AWC fragments

6/8/2007

Fourth Generation Warfare – Analysis and ConclusionsThe three assigned articles offer an interesting and enlightening continuum of ideas on the concept of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW). While Barno and Hammes set forth descriptive, normative and predictive properties of 4GW, highlighting the robustness and flexibility of the new paradigm from a historical perspective, Echevarria refutes 4GW as a conceptual model, pointing out what he considers its foundational flaws. In this short essay, I will take a critical look at the three 4GW theses we have studied, provide a brief synthesis between these theses and elements of critical thinking, and conclude with a determination as to whether the 4GW concept should be pursued as an operational model.

Barno

Barno, in his 2006 essay, “Challenges in Fighting a Global Insurgency,” posits that our military capability has not kept pace with “the changing asymmetric nature of modern war,” and that we need to “take our thinking to a new strategic level,” i.e., 4GW. See Table 1, where I attempt to graphically present Barno’s assumptions of warfare’s generational evolution.

Table 1. Barno’s Evolution of Warfare

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 5.22.56 PM

Fourth Generation Warfare – Analysis and Conclusions
The three assigned articles offer an interesting and enlightening continuum of ideas on the concept of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW). While Barno and Hammes set forth descriptive, normative and predictive properties of 4GW, highlighting the robustness and flexibility of the new paradigm from a historical perspective, Echevarria refutes 4GW as a conceptual model, pointing out what he considers its foundational flaws. In this short essay, I will take a critical look at the three 4GW theses we have studied, provide a brief synthesis between these theses and elements of critical thinking, and conclude with a determination as to whether the 4GW concept should be pursued as an operational model.

Barno

Barno, in his 2006 essay, “Challenges in Fighting a Global Insurgency,” posits that our military capability has not kept pace with “the changing asymmetric nature of modern war,” and that we need to “take our thinking to a new strategic level,” i.e., 4GW. See Table 1, where I attempt to graphically present Barno’s assumptions of warfare’s generational evolution.
Table 1. Barno’s Evolution of Warfare

1st Generation 2nd Generation 3rd Generation 4th Generation
Warfare Warfare Warfare Warfare

Hammes

In a seminal, 1994 essay, Hammes, seeks to validate 4GW as a viable theory. He presents a comprehensive description of applications of 4GW from an evolutional, historical perspective that extends from Mao Tse-Tung, through Ho Chi Minh, to the Sandinistas, and reaching its fullest expression in the Palestinian Intifada. Hammes credits Mao Tse-Tung with laying out the theoretical foundations for conducting insurgency operations. He next credits Ho Chi Minh with shifting the objective of insurgency operations from the defeat of the adversary’s military capacity to the defeat its political will. The Sandinistas, in his analysis, represent the first insurgency movement that developed a strategy based on the assumption that military victory was neither possible nor necessary. Finally, he credits the Palestinian Intifada with achieving the highest expression of 4GW, victory through total reliance on mass media and various international networks. Hammes concludes with a call to move beyond joint operations in combating 4GW adversaries, to interagency operations coordinated across multiple federal government agencies and the military.

Echevarria

Echevarria, in a 2005 essay entitled, “Fourth Generation Warfare and Other Myths,” seeks to refute the foundational theses of 4GW. He questions the validity of several elements he considers part and parcel of 4GW, i.e., nontrinitarian war, the Peace of Westphalia, and the blitzkrieg doctrines, and through this process of decomposition, attempts to present 4GW as a poor, inexact model for future consideration.

Echevarria proceeds to refute a number of statements made by Lind in his seminal 1989 essay, as well as refuting other non-attributed statements in support of 4GW. He defines what he considers 4GW to be, then, step-by-step undoes his own definition through various methods of proof. He concludes, as a result, that 4GW theory is flawed, narrowly focused and misdirected.

Synthesis with Critical Thinking

I’d like to devote the last section of this essay to a review of selected heuristics and biases possibly inherent in these three articles, as explained in Peter Facione’s essay, “Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts.” In considering the pros and cons of 4GW as a viable theory, or even as a framework for analysis, we should bear in mind the tendencies to temporize, to anchor with adjustments, and to build a dominance structure.

Deciding that 4GW theory is good enough for now because it explains Iraq and Afghanistan, the most current conflicts, demonstrates the tendency to temporize and could cause us to form conclusions that may appear strong but may actually be false. Settling on 4GW theory because it seems right, even because it explains, prescribes and predicts today, or this year, with a reasonable measure of accuracy could result in disaster when the next conflict exhibits a further evolution, for example. By contrast, rejecting 4GW because it seems wrong could be equally disastrous. We avoid the tendency to temporize through a careful reading of history and a solid, knowledge-based projection of the future.

Accepting 4GW as a working hypothesis, then making small adjustments as new and different information comes in would be convenient and would allow us, as a government to continuing making investments of public funds to its operability. It would also demonstrate the tendency to anchor with adjustments. But 4GW is approaching 50 years of age, and it may be that 50 years of small adjustments to 4GW could be analogous, for example, to making small adjustments to eight-track tape technology when we should have moved on to the cassette technology and the CD. Clinging tenaciously to 3GW, for example, with small adjustments on the margins, would be equally erroneous.

Building a dominance structure around 4GW theory, elevating its obvious merits while reducing (or worse yet, ignoring) its flaws relative to other ideas or systems of thought might make us feel comfortable in our own conceits, but could lead us down a blind path that is the wrong street.

Conclusions

I do not accept Echevarria’s wholesale refutation of 4GW. In my opinion, Echevarria posits what he thinks 4GW to be, then refutes what he sets forth. In effect, he succeeds in refuting his own creation, but he falls short in refuting the core tenets of 4GW thought. Echevarria misses the mark, but he introduces valuable critical analysis that should not be ignored.

4GW is a new doctrinal concept, informed by new knowledge, new collaboration technologies, and new opportunities for interagency action. Correspondingly, I support 4GW as a working hypothesis that describes, prescribes and predicts with reasonable accuracy. We live in a dynamic, fluid and changing environment in terms of military and diplomatic operations. Just as a navigator lays out a track then takes fixes periodically for midcourse corrections, 4GW theorists and practitioners should constantly check the war-fighting, peace-making and peace-keeping environments, taking fixes on landmarks that are known, and on benchmarks that may not be known with certainly, but that pass the risk management test of reasonableness, and make adjustments accordingly. By further analogy, if the forces of the current or of the prevailing winds push our ship dramatically off course, necessity may require that we lay a whole new track.

4GW practitioners, at the Pentagon and in Foggy Bottom, must have the knowledge to identify shifts in the 4GW terrain, and the courage to call it quits when/if 4GW evolves or devolves to a different generational level. For now, DOD should continue to fund and pursue 4GW as a framework for analysis. Further, the Department of State should take advantage of all opportunities join hands with DOD in 4GW efforts.

7/8/2007

Whether in the military and on the battlefield, in diplomacy and foreign affairs, or in business and commerce, the greatest resource demand is for human capital, i.e., strategic leaders who can achieve the goal and reach the objective in the VUCA environment. But we have to know what we are looking for before we can find it. Just what is strategic leadership? How do we grow strategic leaders? Or more to the point, and this crosses all disciplines, how do we develop masters of the strategic art?

In one definition, Hitt and Ireland cite a number of authors in defining strategic leadership as “a person’s ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, think strategically, and work with others (interpersonal skills) to initiate changes that will create a viable future for the organization (Hitt and Ireland, 2002).” As additional background material, we know from the Strategic Leadership Primer that the strategic leader, to be successful, must be primed and have an intimate knowledge of the following aspects of the external environment: threats; international alliances; national cultures; public opinion; federal budget; technological factors; federal government; private organizations and internal environment (Strategic Leadership Primer, 2004). Finally, the strategic leader requires strong intrapersonal skills, i.e., accurate self-appraisal techniques, goal setting, self-monitoring/correction, and emotional self-management skills (Shearer, 2004).

Influenced by my portrayal of the German representative in the last exercise, I am very interested in the evolution of the German model of military officer education. Although I’ll be brief, I’d like to offer its outline as a source of ideas for contemplation.

The original Prussian-German model, enshrined in the 19th century Kriegsakademie (War Academy), which counted among its faculty Carl Von Clausewitz, was known for its selection process (only the most qualified and the most highly motivated and promising junior officer candidates), its broad-based curriculum and its academic rigor. (Grossman, 2002). Graduates of the Kriegsakademie joined the Prussian-German Army and distinguished themselves on the battlefield until WW I.

The German defeat in WW I and the corresponding build-up to WW II was accompanied the end of strategic thinking and planning by senior officers. According to Hans Delbrook, a noted German military historian, senior planners failed to think and plan strategically during WW I and neglected strategic planning in WW II (Cassidy, 2002). Cassidy offers that the failure to think and plan strategically was the result of lack of proper officer training. During this period, he notes, German military schools produced well-trained and disciplined officers on the “lower levels of war” but the same officers displayed a lack of strategic level thinking (Cassidy, ibid.). Perhaps the demise of critical thinking skills and freedom of thought during the period influenced a similar demise in strategic level thinking. Dupuy attributes the failure of German military institutions in the WW I/ WW II period to a failure in strategic conceptualization (Dupuy, 1977).

The Kriegsakademie was abolished along with the German Army at the end of WW II. It was resurrected, however, when the Germans were allowed to re-arm in 1955, but under the name Fuhrungsakademie (Leader Academy). Based on the same key areas as its predecessor, Groeters cites the balanced holistic approach of the Fuhrungsakademie curriculum that focuses on five competencies (physical, intrinsic motivation, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive) and five skills (deduction, synthesis, analysis, induction, and revaluation) and that combines to form a conceptual competency-skill framework (Groeters, 2006).

There is an element of the evolution of generational warfare here (DE 2200), but I’ll save that for another discussion.

9/9/2007

International relations theorists of all stripes accept that realism and liberalism and their various clones all failed to predict, or, in the aftermath, account for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Theo Farrell, in his paper, “Strategic Culture and the American Empire,” tears out a page from the constructivists’ playbook to explain aspects of U.S. strategic culture that have emerged since the Cold War’s end and how that culture account for the rise of the American Empire. This paper will briefly examine two of Farrell’s aspects of strategic culture that inform U.S. military practice as well as its international relations behavior. They are the bias towards techno-centric warfare and the pragmatic approach to international law. They will be viewed through constructivism’s prisms of identities and interests, the role/strength of ideas, the role of norms and the concern for capacity of discourse.

The U.S. military’s bias towards high technology warfare has recent roots in the successful results of World War II’s precision bombing in Germany and atomic bombing in Japan, the carpet bombing of Vietnam, and the Gulf War’s shock-and-awe high-tech demonstration. From an identity and interests perspective, manifestations of U.S. leadership and superiority in third generation warfare suggest that the “tech-fettishness” adopted by warfighters, whether the military officers and men or the civilians who maintain control of them, is fully vindicated. Of course, Farrell’s oversimplification in asserting that the Air Force leads the other service branches in “tech friendliness’ betrays his personal bias. Naval aviation and submarine technology clearly rival the Air Force in tech geekiness. There remains the question of whether or not any of this technology actually results in the desired military transformation (see Murray in nwcr spring 2001).

From the perspective of ideas and their influence on foreign policy, dedication to the high-tech vision of future warfare permeates the U.S. strategic culture, especially on the military side, but equally throughout. This high-tech vision is embraced by soldiers, military officers, and the civilian leadership of the military services and gets incorporated in recruitment, retention and training goals. The transformation required to move the military to its high technology warfare goals is an integral part of the strategic vision of the separate and joint military services and war-fighting commands. Through NATO and other transnational and multilateral military groupings, the U.S. cultural attachment to the high-tech warfare vision has become the standard in war-fighting capability among U.S allies.

The tendency of U.S. strategic culture to adopt a legal pragmatism with regard to international law has been especially prominent over the past few years. The Bush Administration’s decision to withdraw from the ABM treaties with Russia, its opposition to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (to the point of pulling out of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) Optional Protocols), its stringent rejection of the Kyoto Protocols and the Ottawa Convention Against Landmines, and its unqualified and unquestioned veto of any and all UNSC resolutions critical of Israel sends a clear and unambiguous signal to the rest of the world that legal rules, constitutive or regulative, must be adapted to the reality of U.S. power. It may be argued that, although we identify with these tenets of legal pragmatism, they may or may not always be in our best interests (from the perspective of classical realism). At some point, it must be concluded, striking out on a lonely unilateral legal path may backfire on us, as our actions continue to undermine the legal institutions that actually give legitimacy to U.S. hegemony.

From the ideas perspective, the legal pragmatism bias that manifests itself in a disregard for the fulfillment of international treaty obligations, such as the prohibition against the preemptive use of force, is not necessarily new in U.S. strategic culture. Allowing for legal pragmatism, however, does not make up for the resulting institutional and procedural failures of international legality, i.e., an International Criminal Court that has no bite, or a UN Security Council that, in effect, has no voice.

 

9/16/2007

Subject: End of history   Fukuyama’s reference to the “end of history” meant that human society had achieved its highest point, i.e., the endpoint of its evolution to an organized structure for self-governance. That endpoint, liberal democracy, was the result, the final, end result, of a struggle, a conflict between existing ideologies or forms of government, a struggle where only the strongest, fittest, most robust system of government and governance survived.
Fukuyama was considered a “neoconservative” when he wrote “The End of History.” Thus his writing reflected and supported the existing tenets of neo-conservatism. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, the principles of liberalism offer the strongest support for the conclusion of the “end of history” hypothesis, i.e., the idea that, all together, economic interdependence, the democratic peace theory, and the functioning of democratic institutions would help overcome selfish and anarchic state behavior.(1)
Realism, on the other hand, holds as its principal tenet the idea that states are locked in a struggle, a perpetual Hobbesian conflict to achieve their self interests. Realists believe that conflict is incessant because it is endemic to human nature and, by association, to the nature of human society. Hence, realism would never allow for an “end of history,” because that would mean an end to conflict and struggle.
In essence, Fukuyama set forth a hybrid theory containing a realist beginning, a realist middle, and a liberal conclusion. His fascination with neo-conservatism was short-lived, and his end of history hypothesis, by many accounts, did not pass the test of time. Nonetheless, his book, The End of History and the Last Man, remains a serious and thoughtful compendium of socio-political and philosophical thought and analysis at the end of the 20th century. It is well worth the read.
A real life example validating Fukuyama’s end of history hypothesis may be the ultimate refutation of the communist ideology and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
A real life example disproving Fukuyama’s hypothesis may be the emergence of new threats to the preeminence of democratic and economic liberalism, manifested in the Latin American Consensus (2), the Beijing Consensus (3), and transnational radicalized Islam.
(1)Stephen Walt, “International relations: One world, many theories,” Foreign Policy (Summer 1998): 110 [database on-line]; available from Proquest; accessed 04 August 2007.
(2)Greg Grandin, “Latin America’s New Consensus,” The Nation, May 1, 2006 {magazine on line]; available from http://thenation.com/doc/20060501/grandin; Internet; accessed 16 September 2007.
(3)Joshua Cooper Ramo, “The Beijing Consensus,” May 11, 2004; available from http://fpc.org.uk/publications/123; Internet; accessed 16 September 2007.

9/17/2007

I am coming from left field here, but please indulge me, it will all tie together, hopefully.
I became a bit suspicious when I heard a prominent neoconservative citing the following quote from Karl Marx: “The philosophers have already interpreted the world in a variety of ways. The point is to change it.”
The takeaway here isn’t that neocons are Marxists (though they do have an eclectic intellectual foundation). The takeaway is that neocons sought to change the world, vice merely describing and interpreting it, motivated by their ideas, by their identification of themselves, the US, and the time/world in which we live, and their convictions regarding new norms they sought to establish in the international system, fueled by a sense of nationalism (US or other).
One may equally conclude, based loosely on this definition, and reflecting that constructivists hold that institutions and entities involved in the international system are “constructed,” i.e., are the result of social action and therefore mutable with changes in those social actions, that neocons were very likely constructivists.
Within the constructivist framework, there are realist constructivists and liberal constructivists cited above by Dee and John. Realist constructivists, like the Marx quoter I cited earlier, believe that people’s accomplishments, their direct and concerted actions are the determinants of social and political realities. Al Qaeda, and all other fourth generation warfare actors operate under the assumption that through their direct actions, they can change society and social norms. They may be considered realist constructivists, though my reading of Fukuyama suggests that he would have given short shrift to any radical Islamic grouping, concluding, perhaps inaccurately, that the notion of Islamic cultural appeal “has no resonance for young people in Berlin, Tokyo or Moscow”.
Fukuyama, on the other hand, did not issue a call to action. In “The End of History,” he issued a call to reflect, to ponder, and to consider that the battle of ideologies was already over and the good guys had won. In that regard, I agree with my colleagues that Fukuyama could have been considered a liberal constructivist who attached significance less to direct action and more to ideas and norms, mental constructs. Of course, Fukuyama was an academic and a policy wonk, not a politician or a warrior. And, of course, Fukuyama later changed his political self-identification and disavowed neo-conservatism as a political label. I suspect, however, that he has retained some elements of his liberal constructivism.

9/17/2007

It is not clear to me that globalization is an ideology. It doesn’t explain or even describe the international system. It doesn’t establish a model of how things ought to be, of how the international system should operate. Nor does it predict what may happen to the international system in the future. It offers no vision, no conclusion. <p>

Globalization does explain a process, that process being the integration of nation states into the international economy, via trade, via direct foreign investment, via the flow of capital and of labor (immigration), and via the sale of stuff across borders (Bhagwati, 2005). It also explains an interdependence among states, multinational firms and other non-state actors, of increasing complexity that results from that integration. <p>

Globalization makes no claim to either war or peace. In fact, globalization can result in either war or peace, depending on whether it leads to increased conflict (realism) or increased harmony (liberalism) among the states and non-state actors who accept or reject it.<p>

One key aspect of the globalization process is the flow of ideas, people and customs (Jentleson, 2007). It is true, for example, that there are three McDonalds, two Kentucky Fried Chicken, and soon-to-be, one Starbucks in the neighborhood where I work in downtown Cairo, Egypt. On the surface, and with all the fuss made about immigration in the US, one would think that there are millions of would be immigrants just waiting to cross our borders. And well there may be, but one is reminded by Ghemawat of the 10% presumption, i.e., that the total amount of capital formation generated from direct foreign investment is less than 10%, that the total amount of immigration across national borders is less that 10% of the total amount of emigration within national boundaries, that the level of internationationalization resulting from exchanges of all types, migration, telephone calls, education, stock investing, trade of all types, etc., as a fraction of total gross domestic product, is closer to 10% than it is to 100% (Ghemawat, 2007). Despite globalization, it is still true that all politics is local, and as Ghemawat points out, the South Korean who spends several hours on line is more likely to be instant messaging/emailing with family and friends within Korea than facebooking with an internet surfer in Los Angeles, or in Greensboro, NC, my hometown.<p>

A quick scan reveals Fukuyama’s belief that culture shapes and is shaped by the forces of globalization, i.e., increasing worldwide economic integration. He maintains that globalization results in a convergence of political and economic ideologies, but suggests that there are deeper elements within a culture that are not easily absorbed or abandoned. <p>

9/23/2007

I was quite impressed with a Group C member’s comments on understanding culture and applying that knowledge to state re-building. I appreciate his first-hand accounts of the importance of grasping (or not) Iraqi cultural norms and using that knowledge to argue for the optimum strategy .

The forum provides an excellent opportunity to present ideas and have those ideas reviewed/reviled by fellow course members and instructors. It is not clear to me that using DTV technology would have made a big difference; we would have just watched each other fall asleep after a hard day’s work followed by several hours of reading and study. <p>
Having two demanding jobs, one’s day job and one’s DDE part-time gig, forces one, by necessity, to look for ways to quickly distinguish between useful and not-so-useful information, acquire what’s useful, and immediately deploy that information (in forums or drafting essays) to achieve learning goals. That is what strategic leaders are forced to do in VUCA environments – lead organizations in learning quickly, making correct judgments, and applying that learning to the achievement of operational goals. <p>
The pressure that results from studying this stuff while already working in an operational environment cannot be duplicated in a classroom. Surviving that pressure results in a very unique and useful learning experience. As an example, just last week I was sitting in the Country Team meeting, listening to someone spout off about how the work of their agency was saving the country and winning the GWOT and I found myself thinking, “that democratic peace hypothesis stuff won’t work in this country – none of the support structures exist.” <p>
I think the forums are useful also as a type of laboratory within a laboratory. We live in operational environments where we work and study and apply what we’ve learned, if in no other way that in conversations with our colleagues about what we have read and studied. Then, periodically, at forum time, we step into a semi-sterile environment and bounce ideas off each other, all over the globe.<p>
How can we make the forums better? I think the instructors and facilitators do an outstanding job of steering our forum entries. I’d like to see more of the critical thinking stuff, more talk about biases and heuristics in foreign policy formulation and implementation. In fact, whatever the subject under discussion, the critical thinking piece is crucial to reaching the appropriate theoretical and actual outcome.

