Rethinking the US Military Revolution

Leveraging US Strength in an Uncertain World
Stanley Foundation Conference on National and Global Security

Washington, DC,
Thursday, December 7, 2006

The ongoing debate on US military transformation assumes that the proper defense strategy, the best mix of defense procurements, and an ideal technology development plan will ensure US national security as well as global security. But is US national security primarily concerned with "the way future wars will be fought," and will technological dynamism (as expressed through precision weaponry) be the central guarantor of national security that many transformation advocates say it is?

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Post–Panel Summary

The following summary of the panel "Rethinking the US Military Revolution" was drafted by Michael Roston. It has not been approved or reviewed by the panelists.

The process of globalization had changed the scale and character of security threats—with small problems like terrorism and lawlessness and bigger problems like global warming. Military forces have not been adequate to respond to these emerging threats; what is needed instead is a revision of the basic organizational principles of the international system.

But the Americans have not responded directly to these global threats since 9/11; instead, they have reinforced traditional military thinking. While this reaction was understandable, it is not sustainable. Four emerging issues will drive a transformation in thinking: the management of nuclear materials, the oversight of biotechnology, the regulation of activity in space, and the response to global warming.

In the estimation of Major General R. Mike Worden, a commander at the US Air Force Warfare Center, Nellis Air Force Base, this revolution was rooted in the spirit of innovation that could be found in the people drawn from American society who made up our military.

While there was a science to war, there is also an art of war, and it deals with people, he pointed out. At the same time, he identified significant expense in the cost of the upkeep of the military. Many systems were aging, and maintaining them created heavy costs. He added that it costs money for our military to be an instrument worthy of a superpower, and said it was necessary for everyone to understand the strains felt by the military commanders in this day and age. While they could win any force–on–force engagement, in a globalized world with an instantaneous media they have to satisfy their public and also build and sustain coalitions to achieve victories beyond individual engagements.

Stephen Biddle, senior fellow for defense policy, Council on Foreign Relations, addressed how the revolution in military affairs had been manifested in the two major wars America has fought in recent years—in Afghanistan and Iraq. He found the general lesson to be that where standoff precision strike weapons were most effective; close combat operations also worked quite readily. This experience was borne out by the US operations against the Republican Guard in Iraq, who attempted to adapt to US technology but were unable to do so, and also when fighting poorly trained Taliban forces in Afghanistan. But when in combat against better trained Al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan, basic conceal–and–cover techniques were sufficient to reduce the effectiveness of standoff precision strike weapons and make close combat operations a complete necessity. With these lessons in mind, he called for wariness of any military planning that created an imbalanced force.

Sean Kay, associate professor in the Department of Politics and Government, Ohio Wesleyan University, pointed out that all three presentations emphasized that the revolution in military affairs did not always easily consider realities on the ground. For instance, if the threats were changing, the types of armed forces that the United State emphasized in its planning needed to be reevaluated. Also, in counterinsurgency tactics, finding the balance between military force and "hearts and minds" campaigns was a real puzzle. He added that the need for efficiency in military operations almost made it seem as though the United States would need to go it alone to win wars, but winning the peace always required sharing the burden with allies, and he noted that this wasn‘t happening in Afghanistan with NATO forces. Finally, he wondered if the "Revolution in Military Affairs" was not really a civilian issue in many ways, with more tools required like peace training, research on demography, public opinion surveys, language training, cultural training, mapping, and public information campaigns, all of which ultimately came back to questions of education.

Panel Transcript

This text has been professionally transcribed; however, for timely distribution, it has not been edited or proofread against the tape.

Lawrence J. Korb: Welcome to the panel on rethinking the U.S. military revolution. For those of you that have followed this debate, at the end of the Cold War the was a big debate in the nineties about how much we should change our military to take advantage of the advances in technology, not only in terms of the weapon systems that we bought, but how we should network them together and how we ought to change the way that we fight wars. And in 1997 the National Defense Panel that comprised a lot of people who went into the Bush Administration basically criticized the reviews that had been done in the Pentagon in the nineties – the Base Force, the Bottom Up Review, and the First Quadrennial Defense Review – of not being revolutionary enough or taking advantage of these increasing technologies to change what they bought and how they were organized.

In September of 1999 then Governor Bush gave a speech at the Citadel about the fact that he wanted to take advantage of this to transform the military and criticized the Clinton Administration for not doing it, and, of course, when Secretary Rumsfeld came in, this was his marching orders, if you will, to transform the military by taking advantage of these technologies. And, in fact, every time Secretary Rumsfeld would get in trouble and people were calling for his resignation, the President would always defend him and say, "Well, the reason they don‘t like him is he‘s trying to transform the military and change," and, basically, that somehow or another this is the reason for the fact that people were unhappy with the way he was doing things.

Now, of course, in the–in this century we have actually been engaged in two wars – Afghanistan and Iraq – and people are saying, "Well, maybe we took it too far. Maybe we didn‘t take it far enough," and our job today is to take a look at that, rethinking it. Did we oversell it? Did we–was there too much bureaucratic resistance to trying to implement some of the benefits? Is there a halfway point? Was it a question of using it or the pace that we did it? Those are all questions that we‘re gonna get out on the table today, and we have a terrific panel to deal with it. On my immediate left is John Steinbruner, who is now at the University of Maryland, and many of you know him from his long tenure at Brookings, where I had the privilege of working with him for some 10 years. To John‘s immediate left we have General Worden, who is both a–I guess, a soldier, in the generic term, and a scholar. He is the Commander right now of the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center. He has some 2,500 flying hours, and in the midst of all that he managed to get himself a PhD from Duke University. To General Worden‘s left we have Steve Biddle, who has been, at among other places, the Institute for Defense Analysis, the Army War College, where he was a very prolific writer there about the subject we‘ll be discussing today, and is now at the Council on Foreign Relations, and if you‘re interested – you don‘t get enough of Steve today – his landmark work on the military revolution is available from Princeton University Press and–if you want to follow up. And then, finally, at the end we have Sean Kay, who is currently an Associate Professor of the Department of Politics and Government at Ohio Wesleyan and previous to that had been at the Mershon Center at Ohio State, which gets into the–these issues. If you‘re interested in Sean‘s book, it‘s for sale from Barnes & Noble, and he brought a copy of it here, and John will be our discussant, so, with that background, let me turn the panel over to John.

John Steinbruner: Okay. I imagine my role at the start here to be that of conceptual provocateur, or some people might use the word terrorist, so what I have to do is beg for tolerance in advance, and I am very interested in what the other panelists have to say, so I‘m gonna try to go through my own presentation fairly quickly, so I‘m begging for tolerance, in particular, for whatever sins of compression I‘m about to commit.

The central argument I want to advance is that the most significant transformation in question here, although I think not adequately recognized, is conceptual in character, and the mainlines of the argument are–is–I will contend that the process of globalization will eventually force a fundamental revision of the organizing principles of security policy, of the institutions that conduct it, and of the principal international relationships that set the context. And I‘m going to try to pursue that argument in–immediately and by making seven assertions, remembering, I think, what–Martin Luther in the beginning of the Protestant Reformation allowed himself 95 theses, which he attacked–or tacked to the door of the Wittenberg Church. I have only seven, and–but it‘s of the same spirit. They‘re intended to suggest much more fundamental adjustments than we‘ve yet undertaken.

The first assertion is that the process of globalization is changing both the scale and character of primary threat. At the lower scale as–we are obviously seeing extensive civil conflict and embedded terrorism, presenting a threat, I think, to fundamental legal order, a threat that is small in any given instance, but dangerous in the aggregate. And that is not a new phenomenon, but I think the significance of the phenomenon is new. And on the higher scale, global warming is beginning to present a larger scale threat to the global ecology, not seen historically as a security problem, but I think it‘s destined, definitely, to be so seen. Legal order and viable ecology are both necessary conditions for productive economic performance, and economic performance is the basic requirement of security most seriously in question. Okay? All that is thesis number one.

Number two is that legacy security policies are simply not responsive to these new concerns. Deterrent forces are designed for a different kind of problem entirely and are basically not applicable. Conventional forces designed to protect against large–scale territorial invasions are not sufficient to cope with widely dispersed forms of violence at smaller scale, and the concentration of these traditional capabilities in the U.S. Alliance System is not sufficiently equitable to be indefinitely sustainable under current arrangements.

Thesis three is that the evident requirement is a transformation of the basic purposes and organizing principles of international security, generally. Protection of common interest, I would argue, is emerging as more important than the assertion of national advantage. Reassurance is much more important than residual deterrence. Protective regulation more important than the application of coercive force, and principles of competitive confrontation likely to be subordinated to principles of collaboration for mutual benefit.

Thesis four says that in reaction to the 2001 terrorist attack U.S. security policies has basically ignored this new agenda and reinforced traditional practices, emphasizing national military advantage over global accommodation, relying primarily on the coercive use of force and denigrating international legal regulation.

Thesis five says that–or acknowledges that that reaction is actually quite understandable from a psychological, political, and historical perspective. It reflects the natural emotions of a provoked society and the way of experience through which policy and institutions have been formed. We‘ve fallen back on our traditions in reaction to the provocation of 2001, but the reaction is not strategic, realistic, and cannot be sustained indefinitely.

The sixth argument says that the adaptive transformation required here is unlikely to be initiated by a formal, conceptual reformulation. We do not live in a society that decides about large concepts. We might discuss them, but we have no social mechanisms for actually deciding them.

In the end, explicit reformulation will be required for consolidation, but it‘s not likely to merge at the outset, so the process of adaptation is likely to be driven by immediate catalytic issues capable of inducing the relevant adjustments, and so, I wanna spend the rest of my brief time talking about these issues, and that‘s the seventh assertion. There are four emerging issues that I believe, in combination, are capable of inducing an evolutionary process of transformation of the sort I just outlined. These are the managerial control over nuclear explosive materials, the oversight of biotechnology, the regulation of space activity, and the management of global warming.

With regard to nuclear explosive materials, legacy policies have generated a pattern of weapons–nuclear weapons deployment that is not strategically justified and is inherently dangerous. We have–we‘re wielding far more destructive potential than is required by reasonable return requirements. That enables an operational accident, a catastrophic accident to occur, and it also prevents, if you will, or, at any rate, it‘s–the accounting and physical security of explosive isotopes is unacceptably susceptible to terrorist exploitation under these circumstances.

Let me just skip that. That‘s just elaborating on this point.

A global accounting and physical security arrangement could establish higher standards of control while protecting access to the details of national [unclear audio]. That is technically feasible, and the development and implementation of such a system would require, however, a substantial revision of legacy deterrent practices, primarily to preclude preemptive operation. We‘re not gonna lock up all the explosive isotopes while we‘re implicitly threatening preemptive operation against the other forces. We have to choose between those two objectives. Insistent demand for higher standards of control, I think, can be expected to emerge at some point. The general public basically has no idea, really, not idea about current deterrent practices and will predictably demand extensive reform if any incident ever brings illumination. They–this would not be acceptable if the public really checks in.

The oversight of biotechnology is a problem of potentially comparable magnitude, although very different in character, and the central problem arises from the fact that fundamental, globally dispersed research in molecular biology is opening up remarkable applications, both for good and for ill, depending on how the same science is utilized. Infectious diseases might be eradicated. They could also be enhanced, and the mass manipulation of emotional, cognitive, and reproductive functions is probably feasible. At any rate, it‘s prudent to assume that that will be possible and that we will face the problem of regulating that capability. At the moment, there is no managerial process in place anywhere in the world to encourage protective application and simultaneously prevent destructive application and a strong presumption that mandatory and comprehensive globally oversight–globally practice oversight process will have to be created. There is emerging a significant danger of competitive national competition in–emerging from threat assessment activities that are being led at the moment by the United States and that the consequential collaboration required to establish transparency rules is really an urgent problem and, likely, in the end, to drive this general process of transformation.

With regard to regulation of space activity – this is a more esoteric question – I would argue–but let me just note that the concepts of transformation advanced in U.S. planning documents listed here envisage the domination of space for national advantage. This is what these documents say as read from abroad. The stated aspirations are to continuously monitor potentially threatening activities, to rapidly attack those determined to be unacceptable, to deny any similar capability to any other country, and to protect U.S. assets against direct assault. That‘s what we say we wanna do. That conception is inherently objectionable to most other countries. It would violate the basic principles of peaceful and equitable utilization of space for a common benefit. Those are all established. In the context of U.S. preemptive doctrine, it presents a significant objective threat to other deterrent forces, particularly the Chinese one, and it would enable coercive intimidation missions against any opponent.

The stated aspirations are almost certainly unrealistic for basic physical and economic reasons, but the extensive development effort being undertaken is, nonetheless, likely to produce meaningfully enhanced support for coercive intrusion missions – precision attack at long range, rapidly enacted – and it will, therefore, motivate dedicated international reactions. The U.S. has long been blocking a virtually unanimous international effort to mandate negotiations that would seek to impose more explicit regulations on space regulation–weaponization. I do not believe that stance is indefinitely sustainable. It does not reflect the full scope of U.S. national interest or public sentiment, and it would ultimately expose U.S. based assets to legal and, potentially, even physical assault. It is reasonable to anticipate that we eventually will have to engage in negotiations on this subject to explore measures for prohibiting direct interference of space assets and to regulate military support in the context of coercive intrusion missions and to provide, probably, a more equitable sharing of information, and that process is likely to be a venue for conceptual transformation as well.

And then, finally, the big item–the truly big item on this list – the emerging issue of global warming. The IPCC Consensus strongly implies, although does not state by consensus, that human induced carbon atmospheric carbon gas concentrations will have to held at or below 500 parts per million by 2050 to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change. That will have to be accomplished while global energy production is increased by a factor of two or three to accommodate an expanding population at tolerably equitable standards of living even if large efficiency gains on the order of 3 percent per year are achieved.

There are five energy generating technologies that can, in principle, contribute to this requirement listed here. Any solution will presumably involve some mix in all–of all five in varying country–varying by country and region, but it is prudent to assume that a large expansion of nuclear power generation, factor of five to ten expansion, will have to be–at least be considered, probably attempted, and accomplishing that safety–safely can be expected to require new reactor designs and international management of the fuel cycle, or, otherwise, it would be virtually suicidal. That, in turn, would require a fundamental transformation of the security relationships among the U.S, the EU, Russia, China, and India, at a minimum, to enable to transfer of technology required as well as the continuous monitoring of explosive materials that would be flowing, and, again, the impulse to do that is likely to strengthen very substantially as the implications of global warming become evident.

To conclude, then, of the four transforming issues, I would say that global warming appears to provide the dominant–likely to provide the dominant impulse over an extended period of time. This is going to be the issue of at least the next half century. Beyond that, who knows, but biotechnology is the most significant immediate opportunity, simply because the potential of that technology has not yet been realized, so regulatory mechanisms can be put in place to fend off some of the destructive applications before they are actually developed. Management of nuclear materials is probably the most compelling immediate imperative, and the initiation of space negotiations is actually the easiest one to undertake. We can simply agree to start talking. In all four of these instances adaptive measures are likely to feature a very powerful technique, namely, setting agreed standards of prudent practice supported by disclosure rules to document compliance and active monitoring to verify compliance. And so, in the end, I will claim that, in principle, constructive transformation of the sort I‘m talking about for the reasons I‘ve described is both feasible and effective, and, I daresay, eventually, something like this will have to happen if we are to survive these circumstances.

Thank you.

Larry Korb: Thank you, John, for giving us a great analysis of the overall international environment. Let‘s move now to the Air Force and their view to–I don‘t know if you‘re speaking for the Air Force or yourself, General, on the revolution.

General Worden: Okay. What I thought I‘d do is directly approach the topic that we were supposed to directly address, and that‘s–

Larry Korb: Get close to the mic, there. Okay.

General Worden: How do you hear me in the back?

Larry Korb: Now they can.

General Worden: Now, first of all, let me tell ya, I am not someone that sits in the Pentagon and reads the Washington Post every day, and so, I am not–I have not read the latest report on Iraq. I am not–I don‘t have time, at least in this assignment, to be a policy wonk or to follow the latest wind blowin‘ through Washington, but I have been stationed at the Pentagon, so I know how the city works.

But where I have been recently–what I can, I think, offer in terms of a perspective, is your nation‘s Air Force has been at war since 1991. I have been in four operations, shot at in two of ‘em, personally, but we have been in combat since 1991 with the first Gulf War and then Provide Comfort – I got shot at a little bit in there – and then with Northern Watch/Southern Watch, Bosnia and then OEF and OIF, so we have a lot of young Americans that are pretty young – a lot younger than me – that have got a lot of experience. The other thing I might offer as a field rat coming back here–and I think that‘s why General Moseley, our chief, asked me to come out here from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and my current job is to offer a little bit of what you might call real world experience to some of these academic debates that are going on.

My family has–most of the time has been forced to live in foreign countries for 18 years of my career. I‘ve spent many remote years beyond that, so I have lived in Middle Eastern countries. I have lived in Japan, Korea. I‘ve been around Asia, and I have–the bio won‘t say that ‘cause I like minimization on my bio, but there‘s been a–I bring a–I think, a different perspective to the discussions that we‘re having today, and I‘m thrilled to come here and see the city still debating real, heartfelt issues about where this nation‘s going and where the world is going, so it is something I‘m proud of when I‘m abroad, and I‘m proud to understand that despite its vicissitudes, the system works here, generally. It‘s not clean. It‘s not efficient. It‘s pretty sloppy sometimes, but it‘s always homing in on, I think, the right direction.

As I approach–when I saw the topic "Rethinking the U.S. Military Revolution", and I went back over my brief experience on the planet and some of the positions that I‘ve been in, I looked back, and I thought how things were when I was a Second Lieutenant and then how things are now at my level of experience and rank, and I think back to how much change there has been before the current administration and through the current administration and their emphasis on transformation. And I will tell ya that your young Americans–and I‘ve been in four joint jobs – your young American uniformed military personnel on the National Guard and active duty and reserve are very, very innovative, and they don‘t need to be told to innovate. When your life is at risk, you will innovate to survive and to achieve the military objective that you have been given by and approved by your civilian overseers.

So, there‘s a technical piece to this, which is reality, and most of our competencies in the U.S. military come from the society that we live in and come from, so, obviously, a strategic penchant for this country is to pursue technology. And so, you can bet we‘re trying to tap that sort of national strength to use in our military, but we also tap nontechnical strengths from the diversity of our society, a law–abiding society, a society that allegedly attempts to be moral, and it‘s tougher to do, obviously, as a single superpower in the post Cold War world. So, I wanna make sure that you understand there is a connection between who you are and who your military is and how they behave and what strengths they draw upon.

So, the U.S. military revolution is just ongoing, and I agree with John. It‘s an iterative evolution, and it is driven by what drives us as a society, so there is a technical–or the science of war, if you will, and there‘s the art of war, which is–deals with people and societies and understanding. And so, the society‘s fingerprints are all over the way that the–your volunteer military evolves to meet the challenging, ever–changing challenges of the future, and I think what–at least in most of the literature I‘ve read on this, there‘s probably–wanna have a discussion, if not a debate, on the role of technology, especially expensive technology, so I‘m very willing to engage in that. I‘ll just lay some markers out there, and, hopefully, we‘ll have a mutually informed discussion and a learning opportunity here this morning.

I‘ve gotta say that I do–at the outset, I do believe that some very expensive technologies that the military has funded are benefiting not only U.S. military of all uniforms but also coalition partners of all uniforms and many of you in your daily lives, so just–that has to be taken in context of its use as a vulnerability, but it‘s also used, potentially, as a strategic deterrent even in a newer, ever–evolving world order that we‘re in with globalization.

Our military grew in capabilities, all services, until, really, in terms of technological development, until, principally, the early eighties where many of the services went, generally, on a procurement holiday. That is, we are all facing, especially–I can speak for the Air Force, an aging fleet. For example, our airplanes average over 24 years old. We‘re still flying B–52s out at the Air Force War–U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, and the last pilot in a B–52 that‘s been around for 50 years has not yet been born. Just think of that. That would be like flying a Sopwith Camel with fabric wings at the end of the Vietnam War from a society that prides itself on technological advancement, and its‘ not just in the Air Force, but you can see in the other services too that they‘ve been ridin‘ old horses for a long time, and they‘re getting expensive–increasingly expensive to maintain and to keep industry producing spare parts for them. We are flying KC–135s older than any airlines. Boeing gave up on those a long time ago, and guess what? That‘s the airframe that‘s flying our new technologies, like JSTARS and some of our AWACS – those old horses.

So, I just want you to know that‘s gonna be–that‘s costly, especially from a technological service like the United States Navy and United States Air Force. Now, those are expensive systems, especially to survive amongst an environment that can use weapons of massive destruction, as was eluded to, but also wasn‘t on a procurement holiday in the last two and a half decades and have built weapons platforms and technologies that exceed ours in technological capability. And having gone to several funerals, I don‘t think the American people want their all volunteer military flying or sailing or shooting second rate technologies. So, it costs money. It may cost too money because of our acquisition system, but it costs money, and it costs money to have the military instrument remain an instrument worthy of a superpower.

So, we have to balance that, and I‘ll get into some of the issues a little bit later, but I did need to address the technology, and I can go into some specifics here in a second. In fact, I‘ll just go into some of ‘em right now. The GPS that you use going fishing, that you use in your car, that you use every day, the American–that runs airlines on time, that affects your clocks, that affects business, banking, ATM, all that stuff was funded by your United States Air Force for free, and the rest of the world uses it, and the United States Air Force is managing it and spending money on it – your taxpayers‘ money–our taxpayers‘ money, to do that. That affects you every day. You‘re able to talk on your cell phone, in many senses, around the world because of the investments in terms of science and technology in terms of the satellite constellation we have. You get your weather picture on CNN from satellites, many of which were pioneered by the Air Force. Now they‘re commercial space is growing in increasing amount of shares up there, but the military pioneered a lot of that and is still generating services for many civilians in our country and, really around the world.

Those cost money, and they also affect the folks on the ground. The–we have–your–our soldiers and our Marines and our special forces know exactly when they are and where they are in a sandstorm because of GPS constellation and communications relays that can go through urban canyons and go through some terrain because of the constellations overhead or the air breathing platforms that are overhead relaying communications and data to them so that they know where–who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. The blue force tracker is relayed through space to keep track of where all the good guys are, so when you‘re in a dirty, complex environment in an urban setting where terrorists are hiding behind families and in buildings and shooting and running and sniping and running or using IEDs, those soldiers, sailors, and Marines, and airmen who are on the ground are very appreciative that it‘s an eye in the sky that‘s seeing around the corner for them. That‘s a standoff precisions munition that has increasingly discriminative effects that saves their lives ‘cause they can‘t get to ‘em otherwise. So, it is truly a joint challenge, and it costs money to be able to provide those types of weapons technologies and communications systems and net enabled sort of warfare to be more effective in issues where you have the strategic advantage or tactical initiative and those where you get ambushed and have to respond. That costs money, and there‘s only one country that can do it in the world right now, effectively, against this very elusive threat, in a tactical sense, and that‘s your country–your military.

The–let me go into–a little bit here into a discussion of–and I can give more examples–specific examples in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Zarqawi incident or anything else if you wanna talk about it. It‘s about how all this works together to support the person on the ground to do his mission, and maybe after Steve talks, we can have a little bit more discussion.

I‘d also like to say that–acknowledge that technology is not a panacea and that it can be a vulnerability, but exploiting the vertical dimension and the cyber dimension with technology and even in land and surface warfare is–when given their alternatives, they‘re not very favorable in terms of risk assessments, and they do give us some strategic flexibility. And we can comment on this later, but I think that some of the conventional norms are still relevant in terms of strategic deterrents because there are people out there that don‘t think like we do. I‘ve lived with ‘em. They don‘t think the way we–Westerners think in terms of legal systems or secular systems running governments or democratic systems, or what we value is not what they value. What we think a just government is is not what they see a just government is, and so, those people sometimes can be deterred by simply brute strength or the appearance or perception of brute strength. Strategic deterrents is something you always chase your tail on, in my view, because you never know what didn‘t happen because of it, so it‘s something that I think needs to be kept irrelevant.

The eternal–I know we got some historians in the room, but the understandings of history, understanding what is the pattern of history and what is change, what is a continuity and what is change is the eternal sort of truisms that the historian chases. There‘s still some continuity from the Cold War here that‘s still very relevant, but the change of globalism is an important imperative that is rapidly changing and has–I would argue, has already changed the way we approach using the military instrument as one instrument of national power in national security affairs.

Let me turn to what I really wanted to talk about, and I can talk more about technology and give specific examples of where it is helping, where if it had not been there, there would‘ve been tactical, and I would argue, strategic failures, and that is talking about what the military leaders, what your military leaders, face now and have faced recently and will face in the future, and I call it the three front war. Most of your uniformed military folks spend all their time, their professional lives, studying the art of–the science of war and the art of war, and they are very good in each service, extremely good – I would argue the best in the world – at using fire and steel and maneuver to conduct force on force engagements – very decisively, very effectively, and sometimes very efficiently. That is their tradition. That is what they take great pride in. That is–nothing‘s easy, but that is simple for them. The biggest challenge isn‘t in confrontation of force on force. The biggest challenge for them in the globalized world of the 21st century is in areas that I‘ll get to here.

The first front, in my opinion, of war is to fight in a globalized world in an information age where masses of information are distributed at the speed of light, and most of it is well beyond that commander‘s control. The omnipresent media with speed to the market and sometimes ratings and influence superseding a patient quest for truth and having dramatic effects on perceptions and politics and, as a result, that commander‘s–that military commander‘s decision making factors that influence him on his decisions and on his risk management or his risk assessment of how much time he has and must succeed in has changed his world or his freedom of maneuver, if you will, and freedom of decisions. The globalized world, where he knows that any tactical decision that is made by a corporal or a private or an airman or a sergeant or a pilot out there has–can have a strategic effect, and that is quite a different environment for the future commanders. So, the globalization, as was said by John, is very, very, very influential on things that commanders have to deal with.

The second front is he has to deal with, and this was brought out by Strobe Talbott a little bit–he has to really understand that he‘s got a front at home in the homeland where he has to understand the political system. He has to understand the inefficiencies and the bureaucratic infighting that goes on in the inner agency and that he has limited time to keep a nation behind him at the tactical end. That is a bigger part of his crosscheck than in the past.

And, finally, he must fight in a coalition. He must build a coalition and keep it together to accomplish the mission at hand, and he must do it in a–sometimes a hostile diplomatic environment.

So, those sorts of things we can get into more detail ‘cause I think I‘m pressed on my time here, but I just wanted to let you know that, in my view, rethinking the military revolution is appreciating the innovation and change that has gone on without prompting by your military and that there‘s a technical aspect that comes from our nation that is very critical that gives us some asymmetric advantages, although also some vulnerabilities and that the 21st century warrior out there has to deal with this notion of fighting in a globalized world in an information age, having to be very adept and skilled in understanding of the fight at home that occurs in Washington, and then also having to fight in a coalition environment to get all of these sort of loose ends tied together in an achievable–and achieve an achievable objective within a given moral method and a given time. I‘m more–we can discuss that later.

Thank you.

Larry Korb: Thank you very much, General. Turn it over now to Steve Biddle, who also has the PowerPoint.

Steve Biddle: I may be the only PowerPoint user here this morning. Almost unprecedented in Washington. It would be unprecedented if this were the Pentagon.

Larry Korb: You don‘t count John‘s as PowerPoint, huh?

Steve Biddle: (inaudible audio) Can you guys hear me if I stand up?

Larry Korb: Why don‘t you just grab the mic out of there, Steve, and take the mic right out?

Steve Biddle: Well, then I have to look like a talk show host.

Larry Korb: Oh. Okay. All right.

Male Speaker 1: It‘s a little hard to hear back here without the microphone.

Larry Korb: It‘s hard to hear.

Male Speaker 2: Use the microphone.

Steve Biddle: I‘ll sit down. How is that? Is that better? Okay.

There are a lot of technologies associated with the revolution in military affairs thesis, but among the more important of them are the ones that facilitate and enable standoff precision strikes, so what I wanna do this morning is spend a little bit of time talking about the collection of technologies that enables standoff precision as we have seen them actually used in two recent combat actions, in particular, the early phase, what might be called major combat or an approximation of that, in Afghanistan from 2001 through the end of Operation Anaconda in 2002 and in the campaign that led to the fall of Saddam in 2003. Now, obviously, the ongoing insurgency phases of both of these conflicts are very important, and they‘re very important for the revolution in military affairs thesis, for U.S. defense planning, more generally, lots of other considerations as well. Generally speaking, in the transformation debate the assumption has been that in low intensity or counterinsurgency environments these kinds of technologies are on their weakest ground. Given that, I think it‘s particularly interesting to look instead at the major combat experience we‘ve had recently where the conventional expectation is that these technologies are on their strongest ground and take a look at what experience we‘ve had with them, what things they did well, what things they did less well, and turn, when we complete that, to some conclusions and some implications that follow from that experience for the policy debate.

So, let me start off with the Afghanistan campaign. A lot of people now looking back at the early phase of Afghanistan see it as a campaign dominated by standoff precision in which a handful of special forces operators on the ground acting in conjunction with Afghan allies used standoff precision strike to destroy a military in front of it that had previously stalemated our allies in the course of a long civil war and transformed that stalemate into a rapid U.S. military victory, and that is arguably a pretty transformational event. And, in fact, in the beginning of the campaign that‘s pretty much the way it worked.

Oh. I‘m not actually transmitting.

Larry Korb: So, those–you can‘t always rely on technology

Steve Biddle: Yeah. There are always enemies who can figure it out.

Male Speaker 1: I could hold it.

Steve Biddle: Maybe I should stand up. I wish the pictures were so good as to make all this delay worthwhile.

Larry Korb: Steve, I think your presentation‘s good enough even without [unclear audio]. I think it‘s–

Steve Biddle: Phooey. You get the good photographic coverage, and then you just–one of the nice things about looking at recent combat experience is you can actually photograph it in some cases, but I‘ll just yack at folks if that proves to be the better solution. Well, anyway, while this is getting set up, let me talk a little bit more about what went on in Afghanistan, and one of the main points I wanna make about Afghanistan is that it‘s important to differentiate the early and the late phases of this campaign. At the beginning of the campaign in Afghanistan, we were fighting against indigenous Afghan Taliban with very limited technical military skills. Our opposition in Afghanistan was not a unified, homogeneous military organization. It consisted of at least–

Heavens. It‘s a slide. Well, in that case–ah. Eureka! Okay. This is actually where I‘d intended to be in the presentation. Thank you.

Our opposition in Afghanistan consisted of at least three militarily very different subcomponents. There were indigenous Afghan Taliban, which were essentially seasonal warriors that turned out for the civil war when the harvest cycle permitted and then went home to tend the farm when it didn‘t – very little formal military training. There were foreigners fighting on behalf of the Taliban and typically had better training, better equipment, and better motivation, and there was a subset of those foreigners who had been through Osama bin Laden‘s infamous terrorist training camps, which were not, interestingly, primarily terrorist training camps. They were primarily teaching a, more or less, conventional Western style infantry syllabus to create soldiers who could be used on the frontlines in Afghanistan‘s civil war. Terrorism was kind of an honors graduate course. If you did well in infantry tactics, then you got to learn demolition and disguise and evasion and escape and all that. The result of that, however, was three very different kinds of opponents.

Now, in the beginning part of the campaign, the Taliban had deployed their least skilled combatants forward, so we were initially facing mostly indigenous Afghan Taliban. They presented very easy targets, so, for example, in situations like Bashkal on October 21 of 2001 a Taliban command post was visible to American Special Forces with no more sophisticated target acquisition technology than a pair of binoculars from ranges in excess of 8,000 meters away, targeted and destroyed by standoff precision bombing. At [??] Canyon near [??] on November 7, again, Taliban combat positions were exposed, easily identified from extraordinary ranges. We would drop 2,000 pound JDAMs on these positions. Position is vaporized. Enormous crater opens up. Afghan Taliban get up in plain view, look into the crater to see what happened. These kinds of targets could be destroyed very quickly en masse almost exclusively at standoff precision.

As the campaign went on, however, we started encountering other elements of the hostile coalition, and, in particular, the target base started shifting away from unskilled, indigenous Afghan Taliban and toward graduates of bin Laden‘s training camps, and, as that happened, we started encountering opponents who were adopting many of the standard countermeasures that people ordinarily use when faced with high firepower opposition in the modern era – camouflage, dispersal, radio listening silence, decoys, and, especially, the careful use of the complexity of the earth‘s surface to provide cover and concealment against target acquisition.

And just to provide a more concrete illustration – see, I did want the photographs – of what that can produce, this is a photo of one of the Al–Qaeda fighting positions from the southern edge of the battlefield in Operation Anaconda, Takur Ghar Mountain, near our objective, Ginger. Now–I‘m a civilian, and I‘m a tweed–wearing civilian at that. What do I know about these things? But if there weren‘t a yellow arrow there, conveniently pointing down, if I just saw the picture, I wouldn‘t naturally assume that that‘s obviously a combat position – very effective local concealment – a body of overhanging rock to provide cover from UAVs, air breathing aircraft, satellites, other overhead searchers. I would submit that against opponents like Al–Qaeda but no like the indigenous Afghan Taliban who were capable of exploiting the complexity of the earth‘s surface to provide this degree of cover and concealment, we‘re gonna have a very tough nut for standoff precision technology to crack for quite some time.

What happened in terms of the efficacy of the U.S. military effort as this transition in target types and in posture occurred? Well, standoff intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance got a good deal harder. That, in turn, meant that the effectiveness of our standoff strike program fell, and that, in turn, meant that the burden of the military mission that could only be accomplished in close combat by allied military forces and U.S. ground forces got more challenging over time.

And just to provide a couple of illustrative examples, at Bai Beche on November 5 of 2001 a mostly Al–Qaeda garrison was occupying an old, formerly Soviet defensive system astride the Dar–ye Suf River, which was the critical access of advance toward Mazar–e–Sharif in the north–this was a very well prepared defensive system. The Soviets had done a nice job with this – very elaborate cover and concealment, interconnected concealed trenches, deep dugouts, lots of camouflage. Given this degree of formality of preparation, the special forces unit that was operating with our Afghan allies could not locate individual positions within that system for precision engagement, but we knew, more or less, the bounds of the defensive system as a whole, so what they proceeded to do was call in carpet bombing by B–52s for almost three continuous days. After nearly three days of carpet bombing by B–52s, there were still enough Al–Qaeda defenders surviving and actively resisting within that defensive system that they drove back with heavy losses the initial attempt of Ahmed Shah Massoud Afghan forces to take the position, and the eventual success that led to the breakthrough was, in fact, a very close call and kind of an interesting anecdote, which I‘ll skip in light of time, but I‘d be happy to spin out later if people are interested.

Some other examples along Highway 4, in December south of Kandahar, a series of counterattacks by Al–Qaeda elements that were using a system of wadis, or dried up riverbeds, for cover and concealment managed to get within small–short small arms range, a couple of hundred meters, of American and friendly Afghan positions before we even knew they were there, much less taking them under fire. Al–Qaeda defensive positions in culverts and among burned out vehicle hulks along the highway were completely unknown to us by any target acquisition or intelligence system until we came upon them, and they fired upon us, and they drove back the initial advance.

At [??] , a river crossing village just north of Kandahar, between the 2nd and the 4th of December, again, Al–Qaeda counterattackers get to within very close range of us before we discover them. Again, Al–Qaeda defenders are undiscovered until they fire upon us.

In Operation Anaconda in March of 2002, less than half of what we ultimately discovered to be Al–Qaeda‘s fighting positions on this battlefield were known to us in any way prior to the battle in spite of the fact that we were concentrating a pretty intensive, almost staring surveillance on a tiny 10 by 10 kilometer postage stamp battlefield. In spite of the degree of attention that this battlefield was receiving, most of the fire that we actually took in the course of Operation Anaconda came from defending positions whose occupants were unknown to us until we showed up and drew the fire.

Now, what these and other examples from the campaign suggest, I think, is that where we were fighting against indigenous Afghans who were not as skilled and whose military fundamentals were much weaker, standoff precision strike, by itself, was perfectly sufficient to solve that problem with very modest demands for close combat on the part of our forces and our allies. Where we were fighting against opponents that did a better job of concealing themselves from our attempts to find them and hardening their positions from our attempts to strike them, standoff alone, although tremendously helpful, tremendously valuable in producing ultimate success in engagements like Anaconda, proved useful but not sufficient, and the ground force role that was required in order to carry positions in these kinds of engagements was a good deal more demanding.

Let me fast forward to the campaign that led to the fall of Saddam in the spring of 2003. The Iraqis had fought the United States, and they‘d fought the U.S. Air Force before, and they knew that they had to do something or another about the power of American standoff precision, and they made some attempt to adapt to this capability. Their attempt was largely unsuccessful. They provided some concealment for their forces. They provided some but less effective cover. Concealment is opaque obstacles that prevent you from finding things. Cover is impenetrable obstacles that prevent fire from reaching those targets, and they provided essentially no ability to combine cover, concealment, and an adequate field of fire for their own weapons to provide meaningful fighting positions, as opposed to simply hid locations. And what they did manage to do was implement it very inconsistently across a mass military organization, and the result of that in the aggregate was extreme vulnerability to the kinds of technologies that we put into the field in 2003.

To provide some illustrative examples from the Iraq campaign, this is an Iraqi BMP, an infantry fighting vehicle, from the vicinity of Objective Saints south of Baghdad on April 3. This, like many other–in fact, entire brigades of Iraqi Republican Guard units were disposed in woods and villages south of the city of Baghdad and managed, through doing that, to provide some degree of concealment against our attempt to find them – in this case, overhead concealment via foliage – but no cover at all, and as 3rd Infantry Division passed through these positions, if these vehicles had been occupied at the time, they would‘ve been very easy to destroy, given that there‘s nothing, for example, between the position of the photographer taking this photo and the vehicle itself to protect the vehicle from fire, and there‘s no field of fire for the vehicle‘s own weapons. This is a hide position of reasonable effectiveness. It‘s not a usable fighting position.

Another illustrative example taken from the outskirts of Baghdad between the 5th and 9th of April. This is an Iraqi T–72 parked in an open plaza within a building. Again, there‘s some degree of concealment. This is a very cluttered environment, which makes standoff surveillance and reconnaissance harder, but, again, the weapon has no field of fire, and, again, it has only partial cover – much more successful as a way to hide than as a way to fight.

As a final illustrative example, this one taken from Objective Montgomery west of Baghdad in an action that took place on April 4, the Iraqis had deployed a reinforced tank battalion from the Hammurabi Division on chosen positions on a berm behind a canal. They had used dozer blades to push up a three sided sand berm in a horseshoe shape to protect the vehicle. Thos who were in Iraq in 2003 saw thousands and thousands of these horseshoe shaped berms all over the country. They do not provide meaningful cover and concealment against American attack. The berm constitutes the equivalent of that yellow arrow from the previous slide pointing down saying, "Vehicle probably here" – no concealment. Once the position draw the fire that the berm guarantees that it‘s going to draw, the sand provides no meaningful cover. A loose pile of sand does not stop 120 millimeter depleted uranium M1A1 main gun rounds. I‘m told by the technical people that it sort of shines the uranium up a little bit as it goes through the berm, but it doesn‘t slow it down very much, and there are reports from U.S. vehicle crews of watching rounds go into the berm, out of the berm, into the T–72, out of the T–72, at which point they lost the tracer over the horizon. So, this manages to combine no concealment with no cover in a circumstance that makes you extraordinarily vulnerable. The consequences of those kinds of postures were extraordinary vulnerability to the kinds of firepower systems that the United States brought to the battlefield in 2003.

So, just by way of wrapping up before I get the hook from Larry, what implications should we draw from this? And I think a central implication to draw from this is that the performance of standoff precision technology, and, for that matter, almost any military technology, depends centrally on the behavior of both its users and its targets. Against targets that behave very differently, you can expect that technology‘s effectiveness to vary widely. There are opponents out there, as we saw from Al–Qaeda in 2002 in the [??] Valley of Afghanistan and, I think, as the Israelis discovered south of Litani River in Lebanon this last summer, whose ability to master basic military fundamentals is sufficient that they can substantially reduce their vulnerability to these kinds of technologies. When they do that, some sort of close combat activity requiring a rather demanding mastery of the military basics yourself will be required in order to deal with that kind of opponent.

That is not the only kind of opponent on the modern battlefield. There are others, like the Republican Guard in 2003, for example, whose basic military skill set leaves them with great difficulty in doing the complicated set of activities that are required in order to simultaneously do cover, concealment, and meaningful weapons use opportunities for yourself to provide combat positions that can survive standoff precision and create a difficult problem for ground forces. Similarly, the indigenous Afghan Taliban in the earlier part of the Afghanistan campaign proved unable to master this difficult set of skills.

What that suggests, I think, is something of a dilemma in that the effectiveness of standoff precision technology tends to be highest against opponents that are pretty easy to deal with in other ways anyway. The exposed Iraqis that we discovered in 2002, for example, both had a very hard time defending themselves against standoff precision, and they had a very hard time defending themselves against close combat when they got fortunate enough to compel it. That third photograph I showed you a moment ago, the T–72 at Objective Montgomery, was a position that, through serendipity, managed to survive standoff precision and engaged an American ground force unit in close quarters in close combat. In that action a single American cavalry troop wiped out about three times its strength of elite Iraqi Republican Guards in close combat while suffering no casualties of its own. Against these kinds of opponents we can operate quite successfully with quite small forces, whether they be standoff or close combat.

Where we deal with opponents, however, whose skills are better than those of the Republican Guard, and, I think, again, as the Israelis discovered as recently as this summer in Lebanon, we deal with situations where our ability to solve the problem at standoff is considerably more limited, and some degree of demanding close combat activity is going to be necessary in conjunction with terribly helpful standoff precision technology in order to crack that kind of harder nut, and that has some implications for policy.

For one, we need to be wary of proposals to significantly imbalance the U.S. force structure. Now, there are a variety of proposals like that that‘ve been around since the Rumsfeld Administration came into office. The debate has changed some over time. Initially, the Office of the Secretary of Defense was very interested in transferring from heavy close combat ground capability into a greater emphasis on standoff precision strike for mostly major combat applications. These days, there‘s a lot of interest in the argument that for major combat standoff precision enables us to solve that kind of problem with such a fraction of today‘s American military that we can afford to transform what‘s left into a force that can do a better job of coping with counterinsurgency, low intensity combat, some of the other less traditional challenges that we find today.

For either one of those significant transformation proposals to make sense, we have to be concerned about the possibility that we may eventually encounter opponents once more, like Al–Qaeda or like, possibly, Hezbollah in Lebanon, who can‘t easily be dealt with with a fraction of today‘s force structure at standoff alone, but that require something of a more balanced force that can combine very lethal standoff firepower with the ability to close with forces that can‘t be found at standoff and dispose with them in that way. There is still a strong argument to be made for balance.

Secondly, standoff capability is great. I love it. I think we should have as much of it as we can possibly get. I certainly wouldn‘t go to–wanna go to war without it. It is also, as the General pointed out, expensive, and that raises the issue of in order to get it in a constrained world where we can‘t simultaneously have all of everything we want, how much are we prepared to give up in order to get how much more of it? And when we do that kind of calculation, which one can‘t do exclusively on the basis of retrospective historical analyses of individual campaigns of the kind I‘ve presented here, but as we do the kind of tradeoff analysis that‘s necessary in order to make that kind of balancing decision, we have to do it with awareness, not just of the strengths that you get when you invest in expensive standoff capability, but also the shortcomings of both the expensive standoff capability and the expensive close combat capability. And it‘s important not to overlook either the strengths or the weaknesses of either close combat approaches or standoff approaches.

And, with that, I‘ll stop.

Larry Korb: Thank you very much, Steve. All right, Sean, you got about 10 minutes to try and make sense of everything that you‘ve heard. Make sure all the services are represented. I noticed on the back of your book you‘ve got an endorsement from General Zinni, so we have something from the Marines here.

Sean Kay: Well, I come at it even more so from the academic point of view. I don‘t have my tweed on, but I also come at this from a state where most discussions of these kinda things at the Mershon Center where I work or at Ohio Wesleyan tend to evolve into, "Go Buckeyes," and that‘s about it, so let me just quickly say it‘s a pleasure to have a chance to give some comment here and be on this panel with four, Larry included, of course, people whose work I‘ve admired for many, many years, and so, it‘s a privilege to do this.

What I wanna do is say a couple quick things about each presentation, but then try to use that as a sparking point to raise some larger questions here. First of all, you‘ve heard the pitches, so I don‘t need to summarize anything, but I think there is a interrelationship between the three and that John Steinbruner is raising this question of how we conceptualize the role of the military in a globalized system. General Worden makes a really strong case for power projection, integrated information systems, and so forth as part of that functional architecture of how we–how the military plays a role, but then, Steve Biddle, of course, gives us a–really clear examples that there are limitations to how this can apply on the ground.

I think that the interrelationship between these three points does raise several questions, maybe, for each panelist. Given the need to reconceptualize military thinking that John Steinbruner raises, it does beg the question, for example, for the uniformed military, what specific requirements do these new threats entail? What–and when you get down to budgets, where is the money gonna be spent? And if the issues are things like global warming and so on, these are actually things that may have much more of a civilian approach than a military approach, so I think that raises the question, specifically, for example, what role does airpower play in this wide range of globalized security threats? And, again, Steve raises this question about the limits in that context of power projection and technology as a constraint, but the bottom line in that context is if the new threats are as complex and layered and non military as John lays out – and we could go through a much longer list too of demographics and other environmental issues and so on, terrorism, etcetera, asymmetrical challenges – it really does force us to contemplate how we go about achieving national power and what–how are we even defining power in that context? How do you fight and win ward when enemy center of gravity is diffused, dispersed, and global and, indeed, in some cases, potentially domestic as well, and how will enemies adapt their strategies given the relative technology and other strategic advantages?

On that particular example, one thing I‘ve been working on a lot is Afghanistan and NATO, in particular, and I would–if we had more time, I would love to hear also Steve‘s take on how this all applies to counterinsurgency ‘cause I think that‘s clearly the current question that we have to ask, and there you have this puzzle that‘s a really difficult circle to square about the relationship between combat forces and the capabilities that they have on the ground and hearts and minds campaigns and, in particular, the relationship between how you apply airpower in that context as we‘re having to do in Afghanistan, in large part because we don‘t, as Strobe was saying, have a sufficient number of troops on the ground in Afghanistan relative to the mission, and then, that becomes a political problem. If you don‘t have enough troops relative to the mission, does that require rethinking the mission itself? And then, that becomes, of course, a political and diplomatic issue.

And on concealment in the current counterinsurgency environment in Afghanistan, we don‘t even know, really, who the Taliban are these days. We don‘t have a good read on that, and so, when we have to go out on patrols to just find out where they‘re hiding and who they are and bringing ‘em out, raises a whole different question. So, you see some of the same problems coming up in counterinsurgency.

That raises a broader point, I think, that didn‘t come up here, but I think is worth iterating is–about coalition and coalition warfare. General Worden did touch on it. Clearly, we have a challenge here. One of the key lessons that many took out of the Kosovo war was that we don‘t wanna do that kind of coalition warfare again, in effect, mainly because of NATO, for example, the decision making. Now we see the caveats in Afghanistan – the whole war by committee concept. We have in Afghanistan now different allies with different perspectives and views about how to fight counterinsurgency, what it means to do it. Some allies are actually finding out that they‘re–they might have to fight a war in the war that they‘re involved, and that‘s becoming a problem for some of them, politically, at home.

The real problem here, though, is that we have a–I think, a puzzle that needs to be addressed, and I don‘t think there‘s–it‘s easier to identify the problem than come up with answers, but you–there seems to be a clear desire to have the legitimacy and mandate that international institutions, like NATO, provide for military operations, but when you go to war, you want efficiency, and technology requires the U.S., in some cases, to go increasingly alone or with one or two targeted allies in the implementation of a crisis mode. But, on the other hand, after you win the war in the–like in the phase that Steve was talking about, we, of course, later need to win the piece. That requires allies. That requires burden sharing, and the key thing is that it requires unity of command and integrating these forces, and that‘s something that, ironically, given that NATO‘s entire premise is to facilitate effective planning and procedures for unity of command, isn‘t happening on the ground right now in Afghanistan.

I‘d–a couple final points, and then, I just wanna wrap up ‘cause I‘d much rather hear other people talk, and I would–one thing I‘d tease out a little farther too – this isn‘t my concept, and I can‘t even remember where I heard it. Someone else out there may have said it or whatever, but it could be that the new real revolution in military affairs is that the–increasingly, the challenges are civilian, and, in fact, ironically, the military, of course, then finds itself being pulled in the direction of these civilian operations, which is dangerous, I think, for the military because it‘s directing them away from their core mission, which we need to have and fully fund and upgrade and so forth. And on the ground there‘s this increasing need for multinational police forces, integrated with nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, and so forth, so maybe–it may be that the real revolution–again, this is–I‘m not claming credit for this idea. I heard it someone else. I can‘t cite it though. I don‘t remember but–where it came from, but increasingly that the solutions may be nonmilitary or that the military is being pulled away in different directions from what it probably ought to be focusing on.

A second key revolutionary concept there is almost more of an ethical puzzle. Just because we can do something with technology, doesn‘t mean we should, and that‘s where I think John Steinbruner touched on the space thing. I think that‘s a critical issue. Clearly, it‘s a hot topic for the Air Force, but we have primacy in space, and it‘s pretty easy to monitor what other countries are doing up in space, and we do run the risk here in space of creating incentives for other countries to make big leaps on technology. People in the room know the issues on that debate, but just because we can do something, doesn‘t necessarily mean it should–we should.

And then–and, finally, if we really want to think radically in terms of transformation, let me go back to NATO ‘cause it‘s what I‘ve worked on best. We‘ve done this big transformation of NATO, all these things over the last 10, 15 years, but if you really want it to be applicable to the kind of mission it‘s now undertaken in Afghanistan, which as Strobe said, is in big trouble – no doubt about it–we hear a lot about Iraq, but Afghanistan is a big problem right now, and–but if you really want that organization to play the role, then it needs to be radically transformed in ways we haven‘t even thought about yet – integrated global training for coalition and indigenous forces, integrated military and police training, integrated private sector engagement, NGOs, IOs, information gathering, research on demography, public opinion surveys so you get a sense of what‘s going on with hearts and minds in countries that you‘re operating in so you have metrics for measuring success, language training, cultural training, mapping, public information campaigns.

And that all leads to the–to, very quickly, two final points – that, at the end of the day, education seems to be part of the problem here, and I think John suggested this, and the General did too–that we haven‘t even really begun to have the public debate that is essential in society to really move the ball forward on these things. When you hear about–whether one agrees or disagrees with the weaponization of space, for example, that‘s a decision that is probably as monumental as the decision to test nuclear weapons, and we have had no public discourse in this country on that issue, for good or bad. It‘s an issue that ought to be debated and debated intensely before we move forward because if society, as John points out, sort of finds out after the fact what‘s going on with things, then they might actually get upset, but the other issue is the level of engagement of society. We have not invested since the GI Bill, really, in higher education in this country, and we really have to focus on that so we get the right kind of tools we need to deal with the threats.

But, finally, I think the thin that keeps coming up across all this, and I‘ll close on this, is that it really all comes down to budgets, budgets, and budgets, and where‘s the money gonna be going, and until we really have the serious discussion and debate–we need to fully fund the traditional, conventional military forces, but the nature of the threats are radically transformed to–on top of the traditional, conventional problems that we confront still, then we really have to have a debate about where we‘re gonna get the funding for that, and if we are living in a country that is wanting to have tax cuts in a time of war, and we have not really educated yet on the nature of these problems, so I think these debates are great. It‘s super. I think it‘s super that the Stanley Foundation is doing this, and I‘d like to invite ya‘ll to come out to Ohio because that‘s also where this needs to happen. We need to get these things on the street where it really matters for citizens that are hungry to hear about these issues and learn about them and get involved in the decision making for their country, as the General suggested is vital.

Thank you.

Larry Korb: Thank you very much, Sean. I think you‘ll have a lot of presidential candidates who will wanna come out there to–

Sean Kay: Yeah. They‘ll be there.

Larry Korb: Let me–what–we‘ve got about a half hour left, and what I‘d like to do is the following: people who have a question, I‘d ask you to line up behind the microphone there, and state your question as succinctly as possible. If you‘d like to give your affiliation too, that would also help, and then, what I‘d like the panelists to do in answering the questions, if it‘s relevant to some of the comments that they‘ve heard from the other panelists, to please weigh in, and then, I‘ll try and give everybody at least a minute at the end to sum up on any of the points that they haven‘t made, so, with that, yes, ma‘am.

Lorelei Kelly: Thank you, all. That was fantastic. My name‘s Lorelei Kelly. I work for the White House Project, which is an organization that gets women elected to public office across the country. I lead the Real Security Initiative, which is building a national security platform for these candidates. My question or–I‘m gonna try to sum up what I heard, which is that we, as a country, are sort of sitting at an intersection where both state security and human security are very important, and they should be mutually reinforcing and interactive security needs, but in budget decisions, as you mentioned, they‘re often seen as tradeoffs. I just got finished working for almost nine years on Capitol Hill, and there are so many gold plated barnacles attached to the whole of the budget that we haven‘t even begun to deal with that I really fear for–going forward because the opportunity costs for not transforming–doing the things that John Steinbruner mentioned is that we won‘t be prepared for the kinda security threats are–that are coming up. And our failure to see human beings – and this is in the military, but also across the agencies – as the defense platform for the post Cold War era has led to really, I think, a lack of decision making and hard tradeoffs in the budget, so we‘ve seen in Iraq that we have lots of missile defense but inadequate body armor. And these kind of tradeoffs happen throughout the agencies, and I think has led to agencies like the Army accruing so many responsibilities that are out of their traditional missionaries. So, what I would like to ask is when our status as a team leader and–of the world and when our legitimacy and our reputation are just as powerful of a weapon in today‘s world as traditional state functions, like airpower, for example, what are we doing to do to get to the level of understanding where we have to make these dramatic changes?

Larry Korb: Okay. You‘ve got two questions in there. One, I think, in terms of the budget, so let people–anybody wanna address–if you were king for a day, what type of–we talked about the budget tradeoffs. Which ones would you make? We‘ll start with you, John.

John Steinbruner: I think implicit in your question is, I guess, the proposition, following what Steve Biddle was saying, is that we‘re gonna look at situations in which U.S. forces are gonna be engaged in close combat like situations, and we are dealing with, if you will, the problems of civil conflict, and what I would say about that is, to the extent that it is a budget issue, but a very–it‘s an institutional issue.

There‘s a sequence of events beginning from Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and now Iraq where we are learning lessons at a higher scale than what Steve was talking about. Steve was reflecting the very adroit and impressive lesson learning process that the U.S. military has with regard to tactical engagements. The overall policy process is less adroit in this, but what we are seeing in all these situations is that there are missing elements. We can suppress conflict reasonably well. We do not–we have not mastered reconstruction, quite obviously, through all the–and the reason is we do not have the operational capability required to do it. We do not have ready police functions. We do not have ready functions. We do not have ready civil administration functions, and we don‘t have a model for economic and political reconstruction.

These are missing elements, and there‘s no way that the military can provide those missing elements. They‘re not designed to do that, so the budget issue, really, it‘s trivial to say–or sort of limiting to say it‘s a budget issue. It‘s a conceptual issue. We have to recognize that if we‘re going to do these sort of things, there are institutional capabilities we have to create, and that will cost money. How much? Damned if I know.

And then, final point is that embedded in all this is the big, overriding issue of justification. Our problem is not just the absence of critical capabilities of the sort I just described, but we are not adroit, to put it mildly, so far in establishing the justification of what we‘re doing, and if you lose the battle of justification, as I‘m afraid we have in Iraq, there‘s nothing that can compensate for that.

Larry Korb: General, you mentioned money several times. As I understand it, the Air Force is cutting people in order to, well, pay for some more of these high technologies. Is that the right way? How long can we do that, or have we gone far enough there?

General Worden: Yeah. Good question, Larry, and, by the way, I‘ll say ditto to Steve. This is absolutely–what I see is–and I‘ll talk to the money here. The strategic sort of conceptual issues that are not fully appreciated that in our newly defined–well, it‘s not new, but the security environment we face, whether it‘s global warming or loose nukes or bioterrorism or whatever is facing us, must be solved first with a new sense of urgency – my opinion because I‘ve been to many interagency planning conferences, and one of the greatest frustrations, whether it‘s space policy, whether it‘s–how does all–how do all the diplomatic, informational, military, economic instruments of power of this nation come together, think through a problem, plan together, prepare together, assume risks knowing of who‘s going–what the risks are in our capabilities and wake up to the strategic challenges that are facing our future or that are facing us now, then we won‘t get much traction in this globalized world, so the interagency place is key to getting this nation synchronized in terms of an ability to plan for these challenges that face us in the future security environment.

In terms of spending money on Air Force or air or space, it‘s really, in my mind, who brings capabilities that are most relevant to the security interests of this country, and that‘s where the money should go, in or out of the Defense Department . And, in my view, that–you must–you gotta appreciate though that security professionals must continuously worry and plan for the use of force in locations and in methods in which we have not been experienced before or in domains, like space or cyberspace, and we‘re particularly vulnerable in those latter two. So, to do less is irresponsible for a security professional, whether he‘s wearing a uniform or not, so I think that the national security risks brought out by the rest of this panel–we have some hard choices, and I think the military must be also, like other branches of government, held accountable for their relevancy for, not only the near fight that we happen to be focused on, but what might be on the horizon that you can‘t snap your fingers and build a capability to deal with. So, it‘s a balance between the long and short term, but the gravest risk – do a risk assessment of that, and then, allocate capabilities accordingly.

Larry Korb: Okay. Steve, any comments?

Steve Biddle: Yeah. Just quickly. There are a couple of different sets of budgetary tradeoffs involved here. In light of the kinds of issues John was raising, there are a whole issue–a whole set of concerns about the relationship between Defense Department funding and other agencies of the government that might speak to things that are reasonably considered security issues, and I‘m part of, I think, a broad consensus of folks that thinks that the nondefense part of the government should be strengthened in order to deal with that. I actually think that‘s less centrally a budgetary issue than it is an institutional culture and an organizational design issue.

The State Department has not historically conceptualized itself in this way, and when you think–the example everybody turns to most immediately is wouldn‘t it be nice to have had a State Department Interior Ministry Brigade that you could‘ve airdropped into Baghdad in 2003 and had them stand up a ministry? Well, the State Department–the Defense Department thinks that way about problems. The State Department doesn‘t. People don‘t organize their careers as foreign service officers around that kind of lifestyle, so apart and aside from important issues of where the money goes and getting state or treasury or commerce or other agencies of the government enough funding to do what they need to do in this kind of environment, there are also questions of the kind of people that currently population those agencies – what assumptions they made when they went into that career, how they think about the world – that also need changing.

The sort of more obvious budgetary tradeoff issue that I suspect I‘m being goaded to make a claim on is within the Defense Department budget, and so, I‘ll go ahead and take the bait.

Male Speaker: Yeah. Well, you don‘t work in the Army anymore, Steven.

Female Speaker: Do it. Yeah.

Steve Biddle: Well, you see, I don‘t actually–yeah. I don‘t work for the Army. I don‘t carry any water for General Schoonmaker‘s folks but–an implication of the kinds of analyses that I‘ve done for a while now has been that the software matters more relative to the hardware than, especially, the early debate about the RMA tend to assume, and the software is expensive. The people, the training, the quality of life accounts that keep the people in the force so that you can benefit from the training you give them, all of these kinds of accounts tend to have certain budgetary disadvantages within the process the way we do it politically. Their constituency politics is really lousy relative to weapon programs, for example. Weapon programs also have a tendency to create big downstream budget requirements early in the process when the constituencies are all getting established, and those chickens don‘t come home to roost with big outlay demands until you‘ve already built a constituency for the program, so you end up with these train wreck conditions that people in the debate talk about on a, roughly, 10 to 15 year cycle, it seems, and they‘re in the debate now in important ways.

All these things, I think, tend to create disincentive–perverse incentives for tending to emphasize capital rather than labor in the way we do budgeting in the United States. All that‘s a long way from an analysis that could sustain some particular claim that we ought to cancel the F–22, or take your favorite. That would require a lot more than the briefing I gave earlier, but all I‘ll do is suggest that there are some tendencies that tend to advantage capital over labor in the way we do the budgeting, and we need to be on the lookout for those.

Larry Korb: Sean, do you have any?

Sean Kay: A very quick tack on. I guess I‘d just give some illustrative examples. I think one of the key measures here of success is figuring out ways to get local people in different parts of the world to generate local solutions to local problems so our military doesn‘t have to keep going in and doing these sort of rescue missions and so forth, but there‘s different–the center of gravity in the conflicts that we were thinking about here is hearts and minds.

Let me give you two really just illustrative examples. The first one comes from Jeffrey Sachs, the economist, who made a comment this fall that when bin Laden declared jihad against the UN in Sudan, we said nothing in response. He–we could‘ve said, "While you wanna talk about blowing people up and killing, we‘re gonna send treated nets to deal with disease." 10 million children die every year from malaria and TB in the world, and that costs nothing. That‘s virtually a drop in the hat to send a net. It‘s like $5.00. You can go online and do it, and–so that‘s a low cost thing. The UN did a projection that we‘re–for a total expenditure of $80 billion over 10 to 15 years, you can provide primary school education for every child in the world that doesn‘t currently have it. Remember the Baker Cutler Commission said $30 billion for securing the nukes in the former Soviet Union. So, there you go. For $110 billion you get secure nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union, primary school education. Imagine if we had a third of what we spent on Iraq, took it into solving those two problems, invested and given people real alternatives to the madrassas in Pakistan, for example. Would we be safer today? I can‘t promise that, but the argument‘s just as compelling as for the amount of costs that we‘ve spent in Iraq so far.

Larry Korb: Okay. Stan?

Stanley Kober: Stanley with the Cato Institute. James Madison once wrote an article in which he said there are two types of war. There‘s the war the ruler wants and the people don‘t, but he said there‘s also a second type of war that accords with the will of the society. He didn‘t have a good answer for that. It seems to me that part of the problem here is the revolution of military affairs deals, typically, with the first type of war. Okay? You decapitate the leadership, and the people welcome you, and that‘s that. The example I would use here–and this gets this question–we won the war, but we didn‘t win the reconstruction. Napoleon invades Russia, beats the Russian army, makes it to Moscow, says, "I will free the serfs." Reaction? "Get outta here. You‘re the alien." It‘s known in Russian as the Patriotic War. Does anybody say, "Well, Napoleon won the war, but he lost the reconstruction?" He lost the war. He did not understand the nature of the war on which he had embarked. Do we understand the nature of the war?

We talk about revolutionary war–this warfare, the high tech. Nine years ago I read an article in Al–Ahram, the Egyptian newspaper, by the former–he was the retired Egyptian Minister of Defense. He was talking about the Palestine/Israel situation. He said, "This isn‘t gonna end in negotiation. It‘ll end in blood. What will be the decisive weapon? The suicide bomber." 1997 he said it‘s gonna be the suicide bomber. What have we just seen in Gaza? The first grandmother suicide bomber. How does the militarization of space, information warfare deal with that?

Larry Korb: Anybody want to say–

John Steinbruner: Yeah. I‘ll take that. I don‘t know that the militarization of space is completely irrelevant an ideological, cultural conflict that we‘re in, but I think it is–you‘re absolutely right, and I think the people I see that teach here at NDU, at least in our professional military development, we are as focused on winning the peace as in the military phase of it, if you will. The problem is, as I eluded to before, in my humble opinion, sometimes a nation is not at war when the military is at war, and the interagency sort of full–all the instruments, the diplomatic experts, the people that are in information industries and government, commerce, trade, the economy, that whole government needs to be focused on what they can do to solve a problem that they commonly perceive as a threat to the military and–or–I‘m sorry–a threat to the national security and to communicate to that people in a compelling way to convince the democracy that this is worth the effort. And so, I think–yeah. If you‘re saying do I spend a dollar on a space based radar system that can see any moving vehicle anywhere in the world, or do I spend money on Band–Aids and shots and other sorts of things, that debate needs to occur, and I would agree with you in the sense that if we‘re looking at a specific challenge, that there may be something we have spent on space that is not adding value as much as some other alternative to that particular challenge that is facing us.

Larry Korb: Okay. Go ahead, John.

John Steinbruner: Just a brief comment expanding on that. I think, generally–at the moment, we are involved–we, the United States, to a degree we don‘t understand, in a battle over justification, which has much more practical significance than we fully fathom, and we‘re not doing as well as we need to do and as we should do, in part because we don‘t understand that that is the nature of the battle. And it shows up in many of these areas, but–space and other–that you have to establish justification–international justification for what you‘re doing to be able to deal with, if you will, the dynamics that involve political sentiment among societies, and if you haven‘t established justification, you‘re in trouble, and I think that is the implication of the question, actually?

Larry Korb: Okay. Yes, sir.

Ed Corcoran: Ed Corcoran from It seems to me one of the lessons we‘ve seen here that Steve hit on very hard that we‘ve been seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan, for sure, is that the need for military transformation needs to look at what was mentioned here of the humans as being the defense system, and when we look at the people we sent into Iraq with no background in culture, language, awareness of the country they were going in, of the problems that we‘re seeing in the insurgency where it‘s a tremendous–the key problem is finding out who‘s who. That also got mentioned, and the people we send there with none of this cultural and language training, it seems to me if there‘s a transformation we really need, it‘s a transformation to look at improving, broadening, in many ways, the skills of the people that are in our military and that are supporting our military. Comments on that, please.

Larry Korb: Okay. Steve, why don‘t you start.

Steve Biddle: Okay. Well, my general shtick is that the people matter more than the system commonly assumes, so I‘m very sympathetic to the line of argument at large, and, certainly, the Army and the military at large is also very sympathetic to it. The current Army Chief of Staff has started a large initiative to try and increase language skills, cultural awareness. Several people in the audience, like Chip Blacker , have worked pretty extensively on that.

It‘s worth noting, though, somewhat contrary to my own usual position on such things, that the mechanics of actually achieving that are a lot harder than it sounds initially. Take the simple question of language proficiency. Military people change jobs regularly, and they change theater and region of deployment quite frequently. You can‘t pick up a new language as quickly as you pick up a new area of deployment, and the–just simply the management challenge associated with figuring out what languages do we want people to speak, and how do we arrange to have the Arabic speakers in Arabic societies when we need them there in the appropriate numbers given that in order to make a–to make general officer you‘re eventually going to need a wide range of experiences in a lot of aspects of what they military does? How do you spend enough time in an Arab culture to maintain your language proficiency and get the maximum benefit for the government out of all that training when you‘ve also gotta get a joint billet in which you learn how the Navy does budget planning and all the other things that officers have to do?

