force on earth.” Even with the most capable and effective military force on earth “the asymmetric and highly political nature of major missions such as counter-insurgency and counterterrorism limits the utility of traditional capabilities. Although some of these limits are fixable with changes in doctrine, tactics, and force structure, some are fixed constraints inherent in the dynamics of these conflicts.”

In order to ensure an effective capability to protect the nation, the economy must also be strong. This is not the case. “Recent economic events serve as a stark reminder of the importance of a healthy economy for the achievement of national goals. This is not a new insight: President Eisenhower was so aware of the linkage between the economy and national security that he put Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey on the National Security Council alongside the Secretaries of State and Defense.” Economic uncertainly and weakness greatly impacts “the resources available for both public and private purposes. As a result, there will be fewer resources available to government without a significant tax increase. Second, defense needs will face increased competition from other governmental priorities. There are “opportunity costs.” Other important initiatives cannot be pursued because of the massive level of resources that will be devoted to economic stabilization and possibly to domestic initiatives generally. The result could be an almost perfect storm diverting resources away from defense.”

In fact “the massive triple deficits run up in U.S. fiscal, trade, and international financial accounts are a major source of self-inflicted economic vulnerability.”

How bad is the economy? An examination of unemployment in the United States reveals a great deal. Its impact on national security is certain, but the Constitution also calls for the government to “insure domestic tranquility . . . (and) promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.”

Not only is national security in danger, the following statistics could impact domestic tranquility and is already detracting from the blessings of liberty:

  • The unemployment rate has risen to 9.1% since January 2009 when it was 7.6%.
  • The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent. The rate has shown little change since April.
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was about unchanged at 6.0 million in August and accounted for 42.9 percent of the unemployed.
  • The average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour over the month to 34.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private non-farm payrolls edged down to 33.5 hours in August, after holding at 33.6 hours for the prior 6 months.
  • Today there are more than 44 million Americans on food stamps.
  • The national debt is is 15.7 trillion dollars. The national debt was 10.6 trillion dollars in January 2009.
  • Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3% in 2000. Last year, just 66.8% of men had jobs, the lowest on record.
  • 63% of Americans continue to feel “not good” or “bad” about the state of the U.S. economy, representing a significant increase from May 2010 when only 49% of Americans felt this gloomy. 40% of Americans view the federal government’s economic policies as the single-biggest reason for their negative feelings.

The economy is in terrible shape and a majority of Americans not only realize it, they are palpably upset over it. Unfortunately, Americans are not alone in how they feel about our nation.

Another arrow in the nation’s national security quiver is diplomacy. “Although diplomacy has its limitations, U.S. strategic interests are often best served by deftly tapping its potential for enhancing security, reducing tensions, resolving conflicts, achieving peace, and transforming adversarial relationships.”

Our strength in diplomacy often is tied to how other people see us. “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the bruising budget battles in Washington are “casting a pall” over U.S. diplomacy abroad and may hurt America’s ability to influence events at a crucial moment in the Middle East. “We have an opportunity right now in the Middle East and North Africa that I’m not sure we are going to be able to meet, because we don’t have the resources to invest in the new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia, to help the transition in Libya, to see what happens in Syria and so much else,” she said. A lack of resources is just one of her problems. Clinton said the budget battles in Washington, or, as she put it, “the sausage making,” has hurt America’s global image.”

The United States attained its place as the world’s superpower through its best resource: people. Americans are hard-working and relentlessly innovative. To carry this prized characteristic into the future requires a strong educational infrastructure. There is no doubt America leads the world in education: “Eight of the top 10 universities ranked by the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) are American. Six out of the top ten world universities under the category of Natural Sciences and Mathematics are American. Ten of of the top ten Engineering/Technology and Computer Science institutions are American. Eight out of ten for Physics. Ten out of ten for Economics and Business.”

The US higher education system is certainly top rate among the nations of the world, but “confidence in its future and its enduring value may be beginning to crack along economic lines, according to two major surveys of the American public and college presidents. he recession really has had an asymmetrical impact on higher education,” said Mr. Shi, now a senior fellow at the National Humanities Center. The system, he said, “has become fragmented between haves and have-nots.”” While college costs have been rising, family incomes have been dropping. “Ask young adults why they’re not enrolled in college or don’t have a bachelor’s degree, and the overwhelming response in the Pew survey: money.”

Clearly, we have a relatively strong educational system, but there are warning signs of its potential decline.  “In a global economy of vastly increased mobility and interdependence, our own prosperity and leadership depends increasingly on our ability to provide our citizens with the education that they need to succeed, while attracting the premier human capital for our workforce.”

The natural environment is and will continue to be very important to our nation and the world. Good stewardship of the planet is every human’s responsibility. The United States has enacted significant legislation to protect the environment to ensure its sustainability for this and current generations. However, some of this legislation is written in a way to impede the Executive Branch from its responsibility to ensure security to the homeland. One such piece of legislation is the Wilderness Act of 1964. This act declares “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Additionally, the act stipulates “Except as specifically provided for in this Act, and subject to existing private rights, there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this Act and, except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.”

A quick analysis of the Act and the land areas it covers reveals substantial border areas are legally off-limits to Departments of Homeland Security and Defense personnel from accessing this land in order to “provide for the common defense.” Arizona rancher Gary Thrasher understands the impact of the Act in its current form: “Smugglers today are more determined and potentially more violent and destructive than ever. They’ll do almost anything to protect their contraband, avoid being apprehended, and maintain “control” of their trails out of, and back into, Mexico. They’re outwardly hostile toward all U.S. law enforcement and authority, as well as rival “gangs” vying for the routes and contracts with cartels, and anyone else that might “get in their way.” Those of us that live and work in remote smuggling corridors are the most vulnerable. We are confronted with threats, damage & destruction of our property, theft, break-ins, and serious disruption of our necessary ranch work almost daily.” These gangs certainly are not concerned with violating the Wilderness Act, unfortunately the Act does require other agencies to comply with it and as a result they are not able to provide the level and depth of protection to the United States the Constitution requires and the people expect. Mr. Thrasher goes on to point out that “Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was courageous enough to visit with us personally at our ranches on the border and, guided by a rancher and mountain lion hunter, rode a pack mule into some of those inaccessible remote border areas . She was the first member of Congress to fully understand the gravity of the situation, and she’s made floor speeches in the House of Representatives trying to explain it all to you.”

