2012 Robert Steele: Addressing the Seven Sins of Foreign Policy — Why Defense, Not State, Is the Linch Pin for Global Engagement
Short Persistent URL: http://tinyurl.com/Kerry-Flournoy
I wrote this with John Kerry and Michele Flourney in mind, but regardless of who is eventually made Secretary of Defense, the core concept remains: the center of gravity for massive change in the US Government and in the nature of how the US Government ineracts with the rest of the world, lies within the Department of Defense, not the Department of State.
John Kerry, Global Engagement, and National Integrity
It troubles me that John Kerry is resisting going to Defense when he can do a thousand times more good there instead of sitting at State being, as Madeline Albright so famously put it, a “gerbil on a wheel.” Defense is the center of gravity for the second Obama Administration, and the one place where John Kerry can truly make a difference. Appoint Michele Flournoy as Deputy and his obvious replacement down the road, and you have an almost instant substantive make-over of Defense. Regardless of who ends up being confirmed, what follows is a gameplan for moving DoD away from decades of doing the wrong things righter, and toward a future of doing the right things affordably, scalably, and admirably.
Let me first dismiss the fiscal cliff. We do not have a fiscal cliff. We have an integrity chasm. The Automated Payment Transaction (APT) Tax [mentioned in Bill Bradley's latest book We Can All Do Better (Vanguard, 2012)] would allow the Speaker of the House to eliminate ALL other taxes beginning with income taxes; end all borrowing; and still reap $4 trillion a year to pay for the recapitalization of our human resources, our infrastructure, and our national security—at all three levels of governance (federal, state, local). Since the APT Tax would end the use of the tax code and regulations as a means of extorting money from special interests, I recommend that in the same legislation we double salaries for all Members at the same time that we pass full public financing for all elections at all levels…throw in the The Chicago Plan Revisited and the Electoral Reform Act of 2013 and Barack Obama will be remembered as the man who equaled George Washington in our darkest modern hour. All this is context.
Now to Defense. The “seven sins of foreign policy” as my colleague Loch Johnson calls them in a book by that title, are all rooted within Defense, and it is at Defense, not State, where our renaissance must begin.
01. Ignorance. The U.S. Intelligence Community is a failure. At a cost of over $70 billion a year, it provides 4% “at best” of what the President or a major commander needs, and nothing for everyone else. We must fund the Open Source Agency (OSA) as recommended by the 9/11 Commission on pages 23 and 413, but under Presidential auspices, using non-reimbursable Program 50 funds as the OSA will set the gold standard for decision-support to Defense policy, acquisition, and operations, and also inform Whole of Government policy, acquisition, and operations. It would not only do Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) but nurture all of the opens – over fifty of them – that I address in my most recent book, THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust (North Atlantic Books, 2012).
02. Executive Branch Dominance. The OSA will permit, for the first time, provision of the same unclassified decision-support to each Congressional jurisdiction as is provided to the supported elements of the Executive. This purposeful actionable decision-support can also be shared with the public, the media, and foreign coalition partners–the transparency this provides will greatly reduce unethical ideologically-driven or financially-corrupt decisions by both the Executive and within the Legislature–at all three levels of governance.
03. Excessive Emphasis on the Military. Since I ghost-wrote “Global Intelligence Challenges of the 1990’s” for General Al Gray, USMC (1989), and led the publication of Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World (MCCDC, 1990), I have known that we need four forces after next, not one: a Big War Force; a Small War Force, a Peace Force; and a Homeland Force. They are not inter-changeable. Without changing Title 10 (something that is long over-due), the Secretary of Defense can create four force/type commands (while shutting down the others or repurposing them as much smaller Whole of Government regional planning and collaboration task forces); and a joint strategy, requirements, and force structure board. This would immediately begin to eradicate the corruption of purpose characteristic of each of the military services and their special interest patrons.
04. Unilateralism. We end our unilateralism by creating (within and as a centerpiece of the OSA) a Multinational Decision Support Centre (MDSC), the world’s first open information-sharing and sense-making enterprise committed to both nurturing and harvesting the intelligence and integrity of what I have called the “eight tribes” of civilization, academia, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, and non-governmental/non-profit.
05. Isolationism. We end our isolationism by creating, as recommended by General Tony Zinni, USMC (Ret) in his book, The Battle for Peace: A Frontline Vision of America’s Power and Purpose (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), a National Planning and Monitoring Center (NMPC) as a Whole of Government capability that works closely with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and all elements of the government, to do ethical evidence-based Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBS/E)
06. Lack of Empathy. We in the USA do not really lack empathy as much as we have set aside our intelligence and integrity. When LtGen Dr. Brent Scowcroft and other high-level representatives of major powers can agree (as reported in A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility (United Nations, 2004)) that the top three threats to humanity are Poverty, Infectious Disease, and Environmental Degradation (Climate Change is 10% of the latter), the failure of our government to adapt with agility and integrity is a failure of leadership. Col Dr. Max Manwaring, USA (Ret) of the U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute has done more than any other to make it clear that security is about everything always, and I am pleased to see that the current commander of NATO, Adm James Stavrides, USN, also appears to get that in his call for “open source security.”
07. Arrogance. It is time to close our 750 plus bases overseas and come home. My concept for a recapitalized Department of Defense (articulated in Frog 6 Guidance for 2010-2012) provides for a 450-ship Navy, a long-haul Air Force, an air-liftable Army, and putting the Marines back on the globally-distributed boats such that we can deliver a platoon of Marines with a Cobra overhead anywhere within 6-12 hours; a company of Marines with Harriers within 12-24 hours; and a Battalion Landing Team with organic air within 72 hours. We cannot do that today. Not only can we not do that today, but all of those bases are targets, entanglements, and impediments.
We perpetuate the seven sins of foreign policy because the Department of Defense is out of control and unaccountable for its misdirection. The Secretary of State, however talented and focused, cannot address the above seven sins and my proposed remedial measures. Only the Secretary of Defense can do that. St.
Robert David STEELE Vivas (60), pro bono CEO of Earth Intelligence Network, has served the US Government directly for 18 years as a Marine Corps infantry officer, clandestine case officer for the CIA, and second-ranking civilian for Marine Corps Intelligence (1988-1993) during which time he was te co-founding senior civilian responsible for designing, hiring, equipping, training, and guiding analytic production at the new Marine Corps Intelligence Center. From 1993 to 2008 he served the US Government indirectly as CEO of Open Source Solutions Network, acquiring and refining Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) for the US Special Operations Command and other USG elements, while also training 7,500 mid-career officers from across 66+ countries belonging to the NATO and the Partnership for Peace (PfP). An information warfare and information operations pioneer, he is an honorary hacker, and also the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, reading in 98 categories accessible at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog.
Short Persistent URL: http://tinyurl.com/Kerry-Flournoy
AFTERTHOUGHT: Those who fear “return of the Swift Boat zombies” should be aware that any attack on Kerry as a nominee for Secretary of Defense is an attack on the US Navy’s ONLY chance to create a 450-ship Navy in our lifetime. The people I listen to say he is easily confirmable as either Secretary of Defense or State, and just now I found this at Politco: