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The Pentagon’s ‘Mr. Y’ And National Security

Two Special Assistants to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen say (unofficially) it’s time, strategically, to spend more on education and less on guns. We’ll hear them out.

A National Strategic Narrative

A National Strategic Narrative

What if the United States has started a new century stuck in the last one, pouring resources into its military and short-changing what should be the real heart of its strength – that is, strength at home?

A strong economy.  A strong society.  The point is raised and made powerfully in a new essay from – of all places – the heart of the Pentagon.

Two top U.S. military strategic thinkers under the pen name “Mr. Y” are pushing hard for a new American vision.  Less bristling with guns.  More spending on education.  For real prosperity and security.

This hour: a Pentagon call for change at home.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Captain Wayne Porter, US Navy, and Colonel Mark “Puck” Mykleby, US Marine Corps, both Special Assistants to the Chairman for Strategy to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen.

Writing under the shared pseudonym “Mr. Y.” they have published a paper called “A National Strategic Narrative” released by the Woodrow Wilson Center.  Also described as ‘the Y article,’ it was decribed recently in Foreign Policy.com.

Here are the opening passages of ‘The Y Article’:


A NATIONAL STRATEGIC NARRATIVE

By Mr. Y

This Strategic Narrative is intended to frame our National policy decisions regarding investment, security, economic development, the environment, and engagement well into this century. It is built upon the premise that we must sustain our enduring national interests – prosperity and security – within a “strategic ecosystem,” at home and abroad; that in complexity and uncertainty, there are opportunities and hope, as well as challenges, risk, and threat. The primary approach this Strategic Narrative advocates to achieve sustainable prosperity and security, is through the application of credible influence and strength, the pursuit of fair competition, acknowledgement of interdependencies and converging interests, and adaptation to complex, dynamic systems – all bounded by our national values.

From Containment to Sustainment: Control to Credible Influence

For those who believe that hope is not a strategy, America must seem a strange contradiction of anachronistic values and enduring interests amidst a constantly changing global environment. America is a country conceived in liberty, founded on hope, and built upon the notion that anything is possible with enough hard work and imagination. Over time we have continued to learn and mature even as we strive to remain true to those values our founding fathers set forth in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

America’s national strategy in the second half of the last century was anchored in the belief that our global environment is a closed system to be controlled by mankind – through technology, power, and determination – to achieve security and prosperity. From that perspective, anything that challenged our national interests was perceived as a threat or a risk to be managed. For forty years our nation prospered and was kept secure through a strategy of relied on control, deterrence, and the conviction that given the choice, people the world over share our vision for a better tomorrow. America emerged from the Twentieth Century as the most powerful nation on earth. But we failed to recognize that dominance, like fossil fuel, is not a sustainable source of energy. The new century brought with it a reminder that the world, in fact, is a complex, open system – constantly changing. And change brings with it uncertainty. What we really failed to recognize, is that in uncertainty and change, there is opportunity and hope.

It is time for America to re-focus our national interests and principles through a long lens on the global environment of tomorrow. It is time to move beyond a strategy of containment to a strategy of sustainment (sustainability); from an emphasis on power and control to an emphasis on strength and influence; from a defensive posture of exclusion, to a proactive posture of engagement. We must recognize that security means more than defense, and sustaining security requires adaptation and evolution, the leverage of converging interests and interdependencies. To grow we must accept that competitors are not necessarily adversaries, and that a winner does not demand a loser. We must regain our credibility as a leader among peers, a beacon of hope, rather than an island fortress. It is only by balancing our interests with our principles that we can truly hope to sustain our growth as a nation and to restore our credibility as a world leader.

As we focus on the opportunities within our strategic environment, however, we must also address risk and threat. It is important to recognize that developing credible influence to pursue our enduring national interests in a sustainable manner requires strength with restraint, power with patience, deterrence with detente. The economic, diplomatic, educational, military, and commercial tools through which we foster that credibility must always be tempered and hardened by the values that define us as a people.

Our Values and Enduring National Interests

America was founded on the core values and principles enshrined in our Constitution and proven through war and peace. These values have served as both our anchor and our compass, at home and abroad, for more than two centuries. Our values define our national character, and they are our source of credibility and legitimacy in everything we do. Our values provide the bounds within which we pursue our enduring national interests. When these values are no longer sustainable, we have failed as a nation, because without our values, America has no credibility. As we continue to evolve, these values are reflected in a wider global application: tolerance for all cultures, races, and religions; global opportunity for self-fulfillment; human dignity and freedom from exploitation; justice with compassion and equality under internationally recognized rule of law; sovereignty without tyranny, with assured freedom of expression; and an environment for entrepreneurial freedom and global prosperity, with access to markets, plentiful water and arable soil, clean and abundant energy, and adequate health services.

From the earliest days of the Republic, America has depended on a vibrant free market and an indomitable entrepreneurial spirit to be the engines of our prosperity. Our strength as a world leader is largely derived from the central role we play in the global economy. Since the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944, the United States has been viewed as an anchor of global economic security and the U.S. dollar has served as an internationally recognized medium of exchange, the monetary standard. The American economy is the strongest in the world and likely to remain so well into the foreseeable future. Yet, while the dramatic acceleration of globalization over the last fifteen years has provided for the cultural, intellectual and social comingling among people on every continent, of every race, and of every ideology, it has also increased international economic interdependence and has made a narrowly domestic economic perspective an unattractive impossibility. Without growth and competition economies stagnate and wither, so sustaining America’s prosperity requires a healthy global economy. Prosperity at home and through global economic competition and development is then, one of America’s enduring national interests.

It follows logically that prosperity without security is unsustainable. Security is a state of mind, as much as it is a physical aspect of our environment. For Americans, security is very closely related to freedom, because security represents freedom from anxiety and external threat, freedom from disease and poverty, freedom from tyranny and oppression, freedom of expression but also freedom from hurtful ideologies, prejudice and violations of human rights. Security cannot be safeguarded by borders or natural barriers; freedom cannot be secured with locks or by force alone. In our complex, interdependent, and constantly changing global environment, security is not achievable for one nation or by one people alone; rather it must be recognized as a common interest among all peoples. Otherwise, security is not sustainable, and without it there can be no peace of mind. Security, then, is our other enduring national interest….

Continue reading  A National Security Narrative (PDF – Woodrow Wilson Center).

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  • Tina

    “… it’s time, strategically, to spend more on education and less on guns.”

    I’ve been saying that for over four decades! I hope and pray this IS what comes to pass!

  • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

    This paper deserves much more media coverage than it is likely to get.

    If either of the autors are considering a second career in politics, they have my vote in advance.

    Porter/Mykleby 2012

    • Mill

      As Independents or as part of one of the two major parties? Here’s the paradox: they’ll have as much chance of winning the nomination from either of the two major parties as I have of winning the lottery without buying a ticket; and if they run as Independents, then we have many loyal On Point commenters and self-proclaimed liberals (Democrats?) who will not vote for them because of the so-called spoiler effect.

      It’s not as if these two people are saying something new – we’ve had Ralph Nader and the Green Party run on the same/similar agenda with very limited success.

      • Robert Riversong

        Mill,

        That’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. A third-party candidate has no chance as long as voters act on the belief that they have no chance by acquiescing to a two-party oligopoly which offers us a lesser-of-two-evils choice.

        All we have to do to make a true independent candidacy possible is to vote our values. Until that time, we get exactly what we deserve.

        “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
        - Mark Twain

        “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
        - H.L.Mencken (obviously predicting G. W. Bush)

        • Mill

          “All we have to do to make a true independent candidacy possible is to vote our values. Until that time, we get exactly what we deserve.”

          _

          Robert, I don’t disagree with what you wrote, but I’m sure many of the regular and progressive On Point commenters (“Mr. You-lost-me-at-Nader” among them) with whom I’ve had this discussion numerous times, will disabuse you of that “values” notion.

          • Robert Riversong

            Each of us has only one thing that’s truly of value and truly our own: our integrity. It can never be taken from us but is most often given away for the sake of expediency of short-term gain.

            In addition to voting our conscience at the polling booth and supporting a multiplicity of parties and candidates, we should also demand a “none of the above” choice which would require a new election with different candidates if “none-of-the-above” was selected by a plurality of voters.

            The single most powerful weapon that a citizen possesses is the power of NO – of withholding consent (that’s what the Arab rising exemplifies, even in the face of repression). We are under no obligation to accept unacceptable choices.

        • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

          Slow and steady isn’t worth the pace?

          Good things will never come to those who wait?

          Always look on the brightside as if it will never happen?

          Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you died last week?

          • Robert Riversong

            Thats quite a list of aphorisms, which mean nothing without elaboration or context.

            Nothing comes to those who wait. That’s the “trickle-down” propaganda of the elite. Progress is created by those who act, and only by those who act with integrity.

          • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

            That reply got screwed up, it was aimed at the pessimism. I think your application of the waiting to “trickle-down” is spot on, and when we are convinced that acting is not worth the effort then progress will be impossible.

          • Mill

            It’s actually acting without the expectation of rewards that brings some progress.

          • Robert Riversong

            Thats quite a list of aphorisms, which mean nothing without elaboration or context.

            Nothing comes to those who wait. That’s the “trickle-down” propaganda of the elite. Progress is created by those who act, and only by those who act with integrity.

          • Mill

            Derobos,

            These aphorisms remind me of another one which was very popular in 2008: Hope and Change. So, no thanks. Words are easy.

          • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

            You know who you are reminding me of come to think of it…

            You betcha ;)

          • Mill

            Right, because a “you betcha” – a reference to Sarah Palin, would be applied to someone who mentions Nader and Green-Rainbow party and Kucinich. You are seriously deluded, and I hope you get out of your narrow two-party mentality, which is a serious roadblock to any meaningful change, or for that matter, conversation – as your silly comment demonstrates.

      • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

        So you are saying if at first you don’t succeed…. give up?

        • Mill

          Derobos, that is not an answer to the point I raised. As for me, I have always voted based on my values, not partisanship; and not once have I voted for the “lesser evil” (I much prefer to leave the ballot unmarked if there’s no good candidate) – and that won’t change in the future. But one swallow does not make a summer, especially in a democracy where one has to win majority/plurality of votes to get elected.

          I won’t repeat myself, but if you are genuinely interested, you can try and address the point I raised with a more substantial comment than the one above, which is a non sequitur and irrelevant as far as I’m concerned, and it would be a waste of time to address your future comments which continue in the same vein. It’s good to dream, but there’s also this thing called reality. Even On Point has given short shrift to third-party progressive/liberal candidates during elections and failed to cover their campaign. What makes you think that with “Porter/Mykleby 2012″ it will be any different? And I’m not just talking about hope.

          • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

            “It’s good to dream, but there’s also this thing called reality.”

            The reality is that your pessimism is getting in your way. I will continue to spread the word, with optimism and yes hope, that some day perhaps enough people spreading the word will in fact bring change.

            Is your alternative of attempting to step on the hope and dreams of others getting you better results? Do you feel like you are fighting the good fight by trying to convince me it’s not worth my effort?

          • Mill

            Did you even read my comment? Seems to me that you have a reading comprehension problem. So, if your deluded thinking and ignoring of facts – which I mentioned in my comments – gives you happiness, be my guest.

            BTW, you made the claim of “Porter/Mykleby 2012″ so the burden of proof is on you, not on me. I simply cited some reality and facts that a. these two are not the first ones to make such a statement – Nader, Green-Rainbow Party and others like Kucinich have already done that, and b. these have met with downright derision from so-called liberals.

          • Mill

            I am hardly a pessimist – I vote for candidates based on my values and hope for the best. But that doesn’t mean I ignore the reality that many of my fellow Americans will not vote based on values, and will go for “lesser evil” of the duopoly.

    • Mill

      BTW, the Democratic Party already has Dennis Kucinich whose views would agree with these two gentlement. (And Senator Russ Feingold, who unfortunately, was defeated in the latest election.) We all know what happened to Dennis Kucinich’s Presidential bid, with even liberal shows like The Daily Show lampooning his presidential campaign instead of taking his ideas seriously or looking at the merits of such ideas.

      Even in a liberal state like MA, Green-Rainbow Party has enjoyed very little traction, with self-confessed liberals/progressives not voting for GRP candidates and preferring a Democrat or “voting for the lesser evil.”

      So I’d be interested to know why you think that “Porter/Mykleby 2012″ would have any chance of success and how would they be different from the other available options to win a majority? Besides, let’s re-elect Obama and expiate a bit more of our white liberal guilt. ;)

      • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

        “So I’d be interested to know why you think that “Porter/Mykleby 2012″ would have any chance of success and how would they be different from the other available options to win a majority?”

        Have they run before? Do you know for a fact that they would have no chance of success? It seems to me they are portraying their ideas in a manner that is less partisan and therefore may garner more support?

        While some work to change this country for the better, there will inevitably be others who work to prevent that change. You come off to me as someone who wants to see these types of change, why are you so pessemistic when others are supporting these ideas?

        • Mill

          The burden of proof is on you. Your questions are rhetorical and meaningless, and a way to avoid answering the point I raised. BTW, asking tough questions – of oneself as well as of others – is not the same as pessimism. Seems to me that you don’t anyone to challenge your (delusional) idea – so be it.

  • Yar

    We are at the same point in public education we were with school nutrition in 1940′s.

    “President Harry S. Truman began the national school lunch program in 1946 as a measure of national security. He did so after reading a study that revealed many young men had been rejected from the World War II draft due to medical conditions caused by childhood malnutrition. Since that time more than 180 million lunches have been served to American children who attend either a public school or a non-profit private school.”
    http://www.educationbug.org/a/the-history-of-the-school-lunch-program.html

    This is a repeat of history the conservatives seem destine to repeat. You can’t get the ‘not so free market’ to maintain or build a nation. It takes commitment and real money from taxes to make a free society.
    My suggestion is to restart, expand, and make permanent the Civil Conservation Corps. I would do it like the draft and require high school graduates between 18 and 24 to spend two years in public service. We can use the schools as a place to start, these kids can help with education, physical activity, meal preparation, cleaning the school and maintaining all public spaces. This is as much education as it is public service. Our public schools are currently left unused for two shifts of the day. This will take the pressure off the economy to create jobs for untrained and unskilled labor, it will pass this country to our next generation and teach our youth how to shoulder that responsibility. This is a much better solution than a revolution that is brewing in the TEA PARTY pot.
    The military can still be an all volunteer force, they can recruit from the best of the CCC and offer incentives to build their forces. The national guard may be the place to find leaders to get the CCC program going. I see the window on our society rapidly closing, if we don’t do something pretty quickly I think we are in for a violent and destructive time. Why doesn’t the media report how hollow we are in our core? Our youth are our future!

  • Zing

    Sounds like a veiled attempt to federally bail out our failed states and public education, but I haven’t read the paper yet. I’ll comment later.

    • Cory

      Socialism! Eeeeeeeek!!!

    • Brett

      Yeah, let states go belly up; let all public schools go belly up—that’s the solution! Hey, if a public school is having financial problems/exists in a poor county, etc., close it down and send your kid to private school! Those poor kids who can’t afford private school (and “vouchers” aren’t enough to cover a private education) aren’t gonna amount to anything anyway; why waste my tax dollars on educating a loser? And if your state is cutting essential services, move somewhere else! Natural disasters, attacks from foreign aggressors, etc., let the states take care of themselves! Let’s start with Texas; they get more Federal aid than any other state. Those molly-coddled cowboys have been suckling the government’s teat far too long!

      • Cory

        I’m glad you are finally starting to get it, Brett!

    • Dan

      You haven’t read the paper yet, the paper written by a Navy Captain and a Marine Colonel, but you’re quite certain that it sounds like a “federally bail out” (sic) of states?? And then you say you’ll comment later? You’ve commented just now!

      Good lord…

      -dan
      Boston, MA

  • Cory

    I just read the foreign policy link above. On the one hand, it seems so damned obvious. We spend increasing amounts on our military while shortchanging all the cornerstones that made America strong after the second world war. We underfund infrastructure and education, undermine old age safegaurds and healthcare, and over-reward the wealthy.

    On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be a chance in hell that any of this will change. Just read the daily postings of conservative Americans on this supposedly left leaning npr radio show. “Zing” has already sounded the SOCIALISM alarm within the first five comments. Conservatives and easily swayed, right leaning numbskull independents make up at least half of our electorate. We regularly vote against our own self interest.

    Allow me an anecdote if you will. I live in an affluent village in the wealthiest county in the state of Wisconsin. The village board is discussing shuttering the public pool permanently and closing the public library on Fridays. How do you rate the chances of these folks agreeing to pay more taxes for “other peoples children”?

    We aren’t ready to seriously deal with this, things have not gotten bad enough for enough Americans YET. This is why I WISH Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Baracuda, or Donald Trump would take the presidency. I belive a disaster such as this would speed us toward an anti conservative resolution to our problems.

    In any case the answer is, not yet… not now.

  • Jp1w

    I think an important question here is how do we go about affecting and to what extent can we affect the changes the authors are proposing on the kind of time table required working witthin a interconnected social system dominated by the colluding interests of wealthy political elites and those of incumbent big business? In a place and time when the mechanism of elections is made so vulnerable by allowing corporate free speach in elections (citizens united ruling)?

    • Tina

      Jp1w,
      You quite correctly say, “In a place and time when the mechanism of elections is made so vulnerable by allowing corporate free speach in elections (citizens united ruling)?”

      I STILL don’t get that decision!? Is it a terrible decision that rests on previous terrible decisions (I believe there is at least ONE, almost from “ancient” times)? Citizens United seems like a false syllogism to me; or like a ruling that deliberately over-valued parts of the “content” to the detriment of other parts. Can you, or others, explain the reasoning of the SC in language that a non-lawyer (me) could comprehend? If that’s just too much work, that’s okay! Thanks for adding that word ‘vulnerable’ to the discussion of Citizens United: it’s the right word!

  • Ken

    This isn’t any different than the liberal party line for the last 3 or 4 decades: stop spending on defense and spend more on “social” programs, except now the social programs include infrastructure and sustainabiity. And of course they’re also champions of “international law” rather than US law, and they try to cover that up with empty words about our core values, which is purely perfunctory.

    If we do spend less on defense that saving should go to reducing the debt which is among the real threats to our security.

    • Cory

      1. When, during the last four decades have we reduced defense spending signifigantly?

      2. Please expound on what you think American core values are.

      3. Do you feel that there sould be no international law or cooperation? How do you feel about NATO or SEATO? Does any sort of international law or body automatically become the harbinger of the “New World Order” and one world government?

    • Cory

      4. At what time in our nation’s history have we NOT been in debt?

    • Dan

      ‘Scuse me? Who is a champion of “international law” and speaking “empty words about our core values”—the Navy Captain or the Marine Colonel?

      -dan
      Boston, MA

    • Anonymous

      So Ken, you want less infrastructure and sustainability and for the social programs to go away so we can have the largest, biggest, bad ass military in the world, right? Oh wait, we already have that and out spend every nation on the planet and maybe a few others in the galaxy on military spending. We spend almost half of what the entire world spends. You got that, half. This is kind of old data from 1998, but it’s all I could find for now.

      http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending#WorldMilitarySpending

    • Tina

      If we spend less on defense, Dick Cheney and all his ilk will not be so dirty rich!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for acknowledging that, like so many of the solutions to the problems our country is facing, the proposals advocated by those deemed “liberal” are the correct ones.

  • Michiganjf

    It’s BEEN time for at least 20 years, if not longer!

  • Dan

    Outstanding topic, yaaaaay!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donnie-Brasco/100000445294057 Donnie Brasco

    If we make less guns, we can buy more voters. A guy with a gun is expensive, but someone living on government assistance in a subsidized apartment on food stamps is much cheaper.

    • Dan

      I guess that explains why the poor vote in such overwhelming numbers and continually dominate our electoral cycles…

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • Anonymous

        And why politicians spend tons of money on research about how to win over poor voters… and why lobbyists for programs benefiting the poor dominate K Street and the halls of Congress… and why programs for the poor are always the last to be put on the cutting block when it’s time to balance the budget…

        • Dan

          Precisely!

          Erm…do you frequent Crasstalk?

          • Anonymous

            Occasionally, yes. But I’ve been spending more time on Scienceblogs lately. You?

          • Dan

            Yep. I lost my star to Brian Moylan a while back, can you guess who I am?

    • Anonymous

      Interesting logic you have there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donnie-Brasco/100000445294057 Donnie Brasco

    It is a problem that we have become the world’s police funded by American tax payers.

    Obama’s goal is to use the money cut out of the military to spend on failing urban schools.

    But, spending on failing urban schools is also part of the waste of government.

    Teachers in failing schools show up to “teach” 20 year olds algebra and get paid. Kids show up for the free breakfast and free lunch and to hang out. Schools in failing neighborhoods are essentially expensive soup kitchens. It hasn’t changed since my grandmother was a lunch lady in the 60s and 70s.

    The only way to improve failing urban schools is to create high performing schools that focus on AP exams and trades licensing. Do not force kids to attend classes, just give them what they want, free lunch, but make it beans, rice, and broccoli.

    • Dan

      “Obama’s goal is to use the money cut out of the military to spend on failing urban schools.”

      What are you talking about? Citation needed—back this up, or back off it.

      If money can help solve the problems faced by the Defense Department, I fail to see how money can’t help solve the problems faced by America’s schools.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • Anonymous

        Money can help our schools. Reduce class size to a manageable number; pay salaries that encourage the best people to become teachers; decouple school budgets from property taxes; build schools close to where the students live. All of that would cost money, but it would be a big step toward saving public schools.

      • Anonymous

        Money can help our schools. Reduce class size to a manageable number; pay salaries that encourage the best people to become teachers; decouple school budgets from property taxes; build schools close to where the students live. All of that would cost money, but it would be a big step toward saving public schools.

        • Dan

          That’s not what I was saying. I want to know where Donnie’s getting the notion that this is Obama’s grand plan.

          -dan
          Boston, MA

        • Cory

          OK greg, I’ve agreed with you twice today. One more and I’m gonna crack open a bottle of vino!

      • Anonymous

        Money can help our schools. Reduce class size to a manageable number; pay salaries that encourage the best people to become teachers; decouple school budgets from property taxes; build schools close to where the students live. All of that would cost money, but it would be a big step toward saving public schools.

      • Anonymous

        Money can help our schools. Reduce class size to a manageable number; pay salaries that encourage the best people to become teachers; decouple school budgets from property taxes; build schools close to where the students live. All of that would cost money, but it would be a big step toward saving public schools.

    • Tina

      NPR just had a piece the other day where they interviewed a recently retired teacher who wrote an article (for the Boston Globe?) about her experiences teaching AP classes in her inner city school. She said that to MEET SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT STANDARDS, kids who were NOT academically prepared were placed into AP classes where, instead of doing well, as they had in their earlier classes, they started to fail. When one girl tried to withdraw from AP classes, she was not allowed to. The teacher’s POV was that the SCHOOL and its ADMINISTRATION needed numbers of kids in its AP classes, especially kids from diverse backgrounds, even though these placements were NOT serving the KIDS!!

      I actually “believe in” classes that are considered the OPPOSITE of AP classes (altho I, personally, do not consider them this way): visual art, music, theater (including writing, film & video, architecture). Teach kids HOW TO ACCESS THEIR CREATIVITY, which INCLUDES HOW TO ACCESS THEIR CURIOSITY (creativity=curiosity=creativity, etc.) and they will LEARN; they will WANT TO LEARN; and soon, they WILL be ready to walk right into the AP classes! We keep focussing on ACHIEVEMENT. True, some kids are very gifted intellectually — we all knew who they were in high school — and they would do well in AP classes. (Not all of those kids are truly creative thinkers, however. I know, I went to school with those kids, and ideas they laughed at me for eventually became ideas that HAVE proven to work out, though it took decades for that corroboration. And, yes, I DO brag about that!). Sometimes, even for intellectually gifted kids, “achievement” means memorizing correct answers, or being a “quick study”. But the MAIN thing I’d like to say is this: too many kids are not yet READY for true achievement, because their education has been lacking in something extremely important: learning how to access their own creativity, learning how to work with various processes (not just verbal and math processes), and learning how to work with various materials (not just words, numbers, computer programs, OR computer algorithms). ACHIEVEMENT IS ACHIEVED; to achieve it, kids have to be PART OF THE LEARNING DYNAMIC — and THAT is accomplished thru ENGAGEMENT with the materials of learning, and THAT is accomplished thru TRULY CREATIVE ARTS PROGRAMS. I’m NOT talking about Arts Appreciation classes which too often teach VERBALLY or, even worse, by having kids “imitate” the work or style of Great Artists, rather than thru having kids engage with the materials and processes of the various arts. Art Appreciation (OFTEN the only arts program left standing after budget cuts) is ALSO bad because it feeds into the idea that Other People — Real Artists — Do Art, and it discourages kids from accessing their own creativity. Arts History is taught differently than Arts Appreciation, but, again, it should NOT be the ONLY arts program left standing!!! Why do you think so many kids turn to destructive activities? It’s because it is ACTUALLY their squelched creativity screaming to come out! Too many Americans think that “either you’re talented, or you’re not”. An Arts educator knows that creativity can be fostered in everyone, and that process, the process of teaching how to access your own creativity in various fields, is a LOT DIFFERENT than an Arts Appreciation class! Working in the arts means making A LOT of mistakes, making a LOT of mess! Those mistakes (most exhibiting artists say that for every ONE piece they would exhibit, they throw out TEN pieces!) are what trouble Achievement-minded Administrators! See the problem? I knew a woman who would say about people, “oh, she is so accomplished; I didn’t know he was so accomplished”. This woman yearned to be creative, but she’d learned of the High Standards in the arts FIRST, before she ever picked up a brush or a guitar, and she was terrified she’d make a mistake. Well, most of today’s K-12 administrators would not want her making mistakes, either! This is VERY bad for Our National Security! I AGREE WHOLE-HEARTEDLY WITH TODAY’S GUESTS, and have said many of the same things myself for decades (tho not so fluently!). THANK YOU FOR HAVING THIS SHOW!!

    • Tina

      NPR just had a piece the other day where they interviewed a recently retired teacher who wrote an article (for the Boston Globe?) about her experiences teaching AP classes in her inner city school. She said that to MEET SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT STANDARDS, kids who were NOT academically prepared were placed into AP classes where, instead of doing well, as they had in their earlier classes, they started to fail. When one girl tried to withdraw from AP classes, she was not allowed to. The teacher’s POV was that the SCHOOL and its ADMINISTRATION needed numbers of kids in its AP classes, especially kids from diverse backgrounds, even though these placements were NOT serving the KIDS!!

      I actually “believe in” classes that are considered the OPPOSITE of AP classes (altho I, personally, do not consider them this way): visual art, music, theater (including writing, film & video, architecture). Teach kids HOW TO ACCESS THEIR CREATIVITY, which INCLUDES HOW TO ACCESS THEIR CURIOSITY (creativity=curiosity=creativity, etc.) and they will LEARN; they will WANT TO LEARN; and soon, they WILL be ready to walk right into the AP classes! We keep focussing on ACHIEVEMENT. True, some kids are very gifted intellectually — we all knew who they were in high school — and they would do well in AP classes. (Not all of those kids are truly creative thinkers, however. I know, I went to school with those kids, and ideas they laughed at me for eventually became ideas that HAVE proven to work out, though it took decades for that corroboration. And, yes, I DO brag about that!). Sometimes, even for intellectually gifted kids, “achievement” means memorizing correct answers, or being a “quick study”. But the MAIN thing I’d like to say is this: too many kids are not yet READY for true achievement, because their education has been lacking in something extremely important: learning how to access their own creativity, learning how to work with various processes (not just verbal and math processes), and learning how to work with various materials (not just words, numbers, computer programs, OR computer algorithms). ACHIEVEMENT IS ACHIEVED; to achieve it, kids have to be PART OF THE LEARNING DYNAMIC — and THAT is accomplished thru ENGAGEMENT with the materials of learning, and THAT is accomplished thru TRULY CREATIVE ARTS PROGRAMS. I’m NOT talking about Arts Appreciation classes which too often teach VERBALLY or, even worse, by having kids “imitate” the work or style of Great Artists, rather than thru having kids engage with the materials and processes of the various arts. Art Appreciation (OFTEN the only arts program left standing after budget cuts) is ALSO bad because it feeds into the idea that Other People — Real Artists — Do Art, and it discourages kids from accessing their own creativity. Arts History is taught differently than Arts Appreciation, but, again, it should NOT be the ONLY arts program left standing!!! Why do you think so many kids turn to destructive activities? It’s because it is ACTUALLY their squelched creativity screaming to come out! Too many Americans think that “either you’re talented, or you’re not”. An Arts educator knows that creativity can be fostered in everyone, and that process, the process of teaching how to access your own creativity in various fields, is a LOT DIFFERENT than an Arts Appreciation class! Working in the arts means making A LOT of mistakes, making a LOT of mess! Those mistakes (most exhibiting artists say that for every ONE piece they would exhibit, they throw out TEN pieces!) are what trouble Achievement-minded Administrators! See the problem? I knew a woman who would say about people, “oh, she is so accomplished; I didn’t know he was so accomplished”. This woman yearned to be creative, but she’d learned of the High Standards in the arts FIRST, before she ever picked up a brush or a guitar, and she was terrified she’d make a mistake. Well, most of today’s K-12 administrators would not want her making mistakes, either! This is VERY bad for Our National Security! I AGREE WHOLE-HEARTEDLY WITH TODAY’S GUESTS, and have said many of the same things myself for decades (tho not so fluently!). THANK YOU FOR HAVING THIS SHOW!!

  • g, Buffalo, NY

    Spend less on military. More on education of OUR children and adults. Spend on green jobs, infrastructure. OUR economy, OUR people and OUR country.

    But I also think we should increase OUR foreign aid to other countries.

    • Anonymous

      If we can’t afford the current military, why do you believe that we can afford to send aid to foreign countries?

    • Anonymous

      If we can’t afford the current military, why do you believe that we can afford to send aid to foreign countries?

      • Cory

        I agree with you greg. NO foreign aid until we are problem free at home.
        I do agree with the rest of “G’s” post.

        • Dan

          “NO foreign aid until we are problem free at home.”

          I would love to hear your scholarly opinion of the Marshall Plan…

          -dan
          Boston, MA

          • Cory

            I’d say we were pretty darn close to problem free at home during the Marshall plan. A newborn superpower with the only undamaged industrial base in the world. The only nuclear nation from 45-50 or so. Besides, the Marshall plan was awfully beneficial to us.

          • Dan

            So “problem free” has morphed to “pretty darn close to problem free,” huh? That was fast.

            -dan
            Boston, MA

      • Elizalou43

        Foreign aid accounts for about 1% of our budget, 30-50 times less than our military budget. True foreign aid, money given to do real human development abroad rather than simply subsidize US corporations, sure would be nice. Like it or not, it’s a way to both do real good and to show a different face to the rest of the world.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, I’m aware of how small our current foreign aid is. The suggestion was that we increase that aid.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, we should increase our non-military investment in other countries as a means of enhancing our international influence and reducing our reliance on military intervention. The Chinese have been doing it effectively in Africa and elsewhere and we need to outdo them. Our military needs to be smarter and leaner. Look at how Israel neutralized the Syrian nuclear threat without launching a plane or firing a shot. And there were no casualties. That’s the benefit of brains over brawn.

    • Anonymous

      If we can’t afford the current military, why do you believe that we can afford to send aid to foreign countries?

    • Anonymous

      If we can’t afford the current military, why do you believe that we can afford to send aid to foreign countries?

  • Adiggins

    An impressively creative and reality-based direction for the military!! Creative because historically, the only arrow in the conservative quiver is talking tough and throwing ever-increasing amounts of money at weaponry. That superficial band-aid approach hasn’t worked yet to strengthen our society and make it more immune to attacks.

    What would we rather be, a puny elderly king in a thick suit of armor? Or a strapping youth with a brilliant strategic intellect and a bunch of international friends who admire him and have his back?

  • Adiggins

    An impressively creative and reality-based direction for the military!! Creative because historically, the only arrow in the conservative quiver is talking tough and throwing ever-increasing amounts of money at weaponry. That superficial band-aid approach hasn’t worked yet to strengthen our society and make it more immune to attacks.

    What would we rather be, a puny elderly king in a thick suit of armor? Or a strapping youth with a brilliant strategic intellect and a bunch of international friends who admire him and have his back?

  • Adiggins

    An impressively creative and reality-based direction for the military!! Creative because historically, the only arrow in the conservative quiver is talking tough and throwing ever-increasing amounts of money at weaponry. That superficial band-aid approach hasn’t worked yet to strengthen our society and make it more immune to attacks.

    What would we rather be, a puny elderly king in a thick suit of armor? Or a strapping youth with a brilliant strategic intellect and a bunch of international friends who admire him and have his back?

  • Adiggins

    An impressively creative and reality-based direction for the military!! Creative because historically, the only arrow in the conservative quiver is talking tough and throwing ever-increasing amounts of money at weaponry. That superficial band-aid approach hasn’t worked yet to strengthen our society and make it more immune to attacks.

    What would we rather be, a puny elderly king in a thick suit of armor? Or a strapping youth with a brilliant strategic intellect and a bunch of international friends who admire him and have his back?

  • Mark

    Silence the world’s guns instead of the press!

  • Mark

    Silence the world’s guns instead of the press!

  • Mark

    Silence the world’s guns instead of the press!

  • Mark

    Silence the world’s guns instead of the press!

  • Yar

    Freedom is inversely related to the size of fence you must build to preserve it. Our prisons make us less free. That doesn’t mean simply tearing down all fences creates freedom. Realizing we are responsible for each other is connected to freedom. What many want is freedom from responsibility, that is the childish version of freedom and is an illusion. We are only free as much as we understand the consequences of our actions and make rational choices. A fool is never free, how we use our freedoms is a matter between us and our maker.

    • Anonymous

      A defensive strategy doesn’t make us free. Freedom comes from offense.

      • Dan

        The Swiss would disagree with you.

        -dan
        Boston, MA

        • Anonymous

          To be sure, but they have the advantage of an aggressive banking strategy that a lot of others need and few natural resources.

          • Dan

            They also have the defensive advantage of the Alps. I don’t think you can say that “freedom comes from offense.”

            -dan
            Boston, MA

          • Anonymous

            Freedom of action, freedom of movement, freedom of doing instead of responding–that’s what I’m referring to.

          • Dan

            “Doing instead of responding,” or “dictating the tempo” in military parlance, means offense. You’re begging the question.

            -dan
            Boston, MA

          • Anonymous

            In those terms, I’d say that freedom is in the offensive, which would be a tautology.

      • Anonymous

        I mean, I don’t know crap about military strategies, but seems patently obvious to me that neither one is going to be THE answer ALL of the time. Just basic principles of how reality works–usually you need a mix of defensive and offensive strategies to be successful, no matter what the endeavor. Do you try to sound idiotic, or does it just come naturally?

        • Anonymous

          I’ll try to explain: Defense responds to an action initiated by another. It’s free in an existentialist sense of having the freedom to respond or die, but that’s only a limited freedom. Defense lets the other guy choose the nature of the action.

          • Mill

            You mean: talk and propagate peace but keep your powder dry? That’s a very sensible policy (for any nation) to follow, though we could cut back on our foreign misadventures a bit.

          • Robert Riversong

            Advocates of unfettered freedom refuse to acknowledge that responsibility is the flip side.

            In domestic law, the only legitimate use of force is in self-defense or the defense of one’s home. Why, then, should not this same constraint on force be the principle of foreign policy as well?

            If we demand the “right” to engage in offensive violence, then we must also allow the “right” of our neighbor to invade our home to take what they believe is in their vital interest. In that case there can be only “freedom to”, which is license, rather than “freedom from” which is true security.

      • Cory

        Worked pretty well for Germany and Japan in the 20th century…

    • Tina

      Yar, “Our prisons make us less free.” Yes, and sadly, the disproportionate number of African-Americans, especially males, in our prisons, many of them privatized institutions, is a tragically scandalous treatise on Freedom in America!

  • Yar

    Freedom is inversely related to the size of fence you must build to preserve it. Our prisons make us less free. That doesn’t mean simply tearing down all fences creates freedom. Realizing we are responsible for each other is connected to freedom. What many want is freedom from responsibility, that is the childish version of freedom and is an illusion. We are only free as much as we understand the consequences of our actions and make rational choices. A fool is never free, how we use our freedoms is a matter between us and our maker.

  • Michiganjf

    If pushing around military might is what it takes to be top dog in the world, then China wouldn’t be cleaning our clock right now.

    • Anonymous

      China is modernizing its military, but it isn’t up to our level yet. Give them a few years.

      • Michiganjf

        They’ll never be that stupid.

        We’ve taught them very well that military adventurism is only detrimental, never beneficial.

        • Anonymous

          Have you noticed China’s desire to retake Taiwan? It’s interest in having “influence” over Southeast Asia? It’s economic interests in Africa? China is also designing or building nuclear missile submarines, stealth aircraft, and an advanced space program. On the whole, that looks like a strategy of exercising power with a long reach.

          • Michiganjf

            China’s already getting everything it wants in all the regions you mention WITHOUT military meddling… Taiwan is a different story altogether. That is their backyard, was once integrated and part of China, the people speak a Chinese dialect, and it was annexed from China against their will.

  • TerryTreeTree

    The concept is sound. Better educated populace equals a more employable populace, equals higher productivity and creativity, for progress and prosperity. A sailor, or soldier, or airman, by definition of their job, is not profitable, unless used to take something from someone else, or to defend what we have. Spending so much on millitary, stimulates the desire to utilize them. When nobody is trying to take something from us, the only way to utilize them, is to take something from someone else. Look at ALL of our millitary history.

    Terry, in Brewstertown, Tenn

    • Cory

      Terry, I’d like to buy you a lager or ale of your choosing!

      • TerryTreeTree

        Thanks, Cory, Lager, OR Ale would do fine. Didn’t have much time for post, as I was paged out for a car fire. Sorry I missed the program, and the comments.

  • John in Cambridge, MA

    Does it make any sense to talk about security in the “global environment” and a “healthy global economy” without addressing the huge, immediate threat of climate change?
    If we applied the same skepticism to military and terrorism threats that is routinely applied to the threats of climate change would they seem nearly as large?
    Shouldn’t we consider climate security on the same level as national security?

    • Anonymous

      The Pentagon is considering just that threat. Perhaps they have to keep quieter about it, given the current nature of Congress.

    • Tina

      John, You say, “Shouldn’t we consider climate security on the same level as national security?” Yes, you are so right; we should! Is the only reason powerful people don’t consider this to be the same that they are more interested in the generation of their own wealth or continuation of their own power, both of which are easier if they IGNORE the truth of your statement? HOW do they live with themselves? Maybe gated communities are the answer. Maybe if you are surrounded by other like-minded selfish people, you all start to believe your mutually-agreed upon lies. I don’t know. I really don’t. Sadly, as you well know, these powerful people have convinced so many voters to go along with their POV. The voters will not gain in this wealth; they will only be hurt by a poorer environment, but, for some reason, people love listening to the mellifluous liars and taking symbols for truths. I DO know this: the people to the left have not learned how to speak in sound bytes at all, and they need to. I know I only know how to speak in paragraphs, so I’d be no help on this; but surely, the Democrats should at least see the NEED for this kind of direct communication on important issues and hire people who ARE good at it! Easy, direct messages like your statement are just NOT OUT THERE in political parlance at the public, national level!!!

  • redtop

    Thank gods that folks in the military are waking up to the real sources of national strength. But one thing that should be added: The point of this strength isn’t to keep America economically dominant, but to intelligently address the constraints imposed on us by population, resource, and ecological limits. American exceptionalism, exceptionlism of any kind, and the dominance of American life by large economic interests have to go by the board.

    • Cory

      You mean we aren’t automatically assumed to be better than everyone else? You, madam or sir, are not a patriot!

  • Ralph

    Interested in their perspective on the “at any cost” perspective some, possibly many, have when it comes to eliminating risk and providing a safe environment, society, life, including safe from terorizim.

    • Cory

      Your comment could be constrewed as very liberal or very conservative.

  • FLowen

    You folks are a breath of fresh air!…thank you for being there! Like the Simpson-Bowles report, there are emerging some good people open to some new ideas…thank God!

    The Status Quo is a disease unto itself; it is not just a happenstance condition, it has to be fought against because it will stop at nothing to preserve itself. Good luck to all good people everywhere!

  • Rutharlenewhowe

    Your guests today are making tremendous sense. What a pity that there is not more understanding that in order to protect ourselves, to sustain our economy etc., we must stop wasting our human capital.
    We should be spending our money on educating our children so that they can be contributing citizens. We should NOT be wasting our minority youth by denying them quality education and fast-tracking them to prison.

    Would that our Congressional leaders could make the kind of sea-change that these guests are suggesting.

    Ruth-Arlene Howe
    Roxbury, MA

  • Danny DeGuira

    Ike said the same thing over 50 years ago! The Military/Industrial Complex are Veblen’s “plunderers”!

  • Murrayjf3

    This conversation is about 20 years too late. Academics and Social Theorists have been discussing the effects of globalization for decades, maybe “On Point” needs to broaden their horizons a bit… hearing Tom respond as if this is groundbreaking thinking is embarrassing.

    • Tina

      But this is NOT academics and social theorists discussing these matters … this is two men from the Pentagon!

  • Ellen Dibble

    I am having a feeling of deja vu in that yesterday I was sitting in the bookstore reading a book, like the piece by Mr. Y, that was encouraged, according to the introduction, by Tom Friedman, and like the piece being discussed, depicts the world as at an inflection point, an inflection point that has to be effectuated by the people, not the power brokers. The author knows whereof he speaks. He was at the helm with GreenPeace and then left that for the world of the Uber-Influential, and moved around places like Davos, discussing the challenges to the world, and found out that the powerful are also helpless. So he wrote a book. I didn’t buy it. The recommendations are exactly what I already understand. It’s called “The Great Disruption,” by Paul Gilding. It sets out, from about the middle, why the rich and powerful can’t do this. Sort of.
    https://booklinkbooks.theretailerplace.com/MLBX/actions/searchHandler.do?userType=MLB&tabID=BOOKS&itemNum=ITEM:9&key=0009030856&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12167

    • Cory

      Yup. “They” are a reflection of “us”.

  • joe

    Cutting spending on national defense is impossible. Spending on defense creates jobs and makes stockholders rich. It’s a form of socialism that even Republicans love.

    • Cory

      You are right. Damn you Joe!

    • Ryan H

      I’m a Libertarian, but vote Republican because they are the lesser of the two evils in our two party system. But I think you hit the nail on the head here. The military contracts are deeply embedded and spread across so many states it will be very hard for a Congress rep. or senator to vote for defense cuts, because it takes the funds away from his state. They are suppose to bring home the bacon, not take it away. Sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

      • Anonymous

        If you’re a Libertarian, then vote Libertarian. The only throwaway vote is the one for the candidate that you don’t support.

        • Ryan H

          I wish I could vote Libertarian, but that gives the advantage to the Democratic party. I’d rather not do that. I mostly disagree with entitlements and mostly of what Democrats stand for. If the Republican party would get real and cut off the Christian Coalition, I’d be on board 100%.

          • Tina

            I’m so curious. Just how do Libertarians envision dealing with catastrophic illness or accidents, either for themselves or within their families; either once, or multiple times; separately, or simultaneously? If illness/accident accompanies job loss, what is the Libertarian plan? Many people do continue working even with catastrophic physical challenges, but there has been a safety net in place that at least suggests a cushioned fall if all else fails; but, especially because we have such joblessness in America, how would the lack of a safety net make Libertarians feel better? If you think you can save enough money to pay for catastrophic illnesses/accidents if you didn’t have to give that money to the government, let me tell you from multiple personal experiences, you would not have enough money to pay for these situations unless you are already very, very, very, very excessively wealthy. And then, even then, you’d need to keep your job, too.

          • Robert Riversong

            How can a libertarian possible be “on board 100%” with the Republican party, which has been the party of fascism since the 1930s when right wing corporate and financial leaders who had been supporting Hitler (including Prescott Bush) tried to recruit USMC Major General Smedley Butler to stage a coup-de’tat against FDR?

          • Ryan H

            lol, you are going off the deep end Robert

      • Tina

        Then YAR’S IDEA (about 5:05 a.m. on this post) would work! Put the Civilian Conservation Corps (right terms?) into the Pentagon. It’s working right now for those vested interests when our military goes into a place like Iraq to help it rebuild. Well, right off the bat, our military could go into our inner cities and rebuild there (NOT urban renewal!) by getting rid of the lead paint!! THAT ALONE would do a world of wonder! They’d just have to not LOOK like a military invasion of our poorer neighborhoods; and there SHOULD be an educational component to it so that high school aged kids and young adults from the neighborhoods could be brought on board so that they would learn business and construction skills by helping. Also, anyone released from prison, who had already paid his/her debt to society, would also be allowed on board as an apprentice!!

      • Robert Riversong

        Lesser of the evils?

        The two parties are the twin pillars of the corporate/defense state (or Ike’s military-industrial complex, which, by the way, we’d been warned about by presidents Jackson, Lincoln, Hayes, Harrison, T. Roosevelt, Wilson & FDR before Eisenhower’s famous farewell address).

        Our Pledge of Allegiance ends with “liberty and justice for all”. Traditionally, Republicans have emphasized liberty and Democrats focused on justice. Since the Reagan “revolution”, however, the Republicans have turned loose the worst excesses of the American character (unfettered liberty with no responsibility) while the Democrats have bent over backwards to either allow or collaborate with that effort. Justice has been all but forgotten, both at home and abroad.

        Remember that MLK was praised when he marched for liberty, and assassinated (by the CIA and US Army, as proven in court) when he marched for justice.

    • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

      Spending that money on domestic programs would create just as many if not more jobs, and enrich the lives of all Americans. It’s less a matter of socialism, and more a matter of intelligence.

    • FLowen

      The myth is right, the reality is wrong. The greatest defense spending in history is correlating with the worst employment in 80 years.

      And stockholders of GE, General Dynamics, United Tech, and the pure military plays don’t make 99% of stockholders rich, the only ones getting rich off defense spending are lobbyists, politicians, the top managers, directors, and inside owners.

      More private profits with public expense, guarantee, and underwriting…the Status Quo republican and democrat hypocrites love!

  • Michael

    You your guest talks about spike in oil and food prices — this being caused by commodities speculation, due to removal or non-enforcement of regs in place since before the Great Depression. How can we be strong when our financial institutions are rife with thieves?

    • Ryan H

      Your comment is off topic, but there is one way to solve the speculation issue. Release 1/3 of our reserves and start drilling at home. Our President continues to show his incompetence to basic economics, but I guess that is what you get when the majority of this country votes for a community organizer.

      • Dan

        You want to release fully one-third of America’s strategic petroleum reserves to deal with a summer price spike? Do you have any idea why the word “strategic” is in the title “strategic petroleum reserves”??

        Blow that community organizer noise out your ass. That community organizer seems to recognize that a strategic petroleum reserve is designed for true national emergencies, not the perennial season of road tripping. And that’s more than I can say for you.

        -dan
        Boston, MA

        • Cory

          Likelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelike!

          • Anonymous

            I liked your likes….

        • Ryan H

          Flowen, who said anything about nukes? What’s wrong with tapping into our own resources at home to bring costs down? If you could produce something cheaper than it is to buy it, wouldn’t you want to do that?

          Dan, Always leave it to a liberal to start name calling first. What’s with the anger?

          The gas spike we are having is NOT due to summer time road tripping. Gas has continued climbing for the past several years, due to high demand, speculation, and unrest in producing countries. Gas prices could become a threat to our economy and become a national emergency IF gas prices continue to rise at the current rate. You agree with that don’t you?

          So how do we correct this? Drill at home and end speculation. My suggestion would do this. What does the left suggest?

          • FLowen

            It’s not leftie rightie, it is sense nonsense.

            High gas prices now is a financial issue, not a supply issue.

            If I mistakenly presumed you to be a nuke lover, my apologies; generally the people who want welfare for the oil/gas industry also want corporate nuke juice, which is only available with massive government (US taxpayer) expenditure, guarantee, and favorable legislation and tax benefits, and massive lying.

          • FLowen

            It’s not leftie rightie, it is sense nonsense.

            High gas prices now is a financial issue, not a supply issue.

            If I mistakenly presumed you to be a nuke lover, my apologies; generally the people who want welfare for the oil/gas industry also want corporate nuke juice, which is only available with massive government (US taxpayer) expenditure, guarantee, and favorable legislation and tax benefits, and massive lying.

          • Anonymous

            So how do we correct this? Drill at home and end speculation. My suggestion would do this. What does the left suggest?

            How would drilling at home, which we already do by the way, lower the price of oil if it is sold on the open market?
            Can you answer that simple question? It’s not a left or right issue.
            It’s about how the world energy market works and you seem to have this bizarre idea in your head that by drilling more wells somehow the speculation would stop. Do you really think this is the case? Now do yah….

          • Ryan H

            Geffe,

            “How would drilling at home, which we already do plenty of, lower the price of oil if it is sold on the open market?”

            Ha ha, BASIC ECONOMICS…ECONOMICS 101…Increase Supply>>>Price Goes Down.

            I pointed out 2 different problems. I said to fix the issue, “drill at home AND end speculation”. NOT, “the way to end speculation is to drill at home”. Learn how to read.

            Oh and learn your statistics a little better. Your 80% number is way off. In 2010, 25% of the US imported oil came from Canada. We import almost 60% of our total consumption.

            And you say we produce plenty of oil here…Ahhhh…No. You couldn’t be more wrong. As you can see we import more than we export.

            So I believe you have the bizarre ideas!!!

            http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=us&product=oil&graph=imports

            http://www.quoteoil.com/oil-imports.html

      • FLowen

        Why don’t you just cut to the chase and lobby for Drill Baby Drill, and more nukes while you’re at it!

      • Anonymous

        Gee Dan that’s a good idea. Lets give the Oil companies more profits than they already have. Do you not understand how this works? And to keep this in context to the show this comes under sustainability. Oil is sold on the open market. Unless the government nationalized the oil companies there is no way to control the price of oil or the price we pay at the pump. The prices are all bout speculation. Nothing more or less. That is something government should be controlling.

        • Ryan H

          What’s wrong with profits geffe? Who are you to decide how much profit a company is allowed to have? Even if you had it your way and government did take over, you’d still have speculation. Governement isn’t always the answer. Try considering that from time to time.

          I agree that speculation does play a big role in gas prices. For example, “the average price per barrel of crude oil increased from $31.61 in July 2004 to $137.11 in July 2008″ There’s no way that global demand more than quadrupled in 4 years. This gets back to derivatives. I feel derivatives should be sold in casinos, NOT our stock markets. I don’t believe the financial reform bill did anything about this. Shame shame.