So, it‘s difficult. It‘s expensive. It tends to be nitty gritty, under the radar, not very sexy kind of expenditure and activity, and these are still other ways in which this kind of part of defense capability is at a disadvantage, often, in the public square in the political debate over funding relative to things that are more visible and have readier constituencies out there.

Larry Korb: Okay. We have Michael from the Navy. We‘ve got a Navy viewpoint.

Michael Gerson: Yes. I‘m Michael Gerson from the Center for Naval Analyses.

Larry Korb: He‘s not the President‘s speechwriter.

Michael Gerson: No relation to the speechwriter. I‘ve already had that problem. I have a political question relating to the political effects of the RMA, which is to what extent–the General sort of mentioned that there is almost–that war fighters and decision makers on the ground have to keep in their heads this idea of this–a second front, which is the domestic political dynamics. My question is to what extent does the public‘s rudimentary, unsophisticated understanding of what the RMA is about increase casualty sensitivity among the American public, and do you sense that we may be preparing the public to expect low casualties, expect UAVs to do everything, and that we–that that causes political pressure, given counterinsurgencies, given increasing casualties, which are still, in the scale of–in the realm of past wars, quite low?

Larry Korb: In other words, has the RMA been oversold as a way to fight wars bloodlessly. Is that–all right, Sean. Why don‘t you?

Sean Kay: Well, I think the political side of that equation is a tough one because once you start budget programs, you don‘t really wanna move away from them, but you‘ve also gotta educate, again, the public on what the value is you get from them, and, as Steve said, if you want–if you‘re gonna get platform power projection–you don‘t wanna go into battle without it. It‘s great to have, but it is very expensive. So, how you‘re gonna continue to–what worries me more is how do you sustain public commitment to fund these programs over time if they don‘t really have a good understanding of the benefits that they bring? So, that‘s part of–that‘s an additional part of the problem.

All I could tell you is sittin‘ in Central Ohio when you hear about National Guard being sent out that don‘t have the training, don‘t have the equipment on–and those are the stories you‘re hearing about every day, so, in that sense, it‘s got nothing to do with RMA. It‘s actually got to do with whether our regular, conventional forces are equipped and trained for the kind of combat and conflict that they‘re involved in. That seems to be what‘s resonating more than whether there‘s a false sense of–I think we did, in the Kosovo campaign ,walk away with this great notion that we did this with all great credit for airpower, but there was a ground threat implied, and there were other conventional tools at play that also were really important, but we may have walked away from that with a little bit of idea that this is an easy thing, and Mike O‘Hanlon‘s been worrying about that for a long time. So, I defer to the General and Steve on that. That‘d be my basic reaction.

Larry Korb: Okay. All right. We‘ve got about five minutes left. What I‘d like to do is ask each of the panelists to sum up in terms of what they‘ve heard or respond to some of the other views of the other panelists, and so, being this is a military thing, we‘re gonna finish right on time, so I give each person about one minute, and why don‘t we go in reverse. Sean, you went last, so we‘ll let you go first, and we‘ll come back up here.

Sean Kay: In one minute I think that I‘d–what I‘d really wanna just restate and restress is the true need for a much more serious–I don‘t even think we‘ve really begun in this country to have a national debate about how do you win a war on terrorism. My favorite quote of General Zinni‘s is that, "Declaring war on terrorism is like declaring war on bridge crossing." It‘s a tactic. It‘s not a strategy, and we have not really conceptualized that, but I keep coming back to–it‘s a shock. The professor says education is worth investing in. I think it‘s great, but it is my basic conclusion that we have to start thinking of education as a national strategic commodity, both internationally and here at home, and that‘s gotta factor in to the various kinds of activity of language, cultural training, and so forth that Steve and the General have touched on. So, I think that‘s the takeaway that I‘d like to stress is the need for a much broader national debate about these issues that has to be led and motivated out of Washington, but has to reach out to the grassroots in the United States so that the country comes along with our troops when they go to war.

Larry Korb: Thanks, Sean. Steve?

Steve Biddle: Well, just to follow on Sean, I would say the main bottom line I would have you take away is researcher says more research needed.

Larry Korb: Just as the educators say more education. All right.

Steve Biddle: It was a great oversight in not putting that bullet at the end. I normally end with that as a matter of principle, but I‘m gonna be a little bit subversive, and, instead of summarizing, I‘m gonna take the excuse to respond to the question on casualty sensitivity because I find that so fascinating.

Larry Korb: No. I think that‘s a good point to make. Yeah.

Steve Biddle: Yeah. Well, I think the issue of casualty sensitivity outside academic political science is widely misunderstood. There‘s been extensive polling done, and the–what the analysis all shows is that the American public is much less casualty sensitive than American elites think they are. What they are is failure sensitive. Americans are very unwilling to lose lives in something that will be a waste, but if they think the stakes are significant and the prospects of success are decent, they‘re actually quite willing – at least they say they are – to accept very sizeable U.S. fatality totals in order to pursue that, and I think this misunderstanding of the public‘s view on casualties has, in some ways, led to some really bad conduct of war decisions.

The flipside of that is casualty sensitivity outside the United States, and there tends to be an assumption with the U.S. defense planning community that the sensitivity of foreign publics to collateral fatalities caused by American military action is (a) a big problem and (b) fixable. If we can just reduce the collateral damage, if we can make sure that you don‘t bring down the adjoining building, if we hit them at night so that nobody‘s in the office building at the time, if you make a two ounce explosive instead of a 2,000 pound JDAM, then the problem will just be solved, and there, exactly the mechanism you were implying kicks in. The more discriminating we become, the higher the standard for discrimination becomes because the selection effects and the way people think about U.S. military action abroad are so severe. You don‘t tend to see extensive interviews with the people in the nearby building that wasn‘t destroyed. You tend to see very extensive interviews of victims in hospitals, and this is just inevitable in the nature of news coverage, and I don‘t think there‘s any way out of that box. For humanitarian–important, good, humanitarian reasons, the United States should continue efforts to reduce collateral damage, but the idea that this is gonna produce a big strategic payoff, I think, is misguided.

Larry Korb: Okay. General, what do we need to take away from you?

General Worden: Well, I agree with Steve on that, and I also agree with Sean on the importance of education and, even more so, the importance of bringing the American people into the debate so that they better understand the nature of the conflict that was eluded to in the earlier analogy with Napoleon and Russia, and it‘s (inaudible audio) too. We really need the American people to understand the true nature of what is really going on – not what‘s going on with somebody chasing an ambulance over there or something small or something that they see through a little sound byte or a little snippet so that the American people, through responsible sorts of venues, understand what‘s really going on in there because it is messy, and it is strategic, and it is a major security challenge to the future, and terrorism is just–again, I don‘t wanna get into a discussion of terrorism, but it‘s a tactic that‘s being used. But there‘s a greater strategic risk in front of our generation, and the best way through it, I think, is to get the American people educated in it and to let the debates begin and continue to hold military folks and other governmental folks accountable for coming up with good explanations and good–within unclassified forums, good discussions so that the American people understand what‘s at stake, and they will take the casualties.

And just one quick comment before I turn it over, and that is on the nation–a moralistic, transparent superpower that tries to keep casualties down, tries to treat prisoners right, has to–and does a lot of things that it has been told to do and guided to do and is living in a glass house is (a) very predictable to the enemy and (b) has a certain constrained–in a bloody, nonprecision thing like warfare is under extreme Orwellian constraints, to behave well when your buddies are dying next to ya from murderers–and so, this is a tension that folks in the field face. The strategic pressures on them are tremendous, and it‘s very, very complex, and the more the people get into a dialogue to understand what it‘s like being in there, what the risks are, the probability of success are, I think the better off we‘ll be.

Larry Korb: Okay. John?

John Steinbruner: think in various ways we‘re all saying the same thing, so let me say it in my characteristic way. If you imagine an equation that defines–that‘s supposed to measure, if you will, or determine security, it would have many terms in it having to do with relative capability to apply force, but it would also have terms in it having to do with justification. And what I would argue is that there‘s no amount of force that‘s gonna overturn or overcome or compensate for a problem of justification, and most of our problems at the moment have to do with justification. The American people will accept casualties if they‘re justified, and the rest of the world will accept U.S, military operations if they‘re justified. If you have lost the battle of justification, you are in very deep trouble, and I‘m afraid, unfortunately, in Iraq we are in very deep trouble for that reason, and we are in the early stages of just fathoming the nature of that and trying to overcome it. I‘m afraid we‘re in for a national adventure in this regard, but, hopefully, it‘ll be a constructive one because we will, hopefully, focus on the issue and try to get on top of it. The United States should not have a problem in competing for justification. There‘s something weird by the fact that, in fact, we do, so it‘s a problem we ought to be able to resolve, but it‘s a big problem at the moment, and we are gonna have to resolve it.

Larry Korb: I wanna thank the panelists for shedding light on this subject and showing it can‘t be seen as an end in itself and getting–and I‘d also like to thank the Stanley Foundation for coming back to this topic because it‘s one of these things where people use it, I think, without realizing exactly what they‘re talking about and what they mean. And so, let me ask–Michael Kraig is gonna give us our next marching orders here before I let you thank the panel. General, Kraig–oh. You wanna thank him first? I was gonna let you–

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This text has been professionally transcribed; however, for timely distribution, it has not been edited or proofread against the tape.