Stewardship over the environment is critical. Damaging the environment can create national security issues on its own via damaging infrastructure such as trees and natural berms, however, there must be a balance between security and our duty to be good stewards of the planet.

Safeguarding the environment coupled with new technology can and does symbiotically provide for the common defense in many case. The United States is a world leader in many technologies in areas including computers, automobiles, engineering, aerospace, and energy. Great American companies like Apple Computer, Ford Motor Company, Boeing, and countless others make tremendous contributions to advancing the United States in innovation and energy efficiency every day. While the US technology industry is incredibly strong, often their innovations are manufactured outside the United States. Some US companies are buffing this trend by designing and manufacturing their products here at home. RED Digital Cinema is one example. RED builds a successful line of cameras used by the film and television industry. While not every component is made in the US the cameras and many of their components are manufactured and assembled by American workers. Additionally, RED has designed a workflow, the process of shooting, editing, and outputting a project, that reduces the cost and time to shoot, produce and present film and television projects.

It is this type of innovation America is known for.

Unfortunately the list of companies no longer manufacturing products in the US is long and US lead in technological innovation is losing ground – rapidly. According to the The Atlantic Century II: Benchmarking EU & U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Report “the United States did not rank number one as many assumed. In fact, it ranked fourth out of thirty-eight nations or regions. And the EU-15 ranked even lower, 16 percent below the United States. But the results regarding the rate of progress were even more disconcerting. The United States ranked last in improvement in international competitiveness and innovation capacity over the last decade and the EU-15 region as a whole ranked just twenty-eighth behind fourteen non-EU-15 nations, including China, Singapore, Japan, Russia, and S. Korea.”

Make no mistake, this is a significant degradation in the overall national power of the United States and its ability to meet its constitutional imperative.

In order to truly provide for the common defense, the nation must be able to respond to disasters, natural and otherwise, as well as attacks on a scale we saw on 9/11 — at a bare minimum. The people of New York City reacted bravely to the attacks on 9/11, but institutionally, the nation has proven since it is not completely able to react to disasters in a satisfactory manner. Former New York mayor Rudolph Guiliani contends the following: “Here’s the simple fact about Sept. 11 that should be emphasized over and over again from now until this 10th anniversary is over: Sept. 11 is not yet part of our history,” Giuliani said at the National Press Club last week. ‘Sept. 11 is part of our present reality.’”

In 2005 the nation was struck with another major disaster, this time it was natural, though helped along by poor planning, a lack of leadership, and a crumbling infrastructure. “Americans are rightly concerned about problems like the breach of public faith demonstrated in the inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina.”

And yet “The nation still has not equipped its first responders with inter-operational communications equipment that would allow them to communicate freely with each other when disaster strikes — even though that was the Sept. 11 Commission’s top-priority recommendation.”

According to John Robb, when describing the actions taken after Katrina, “it should have been the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that the United States had learned from 9/11 about how to quickly implement efforts that could mitigate the impact of an unexpected event. In short, everything went horribly wrong. The net result is that an American city was destroyed and may never fully recover.”

We were warned, only seven months earlier some of America’s most experienced leaders: “A direct attack against American citizens on American soil is likely over the

next quarter century. The risk is not only death and destruction but also a demoralization that could undermine U.S. global leadership. In the face of this threat, our nation has no coherent or integrated governmental structures.”

This august body could not have possibly imagined the degree of accuracy to their prophetic writings. Again, we were warned. This is not an acceptable situation. Somehow we have failed our constitutional mandate found in the Preamble, a phrase memorized by nearly every child in America. We have failed America. We have failed those children. Now is the time for true change.

The Environment the United States Must Strive to Reach

This nation has a national imperative encapsulated in the Preamble of the Constitution. “Strategic leadership requires clarity about goals. Those goals are to preserve and advance the security, liberty, and prosperity of all Americans.”

The first goal America must make and meet is economic. The nation must stabilize and grow its economy. Without a strong economy the nation cannot afford to move forward. Like any family who overspent on meaningless items, the nation must cut back on spending across the board, yet somehow afford to ensure it can maintain the common defense and react to natural disasters.

The United States must accelerate its economic activity in order to be able to have the resources necessary to provide for the common defense, meet its current debt obligations, and continue improving public and private infrastructure. Without an effort to repair the economy “the result could be an almost perfect storm diverting resources away from defense”

and improving the nation’s ability to respond to natural and man-made disasters.

The first step is simple: Americans must have jobs. A solution for this step is not simple. How did the nation go from a large manufacturing base to an alleged “knowledge base” of workers? The answer to this is simple: scaling. Innovation is part and parcel of corporate America. Unfortunately, coming up with a great idea and producing it cheaply is difficult. Engineers are always on the lookout for a solution to any and every problem. Normally this is a good thing. “The story comes to mind of an engineer who was to be executed by guillotine. The guillotine was stuck, and custom required that if the blade didn’t drop, the condemned man was set free. Before this could happen, the engineer pointed with excitement to a rusty pulley, and told the executioner to apply some oil there. Off went his head.” This story is told by Intel founder Andrew Grove. Grove points out that Foxconn, a Taiwan-based company, “employs over 800,000 people, more than the combined worldwide head count of Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Sony.” What does Foxconn produce? Microsoft’s XBox 360, Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPods, Intel’s motherboards” and more. The very engineers that innovated these great products plan on having their innovations made in China or Taiwan or Mexico or Brazil. What they do not innovate is how to scale and manufacture here in the United States.