          • Anonymous

            Are you not aware that the speculation on oil directly is directly tied to the record profits the oil companies are making?
            I’ll tell you what’s wrong with profits when they are made on the backs of hard working Americans and are not related to the reality of producing the oil or gasoline we use. If you are going to take this simple way of looking at the world, that is in black and white, that’s all fine and dandy. However it does not work the way you think it does. Shame on you for being not having a clue.

          • Ryan H

            Geffe, I do have a clue, I just disagree with you.

            Profits are not evil! They make the world go around and that is why majority of people get up in the morning. Capitalism works! It may be ugly, but it works!

            We are getting way off topic here. So I think we both agree that speculation has got to go, so we will leave it at that.

          • FLowen

            Profits and even speculation ARE NOT evil; what is evil is the way the government transfers tax revenue to these too-big-to-fail corporations and evil individuals, and allows them to escape paying taxes and their own costs, and promoting their products and products that use and waste energy. Leaving society with the resulting healthcare, environmental, and social costs while we cling to the end of the limb with no Plan B or golden parachute.

            This may appear as profits in their accounting, but it is corporate welfare and thievery engaged in by republicans and democrats alike.

          • Anonymous

            I do not think that profits are evil. That’s absurd. My point is that the oil companies have made record profits in the last few years, more than anytime in the history if capitalism and yet they do nothing about price of gas. Why? The high prices helps their bottom line.

            Anyway you’re right we are getting off topic.

      • Cory

        Start drilling here so our oil can be sold on the global market to India and China, right! We are in a global economy. Drill here is not equal to use here.

        • Ryan H

          Not 100% of our production, but I’m sure we could allocate a good portion of it to use here. Speculation is the real key here. Furthermore, derivatives are the real evil. They fuel speculation thus, increasing gas prices (pardon the pun). Derivatives should be left in the casinos, not in our stock markets.

        • Ryan H

          Not 100% of our production, but I’m sure we could allocate a good portion of it to use here. Speculation is the real key here. Furthermore, derivatives are the real evil. They fuel speculation thus, increasing gas prices (pardon the pun). Derivatives should be left in the casinos, not in our stock markets.

          • Cory

            I actually agree, but do you? You are suggesting nationalizing our oil production, right?

          • Ryan H

            Nationalize our oil production…heavens NO! We just need to open up resources for companies to come in and drill. I’m sure costs would be lower piping the oil to particular areas of America than shipping it from Canada or across the open seas.

          • Anonymous

            OK, this whole line of thought is based on several false assumptions that need to be dispelled once and for all.

            #1) The assumption that we are paying high prices for gas and oil.
            FALSE: A recent survey by consulting firm AIRINC ranked countries according to the cost of a gallon of gas. The US is somewhere around 100th out of 155 (i.e., 100 countries with higher gas prices than ours).

            #2) The assumption that increased drilling in the US will lower the worldwide price of oil.
            FALSE: The US has approximately 1.4% of the world’s oil (not all of which is necessarily accessible through traditional methods). Even if we could easily access that oil, it would not have any significant effect on the price of a barrel of oil. In fact, the cost of accessing the oil in the US would likely be much greater than anywhere else in the world, and the oil companies would recoup that cost in the price.

            #3) The assumption that we can start drilling tomorrow and the price at the pump will go down the day after.
            FALSE: Do I even need to explain how dumb this is?

          • Ryan H

            Dave_in_RI,

            1.) No one is comparing Americas high gas cost with other countries gas cost. We ALL are paying high prices. We are arguing the FACT that speculation is one of the root causes of high gas prices. We would need to end speculation, by ending derivatives trading in the stock market and leave derivatives to the casinos.

            2.) I don’t know where you got your little 1.4% number from, but you are wrong. The 1.4% is the amount America has in reserve compared to the rest of the world. As in, it is already in barrels in reserve. It is unknown how much we really have underground, but they say we could up our production by 50%.

            3.) Who is making the assumption you are claiming? We need to drill here, drill now, so years from now we can start reaping the rewards.

            Sounds to me you are making crap up!

          • Anonymous

            #1) You have to be comparing it to something to feel that it is so high that it needs to be lowered by releasing a full 1/3 of our emergency reserves. I’m pointing out that a comparison of what people are paying around the world shows us to be far from the top.

            #2) I got the 1.4% number from the Dept. of Energy of the United States of America. “Oil reserves” does not mean “in the barrel,” it means oil that is known to be in the ground and that is deemed commercially recoverable. There is no substance to any speculation about oil which has not been discovered (and besides, I thought you wanted to end speculation).

            #3) I thought your original post referenced the current “spike” in prices, but I see now it was the post that you were responding to. I apologize. In any event, all of the evidence I have seen indicates that there would be no big rewards to reap from increased domestic production now or in the future.

            These are just a few out of a hundred sources saying the same thing.

            http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/25/news/economy/oil_drilling_gas_prices/index.htm

            http://mediamatters.org/research/201103310022

            http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1815884,00.html

            I don’t “make crap up.”

            In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter where oil comes from. It is sold on a global market. The oil company is not going to sell it for one penny less to America than it does to France or anywhere else. I don’t know what this has to do with the topic of today’s show, other than to illustrate how, as we lose sight of our core national values, it has become a lot easier to fool a lot of our people a lot of the time.

          • Anonymous

            OK, this whole line of thought is based on several false assumptions that need to be dispelled once and for all.

            #1) The assumption that we are paying high prices for gas and oil.
            FALSE: A recent survey by consulting firm AIRINC ranked countries according to the cost of a gallon of gas. The US is somewhere around 100th out of 155 (i.e., 100 countries with higher gas prices than ours).

            #2) The assumption that increased drilling in the US will lower the worldwide price of oil.
            FALSE: The US has approximately 1.4% of the world’s oil (not all of which is necessarily accessible through traditional methods). Even if we could easily access that oil, it would not have any significant effect on the price of a barrel of oil. In fact, the cost of accessing the oil in the US would likely be much greater than anywhere else in the world, and the oil companies would recoup that cost in the price.

            #3) The assumption that we can start drilling tomorrow and the price at the pump will go down the day after.
            FALSE: Do I even need to explain how dumb this is?

      • Anonymous

        Obama’s complaints about oil companies being involved in conduct driving up the price is a perfect example of his economic ignorance. Doesn’t he know, that’s their job.

        • FLowen

          Jimino

          What you and most people don’t get is that high gas prices (except for short spikes) are the industry’s greatest fear and enemy; high prices causes demand destruction; enough demand destruction is fatal to the oil companies and the Status Quo.

          They make the big money on volume and high margins: that is how they tune their pricing.

  • Dawn

    Common sense in resolving many issues our country faces today – please run for public office Mr. Y!

    • Mill

      Like Cindy Sheehan did – in liberal California – and was soundly defeated? Which planet do you live on? ;)

  • Motown Mac

    Tom, could ask your guest if they believe that there can be a transformation within the military given their blind allegiance to the right wing of the Republican Party today? Conservative strategies rely heavily on scare tactics to secure political advantage (Reagan, Bush x 2, McCarthy, Nixon to cite a few) while the two Democratic presidents since the end of Vietnam, Carter and Clinton didn’t use scare tactics to rally the electorate. Seems like the big problem is the military’s political alliances are at fault here.

  • http://www.garyminor.com Gary

    The magnitude of the problems you discuss seems overwhelming. However, they are all linked and MUST be addressed together, not piecemeal.

  • TomK in Boston

    We have the word’s highest mil spending and some of the lowest taxes, which magnifies the squeeze on what we actually need to do as a nation. Visualeconomics estimates that 19.3% of our budget goes to the military, compared to 5.4% in france. Hey, do you think Sherlock might consider that a clue about why we’re proposing to throw granny to the “tender mercies” of WellPoint?

    The right loves to say that the safety net is “unsustainable”. When will the corporate media say that maintaining the empire is “unsustaniable”?

    • Robert Riversong

      Much of the War budget is hidden in other departmental allocations. If you include all the money dedicated to war preparation, war-making and paying the cost of past wars (including 80% of the interest on our national debt), the percentage of total federal expenditures for war has fluctuated around the 50% mark since the Vietnam War. For fiscal year 2012, it’s actually down a bit to 48%.

      see: http://www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/FY2012piechart-color.pdf

  • Eric M. Jones
  • Dh001g

    I think the big question is if we can over come corruption. Right now to many “leaders” in industry, and government are doing what is best for themselves and not their country and their community. Exhibit A is the mortgage crisis. The government regulators were unable to pursue fraudulent lenders because their bosses, the politicians, were bought and sold by investment bankers who stood to profit by the fraud. It begins to look like the military is the last bastion of true patriots. That is a slippery slope. I am sure the same corruption exists in the defense appropriations process. I am glad the guests are emphasizing citizenship. As citizens we do need to come together and figure out how to root out the corruption at home first and foremost.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’d point to Daniel Goleman’s Ecological Intelligence, explaining how it is that a “developed” economy is wasting the intelligence and well-being of its citizens. He doesn’t link this to our turning to the military to defend us, rather than fostering smart and able citizens. But I do. I would expect books and books coming linking our “expectations” from elementary school to environmental drags.
    And I’d point to Orlando Figes “The Crimean War,” to see the British response to Russia’s pushing toward Jerusalem during the fading years of the Ottoman Empire as mirroring America’s response to anything we can fit into that template, vintage 1834. I am reading the way the British press swayed the people, the way they tried to throttle Russia economically. Sanctions. The way the South here wanted to stand by the serf-based economy of Russia. The way we mostly sided with Russia (because Britain was threatening to attack us depending on how we handled Cuba), and so we got friendly with the tsar and ended up with Seward’s Icebox (Alaska) in 1867.
    But that Crimean War prefigured a lot of how we deal with the world today. We try to create “sides” and arrange to “take them on” and “beat them.” But the world has to function as one organism now, one “body,” not sides.

  • Peter (boston area)

    Congress and the Pentagon are replete with Bible-besotted exceptionalists who see only threats to “our way of life” and their religious mandate to throw everything under the bus except our guns.

  • David

    The military spending is bleeding us dry.

    All of my friend in Europe, with similar education and jobs, have a way higher standard of living then I do.

    Their money goes into trains and renewable energy and health care and child care and time for vacations and ours goes into bombs and fighter jets and mercenaries and pentagon cost-plus contractors and waste and fraud.

    • Anonymous

      And if it hadn’t have been for our military, where would Europe be? We saved them from the Nazis and then from the Communists, allowing them to develop what you named. It’s time for Europe to pay the real cost of security.

      • David

        60 years ago buddy.

        Time to start looking forward.

        • Anonymous

          But they wouldn’t be where they are today if we hadn’t done what we did for the decades that I named. Perhaps it’s time for them to show some gratitude.

          • David

            What gratitude do you want?

            We are over there to control what we want to control period.

          • Ellen Dibble

            But I just read yesterday that after Pearl Harbor, the auto manufacturers were required to stop producing non-military vehicles OVERNIGHT. We turned ON THE HEAD OF A PIN. Once the priorities were set, we became another organism, and rather than this effort ruining us, it re-launched us as an adaptable, flexible people, an adaptable, flexible economy. Currently, we seem muscle-bound, locked into our own strength. We don’t fit our own clothes, and if we stretch, we get tears and gaps.
            Did Obama tell the car makers to quit building combustion engine-driven cars? No. He wanted them to build MORE such cars. So he put federal money into rescuing the American car manufacturers, and if I recall correctly, he gave out tax deductions to Americans who bought new cars, without regard to how 21st-century they were. I’m not sure true 21st-century vehicles are actually available though.
            But if October 2008 was a financial Waterloo or Pearl Harbor, we did not turn on a dime. We picked ourselves up by our bootstraps and continued as before.

          • Anonymous

            Besides being flat out wrong about America saving Europe (we couldn’t have done it without them, either), your point is irrelevant. There’s no reason we couldn’t have taken our society in the same direction as the Europeans have taken theirs other than, as the authors of this paper make clear, a failure on our part to adhere to our principles. We allowed ourselves to be tricked by powerful interest groups that our original values were unsustainable and needed to be replaced by a new set that were more favorable to those interests. So while we sold out our traditional values in favor of “I’ll-get-mine-and-screw-everyone-else,” the Europeans figured out how to make capitalism subordinate to the primary goal of having a happy, healthy, educated society.

      • Anonymous

        Did you not listen to what these men were saying?
        They talked about this. In fact it was the basis of their thesis.

      • Cory

        The Soviets would’ve beat the Nazi’s with or without our help, and according to conservatives Europe is a bunch of commies anyway.

      • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

        You mean to say if it hadn’t been for our mobilization perhaps? We didn’t have near the military capability at the start of the war. The point I think you are missing is that keeping that war machine well oiled and prepared for war is unsustainable for any nation. So lets go back to a pre-WWII formulae since as you note it seemed to work so well then.

        http://www.history.army.mil/documents/mobpam.htm

      • Robert Riversong

        You are repeating myth based on a profound ignorance of our history.

        The Marshall Plan
        by William Blum

        After World War II, the United States, triumphant abroad and undamaged at home, saw a door wide open for world supremacy. Only the thing called “communism” stood in the way, politically, militarily, and ideologically. The entire US foreign policy establishment was mobilized to confront this “enemy”, and the Marshall Plan was an integral part of this campaign. How could it be otherwise? Anti-communism had been the principal pillar of US foreign policy from the Russian Revolution up to World War II, pausing for the war until the closing months of the Pacific campaign, when Washington put challenging communism ahead of fighting the Japanese. This return to anti-communism included the dropping of the atom bomb on Japan as a warning to the Soviets.

        After the war, anti-communism continued as the leitmotif of American foreign policy as naturally as if World War II and the alliance with the Soviet Union had not happened. Along with the CIA, the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the Council on Foreign Relations, certain corporations, and a few other private institutions, the Marshall Plan was one more arrow in the quiver of those striving to remake Europe to suit Washington’s desires:

        1. Spreading the capitalist gospel – to counter strong postwar tendencies towards socialism.
        2. Opening markets to provide new customers for US corporations – a major reason for helping to rebuild the European economies; e.g., a billion dollars of tobacco at today’s prices, spurred by US tobacco interests.
        3. Pushing for the creation of the Common Market and NATO as integral parts of the West European bulwark against the alleged Soviet threat.
        4. Suppressing the left all over Western Europe, most notably sabotaging the Communist Parties in France and Italy in their bids for legal, non-violent, electoral victory. Marshall Plan funds were secretly siphoned off to finance this endeavor, and the promise of aid to a country, or the threat of its cutoff, was used as a bullying club; indeed, France and Italy would certainly have been exempted from receiving aid if they had not gone along with the plots to exclude the communists from any kind of influential role.

        The Marshall Plan imposed all kinds of restrictions on the recipient countries, all manner of economic and fiscal criteria which had to be met, designed for a wide open return to free enterprise. The US had the right to control not only how Marshall Plan dollars were spent, but also to approve the expenditure of an equivalent amount of the local currency, giving Washington substantial power over the internal plans and programs of the European states; welfare programs for the needy survivors of the war were looked upon with disfavor by the United States; even rationing smelled too much like socialism and had to go or be scaled down; nationalization of industry was even more vehemently opposed by Washington. The great bulk of Marshall Plan funds returned to the United States, or never left, to purchase American goods, making American corporations among the chief beneficiaries.

        The program could be seen as more a joint business operation between governments than an American “handout”; often it was a business arrangement between American and European ruling classes, many of the latter fresh from their service to the Third Reich, some of the former as well; or it was an arrangement between Congressmen and their favorite corporations to export certain commodities, including a lot of military goods. Thus did the Marshall Plan help lay the foundation for the military industrial complex as a permanent feature of American life.

        It is very difficult to find, or put together, a clear, credible description of how the Marshall Plan played a pivotal or indispensable role in the recovery in each of the 16 recipient nations. The opposing view, at least as clear, is that the Europeans – highly educated, skilled and experienced – could have recovered from the war on their own without an extensive master plan and aid program from abroad, and indeed had already made significant strides in this direction before the Plan’s funds began flowing. Marshall Plan funds were not directed primarily toward the urgently needed feeding of individuals or rebuilding their homes, schools, or factories, but at strengthening the economic superstructure, particularly the iron, steel and power industries. The period was in fact marked by deflationary policies, unemployment and recession. The one unambiguous outcome was the full restoration of the propertied class.

  • http://twitter.com/Jtaylorvt John Taylor

    History shows the wisdom in this document. As one of my history professors pointed out, it took Rome 200 years to die after the Roman senate descended to gridlock. It doesn’t happen overnight, the Roamn senators knew what they were doing wasn’t working but failed to take corrective action.

    I doubt, given the growing global pressures, the U.S. has that long but we need to take the issues in this paper very seriously.

  • Rossfalzone

    God bless these guys. Right on. the problem is the soft critic of America. We have lost our confidence. Thanks to 3 decades of Republican southern stratagy, we have been told The goverment is the problem We are the goverment. so the message is we are the problem
    When in fact we are the solution

    • Tina

      I am thrilled that so many listeners liked the message these guys brought from inside the Pentagon. I kept expecting to hear a slip, where it would become clear that they’d just co-opted great ideas to promote more of the same-old-same-old. I still have to read the excerpt On Point gave us of the written piece, but from the interview, these guys really do have a vision that many of us (judging by the posts) have had for awhile; but these guys are well placed. It is too bad, and indicative of today’s status quo, that, as citizens, that WE are NOT well placed, but that is not the fault of the guests. Thank you, On Point, for this broadcast!!!

  • Lynne

    I’m all for a new way of thinking. And, while we are at it, let’s reduce, rather than increase, personal reliance on government. The sloth and inefficiency on every level of dependence is the real breakdown of values.

    • ThresherK

      The “values” blah blah and “reduce reliance on government” meme are “new ways of thinking”?

      Hey, I’m all for it. Whatever we can do to get red states off the federal teat, and while we’re at it, make every state do what the Bible belt states have to reduce, say, teenage pregnancies and infant mortality rates.

    • Cory

      Aah yes, it’s all the fault of those lazy poor people…

      • Majormomc

        Lynne didn’t say “all” Cory. The entitlement class (or Democratic base) should share much of the blame for our countries demise.

  • YolandaRadcliffe

    How can we talk about US Foreign Policy and Our Tax Dollars and Blood attacking people who are directly or indirectly on the target list in Tel-Aviv, without talking about Israel, AIPAC, AEI and Zionist Pigs who took over our Media and Democracy.

    • Anonymous

      Can we refrain from racist rants today, please?

      • Cory

        Okay, that’s three Greg. I’m going to go with some nice rielsing.

        • Anonymous

          Make mine a shiraz.

        • Ellen Dibble

          I’ll go with Moscato d’Asti.

    • Anonymous

      Your comment is juvenile. It’s so obvious that you are trying to shock or insult. You only insult yourself with such derisive dribble.

  • w bradford

    NONE OF THIS IS NEW.
    Its so sad listening…. for decades… this has been the argument..
    guns or butter… force our way through the world or be smart.
    Eisenhower warned us in the 50′s .. and NO ONE has listened or thought.
    Wars, foolishness, greed and only self interests.

    Do any of you people think the ‘dumbing down of America’ is simply
    an accident ? … and the truth is we as a nation are as dumb as we
    have ever been. Even a leader as smart as Obama cant seem to
    change the direction of this dumbness.
    Its just sad.

    • Anonymous

      The problem with guns and butter was that it meant stupid spending on the military and social services, instead of intelligent spending and policy.

    • Zing

      W released his academic record…to date he’s smarter than Obama.

  • http://twitter.com/Jtaylorvt John Taylor

    If you ignore history you are doomed to repeat it. As my history professor pointed out, it took 200 years for the Roman Empire to die after the Senate became gridlocked in partisan bickering. They too relied on the army for just about everything.

    Given the other global pressures we face, I doubt we have 200 years to change out ways. We need to take this paper very seriously if we hope the republic will be around in 200 years.

    Williamstown, VT

    • w bradford

      I’d say Obama has tried… and tried… and tried…
      He’s wanted more in education and fought for it..
      and on a single instance where a second engine for a fighter jet
      was proposed cancellation he wound up in a dogfight with
      republican resistance.
      Im so sick of hearing all the negitivity heaped on that man.
      Isnt it obvious their there powers in this nation stronger than
      any ‘decider’… even a smart and wise one.

      • Tina

        Yes, and those “powers” are truly malicious & greedy. AND they are “in there” like a warp and woof — how many of us can tell the one from the other, they are so integrated. It IS possible to know the difference, but slip in as the warp, and your woof will most likely never get detected!

  • http://profiles.google.com/michaelcote Michael Cote

    How does Mr Y’s paper differ from the Rumsfeld doctrine?

    Also, there’s much talk of Mr X’s paper. What changed, exactly, after that paper was written?

    • Dan

      “How does Mr Y’s paper differ from the Rumsfeld doctrine?”

      Massively.

      • Zing

        Really? In what ways? What was the Rumsfeld doctrine?

    • Dan

      “How does Mr Y’s paper differ from the Rumsfeld doctrine?”

      Massively.

  • Mc155600

    As a conservative in most areas, particularly financial ones, there are two areas where conservatives lose me completely – the environment and defense. Lose me is putting it lightly – they are embarrassing in how short sighted they are.

    I understand the argument that if we didn’t spend on defense, we’d be in more trouble than we are. I understand Bush’s argument that his actions after 9/11 prevented another attack. It’s similar to Obama’s argument that if he didn’t take the actions he took, we’d have dropped into a depression. I just think that our actions with regard to defense and these wars have gone so far that it’s become ridiculous. On it’s face, being 14T in debt and spending more than the rest of the world combined on defense, seems so obviously dumb and destined for disaster, that I just don’t understand these people.

    Oh, and as for the speakers, it’d be nice if they came with subtitles – I’m having trouble understanding them.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah I did as well at first. They do speak in type of military speak that’s a little hard to get.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      “As a conservative in most areas, particularly financial ones, there are two areas where conservatives lose me completely – the environment and defense. Lose me is putting it lightly – they are embarrassing in how short sighted they are.”

      Now I’m confused. What do you use as criteria to determine that you’re a “conservative” if you don’t buy into the whole defense and “growth” ideology?

      • Mc155600

        Good point. Conservative wrt immigration, unions, taxes (other than the really wealthy) and the efficiency and effectiveness of government. Maybe there needs to be another term for this.

    • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

      It sounds like you and I aren’t too far apart, I think fiscal responsibility is important. What could be more fiscally responsible than conservation of our environment and curtailing our military spending spree.

  • Jgarret3

    i still don’t understand the “fungibility between organizations” bit; it seems like the speakers advocate for more cooperation between govt agencies. but wouldn’t we lose the benefits of specialization that various departments have acquired?

    • David

      That could be the good or bad part.

      Good, other areas get resources that now are only going to the Pentagon.

      Bad, Pentagon is in everything.

  • Jonathan C Leavitt

    From Nick Kristof of the NYT: “What sets Costa Rica apart is its remarkable decision in 1949 to dissolve its armed forces and invest instead in education. Increased schooling created a more stable society, less prone to the conflicts that have raged elsewhere in Central America. Education also boosted the economy, enabling the country to become a major exporter of computer chips and improving English-language skills so as to attract American eco-tourists.

    In Costa Rica, rising education levels also fostered impressive gender equality so that it ranks higher than the United States in the World Economic Forum gender gap index. This allows Costa Rica to use its female population more productively than is true in most of the region. Likewise, education nurtured improvements in health care, with life expectancy now about the same as in the United States — a bit longer in some data sets, a bit shorter in others.

    Rising education levels also led the country to preserve its lush environment as an economic asset. Costa Rica is an ecological pioneer, introducing a carbon tax in 1997. The Environmental Performance Index, a collaboration of Yale and Columbia Universities, ranks Costa Rica at No. 5 in the world, the best outside Europe.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/07/opinion/07kristof.html

    • Anonymous

      Pleasant, but irrelevant. Costa Rica is tiny without much that anyone wants.

      • Anonymous

        Also Costa Rica has a heavily Armed police force.
        Interesting to note they are now having to deal with the Mexican drug cartels which have arrived in force in Central America.

      • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

        That seems a bit arrogant to think that because a nation is smaller they have nothing to teach us. Perhaps it is their dedication to their citizens that some could argue most Americans want from our government.

        • Dan

          If that’s arrogant, it’s equally naive to think that Costa Rica-style solutions work in a country that has next to nothing in common with Costa Rica from a demographic, geographic, and economic perspective.

          -dan
          Boston, MA

          • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

            So in your oppinion every country needs to write their own book on economics,demographics,geography? Are there no basic principals that are universal and apply equally to every nation everywhere no matter the size or importance?

            Costa Rica putting more emphasis on domestic issues as opposed to military preparedness doesn’t seem a naive direction for us in my oppinion.

        • Dan

          If that’s arrogant, it’s equally naive to think that Costa Rica-style solutions work in a country that has next to nothing in common with Costa Rica from a demographic, geographic, and economic perspective.

          -dan
          Boston, MA

  • Browning Nick

    This is the most thoughtful thinking from the military I can remember hearing for a very long time. The authors integrate a vastly broader view of the world than one constrained simply to simple force calculations. They invoke an ethical sensibility and apply it to our place as a world citizen. I wish I could avoid feeling a despondency lest their wise and thought-filled analysis is soon collecting dust on a back shelf, briefly celebrated and then forgotten while contractors lobby for still another wildly expensive “weapons system.”

  • Kenneth V. Puglia

    I wholeheartedly support your endeavor and encourage you in pursuit. It strikes me as a micro-revival of the art of critical thinking.
    It also appers that you have acquired several data points in an effort to construct a predictive model. I’m very pleased to hear of this effort at the Pentagon.
    The word unsustainable should be in everone’s vocabulary.

  • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

    So basically America needs to lead by example. Get our own house in order that we may see clearly how to help others maintain their house.

    For as long as I can remember our example has been military engagement and bully tactics. There should be no surprise to find more and more hostility towards America, they are only following our example.

  • Derrick Terrence

    I agree with Yolanda’s posting.

    United States Department of Defense has been turned into Israel’s Department of Offense

    • Anonymous

      Good for you. I say the bigots of the world need more support and prompting. They don’t get enough air time to pontificate on their warped views. I’m being sarcastic in case you did not get it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    As a longtime, faithful listener to OnPoint I beseech Tom & the producers to follow this segment with more discussions on the topics outlined today. For the first time in my life, I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with the Marines. Only hope that we do not see a military coup come out of it. These men are making a lot of sense and that can be worrisome to entrenched hierarchical power systems like the Pentagon.

    • David

      Yes and no. Why do you think this is coming from them?

      Numerous thinking people in the Pentagon know that America is a failed state.

      Many of them are decent citizens who recognize the danger of this country collapsing into anarchy by doing what we are now.

  • Derrick Terrence

    Why in the world OnPoint has never ever ever invited a single Peace Activist … .who has been saying the same thing in a much “bold” manner.

    Who owns the Media here?

    If you look at the list of Countries we ATTACK with made-up excuses:
    Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Palestine
    They all have something to do with the Security of Israel.

    Why don’t we go and help Chechen Rebels. Checknia is 94% Chechen’s and Downtown Groznie looked like worse than Swiss Cheese while Russian Jets have been bombing the hell out of Civilians for years.

    Daaaaa!

    • Anonymous

      Why didn’t we help the Chechens? You have, perhaps, heard of the Russian nuclear force?

      Now, as for the countries that we “attack” or actually attack: Gaddafi did order the attack on the airplane that crashed at Lockerbie, and the current rebels asked for our help. Are you suggesting that the Israelis started that rebellion? Did the Israelis encourage the Taliban to give sanctuary to bin Laden and al Qaeda? Perhaps you don’t believe that it was al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. We overthrew the Iranian government in the 50s because it was leaning toward the Soviet Union, from our perspective. The usual conspiracy theory about Iraq is that we wanted to control the oil there, not protect Israel’s security.

      If you’re going on a rant, do try to dress it up with the trappings of intelligence.

      • Truthstandsout

        Check out http://www.whatreallyhappened.com for more on 9-11.

        If bin Laden was guilty of 9-11, why did our govt agencies ship the evidence away as quickly as possible? Why not PRESERVE the evidence, PROVE to Americans and people the world over that bin laden was behind it… THEN go after him?

        The Taliban offered to hand over bin Laden right after 9-11, at the US request. All they asked for is “EVIDENCE”. Our govt refused to provide evidence, so the Taliban refused to hand him over.

        If the US were giving sanctuary to one of our “own” (an American, or citizen of an ally), and another nation insisted on us handing the person over for prosecution — the US would not do so without some kind of evidence.

        What we need to follow is logic & evidence. Our govt screwed up big time, and the price we pay is too much doubt all over the world about what really happened on 9-11.

    • Anonymous

      These countries have also killed and injured citizens of many other countries. Why do you single out Israel when there are literally a dozen or more countries whose territory and citizens have been directly attacked and/or threatened by these countries?

      I smell a rat…

  • Derrick Terrence

    Moreover, United States of America has two natural enemies.

    1. Canada
    2. Mexico

    That’s it. Israel’s Enemies are not Enemies.

    Tired of being searched at Airports and be treated like a Terrorist everytime when I enter a courthouse or government building that operates with my dollar. Why, because our Foreign Policy was hijacked by a bunch of guys who loves Israel.

    Enough is Enough.

    • Anonymous

      Yup, those dangerous Canadians. They keep taking our vacation properties from desperate Americans. . .

      • ThresherK

        And 90% of them have been massed within two hours drive of our border. Just what we’d expect from those sneaky Frostbacks.

    • Anonymous

      Gee I guess you forgot about 9/11. That’s the reason you are being searched at airports. Court houses and government buildings are due to home grown terrorism. Is your memory so short that you forgot about Oklahoma city and Timothy McVeigh?

      You object to being searched at court house? Let me unpack this for you. There are about 307,006,550 people in this country and there about 200 million weapons in private hands give or take a few hundred thousand. I know it’s all Israel’ fault that our nation’ citizens are armed to the teeth. In case you do not see the absurdity of your comment I’ll spell it out for you. Oh wait, I just did.

    • Dan

      hahahaha, what??? “Natural” enemies? Canada??

  • Artisansworks

    I have long felt that the greatest threat to this country is the the division of it’s people. And as political polarity has increased many of us have felt we have lost our voice. So thank you “Mr. Y”, let’s hope this begins a national dialogue that is rational.

  • Lori A

    I suspected that the military was leaning in this direction when my son, a recent ex-Marine, suggested that all guns should be rounded up and destroyed, save a few for law enforcement. The people who are experiencing the worst of what we’ve manifested are the first to understand where we need to be evolving. I, like others, beseech this program to have a show each week that focuses on bringing about the peaceful changes we need. Excellent show, excellent.

  • Dean

    I just want to add my compliments:

    Thank you, Captain Porter and Colonel Mykleby, for your devotion to the very essence of our nation. You are two true patriots.

  • Dean

    How different this advanced philosophy is from the simplistic foreign policy of the Bush/Cheney administration. How obvious it is that we were led by political dinosaurs for nearly a precious decade.

  • Derrick Terrence

    According two two guys who wrote a book about Commercial Airline HiJackings….

    There are 183 of them since the Civilian Aviation has started.
    112 of them took place in 1967+1968 (30-40 was Cuba related) … and the ultimate target was El-Al Airlines, and secondary was American planes destined to Israel and third on was any US based airlines … just to protest America’s support and silence for invasion of Palestine.

    Do you homework people.

    • Anonymous

      We do our homework, thank you. You’ll notice that you named events from 1968 and 1969. What about the 11th of September 2001? Osama bin Laden’s chief interest is in overthrowing the Saudi monarchy. He hates us because we support them. He tosses out comments about the Palestinians just to stir up feelings, but they aren’t his focus.

      • Derrick Terrence

        Greg

        I know you will defend the status-quo and the current policy until hell freezes and will deny the fact that US Military is literally a slave of Israel’s security through hijacked Congress and the Media.

        When it comes to 9/11 … one building for you: WTC #7

        http://www.wtc7.net
        http://www.BuildingWhat.org

        Will not respond to your postings anymore … you are a waste of time … a self-appointed agent of surpression and defending Israel … just because.

        • Anonymous

          WTC #7 collapsed from the effects of fire and the pressure wave from the Twin Towers coming down. I’m well aware of the conspiracy theories, but knowing about them doesn’t equal believing them.

          As is typical of comments like this, the person who writes it tosses out accusations without evidence and then asserts that anyone who disagrees is just a part of the system. When you’re ready to have a rational discussion, do let me know.

          • Robert Riversong

            Greg,

            You’re a True Believer in every myth which hides the truth and maintains the status quo in our degenerating nation.

            Soon after 9/11, the 125 year old Fire Engineering Magazine published an editorial calling the official investigation of the WTC collapse a “half-baked farce”.

            Today, thousands of Firefighters, Engineers and Architects have joined forces to prove that there is no a shred of physical evidence to support the contention that fire brought down WTC7 and that every piece of evidence supports the theory that it (and the Twin Towers) were brought down by controlled demolition.

            http://www.ae911truth.org/
            http://firefightersfor911truth.org/

            The only “conspiracy theory” is the official version, which claims that a bunch of incapable Muslims with boxcutters were responsible for the greatest act of terrorism against the US homeland.

            Are you one of those CIA false on-line personas that they’re using to spread disinformation?

          • Anonymous

            If you had a friend who’s cousin died in one of those planes after calling her family on her phone and telling them what was going on, you would probably feel the almost uncontrollable rage that I feel when d*#$#*s on discussion boards like this spout their inane, racist, paranoid garbage. I assure you, it is a good thing you are not standing in the same space with me right now. Take your stinking carcass of an imagination somewhere else. It does not belong in a reputable forum.

            I apologize, OnPoint, if I have not done a good enough job of choking down the words I’d really like to say those who poison rationality with their insanity.

          • Truthsout

            the problem is our govt agencies did not seal off ground zero as a crime scene and instead, REMOVED evidence. I am sure EVERY American wants proof of who attacked us so we can go after them.

            http://www.whatreallyhappened.com

          • Anonymous

            No. You don’t want proof. You just want to keep raking the muck and trying to twist everything toward the answers you’ve already decided are correct. Conspiracy theorists are all the same: pretend to be on a quest for the truth while blowing as much obfuscating smoke as possible. Your forgone conclusions are all you care about. Well, statistics indicate that a certain percentage of people will be incapabe of rational thought and will fall for your nonsense. But, really, the listeners of this show are, by and large, smarter than that. Don’t you think you’re kinda wasting your chops here?

          • Truthstandsout

            Huh?

            Why would you say I “don’t want proof”? Are you in my head?
            Hmm…

            Yes, I want proof. (I know what’s in my head, so I know what I want). The FBI admits it has no PROOF that bin Laden was behind 9-11.

            I did not list any “foregone conclusions”, so I’m not sure what you are talking about there.

            It’s all about ASKING QUESTIONS, and not silencing the discussion.

            There are way too many unanswered questions surrounding 9-11. Ask some of the First Responders why they have so many questions; they were THERE. And at least part of the fault for so much uncertainty is our govt’s actions – removing evidence of the scene of such a horrific crime. Evidence which could have answered all those questions!

            I don’t believe it is ever a waste of time to pursue truth. If you feel it is a waste of YOUR time to pursue the truth, that is your choice.

          • Travman

            It is amazing the number of, otherwise intelligent people, who fall for the conspiracy theories. How can anyone have any doubts of who planned and carried out the attacks of 9-11. The perpetrators bragged about it, we have films showing the hijackers going through airport boarding gates. Of course, to the conspiracy theorist’s, all that evidence was fabricated by our government! Come on young folks, use your heads.

          • Serenity

            I just wish the FBI would come out and tell us that , yes, bin Laden did it (they don’t list him as wanted for 9-11) and give the proof. So far, it’s rhetoric and innuendo.

            As a lawyer, I would be laughed out of court with that.

            We need evidence that would stand up in a court of law.

            That’s logic. That’s rational.

          • http://twitter.com/feet_in_usa Feet in USA

            “No. You don’t want proof.” — You could be right about some people. In my case in particular, what I want is the evidence to have been followed where it led. But it’s probably too late to get what I want because the evidence has been destroyed. But I want everyone to learn from the crime that followed the crime, so that next time a major crime happens, the evidence will not be destroyed until it is followed where it leads.

      • Serenity

        Oops… don’t forget, the FBI does not list bin Laden as being “wanted” for 9-11… because there is no evidence he was involved.

        Maybe our govt should not have removed the evidence so quickly so they could provide that evidence, actually prove to the world that bin Laden was involved. (Way too many people around the world, including in Europe, doubt who was behind the 9-11 attacks)

      • http://twitter.com/feet_in_usa Feet in USA

        The notable events of the 11th of September, 2001 were all plane crashes. Normally the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates plane crashes. We always hear them telling the reporters to hold off speculating on the cause of a cash until NTSB can collect the evidence and follow it where it leads. The NTSB web site seems to list all incidents they investigate. Look for Sept. 11, 2001. Nothing. Therefore, there was no normal investigation into what happened. So, what evidence about who did Sept. 11, 2001 is available to the public?

    • Anonymous

      We do our homework, thank you. You’ll notice that you named events from 1968 and 1969. What about the 11th of September 2001? Osama bin Laden’s chief interest is in overthrowing the Saudi monarchy. He hates us because we support them. He tosses out comments about the Palestinians just to stir up feelings, but they aren’t his focus.

    • Cory

      There has to be a more appropriate place for you to post anti Israel “stuff”. Someplace it would be more welcome and more “on point”.

  • Brett

    I agree with everything Capt. Porter and Col. Mykleby are saying/writing; I didn’t find them particularly compelling, though. I mean, if anyone, for ideological purposes, or for any reason, held a different view than theirs, would he/she be compelled enough by this paper (or this interview) to change his/her mind?

    For me, it is refreshing to hear this message come from one of their own, so to speak. How does this translate into action/policy change, etc.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Good questions, Brett. I am thinking of someone I met on an airplane circa 1996, a young man, very confident. He assured me his line of work would always be secure because it was related to the American military budget. I believe they were building aircraft. But a smart young person could find out what the big military-related employers are looking for and get the appropriate undergraduate and graduate degrees and sign up for financial security. The sheer size of the military/industrial complex means that downsizing it at all affects a lot of people for whom financial security was the main reason for arranging their careers as they did. Talk about turning the Titanic.
      There are something like 200 American military bases overseas, I’ve heard, and sometimes it seems we fought the entire Iraq war simply in order to establish a military base in that location. A more global approach to the kind of stability and control an increasingly mutually-dependent planet requires should not be the sole responsibility of the Guy that Won the Cold War, to wit us. As Colin Powell said of Pottery Barn, if you break it, you own it. Also, apparently, if you buy it (invest your resources in it for a decade) you own it. How fair is that? If you buy it out from under the pimps (or whatever evil concern had had it before), then everyone had better share getting it back on its feet.
      How could an idealistic young person contribute to that, short of learning to build drones and missiles? Focus on the State Department. Apparently they will send you to Chinese and Arabic language school, maybe gratis. Once you talk their language, then talk them into maintaining those 200 bases on behalf of the rest of us, globally.
      Just a thought.

  • Anonymous

    The most basic problem with our military spending is not the amount of it, although that certainly has the most dramatic impact on the deficit, since the military raises no funds of its own to offset that spending, unlike the fully self-supporting Social Security system, or the minimally self-supporting Medicare. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if a significant number of the non-income-tax-paying citizens that are the target of so much right-wing wrath are active duty military families.

    No, the most basic problem with our military spending is that it is waste of money. We get very little in return, doing actual harm to our country’s interest in many respects. We spend huge sums to train people to do things they are never called on to do (storm beaches, engage an enemy in set or air battles), then deploy them at great expense, much of it for fuel and privately-contracted logistical support, to do things that could be accomplishment at must less cost (help meet local educational, agricultural, etc. needs). Then there are post-discharge issues like long term care and other benefits for those disabled or damaged by their service.

    If we got infrastructure or better educated citizens in return for all those dollars, at least we’d be getting something for our money.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t you figure security to be getting something for our money?

      • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

        Don’t you figure reading or listening to the program before posting is a better approach?

        In case you are having trouble finding it…

        http://www.wilsoncenter.org/events/docs/A%20National%20Strategic%20Narrative.pdf

        • Anonymous

          Jimino’s point was that we gain nothing from our military. The guests didn’t say that.

          • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

            The majority of the way which we use our military is giving us less security, not more.

      • Anonymous

        How do you define security? A job that pays a living wage? Safe streets in your home town? Savings that aren’t exposed to the depredations of a predatory financial sector? Frankly, if we didn’t waste so much money paying to have a proverbial hole dug, then filled in at additional cost, we could actually respond competently to matters that truly threaten our security.

        • Anonymous

          Security? There are several kinds, but certainly military security is one essential element for a great nation.

      • Anonymous

        How do you define security? A job that pays a living wage? Safe streets in your home town? Savings that aren’t exposed to the depredations of a predatory financial sector? Frankly, if we didn’t waste so much money paying to have a proverbial hole dug, then filled in at additional cost, we could actually respond competently to matters that truly threaten our security.

      • TomK in Boston

        The problem is that we pay way more than we need for security. I regard the excess as a kind of stimulus. It provides jobs for kids who otherwise would have nothing but macjobs in the reaganomics economy, it educates them, it funds R&D that ultimately has useful spinoffs, etc. Unfortunately it has now been largely captured by the corporations that do the privatized functions, like halliburton, “xe” (formerly blackwater) etc. Stimulating the economy by funneling taxpayer $ to these ominous organizations is EXTREMELY inefficient compared to spending directly on infrastructure, education, non-mil R&D, etc.

        So mil spending over and above what we need for security is not a total loss, but it is very poor use of our $, much like the way we subsidize the predatory health insurance corps while the rest of the world gets lower costs and better outcomes with national health care.

        Also, our military adventures financed by the expenditures above what is needed often make us less secure and have lots of “unintended consequences” and “blowback”.

      • Serenity

        Are we really more secure? Of course not.

        We are creating rage in many regions around the world by our constant interference, by our 100+ military bases in all those countries.

        We need to STOP bullying other countries, and take away any justification “terrorists” may have against us. Many in the int’l community either support or tolerate rage against the US because of OUR govt/military policies.
        Take away those policies, then not only do we remove much of the hatred, but for the remaining “terrorists” against us there will be NO support.

        Now THAT’S security.

      • http://twitter.com/feet_in_usa Feet in USA

        Does New Zealand (for example) suffer from a lack of whatever kind of security it is you are talking about, gregcamp, that US citizens are supposed to be getting for their military expenditure?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Sorry but SS has a CURRENT unfunded liability of $15T. It’s all about the changing demographics. Sure, this pales in comparison to the $78T unfunded liability of Medicare.

      Most experts think SS could be saved if minor adjustments are implemented now. There have been NO realistic solutions proposed to the Medicare mess.

      • Anonymous

        That is only true over the politically-created “infinite future horizon”. Certainly not true until after 2041, even without any changes. Take a look at: http://www.angrybearblog.com/2009/02/social-security-has-no-unfunded.html

      • Robert Riversong

        Social Security has a surplus to cover annual deficits, earned from the interest on its trust fund (paid by taxpayers because the federal government borrows all the surplus to fund its wars). It can cover its shortfall until 2025 with the interest it has earned over the years. Starting in 2025, the program has to begin dipping into the principal of the fund. It is projected to exhaust the entire trust fund in 2037.

        It can easily be made whole again by taxing all income instead of letting the wealthy off the hook.

  • Anonymous

    The most basic problem with our military spending is not the amount of it, although that certainly has the most dramatic impact on the deficit, since the military raises no funds of its own to offset that spending, unlike the fully self-supporting Social Security system, or the minimally self-supporting Medicare. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if a significant number of the non-income-tax-paying citizens that are the target of so much right-wing wrath are active duty military families.

    No, the most basic problem with our military spending is that it is waste of money. We get very little in return, doing actual harm to our country’s interest in many respects. We spend huge sums to train people to do things they are never called on to do (storm beaches, engage an enemy in set or air battles), then deploy them at great expense, much of it for fuel and privately-contracted logistical support, to do things that could be accomplishment at must less cost (help meet local educational, agricultural, etc. needs). Then there are post-discharge issues like long term care and other benefits for those disabled or damaged by their service.

    If we got infrastructure or better educated citizens in return for all those dollars, at least we’d be getting something for our money.

  • SNAPRD

    This was such a refreshing discussion. Thank you. It is not often that I find myself able to listen to the program but this was a winner and I am glad I heard it.

    With all the divisive political rhetoric that we hear day in and day out it was certainly hopeful to hear a frank discussion about the many issues that face us and how we have the opportunity as a nation to lead the world toward a new paradigm. I feel that Americans suffer from low self esteem – myself included. We are constantly told we are not worth the $$. Seniors and disabled are not worth it so completely change Medicare/Medicaid, the young are not worth it- it costs too much to educate them, those middle class who find themselves unemployed are not worth it so every opportunity that arises threaten to cut unemployment. Collectively we are not worth keeping healthy so cut prevention programs. But if you are wealthy, or a corporation tax cuts must be preserved at all costs. If this was a family dynamic – we would probably cry abuse!

    The conversation has to change, the bulk of the American populace has to feel they are worth it and then they can change the world. This conversation made me feel so much more hopeful.

    • dave

      i agree people growing up in the past 50 years actually held the american dream im going to work hard and do better than my parents. And for the most part this was true but today we just hope to have a roof over our heads. Its crazy to think that we sent a man to the moon but we dont have the best educational system or the most educated youth in the world.

  • TomK in Boston

    Why not remove all age limits on the military? We can have regiments of geezers trained to whack terrorists with their canes and run them down with their wheelchairs. It will contribute to national security as much as subsidizing halliburton does now, and they will all have health insurance.

  • Fcfpc

    The reason Tom finds the paper to be breaking “new ground” is not because the ideas are novel but because it’s coming from the heart of the pentagon. Yes, there have been many out there beating the drum of security through prosperity, sustainability and credibility. But, we now have the military joining the scientist. Now if the population gets behind it, members of congress will not feel “anti-patriotic” or “weak on terrorism” if legislation is passed that moves the resources to research, development and education. You may remember that a Naval representative appeared On Point and said they were moving toward a self sustaining base using renewable energy resources. The military is moving on this, now we need the people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      I wouldn’t agree that the military is moving very fast towards a “self sustaining base” but it is encouraging to hear that some career military people are thinking more progressively about the wasteful nature of American consumerism.
      Please, let’s hear lots more about defense spending and the sacred cow of “homeland security”. Like others point out here, security is a very subjective thing these days. Critical thinkers need much more encouragement & support, too! If the military is on the same “side” as the people, how bad can that be? Let’s discuss it in depth here later on, please.

    • Robert Riversong

      Yes the Navy is shifting to “renewable” energy, but…

      The US is AWOL

      The US wages never-ending war in order to protect the “American Way of Life” (AWOL), which requires a reliable and endless supply of petroleum.

      The Pentagon is the worlds’ largest consumer of petroleum, so the control of the world’s oil is necessary in order to control the world’s oil to protect AWOL. Catch 22.

      Half of the Pentagon’s oil is consumed by the Air Force, and 85% of that used to move personnel, equipment and fuel around the world in order to control the oil to fuel the military to protect AWOL. Catch 22.

      Which means that the defense of AWOL is the leading cause of the global warming and ecological devastation which is undermining and destroying AWOL. Catch 22.

      The US Navy is the world’s largest consumer of diesel fuel, and now the largest user of biodiesel from genetically-modified soybeans which we can’t sell to the EU and which are displacing heirloom food crops and contributing to food shortages and escalating food prices.

      Which means that the defense of AWOL is a major cause of global hunger and strife which is a threat to, and hence requires the defense of, AWOL. Catch 22.

    • Majormomc

      Yes. But can we PLEASE not have the government run the resources to do this research, development and education?

  • mkteacher

    Hate to be cynical but isn’t this kind of a naive discussion considering all the powerful special interest that will fight almost the changes needed.

  • dave

    I think these two individuals succeeded in coming across as being non partisan. They are correct about the US not being very sustainable. We give so many subsidies to farmers to produce crops to make ethanol and keep our petroleum prices lower. When in reality one day we wont have petroleum to subsidize. And these subsidies don’t come out of thin air we pay for these through taxes. Big corporations have their hand in ever aspect of our political system and they are the true winners in our society. The banks get a bail out while every one else suffers, money doesn’t disappear it is just controlled by fewer individuals than before. Also corporations pay so much less in taxes due to breaks. But these companies have so much influence over politicians and the policy making in American that its a difficult issue to tackle . This is why from the late 70′s the republican party has been so successful compared to the democratic party because its easier for republicans to follow through with their message and still keep the cooperate fat cats happy. The democrats come off pretending that they have the average citizens needs in mind but they first need to keep their sugar daddy contributers happy and look like they cant get any thing done while in office

  • Renaldeichler

    Hopefully, we may be in the process, from a Weltanschuung perspective, or a Paradigm shift, such as the one articulated by T. Kuhn — in his “The Structure of the Scientific Revolutions”, which might presage a shift to a “problem SOLVING” mind-set, based in a developmental perspective, rather than a “problem BOUND” mind-set, based on a strict adherence to the current “scientific paradigm”. That probably sounds esoteric — but I do believe that to move towards the sort of thinking the gentlemen are advocating, will certainly require a change in our world view, and a major shift in how we think about solving the problems our world faces.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry to be pedantic but … “Weltanschauung” ….

  • Ed Lover

    I can’t wait to see how the right will spin this report into “hating America” and “not supporting the troops”.

    Kudos the the authors for being brave enough to say the obvious, rational things.

  • Cory

    I’ve been a listener and a poster here for almost 2 years. I’ve always tried to abide by the three stated rules. Be brief, be on topic, and avoid personal attacks. I’d like to suggest the addition of a fourth rule:

    4. Posts mentioning Israel or WTC #7 when they are not the implicitly stated topic will be subject to IMMEDIATE deletion.

    I’m so tired of hearing about Israel during topics ranging from Martian colonization to breakfast cereals! I am neither pro nor anti Israel, just tired of their haters finding some obtuse way to mention them daily.

    I’d please ask the show to do a topic on Israel and 9/11 conspiracies once or twice a year to scratch their itch. Maybe call it “tinfoil hat tuesday” or something. Thanks for your consideration

    • Robert Riversong

      And that gives you the right to control, limit and censor an organic discussion?

      The only thing that should be automatically deleted is an intolerant and close-minded response.

      • Cory

        Did you miss the part of the rules that reads BE ON TOPIC? I have no rights here whatsoever. My comments have been deleted on many occasions when I violated On Point’s rules. If the topic is Mr. Y’s policy paper, I would want posts about cheesecake recipes deleted too.

