28 May 09. Responding to comment: Re-Invention would be better than Reform but I cannot change that now. National Security is spending $1 trillion a year against ONE of the ten high-level threats to humanity (Inter-State War) and is completely inept (terrorism, crime, civil war) or unintentested in the others (poverty, infectious disease, environmental degradation, genocide, other atrocities (includes human trafficking), proliferation. The whole point of this idea is to STOP spending $1 trillion on a largely worthless and corrupt military-industrial complex, REDEFINE national security to mean Creating a Prosperous World at Peace and a vibrant informed democracy at home. Free books at www.oss.net/CIB and www.oss.net/PIG.
President and General Ike Eisenhower warned us. Today we have a military-industrial complex with 750 bases overseas, two elective wars, and a firm plan for a 50-year war that will "recycle" all military equipment (code for destroy in use and mandate replacement at higher cost). Out of the ten high-level threats to humanity identified by LtGen Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret) and other members of the UN High Level Threat Panel, the Pentagon is "optimized" (that is a kinder term than merited) for just one of those threats: Inter-State War, threat number four. Below are some ideas:
Global Issues & National Security Reform—Revitalizing Soft Power
“The world is on fire, but we can put this fire out!
America leans toward isolationist and what I call “false neutral” positions. In a world at war with itself there are no neutral positions—only victims, if not today, then tomorrow. We need a candidate and team that can help America to properly interpret 9-11 as the early warning of global chaos, and terrorism as the least of our problems. There are 23 conflicts between countries killing 1000 or more a year; 79 conflicts between states killing less than 1000 a year; and 175 violent internal political conflicts within states. The world is at war and no one at home realizes the threat this implies for America’s future. At the same time there are 32 complex emergencies—failed states—today; there are 66 countries with millions of displaced persons and refugees; 33 countries suffering famine and starvation; 59 countries and rising with plagues and epidemics. There are 18 genocide campaigns going on, today; child soldiers are killing and being killed in 41 countries; corruption is common in 80 countries, and censorship in 62 countries.
This is the real world and it is a world that the two mainstream parties and their corporate paymasters are ignoring because they travel first class and can make their money from the safety of their gated communities. America spends over $500B a year on a “heavy metal” military that is useless 90% of the time, at the same time that we underfund special operations and low intensity conflict forces, underfund diplomacy, overt intelligence, and economic assistance, underfund education at home and abroad, ignore public health, and ignore public safety around the world, allowing warlords and crime kingpins a free run. This has to stop but it will not stop unless America finds a leader of gravitas who is truly representative of both our values, and the power of our budget if spend wisely. This new national security strategy could be called “1+iii” and could, within the $500 billion a year now being spent (greater than what the next 20 nations, including Russia and China, spend together), redirect funds as follows:
1) Big War. Fence at $250 billion a year, fully 50% of the national security budget. Designed to be able to take on the Russians and the Chinese simultaneously, inclusive of strategic nuclear forces, a 12 division-wing-carrier battle group team, and reserve-reinforcement bridges to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces. Protected from small war or other distractions, focuses on being ready for catastrophic confrontation at all times.
2) Small War. Increase from $20 billion to $75 billion a year, 15% of the national security budget. Continues the elevation of the U.S. Special Operations Command as a global operational force, but introduces constabulary-gendarme forces that can impose order within failed states while providing police, medical, and other critical public services needed in the transition back to local control and security. Creates a new “ground truth” force that provides each regional theater with a battalion of foreign area officers skilled in foreign languages and cultural understanding. Creates a new national foreign area and foreign language reserve of both citizens and immigrants who provide peacetime translation services for intelligence, and wartime translation through 24/7 video cell-phone connections to units in the field.
3) Peace Force. Increase from $20 billion to $100 billion a year, 20% of the national security budget. Dramatically restores the competency and global presence of the Department of State; reinstates the independence of the U.S. Information Agency, doubling the latter. Increases the Peace Corps and the Agency for International Development, with a special emphasis on water and food security as well as public health. Creates a new fund for economic assistance to individual entrepreneurs (micro-lending) and a new fund for environmental sustainability, as well as an international peace reserve (part of a national security education initiative) of language-qualified citizens ready to engage in short and mid-term sustainability and stability projects at entry-level, mid-career, and in retirement.
4) Home Force. Increase from $38 billion (was $16 billion) to $75 billion a year, 15% of the national security budget. This investment recognizes that in the age of networked non-state actors—what Thomas Friedman from The New York Times calls “super-empowered angry men,” it is not possible to federalize security at the state & local level. Apart from the investment in a Homeland Security Intelligence Program discussed above, major investments are needed in securing our borders and ports while providing massive restoration of public health capabilities (preventive medicine and early warning of emerging infectious threats) together with new initiatives in electronic and physical infrastructure hardening and protection. In combination with the intelligence reform initiatives, this investment will also “wire” state & local governments into the global grid and help create a “Smart Nation.”