We know from RED Digital Cinema that high tech equipment can be manufactured in the United States. They planned for it. Grove points out that this is a paradigm shift that must occur to bring manufacturing back to the United States. Executives and engineers must plan for their innovations to be conceived, designed, and manufactured within our borders with a goal towards supplying the domestic market, but more importantly to export those same products to ensure a much a stronger economy. This is not rocket science. It is common sense. The challenge is incentivizing companies to manufacture in the homeland.

Andy Grove suggests an import tax, even if it means a trade war. This might work, minus the trade war, on items we can legally tax through tariffs. This tax must be set aside to provide infrastructure and capability to scale manufacturing at home. However, there are many other ways to entice companies to build within the nation’s borders. A first step would be to lower the corporate income tax rate for companies with greater than 85% manufacturing within the United States to a maximum of 10%. Additionally, companies who have large amounts of capital stored overseas to avoid paying a higher corporate income tax within the United States should be given a “tax holiday” with no tax at all on repatriated dollars, with one catch, the repatriated dollars must be used to increase their US manufacturing capacity to a total of 85% of their worldwide manufacturing output. What if they do no manufacturing? They will not benefit, but could choose to make acquisitions of companies that do manufacture or develop their own manufacturing. The service industry does not need help because it does not typically make a product that is exportable, however, a similar corporate tax reduction should be made available to retailers who sell at least 50% American made products. This will incentivize these companies to manufacture at home and export because the profits they earn on exports would be tax-free as long as they were certified at the 85% manufacturing rate. Retailers would be encouraged to find and procure American made products and in turn sell them domestically. These companies would employ millions of US workers, simultaneously working at balancing trade, and innovation would be handsomely rewarded because scaling would be practical and profitable in the homeland.

Switzerland is an example of how innovation and lower tax rates can lead to greater economic prosperity and diversity. “Innovative products ranging from pharmaceuticals and instant espresso capsules from Nestle are driving an export boom and helping the Swiss maintain a positive balance of trade, contrasted with our trade deficit of $50.2 billion in May. Corporate tax rates and labor laws are contributing to Switzerland’s success. Archer Daniels Midland relocated its European headquarters with the primary attractions being the relatively lower corporate tax rates (8.5 percent versus 35 percent in the United States) and at-will hiring laws in Switzerland. Switzerland has a 2.9 percent unemployment rate versus 9.2 percent in our own country.”

The United States can achieve full employment. No amount of tax increases, spending cuts or any other activity will provide the foundation required to ensure the national security of the nation. These are only a few ideas, there are more and they must be cultivated, analyzed and implemented to ensure our people are fully employed. That does bring up one additional thought. The Preamble of the Constitution charges the government with many responsibilities, but “We the People” inherently must play a role. Americans must endeavor to buy American. If American products are not available, they must demand them. The leadership of this nation must convey this seemingly simple concept, but the people must act on it. If the people refuse to buy clothing made overseas, for example, then it stands to reason the marketplace will innovate and figure out how to make products profitably and yet affordable for the domestic market. Jobs must be the prevailing focus of this nation if we are to ensure our future.

Diplomacy is a powerful and often underutilized component of national power. As stated earlier US diplomatic power has been weakened. As in any relationship rebuilding trust can be very difficult, but it is not impossible. One method militaries around the world have used to build strong relationships is the employment of Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs).  “CSBMs aim to lessen tensions by increasing transparency of capabilities and intentions, allaying anxieties or suspicions and improving predictability for the parties involved, clarifying intentions about military force and political activities. CSBMs are meant to give each participant confidence that the other(s) is not preparing military action, providing a way to avoid misunderstandings about ambiguous events, policies, or perceived threats that otherwise might result in violent confrontations. A series of CSBMs creates an ongoing set of political exchange relationships and reciprocities that result in “political learning” among the rival parties”

and even allies. An excellent, though relatively unknown CSBM is the Treaty on Open Skies. “The concept of “mutual aerial observation” was initially proposed to Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin at the Geneva Conference of 1955 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower; however, the Soviets promptly rejected the concept and it lay dormant for several years.” The treaty was reintroduced by President George H.W. Bush in 1989 and was adopted in 1992 with final ratification in 2002.

The treaty allows the 34 member states to overfly each other’s nations with each other in the same, treaty-certified aircraft. Additionally, the treaty has allowed for use of the various Open Skies aircraft to participate in humanitarian missions and even has provisions for extending the treaty’s scope to include environmental monitoring. The treaty partners have generally had great success at developing relationships with many of the nations sharing aircraft in a congenial environment. Treaty partners have also extended the concept of the treaty to non-member states as a method to cool down potential hot spots including the Bosnian-Serb-Croatian conflict and the Middle East. When the treaty was too costly for implementation within the former Yugoslavia, alternative measures were developed using simple hand-held cameras, in lieu of larger aerial framing cameras, on board standard military helicopters instead of purpose built or modified fixed wing aircraft.

Similar efforts are carried out by the Peace Corps and the Department of State’s Civilian Response Corps. According to Secretary of State Hilary R. Clinton “with the right tools, training, and leadership, our diplomats and development experts can defuse crises before they explode. Creating new opportunities for advancing democracy, promoting sustainable economic growth, and strengthening the rule of law in fragile states are all overlapping and mutually reinforcing endeavors. They cut across bureaus and offices and agencies. They demand not just the skills of our State Department diplomats and USAID development experts, but also the expertise of civilian specialists across the U.S. Government.”

Again, these are only examples, but these types of measures must be fully funded, developed, continued and promoted. When appropriate, they can potentially help avoid conflict altogether and enhance the nation’s standing within the world community, while creating experience and leadership that can be used at home during natural or man-made disasters.