        Intolerant? Give me a break!! Did you see the post today referencing “zionist pigs”? Is there anything intolerant about such racist drivel? I’m ashamed of myself for even responding to your baseless and silly criticism.

        • Moiled

          Just enough worried
          to
          realize all their sins.

      • Cory

        Did you miss the part of the rules that reads BE ON TOPIC? I have no rights here whatsoever. My comments have been deleted on many occasions when I violated On Point’s rules. If the topic is Mr. Y’s policy paper, I would want posts about cheesecake recipes deleted too.

        Intolerant? Give me a break!! Did you see the post today referencing “zionist pigs”? Is there anything intolerant about such racist drivel? I’m ashamed of myself for even responding to your baseless and silly criticism.

    • http://profiles.google.com/wdrislane William Drislane

      ‘Tinfoil Hat Tuesday’, I love it. It would probably be a very highly-rated show.

    • samdog

      Sorry about that Cory, but I just check the handbook of the International Brotherhood of Tinfoil Hatsmiths and Haberdashery Workers, and “tinfoil hat Tuesday” is strictly off limits per said union (see bottom of p. 1374) ….

  • Majormomc

    A case study in contradicting statements.

  • Derrick Terrence

    Look at the postings here.

    People who protect Israel also favor the status-quo of spending our underwear off in military spending just to Bomb the hell out of Arabs.

    The same people also use the “fear” thing and also will never admit that the true/scientific/independent of investigation (just a darn investigation) events of 9/11 is necessary and needed for this country and its geo-political involvment.

    Why?: Is it possible that we may learn something we did not know about the Middle East and 9/11?

    All coincidence, of course.

    The big deal is: Tom Ashbrook start smelling the coffee and bring Architect Richard Gage. That’s all. If you don’t like it…. change the station and listen to Classical Music.

    • Cory

      SO old and tired. Find an appropriate forum for this.

    • Anonymous

      Excuse me, sir, but the ‘Zionist Conspiracy Forum’ is down the hall, second door to your right ….

      • Cory

        awesome.

  • Derrick Terrence

    Dear Ellen Dibble:

    What do you think about ….
    Why are we so against the investigation of the Mysterious Collapse of WTC #7? You must have an opinion.

    Will it be insulting to window frames of the building or to the concept of Gravity. What is the problem? Why are we so terrified? Money?

    Why not a second + scientific look. We did not care about BP explosion, …. we already investigated 14 times by 14 different teams and none of them influenced by BP execs.

    • Ellen Dibble

      From what I’ve read in these threads, there are in fact investigations about the mysterious collapse. Recently, I believe I heard that architects were meeting to learn what they could from the situation.
      I don’t know why you ask me, but maybe it’s because I’ve answered this particular question every time it comes up, and no one seems to have a better one.
      It goes like this. Property in Manhattan is worth a lot. If a building in Manhattan goes down, some big insurance company is going to be looking at a massive bill. That, or the various corporate or individuals are going to be looking at massive losses. It could look very bad for various parties, those who might have cut corners for instance in the construction. It’s easy to imagine plenty of people who would rather settle the matter out of court than have the whole thing dragged through the courts for a decade. So I imagine if the many interests involved are not piping up, and if all sides seem determined to keep the matter quiet, there is probably an agreement to do just that. The public has a right to know a lot, but when it comes to private property, I think lawyers have ways of “settling,” such that is everyone is placated and sworn to silence, rewarded and rewarded partly for keeping the deal silent, then this can happen. And it’s possible we are seeing an example of exactly that in this instance.
      It’s not an example of “are we so terrified.” It could be an example of the various institutions of law/justice and economic equilibration (insurance) working just exactly as intended.

  • Jim Canavan

    Thanks for having these men on the show. Once upon a time students came from all over the world to America’s institutions of higher learning. We could return to that, but it will take considerable public investment. It’s time for Americans to grow up and earn, once again, American exceptionalism.

  • Woody

    I listened and I read. Then I thought. Next I wrote this comment. I recommend the same process to others.

    The use of the term “narrative” is intended to offer an “opinion” by authors who are well informed and openly admit their objectives while helping to continue the evolution of America.
    People should not be AFRAIR to think about how to move away from the America that tells others – via military force what’s “GOOD” for them!
    If nothing else we must STOP using the blood of those in the military to advance our selfish political whims. Vietnam in how many versions and at what costs?
    It IS time to define our core objectives – be good at them and stop trying to use the military to be “good to everyone” except those we don’t like – politically.
    My Dad used to say – “lead by example” and that’s what these military guys offer instead of force and violence without lasting positive results!

  • Michaellong103

    America will die because too much of our business relies on fraud, misrepresentation, usury, tricks and traps as a business model. Our so called “free market” approach has created a system where every type of white collar crime is celebrated as some great new innovation. The number of billionaires who build great products decreases every year and the number of billionaires who build financial Amway schemes increases. Hedge fund managers, mortgage lenders, derivatives traders, insurance executives, pay day loan operators, for-profit student loan lenders run rampant creating pain and poverty for the average citizen.

    The American public spends most of its time paying off one type of ridiculously fraudulent financing scheme after another. Our nation has become one giant network marketing Casino-Prison. America is a bloated motivational seminar that makes nothing except synthetic financial time bombs.

    Ask yourself why America’s Financial sector earns over 50% of all money in the United States. The same sector that almost killed the country through the debt/housing bubble.

    America will only work when banks actually invest money, engineers and business people build great products and our top earners are people who make something aside from bad loans, political donations and the fine print in contacts.

    Enjoy your Banana Republic (brought to you by Goldman, JP Morgan and Citigroup).

    • Joe Rioux, San Antonio

      You wrote: “America will die.” How about a constructive suggestion (such as that aired on the show tonight) rather than a doomsday post? If I want to hear how the U.S. is doomed, I’ll tune in to Al Jazeera.

    • Truthstandsout

      America does not have a “free market” (wasn’t clear from your comment about “so-called” free market).

      Our govt is way to entwined with corporations, subsidizing them, preventing competition that serves consumers. Best example is AT&T (formerly Bell), where our govt gave them a monopoly, with a FIXED/ guaranteed profit to boot! Once independents were able to jump in, consumers were happy with the better service & lower prices of the smaller companies… and our govt once again interfered with the “free market”. More recently, the bank bailout… omg, can’t believe the govt (using OUR money) REWARDED such serious incompetence!

      I agree with your comments.
      If it pays to defraud, thats where people go — even many of those who might initially have morals.

      Let the free market “ruin” business people/ corporations who don’t serve consumers needs… all those who use tricks/traps as a business model will lose everything.

    • Heather

      I found it an interesting suggestion by Captain Porter and Colonel Mykleby, that the United States needs to go back to it’s roots of ingenuity and competition. I’m still stumped what to say to convince my representative and senators that it would be in the nation’s interest to legislate in favor of those that work hard, think creatively, and invest back in their community. The problem is that our legislators are very closely entwined with those that have already succeeded and have no interest in competition, because that would hinder their bottom line. Building stronger local governments in our states and cities could be a good start, as they have a strong vested interest in the immediate success of their communities, instead of a half-hearted loyalty to the American people, who are somewhat less tangible than the lobbyists who chat with them at lunch daily.

    • Wwow

      Think about all the low wage jobs that we can bring back to the US once we become a third world country. Corporate America’s financial giants seem to have a plan.

  • Anonymous

    Tom, Thank you for today’s outstanding program–you’ve set a new ‘high bar’ level for your program. It’s reassuring to know our military is staffed with such scholarly, passionate, and compassionate men and women like your guests, Adm. Mullen, Gen. Petraeus, and their leader Sec. Gates.

    At the same time it makes me sad to think how quickly our elected officials will put them in danger for their own dubious self-interests or poorly researched objectives. If our politicians would only listen more closely to the advice of these folks instead of treating them like chess pieces to be moved around on a whim, we might not keep ending up stuck in quagmires like Afghanistan and Iraq, counting our dead and wounded and worrying about how many trillions more in the hole we are.

    Unfortunately, our politicians are too busy with their snouts in the lobbyists’ feed troughs to pay attention to anything or anyone but their masters.

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  • jude

    Gotta say, I’m a republican, but I’ve been extremely tired of the Foreign policy of america for quite a while. Basically, the guests are COMPLETELY addressing the passive but growing irritation of my generation (under 25) towards that policy (THANK GOD!!!). We, the younger generation, have been taught values like ‘love your neighbor’ ‘do good unto others’ ‘treat others like you’d want to be treated’ ect, but then we watch as our politicians over and over vote for measures that would provide for bullying of nations smaller and less monetarily/militarily endowed than us.

    Here’s the thing: There are many anti-bullying campaigns throughout the us. We’re trying to stop kids from doing this to one another. BUT … how effective can this be if they look at the adults saying “don’t bully” and see them bullying other adults? Now, think of other smaller nations … if these nations see us invading them over … nothing really … What example does that set?
    Also, If a bully oversteps his/her bounds, eventually people get pissed off and fight back …
    Both of these things make me think constantly, “Get a clue, America … we’ve bullied smaller nations for far too long!”

    If the the movie 300 is anything to go by, beware of relying on military force only!

    Jude
    ps. Please don’t take this as an opinion against the military or even military action if its needed. I respect my military more than words can say and realize the necessity of military action in some things… what I do NOT respect though, is the policy of bullying that America has adopted for the last 80 years.

    • Serenity

      Don’t forget that, historically, Republicans were considered anti-war. It was the Democrats who were called warmongers until recent times.

      • historian

        Only because Republicans, in Lincoln’s time, were the party of the liberals.

  • Michael

    Good show too bad it’s not going to change,

    A recent example is the coverage by WP, NYT and NPR on the leaked treatment of Gitmo prisoners and how 150+ were innocent or how they held a al jazeera journalist solely for spying on al jazeera.

    All three newspaper played down the what was revealed and took a pro-government talking point line,compared to the guardian and telegraph which focus on abuses and violation of the law.

    Guantánamo leaks lift lid on world’s most controversial prison

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/25/guantanamo-files-lift-lid-prison
    • Innocent people interrogated for years on slimmest pretexts
    • Children, elderly and mentally ill among those wrongfully held
    • 172 prisoners remain, some with no prospect of trial or release

    Newly leaked documents show the ongoing travesty of Guantanamo
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/04/25/guantanamo/index.html

    Guantánamo Bay files: Al-Jazeera cameraman held for six years

    Americans snatched Sami al-Hajj from Pakistan, believing him to be an al-Qaida courier and source of information on Bin Laden
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/25/guantanamo-files-sami-al-hajj

    An al-Jazeera journalist was held at Guantánamo for six years partly in order to be interrogated about the Arabic news network, the files disclose. Sami al-Hajj, a Sudanese cameraman, was detained in Pakistan after working for the network in Afghanistan after 9/11, and flown to the prison camp where he was allegedly beaten and sexually assaulted.

    His file makes clear that one of the reasons he was sent to Guantánamo was “to provide information on … the al-Jazeera news network’s training programme, telecommunications equipment, and newsgathering operations in Chechnya, Kosovo and Afghanistan, including the network’s acquisition of a video of UBL [Osama bin Laden] and a subsequent interview with UBL”.

  • Zing

    Nothing new here…I listened to the show and find the op ed piece too boring and hackneyed to spend my time on. DOA. The guy Tom quoted toward the end was right…this is just the liberal agenda in uniform. But tell you what…I’ll sign on if we decimate our enemies now and put our public “education” through total makeover at the hands of the taxpayers…who’s in?

    • Gehrig

      And you use the word, Hackneyed.

    • Wwow

      ZING ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz.

    • http://twitter.com/feet_in_usa Feet in USA

      Zing, on what grounds do you disagree with what you say is the “liberal agenda”? What do you think the liberal agenda wants to liberate that you do not want to liberate? And when you say “our enemies”, who are the “our”? Enemies of whose?

  • Michael

    172 innocent out of 779 that’s around a 22% rate of people held at gitmo that were innocent. How does the U.S. hold the moral high ground with a rate like that?

    “freedom from tyranny and oppression, freedom of expression but also freedom from hurtful ideologies, prejudice and violations of human rights. Security cannot be safeguarded by borders or natural barriers; freedom cannot be secured with locks or by force alone. In our complex, interdependent, and constantly changing global environment, security is not achievable for one nation or by one people alone; rather it must be recognized as a common interest among all peoples. Otherwise, security is not sustainable, and without it there can be no peace of mind. Security, then, is our other enduring national interest”

    I ask has the massive increase in the defense budget and fight against terrorism given us?

    -freedom from hurtful ideologies?
    -prejudice and violations of human rights?
    -freedom from anxiety?
    -freedom from external threat?
    -freedom from disease and poverty?
    -freedom of expression?

    It’s looks to be that since the war on terrorism we given up many of our freedoms for a fake sense of security and are on our way to give up more.

    As for exceptionalism, is it our media? our schools? our health? our middle-class, our infrastructure? our laws? our budgets? our willingness to work together to solve common problems? or willingness to sacrifice for the common good?

    Of course our military and Wall street class is second to none but that’s still a small fraction of all Americans.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-King/1396179979 Steven King

      Maybe I missed some subtlety of the “On Point” interview, but I thought they “admitted” that $300 billion could be cut out of the defense budget NOW.

  • Larry Kenworthy

    This is the first intelligent this I have heard out of our Military/Industrial complex that I can remember. I applaud these gentlemen, and please, if there are others, with similar intelligent thoughts and ideas. Please ask them to come forth before we suffer the further consequences of our blind arrogance and single minded offensive strategies. We have continued to fail in our delivery of our ideals in every instance of military intervention. They are correct, we need to lead by example, by our ideals…. not empty promises and expectations sold by “Madison Avenue” style dreams that can never be realized. Good luck and God speed. We need more thinkers, less politicians with only self interest in mind. I know our military graduates are smarter than what has been demonstrated over the past 4 decades. Thank you Gentleman for speaking up!

  • BrettG – NYC

    Great paper! Fine show.

    Thanks to these 2 who know that real security comes from broad-based prosperity!

  • Ssp9870

    I heard the show, and I was pleased to hear that the light is dawning on the pentagon. But how could it not? These guys and their staff have first hand knowledge of whqt works in the international scene, and they can make a set of goals without the burden of the political side of things. Of course when you put together a couple of smart people or even a small team, you get intelligent findings and directed mission statements. But you add the beauracracy of the rest of the country and the mission falls apart. I was reminded of the immortal words of a man named “k”: “People
    are not smart. A person is smart. People are dangerous
    unpredictable animals and you know it”

    • Rmoore16

      As immortal man “JS” once said ” thinkers like you are useful. Ahem, do you really not recognize blatant political maneuvering when you see it? Are you truly that useful or are you just playing devil’s advocate?

  • Joe Rioux, San Antonio

    Captain Porter, and Colonel Mykleby: I heard you gentlemen speak on NPR tonight, and my response is, “Right on!” Finally, America is starting to get it: We need a new way forward, where we are not “penny wise and pound foolish”–where we DON’T spend trillions on war and then count pennies at home (taking millions from teachers and students). A democracy cannot survive without a well-educated electorate. A capitalist society cannot prosper when it pours its treasure into a military effort devoted to the unrealistic goal of controlling the world. And no nation on Earth will be able to survive peacefully if it doesn’t exercise sustainable management of resources–natural, economic, and human. Bravo, and kudos also to this broadcast of “On Point”, which (for once) did not make me cringe. More shows like this one, please, and fewer that are obviously deliberately polemical.

  • Megfeeley

    On the same page! The community college where I teach was just ranked among the 120 best in the country, and best in New York – and we are teaching urban, immigrant youth and returning workers. My apartment building is active in Community Supported Agriculture, and expanding our ideas about reducing Combined Sewage Outflow, electricity usage, etc. I’d like to read this essay with my Freshman Composition students for my module on wealth and class coming up.

    • Rmoore16

      I love how the 2 gentlemen started stating that they are “apolitical” by virtue of being military officers and being on the Joint Chief’s staff. Laugh riot! Good thing that none of the listeners are naive enough to swallow such a blatantly contradictory statement.

      • TFain

        Please explain why this is “blatantly contradictory” — they are apolitical in that they are not “Democrats” or “Republicans”. In my 30 years of public service, including 20 in the military, I find that their statement is quite credible.

      • Yusefkareem

        So what are you saying there? Two senior officers who have served through administrations representing the Democrats and the Republicans. Two officers who are focused on America. Can you say where they fit on the political divide? Or, would it perhaps astonish you that they are TRUE Americans first? Get over the polarizing default mechanism. Go for what’s good for America first!

      • ENTELEKI

        Man – you hear what you want to hear. It is the lunatic fringe fed by sarcasm and the never-ending destruction of any idea, that feeds the grist mill of negativism. I heard most of the discussion this morning and I am all out for Mr. “Y”.