Forum closeout

Fukuyama’s reference to the “end of history” meant that human society had achieved its highest point, i.e., the endpoint of its evolution to an organized structure for self-governance. That endpoint, liberal democracy, was the result, the final, end result, of a struggle, a conflict between existing ideologies or forms of government, a struggle where only the strongest, fittest, most robust system of government and governance survived.
Fukuyama was considered a “neoconservative” when he wrote “The End of History.” Thus his writing reflected and supported the existing tenets of neo-conservatism. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, the principles of liberalism offer the strongest support for the conclusion of the “end of history” hypothesis, i.e., the idea that, all together, economic interdependence, the democratic peace theory, and the functioning of democratic institutions would help overcome selfish and anarchic state behavior.(1)
Realism, on the other hand, holds as its principal tenet the idea that states are locked in a struggle, a perpetual Hobbesian conflict to achieve their self interests. Realists believe that conflict is incessant because it is endemic to human nature and, by association, to the nature of human society. Hence, realism would never allow for an “end of history,” because that would mean an end to conflict and struggle.
In essence, Fukuyama set forth a hybrid theory containing a realist beginning, a realist middle, and a liberal conclusion. His fascination with neo-conservatism was short-lived, and his end of history hypothesis, by many accounts, did not pass the test of time. Nonetheless, his book, The End of History and the Last Man, remains a serious and thoughtful compendium of socio-political and philosophical thought and analysis at the end of the 20th century. It is well worth the read.
A real life example validating Fukuyama’s end of history hypothesis may be the ultimate refutation of the communist ideology and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
A real life example disproving Fukuyama’s hypothesis may be the emergence of new threats to the preeminence of democratic and economic liberalism, manifested in the Latin American Consensus (2), the Beijing Consensus (3), and transnational radicalized Islam.
(1)Stephen Walt, “International relations: One world, many theories,” Foreign Policy (Summer 1998): 110 [database on-line]; available from Proquest; accessed 04 August 2007.
(2)Greg Grandin, “Latin America’s New Consensus,” The Nation, May 1, 2006 {magazine on line]; available from http://thenation.com/doc/20060501/grandin; Internet; accessed 16 September 2007.
(3)Joshua Cooper Ramo, “The Beijing Consensus,” May 11, 2004; available from http://fpc.org.uk/publications/123; Internet; accessed 16 September 2007.
I am coming from left field here, but please indulge me, it will all tie together, hopefully.
I became a bit suspicious when I heard a prominent neoconservative citing the following quote from Karl Marx: “The philosophers have already interpreted the world in a variety of ways. The point is to change it.”
The takeaway here isn’t that neocons are Marxists (though they do have an eclectic intellectual foundation). The takeaway is that neocons sought to change the world, vice merely describing and interpreting it, motivated by their ideas, by their identification of themselves, the US, and the time/world in which we live, and their convictions regarding new norms they sought to establish in the international system, fueled by a sense of nationalism (US or other).
One may equally conclude, based loosely on this definition, and reflecting that constructivists hold that institutions and entities involved in the international system are “constructed,” i.e., are the result of social action and therefore mutable with changes in those social actions, that neocons were very likely constructivists.
Within the constructivist framework, there are realist constructivists and liberal constructivists cited above by Dee and John. Realist constructivists, like the Marx quoter I cited earlier, believe that people’s accomplishments, their direct and concerted actions are the determinants of social and political realities. Al Qaeda, and all other fourth generation warfare actors operate under the assumption that through their direct actions, they can change society and social norms. They may be considered realist constructivists, though my reading of Fukuyama suggests that he would have given short shrift to any radical Islamic grouping, concluding, perhaps inaccurately, that the notion of Islamic cultural appeal “has no resonance for young people in Berlin, Tokyo or Moscow”.
Fukuyama, on the other hand, did not issue a call to action. In “The End of History,” he issued a call to reflect, to ponder, and to consider that the battle of ideologies was already over and the good guys had won. In that regard, I agree with my colleagues that Fukuyama could have been considered a liberal constructivist who attached significance less to direct action and more to ideas and norms, mental constructs. Of course, Fukuyama was an academic and a policy wonk, not a politician or a warrior. And, of course, Fukuyama later changed his political self-identification and disavowed neo-conservatism as a political label. I suspect, however, that he has retained some elements of his liberal constructivism.

It is not clear to me that globalization is an ideology. It doesn’t explain or even describe the international system. It doesn’t establish a model of how things ought to be, of how the international system should operate. Nor does it predict what may happen to the international system in the future. It offers no vision, no conclusion.
Globalization does explain a process, that process being the integration of nation states into the international economy, via trade, via direct foreign investment, via the flow of capital and of labor (immigration), and via the sale of stuff across borders (Bhagwati, 2005). It also explains an interdependence among states, multinational firms and other non-state actors, of increasing complexity that results from that integration.
Globalization makes no claim to either war or peace. In fact, globalization can result in either war or peace, depending on whether it leads to increased conflict (realism) or increased harmony (liberalism) among the states and non-state actors who accept or reject it.
One key aspect of the globalization process is the flow of ideas, people and customs (Jentleson, 2007). It is true, for example, that there are three McDonalds, two Kentucky Fried Chickens, and soon-to-be, one Starbucks in the neighborhood where I work in downtown Cairo, Egypt. On the surface, and with all the fuss made about immigration in the US, one would think that there are millions of would be immigrants just waiting to cross our borders. And well there may be, but one is reminded by Ghemawat of the 10% presumption, i.e., that the total amount of capital formation generated from direct foreign investment is less than 10%, that the total amount of immigration across national borders is less that 10% of the total amount of emigration within national boundaries, that the level of internationationalization resulting from exchanges of all types, migration, telephone calls, education, stock investing, trade of all types, etc., as a fraction of total gross domestic product, is closer to 10% than it is to 100% (Ghemawat, 2007). Despite globalization, it is still true that all politics is local, and as Ghemawat points out, the South Korean who spends several hours on line is more likely to be instant messaging/emailing with family and friends within Korea than facebooking with an internet surfer in Los Angeles.
A quick scan reveals Fukuyama’s belief that culture shapes and is shaped by the forces of globalization, i.e., increasing worldwide economic integration. He maintains that globalization results in a convergence of political and economic ideologies, but suggests that there are deeper elements within a culture that are not easily absorbed or abandoned.
Owen’s article “Iraq and the Democratic Peace,” focuses on why new minted democracies may not be less war-prone and, in fact, may be more war-prone due to the immaturity of democratic institutions such as a free press, a thriving opposition, an independent judiciary, civilian control of the military, etc. The article provides somewhat of a refutation to the democratic peace hypothesis. It also carefully analyses the process whereby a totalitarian government converts itself to a democratic one. <p>
Diamond and Morlino, in their article, An Overview (The Quality of Democracy), take a qualitative look at democracy and the democratization process through the prism of eight dimensions (freedom, rule of law, vertical accountability, horizontal accountability, equality, participation, competition, and responsiveness) and the degrees of gradation within and across each of those dimensions. Clearly democracies vary, one from the other. High quality democracies may not score at the top of every measure, but manage to find a workable balance of areas where natural tensions may exist. <p>
Linz and Stepan cite a three step process in moving a state from authoritarianism to democracy – liberalization where an opposition is allowed to form; free elections where transitions to democracy occur; and democratic consolidation resulting in compatibility of institutions and practices with accepted democratic norms. <p>
Tilly reminds us that it may be more appropriate to think about democracy as a verb than as a noun, i.e., how democracy takes shape and operates. Democracy is not digital, on/off, but an analog, a measure of degree, Tilly proposes, and, as a process, can go in either direction, from totalitarian/authoritarian to democracy and from democracy back. In fact, he cites the factoid that between 1900 and 1949, 17 European regimes underwent accelerated democratization. In the same period, twelve of those countries underwent de-democratization. <p>
Tilly’s point is that the degree to which consolidation of state power and control occur, and the bargaining that takes place between the state and the populace are good indicators of democracy’s success. Further, and perhaps most significantly to Tilly, democracy almost never arises from a quick fix and often depends on long-run changes in relationships and institutions, long run changes that are a function of the degree to which rulers derive their power to rule. Where that power comes from the people freely, change may be easy, but where that power comes from the people grudgingly, Tilly holds that change still occurs. <p>
Of course, it may be argued that grudging consent only has meaning in a well-developed democracy where strong, existing, mature democratic institutions “lubricate” a friction-full governance situation, a la Owens account of Iraq and democratic peace. A ruler in a new democracy, or in a state making the transition towards democracy, does not have the luxury of knowing that the people will go along with his plan for them, only grudgingly so. Such rulers, first and foremost, have to find a way to aggregate and consolidate power in order to ensure their political survival, and grudging consent just won’t cut it. Sometimes an appeal to nationalism, loyalty and pride will tide the ruler over; often a negative appeal to fear and security is what does the trick. In the case of Iraq, where democratic rule, it may be argued, has not taken root, PM Maliki can’t tell the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites to come together, grudgingly, for the common good, and expect success.

9/23/2007

Owen’s article “Iraq and the Democratic Peace,” focuses on why new minted democracies may not be less war-prone and, in fact, may be more war-prone due to the immaturity of democratic institutions such as a free press, a thriving opposition, an independent judiciary, civilian control of the military, etc. The article provides somewhat of a refutation to the democratic peace hypothesis. It also carefully analyses the process whereby a totalitarian government converts itself to a democratic one. <p>
Diamond and Morlino, in their article, An Overview (The Quality of Democracy), take a qualitative look at democracy and the democratization process through the prism of eight dimensions (freedom, rule of law, vertical accountability, horizontal accountability, equality, participation, competition, and responsiveness) and the degrees of gradation within and across each of those dimensions. Clearly democracies vary, one from the other. High quality democracies may not score at the top of every measure, but manage to find a workable balance of areas where natural tensions may exist. <p>
Linz and Stepan cite a three step process in moving a state from authoritarianism to democracy – liberalization where an opposition is allowed to form; free elections where transitions to democracy occur; and democratic consolidation resulting in compatibility of institutions and practices with accepted democratic norms. <p>
Tilly reminds us that it may be more appropriate to think about democracy as a verb than as a noun, i.e., how democracy takes shape and operates. Democracy is not digital, on/off, but an analog, a measure of degree, Tilly proposes, and, as a process, can go in either direction, from totalitarian/authoritarian to democracy and from democracy back. In fact, he cites the factoid that between 1900 and 1949, 17 European regimes underwent accelerated democratization. In the same period, twelve of those countries underwent de-democratization. <p>
Tilly’s point is that the degree to which consolidation of state power and control occur, and the bargaining that takes place between the state and the populace are good indicators of democracy’s success. Further, and perhaps most significantly to Tilly, democracy almost never arises from a quick fix and often depends on long-run changes in relationships and institutions, long run changes that are a function of the degree to which rulers derive their power to rule. Where that power comes from the people freely, change may be easy, but where that power comes from the people grudgingly, Tilly holds that change still occurs. <p>
Of course, it may be argued that grudging consent only has meaning in a well-developed democracy where strong, existing, mature democratic institutions “lubricate” a friction-full governance situation, a la Owens account of Iraq and democratic peace. A ruler in a new democracy, or in a state making the transition towards democracy, does not have the luxury of knowing that the people will go along with his plan for them, only grudgingly so. Such rulers, first and foremost, have to find a way to aggregate and consolidate power in order to ensure their political survival, and grudging consent just won’t cut it. Sometimes an appeal to nationalism, loyalty and pride will tide the ruler over; often a negative appeal to fear and security is what does the trick. In the case of Iraq, where democratic rule, it may be argued, has not taken root, PM Maliki can’t tell the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites to come together, grudgingly, for the common good, and expect success.
Mearsheimer, in the video program “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics”, states five assumptions about the structure of the international system. 1) The international system is dominated by states and states are the highest authority and principal actor is an anarchic (vice hierarchical) system. 2) All states have some offensive military capability. 3) States can never be certain about the assumptions of other states; a state can never be certain that its neighbors won’t have malign intentions; and there is no ability to discern intentions over the long term. 4) Survival is the highest goal of the state. 5) States are strategic calculators, rational actors adept at coming up with strategies for survival.
According to Mearsheimer, these five assumptions give rise to the following three forms of state behavior: states are afraid of each other, i.e., neighboring states may have hostile intentions along with offensive capability, and because the system is anarchic, there is no higher authority to appeal to for help; states understand that it is a self-help world, i.e., that they cannot rely on help by other states; and finally, the best way for a state to ensure its survival is by being the most powerful state, because the more powerful (hegemonic) a state is relative to its potential adversaries, the more secure that state is. (Offensive Realism).
Mearsheimer explains that because of the Monroe Doctrine and manifest destiny, the US succeeded in keeping European powers out of the western hemisphere. But Mearsheimer rejects that idea that the US will ever be a world hegemon due to power projection deficiencies; the US will be, however, and, in fact, is the only example of a state that has attained the status of being a true regional hegemon. The US has remained the only regional hegemon because it has resisted the emergence of peer competitors, defeating the imperial Germans (who were seeking to become the European hegemon) in WW1, the Nazi Germans and the imperial Japanese in WWII, and the Soviet Union (seeking Eurasian hegemony) in the Cold War.
Mearsheimer predicts that China will seek (or is seeking) to emulate the US and become the Asian regional hegemon. Using their immense wealth of material, financial and human resources and their network of energy resources, Beijing will come up with its own equivalent of the Monroe doctrine, and try to keep all peer competitors, including the US, out of Asia, seeking the regional hegemony which alone will guarantee their security and stability in the region.
If the US truly accepted liberalism’s democratic peace theory, it would strive to export some form of democracy to China, with the sure knowledge that their adoption of democratic practices would preserve the peace between the two states. If the US truly accepted liberalism’s complex interdependence hypothesis, it would strengthen trade and cultural exchange links between the two countries, confident in the knowledge that established multiple mutual channels reinforced by credible commitments would preserve the peace and leave the international system less war-prone.
Mearsheimer, on the contrary, predicts that the US response to China’s potential

In an op-ed piece in today’s New York Times (September 21, 2007), Robert Kaplan, visiting professor at the Naval Academy, announces that while the US is mired in Iraq, and while European nations starve their militaries, Asian countries are spending money on defense like there is no tomorrow.
Some factoids:
1. China’s acquisition and production of submarines is five times that of the US.
2. In addition to submarine technology, China is focusing on mine technology, ballistic missiles, and GPS satellite-blocking technologies with the goal of denying US carrier strike groups access to the mainland.
3. China’s defense budget has grown by double digits for the past 19 years.
4. Japan’s naval force is three times larger than Great Britain’s.
5. China is giving Pakistan USD 200 million to build a deep water port in Gwadar.
6. At its present rate of growth, in a few years India will have the third largest navy in the world, and possibly, dominance in the Indian Ocean.
Moreover, Kaplan reports, Asian countries like China, India, Pakistan and Iran are developing the vigorous sense of nationalism required to both “have” military assets and use them.
Kaplan recommends diplomacy and traditional statecraft to leverage allies and seek cooperation from competitors. Further he prescribes taking advantage of the rising risk of terrorism and piracy to persuade the Indian and Chinese navies to work together to control chokepoints. At the same time, though, he suggests that at 5% of GNP, US defense spending is at historically low levels and should be increased, especially on naval and air force assets. Kaplan’s prescriptions are not those of an offensive realist, like Mearsheimer, but rather of a Waltzian defense realist.
The Kaplan op-ed can be found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/21/opinion/21kaplan.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=opinion&pagewanted=all
Kaplan’s discusses his latest book, “Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea and on the Ground” at http://www.cceia.org/resources/audio/data/000144

09/24/2007

The foundation of the democratic/liberal peace hypothesis was set forth in Kant’s seminal work, Perpetual Peace. Kant’s key elements were: 1) in a republic, the majority of voters would never vote to go to war, unless in self-defense; and 2) if all nations were republics, war would end as there would be no aggressors. The elements, however, were predicated on the realist, Hobbesian notion that competition, conflict and war were the natural state of human society and thus, peace would have to be worked at, established, and maintained.
The earliest proponent of the democratic peace hypothesis in modern times was a social scientist and criminologist, Dean Babst, whose 1964 academic paper, “Elected Governments – A Force for Peace,” was followed up by a more popularized paper eight years later. Melvin Small and J. David Singer, in their 1976 paper, “The War-Proneness of Democratic Regimes,” cited an absence of wars between democratic states. Michael Doyle’s highly regarded 1983 paper, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs,” resulted in the propulsion of the democratic peace concept to the level of policy during the Reagan; successive U.S. administrations have applied the concept that democratic states are less war-prone in support of policy dictates extolling the virtues of exporting the democratic model to other countries, with varying degrees of success.
The two realist scholars with reviews opposing the democratic peace hypothesis are Snyder/Mansfield and Gowa/Spiro. In a review of Snyder and Mansfield’s book, Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War, John Owen cites the Snyder/Mansfield suggestion that while mature democracies may not fight each other, there is strong evidence that young, immature democracies are anything but less war-prone, and may, in fact, be quite bellicose. In the first place, turning former authoritarian countries into democracies is a difficult task in the best of circumstances, fraught with procedural pitfalls and likely reversals. It is often the case that new democracies, in a hurry to hold elections to prove their democratic bonafides, fail to establish the institutional framework to ensure democracy’s success – independent courts, civilian control of the military, protection for opposition parties, freedom of the press, etc. In such states, domestic political competition is intense, almost inviting foreign entanglements that may make the new democracy more, not less war-prone.
The Gowa/Spiro critique holds that the statistical evidence supporting the democratic peace hypothesis is, at best, shallow and thin. They contend that both the time span and the data sample size are too small to reach any concrete conclusion that proves the democratic peace hypothesis. Consequently, they argue, the apparent absence of war between democratic states has more to do with how theorists define democracy, and the relatively small number of democratic states under study.
As a former mechanical engineer, I see interesting parallels between the critiques of the democratic peace hypothesis and mechanical systems I have maintained and operated on submarines. To say, for example, that the presence of democratic states in the international system results in peace between those states is analogous to saying that the presence of Freon in a refrigeration cycle results in air-conditioning. The presence of Freon, as it were, is a necessary condition for the cooling process, but it is far, far from a sufficient one. In addition to Freon, one needs pumps to push the Freon though the system, specialized valves to meter the fluid flow, heat exchangers to allow the Freon to absorb and expel the latent heat, temperature and pressure indicators, piping, etc., all together resulting in the desired outcome, lower temperatures in the medium.
Similarly, the international system requires more than the presence of democratic states to ensure peaceful relations between and among those states. The complex interdependence between nations and other international actors described by Keohane and Nye certainly provide characteristics that work together with democratic governance to reduce the incidence of war or the threats of war. A true democratic peace hypothesis, correspondingly, should focus less on descriptive recommendations for peace between states and more on normative recommendations for minimizing the various misperceptions and miscalculations that heighten the threats of war.

11/02/22007

Leffler traces the “genealogy” of Bush foreign policy to Truman and Kennan, dispelling the notion of its Reagan roots, and clarifying its connectivity to Clinton administration foreign policy thinking and practices. He refutes, with examples, the assertion that Bush’s foreign policy thinking. i.e., democratic peace and unilateralism, is a new or recent departure from historical trends in American foreign policy going back to Jefferson, Roosevelt and Kennedy. He denies the implication that the Bush doctrine of preemptive war is a recent phenomenon, tying it to examples of preemptive strikes by Andrew Jackson against Spanish Florida in 1818, Theodore Roosevelt’s assertion that the U.S. would intervene in the western hemisphere to preserve civilization, Franklin Roosevelt’s decision to launch preemptive attacks on German and Italian submarines during WWII, and numerous acts of preemption during the Cold War. He cites the inaccuracies of the assertion that Bush policies are a dramatic departure from the foreign policies of his predecessor, Bill Clinton, citing the massive increases in defense expenditures during the Clinton administration, and the use of preemptive attacks in the aftermath of the al-Qaeda bombing of American embassies in East Africa.<p>
Setting that historical foundation, Leffler examines the foundation of Bush foreign policy strategy, suggesting that its weakness lies not in its variance from the foreign policy dictates of previous administrations, but the inherent internal contradictions between its ends and its methods for achieving those ends. For example, the Bush Administration goals to thwart terrorists and rogue regimes, to harmonize relations between great powers, and to nurture prosperity and democracy worldwide. Yet, it finds itself compelled, for example, to soft pedal democratic reforms and fundamental freedoms in countries that help it thwart terrorism and rogue regimes. It finds itself in bed with terrorists and rogue regimes that have no respect for democratic practices where those regimes support forward deployed U.S. military buildup. It fails to harmonize relations between great powers where those great powers have national interests themselves that are not supportive of thwarting terrorism and/or nurturing democracy. These contradictions between foreign policy ends, and between the means employed to achieve those ends, Leffler asserts, results in foreign policy goals that are unachievable.<p>

Course DE2201 Block 1a.(1)

The strategic leader competency of Frame of Reference Development no doubt finds its highest expression in the leadership example of General Eric Shinseki. General Shinseki’s presented his “map of the strategic world,” as it were, in full, graphic, convincing, and compelling detail in his October, 2002 lecture at Bliss Hall. In his depiction of the Army Vision and the Army Transformation, and in his analysis of the strategic environment, General Shinseki more than fulfills the frame of reference requirements, illuminating the creative vision, establishing the balance between transformation and maintenance, and setting forth the future objective state (Jacobs, 2002).