America must answers one simple question about education: does every American have to graduate from a four year college or university? The military trains people for specific skill sets and provides additional training and education when required with a “just in time” approach for development of its required workforce. Perhaps more effort and focus should be on what companies and institutions really need instead of a “peanut butter spread” approach stating everyone must have a college degree or conversely needs little or no training. Does a software code writer need a bachelor’s degree? What if they had adequate training in software development and as they progressed, they worked towards a full degree? Should the focus be on assessing the nation’s needs and developing incentives to meet those needs vs. the “one size fits all approach” where high school graduates are either pushed towards a 4 year degree or into the workforce? Why not a middle ground where students looked at a menu of what skills a given geographical area requires and then attend school and works towards the appropriate level of education? If they end up on a management track, perhaps the employee would attend school to attain the additional skills necessary. There will always be students who go straight through college and even pursue more esoteric educations, but the fundamental bottom line is priorities in resources must be established with a strategy to provide the workers needed to develop and support an export economy. The nation requires labor skill sets to ensure supremacy in innovation, production and satisfaction for employees and profitability for industry. This will an academic version of “guns vs. butter.”

This approach is controversial. Many university “presidents, however, appear to balk at a more jobs-oriented approach to education. The largest share of respondents to the Pew/Chronicle survey identified promoting intellectual growth as the primary role for colleges to play, prizing it over general workplace skills or specific career training. (Unsurprisingly, community colleges, for-profits, and even less-selective institutions saw a greater role for job preparation.)”  This is a matter of national priority that ought to play in meeting economic needs and aspirations, says Travis J. Reindl, program director for postsecondary education at the National Governors Association. It does no good, he argues, if a state’s higher-education institutions are turning out bachelor’s degrees, when more community-college training is demanded. “If we’re not producing what we need,” Mr. Reindl says, “then 10 years down the road, there could be a real crisis of confidence.”

Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask and to answer “am I worth dying for?

This is a question “We the People” needs to ask of themselves. As stated earlier, unequivocally, this nation is at war. “America is not at war. The Marine Corps is at war. America is at the mall.” So says the message in a photo floating around the Internet.”

While support for the military has never been higher in recent memory, if our service members feel like the public is not involved, perhaps that should change. Yellow ribbon magnets and lapel pins, while a nice gesture, do not give the average member of public ownership in the many conflicts stated above nor in the current economic situation. During World War Two, America was at war. The economy was mobilized. Clearly we do not require full economic mobilization, but we do need every American actively involved contributing to our overarching national security goals.

On board the USS Bowfin in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, visitors see an iconic poster from World War Two stating simply “Fight or Buy Bonds!” Americans need to have a stake in the many conflicts its service members are involved in, as well as gaining control over the national debt. Senator Ben Nelson has a clear vision on getting Americans involved directly with the war effort: “I believe that we need shared sacrifice and fiscal discipline in financing the war effort,” Nelson said in a statement. “I don’t believe our first instinct should always be a rush to tax. The government has gone to great lengths to address the economic downturn and adding new taxes right now could undermine those efforts.” He introduced legislation in 2009 modeled after World War Two war bonds. Senator Nelson is on the right track. Every American should be encouraged to buy war bonds. Some Americans would not be able to overcome the “war” title and for them, a similar effort should be made to offer bonds specifically designed to contribute to paying off the national debt, buying it back from foreign entities and owned by Americans instead. These two bond programs could make a dent in the cost of the ongoing war against Islamic Jihadists and to ensure our military retains the power it requires to defend the nation and in giving individual Americans a true stake in defending the nation.

Since the 9/11 attacks Americans have known about either the “Global War on Terror” or “Overseas Contingency Operations,” but neither description helps Americans understand the nexus of the issue. Past terrorist groups had fairly narrow aims, it might be to hijack an aircraft to go to a given country or to make a political statement. The United States is fighting a determined enemy, one whose goal is nothing short of world domination, steeped in fascism, will to carry out the most violent possible attacks against all people not dedicated their particular brand of religion, and one who has a nearly limitless supply of resources. This group is not Muslim, they are radical Jihadists. They are presenting the West with a radical belief system which cares nothing about individual, minority, nor religious rights. In fact, they reject any sort of pluralism. It is the Jihadist way or certain death.

Western ideologues and many academic elites refuse to believe any human could have such a twisted view on humanity. They teach society that these terrorists are either upset at their financial status in the world or feel harmed by by American policies toward them. Nothing is farther from the truth. The ideological divide between the radical Jihadists and the Free World must be crystal clear. The threat is existential.

The first step in directly fighting this foe must be to relay accurate information to the American public and those around the world, including the majority of the Muslim world, who wants freedom and democracy. First, it must be clear these terrorists, the radical Jihadists, is conducting an all-out war with an aim of taking down twenty-one Arab states and many more Muslim governments. Their goal is to establish a caliphate. This caliphate would reject western law, very much like was done in Afghanistan and what is happening in Iran and Sudan at this time. This war must make some clear definitions:

  1. This war is waged by global Jihadists;
  2. This war targets civil societies and human rights around the globe;
  3. The Jihadists are aimed at world domination;
  4. This war threatens international security and peace.

This conflict is not with Muslims. It is fighting radical Jihadists who would seek the repression of any sect of Islam not aligned with their beliefs. The Jihadists have actively waged a campaign to conceal its true intentions. The Jihadists have succeeded in convincing many corners of the world that their actions are a direct result of “social inequalities” and that they are “weak and disenfranchised.” This is simply not true, they cannot tolerate anyone believing differently from them. Moreover, the fuel for the engine of this terror is just that, fuel in the form of oil. Every drop of oil purchased around the world has the potential to benefit these terrorists directly.

Our current political culture is drowning in bad information. Americans must rise and put pressure on the press to reveal the true intentions of the Jihadists or at least present both sides of the story.

Right now, we are being defeated by these Jihadists and unfortunately many of our nation’s elite professors are aiding and abetting these enemies of the state through blinding promoting the propaganda machine perpetrated by the Jihadists. Just like the imperative to bulid and buy American, this nation has an imperative to understand the goals of these Jihadists with such clarity as to bring their true intentions out of the darkness and into the light.

