Thomas Barnett Rethinking Americas military strategy
I get asked a lot what the difference between my work is and typical Pentagon longrange strategic planners. And the answer I like to offer is what they typically do is they think about the future of wars in the context of war. And what I’ve spent 15 years doing in this business and it’s taken me almost 14 to figure it out is I think about the future of wars in the context of everything else.
So I tend to specialize on the scene between war and peace. The material I’m going to show you is one idea from a book with a lot of ideas. It’s the one that takes me around the world right now interacting with foreign militaries quite a bit. The material was generated in two years of work I did for the Secretary of Defense, thinking about a new national grand strategy.
For the United States. I’m going to present a problem and try to give you an answer. Here’s my favorite bonehead concept from the 1990s in the Pentagon: the theory of antiaccess, areadenial asymmetrical strategies. Why do we call it that? Because it’s got all those A’s lined up I guess. This is gobbledygook for.
If the United States fights somebody we’re going to be huge. They’re going to be small. And if they try to fight us in the traditional, straightup manner we’re going to kick their ass, which is why people don’t try to do that any more. I met the last Air Force General who had actually shot down an enemy plane in combat. He’s now a one star General.
That’s how distant we are from even meeting an air force willing to fly against ours. So that overmatched capability creates problems catastrophic successes the White House calls them. (Laughter) And we’re trying to figure that out, because it is an amazing capability. The question is, what’s the good you can do with it?.
OK? The theory of antiaccess, areadenial asymmetrical strategies gobbledygook that we sell to Congress, because if we just told them we can kick anybody’s asses they wouldn’t buy us all the stuff we want. So we say, areadenial, antiaccess asymmetrical strategies and their eyes glaze over. (Laughter).
And they say, quot;Will you build it in my district?quot; (Laughter) (Applause) Here’s my parody and it ain’t much of one. Let’s talk about a battle space. I don’t know, Taiwan Straits 2025. Let’s talk about an enemy embedded within that battle space. I don’t know, the Million Man Swim.
Wes Moore How to talk to veterans about the war
I’m excited to be here to speak about vets, because I didn’t join the Army because I wanted to go to war. I didn’t join the Army because I had a lust or a need to go overseas and fight. Frankly, I joined the Army because college is really damn expensive, and they were going to help with that,.
And I joined the Army because it was what I knew, and it was what I knew that I thought I could do well. I didn’t come from a military family. I’m not a military brat. No one in my family ever had joined the military at all, and how I first got introduced to the military was when I was 13 years old.
And I got sent away to military school, because my mother had been threatening me with this idea of military school ever since I was eight years old. I had some issues when I was coming up, and my mother would always tell me, she’s like, quot;You know, if you don’t get this together, I’m going to send you to military school.quot; And I’d look at her, and I’d say, quot;Mommy,.
I’ll work harder.quot; And then when I was nine years old, she started giving me brochures to show me she wasn’t playing around, so I’d look at the brochures, and I’m like, quot;Okay, Mommy, I can see you’re serious, and I’ll work harder.quot; And then when I was 10 and 11, my behavior just kept on getting worse. I was on academic and disciplinary probation.
Before I hit double digits, and I first felt handcuffs on my wrists when I was 11 years old. And so when I was 13 years old, my mother came up to me, and she was like, quot;I’m not going to do this anymore. I’m going to send you to military school.quot; And I looked at her, and I said, quot;Mommy,.
I can see you’re upset, and I’m going to work harder.quot; And she was like, quot;No, you’re going next week.quot; And that was how I first got introduced to this whole idea of the military, because she thought this was a good idea. I had to disagree with her wholeheartedly when I first showed up there, because literally in the first four days,.
I had already run away five times from this school. They had these big black gates that surrounded the school, and every time they would turn their backs, I would just simply run out of the black gates and take them up on their offer that if we don’t want to be there, we can leave at any time. So I just said, quot;Well, if that’s the case, then I’d like to leave.quot; (Laughter).