In the lecture, and also in the written Army Vision Statement, General Shinseki lays out the three main parts of the Army Vision, namely People (soldiers, leadership development, well-being of families), Readiness (non-negotiable contract to fight the nation’s wars, support National Military Strategy), and Transformation (making the Army more strategically responsive and dominant at every point on the spectrum of military operations). General Shinseki, in The Army Transformation slide, draws the distinction between the Legacy Force (the present day force), the Objective Force (the future Army we want to build), and the Interim Force (filling the operational gap between the ability to get lightly armed, deployable, but lethal forces in quickly, then moving in heavy forces to repel the counteroffensive to come). General Shinseki’s contention that the war in Iraq would require a significantly larger Interim Force has been largely vindicated by events on the ground, though he was roundly criticized for the position he took .
In his explanation of The Strategic Environment, General Shinseki explains the Elements of Power (instruments of national power, i.e., Economic, Political, Informational, and Military), the Points of Stress (areas and evidences of instabilities, complicators), and Our Interests (the outcomes, i.e., enhancing American Security, developing stable markets, and advancing democracy).

General Shinseki scores high in political and social competence as well. Functioning as a member of the national policy formulation team, Kolenda reports that General Shinseki’s new idea of the importance of the interim force has become conventional wisdom and credits him with moving the concept of Army transformation “from empty hype to genuine capabilities being fielded today and developed for the future.” (Kolenda, 2003). His capacity for dealing with members of the legislative branch is legendary, as evidenced by the high turnout of Congressional members and staffers at his retirement ceremony.

It might be argued that General Shinseki did not score as highly on the consensus building competency. Kolenda reported that his decision to change the headgear from the traditional baseball cap to the black beret was poorly staffed and implemented. Additionally, his transformation plan was not well received throughout the service, and his unsuccessful support for the Crusader artillery system, the Commanche helicopter, and the wheeled Stryker did not reflect highly on his consensus building skills either. Babbin’s criticism, however, that General Shinseki opposed SECDEF Rumsfeld’s transformation plans and that he, in general, resisted change, does not square with the facts. (Babbin, 2003).

Course DE2201 Block 1a.(2)

Paul and Elder propose the deconstruction of thinking into its constituent elements in order to make a critical assessment. These constituent elements include the following: point of view; purpose; question at issue; information; interpretation and inference; concepts; assumptions; and implication and consequences. In the following paragraphs I will critique the Wrona article through examination of these elements.

Purpose/Point of View. Wrona seeks to analyze the spreading gap between civilian institutions in American society and the military institutions charged to protect and defend it. His point of view is as an Army officer, strategist, and West Point professor whose research focuses on American civil-military relations.

Question at issue. What is the background of this schism? What is the historical perspective? How did the situation arrive at its present point? How do we close the spreading civil-military gap?

Information. Wrona sets forth information (data) from a variety of sources, including published reports, telephone polls, on-line polls, and military publications and periodicals. From these sources, he extracts data supporting facts, opinions of the American public, and opinions of members of the military. Wrona cites a long list of quantifiable supporting data, though he makes key assertions that lack quantification. (These unquantifiable assertions become very important in the implications/inference section that follows.)

Interpretation/Inference. Wrona makes certain inferences that are supported more by his unquantifiable assertions than by his hard data. He draws other important inferences that are supported by data. The unsupportable ones, troubling as they are, though, make up key portions of his argument.

Concepts. Wrona examines several interesting concepts regarding military and democratic culture, trends guiding US civil/military relations throughout history, effects on civil society/military relations following WWII and the Vietnam War, and the foundations of civilian control of the military. To illustrate his concepts, he draws an analogy to the civil/military conflict inside 1950/1960 French society. Analogies illustrate, but never prove.

Assumptions. Wrona cites the values-based assumptions that sustain a liberal democracy and juxtaposes them to the values-based assumptions that sustain an efficient military. He focuses on the inherent differences, assuming but not asserting that the two sets of assumptions are mutually exclusive. Then he analyzes the descriptive assumptions underlying and driving approaches to dealing with the civil-military gap, focusing on Huntington, who advocates recognition and management of the gap, and on Janowitz, who posits that the civil-military gap is best managed when military culture adapts to changes in civilian society and technology. These assumptions, again, are not necessarily mutually exclusive, though juxtaposing them to make them seem so seems to strengthen Wrona’s argument.

Implications/Consequences. Wrona prescribes steps to be taken by both political/civil leadership and military leadership to manage and bridge the gap.

Critique aside, I enjoyed reading this article. There are lessons to be learned by the Department of State as we, a civilian agency, approach the use of directed, non-voluntary assignments to fill critical positions at our embassies in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are also lessons to be learned as we seek to manage the gap separating military from diplomatic operations in peacemaking and peacekeeping environments.
Course DE2201 Block 1a.(3)

Holcomb and Ribbing, in their Christian Science Monitor article, posit that the Geneva Protocols are outdated in the war against terrorism, and that the US should lead the way in calling for a revision of the laws of war pertaining to civilians and prisoners of war (POW’s). They make the case that the Geneva Protocols do not define or address the treatment of terrorists in war. Further, Geneva grants POW status only to combatants who “abide by the law, operate pursuant to a chain of command, wear distinctive insignia, and carry arms openly.”

Holcomb and Ribbing argue that these provisions should not apply to al Qaida, Hezbollah, or the Taliban. Instead, they assert, the Bush Administration Military Commissions Order of 2001 and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 both attempt to define and develop rules for the treatment, detention, and prosecution of unlawful Al Qaida and Taliban enemy combatants. They counter, however, that such a unilateral approach to the development of international law is misguided and may encourage other countries to produce their own interpretations of the Geneva Conventions, which may end up being detrimental to US troops in foreign conflicts.

Dershowitz, in his LA Times piece, does not explicitly address Geneva, but he does argue that very wide latitude should be granted to the Israelis in determining which civilians may be identified as civilians and protected, and which ones may not and be wounded, killed or punished, especially regarding the harboring of or association with terrorists who may intend harm to Israeli citizens. He concludes, “Every civilian death is a tragedy, but some are more tragic than others.”

Shin argues in favor of the “civilian idea,” i.e., that one can and should distinguish between civilians and combatants. The civilian idea, he posits, argues for the belief that the humanity we share gives us a greater identity as human beings than the specific identity that makes allies or enemies of a particular country or state or movement. Shin provides a historical survey of the protection of civilians in war, including the horrors of WWII, the Holocaust, the firebombing of German and Japanese cities, and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all of which resulted in the establishment of the Geneva Protocols of 1949. He highlights five main strands of rejection of the civilian idea, and concludes by reaffirming the civilian idea both as a function of our human capacity and as a function of enlightened self interest.

The nature of American society has changed considerably since our 18th century founding, but we haven’t abolished the Constitution in favor of a new, more relevant one. Instead, we have added amendments. It may be more appropriate for the international community to come together, and, in a multilateral forum, devise a process for amending the original protocols to make them more relevant to the present environment.

Makin, in his article “Professional Integrity,” warns us that just war theory and the law of war (read: Geneva Protocols as there are several different schools of thought regarding just war theory) are the twin sources of guidance we use to hold runaway militarism in check. Amended or not, I believe we need to keep the Geneva Conventions in place.

1 John Shy, in his Frontline review of Heller and Stofft’s America’s First Battles (1986), provides further support for General Shinseki’s position on the Interim Force, a book that by the 1990’s had become required reading for all West Point cadets.
2 Wrona asserts that the overwhelming majority (greater than 50%? 51%? How much is “overwhelming?”) of military officers identify themselves as ideologically conservative, that military officers (which ones, how many, what services?) believe their role has changed from policy adviser to policy advocate, and that military officers (again, what number, what percentage, what proportion?) feel pessimistic about the moral health of civilian society and believe that the military could help society become more moral with the adoption of military values and behaviors.

3 For example, he cites as a trend that the American military is more ideologically distant from its society, that the professional military has become less representative of the American population, that senior military officers show a “willingness to circumvent political authority to advocate specific policies,” and finally, that the military “is becoming more emboldened and perceives itself to be less beholden to the elected government.”

4 Primarily the distrust of a standing army and the decline after the Civil War, after WWII, and again after the Vietnam War, of compulsory military service.
5 The Geneva provisions, moreover, protect POW’s against torture “and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, hostage-taking and reprisals.”

6 I.e., the notion that civilian identity is trumped by some other overriding identity with which there can be no negotiation (eg., you are Jewish, or Muslim, or American, so you must die), the notion that killing or displacing civilians in the early phases of a war wins political or military concessions, the notion that civilian identity is blurred due to relation to or proximity with the enemy combatant, the idea that the emotional taste for revenge or justice overrides the civilian idea, and finally, the argument that due to the urgency of legitimate war objectives, it is neither possible nor desirable to protect civilians.

7 Cordesman, in his article “The Moral and Ethical Challenges of Modern War,” lists five schools of thought on just war. They are: 1) pacifism, i.e., any war or use of force is unjust; 2) war is just if necessary criteria is met or conflict has a clear moral character; 3) war is just when considered necessary or pragmatic; 4) war is just if international law criteria are met; and 5) war is just if required to protect human rights and the lives of innocents.

3 For example, he cites as a trend that the American military is more ideologically distant from its society, that the professional military has become less representative of the American population, that senior military officers show a “willingness to circumvent political authority to advocate specific policies,” and finally, that the military “is becoming more emboldened and perceives itself to be less beholden to the elected government.”

4 Primarily the distrust of a standing army and the decline after the Civil War, after WWII, and again after the Vietnam War, of compulsory military service.
5 The Geneva provisions, moreover, protect POW’s against torture “and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, hostage-taking and reprisals.”

6 I.e., the notion that civilian identity is trumped by some other overriding identity with which there can be no negotiation (eg., you are Jewish, or Muslim, or American, so you must die), the notion that killing or displacing civilians in the early phases of a war wins political or military concessions, the notion that civilian identity is blurred due to relation to or proximity with the enemy combatant, the idea that the emotional taste for revenge or justice overrides the civilian idea, and finally, the argument that due to the urgency of legitimate war objectives, it is neither possible nor desirable to protect civilians.

7 Cordesman, in his article “The Moral and Ethical Challenges of Modern War,” lists five schools of thought on just war. They are: 1) pacifism, i.e., any war or use of force is unjust; 2) war is just if necessary criteria is met or conflict has a clear moral character; 3) war is just when considered necessary or pragmatic; 4) war is just if international law criteria are met; and 5) war is just if required to protect human rights and the lives of innocents.

 

Course DE2201 Block 2 (1)

A leader, through his/her behavior, decisions, weaknesses, strengths and insights establishes the organization’s climate. The climate of an organization consists of and results from the practices, procedures, rules and regulations that govern behavior of leaders and followers within the organization (Grojean, 2004). Leaders establish and maintain the organization’s climate through various mechanisms and practices, all based on the leader’s understanding of the values of the organization and his/her ability to consistently impart those values to members of the organization. Grojean lists seven mechanisms for establishing and impacting climate.

Organizational climate, however, is a short-term phenomenon. As such, transactional leaders, or leaders at the operational level, can establish and maintain the organization’s climate. Leaders at the strategic level are transformational leaders who also preserve, establish and contribute to their organization’s culture, a much longer-term phenomenon that has “continuous life” across multiple leaders. As leaders gain experience and maturity, they transition from the operational (transactional) level to the strategic (transformational) level.

More broadly, the operational leader deals with direct effects, such as organizational climate. The more experienced leader at the strategic level, however, deals with indirect, second and third-order effects, including cultural aspects of an organization. Clearly, strategic leaders have an impact on both climate and culture. A particular leader probably has a stronger influence on organizational climate, just as, in economics, all production occurs in the short run. Over time, however, a succession of leaders and a succession of their impacts on organizational climate, and the response of the organization’s members to that climate, give rise to organizational culture, the set of values, beliefs and assumptions about the organization. Most importantly, an organization’s culture will influence how leaders and followers behave when faced with a stressful situation, or one that is not covered by standard operating procedures and hence requiring improvisation.

What then, does any of this have to do with civil-military relations, former Secretary Rumsfeld, and the Generals’ Revolt? While the term ‘civil-military relations’ refers broadly to relations between the military and the society which it serves, it usually connotes civilian control of the military, i.e., civilian leadership of the Department of Defense. Civilian control of the military is an integral part of military culture, and generations of military professionals, with few exceptions, have honored this aspect of military culture, deferring to civilian/political leadership in all things policy-related. Correspondingly, and for the most part, political/civilian leadership has deferred to military commanders in all things operational.

Five years into his tenure as Secretary of Defense, however, journalists, military historians, and retired generals publicly accused Secretary Rumsfeld of violating a time-honored aspect of military culture in his attempts to micromanage operational aspects of the war in Iraq they felt should have been left to the discretion of the military leadership. Throughout the spring of 2006, a number of retired generals made public statements, not only regarding their displeasure with Rumsfeld’s performance, but also voicing their opposition to the war in general. This violated another aspect of military culture, the prohibition on public disagreement by uniformed military members with their political/civilian leadership.

In my organization a lot of emphasis is placed on development of strong interpersonal skills, i.e., getting along with others. This is good, because we all have to work together. Interpersonal skills are integrated into the performance evaluation process, and everybody knows that getting dinged on interpersonal in your annual evaluation is a sure career stopper. Intrapersonal skill development does not get the same emphasis. <p>

I was impressed, though, in the German model, with the emphasis on both interpersonal and intrapersonal skill development. Intrapersonal deals with self-awareness and insight, emotional and behavioral self-management, and recognition of personal strengths and weaknesses. One of my mentors used to always mentioned the importance of being “comfortable in one’s own skin” and used that as a sort of handy measuring stick. I was in an office once where we did an offsite that dealt exclusively with “personalysis,” an exercise dedicated to an introspective look at how individuals respond to various stimuli and under pressure. <p>

I strongly second Kathleen’s well-laid out strategy, and I’d like to place emphasis on the importance of incorporating intrapersonal skill development in the life-long career development matrix. I did a summer program once in high school where we focused on reading biographies and autobiographies to try to understand what made people tick. A regular reading program of biographies of folks we consider successful strategic leaders might be a starting point. <p>
Somewhere I came across this quote from Antoine de Saint-Expury (it appealed to me because my former naval career): “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” <p>

In my younger Navy days, just before deploying to sea on FBM patrols, and sometimes on the maneuvering watch, the senior weapons officer would give a speech to anyone gathered on the mess decks on the USS Michigan among the crew. He would tell us that we were the first crew of the first operational Trident–class submarine (Ohio was first but she was all show boat, we were the workhorse), and that, by virtue of our ship’s top-of-the-line capabilities, we were going places to do things that no one had done before. He would explain that our nation’s nuclear capabilities were the only thing holding back total Soviet domination. He would tell us that although we were only one-third of our nation’s nuclear defense triad, the other two-thirds being the Air Force bombers and the Army ICBM system, our’s was the only one that really worked and that in the event of a Soviet attack, we would be the only platform surviving to slay the Soviet beast. OK, it was the cold war, but you all see where I am headed with this. <p>

To this day I still remember those speeches. And small wonder. All the elements were there. He appealed to our fears, to our hopes, to our egos and sense of exclusiveness, to our sense of honor, to our sense of teamwork, and to our sense of patriotic duty. Applying the ELM model, the speeches processed thoughts and ideas through the central route and through the peripheral route, practically simultaneously. There was a strong emotional appeal (we were afraid, though we never would have admitted to it, and his words reassured us) and an even stronger appeal to our sense of pride, pride in our individual selves, pride in ourselves as a team, as a crew. His speeches made us “yearn for the vast and endless sea.” <p>

Back to the subject. The speech we are tasked with must contain these elements, and more. Via both central and peripheral routes, the speech must appeal to each soldier’s sense of honor and of duty. Each soldier and each family member should leave knowing that something very special is happening that they should feel honored to be able to witness and participate in. The speech should avoid appeals to negative emotions as much as possible, but it should evoke the positive emotions, joy of accomplishment and of service, pride in individual and group teamwork, relief, hope and compassion. Finally, the speaker must be credible, he must be believable. None of these silly soundbites we get on the evening news, but strong words, strong thoughts, and appeals to personal strength and endurance. <p>
Course DE2201 Block 2 (2)

Lincoln and Churchill were both transformational leaders of the first order. Both were high level strategic communicators who exhibited mastery of the spoken and written word and used it to excellent effect to impart their strategic vision.

Transformational leadership and vision are inextricably linked. Tracey and Hinkin describe “a process that motivates people by appealing to higher ideals and moral values, defining and articulating a vision of the future.” Ackoff similarly defines a transformational leader as “one who formulates an inspiring vision, facilitates the vision, encourages short-term sacrifices, and makes pursuing the vision a fulfilling venture.” Transformational leaders, according to Tucker and Russell, “emphasize new possibilities and promote a compelling vision of the future.”

Cohen, in Supreme Command, explains that Lincoln acquired a mastery of the details of war through reading and studying war treatises, telegrams, and memoranda. He further mastered the new technologies that were bringing about a transformation of war, i.e. the rifle, the railroad and the telegraph. He had an insatiable curiosity for the details of war fighting, and satisfying that curiosity informed his selection, education, and training of his generals. Lincoln imparted to his generals, many of whom lacked recent war-fighting experience, his understanding of the purpose and the political characteristics of the war, creating a strategic approach (vision) to which he insisted his generals adhere.

Churchill’s genius for defining the campaigns of a new kind of war, his ability to link mundane, day-to-day issues to the broader problems of policy and strategy, his perfection of the art of interrogation of his subordinates to acquire detailed information, and his unique grasp of the significance and the importance of the individual unit identity and morale all contributed to his success as a transformational wartime leader. Because of the nature of the conflict, Churchill’s efforts to establish strong relations with the Americans, with members of the Empire and the Commonwealth, and with other allies and neutral countries, and his success in imparting his strategic vision to them, resulted in effective management of the Allied coalition against Hitler.

Vision and strategic communication are equally inextricably linked. Both Lincoln and Churchill were considered brilliant and compelling orators. Moreover, their speeches and written communications were masterpieces that not only inspired, but informed, explained, and clarified the strategic vision to the troops and their leaders, to the public, to the media, and to concerned allies.

An important aspect not covered by any of the readings, however, is the use of strategic communications by transformational leaders to impart a vision to the enemy. Taylor and Russell point out that transformational leadership “optimizes an energy exchange between leaders and followers.” A wartime leader wants his/her subjects to behave in a certain way that will attain victory. Correspondingly he/she wants his foes to behave in a certain way that will result in their defeat. When Churchill proclaimed to Parliament, “We shall not fail or falter, we shall not weaken or tire,” it was as much a message (and a vision) to the Germans, clear and unambiguous, as it was an exhortation to the British and the allies. While Lincoln communicated to his generals his vision of depriving the Confederacy of any external support, he further signaled that vision through direct military and diplomatic action, i.e., using naval vessels to blockade southern ports, and using his envoys to European capitols and Mexico to warn potential Confederacy collaborators and sympathizers that it would be in their best interests to stay out of the war.

Course DE2201 Block 2 (3)

1 In his 2004 article, “Leaders, Values, and Organizational Climate: Examining Leadership Strategies for Establishing an Organizational Climate Regarding Ethics,” Grojean identifies seven mechanisms. They are: 1) consistently apply principles and values of the organization; 2) set the example; 3) establish clear expectations; 4) provide feedback, coaching and support; 5) recognize and reward positive behaviors; 6) differentiate between individual members of the organization, and 7) establish leader training and mentoring.

2 Canby, Steven. “Roles, Missions and JTFs: Unintended Consequences.” Joint Forces Quarterly, Autumn/Winter 1994/1995.

3 Tucker and Russell, in their article, “The Influence of the Transformational Leader,” provide numerous examples of transactional and transformational leadership and the impact of both or organizational culture. Transactional leadership is based on bureaucracy and SOPs, transformational leadership motivates people through an appeal to higher ideals and moral values. Transactional depends on existing structures, transformational creates new pathways. Transactional recognizes employees’ needs, transformational attempts to develop those needs to higher levels of maturity.

4 T.O. Jacobs, in his book, Strategic Leadership: the Competitive Edge, draws the distinction between operational and strategic leadership as a function of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order effects.

5 Strategic Leadership Primer, Ch. 4.

6 Civil-military tensions, of course, are rarely clean-cut. Cohen, in his book, Supreme Command, points out that often, in the case of civil-military disputes, there are some generals who support the civilian leadership and criticize outspoken generals for stepping out of line, whatever the justification. Correspondingly, there are also some politicians, civilian leaders, who support the outspoken generals and join the chorus calling for the head of the errant civilian leadership. Cohen’s description of the evolution of ”normal” civil-military relations almost demands further analysis and study.

7 Tucker and Russell,

8 According to Cohen, Lincoln understood that the war was a revolutionary struggle to shatter the Confederacy’s will to resist, and he conveyed that vision to his general with successful effect.

9 Their wartime speeches continue to be memorized by school children as models of oratory excellence. To this day, I recall lines I memorized from the Gettysburg Address and from Churchill’s Address to the House of Commons during the blitz.

 

Course DE2202 Block 1(1)

Hedley Bull proposes the existence of an international society whose member states find anarchy at the international level intolerable and untenable. Two traditions, international law, i.e., a society of states bound by a system of legal rules and regulations, and balance of power, i.e., a system of states that is mutually supportive and interdependent, further advance Bull’s concept of an international society devoid of war.
Bull initially builds a construct he identifies as the domestic analogy, that is, an extension of the requirements of individuals in domestic society to the experience of the state in international society. Stated slightly differently, democracies externalize domestic norms of peaceful dispute resolution when degrees of interstate conflict arise. At the micro level of the individual and at the macro level of the state, a common power or government is needed for entities to live in peace and enjoy the maintenance of good public order. At length, Bull refutes the domestic analogy argument, citing, for example, that states are considerably less vulnerable to violent attack by each other than are individuals, and that attempts by an external power or “government” to maintain peace and order and a “balance of power” between states may serve to stir up discord between conflicting groups.
The failure of the domestic analogy, however, does not mean the failure of international society, nor does it imply the proliferation of international anarchy. As Bull points out, the existence of international law and of diplomatic relations between and within the community of nations enhance the prospects of a Kantian permanent peace, that is to say, an international society that is not prone to war.
Keohane and Nye begin by restating the key assumptions of realism. States are dominant actors who behave as coherent units in world politics. Force, or the threat of the use of force, is an effective instrument of international policy. There is a hierarchy of issues in world politics, foremost of which is military security. Next, one, by one, they relax these realist assumptions under conditions of complex interdependence, proposing a sort of general equilibrium model of international politics where no variable is held constant.
As a result of the relaxation of realist assumptions, for example, trans-governmental relations supersede interstate ones as the state no longer acts coherently. Transnational relations emerge as the state is no longer the dominant actor. Force loses its effectiveness as a policy instrument as militarily strong states lose their dominance to control international outcomes and militarily weaker states link previously unrelated issues in order to extract concessions. Finally, the hierarchy of issues flattens, as, on the domestic level, the variety of policy goals and outcomes results in each bureaucracy pursuing its separate agenda. Military security ceases to dominate the agenda, resulting in an increase in the importance of agenda formation and control among competing non-military agenda items. The decreased role of military force in world politics decreases the likelihood that military force will be used offensively in armed conflict, resulting in an international system that is less “war-prone.”
Neorealism retains the key assumptions of realism, i.e., that states are dominant and unitary actors on the international stage, and that anarchy is the essential structural quality of the international system. Anarchy leads to competition and conflict among states, resulting in an international system that is more “war-prone,” especially in a multipolar vice bipolar world setting. Liberal theorists and practitioners refute both assumptions as previously stated. Neorealism differs from realism in the emphasis it places on the extent to which the structure of the international system influences the unit level actor, and correspondingly, it concludes that a bipolar system is more inherently stable than a multipolar one.

Course DE2202 Block 1(2)

The foundation of the democratic/liberal peace hypothesis was set forth in Kant’s seminal work, Perpetual Peace. Kant’s key elements were: 1) in a republic, the majority of voters would never vote to go to war, unless in self-defense; and 2) if all nations were republics, war would end as there would be no aggressors. The elements, however, were predicated on the realist, Hobbesian notion that competition, conflict and war were the natural state of human society and thus, peace would have to be worked at, established, and maintained.
The earliest proponent of the democratic peace hypothesis in modern times was a social scientist and criminologist, Dean Babst, whose 1964 academic paper, “Elected Governments – A Force for Peace,” was followed up by a more popularized paper eight years later. Melvin Small and J. David Singer, in their 1976 paper, “The War-Proneness of Democratic Regimes,” cited an absence of wars between democratic states. Michael Doyle’s highly regarded 1983 paper, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs,” resulted in the propulsion of the democratic peace concept to the level of policy during the Reagan Administration. Successive U.S. administrations have attempted to apply the concept that democratic states are less war-prone, in order to support policy dictates extolling the virtues of exporting the democratic model to other countries, with varying degrees of success.
The two realist scholars with reviews opposing the democratic peace hypothesis are Snyder/Mansfield and Gowa/Spiro. In his review of Snyder and Mansfield’s book, Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War, John Owen cites the Snyder/Mansfield suggestion that while mature democracies may not fight each other, there is strong evidence that young, immature democracies are anything but less war-prone, and may, in fact, be quite bellicose. In the first place, turning former authoritarian countries into democracies is a difficult task in the best of circumstances, fraught with procedural pitfalls and likely reversals. It is often the case that new democracies, in a hurry to hold elections to prove their democratic bonafides, fail to establish the institutional framework to ensure democracy’s success – independent courts, civilian control of the military, protection for opposition parties, freedom of the press, etc. In such states, domestic political competition is intense, almost inviting foreign entanglements that may make the new democracy more, not less war-prone.
The Gowa/Spiro critique holds that the statistical evidence supporting the democratic peace hypothesis is, at best, shallow and thin. They contend that both the time span and the data sample size are too small to reach any concrete conclusion that proves the democratic peace hypothesis. Consequently, they argue, the apparent absence of war between democratic states has more to do with (1) how theorists define democracy, and with (2) the relatively small number of democratic states under study.
As a former mechanical engineer, I see interesting parallels between the critiques of the democratic peace hypothesis and mechanical systems I have maintained and operated on submarines. To say, for example, that the presence of democratic states in the international system results in peace between those states is analogous to saying that the presence of Freon in a refrigeration cycle results in air-conditioning. The presence of Freon is a necessary condition for the cooling process, but it is not a sufficient one. In addition to Freon, one needs pumps to push the Freon though the system, specialized valves to meter the fluid flow, heat exchangers to allow the Freon to absorb and expel the latent heat, temperature and pressure indicators, piping, etc., all together resulting in the desired outcome, lower temperatures in the medium.
Similarly, the international system requires more than the presence of democratic states to ensure peaceful relations between and among those states. The complex interdependence between nations and other international actors described by Keohane and Nye certainly provide characteristics that work together with democratic governance to reduce the incidence of or the threats of war. A true democratic peace hypothesis, correspondingly, should focus less on descriptive recommendations for peace between states and more on normative recommendations for minimizing the various misperceptions and miscalculations that heighten the threats of war.
Course DE2202 Block 1(3)

International relations theorists of all stripes accept that realism and liberalism and their various clones all failed to predict, or, in the aftermath, account for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Theo Farrell, in his paper, “Strategic Culture and the American Empire,” tears out a page from the constructivists’ playbook to explain aspects of U.S. strategic culture that have emerged since the Cold War’s end and how elements of that strategic culture account for the rise of the American Empire. This paper examines two of Farrell’s aspects of strategic culture that inform U.S. military practice as well as international relations behavior. They are (1) the bias towards techno-centric warfare and (2) the pragmatic approach to international law, viewed through constructivism’s prisms of identities and interests and the role/strength of ideas.
The U.S. military’s bias towards high technology warfare has recent roots in the successful results of World War II’s precision bombing in Germany and atomic bombing in Japan, the carpet bombing of Vietnam, and the Gulf War’s shock-and-awe high-tech demonstration. From an identity and interests perspective, manifestations of U.S. leadership and superiority in third generation warfare suggest that the “tech-fettishness” adopted by warfighters, whether the military officers and men or the civilians who maintain control of them, is fully vindicated. Of course, Farrell is guilty of oversimplification in asserting that the Air Force leads the other service branches in tech friendliness and tech geekiness; clearly Naval aviation and submarine technology rival the Air Force on both counts. There remains, of course, the question of whether or not any of this technology actually results in the desired military transformation. Williamson Murray addresses that question in a thoughtful article, “Thinking About Innovation.”
From the perspective of ideas and their influence on foreign policy, dedication to the high-tech vision of future warfare permeates the U.S. strategic culture, especially on the military side, but equally throughout. This high-tech vision is embraced by soldiers, military officers, and the civilian leadership of the military services and gets incorporated in recruitment, retention and training goals. The transformation required to move the military to its high technology warfare goals is an integral part of the strategic vision of the separate and joint military services and war-fighting commands. Through NATO and other transnational and multilateral military groupings, the U.S. cultural attachment to the high-tech warfare vision has become the standard in war-fighting capability among U.S allies.
The tendency of U.S. strategic culture to adopt a legal pragmatism with regard to international law has been especially prominent over the past few years. The Bush Administration’s decision to withdraw from the ABM treaties with Russia, its opposition to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (to the point of pulling out of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) Optional Protocols), its strident rejection of the Kyoto Protocols and the Ottawa Convention Against Landmines, and its unqualified and unquestioned veto of any and all UNSC resolutions critical of Israel send a clear and unambiguous signal to the rest of the world that legal rules, constitutive or regulative, must adapt to the reality of U.S. power.
It may be argued that, although the U.S. identifies with these tenets of legal pragmatism, they may or may not always be in the nation’s best interests from the classical realism perspective. At some point, striking out on a lonely unilateral legal path may backfire, as U.S. actions continue to undermine the legal institutions that actually give legitimacy to U.S. hegemony.
From the ideas perspective, the legal pragmatism bias that manifests itself in a disregard for the fulfillment of international treaty obligations, such as the prohibition against the preemptive use of force, is not necessarily new in U.S. strategic culture. Allowing for legal pragmatism, however, does not make up for the resulting institutional and procedural failures of international legality, i.e., an International Criminal Court that has no bite, or, in the worst case, a UN Security Council that, in effect, has no voice.

1 Hedley Bull, “Society and Anarchy in International Relations,” in Conflict After the Cold War: Arguments on Causes of War and Peace, ed. Richard K. Betts (New York: Pearson Longman, 2005), 130.

2 The Democratic Peace Idea, available from http:/www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1346/MR1346.appc.pdf, accessed 04 August 2007.

3 Bull, 134.

4 Robert O. Keohane and Joseph Nye, “Power and Interdependence,” in Conflict After the Cold War: Arguments on Causes of War and Peace, ed. Richard K. Betts (New York: Pearson Longman, 2005), 134.
5 Wikipedia, democratic peace theory

6 Doyle, Michael W., “Liberalism and world politics,” in Conflict After the Cold War: Arguments on Causes of War and Peace, ed. Richard K. Betts (New York: Pearson Longman, 2005), 291.

7 John M. Owen, IV, “Iraq and the Democratic Peace,” Foreign Affairs, November/December 2005.

8 “Democratic Peace Theory,” Wikipedia article available from http:/em.wikipedia.org/Democratic_peace_theory, accessed 30 August 2007.

9 Geoffrey Blainey, The Causes of War (New York: The Free Press, 1973), 118.

10 Theo Farrell, “Strategic Culture and American Empire,” SAIS Review 25 (Summer 2005): 2 [database on- line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 04 August 2007.

11 Williamson Murray. Thinking About Innovation. Naval War College Review Vol. 54, Number 2, Spring 2001.

12 Farrell, Ibid.

 

Course DE2202 Block 2(1)
This paper seeks to explain why hegemonic power may be a necessary condition for the maintenance of the liberal economic order in the world. It will examine briefly how hegemonic power is operationalized to achieve its goal. Finally, it will analyze problems associated with hegemonic transition and assesses whether those concerns apply to China’s rise and the potential shift in global world leadership.
Hegemonic power, a necessary condition for liberal world order
Gilpin, in his article, “The Theory of Hegemonic Stability,” argues that a dominant state must play a leading role in establishing and preserving an international economic system that is liberal, i.e., based on free market precepts. This argument is rooted in classical realism and follows the same Hobbesian logic as Kant’s republican peace hypothesis, i.e., nations, like individuals, have a proclivity for conflict that arises from an inherent nature of selfishness and greed; the only way to overcome man’s natural state of anarchy, then, is to superimpose on human society an unnatural discipline, a state of peace that must be externally established and maintained. Kant prescribed an external league of nations for the preservation of peace; similarly, a political entity would be required for the establishment and maintenance of the world economic order. In the absence of a world government, the world’s biggest sovereign government takes on the responsibility and becomes the hegemon in power.
Wyatt-Walter, in his article, “The United States and Western Europe: The Theory of Hegemonic Stability,” draws an instructive distinction between the neoliberal version of hegemonic stability and its neorealist counterpart. The neoliberal view focuses on the hegemonic power’s provision of collective goods to the international system. These collective goods take the form of providing financial assistance during a natural disaster or crisis, paying dues to an international or intergovernmental organization, or creating well-established rules governing international trade or an intergovernmental agreement like arms control or nuclear weapons proliferation. It presupposes that the liberal world economy is not self sustaining, i.e., there is no Adam Smithian “invisible hand” controlling international markets, and that only the actions of the hegemonic power will keep the world system on track. Krasner warns that “at the pinnacle of its power, the hegemonic state is prone to supply collective goods for the system disproportionately.” Gilpin suggests that the hegemonic state will provide these collective goods as long as their cost does not exceed the benefit that accrues to the hegemon.
On the other hand, the neorealist version of the theory holds that the hegemon behaves as a type of neocolonialist, structuring the international economic system to benefit the hegemon exclusively, even though there may be some partial benefit spin off for other states.
In both cases, the hegemon plays the role of class monitor in the international system, discouraging cheating and free-riding, and using its vast economic strength to moderate cycles and spikes in the international system. Where there is no hegemonic power, the international economy becomes unstable as each state reverts to selfishness and greed, in the form of economic nationalism and protectionist measures.
Operationalization of Hegemonic Power
Hegemonic power is operationalized at the exchange rate/monetary policy level, at the import/export/investment level, and at the military support level. Management of a stable, predictable exchange-rate regime is a key benefit of a hegemonic system. Gilpin cites the post-war Bretton Woods system as an example of an economic regime where liberal market rules are enforced and economic nationalism tendencies are suppressed by the hegemonic state. Member states of the European Union, for example, harmonize their domestic monetary policy, their inflation rates, and their employment rates, and the common currency eliminates exchange rate fluctuations. The hegemon acts as an engine of economic growth for the international system, importing goods from other countries to stimulate industrial and manufacturing growth in those countries, exporting goods back out to stimulate demand, and channeling investment funds to developing countries in the form of direct foreign investment, foreign assistance, and technology transfers. Concrete examples of operationalizing hegemonic power throughout the world via military support include a 2004 DOD Manpower Report that counted over 725 military bases in over 35 countries, and the fact that in 2001, even before 9/11, the U.S. had already deployed 254,788 military personnel in 153 countries.
Problems with Hegemonic Transitions
Gilpin, in his article, “Hegemonic War and International Change,” cites three fundamental problems faced by mature or declining hegemonic powers. External demand (for example, military and resource commitments in the Near East and South/Central Asia in the case of the U.S.) places increasing strains on the national economy. The rise in external demand overseas is met at home by a deteriorating capacity to finance or fund the overseas expenditures (e.g., public unwillingness to raise taxes means the nation is fighting a very costly war with borrowed cash). Finally, private and public consumption at home rises due to the perceived greater affluence in society (examples: rising credit card debt, rising home foreclosure rates).
Hegemonic transition, by definition, requires either a hegemonic power in decline, or a hegemonic power in ascendance, or both. The inherent problem in hegemonic transition, then, is the problem of instability in the world system during the transition, and how states behave as a result of that instability. According to Kindleberger, the instability of the world economy between the world wars reflected the absence of a dominant power that was willing and able to stabilize the international system.
The instability that is a product of hegemonic transition can result in one of several likely outcomes. Kindleberger’s thesis is that the decline of UK hegemony after WWI, and the failure of the U.S. to immediately step up and seize the hegemonic mantle, resulted in the Great Depression and the corresponding shutdown of the world economy. A different outcome could be that the strength and resilience of intergovernmental organizations and other transnational actors, such as the UN, the World Bank, NATO, the EU, ASEAN, etc., enable the hegemonic regime to continue intact without the agency of a single hegemonic power, its power diffused throughout other states, organizations and groupings/alliances. A third outcome predicts the emergence of a new hegemonic power, such as China, to replace the old, declining one, resetting and stabilizing the world system.
The realist Mearsheimer predicts that China will seek to emulate the U.S. and will attempt to become the Asian hegemon. Using its immense wealth of material, financial and human resources and their vast network of energy resources, the Chinese will come up with their own equivalent of the Monroe doctrine to keep all peer competitors out of Asia, thereby seeking the regional hegemony which alone will guarantee their regional security.
Liberalism’s democratic peace theory would prescribe democratic reform for China, with the consequence that China’s adoption of democratic practices would preserve the peace between the two hegemonic powers, resulting in a bipolar hegemonic system. Similarly, liberalism’s complex interdependence hypothesis would prescribe strengthening of trade, science, and cultural exchange links with China, establishing multiple mutual channels reinforced by credible commitments to preserve the peace, leaving the international system more stable and less war-prone. Mearsheimer, on the contrary, predicts that the U.S. will respond to China’s emergence as a regional hegemon by containing it and cutting it off at the knees, just as it did with Germany and Japan in WWI and II, and later with the Soviet Union. Moreover, the U.S. will work to strengthen alliances with Japan, Korea, India, Vietnam, and Russia, inter alia, to build counter-hegemonic coalitions in the region, ensuring US security through regional hegemony with no peer competitors.
Other analysts and theorists have decidedly mixed positions regarding future conflict. Hugo Restall reports that the Chinese government is going all out to put forward a benign public image, using all the diplomatic, commercial, and financial tools at its disposal. Robert Sutter acknowledges that China cannot reach its goals of nation building and continued growth through conflict and confrontation. At the same time, though, he questions whether Beijing’s current strategy is tactical or strategic, and opines that when China becomes stronger, it may also become more assertive and more aggressive. Bates Gill makes the observation that China policy rhetoric has become decidedly less anti-American in tone, but he reminds us that a high level Chinese official conceded that China and the U.S. “cannot hope to establish truly friendly relations.
A Few Closing Thoughts
Mearsheimer offers assumptions about the structure of the international system and the forms of state behavior to which they give rise.. These assumptions and behaviors result in a hegemonic system where the best way for a state to ensure its survival is by being the most powerful state, a sort of Darwinian survival of the fittest. (In his analysis, however, the U.S. is merely regional hegemon; global hegemony is not possible due to power projection limitations.) The more powerful (hegemonic) a state is relative to its potential adversaries, the more secure that state is (Offensive Realism).
Ikenberry, in his pre-9/11 article, “Getting Hegemony Right,” differs slightly with Mearsheimer, positing that the US is indeed a global hegemon, albeit a benign one. The U.S.’s mature and predictable political institutions, the extent to which foreign governments are allowed to exert influence on political decisions, and the degree to which the U.S. is engaged in a complex web of multilateral institutions and international organizations, are all elements of an institutional bargain ensuring cooperation and reciprocity among and between states in the hegemonic system.
The pragmatic approach of the U.S. to international law described by Farrell in his article, “Strategic Culture and American Empire,” unfortunately, is neither congruent with nor even parallel to Ikenberry’s prescription for getting American hegemony on track for the long haul. Ikenberry’s “institutional bargain” sets forth a stakeholder hegemony that relies on common adherence to mutually acceptable rules and institutions. The U.S. proclivity for preventive use of force, its disillusionment, in the present Global War on Terrorism, with prohibitions against attacking civilian targets, the military-operational level fascination with technology-aided strike precision and counter-leadership targeting, and the host of international conventions/treaties the U.S. has either not ratified or withdrawn from (ABM Treaty, the International Criminal Court, the Ottawa Convention banning landmines) all conspire to accelerate the U.S. spiral, outside the orbit of Ikenberry’s institutional bargain, and down the path of hegemonic decline.

1 Robert Gilpin, “The Theory of Hegemonic Stability,” in The Political Economy of International Relations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987) [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 27 August 2007.
2 Immanuel Kant, “Perpetual Peace,” in Conflict After the Cold War: Arguments on Causes of War and Peace, ed. Richard K. Betts (New York: Pearson Longman, 2005), 122.
3 Andrew Wyatt-Walter, “The U.S. and Western Europe: The Theory of Hegemonic Stability,” in Explaining International Relations Since 1945, ed. Ngaire Woods (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 128, 129.
4 Stephen Krasner, Structural Conflict (Berkley: University of California Press, 1985), 78.
5 Gilpin, Ibid.
6 Gilpin, Ibid.
7 Gilpin, Ibid.
8 Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2004), 154.
9 “Hegemonic Stability Theory,” Wikipedia article available from http:/em.wikipedia.org/Hegemonic_stability_theory, accessed 28 September 2007.
10 Wyatt-Walter, Ibid.
11 John J. Mearsheimer, “China’s Unpeaceful Rise,” Current History 105 (April 2006) 690 [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 28 September 2007
12 Ibid.
13 Hugo Restall, “China’s Bid for Asian Hegemony,” Far East Economic review 170 (May 2007):4 [database on-line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 19 August 2007.
14 Warren/Cohen, “China’s Power Paradox,” The National Interest (Spring 2006).
15 Ibid.
16 The international system is dominated by states. All states have some offensive military capability. States can never be certain about the assumptions of other states; they cannot predict long term intentions. Survival is the highest goal of the state. States are strategic calculators who are adept at coming up with survival strategies.
17 Mearsheimer, Ibid.
18 G. John Ikenberry, “Getting Hegemony Right,” The National Interest 63 (Spring 2001) 20..
19 See Pat Choate’s 1990 work, Agents of Influence, about Japanese manipulation of the American political process. Further, see Mearsheimer and Walt’s 2007 work, the Israeli Lobby, for a similar expose.
20 Ikenberry, Ibid, p. 22.
21 Theo Farrell, “Strategic Culture and American Empire,” SAIS Review 25 (Summer 2005): 2 [database on- line]; available from ProQuest; accessed 04 August 2007.
22 Ikenberry, Ibid., p. 22

 

2203(1)

This paper seeks to determine and define U.S. national interests regarding China. It utilizes the U.S Army War College methodology for determining interests and levels of intensity and the Blackwill taxonomy for defining U.S. National Security Interests. National interests are derived from national values as well as core objectives. Once defined, interests are categorized by their level of intensity and strategic appraisal. This paper will focus on the following four U.S. national interests regarding China: trade relations/economic development; enhanced international cooperation; regional peace and stability; and human rights/religious freedom.
Were China’s economy an insulated one, without trading partners and not integrated in the world economy, its development as an economic powerhouse would be the subject or curiosity, but largely inconsequential in terms of U.S. interests. That is not the case. Due to the forces of globalization, the bilateral integration of the U.S. and Chinese financial and manufacturing markets, the magnitude of China’s financial potential, and the degree of connectivity, not only between China and the U.S., but between both countries and their various neighbors, the success if China’s economic development is linked to future U.S. economic prosperity. James Hoge, in his article, “A Global Power Shift in the Making,” reports that China is such a major player in the world economy that its health is “inextricably linked” to the system at large.
U.S. interests regarding China trade relations/economic development have additional dimensions. National values cause the U.S. to seek a trade regime with other countries that is open, free, and beneficial to all parties. Gat’s article, “The Return of the Authoritarian Great Powers,” suggests that China’s transition from a command-based economy to a market-based one has not been accompanied by a corresponding transition to liberal democracy. Instead, it has transitioned to a more efficient brand of authoritarianism, a capitalist order that networks the political elites, the powerful industrialists, and the military, one that may not be cooperative or collaborative with other players in the world economy.
Applying the USAWC methodology, trade and economic development fall under the following three broad categories of interests: economic prosperity; promotion of values; and favorable world order. Due to its potential immediate consequences, trade and economic development constitute a vital level of intensity of interest.
The U.S. sees China as a growing regional power and has a vital, vested interest in seeking to elicit Chinese assistance in resolving a number of key international issues. These vital issues fall mostly under the categories of favorable world order and defense of the homeland. Immediacy, magnitude and connectivity heighten the strategic appraisal of their threats. China’s level and degree of international participation is viewed as a vital U.S. interest.
Inter-regional and extra-regional, these issues include the following: Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons proliferation; Sudanese genocide in Darfur; and Burmese human rights and religious freedom. Equally, the U.S. sees Chinese assistance on a host of transnational issues, including security, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, environmental issues, halting the spread of infectious diseases, and responses to humanitarian crises. China’s participation in and contribution to the resolution of these crises and issues will provide a stabilizing influence on the international system.
Regional peace and stability is another aspect of vital concern for U.S. interest regarding China. China’s rise in the region is significant but does not reach the vital intensity level because of lack of immediacy. Falling under the category of favorable world order, it is of important but not vital interest to the U.S.
James Hoge suggests in his article that China has the potential to become a regional hegemon. Citing China’s military modernization, its increasing military budget as a proportion of GNP, and its focus on countering U.S. high tech capabilities, esp., information networks, stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and precision-guided bombs, Hoge points to signs or indications of a future desire to deter potential U.S. aggression. As long as these efforts are purely defensive, there exists little actual threat to the U.S. homeland.
Mearsheimer, on the other hand, predicts that as China becomes stronger, it will become more assertive, nit merely defensive, in world affairs. Moreover, present U.S. policy, according to Mearsheimer, does not allow for the emergence of a second hegemonic power, with the resulting security requirement to limit China’s ascent as a regional hegemonic power. George Jan, a Canadian academic, holds out optimism that the U.S. will adjust its anti-hegemon policy to allow for China’s rise in a multi-polar, multicultural new world order.
Human rights/Religious freedom
Concern about human rights and religious freedom is a U.S. national interest that derives directly from an American-held national value. The issue of human rights and religious freedom in China, though important in its own right, does not carry the threat of immediate consequences for critical national interests. Fitting within the category of promotion of values, its level of intensity of interest is important, but not vital.
U.S. citizens place a high value on individual freedom and rights domestically and expect their government to extend that interest internationally to its allies and trading partners. Human rights advocacy groups in the U.S. have highlighted the intimidation techniques the Chinese government utilizes against journalists, internet writers and bloggers, defense attorneys, religious/social activists, and human rights defenders, in violation not only of international human rights norms, but even of Chinese laws and their own constitution.
U.S. policymakers believe a repressive domestic regime that denies its citizens fundamental rights and freedoms is by definition an unstable regime, plagued by internal instability which reduces or limits its ability to project leadership and act decisively on the international stage. China itself recognizes its deficiencies in social development, the growing gap between social development and economic development, environmental issues (despoiling the environment for short-term resource extraction benefits), and overall resource shortages ass the greatest developmental challenges.
There are obvious and not-so-obvious tradeoffs inherent in the pursuit of the aforementioned interests. For example, it is obvious that encouraging economic growth and development could have an adverse impact on bilateral terms of trade between the U.S. and China; as the Chinese economy becomes more diversified, more consumer goods will be produced domestically, reducing dependence on U.S. imports and on imports from other countries. Correspondingly, increased domestic production, above the domestic requirement, will lower the price on Chinese exports to the U.S. and other countries, for example, further increasing the trade deficit those countries have with China. Less obvious, however, may be the impact that increased urban-based manufacturing may have on China’s rural agricultural areas, resulting in unbalanced economic growth. Ten million workers are emigrating from rural farm areas to Chinese coastal cities each year, further affecting the urban-rural imbalance.
The imbalance between social and rural development has already been alluded to earlier in this paper. Zheng Bijian cites a series of tensions that exist and must be overcome, all between the forces of explosive economic growth, many of which may be exogenous and influenced by foreign policymakers and multinational investors, and the seeming inertia of domestic society, steeped in past Chinese communist dogma, trained to resist capitalistic growth. While much of these tensions are internal and domestic, effects may be exacerbated by external policy decisions.
There are purely external policy decisions as well. For example, U.S. policy makers should not allow China’s acquiescence (if not complicity) with the genocidal Sudanese regime (in exchange for oil supply and arms sales) overshadow the need to seek Chinese assistance in other, unrelated multilateral fora, such as counter-terrorism, or helping halt the spread of infectious diseases. Human rights policymakers, in another example, may consider China’s poor human rights record an abomination, while arms control policymakers may encourage a Chinese yes vote, or even an abstention, in a UNSC vote on Iranian or North Korean nuclear weapons non-proliferation.

2203(3)

The USAWC Strategy Model employs a series of premises setting forth the logic of strategy and a set of layers defining the levels, hierarchy and comprehensiveness of strategy related to the military element of power. Included in the USAWC Strategy Model is the Lykke three-stool model consisting of military objectives (ends), strategic military concepts (ways) to achieve those objectives, the application of resources (means) to accomplish those objectives, the degree of compatibility of which determines the level of risk involved. Following a brief introduction of the logical premises and levels of strategic power, this paper will assess and evaluate the “surge” strategy using the USAWC Strategy Model.
Harry Yarger lays out the logical premises of strategy in his articles, “Strategic Theory for the 21st Century: The Little Big Book on Strategy,” and “Towards a Theory of Strategy: Art Lykke and the Army War College Strategy Model.” A theory of strategy provides discipline to thinking and direction to action. It is comprehensive and lends coherence and judicious objectivity to discourse.
Ends, according to the Lykke model, explain the objectives, which, once accomplished, will lead to the desired, objective state. Reaching that state will serve the broad national interests.
As articulated in the President’s Address to the Nation of January 10, 2007, the objective or end of the surge strategy is, in general, to achieve success for the US in protecting its interests in Iraq. Specifically, the end of the surge is to break the cycle of sectarian violence in Baghdad and its immediate environs (30 mile radius). Achieving success in this strategy results in a secure military and police-imposed environment in Baghdad, but there are other, non-military goals as well. The President referred in hi speech to improvements in central governance measured by a set of benchmarks, the passing of legislation by the Iraqi government to share oil revenues with the Iraqi people, reconstruction and infrastructure projects (public works) for jobs creation, and ultimately, defense of Iraq’s territorial integrity/regional stability to protect U.S interests in the Middle East.
Ways (concepts) inform how the objectives (ends) will be achieved through the use of resources (means). Ways include policies, programs and methodologies for accomplishing goals and objectives.
The President articulated a number and a variety of ways how his objectives might be achieved, by the Iraqis, by Coalition forces, and jointly by both. He proposed that the Iraqi government appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders fro Baghdad. From this command structure will be deployed Army and police brigades throughout Baghdad’s nine districts. The brigades will operate from local police stations, conducting patrols, setting up and manning checkpoints, and going door-to-door interacting with the local populace to earn trust.
On the American and joint side, U.S. troops will work alongside the Iraqi brigades in increased numbers. American military and civilian advisers will be embedded in Iraqi Army units. State Department-led provincial reconstruction teams (PRT’s) will help Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, will work to strengthen the forces of moderation in Iraqi communities, and will help speed the transition to Iraqi self-reliance. The President will appoint a Reconstruction Coordinator to manage and control the flow of economic assistance in Baghdad and the provinces.
Means (resources) include specific resources needed to carry out the concepts (ways) and achieve the objectives (ends). Means can be specific resources like people, money, and time, or intangibles like courage and political will.
The President listed in his speech a number of categories of resources he would use to achieve his desired end of securing Baghdad. He promised to increase troop strength by five brigades, reaching a total of 30,000 additional troops to carry out the security task at hand. He also promised to increase the number of U.S troops and civilian advisers embedded in Iraqi Army and police units. He promised to increase the number of U.S diplomats assigned to lead and staff the provincial reconstruction teams and to increase the overall number of PRT teams in Baghdad and throughout the country. He promised to lean on the Iraqi government officials to pass legislation sharing oil revenues with the Iraqi citizenry (political will) and he promised to hold the Iraqis to the goal of holding legislative elections before the end of 2007. He also promised to push the Iraqis to reform de-Bathification laws and to come up with a fair process for amending the Iraqi constitution (political will).
Strategy, to be effective, must integrate a wide range of instruments of national power. Jablonsky, in his article “National Power,” describes and distinguishes between natural and social determinants of national power, but he cautions strategists against committing what Morgenthau refers to as the “Fallacy of the Single Factor.” It may be useful here to take a quick look at the Morgenthau framework regarding evaluation of national power.
Morgenthau cites three types of errors nations can commit in evaluating national power, whether their own or that of other nations. The absolute character of power is the tendency to disregard the relativity of power by assuming that the power of one nation is absolute. The permanent character of power assumes the permanence of a specific instrument of power due to a decisive role that instrument played in the past. The fallacy of the single factor is the failure of a nation to correlate a single factor or instrument of national power to all other instruments (DIME).
The Fact Sheet of the New Way Forward in Iraq, an addendum to the President’s address, cites four key elements that roughly approximate the DIME method. They are security (military), political (diplomatic and informational), economic (economic, diplomatic and informational) and regional (diplomatic and informational).
It is fair to say that the new strategy attempts to integrate the instruments of national power in a way that exceeds earlier integration attempts by the Bush administration. For example, the State department-led PRT’s are ramping up in volume and intensity and receiving a much higher profile in the reconstruction effort (diplomatic and informational). The Reconstruction Coordinator was named and is on the ground, coordinating foreign assistance from the coalition nations (economic). The American Ambassador is reaching out to factions within Iraq and outside Iraq, encouraging them to increase their participation in the political and diplomatic process (political and informational).
Risk is an important element of the Lykke model. It measures the extent to which there is imbalance between or lack of harmony among the objectives, resources and concepts. The President’s speech does not adequately address the risks inherent in the proposed strategy, i.e., the imbalances that exist between the three supporting pillars of the surge strategy. He addresses at great length, however, the risks inherent in failure to achieve the broad and specific objectives of the strategy, i.e., success for the U.S. and security of Baghdad and its immediate environs. The two are not the same, that is, the risks inherent in the strategy are not the same as the risks inherent in failure to achieve the objectives. The absence of a discussion of the risks inherent in the strategy itself, and the failure to address those risks, is a very unfortunate oversight, as it suggests that the strategy is inherently flawed, an opinion that is shared by a number of authors whose articles we have been assigned to read throughout the course.
In actuality, there are risks inherent in the strategy itself, but the risks are few, and they are not insurmountable — time has borne that out. For example, a risk to putting more troops in Baghdad and in harms way as part of the surge may have been an increase in casualties. The fact, eleven months into the surge, is that troop casualties have decreased as a result of the surge, and as sectarian violence abates. Unfortunately there is very little political capital to be gained by the Administration on this crucial point, thanks to either their intellectual dishonesty or gross stupidity in failing to treat the strategy’s risks head-on in the first instance.
It seems fairly obvious, and the Lykke model bears it out, that the surge strategy at its inception was rather long on ways (concepts), while disproportionately short on ends (objectives) and means (resources). Gaddis, in his article “Grand Strategy in the Second Term,” describes the gap between intentions (concepts) and accomplishments in Iraq policy and strategy. His prediction in early 2005 of a midcourse correction proved to be prescient with respect to the new surge strategy enunciated in early 2007. Zais, in his the following: the failure to adequately fund the war from the start; the fact that normal citizens at home are not being requested to make any type of sacrifice (although citizens will likely pay in the future in the form of higher taxes and reduced benefits resulting from fighting an expensive war with borrowed money); the fact that too much money was spent on technology and not enough on soldiers and Marines who are actually doing the fighting; and finally, the failure of the Administration to engage the full scope of the U.S. Government in the rebuilding of Iraq, not just the military (DIME).
Edward Luttwak, in his article “The Logic of Disengagement,” made an interesting and compelling case in early 2005, well before the surge’s inception, that immediate withdrawal could prove to be a successful strategy, citing the closer historical parallels between Iraq and 19th century Spain and Italy, where occupation forces were rejected by the local populace, than to 20th century Germany and Japan, where local populations and militias were completely destroyed/defeated before the occupation began.
Endnotes

1 Yarger, Harry R. “Strategic Theory for the 21st Century: The Little Book on Big Strategy.” Strategic Studies Institute, Carlisle, PA. Strategy is proactive and anticipatory, but not predictive. Political purpose dominates all strategy. Strategy is subordinate to the nature of the strategic environment, the international and the domestic environment. Strategy is holistic in outlook and requires comprehensiveness. Any strategy creates a security dilemma for the strategist and other actors – strategy once known or implemented, introduces change into the strategic environment. Strategy cannot be formulated in a policy or intellectual vacuum and the strategist must know the end state he/she is trying to achieve. Strategy is an inherently human enterprise. Friction is an inherent part of strategy. Strategy focuses on root causes and purposes, making it inherently flexible and adaptable. Strategy is hierarchical and originates at the top from a grand strategy. Strategy has a symbiotic relationship with time and the successful strategist constantly extrapolates possible futures from present strategic circumstances with a clear view of history. Strategy is cumulative and once implemented, becomes part of the continuum of the strategic environment. Good strategy values effectiveness over efficiency. Strategy provides a balance between ends, ways, and means. Strategy recognizes that risk is inherent in all activity.
2 Harry R. Yarger, “Toward a Theory of Strategy: Art Lykke and the Army War College Strategy Model”, U.S. Army W ar College Guide to Strategy. Ed. J. Boone Bartholomees, Jr. Carlisle, PA: June 2006, pp. 107-113
3 President George W. Bush, Address to the Nation, 10 Jan 2007, available from http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/print/20070110-7.html; Internet, accessed 05 November 2007,
4 David Jablonsky, David. Chapter 8: “National Power.” USAWC Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy. Ed. J. Boone Bartholomees, Jr., U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA, June 2006.
5 Hans J.Morgenthau. Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A Knopf 1966(149-158.
6 Fact Sheet: The New Way Forward in Iraq, available from http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/print/20070110-3.html; Internet, accessed 05 November 2007.
7 John Lewis Gaddis, “Grand Strategy in the Second Term,” Foreign Affairs 84 (Jan/Feb 2007): 2 [database on-line] available from Proquest; accessed 28 September 2007.
8 Mitchell M. Zais, “U.S. Strategy in Iraq,” Military Review 87 (Mar/Apr 2007): 105 [database on-line] available from Proquest; accessed 28 September 2007.
9 Edward Luttwak, “Iraq: the Logic of Disengagement,” Foreign Affairs 84 (Jan/Feb 2005): 26 [database on-line] available from Proquest; accessed 28 September 2007.

1/12/2008

Clausewitz’s remarkable trinity consists of three elements necessary for war. The relationship between these three elements, in Clausewitz’s words the “balance between these three tendencies,” gives rise to a theory, not only of war but of the strategic culture itself, that allows for, informs, and contributes to war’s prosecution and success.
At the primary, or initial level of analysis, these three elements are the following: 1) primordial violence, hatred and enmity; 2) the intersection of play and probability; and 3) the subordination of war as an instrument of policy. At a secondary level of analysis, Clausewitz attaches the following categories of force to these three elements: 1) blind natural force (irrational); 2) creative free spirit (non-rational); and 3) energy subordinate to reason (rational).
At a third level of analysis, he assigns actors to the three elements. Those actors include the people, the military organization (troops and commanders), and the government or political leadership. The actors bring three characteristics or properties, i.e., passions that are to be kindled in war, the scope or the range in which probability and chance are played out, and the government’s or civilian leadership’s political aims for prosecuting the war.
At this level of analysis, one can envision a rough parallel to the Lykke three-legged stool demonstrating the elements of national strategy, placing the Clausewitzian trinity in its broadest context.
See attached chart

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 5.39.41 PM

Chart 1. Levels of analysis of Clausewitz’s remarkable trinity

Clausewitz refers to the “paradoxical trinity,” suggesting that the elements of which war is composed are somehow contradictory elements that should not really fit together. And yet they do, resulting in an overriding need to maintain balance between the three mutually opposing elements.
Friction, according to Clausewitz, explains the factors that “distinguish real war from war on paper.” Such factors may include soldier fatigue, poorly executed logistics, unforeseen weather conditions, unanticipated danger posed by the enemy, and problems resulting from insufficient intelligence. All these factors result in decreased performance on the battlefield, and all constitute Clausewitzian friction. Villacres and Bassford suggest that friction, i.e., the fog of war, is most applicable to the second element of the Clausewitzian trinity, non-rational forces, or the interplay between chance and probability and played out by the military on the battlefield.
Clausewitz’s assertion that “war is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means,” is at the same time a definition, a demonstration, and a part of a dialectical construct. As a definition, it establishes the relationship between military action and policy, i.e., policy drives strategy, and hence war fits within the overall continuum of policy formulation and implementation. The statement demonstrates the third “leg” of the Clausewitzian trinity, i.e., subordination to and an instrument of policy, subject exclusively to reason and calculation. Finally, the statement is an element of a dialectical construct, serving as the antithesis of the thesis statement that “war is nothing but a duel on a larger scale….an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.” The use of the clause “nothing but” in both cases further demonstrates Bassford’s claim that Clausewitz doesn’t really mean it, but is simply setting up the dialectical construct. The synthesis, i.e., the working out of the contradictions between the two opposites, reconciles the duality within the Clausewitzian trinity, though it is a dynamic, not a static reconciliation.
Concluding, the remarkable trinity is a concept which evolves, an idea that grows through three stages to its completion, its perfection. It is a process, not a static design. It flows like a liquid, or like musical notes from an instrument. It is the interplay between chaos and probability and it is unpredictable, inherently unstable, and in a permanent state of disequilibrium.

================================================================================
 11/19/07        AUTHORIZATION                   |DOC NO:      4490880024
  PAGE   1 ** Read Privacy Act On Last Page **   |TA NUM:      4490880024
================================================================================
1) NAME: Maxwell, Raymond D.
   ADDR: Unit 64900
         Box 3
         APO, AE  09839-4900
   DUTY: APO, AE
   RES:  APO, AE
   HOURS:  8
   CFMS Bur Name

TZ: 6

 SSN:    246-94-1778
PHONE:
MAIL CD:
ORG:     NEA/I
TITLE:   Management Officer
SEC CLR:
CARD:    INFREQUENT TRAVELER
================================================================================
 2) TA NUM:   4490880024          DATE: 11/15/2007     TYPE: FG-FOREIGN
================================================================================
 3) TRAVEL PURPOSE:  8-SPECIAL
 1 year TDY in Baghdad
================================================================================
 4) GENERAL ITINERARY
        DATE       TIME    DEPARTED/ARRIVED LOCATIONS     PER DIEM RATE
      --------    -------  --------------------------     -------------
01/14/2008
01/14/2008
01/16/2008
01/16/2008
01/11/2009
01/11/2009
01/12/2009
01/12/2009
D-Cairo
A-AMMAN,JOR                       136/87
D-AMMAN,JOR
A-BAGHDAD,IRQ                     0/11
D-BAGHDAD,IRQ
A-AMMAN,JOR                       136/87
D-AMMAN,JOR
A Cairo
================================================================================
5) OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS
Excess Baggage(1)
|6)           EST COST
|COM. CARR      550.00
|LODGING        408.00
|M&IE          1026.50
|TRANSPORT      100.00
|           ---------- ----------
|TOTAL         2084.50      488.20
|  ADVANCE AUTHORIZED         0.00
================================================================================
 7) ACCT CLASSIFICATIONS                                               EST COST
Agency/BFY/Fund/Allotment/Obligation#/Bene. Org./Function/Object/Job Number/Reptg. Categ
 19/0708/0113E/4490/4490880024/141600/2127/See Acct Detail////           2084.50
================================================================================
 8) REMARKS
Per Diem Iraq:  Lodging & meals provided by USG. Traveler receives only Incident
al Expenses paid at $2.00 per day.
==VERSION CIV===========Copyright 1998 Gelco Information Network GSD, Inc.======

Archives

Top Secret America
A hidden world, growing beyond control

Monday, July 19, 2010; 4:50 PM

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

The investigation’s other findings include:

* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings – about 17 million square feet of space.

* Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.

* Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year – a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.

These are not academic issues; lack of focus, not lack of resources, was at the heart of the Fort Hood shooting that left 13 dead, as well as the Christmas Day bomb attempt thwarted not by the thousands of analysts employed to find lone terrorists but by an alert airline passenger who saw smoke coming from his seatmate.

They are also issues that greatly concern some of the people in charge of the nation’s security.

“There has been so much growth since 9/11 that getting your arms around that – not just for the CIA, for the secretary of defense – is a challenge,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in an interview with The Post last week.

In the Department of Defense, where more than two-thirds of the intelligence programs reside, only a handful of senior officials – called Super Users – have the ability to even know about all the department’s activities. But as two of the Super Users indicated in interviews, there is simply no way they can keep up with the nation’s most sensitive work.

“I’m not going to live long enough to be briefed on everything” was how one Super User put it. The other recounted that for his initial briefing, he was escorted into a tiny, dark room, seated at a small table and told he couldn’t take notes. Program after program began flashing on a screen, he said, until he yelled ”Stop!” in frustration.

“I wasn’t remembering any of it,” he said.

Underscoring the seriousness of these issues are the conclusions of retired Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who was asked last year to review the method for tracking the Defense Department’s most sensitive programs. Vines, who once commanded 145,000 troops in Iraq and is familiar with complex problems, was stunned by what he discovered.

“I’m not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities,” he said in an interview. “The complexity of this system defies description.”

The result, he added, is that it’s impossible to tell whether the country is safer because of all this spending and all these activities. “Because it lacks a synchronizing process, it inevitably results in message dissonance, reduced effectiveness and waste,” Vines said. “We consequently can’t effectively assess whether it is making us more safe.”

The Post’s investigation is based on government documents and contracts, job descriptions, property records, corporate and social networking Web sites, additional records, and hundreds of interviews with intelligence, military and corporate officials and former officials. Most requested anonymity either because they are prohibited from speaking publicly or because, they said, they feared retaliation at work for describing their concerns.

The Post’s online database of government organizations and private companies was built entirely on public records. The investigation focused on top-secret work because the amount classified at the secret level is too large to accurately track.

Today’s article describes the government’s role in this expanding enterprise. Tuesday’s article describes the government’s dependence on private contractors. Wednesday’s is a portrait of one Top Secret America community. On the Web, an extensive, searchable database built by The Post about Top Secret America is available at washingtonpost.com/topsecretamerica.

Defense Secretary Gates, in his interview with The Post, said that he does not believe the system has become too big to manage but that getting precise data is sometimes difficult. Singling out the growth of intelligence units in the Defense Department, he said he intends to review those programs for waste. “Nine years after 9/11, it makes a lot of sense to sort of take a look at this and say, ‘Okay, we’ve built tremendous capability, but do we have more than we need?’ ” he said.

CIA Director Leon Panetta, who was also interviewed by The Post last week, said he’s begun mapping out a five-year plan for his agency because the levels of spending since 9/11 are not sustainable. “Particularly with these deficits, we’re going to hit the wall. I want to be prepared for that,” he said. “Frankly, I think everyone in intelligence ought to be doing that.”

In an interview before he resigned as the director of national intelligence in May, retired Adm. Dennis C. Blair said he did not believe there was overlap and redundancy in the intelligence world. “Much of what appears to be redundancy is, in fact, providing tailored intelligence for many different customers,” he said.

Blair also expressed confidence that subordinates told him what he needed to know. “I have visibility on all the important intelligence programs across the community, and there are processes in place to ensure the different intelligence capabilities are working together where they need to,” he said.

Weeks later, as he sat in the corner of a ballroom at the Willard Hotel waiting to give a speech, he mused about The Post’s findings. “After 9/11, when we decided to attack violent extremism, we did as we so often do in this country,” he said. “The attitude was, if it’s worth doing, it’s probably worth overdoing.”

Outside a gated subdivision of mansions in McLean, a line of cars idles every weekday morning as a new day in Top Secret America gets underway. The drivers wait patiently to turn left, then crawl up a hill and around a bend to a destination that is not on any public map and not announced by any street sign.

Liberty Crossing tries hard to hide from view. But in the winter, leafless trees can’t conceal a mountain of cement and windows the size of five Wal-Mart stores stacked on top of one another rising behind a grassy berm. One step too close without the right badge, and men in black jump out of nowhere, guns at the ready.

Past the armed guards and the hydraulic steel barriers, at least 1,700 federal employees and 1,200 private contractors work at Liberty Crossing, the nickname for the two headquarters of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and its National Counterterrorism Center. The two share a police force, a canine unit and thousands of parking spaces.

Liberty Crossing is at the center of the collection of U.S. government agencies and corporate contractors that mushroomed after the 2001 attacks. But it is not nearly the biggest, the most costly or even the most secretive part of the 9/11 enterprise.

In an Arlington County office building, the lobby directory doesn’t include the Air Force’s mysteriously named XOIWS unit, but there’s a big “Welcome!” sign in the hallway greeting visitors who know to step off the elevator on the third floor. In Elkridge, Md., a clandestine program hides in a tall concrete structure fitted with false windows to look like a normal office building. In Arnold, Mo., the location is across the street from a Target and a Home Depot. In St. Petersburg, Fla., it’s in a modest brick bungalow in a run-down business park.

Each day at the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, workers review at least 5,000 pieces of terrorist-related data from intelligence agencies and keep an eye on world events. (Photo by: Melina Mara / The Washington Post)
Every day across the United States, 854,000 civil servants, military personnel and private contractors with top-secret security clearances are scanned into offices protected by electromagnetic locks, retinal cameras and fortified walls that eavesdropping equipment cannot penetrate.

This is not exactly President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex,” which emerged with the Cold War and centered on building nuclear weapons to deter the Soviet Union. This is a national security enterprise with a more amorphous mission: defeating transnational violent extremists.

Much of the information about this mission is classified. That is the reason it is so difficult to gauge the success and identify the problems of Top Secret America, including whether money is being spent wisely. The U.S. intelligence budget is vast, publicly announced last year as $75 billion, 21/2 times the size it was on Sept. 10, 2001. But the figure doesn’t include many military activities or domestic counterterrorism programs.

At least 20 percent of the government organizations that exist to fend off terrorist threats were established or refashioned in the wake of 9/11. Many that existed before the attacks grew to historic proportions as the Bush administration and Congress gave agencies more money than they were capable of responsibly spending.

The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, for example, has gone from 7,500 employees in 2002 to 16,500 today. The budget of the National Security Agency, which conducts electronic eavesdropping, doubled. Thirty-five FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces became 106. It was phenomenal growth that began almost as soon as the Sept. 11 attacks ended.

Nine days after the attacks, Congress committed $40 billion beyond what was in the federal budget to fortify domestic defenses and to launch a global offensive against al-Qaeda. It followed that up with an additional $36.5 billion in 2002 and $44 billion in 2003. That was only a beginning.

With the quick infusion of money, military and intelligence agencies multiplied. Twenty-four organizations were created by the end of 2001, including the Office of Homeland Security and the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Task Force. In 2002, 37 more were created to track weapons of mass destruction, collect threat tips and coordinate the new focus on counterterrorism. That was followed the next year by 36 new organizations; and 26 after that; and 31 more; and 32 more; and 20 or more each in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

In all, at least 263 organizations have been created or reorganized as a response to 9/11. Each has required more people, and those people have required more administrative and logistic support: phone operators, secretaries, librarians, architects, carpenters, construction workers, air-conditioning mechanics and, because of where they work, even janitors with top-secret clearances.

With so many more employees, units and organizations, the lines of responsibility began to blur. To remedy this, at the recommendation of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, the George W. Bush administration and Congress decided to create an agency in 2004 with overarching responsibilities called the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to bring the colossal effort under control.

While that was the idea, Washington has its own ways.

The first problem was that the law passed by Congress did not give the director clear legal or budgetary authority over intelligence matters, which meant he wouldn’t have power over the individual agencies he was supposed to control.

The second problem: Even before the first director, Ambassador John D. Negroponte, was on the job, the turf battles began. The Defense Department shifted billions of dollars out of one budget and into another so that the ODNI could not touch it, according to two senior officials who watched the process. The CIA reclassified some of its most sensitive information at a higher level so the National Counterterrorism Center staff, part of the ODNI, would not be allowed to see it, said former intelligence officers involved.

And then came a problem that continues to this day, which has to do with the ODNI’s rapid expansion.

When it opened in the spring of 2005, Negroponte’s office was all of 11 people stuffed into a secure vault with closet-size rooms a block from the White House. A year later, the budding agency moved to two floors of another building. In April 2008, it moved into its huge permanent home, Liberty Crossing.

Today, many officials who work in the intelligence agencies say they remain unclear about what the ODNI is in charge of. To be sure, the ODNI has made some progress, especially in intelligence-sharing, information technology and budget reform. The DNI and his managers hold interagency meetings every day to promote collaboration. The last director, Blair, doggedly pursued such nitty-gritty issues as procurement reform, compatible computer networks, tradecraft standards and collegiality.

But improvements have been overtaken by volume at the ODNI, as the increased flow of intelligence data overwhelms the system’s ability to analyze and use it. Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications. The NSA sorts a fraction of those into 70 separate databases. The same problem bedevils every other intelligence agency, none of which have enough analysts and translators for all this work.

The practical effect of this unwieldiness is visible, on a much smaller scale, in the office of Michael Leiter, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Leiter spends much of his day flipping among four computer monitors lined up on his desk. Six hard drives sit at his feet. The data flow is enormous, with dozens of databases feeding separate computer networks that cannot interact with one another.

There is a long explanation for why these databases are still not connected, and it amounts to this: It’s too hard, and some agency heads don’t really want to give up the systems they have. But there’s some progress: “All my e-mail on one computer now,” Leiter says. “That’s a big deal.”

To get another view of how sprawling Top Secret America has become, just head west on the toll road toward Dulles International Airport.

As a Michaels craft store and a Books-A-Million give way to the military intelligence giants Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, find the off-ramp and turn left. Those two shimmering-blue five-story ice cubes belong to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which analyzes images and mapping data of the Earth’s geography. A small sign obscured by a boxwood hedge says so.

Across the street, in the chocolate-brown blocks, is Carahsoft, an intelligence agency contractor specializing in mapping, speech analysis and data harvesting. Nearby is the government’s Underground Facility Analysis Center. It identifies overseas underground command centers associated with weapons of mass destruction and terrorist groups, and advises the military on how to destroy them.

Clusters of top-secret work exist throughout the country, but the Washington region is the capital of Top Secret America.

About half of the post-9/11 enterprise is anchored in an arc stretching from Leesburg south to Quantico, back north through Washington and curving northeast to Linthicum, just north of the Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. Many buildings sit within off-limits government compounds or military bases.

Others occupy business parks or are intermingled with neighborhoods, schools and shopping centers and go unnoticed by most people who live or play nearby.

Many of the newest buildings are not just utilitarian offices but also edifices “on the order of the pyramids,” in the words of one senior military intelligence officer.

Not far from the Dulles Toll Road, the CIA has expanded into two buildings that will increase the agency’s office space by one-third. To the south, Springfield is becoming home to the new $1.8 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters, which will be the fourth-largest federal building in the area and home to 8,500 employees. Economic stimulus money is paying hundreds of millions of dollars for this kind of federal construction across the region.

Construction for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Springfield (Photo by: Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post)
It’s not only the number of buildings that suggests the size and cost of this expansion, it’s also what is inside: banks of television monitors. “Escort-required” badges. X-ray machines and lockers to store cellphones and pagers. Keypad door locks that open special rooms encased in metal or permanent dry wall, impenetrable to eavesdropping tools and protected by alarms and a security force capable of responding within 15 minutes. Every one of these buildings has at least one of these rooms, known as a SCIF, for sensitive compartmented information facility. Some are as small as a closet; others are four times the size of a football field.

SCIF size has become a measure of status in Top Secret America, or at least in the Washington region of it. “In D.C., everyone talks SCIF, SCIF, SCIF,” said Bruce Paquin, who moved to Florida from the Washington region several years ago to start a SCIF construction business. “They’ve got the penis envy thing going. You can’t be a big boy unless you’re a three-letter agency and you have a big SCIF.”

SCIFs are not the only must-have items people pay attention to. Command centers, internal television networks, video walls, armored SUVs and personal security guards have also become the bling of national security.

“You can’t find a four-star general without a security detail,” said one three-star general now posted in Washington after years abroad. “Fear has caused everyone to have stuff. Then comes, ‘If he has one, then I have to have one.’ It’s become a status symbol.”

Among the most important people inside the SCIFs are the low-paid employees carrying their lunches to work to save money. They are the analysts, the 20- and 30-year-olds making $41,000 to $65,000 a year, whose job is at the core of everything Top Secret America tries to do.

At its best, analysis melds cultural understanding with snippets of conversations, coded dialogue, anonymous tips, even scraps of trash, turning them into clues that lead to individuals and groups trying to harm the United States.

Their work is greatly enhanced by computers that sort through and categorize data. But in the end, analysis requires human judgment, and half the analysts are relatively inexperienced, having been hired in the past several years, said a senior ODNI official. Contract analysts are often straight out of college and trained at corporate headquarters.

When hired, a typical analyst knows very little about the priority countries – Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan – and is not fluent in their languages. Still, the number of intelligence reports they produce on these key countries is overwhelming, say current and former intelligence officials who try to cull them every day. The ODNI doesn’t know exactly how many reports are issued each year, but in the process of trying to find out, the chief of analysis discovered 60 classified analytic Web sites still in operation that were supposed to have been closed down for lack of usefulness. “Like a zombie, it keeps on living” is how one official describes the sites.

The problem with many intelligence reports, say officers who read them, is that they simply re-slice the same facts already in circulation. “It’s the soccer ball syndrome. Something happens, and they want to rush to cover it,” said Richard H. Immerman, who was the ODNI’s assistant deputy director of national intelligence for analytic integrity and standards until early 2009. “I saw tremendous overlap.”

Even the analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which is supposed to be where the most sensitive, most difficult-to-obtain nuggets of information are fused together, get low marks from intelligence officials for not producing reports that are original, or at least better than the reports already written by the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency or Defense Intelligence Agency.

When Maj. Gen. John M. Custer was the director of intelligence at U.S. Central Command, he grew angry at how little helpful information came out of the NCTC. In 2007, he visited its director at the time, retired Vice Adm. John Scott Redd, to tell him so. “I told him that after 41/2 years, this organization had never produced one shred of information that helped me prosecute three wars!” he said loudly, leaning over the table during an interview.

Two years later, Custer, now head of the Army’s intelligence school at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., still gets red-faced recalling that day, which reminds him of his frustration with Washington’s bureaucracy. “Who has the mission of reducing redundancy and ensuring everybody doesn’t gravitate to the lowest-hanging fruit?” he said. “Who orchestrates what is produced so that everybody doesn’t produce the same thing?”

He’s hardly the only one irritated. In a secure office in Washington, a senior intelligence officer was dealing with his own frustration. Seated at his computer, he began scrolling through some of the classified information he is expected to read every day: CIA World Intelligence Review, WIRe-CIA, Spot Intelligence Report, Daily Intelligence Summary, Weekly Intelligence Forecast, Weekly Warning Forecast, IC Terrorist Threat Assessments, NCTC Terrorism Dispatch, NCTC Spotlight . . .

It’s too much, he complained. The inbox on his desk was full, too. He threw up his arms, picked up a thick, glossy intelligence report and waved it around, yelling.

“Jesus! Why does it take so long to produce?”

“Why does it have to be so bulky?”

“Why isn’t it online?”

The overload of hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports is actually counterproductive, say people who receive them. Some policymakers and senior officials don’t dare delve into the backup clogging their computers. They rely instead on personal briefers, and those briefers usually rely on their own agency’s analysis, re-creating the very problem identified as a main cause of the failure to thwart the attacks: a lack of information-sharing.

A new Defense Department office complex goes up in Alexandria. (Photo by: Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post)
The ODNI’s analysis office knows this is a problem. Yet its solution was another publication, this one a daily online newspaper, Intelligence Today. Every day, a staff of 22 culls more than two dozen agencies’ reports and 63 Web sites, selects the best information and packages it by originality, topic and region.

Analysis is not the only area where serious overlap appears to be gumming up the national security machinery and blurring the lines of responsibility.

Within the Defense Department alone, 18 commands and agencies conduct information operations, which aspire to manage foreign audiences’ perceptions of U.S. policy and military activities overseas.

And all the major intelligence agencies and at least two major military commands claim a major role in cyber-warfare, the newest and least-defined frontier.

“Frankly, it hasn’t been brought together in a unified approach,” CIA Director Panetta said of the many agencies now involved in cyber-warfare.

“Cyber is tremendously difficult” to coordinate, said Benjamin A. Powell, who served as general counsel for three directors of national intelligence until he left the government last year. “Sometimes there was an unfortunate attitude of bring your knives, your guns, your fists and be fully prepared to defend your turf.” Why? “Because it’s funded, it’s hot and it’s sexy.”

Last fall, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly opened fire at Fort Hood, Tex., killing 13 people and wounding 30. In the days after the shootings, information emerged about Hasan’s increasingly strange behavior at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he had trained as a psychiatrist and warned commanders that they should allow Muslims to leave the Army or risk “adverse events.” He had also exchanged e-mails with a well-known radical cleric in Yemen being monitored by U.S. intelligence.

But none of this reached the one organization charged with handling counterintelligence investigations within the Army. Just 25 miles up the road from Walter Reed, the Army’s 902nd Military Intelligence Group had been doing little to search the ranks for potential threats. Instead, the 902’s commander had decided to turn the unit’s attention to assessing general terrorist affiliations in the United States, even though the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI’s 106 Joint Terrorism Task Forces were already doing this work in great depth.

The 902nd, working on a program the commander named RITA, for Radical Islamic Threat to the Army, had quietly been gathering information on Hezbollah, Iranian Republican Guard and al-Qaeda student organizations in the United States. The assessment “didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know already,” said the Army’s senior counterintelligence officer at the Pentagon.

Secrecy and lack of coordination have allowed organizations, such as the 902nd in this case, to work on issues others were already tackling rather than take on the much more challenging job of trying to identify potential jihadist sympathizers within the Army itself.

Beyond redundancy, secrecy within the intelligence world hampers effectiveness in other ways, say defense and intelligence officers. For the Defense Department, the root of this problem goes back to an ultra-secret group of programs for which access is extremely limited and monitored by specially trained security officers.

These are called Special Access Programs – or SAPs – and the Pentagon’s list of code names for them runs 300 pages. The intelligence community has hundreds more of its own, and those hundreds have thousands of sub-programs with their own limits on the number of people authorized to know anything about them. All this means that very few people have a complete sense of what’s going on.

“There’s only one entity in the entire universe that has visibility on all SAPs – that’s God,” said James R. Clapper, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and the Obama administration’s nominee to be the next director of national intelligence.

Such secrecy can undermine the normal chain of command when senior officials use it to cut out rivals or when subordinates are ordered to keep secrets from their commanders.

One military officer involved in one such program said he was ordered to sign a document prohibiting him from disclosing it to his four-star commander, with whom he worked closely every day, because the commander was not authorized to know about it. Another senior defense official recalls the day he tried to find out about a program in his budget, only to be rebuffed by a peer. “What do you mean you can’t tell me? I pay for the program,” he recalled saying in a heated exchange.

Another senior intelligence official with wide access to many programs said that secrecy is sometimes used to protect ineffective projects. “I think the secretary of defense ought to direct a look at every single thing to see if it still has value,” he said. “The DNI ought to do something similar.”

The ODNI hasn’t done that yet. The best it can do at the moment is maintain a database of the names of the most sensitive programs in the intelligence community. But the database does not include many important and relevant Pentagon projects.

Because so much is classified, illustrations of what goes on every day in Top Secret America can be hard to ferret out. But every so often, examples emerge. A recent one shows the post-9/11 system at its best and its worst.

Last fall, after eight years of growth and hirings, the enterprise was at full throttle when word emerged that something was seriously amiss inside Yemen. In response, President Obama signed an order sending dozens of secret commandos to that country to target and kill the leaders of an al-Qaeda affiliate.

In Yemen, the commandos set up a joint operations center packed with hard drives, forensic kits and communications gear. They exchanged thousands of intercepts, agent reports, photographic evidence and real-time video surveillance with dozens of top-secret organizations in the United States.

That was the system as it was intended. But when the information reached the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington for analysis, it arrived buried within the 5,000 pieces of general terrorist-related data that are reviewed each day. Analysts had to switch from database to database, from hard drive to hard drive, from screen to screen, just to locate what might be interesting to study further.

As military operations in Yemen intensified and the chatter about a possible terrorist strike increased, the intelligence agencies ramped up their effort. The flood of information into the NCTC became a torrent.

Somewhere in that deluge was even more vital data. Partial names of someone in Yemen. A reference to a Nigerian radical who had gone to Yemen. A report of a father in Nigeria worried about a son who had become interested in radical teachings and had disappeared inside Yemen.

These were all clues to what would happen when a Nigerian named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab left Yemen and eventually boarded a plane in Amsterdam bound for Detroit. But nobody put them together because, as officials would testify later, the system had gotten so big that the lines of responsibility had become hopelessly blurred.

“There are so many people involved here,” NCTC Director Leiter told Congress.

“Everyone had the dots to connect,” DNI Blair explained to the lawmakers. “But I hadn’t made it clear exactly who had primary responsibility.”

And so Abdulmutallab was able to step aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253. As it descended toward Detroit, he allegedly tried to ignite explosives hidden in his underwear. It wasn’t the very expensive, very large 9/11 enterprise that prevented disaster. It was a passenger who saw what he was doing and tackled him. “We didn’t follow up and prioritize the stream of intelligence,” White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan explained afterward. “Because no one intelligence entity, or team or task force was assigned responsibility for doing that follow-up investigation.”

Blair acknowledged the problem. His solution: Create yet another team to run down every important lead. But he also told Congress he needed more money and more analysts to prevent another mistake.

More is often the solution proposed by the leaders of the 9/11 enterprise. After the Christmas Day bombing attempt, Leiter also pleaded for more – more analysts to join the 300 or so he already had.

The Department of Homeland Security asked for more air marshals, more body scanners and more analysts, too, even though it can’t find nearly enough qualified people to fill its intelligence unit now. Obama has said he will not freeze spending on national security, making it likely that those requests will be funded.

More building, more expansion of offices continues across the country. A $1.7 billion NSA data-processing center will be under construction soon near Salt Lake City. In Tampa, the U.S. Central Command’s new 270,000-square-foot intelligence office will be matched next year by an equally large headquarters building, and then, the year after that, by a 51,000-square-foot office just for its special operations section.

Just north of Charlottesville, the new Joint-Use Intelligence Analysis Facility will consolidate 1,000 defense intelligence analysts on a secure campus.

Meanwhile, five miles southeast of the White House, the DHS has broken ground for its new headquarters, to be shared with the Coast Guard. DHS, in existence for only seven years, already has its own Special Access Programs, its own research arm, its own command center, its own fleet of armored cars and its own 230,000-person workforce, the third-largest after the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Soon, on the grounds of the former St. Elizabeths mental hospital in Anacostia, a $3.4 billion showcase of security will rise from the crumbling brick wards. The new headquarters will be the largest government complex built since the Pentagon, a major landmark in the alternative geography of Top Secret America and four times as big as Liberty Crossing.

Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

 

National Security Inc.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010; 12:24 AM

In June, a stone carver from Manassas chiseled another perfect star into a marble wall at CIA headquarters, one of 22 for agency workers killed in the global war initiated by the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The intent of the memorial is to publicly honor the courage of those who died in the line of duty, but it also conceals a deeper story about government in the post-9/11 era: Eight of the 22 were not CIA officers at all. They were private contractors.

To ensure that the country’s most sensitive duties are carried out only by people loyal above all to the nation’s interest, federal rules say contractors may not perform what are called “inherently government functions.” But they do, all the time and in every intelligence and counterterrorism agency, according to a two-year investigation by The Washington Post.

What started as a temporary fix in response to the terrorist attacks has turned into a dependency that calls into question whether the federal workforce includes too many people obligated to shareholders rather than the public interest — and whether the government is still in control of its most sensitive activities. In interviews last week, both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta said they agreed with such concerns.

The Post investigation uncovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America created since 9/11 that is hidden from public view, lacking in thorough oversight and so unwieldy that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

It is also a system in which contractors are playing an ever more important role. The Post estimates that out of 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, 265,000 are contractors. There is no better example of the government’s dependency on them than at the CIA, the one place in government that exists to do things overseas that no other U.S. agency is allowed to do.

Private contractors working for the CIA have recruited spies in Iraq, paid bribes for information in Afghanistan and protected CIA directors visiting world capitals. Contractors have helped snatch a suspected extremist off the streets of Italy, interrogated detainees once held at secret prisons abroad and watched over defectors holed up in the Washington suburbs. At Langley headquarters, they analyze terrorist networks. At the agency’s training facility in Virginia, they are helping mold a new generation of American spies.

Through the federal budget process, the George W. Bush administration and Congress made it much easier for the CIA and other agencies involved in counterterrorism to hire more contractors than civil servants. They did this to limit the size of the permanent workforce, to hire employees more quickly than the sluggish federal process allows and because they thought – wrongly, it turned out – that contractors would be less expensive.

Nine years later, well into the Obama administration, the idea that contractors cost less has been repudiated, and the administration has made some progress toward its goal of reducing the number of hired hands by 7 percent over two years. Still, close to 30 percent of the workforce in the intelligence agencies is contractors.

“For too long, we’ve depended on contractors to do the operational work that ought to be done” by CIA employees, Panetta said. But replacing them “doesn’t happen overnight. When you’ve been dependent on contractors for so long, you have to build that expertise over time.”

A second concern of Panetta’s: contracting with corporations, whose responsibility “is to their shareholders, and that does present an inherent conflict.”

Or as Gates, who has been in and out of government his entire life, puts it: “You want somebody who’s really in it for a career because they’re passionate about it and because they care about the country and not just because of the money.”

Contractors can offer more money – often twice as much – to experienced federal employees than the government is allowed to pay them. And because competition among firms for people with security clearances is so great, corporations offer such perks as BMWs and $15,000 signing bonuses, as Raytheon did in June for software developers with top-level clearances.

The idea that the government would save money on a contract workforce “is a false economy,” said Mark M. Lowenthal, a former senior CIA official and now president of his own intelligence training academy.

As companies raid federal agencies of talent, the government has been left with the youngest intelligence staffs ever while more experienced employees move into the private sector. This is true at the CIA, where employees from 114 firms account for roughly a third of the workforce, or about 10,000 positions. Many of them are temporary hires, often former military or intelligence agency employees who left government service to work less and earn more while drawing a federal pension.

Stars engraved on the wall of the CIA represent people who died in the line of duty. Eight stars represent private contractors killed since 9/11. (Photo by: CIA) | Launch Photo Gallery »
Across the government, such workers are used in every conceivable way.

Contractors kill enemy fighters. They spy on foreign governments and eavesdrop on terrorist networks. They help craft war plans. They gather information on local factions in war zones. They are the historians, the architects, the recruiters in the nation’s most secretive agencies. They staff watch centers across the Washington area. They are among the most trusted advisers to the four-star generals leading the nation’s wars.

So great is the government’s appetite for private contractors with top-secret clearances that there are now more than 300 companies, often nicknamed “body shops,” that specialize in finding candidates, often for a fee that approaches $50,000 a person, according to those in the business.

Making it more difficult to replace contractors with federal employees: The government doesn’t know how many are on the federal payroll. Gates said he wants to reduce the number of defense contractors by about 13 percent, to pre-9/11 levels, but he’s having a hard time even getting a basic head count.

“This is a terrible confession,” he said. “I can’t get a number on how many contractors work for the Office of the Secretary of Defense,” referring to the department’s civilian leadership.

The Post’s estimate of 265,000 contractors doing top-secret work was vetted by several high-ranking intelligence officials who approved of The Post’s methodology. The newspaper’s Top Secret America database includes 1,931 companies that perform work at the top-secret level. More than a quarter of them – 533 – came into being after 2001, and others that already existed have expanded greatly. Most are thriving even as the rest of the United States struggles with bankruptcies, unemployment and foreclosures.

The privatization of national security work has been made possible by a nine-year “gusher” of money, as Gates recently described national security spending since the 9/11 attacks.

With so much money to spend, managers do not always worry about whether they are spending it effectively.

“Someone says, ‘Let’s do another study,’ and because no one shares information, everyone does their own study,” said Elena Mastors, who headed a team studying the al-Qaeda leadership for the Defense Department. “It’s about how many studies you can orchestrate, how many people you can fly all over the place. Everybody’s just on a spending spree. We don’t need all these people doing all this stuff.”

Most of these contractors do work that is fundamental to an agency’s core mission. As a result, the government has become dependent on them in a way few could have foreseen: wartime temps who have become a permanent cadre.

Just last week, typing “top secret” into the search engine of a major jobs Web site showed 1,951 unfilled positions in the Washington area, and 19,759 nationwide: “Target analyst,” Reston. “Critical infrastructure specialist,” Washington, D.C. “Joint expeditionary team member,” Arlington.

“We could not perform our mission without them. They serve as our ‘reserves,’ providing flexibility and expertise we can’t acquire,” said Ronald Sanders, who was chief of human capital for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence before retiring in February. “Once they are on board, we treat them as if they’re a part of the total force.”

The Post’s investigation is based on government documents and contracts, job descriptions, property records, corporate and social networking Web sites, additional records, and hundreds of interviews with intelligence, military and corporate officials and former officials. Most requested anonymity either because they are prohibited from speaking publicly or because, they said, they feared retaliation at work for describing their concerns.

The investigation focused on top-secret work because the amount classified at the secret level is too large to accurately track. A searchable database of government organizations and private companies was built entirely on public records. [For an explanation of the newspaper’s decision making behind this project, please see the Editor’s Note.]

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The national security industry sells the military and intelligence agencies more than just airplanes, ships and tanks. It sells contractors’ brain power. They advise, brief and work everywhere, including 25 feet under the Pentagon in a bunker where they can be found alongside military personnel in battle fatigues monitoring potential crises worldwide.

Late at night, when the wide corridors of the Pentagon are all but empty, the National Military Command Center hums with purpose. There’s real-time access to the location of U.S. forces anywhere in the world, to granular satellite images or to the White House Situation Room.

The purpose of all this is to be able to answer any question the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff might have. To be ready 24 hours a day, every day, takes five brigadier generals, a staff of colonels and senior noncommissioned officers – and a man wearing a pink contractor badge and a bright purple shirt and tie.

Erik Saar’s job title is “knowledge engineer.” In one of the most sensitive places in America, he is the only person in the room who knows how to bring data from far afield, fast. Saar and four teammates from a private company, SRA International, teach these top-ranked staff officers to think in Web 2.0. They are trying to push a tradition-bound culture to act differently, digitally.

That sometimes means asking for help in a public online chat room or exchanging ideas on shared Web pages outside the military computer networks dubbed .mil – things much resisted within the Pentagon’s self-sufficient culture. “Our job is to change the perception of leaders who might drive change,” Saar said.

Since 9/11, contractors have made extraordinary contributions – and extraordinary blunders – that have changed history and clouded the public’s view of the distinction between the actions of officers sworn on behalf of the United States and corporate employees with little more than a security badge and a gun.

Contractor misdeeds in Iraq and Afghanistan have hurt U.S. credibility in those countries as well as in the Middle East. Abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, some of it done by contractors, helped ignite a call for vengeance against the United States that continues today. Security guards working for Blackwater added fuel to the five-year violent chaos in Iraq and became the symbol of an America run amok.

Contractors in war zones, especially those who can fire weapons, blur “the line between the legitimate and illegitimate use of force, which is just what our enemies want,” Allison Stanger, a professor of international politics and economics at Middlebury College and the author of “One Nation Under Contract,” told the independent Commission on Wartime Contracting at a hearing in June.

Misconduct happens, too. A defense contractor formerly called MZM paid bribes for CIA contracts, sending Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who was a California congressman on the intelligence committee, to prison. Guards employed in Afghanistan by ArmorGroup North America, a private security company, were caught on camera in a lewd-partying scandal.

But contractors have also advanced the way the military fights. During the bloodiest months in Iraq, the founder of Berico Technologies, a former Army officer named Guy Filippelli, working with the National Security Agency, invented a technology that made finding the makers of roadside bombs easier and helped stanch the number of casualties from improvised explosives, according to NSA officials.

Contractors have produced blueprints and equipment for the unmanned aerial war fought by drones, which have killed the largest number of senior al-Qaeda leaders and produced a flood of surveillance videos. A dozen firms created the transnational digital highway that carries the drones’ real-time data on terrorist hide-outs from overseas to command posts throughout the United States.

Private firms have become so thoroughly entwined with the government’s most sensitive activities that without them important military and intelligence missions would have to cease or would be jeopardized. Some examples:

*At the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the number of contractors equals the number of federal employees. The department depends on 318 companies for essential services and personnel, including 19 staffing firms that help DHS find and hire even more contractors. At the office that handles intelligence, six out of 10 employees are from private industry.

*The National Security Agency, which conducts worldwide electronic surveillance, hires private firms to come up with most of its technological innovations. The NSA used to work with a small stable of firms; now it works with at least 484 and is actively recruiting more.

*The National Reconnaissance Office cannot produce, launch or maintain its large satellite surveillance systems, which photograph countries such as China, North Korea and Iran, without the four major contractors it works with.

*Every intelligence and military organization depends on contract linguists to communicate overseas, translate documents and make sense of electronic voice intercepts. The demand for native speakers is so great, and the amount of money the government is willing to pay for them is so huge, that 56 firms compete for this business.

*Each of the 16 intelligence agencies depends on corporations to set up its computer networks, communicate with other agencies’ networks, and fuse and mine disparate bits of information that might indicate a terrorist plot. More than 400 companies work exclusively in this area, building classified hardware and software systems.

Hiring contractors was supposed to save the government money. But that has not turned out to be the case. A 2008 study published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence found that contractors made up 29 percent of the workforce in the intelligence agencies but cost the equivalent of 49 percent of their personnel budgets. Gates said that federal workers cost the government 25 percent less than contractors.

The process of reducing the number of contractors has been slow, if the giant Office of Naval Intelligence in Suitland is any example. There, 2,770 people work on the round-the-clock maritime watch floor tracking commercial vessels, or in science and engineering laboratories, or in one of four separate intelligence centers. But it is the employees of 70 information technology companies who keep the place operating.

They store, process and analyze communications and intelligence transmitted to and from the entire U.S. naval fleet and commercial vessels worldwide. “Could we keep this building running without contractors?” said the captain in charge of information technology. “No, I don’t think we could keep up with it.”

Vice Adm. David J. “Jack” Dorsett, director of naval intelligence, said he could save millions each year by converting 20 percent of the contractor jobs at the Suitland complex to civil servant positions. He has gotten the go-ahead, but it’s been a slow start. This year, his staff has converted one contractor job and eliminated another – out of 589. “It’s costing me an arm and a leg,” Dorsett said.

—-

Washington’s corridors of power stretch in a nearly straight geographical line from the Supreme Court to the Capitol to the White House. Keep going west, across the Potomac River, and the unofficial seats of power – the private, corporate ones – become visible, especially at night. There in the Virginia suburbs are the brightly illuminated company logos of Top Secret America: Northrop Grumman, SAIC, General Dynamics.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says he would like to reduce the number of defense contractors to pre-9/11 levels. (Photo by: Melina Mara | The Washington Post)
Of the 1,931 companies identified by The Post that work on top-secret contracts, about 110 of them do roughly 90 percent of the work on the corporate side of the defense-intelligence-corporate world.

To understand how these firms have come to dominate the post-9/11 era, there’s no better place to start than the Herndon office of General Dynamics. One recent afternoon there, Ken Pohill was watching a series of unclassified images, the first of which showed a white truck moving across his computer monitor.

The truck was in Afghanistan, and a video camera bolted to the belly of a U.S. surveillance plane was following it. Pohill could access a dozen images that might help an intelligence analyst figure out whether the truck driver was just a truck driver or part of a network making roadside bombs to kill American soldiers.

To do this, he clicked his computer mouse. Up popped a picture of the truck driver’s house, with notes about visitors. Another click. Up popped infrared video of the vehicle. Click: Analysis of an object thrown from the driver’s side. Click: U-2 imagery. Click: A history of the truck’s movement. Click. A Google Earth map of friendly forces. Click: A chat box with everyone else following the truck, too.

Ten years ago, if Pohill had worked for General Dynamics, he probably would have had a job bending steel. Then, the company’s center of gravity was the industrial port city of Groton, Conn., where men and women in wet galoshes churned out submarines, the thoroughbreds of naval warfare. Today, the firm’s commercial core is made up of data tools such as the digital imagery library in Herndon and the secure BlackBerry-like device used by President Obama, both developed at a carpeted suburban office by employees in loafers and heels.

The evolution of General Dynamics was based on one simple strategy: Follow the money.

The company embraced the emerging intelligence-driven style of warfare. It developed small-target identification systems and equipment that could intercept an insurgent’s cellphone and laptop communications. It found ways to sort the billions of data points collected by intelligence agencies into piles of information that a single person could analyze.

It also began gobbling up smaller companies that could help it dominate the new intelligence landscape, just as its competitors were doing. Between 2001 and 2010, the company acquired 11 firms specializing in satellites, signals and geospatial intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, technology integration and imagery.

On Sept. 11, 2001, General Dynamics was working with nine intelligence organizations. Now it has contracts with all 16. Its employees fill the halls of the NSA and DHS. The corporation was paid hundreds of millions of dollars to set up and manage DHS’s new offices in 2003, including its National Operations Center, Office of Intelligence and Analysis and Office of Security. Its employees do everything from deciding which threats to investigate to answering phones.

General Dynamics’ bottom line reflects its successful transformation. It also reflects how much the U.S. government – the firm’s largest customer by far – has paid the company beyond what it costs to do the work, which is, after all, the goal of every profit-making corporation.

The company reported $31.9 billion in revenue in 2009, up from $10.4 billion in 2000. Its workforce has more than doubled in that time, from 43,300 to 91,700 employees, according to the company.

Revenue from General Dynamics’ intelligence- and information-related divisions, where the majority of its top-secret work is done, climbed to $10 billion in the second quarter of 2009, up from $2.4 billion in 2000, accounting for 34 percent of its overall revenue last year.

The company’s profitability is on display in its Falls Church headquarters. There’s a soaring, art-filled lobby, bistro meals served on china enameled with the General Dynamics logo and an auditorium with seven rows of white leather-upholstered seats, each with its own microphone and laptop docking station.

General Dynamics now has operations in every corner of the intelligence world. It helps counterintelligence operators and trains new analysts. It has a $600 million Air Force contract to intercept communications. It makes $1 billion a year keeping hackers out of U.S. computer networks and encrypting military communications. It even conducts information operations, the murky military art of trying to persuade foreigners to align their views with U.S. interests.

“The American intelligence community is an important market for our company,” said General Dynamics spokesman Kendell Pease. “Over time, we have tailored our organization to deliver affordable, best-of-breed products and services to meet those agencies’ unique requirements.”

In September 2009, General Dynamics won a $10 million contract from the U.S. Special Operations Command’s psychological operations unit to create Web sites to influence foreigners’ views of U.S. policy. To do that, the company hired writers, editors and designers to produce a set of daily news sites tailored to five regions of the world. They appear as regular news Web sites, with names such as “SETimes.com: The News and Views of Southeast Europe.” The first indication that they are run on behalf of the military comes at the bottom of the home page with the word “Disclaimer.” Only by clicking on that do you learn that “the Southeast European Times (SET) is a Web site sponsored by the United States European Command.”

What all of these contracts add up to: This year, General Dynamics’ overall revenue was $7.8 billion in the first quarter, Jay L. Johnson, the company’s chief executive and president, said at an earnings conference call in April. “We’ve hit the deck running in the first quarter,” he said, “and we’re on our way to another successful year.”

—-

In the shadow of giants such as General Dynamics are 1,814 small to midsize companies that do top-secret work. About a third of them were established after Sept. 11, 2001, to take advantage of the huge flow of taxpayer money into the private sector. Many are led by former intelligence agency officials who know exactly whom to approach for work.

Abraxas of Herndon, headed by a former CIA spy, quickly became a major CIA contractor after 9/11. Its staff even recruited midlevel managers during work hours from the CIA’s cafeteria, former agency officers recall.

Other small and medium-size firms sell niche technical expertise such as engineering for low-orbit satellites or long-dwell sensors. But the vast majority have not invented anything at all. Instead, they replicate what the government’s workforce already does.

A company called SGIS, founded soon after the 2001 attacks, was one of these.

In June 2002, from the spare bedroom of his San Diego home, 30-year-old Hany Girgis put together an information technology team that won its first Defense Department contract four months later. By the end of the year, SGIS had opened a Tampa office close to the U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command, had turned a profit and had 30 employees.

SGIS sold the government the services of people with specialized skills; expanding the types of teams it could put together was one key to its growth. Eventually it offered engineers, analysts and cyber-security specialists for military, space and intelligence agencies. By 2003, the company’s revenue was $3.7 million. By then, SGIS had become a subcontractor for General Dynamics, working at the secret level. Satisfied with the partnership, General Dynamics helped SGIS receive a top-secret facility clearance, which opened the doors to more work.

By 2006, its revenue had multiplied tenfold, to $30.6 million, and the company had hired employees who specialized in government contracting just to help it win more contracts.

“We knew that’s where we wanted to play,” Girgis said in a phone interview. “There’s always going to be a need to protect the homeland.”

Eight years after it began, SGIS was up to revenue of $101 million, 14 offices and 675 employees. Those with top-secret clearances worked for 11 government agencies, according to The Post’s database.

The company’s marketing efforts had grown, too, both in size and sophistication. Its Web site, for example, showed an image of Navy sailors lined up on a battleship over the words “Proud to serve” and another image of a Navy helicopter flying near the Statue of Liberty over the words “Preserving freedom.” And if it seemed hard to distinguish SGIS’s work from the government’s, it’s because they were doing so many of the same things. SGIS employees replaced military personnel at the Pentagon’s 24/7 telecommunications center. SGIS employees conducted terrorist threat analysis. SGIS employees provided help-desk support for federal computer systems.

Still, as alike as they seemed, there were crucial differences.

For one, unlike in government, if an SGIS employee did a good job, he might walk into the parking lot one day and be surprised by co-workers clapping at his latest bonus: a leased, dark-blue Mercedes convertible. And he might say, as a video camera recorded him sliding into the soft leather driver’s seat, “Ahhhh . . . this is spectacular.”

And then there was what happened to SGIS last month, when it did the one thing the federal government can never do.

It sold itself.

The new owner is a Fairfax-based company called Salient Federal Solutions, created just last year. It is a management company and a private-equity firm with lots of Washington connections that, with the purchase of SGIS, it intends to parlay into contracts.

“We have an objective,” says chief executive and President Brad Antle, “to make $500 million in five years.”

—-

Of all the different companies in Top Secret America, the most numerous by far are the information technology, or IT, firms. About 800 firms do nothing but IT.

Some IT companies integrate the mishmash of computer systems within one agency; others build digital links between agencies; still others have created software and hardware that can mine and analyze vast quantities of data.

The government is nearly totally dependent on these firms. Their close relationship was on display recently at the Defense Intelligence Agency’s annual information technology conference in Phoenix. The agency expected the same IT firms angling for its business to pay for the entire five-day get-together, a DIA spokesman confirmed.

And they did.

General Dynamics spent $30,000 on the event. On a perfect spring night, it hosted a party at Chase Field, a 48,569-seat baseball stadium, reserved exclusively for the conference attendees. Government buyers and corporate sellers drank beer and ate hot dogs while the DIA director’s morning keynote speech replayed on the gigantic scoreboard, digital baseballs bouncing along the bottom of the screen.

Carahsoft Technology, a DIA contractor, invited guests to a casino night where intelligence officials and vendors ate, drank and bet phony money at craps tables run by professional dealers.

The McAfee network security company, a Defense Department contractor, welcomed guests to a Margaritaville-themed social on the garden terrace of the hotel across the street from the convention site, where 250 firms paid thousands of dollars each to advertise their services and make their pitches to intelligence officials walking the exhibition hall.

Government officials and company executives say these networking events are critical to building a strong relationship between the public and private sectors.

“If I make one contact each day, it’s worth it,” said Tom Conway, director of federal business development for McAfee.

As for what a government agency gets out of it: “Our goal is to be open and learn stuff,” said Grant M. Schneider, the DIA’s chief information officer and one of the conference’s main draws. By going outside Washington, where many of the firms are headquartered, “we get more synergy. . . . It’s an interchange with industry.”

These types of gatherings happen every week. Many of them are closed to anyone without a top-secret clearance.

At a U.S. Special Operations Command conference in Fayetteville, N.C., in April, vendors paid for access to some of the people who decide what services and gadgets to buy for troops. In mid-May, the national security industry held a black-tie evening funded by the same corporations seeking business from the defense, intelligence and congressional leaders seated at their tables.

Such coziness worries other officials who believe the post-9/11 defense-intelligence-corporate relationship has become, as one senior military intelligence officer described it, a “self-licking ice cream cone.”

Another official, a longtime conservative staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee, described it as “a living, breathing organism” impossible to control or curtail. “How much money has been involved is just mind-boggling,” he said. “We’ve built such a vast instrument. What are you going to do with this thing? . . . It’s turned into a jobs program.”

Even some of those gathered in Phoenix criticized the size and disjointedness of the intelligence community and its contracting base. “Redundancy is the unacceptable norm,” Lt. Gen. Richard P. Zahner, Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence, told the 2,000 attendees. “Are we spending our resources effectively? . . . If we have not gotten our houses in order, someone will do it for us.”

On a day that also featured free back rubs, shoeshines, ice cream and fruit smoothies, another speaker, Kevin P. Meiners, a deputy undersecretary for intelligence, gave the audience what he called “the secret sauce,” the key to thriving even when the Defense Department budget eventually stabilizes and stops rising so rapidly.

“Overhead,” Meiners told them – that’s what’s going to get cut first. Overhead used to mean paper clips and toner. Now it’s information technology, IT, the very products and services sold by the businesspeople in the audience.

“You should describe what you do as a weapons system, not overhead,” Meiners instructed. “Overhead to them – I’m giving you the secret sauce here – is IT and people. . . . You have to foot-stomp hard that this is a war-fighting system that’s helping save people’s lives every day.”

After he finished, many of the government officials listening headed to the exhibit hall, where company salespeople waited in display booths. Peter Coddington, chief executive of InTTENSITY, a small firm whose software teaches computers to “read” documents, was ready for them.

“You have to differentiate yourself,” he said as they fanned out into the aisles. Coddington had glass beer mugs and pens twirling atop paperweight pyramids to help persuade officials of the nation’s largest military intelligence agency that he had something they needed.

But first he needed them to stop walking so fast, to slow down long enough for him to start his pitch. His twirling pens seemed to do the job. “It’s like moths to fire,” Coddington whispered.

A DIA official with a tote bag approached. She spotted the pens, and her pace slowed. “Want a pen?” Coddington called.

She hesitated. “Ah . . . I have three children,” she said.

“Want three pens?”

She stopped. In Top Secret America, every moment is an opportunity.

“We’re a text extraction company. . . ,” Coddington began, handing her the pens.

Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

 

The secrets next door

Wednesday, July 21, 2010; 12:00 AM

The brick warehouse is not just a warehouse. Drive through the gate and around back, and there, hidden away, is someone’s personal security detail: a fleet of black SUVs that have been armored up to withstand explosions and gunfire.

Along the main street, the signs in the median aren’t advertising homes for sale; they’re inviting employees with top-secret security clearances to a job fair at Cafe Joe, which is anything but a typical lunch spot.

The new gunmetal-colored office building is really a kind of hotel where businesses can rent eavesdrop-proof rooms.

Even the manhole cover between two low-slung buildings is not just a manhole cover. Surrounded by concrete cylinders, it is an access point to a government cable. “TS/SCI,” whispers an official, the abbreviations for “top secret” and “sensitive compartmented information” – and that means few people are allowed to know what information the cable transmits.

All of these places exist just outside Washington in what amounts to the capital of an alternative geography of the United States, one defined by the concentration of top-secret government organizations and the companies that do work for them. This Fort Meade cluster is the largest of a dozen such clusters across the United States that are the nerve centers of Top Secret America and its 854,000 workers.

Other locations include Dulles-Chantilly, Denver-Aurora and Tampa. All of them are under-the-radar versions of traditional military towns: economically dependent on the federal budget and culturally defined by their unique work.

The difference, of course, is that the military is not a secret culture. In the clusters of Top Secret America, a company lanyard attached to a digital smart card is often the only clue to a job location. Work is not discussed. Neither are deployments. Debate about the role of intelligence in protecting the country occurs only when something goes wrong and the government investigates, or when an unauthorized disclosure of classified information turns into news.

The existence of these clusters is so little known that most people don’t realize when they’re nearing the epicenter of Fort Meade’s, even when the GPS on their car dashboard suddenly begins giving incorrect directions, trapping the driver in a series of U-turns, because the government is jamming all nearby signals.

Once this happens, it means that ground zero – the National Security Agency – is close by. But it’s not easy to tell where. Trees, walls and a sloping landscape obscure the NSA’s presence from most vantage points, and concrete barriers, fortified guard posts and warning signs stop those without authorization from entering the grounds of the largest intelligence agency in the United States.

Beyond all those obstacles loom huge buildings with row after row of opaque, blast-resistant windows, and behind those are an estimated 30,000 people, many of them reading, listening to and analyzing an endless flood of intercepted conversations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

From the road, it’s impossible to tell how large the NSA has become, even though its buildings occupy 6.3 million square feet – about the size of the Pentagon – and are surrounded by 112 acres of parking spaces. As massive as that might seem, documents indicate that the NSA is only going to get bigger: 10,000 more workers over the next 15 years; $2 billion to pay for just the first phase of expansion; an overall increase in size that will bring its building space throughout the Fort Meade cluster to nearly 14 million square feet.

The NSA headquarters sits on the Fort Meade Army base, which hosts 80 government tenants in all, including several large intelligence organizations.

Together, they inject $10 billion from paychecks and contracts into the region’s economy every year – a figure that helps explain the rest of the Fort Meade cluster, which fans out about 10 miles in every direction.

—-

Just beyond the NSA perimeter, the companies that thrive off the agency and other nearby intelligence organizations begin. In some parts of the cluster, they occupy entire neighborhoods. In others, they make up mile-long business parks connected to the NSA campus by a private roadway guarded by forbidding yellow “Warning” signs.

The largest of these is the National Business Park – 285 tucked-away acres of wide, angular glass towers that go on for blocks. The occupants of these buildings are contractors, and in their more publicly known locations, they purposely understate their presence. But in the National Business Park, a place where only other contractors would have reason to go, their office signs are huge, glowing at night in bright red, yellow and blue: Booz Allen HamiltonL-3 CommunicationsCSCNorthrop GrummanGeneral DynamicsSAIC.

More than 250 companies – 13 percent of all the firms in Top Secret America – have a presence in the Fort Meade cluster. Some have multiple offices, such as Northrop Grumman, which has 19, and SAIC, which has 11. In all, there are 681 locations in the Fort Meade cluster where businesses conduct top-secret work.

Inside the locations are employees who must submit to strict, intrusive rules. They take lie-detector tests routinely, sign nondisclosure forms and file lengthy reports whenever they travel overseas. They are coached on how to deal with nosy neighbors and curious friends. Some are trained to assume false identities.

If they drink too much, borrow too much money or socialize with citizens from certain countries, they can lose their security clearances, and a clearance is the passport to a job for life at the NSA and its sister intelligence organizations.

Chances are they excel at math: To do what it does, the NSA relies on the largest number of mathematicians in the world. It needs linguists and technology experts, as well as cryptologists, known as “crippies.” Many know themselves as ISTJ, which stands for “Introverted with Sensing, Thinking and Judging,” a basket of personality traits identified on the Myers-Briggs personality test and prevalent in the Fort Meade cluster.

The old joke: “How can you tell the extrovert at NSA? He’s the one looking at someone else’s shoes.”

“These are some of the most brilliant people in the world,” said Ken Ulman, executive of Howard County, one of six counties in NSA’s geographic sphere of influence. “They demand good schools and a high quality of life.”

The schools, indeed, are among the best, and some are adopting a curriculum this fall that will teach students as young as 10 what kind of lifestyle it takes to get a security clearance and what kind of behavior would disqualify them.

Outside one school is the jarring sight of yellow school buses lined up across from a building where personnel from the “Five Eye” allies – the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – share top-secret information about the entire world.

The buses deliver children to neighborhoods that are among the wealthiest in the country; affluence is another attribute of Top Secret America. Six of the 10 richest counties in the United States, according to Census Bureau data, are in these clusters.

Loudoun County, ranked as the wealthiest county in the country, helps supply the workforce of the nearby National Reconnaissance Office headquarters, which manages spy satellites. Fairfax County, the second-wealthiest, is home to the NRO, the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Arlington County, ranked ninth, hosts the Pentagon and major intelligence agencies. Montgomery County, ranked 10th, is home to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. And Howard County, ranked third, is home to 8,000 NSA employees.

“If this were a Chrysler plant, we’d be talking Chrysler in the bowling alley, Chrysler in the council meetings, Chrysler, Chrysler, Chrysler,” said Kent Menser, a Defense Department employee helping Howard County adjust to the growth of nearby Fort Meade. “People who are not in the workforce of NSA don’t fully appreciate the impact of it on their lives.”

—-

The impact of the NSA and other secretive organizations in this cluster is not just monetary. It shades even the flow of traffic one particular day as a white van pulls out of a parking lot and into midday traffic.

That white van is followed by five others just like it.

Inside each one, two government agents in training at the secretive Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy are trying not to get lost as they careen around local roads practicing “discreet surveillance” – in this case, following a teacher in the role of a spy. The real job of these agents from the Army, U.S. Customs and other government agencies is to identify foreign spies and terrorists targeting their organizations, to locate the spies within and to gather evidence to take action against them.

But on this day, they are trainees connected to one another by radios and specially labeled street maps. Some 4,000 federal and military agents attend counterintelligence classes in the Fort Meade cluster every year, moving, as these agents are, past unsuspecting residents going about their business.

The agent riding shotgun in one white van holds the maps on her lap as she frantically moves yellow stickies around, trying to keep tabs on the other vans and the suspect, or “rabbit,” as he is called.

Other agents gun their engines and race 60 mph, trying to keep up with the rabbit while alerting one another to the presence of local police, who don’t know that the vans weaving in and out of traffic are driven by federal agents.

Suddenly, the rabbit moves a full block ahead of the closest van, passes through a yellow light, then drives out of sight as the agents get stuck at a red light.

Green light.

“Go!” an agent yells in vain through the windshield as the light changes and the car in front of her pokes along. “Move! Move! Move!”

“We lost him,” her partner groans as they do their best to catch up.

Finally, the agents end their surveillance on foot at a Borders bookstore in Columbia where the rabbit has reappeared. Six men in polo shirts and various shades of khaki pants scan the magazine racks and slowly walk the aisles.

Their instructor cringes. “The hardest part is the demeanor,” he confides, watching as the agents follow the rabbit in the store, filled with women in shifts and children in flip-flops. “Some of them just can’t relax enough to get the demeanor right. . . . They should be acting like they’re browsing, but they are looking over the top of a book and never move.”

Throughout the cluster are examples of how the hidden world and the public one intersect. A Quiznos sandwich shop in the cluster has the familiarity of any other restaurant in the national chain, except for the line that begins forming at 11 a.m. Those waiting wear the Oakley sunglasses favored by people who have worked in Afghanistan or Iraq. Their shoes are boots, the color of desert sand. Forty percent of the NSA’s workforce is active-duty military, and this Quiznos is not far away from one of their work sites.

Bill Brown, left, and Jerome James tend to James’s property in suburban Maryland, which abuts a secure building. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount / The Washington Post)  |  Launch Photo Gallery »

In another part of the cluster, Jerome James, one of its residents, is talking about the building that has sprung up just beyond his back yard. “It used to be all farmland, then they just started digging one day,” he says. “I don’t know what they do up there, but it doesn’t bother me. I don’t worry about it.”

The building, sealed off behind fencing and Jersey barriers, is larger than a football field. It has no identifying sign. It does have an address, but Google Maps doesn’t recognize it. Type it in, and another address is displayed, every time. “6700,” it says.

No street name.

Just 6700.

—-

Inside such a building might be Justin Walsh, who spends hours each day on a ladder, peering into the false ceilings of the largest companies in Top Secret America. Walsh is a Defense Department industrial security specialist, and every cluster has a version of him, whether it’s Fort Meade; or the underground maze of buildings at Crystal City in Arlington, near the Pentagon; or the high-tech business parks around the National Aerospace Intelligence Center in Dayton, Ohio.

When he’s not on his ladder, Walsh is tinkering with a copy machine to make sure it cannot reproduce the secrets stored in its memory. He’s testing the degausser, a giant magnet that erases data from classified hard drives. He’s dissecting the alarm system, its fiber-optic cable and the encryption it uses to send signals to the control room.

The government regulates everything in Top Secret America: the gauge of steel in a fence, the grade of paper bag to haul away classified documents, the thickness of walls and the height of raised soundproof floors.

In the Washington area, there are 4,000 corporate offices that handle classified information, 25 percent more than last year, according to Walsh’s supervisor, and on any given day Walsh’s team has 220 buildings in its inspection pipeline. All existing buildings have things that need to be checked, and the new buildings have to be gone over from top to bottom before the NSA will allow their occupants to even connect to the agency via telephone.

Soon, there will be one more in the Fort Meade cluster: a new, four-story building, going up near a quiet gated community of upscale townhouses, that its builder boasts can withstand a car bomb. Dennis Lane says his engineers have drilled more bolts into each steel beam than is the norm to make the structure less likely to buckle were the unthinkable to happen.

Lane, senior vice president of Ryan Commercial real estate, has become something of a snoop himself when it comes to the NSA. At 55, he has lived and worked in its shadow all his life and has schooled himself on its growing presence in his community. He collects business intelligence using his own network of informants, executives like himself hoping to making a killing off an organization many of his neighbors don’t know a thing about.

He notices when the NSA or a different secretive government organization leases another building, hires more contractors and expands its outreach to the local business community. He’s been following construction projects, job migrations, corporate moves. He knows that local planners are estimating that 10,000 more jobs will come with an expanded NSA and an additional 52,000 from other intelligence units moving to the Fort Meade post.

Lane was up on all the gossip months before it was announced that the next giant military command, U.S. Cyber Command, would be run by the same four-star general who heads the NSA. “This whole cyber thing is going to be big,” he says. “A cyber command could eat up all the building inventory out there.”

Lane knows this because he has witnessed the post-9/11 growth of the NSA, which now ingests 1.7 billion pieces of intercepted communications every 24 hours: e-mails, bulletin board postings, instant messages, IP addresses, phone numbers, telephone calls and cellphone conversations.

In her own way, Jeani Burns has witnessed this, too.

Burns, a businesswoman in the Fort Meade cluster, is having a drink one night after work and gesturing toward some men standing in another part of the bar.

“I can spot them,” she says. The suit. The haircut. The demeanor. “They have a haunted look, like they’re afraid someone is going to ask them something about themselves.”

Undercover agents come in here, too, she whispers, to watch the same people, “to make sure no one is saying too much.”

Burns would know – she’s been living with one of those secretive men for 20 years. He used to work at the NSA. Now he’s one of its contractors. He’s been to war. She doesn’t know where. He does something important. She doesn’t know what.

She says she fell for him two decades ago and has had a life of adjustments ever since. When they go out with other people, she says, she calls ahead with cautions: “Don’t ask him stuff.” Sometimes people get it, but when they don’t, “it’s a pain. We just didn’t go out with them again.”

She describes him as “an observer. I’m the interloper,” she says. “It bothers me he never takes me traveling, never thinks of anything exciting to do. . . . I feel cheated.”

But she also says: “I really respect him for what’s he’s done. He’s spent his whole life so we can keep our way of living, and he doesn’t get any public recognition.”

Outside the bar, meanwhile, the cluster hums along. At night, in the confines of the National Business Park, office lights remain on here and there. The 140-room Marriott Courtyard is sold out, as usual, with guests such as the man checking in who says only that he’s “with the military.”

And inside the NSA, the mathematicians, the linguists, the techies and the crippies are flowing in and out. The ones leaving descend in elevators to the first floor. Each is carrying a plastic bar-coded box. Inside is a door key that rattles as they walk. To those who work here, it’s the sound of a shift change.

As employees just starting their shifts push the turnstiles forward, those who are leaving push their identity badges into the mouth of the key machine. A door opens. They drop their key box in, then go out through the turnstiles. They drive out slowly through the barriers and gates protecting the NSA, passing a steady stream of cars headed in. It’s almost midnight in the Fort Meade cluster, the capital of Top Secret America, a sleepless place growing larger every day.

Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this story.

Correction: Jerome James was initially named incorrectly in this story as Jerome Jones.

New Hillary Emails Reveal Propaganda, Executions, Coveting Libyan Oil and Gold

Levant Report

Throughout the Libyan War there were widespread reports of field executions and torture of black Libyans carried out by militias aligned with the National Transition Council (some NTC aligned fighters shown above; Source: Wikimedia Commons).

New Emails Expose Hillary’s Dirty War in Libya

The New Year’s Eve release of over 3000 new Hillary Clinton emails from the State Department has CNN abuzz over gossipy text messages, the “who gets to ride with Hillary” selection process set up by her staff, and how a “cute” Hillary photo fared on Facebook.

But historians of the 2011 NATO war in Libya will be sure to notice a few of the truly explosive confirmations contained in the new emails: admissions of rebel war crimes, special ops trainers inside Libya from nearly the start of protests, Al Qaeda embedded in the U.S. backed opposition, Western nations jockeying for access to Libyan oil, the nefarious…

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