It may take some time but if the public is not satisfied with the analysis of its news media it must do its part and rise up and demand the truth.

Even with the best information, a solid economy, improved diplomatic relations, and improved technological and military capability, the nation must still be able to respond to terrorist attacks and natural disasters. These events are not known and are difficult to predict, in fact impossible to predict. “Security within the twenty-first century will require a new balance between wealth creation and safety. To build a solution, we need to start with the assumption that we don’t know what the next threat will be. We are vulnerable because we don’t know, and our vulnerability is actually increased because we don’t know.”

The nation’s efforts at responding to these attacks and natural disasters must be decentralized. Through organizations like FEMA, US Northern Command, and the individual states, much more must be done to develop better communication and responsiveness. Moreover, these efforts must be regionalized requiring paradigm shifts. One size will not fit all. All components of national, state, and local power must be able to work closely together without bureaucratic impediments such as security classifications. Methods will be developed to allow efficient sharing of information to ensure the best possible reaction to any given event. Additionally, it is clear our infrastructure is too vulnerable to either attack or natural disaster. Serious efforts must be made toward individual energy independence so that an attack or disaster does not render a region inoperable. The technology to accomplish this exists, though it could use refinement and needs to be mass produced within this nation. “This critical change should allow any individual on the network to become both a producer and a consumer of the product. Transforming the power system into a platform will have substantial effect on our resilience and survivability.”

The ideas presented regarding electrical transmission, backup and redundancy should be equally be adapted to communication and other infrastructures as well. The infrastructure of the United States must stand alone, dependent on no other nation with the resilience of Hydra, as one part is attacked, others spring up in its place to replace it.

In order to accomplish many of these ideas, and some that will follow, the nation will need significant improvements in its technology base. Innovation will have to be applied to manufacturing processes, developing complete energy independence, and building hardened infrastructure characterized by resilience and redundancies.  Our nation is filled with innovators such as Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, and many others. If improvements and efficiencies are made to our education system we can multiply innovation. Innovation cannot be mandated, but the government will need to provide incentives and remove hurdles to encourage it. The United States has a history of doing what was considered impossible. We reach back to sending a man to the Moon for inspiration. We need that inspiration to rebuild our economy and provide it the technological tools to do so. The government cannot do the work, but it can enable it. This must be a national imperative.

The nation’s military force is remarkably strong, but it is stressed. As laid out in the “Current Environment” section, it requires basic attention to recapitalize and rebuild what has been lost, damaged, and used during the many conflicts the United States has been in within the last decade. On the whole, it is a strong force. As we consider reconstitution, now is the time for the Departments of Defense, State and Homeland Security to examine current strategies and be better prepared to react to man-made and natural disasters, as well as conventional and irregular warfare. Why mention the other departments beyond Defense? Because the United States and its armed forces have made three major mistakes in past conflicts:

1. They have confused military with strategic success. The former is about defeating an enemy, the latter about using defeat to advance goals of policy.

2. They confuse combat with war. There is far more to war than combat. Success will depend on how holistic an understanding of war has been adopted.

3. They neglect the timeless maxim that war is about peace, not itself. War is an instrument of policy, not a sporting event.

U.S. Air Force Colonel Brad A. Bredenkamp reports in a paper he wrote “despite calls by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to increase funding for the State Department and other civilian agencies; interagency capacity to mentor in the areas of governance, justice, economic development, reconstruction, and security sector reform remains inadequate. Military support for these missions in non-permissive environments is essential, but the skills to conduct them are lacking.”  Colonel Bradenkamp is well versed in this topic, after the Army, Marines and Special Operations Forces (SOF) were severely strained, he and a group of Air Force and Navy officers formed the first Provincial Reconstruction Teams based on General Purpose Forces (GPF). “Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) perform stability operations aimed at enhancing the host nation’s capacity for governance, justice, security, economic development, and reconstruction . . . General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, made similar comments in a Foreign Policy magazine interview. “…you’ve always got to be thinking not just about the conventional forms of combat…but also about the stability and support component. Otherwise, successes in conventional combat may be undermined by unpreparedness for the operations often required in their wake.” The United States is aware of this requirement, now the entire apparatus of national power must take the work of the “Whole of Government” PRT approach and build it into its repertoire of capability. It will not be ad hoc in the future, it will be a deliberately planned capability involving the Whole of Government, SOF and GPFs, and Non Governmental Organizations when appropriate.

Beyond ensuring strong and decisive national power, the United States must understand its current fight much better, just as we provide this information to the public and the world, we must exercise national power to defeat the Jihadists who want to, at a minimum, control the Middle East and potentially the world. To do this the nation must understand its largest threats and be prepared to deter them, and failing that deterrence be able to overcome these threats. Traditionally, military strategists examine the enemy’s Center of Gravity (COG) because everyone has a COG which Clausewitz describes as “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends.”

That COG for Jihadists is oil.

“It has been clear for the last two decades that American and Western policies intended to counter Jihadi terror have been weakened under pressure from the oil regimes and interests. Western economies and the perceived well-being of North American and Western European societies . . . have actually aided the forces of terror and allowed them to gain time, power, and position. The concern has been, going back to the “attack on the USS Cole in 1999: There must be no retaliatory measures against the Jihadist movement as a whole or the ideology of Jiahdism, or else the flow of oil to the United States and the West will be affected.”

