Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey was in California speaking, hosted by the Commonwealth Club and the Marines Memorial Association. As reported on Linkedin’s Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) group, he spoke on “Current International Security Challenges and the Future of the U.S.” with George Scalise, President of Semiconductor Industry Association.
Dempsey is urging Silicon Valley to think of the military, in the face of defense cuts, as much as the Department of Defense (DoD) had been. Money is difficult to come by these days for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to promote major innovations such as the internet as the government had done in the past.
We stand at a time in history for the government to seriously begin to rethink the meaning of national defense. Looking to the future, I have outlined below the major items for strategic planning:
First, the dynamics of the external terrain must be continuously understood and mapped in the context of the geopolitical objectives of the United States and the approach the country ought to consistently take to achieve those objectives over time, independent of partisanship. To this end, all of US intelligence operations and analysis, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), must be consolidated and streamlined, as part of government reform, within the DoD.
- External engagement must be deployed to defuse tensions without sacrificing civil liberties, both at home and abroad. United States should consider deploying its armed forces for the purpose of, not war, but to rebuild civil societies by broadly raising global standards of living sustainably through efficient uses of natural resources and energy worldwide.
- Regional enforcement mechanisms through the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations must be used to deal with regional situations rather than exacerbate matters by provoking local and regional arms races. For example, United States of America has no military interests in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) after Afghanistan and Arab Spring despite the regional situation in Syria, Iran, Palestine and Israel.
- The forum for addressing common global threats is the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and it must be reformed to be more representative of the post-Cold War world order. The world faces common threats and the American approach to resolving the threats must be to diminish armed engagement, entirely if feasible, except in response when the United States is directly attacked anywhere in the world.
Second, national defense priorities for America within its own borders but emerging from outside are: money laundering and narcotics, cyberthreats, small arms and nuclear material, chemicals, and germs (example, Ebola and resurgence of infectious diseases).
- Money laundering, narcotic smuggling, cyberthreat and germ objectives in the defense budget can be met through public-private sector coordination.
- Nuclear materials issues ought to be taken up by the UNSC, the resolutions aiming to primarily deal with the problems through local and regional enforcement mechanisms rather than accentuating the matters by provoking local and regional arms races.
- The small arms treaty must be immediately ratified by the United States Congress and the global ban on chemical and biological weapons must be extended to nuclear weapons, completely and intentionally voiding the current nuclear posture of the United States by 2032 while superseding it by implementing the Fissile Materials Treaty (FMT) at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Austria, Vienna through a global nuclear materials clearinghouse for the purposes of tracking all radioactive materials mined and refined around the world to ensure their peaceful uses in energy and medicine.
Last, space is an important long term objective for the DoD to orient and incubate the burgeoning near-earth private space sector because it has more important and focused uses such as (a) disposal of radioactive waste from nuclear plants (b) disposal of excess carbon and other waste from clean coal plants such as FutureGen (c) cleaning up satellite debris in orbit (d) climate science and (e) exploration for resources and migration.
The Department of Transportation’s (DoT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must be merged with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for regulating all commercial air and space traffic as part of FAA’s NextGen, including any research and development support by the public sector of future development of the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) for intercontinental hypersonic (at least 5 times the speed of sound) commercial passenger travel by 2032.
Launching satellites may become obsolete by 2032 because many of the communications objectives can be met by bouncing off radio signals between towers rather than using satellites.
Provided as above our national security posture is transformed, DoD can be appropriated the approximately $600 billion it is seeking for its operations.