The United States will analyze and assess how best to stem the flow of petro dollars to Jihadists and other actors who support terrorism. The United States will actively reduce with a goal of eliminating the flow of resources to the Jihadists. To do this, the United States will need to selectively purchase petroleum products from nations with no ties, which will be determined by the Director of National Intelligence with proposed Congressional oversight, and through innovations. These innovations can and will contribute to other goals in the overall National Security Strategy, namely creating jobs through the manufacture of vehicles and products which reduce the use of imported energy in general, and from potential supporters of Jihadists in particular. Whether these innovations are fuel efficient vehicles, individual power sources on the majority of American homes and businesses via solar or other alternative energy means, or by opening up greater access to domestic oil, we will become energy independent. The United States will enact a national program with the decisiveness and intensity found in the Apollo Program. This will be the overarching national imperative: cut the flow of resources in any way necessary to Jihadists. By doing so, the United States will create and innovate new technologies which will add to our the goal of achieving an export economy. The investment in the instruments of national power will once again benefit the economy instead of draining it.

The United States through careful analysis of its current situation, a thorough analysis of the likely future and by development and execution of the above strategies, can ensure it meets its obligations to the Constitution including providing for the common defense; moreover, the nation will be able to deter aggression, while advancing its worldwide interests. We will not fail our children nor the requirements laid out by the Constitution any longer.

1 Gary Hart and Warren B. Rudman, Road Map For National Security: Imperative For Change (Washington, DC: United States Government, 2001), 9, (accessed September 11, 2011).

2 Walid Phares, The Confrontation: Winning the War Against Future Jihad (0), iBooks. (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 35-36.

3 Constitution of the United States (Little Books of Wisdom) (Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 1995), 1.

4 Stephen J. Griffin, “The National Security Constitution and the Bush Administration,” Yale Law Journal (March 25, 2011): (accessed September 11, 2011).

5 George W. Bush, Letter to Congress On American Campaign Against Terrorism (Washington DC: Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, 2011), 1, (accessed September 11, 2011).

6 Constitution of the United States (Little Books of Wisdom) (Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 1995), 12.

7 David J. Barron and Martin S. Lederman, “The Commander in Chief at the Lowest Ebb: A Constitutional History,” Harvard Law Review 121, no. 4 (February 2008): 1039-40, (accessed September 11, 2011).

8 Constitution of the United States (Little Books of Wisdom) (Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 1995), 6-8.

9 Ibid, 8.

10 United States Code Title 50, Section 404a, in the United States Code, (accessed September 11, 2011).

11 Gary Hart and Warren B. Rudman, Road Map For National Security: Imperative For Change (Washington, DC: United States Government, 2001), viii, (accessed September 11, 2011).

12 “Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project,”, (accessed September 11, 2011).

13 “Fy2010 Budget Request Summary Justification,” Department of Defense Comptroller, (accessed September 11, 2011).

14 Wikipedia, s.v. “Horn of Africa: Operation Enduring Freedom,” (accessed September 11, 2011).

15 Wikipedia, s.v. “Operation Enduring Freedom: Philippines,” (accessed September 11, 2011).

16 Wikipedia, s.v. “Operation Enduring Freedom: Transsahara,” (accessed September 11, 2011).

17 “Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project,”, (accessed September 11, 2011).

18 Wikipedia, s.v. “Full Spectrum Dominance,” (accessed September 11, 2011).

19 Global Firepower, in the Global Firepower database, (accessed September 11, 2011).

20 “Department of Defense News,”, (accessed September 11, 2011).

21 Wikipedia, s.v. “Air Force Space Command,” (accessed September 11, 2011).

22 “Strong National Defense: The Armed Forces America Needs and What They Will,” The Heritage Foundation, (accessed September 11, 2011).

23 Anne-Marie Slaughter et al., “Brookings Framework For a 21st Century National Security Strategy: Strategic Leadership,” Council on Foreign Relations (July 2008): 16-17, (accessed August 30, 2011).

24 John Allen Williams, “Special Report: The Global Economic Crisis and U.S. National Strategy,” National Strategy Forum, (accessed September 11, 2011).

25 Anne-Marie Slaughter et al., “Brookings Framework For a 21st Century National Security Strategy: Strategic Leadership,” Council on Foreign Relations (July 2008): 19, (accessed August 30, 2011).

26 Constitution of the United States (Little Books of Wisdom) (Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 1995), 1.

27 “The Employment Situation – August 2011,” The Bureau of Labor Statistics, (accessed September 11, 2011).

28 “SNAP Current Participation,” United States Department of Agriculture, (accessed September 11, 2011).

29 “Consolidated Balance Sheet Bureau of the Public Debt / Debt,” Treasury Direct dot Gov, (accessed September 11, 2011).

30 Dennis Cauchon, “More Americans Leaving the Workforce,” USA Today, April 15, 2011. (accessed September 11, 2011).

31 “Press Releases,” ALIX Partners, (accessed September 11, 2011).

32 Anne-Marie Slaughter et al., “Brookings Framework For a 21st Century National Security Strategy: Strategic Leadership,” Council on Foreign Relations (July 2008): 15, (accessed August 30, 2011).

33 Michele Kelemen, “Hillary Clinton: U.S. Diplomacy Is Stretched Thin,” KQED, August 16, 2011. (accessed September 11, 2011).

34 “Academic Ranking of World Universities,” ARWU, (accessed September 11, 2011).

35 Karin Fischer, “Crisis of Confidence Threatens Colleges,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 15, 2011. (accessed September 11, 2011).

36 Anne-Marie Slaughter et al., “Brookings Framework For a 21st Century National Security Strategy: Strategic Leadership,” Council on Foreign Relations (July 2008): 29, (accessed August 30, 2011).

37 United States Code Title 16, Section 1131, in the United States Code, (accessed September 11, 2011).

38 Hugh Holub, “Battle Lines Drawn–protect the Environment? Or Protect National Security?” Tucson, July 8, 2011. (accessed September 11, 2011).

39 Thomas Pindelski, “Brad Liber and the Red Digital Camera,” Photographs, Photographers, and Photography, entry posted July 14, 2011, (accessed September 11, 2011).

40 Robert D. Atkinson and Scott M. Andes, “The Atlantic Century Ii: Benchmarking Eu,” ITIF (July19, 2011): 1., (accessed September 11, 2011).

41 Jerry Zremski, “In Post-9/11 America, Complex New Realities,” Buffalo News, September 11, 2011. (accessed September 11, 2011).

42 Anne-Marie Slaughter et al., “Brookings Framework For a 21st Century National Security Strategy: Strategic Leadership,” Council on Foreign Relations (July 2008): 20.

43 Jerry Zremski, “In Post-9/11 America, Complex New Realities,” Buffalo News, September 11, 2011. (accessed September 11, 2011).

44 John Robb, Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization (Hoboken: Wiley, 2008), 160.

45 Gary Hart and Warren B. Rudman, Road Map For National Security: Imperative For Change (Washington, DC: United States Government, 2001), viii, (accessed September 11, 2011).

46 Anne-Marie Slaughter et al., “Brookings Framework For a 21st Century National Security Strategy: Strategic Leadership,” Council on Foreign Relations (July 2008): 13.

47 John Allen Williams, “Special Report: The Global Economic Crisis and U.S. National Strategy,” National Strategy Forum, (accessed September 11, 2011).

48 Andrew Grove, “How American Can Create Jobs,” Newsweek, July 1, 2010, page nr. (accessed September 7, 2011).

49 Mark Zupan, “How to Create Jobs: Lessons from Switzerland,” Huffington Post, entry posted August 9, 2011, (accessed September 12, 2011).

50 “Toolbox: 5. Military Measures,” Conflict Prevention, (accessed September 9, 2011).

51 “Open Skies,” Defense Threat Reduction Agency, (accessed September 12, 2011).

52 “Civilian Response Corps,” Department of State, (accessed September 9, 2011).

53 Karin Fischer, “Crisis of Confidence Threatens Colleges,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (May 15, 2011) (accessed September 09, 2011).

54 “Eleanor Roosevelt’s Words,” Honoring Eleanor Roosevelt: A Project to Preserve Her Val-Kill Home, (accessed September 09, 2011).

55 Van Herl, letter to the editor, Marines Times, April 16, 2007. (accessed September 15, 2011).

56 Michael O’Brien, “Sen. Nelson Introduces War Bonds Bill to Finance Military in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Hill, December 8, 2009. (accessed September 09, 2011).

57 Phares, 33-36.

58 Ibid, 50, 51.

59 Ibid, 55.

60 Ibid, 76.

61 Ibid, 83.

62 Robb, 152-164.

63 Ibid, 174-175

64Colin S. Gray, Another bloody century: future warfare (London: WN, 2007), 189.

65 Brad M. Bradenkamp, “Taking the Long View Towards the Long War: Equipping General Purpose Force Leaders with Soft Power Tools For Irregular Warfare” (diss., Air War College, 2009), 1-2.

66 Jan L. Rueschoff and Jonathon P. Dunne, “Centers of Gravity from the “inside Out”,” Joint Forces Quarterly 60, no. 1 (2011): 121, (accessed September 9, 2011).

67 Phares, 180-183.


This excellent video was put together and featured on Motofinity to answer Chrysler’s admittedly well produced, but somewhat disingenuous Super Bowl ad.

“The big three are back! Detroit’s shaking things up again!” So much is wrong with those two statements.

First, Ford never left, and we’ve whipped up a commercial to answer Eminem and “Chevy Runs Deep,” since it seems that Ford is practicing a lot of discretion on the matter.

Neither of these companies is making a comeback. You can’t make a comeback when you get bought by another company or go bankrupt to be absolved of your debts and re-emerge as a “new” company.

Ford doesn’t have to make a comeback – because it has been here for 108 years. Ford’s lineup is the sharpest it’s been in decades, and this is due to prescient leadership, from Alan Mulally down.

military personnel appropriation (MPA) – Money budgeted by the Active Duty Military to fund reservists brought on active duty to fill real-world requirements.

Operations IRAQI FREEDOM  and ENDURING FREEDOM put unusual stresses on all aspects of how the Department of Defense conducts its operations, not just in the war zone, but also at home.  On any given day, home stations (these could be in the US or US bases located in foreign countries) have a responsibility to carry out their mission of training, equipping and maintaining all of their resources.  After all, airplanes, vehicles break, become obsolete and require continual maintenance.  When it comes to obsolescence, there is a complex process involved bringing new systems from either a battlefield requirement or gee-whiz idea to a fully operational weapon system.  All of this requires people.  And lots of them.

On a good day, in peace time, keeping the world’s most advanced and powerful military ready to defend America and her allies is a daunting task.  When multiple hot spots around the world are thrown in, the system gets stressed, sometimes to the breaking point.  Enter America’s reserve force.

In order to meet its obligations the nation’s Armed Services have come to rely on Citizen Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Marines to either help get the job done at home or go forward to the battlefield and get the mission accomplished there.  But these are severely fiscally constrained times.

Already the pundits are dreaming of large Peace Dividends.

“With the withdrawal of its military forces in Iraq already under way and increasing talk of winding down operations in Afghanistan, the United States is poised to reap a “peace dividend.

But it won’t rival the one after the end of the cold war – a 40 percent drop in real defense spending during most of the 1990s, saving hundreds of billions of dollars. It won’t even be as big as the Obama administration expects, defense budget experts say.

The two wars are budgeted to cost $159 billion in fiscal 2011, which starts next October. That’s down a tad from 2010. From fiscal 2012 to 2015, the administration pegs the cost at $50 billion a year. But the US won’t really save $100 billion a year.

“That’s not realistic … not likely to happen even if everything goes as well as planned,” says Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington think tank. The $50 billion is a “placeholder,” a number neither the Defense Department nor outsiders can estimate given the uncertainties of war and political stabilization.”  By David R. Francis / March 29, 2010, The Christian Science Monitor

The problem remains — America is involved in major conflict, yet the nation is burdened with incredible debt and something has to be done.  There is no doubt every branch of the US Government is being pressed to trim budgets.  Enter the Military Personnel Appropriation Day.

An easy target to reduce spending, immediately, is to “curtail” the orders of Reservists on MPA tours.  This has happened in a large and abrupt way.  Thousands of Reservists were notified last week that they would no longer be needed and should “polish their resumes” and begin looking for civilian work.  In some cases, these Reservists will return to civilian jobs they already have, but in many cases they are basically becoming unemployed.

Of course they’ll receive time to transition to their new civilian careers, well, not really. In order to accomplish an MPA tour, many military units require its Reservists to lump their Reserve time, you might call it one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer, all together in October.  This means, they’re not actually on Active Duty, rather they’re fulfilling “inactive duty training” requirements.  Typically many Reservists don’t start their MPA tours until the end of October every year (the Government’s year runs October to October).

This means these Reservists have been using their Reserve days, something they would normally space out across a calendar year, in anticipation of going on Active Duty for the remainder of the year.  Now many have been told they won’t be put on Active Duty at all, with virtually no notice.

The cuts have been draconian.  In some cases as many as 90% of man days have been cut.

Reserve man days are an easy target.  Reservists will go quietly into the night searching for work.  It’s not in their nature to stand up and ask the question “where’s my severance or support as I look for a job?  After all, I’ve served the nation and suddenly I’m an easy budget cut?”  Estimates for savings to the government by cutting thousands of Reservists are significant, probably in the hundreds of millions of dollars. An Active Duty Colonel was overheard saying “this is one day I’m not proud to serve.”  Many of his fellow Active Duty service members feel the same way. The Colonel knows what this action could mean to people who have made it possible for his mission to accomplished: unemployment, food stamps, foreclosures, possibly homelessness.  For the Active Duty force it means some part of their mission will “fall to the floor” and simply not get done.

Reservists understand their full-time work should be in the Civilian world, but the Active Duty asked for and truly needed their help.  Reservists are Patriots and many would prefer being in uniform to ensure our nation’s security. It’s truly that simple.  Little did they know the economy would crumble and unemployment would be at its highest in decades.

If you’re an HR person and you see a flood of resumes from Reservists come through, give them a second look.  You have no idea the sacrifices they’ve made for our nation and the abrupt nature of their release from government service.

By a Guest Contributor

The “long war” of today’s era poses challenges very different than those experienced by America during the numerous wars that populate her history.  These new challenges require not only a global strategic view and state-of-the-art military technologies, but also fresh approaches to engage a society far removed from the fight.  The ability of the United States to effectively resource this “long war” is predicated on changing its domestic strategy to rally the essential popular support.

Iraqi Army Soldiers at Checkpoint in Hit, Iraq (Copyright 2010 The PowerProcessor)

Although America is seasoned in global conflicts, the centerpiece of this war is fueled by radical ideology, not of conquering land or resources that normally define international competition.   Usama bin Laden’s Declaration of Jihad states “to kill the Americans and their allies—civilians and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do.” The tragedies of September 11th demonstrated the fervor for which these radicals are determined to carry out their mission.  One generation removed from Pearl Harbor, most Americans experienced for the very first time the violence and violation felt when attacked on home soil.  The unmistakable targeting of the innocent and unarmed was horrifying and resulted in a short-term revitalization of long-lost national pride.  But in reality, very few people were impacted personally…the lives of most Americans after that day remained unaltered.  Because our self-centered, daily routines have not been challenged, neither has our individual or collective (national) sense of duty and sacrifice.

World Trade Center Memorial

A child touches a Fireman's bag from the 9/11 attack by Al Qaeda (Copyright 2010 The PowerProcessor)

Democracies historically have difficulty maintaining unified support for protracted wars.  It was the intent of both the Japanese and the North Vietnamese (and surely our current ideological foes) to wear us down by inflicting so much blood, expense, and time as to lose popular support.  But this popular support most often is directly correlated with economic support to fund war operations.  In sharp contrast to the reluctance of today’s leaders to tap into that resource pool, national pride was a primary spring for funding World War II.  In addition to the daily sacrifices and rationing imposed during WW II, President Roosevelt reached out directly to each American when he was hard-pressed to keep paying for military operations.  Through a much-publicized war bond campaign (which included bringing back the three surviving Mt. Suribachi flag-raisers to inspire further public giving), more than 85 million Americans – half of the population – purchased bonds totaling $185.7 billion.

LIberty Bond from World War Two

The recent economic crisis has further created a sense of “isolationism” from the individual accountability we have toward the war effort.  When a family is fraught to keep its home or put food on the table, the natural instinct is to focus inwardly.  And this fear spreads from community to community when the uncertainty of the future is questioned.  This personal (and national) detachment is further intensified as the events of 9-11 fade into distant memory.  The battle victories achieved in our current wars aren’t celebrated with parades.  They are victories of “preclusion”, the clandestine thwarting of terrorist activities before tragedy occurs.  The combination of these factors results in a narrowed world view and disinterest towards circumstances overseas, especially those with a lost connection to our personal lives.

As the duration of both current wars surpasses our previous records, we must become even more aggressive in engaging both the popular and financial support required to sustain our troops.  In return, government officials and military leaders must be more diligent in areas of fiscal and operational efficiency.  The financial cost to deploy a soldier or Marine in theater for one year is over $1M, and this huge sum cannot be passively “rolled up” and passed along to future generations.  We need to better align our defense budget so we can prioritize the spending and invest more wisely.  Because even though the financial costs of war are high, they are not comparable to the price of a warrior’s life lost unnecessarily because we have ignored the critical condition of our planes, ships, vehicles, weapons, and technology for far too long.

The United States’ ability to resource the “long war” must start with forging some manner of national consensus and rallying popular support at the grass roots level.  With troop levels and casualties rising, the American public is experiencing “war fatigue”.  It will become increasingly difficult to persuade Americans that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can be won, or are worth the human and financial costs.  But we cannot allow our growing preoccupation with domestic concerns sway commitment to our global strategy – or our commitment to the thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who have borne the “overwhelming burden of our security”.