  • Beepriest

    I am a member of the “Expeditionary Diplomacy” that has been so heralded as a solution to our difficult international relationships, currently dominated by militarism. I saw some of the current “Great Thinkers” in international policy discuss the article of the two authors the other day at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Tom Friedman opened the discussion with references to the painful political divide in the US and massive gulf in the ability to hold constructive conversations in the US Congress and between civil society and our elected leadership. Unfortunately, the panel never returned to the topic and failed to explore how a “New Narrative” might manifest in a practical solution for our hysterical incapacity for legitimate and reasoned political discussion in the US right now. Our legislative discussions are dominated by talking points fed by the media, hysterical misrepresentation of political personalities fed by the parties themselves, and general willful ignorance coupled with arrogance in the civil society. What is the solution to that divide? How do we get these concepts into the discussion at the level of the civil society? How do we temper the hysteria of talking points with a measured dialogue about the correct presence for the US in the international world in order to actually preserve and even influence the global social, political and judicial characteristics that we claim to live by in the US?

    • Rmoore16

      I would suggest that we look to our more civilized cousins in the UK. We could pattern our public discourse after the house of commons!

    • wiixl

      I’m not sure a rational solution is possible. The idea that real change occurs incrementally is as probable as sighting a jackalope. We are an Empire in Decline and these courageous soldiers have ventured a way out of ‘bipolar hegemony’ that involves – in practice – a kind of revolution; a revolution of shared sacrifice and common goals — beyond real-politik, competition for resources and national ambitions. According to Octavio Paz, there are three stages of societal change: revolt, rebellion & revolution. We have not, nor will we entertain any one of the three. We lack the mettle to think beyond our self-interest (because most of us want what we HAD … our parents had, or what very few elites have). I have never lived in more backward looking time — perhaps that’s a fitting psychic reaction to the changes unleashed by the democritization of technology . . . changes, (according to the speakers/authors) that will be as significant as the Enlightenment.

      The very fact that this article was published is as much a critique (from within) as the S&P’s downgrading of our credit rating. These courageous intellectual warriors have ventured a Voltaire-ian narrative (rather, a prescription for a narrative) that attempts to move us beyond thinking like the hegemon that did away with the bi-polar world. . . using the same tools and riding the same inertia into the multi-polar world.

      We have much to learn from and consider – objectively and strategically — in China’s rise. There’s not an urban planner that doesn’t envy what the Chinese ‘interior ministry’ can do in terms of scale, speed and resources. There’s something to these autocratic systems that take on dynamism as an operative mode . . . which is why the SOURCE of this ‘alarum’ (like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring for the Foreign Policy set) is so noteworthy. If there’s a bureaucracy that functions like China’s ‘central planning,’ it’s the Pentagon!

      This is not the answer to your question, but I would say that the two party system is incapable of manifesting the will and inertia to accomplish 1/4 of what these writers propose.

  • ishum

    Wow. This a fundamental paradigm shift.

    • Serenity

      Exactly!

      I was quite impressed to hear this conversation taking place “in the mainstream”.

      We really do need to change our focus and think about what we WANT for our future, instead of 1) focusing on others and 2) worrying so much about what we DON’T want that we aren’t doing enough to BUILD something positive.

      Kudos to these gentleman for starting this wave of rational thinking. :)

    • Anonymous

      Its not a paradigm shift–its nothing, a cry in the wilderness. Consider for a moment-what will they do if th emilitary is smaller–they will replace the downsized forces and machinery with private contracts, private forces, private wepaons of war. Do you really want that?

      The military budget needs to be dramatically reduced–like eliminate all foreign bases abroad, end the wars and create a rescue-humanitarian fleet for science, refugees, and aid with the bones of the war-machine. Funnel the money into infrastructure and social well-being. What we need is a GDH–gross domestic happiness monitor.

      And we need to criminalize private military forces under any auspice or rhetorical double-speak–these are anti-human, anti-society. We do live in a society–if you don’t want to be a part of it, you cant reap the benefits–whether its roads, markets, or parks–you are not allowed–go lie on a deserted island and be a society of one. Rugged individualism is psychopathic and insane. If that’s what you want (referring to libertarians and tea-bags), fine, you cant e a part of our society–because you despise and don’t believe in community.

  • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

    “I won’t repeat myself, but if you are genuinely interested, you can try and address the point I raised with a more substantial comment than the one above, which is a non sequitur and irrelevant as far as I’m concerned, and it would be a waste of time to address your future comments which continue in the same vein.”

  • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

    I agree, the more candidates we have who are pushing for common sense policies instead of the corporate agenda the quicker our change will come.

    Pay no attention to the pessimists, they defeat themselves.

  • Anonymous

    sounds wonderful, but its all part of the ongoing illusion part and parcel of the fascist agenda to privatize the military–blackwater, XE, etc–corporate armies with NO loyalty or commitment or honor to the American people or constitution–mercenaries willing to circumvent all codes of honor and integrity. Corporate armies motivated by profit, power of the elite few–the new empires. This is just more conditioning to prepare us and pave the way for acceptance–all the pieces are coming together. i cant believe anything they say on the air–its all engineered, scripted, and manipulative–the fascist agenda. Consider how many people own all the information in our society–not operated by the public sector or in the interests of citizens, but operated by uber-capitalists with one purpose–power, the bottom line–which requires selling you your thoughts–manufacturing public opinion and the illusion of dissent and organic change or progress, but always towards one cold purpose–total absolute rule.

    Cut the military back 100fold, and at the same time enforce new laws that abolish and forbid private forces–and end once and for all the influence of money and corporate power in democracy. Its time for direct democray–Athens style–a new house–vast and beutiful where anyone, anyone can come and speak, participate in lawmaking. And at the same time develop an online website with all-access everywhere–like an ATM–a democratic forum with aps that impeach, vote no confidence, elect, nominate…and allow speakers to talk about real issues–TED style videos–not just the two fascist parties–but all parties and independents–enabling anyone to run for office with out money or power.

    He talks about respect. I have no respect for anyone in power in this country. They are worthless and criminal. And free trade is anti-American, anti-human, anti-earth. bring the jobs home. bring democracy home. bring the children home (the soldier-murderers). And treat them with mental, emotional, and social care.

    In this so-called representative democracy–the corporate thugs in power dont represent anyone in America except themselves. they belong in jail not in government.

    De-fund the military, end the wars, and build a green infrastructure at home built, manufactured, operated and maintained by Americans. Phase out fossil feuls in five years hell or highwater–with exponential sin taxes on fossil feul companies, convential automobil manufacturers, and consumers who continue to drive planet-killers. American industry needs a fire under the ass or they will never do anything in the interest of the pubic.

    Nobody sees HOPE in America buddy-that’s nonsense. The world sees America as nation of ignorant lunatics.

    • Rmoore16

      So many useful types post to this site. Let us hope that you are all representatively minute.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-King/1396179979 Steven King

    Myrroynomous pretty much nails the Number One threat to this country in the first paragraph. But this treatise is not about promoting that dark vision. This treatise is antithetical to that very real threat to us as Americans and to us as citizens of the world.

    • Anonymous

      I hope so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-King/1396179979 Steven King

    Actually, Myrroynomous lays it down pretty straight. It’s difficult to swallow, but it is right on target.

  • jseattle

    Tom, i have been listening to your show for years and i am so sick and tired of hearing people telling me what is right , what is wrong and what we need to do .. where is the the damn leadership to actually leads and drives change .. who is doing what these pentagon and others have said ?.. these washington types are all fundamenally corrupt .. who would fund a congressmans compaign with several millions for a job that pays $125 K .. this system is broken, there is too much money in the system and to much interests are up for sale ..i am tired of all of this ..i want to see someone to lead and stop talking do it , do it and stop asking for input .. this is must change and change now

  • Bin

    They are right on the mark. Luckily, we have a president who has been saying essentially the same thing. Un-luckily, we have a president who is afraid of big corporate interests and does not take actions that match his words.

  • Worldwidekaos

    In agriculture our most progressive thinkers believe that the biggest national threat we face is our natural resources. If our water were to be severely contaminated or our ability to produce food/grain were compromised, our nation would be at the mercy of the world. Unfortunately we may be nearing that future without changes in policy. Although I agree with what the authors have written about America’s historical perspective in entrepreneurship and innovation, I have to wonder if there are deeper reasons we, as Americans, haven’t done more in terms of environmental policy. The Environmental Protection Agency was created in the 1970′s, only forty years ago. Perhaps our lack of progressive environmental policy is from our perspective we have on the environment, which might date back to our roots in Europe. Our foundation lies in a Christian understanding of the environment, where God created the land for man’s use.

    • Heather

      Yes, unfortunately, many don’t vocalize that the true Christian view is that God gave man the task of being a steward of the earth. Somehow that got twisted into a view that God will protect man from any environmental consequences.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidboghossian Davidb

    This is what real patriots should be talking about. I wonder whether it will get any currency beyond shows like “On Point”. Sadly, unlikely.

    • Heather

      I share your concern. Until we raise a generation of critical thinkers, there can be no meaningful discourse. Our representatives are sadly a version of ourselves. It’s easy to paint a “bad legislature” vs. “good American public” picture, but until we get our fellow man off of televised “brain fast food,” as their main source of information, we will continue to breed shallow minds, focused only on immediate needs rather than the needs of generations to come.

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  • FoodForThought

    I have a Geography degree, Computer degree and Finance degree (two pay the bills and one is just for my own self-actualization). I bring this up only point out different “formal” influences on my thinking in my life and how I have viewed issues from various perspectives. This story struck a chord with me and for the first time I felt my view of the world and the direction that this country should go has been verbalized so well. Perception is reality and I agree that to lead by example will make us more secure. A conclusion in the book the Rise and Fall of Great Empires is that the downfall of every great empire in history has ultimately been too much spending on military and defense. I think that their approach is fantastic and that our President has been leaning this direction based upon the things that he says. To the harsh critics I read in some of the opinions here on this web site, I’d like to point out a few things. This country (and world) is like a huge ocean liner in the ocean. One cannot turn it on a dime. It takes time to turn it in a different direction. There are decade’s worth of compromises and laws that shape where and who we are today. One cannot change all of this quickly, nor should it be. There are too many people with too much at stake. To use the example in the story of how it may take 40 years to change the food policy in this country I think is realistic. I think one can only set a course for change and then work toward achieving the goal. I’ve also noticed many people specifically target these types of comment sections so they can spout their anger and talk about their personal agenda rather than having a reasonable dialog about the content of the story. One should take all of our comments with a grain of salt.

  • Airseahorse

    Tom Ashbrook’s marvel that such fine thought could come from the Pentagon (he mentions this several times) belies his, NPR’s and the journalistic trade’s fundamental self-absorbtion and prejudice against the military. So caught up with their own importance and conventional views are they that little do they know that both the officer and enlisted corps of the military have some of the smartest, most educated, and most internationally and linguistically experienced people in the country. Graduate education in the officer corps (or as Obama would say, “corpse”) is superior to that of much of government and private industry.

    • Jessica

      Isn’t it possible that Ashbrook’s marvel really belies his hope that this viewpoint might actually get some traction given its source? That was my interpretation.

    • Finspoker

      “Linguistically experienced people in the country”*

      Surely you jest!
      Both Porter and Poque speak American very poorly. This whole Ashbrooke led affair was a asymmetric, chauvinists’ circle Wankel from start to finish and an embarrassment to any intelligent, educated citizen of the United States.

      *Read or listen to the 9/11 report.

      • Jane

        Hahahaha, I find it absolutely hilarious that you are commenting on how the authors spoke, as you make the comment “Both Porter and Poque speak American very poorly”…So you don’t make a fool of yourself again you may want to change that to, “speak english”…However, since you yourself obviously are incapable of speaking the english language I wouldn’t expect you to understand it. Therefore, my suggestion would be to number one attempt to actually read the narrative, for then you would realize the second authors call sign is “puck”, not “poque”…and number two, have someone else proofread your comments before posting nonsensical crap on the internet…

        • Finspoker

          Howdy neighbour!
          Oh no! I meant to write Phoque,
          not Poque… so seal ya.

          Pity Zbigniew Brzezinski and John Mearsheimer
          were not invited. As a bonus they could have
          replaced softy Ashbrook with Riz Kahn to interview
          the pair.
          These soft headed clowns were bourseting
          at the seams with jingojism and agression;
          OH… YA! That will do wonders for repairing
          your tattered reputation around the world.

          Happy “Head on a Pike” day ewes all.
          Dakey Dunn, NL

    • Bishop

      Let’s extend some of that good education to our less fortunate, undeserved fellow Americans. How about it?

      • Nel

        How about the hard life many in the military live to get the education and expertise they have. They endure more than the non-military american, and by choice.
        The less fortunate and undeserved? The majority of those who fit into the contemporary definition of less fortunate or undeserved are not there but by choice.

        MBishop, you seem only to counter opinions, to demean those who feel differently. I gather that if one does not think as you, you must comment, you must fix them. Sad.

      • Zack

        Hear! Hear! You first.

  • Jamesnpowell

    We could learn much from the Chinese on the interplay of pen and sword, which enjoy a millenia-long relationship in Chinese culture.

    One old Chinese tale tells of a Daoist hermit who was given to meditation in his small bamboo hut, which was lost among waterfalls and mountain mists. One day some dour-faced Confucians made their way to his hut, stepped inside, and saw him sitting there stark naked, abandoned in meditation to the immensity of the Dao.

    “What are you doing, sitting there in your hut stark naked?” the Confucian do-gooders queried.

    The Daoist slowly opened his eyes. He looked up at the Confucians and replied, “This whole universe is my hut. This little hut is only my pants. What are you guys doing inside my pants?”

    There the story ends, but not really, because tales of such repartee between Daoists and Confucianists have been told for centuries. Daoism and Confucianism, in fact, form one of the fundamental dyads underlying much of Chinese thought. Always at odds with each other, they nevertheless need each other, like yin and yang.

    One of the most important Mandarin words is wen (文), which forms half of another influential dyad in early Chinese philosophical, literary, political and aesthetic thought. Wen means ‘literature,’ ‘letters,’ ‘diplomacy.’ The other half of that pair is wu, ‘war.’ In political thought, the Chinese have long disesteemed wu and favored wen. This is evident from the time of the Laozi (“I would rather retreat a mile than advance an inch.”), Sun Tzu’s Art of War (“The art of war does not consist of fighting a hundred battles and winning a hundred battles; the art of war consists of subduing the enemy without fighting.”) and Zhuangzi’s chapter “Discoursing on Swords” to contemporary elaborations such as those of Jet Li. One of the best examples is found in the novel Three Kingdoms. For centuries, passing the civil service exams, the gateway to a meaningful career, required that one be steeped in the Confucian classics and other exemplars of wen.

    So deeply engrained in Chinese culture is wen/wu dialog, that it forms one of the major aesthetic categories. In music and poetry, the wen/wu dyad reappears in the distinction between more lyrical (wen) passages and more abrasive (wu) ones, the haunting “Song of the Pipa” is an excellent example in verse.

    Just as in Chinese medicine, the principle is to build up the inner energy and resources of the individual. A nation, in order to create victory before war must build up its cultural resources — especially education, which is the real basis of strength.

    My dad worked with Herman Kahn in a group that came to be known as “the megadeath intellectuals.” I have heard that Kahn was reputed to have had the highest IQ ever measured. These men were the architects of NATO’s strategic posture vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. (In their spare time in the 50s and 60s, they nibbled at tidbits such as What ELSE can Afghan famers raise –viably?)

    Mr. Kahn looked out over the strategic landscape, took in the view, and deemed hundreds of thousands of casualties an acceptable number in a nuclear exahange.

    Not until after my father’s death did I really learn what he had been up to all those years. I had my suspicions: my mother had to pack a weapon because there was intelligence that Soviet goons were afoot itching to kidnap anyone in my dad’s circle — even family members.

    This group of men woke up in the morning, looked in the mirror, and saw one fundamental fact: a world bristling with nuclear weapons.

    They were paid to think about three problems:

    1. How do we prevent nuclear war?

    2. If we cannot prevent nuclear war, how do we “win” it?

    3. If we cannot win it, how do we survive it?

    Although it was preferable to solve the first problem, most of these guys had bomb shelters in their back yards.

    Their “solution” was the doctrine of mutually assured deterrence and it’s incarnation, the Poseidon system — (a quintissentially Indo-European concept of strength and example of how our myths mould our strategic culture).

    Not much has changed in the logic of this standoff since the 50s. Game theory is game theory.

    As one of a generation of kids who grew up practicing bomb drills at school, like a lot of my schoolmates, in my dreams I suffered from visions of mushroom clouds bursting skyward.

    It was a long time ago, but I remember quite clearly what my dad said in response to my telling him my fears, “You think this is bad, wait until Islamic fundamentalists get ahold of this technology.” When, a decade later, my second Sanskrit professor returned from India with the same warning, I began to take notice. (My first Sanskrit professor was Nandini Iyer, mother of Pico.)

    Now, just when the aging members of The (nuclear) Club tire of the game and even sense its obsolesence among rational players (it did nothing for U.S. efforts in Vietnam, for instance, and any exchange would likely accelerate global warming geometrically), a host of ardent, young upstarts arise, praising the technology as a savior of their faith. Theocratic visions of an Absolute, as Derrida pointed out, tend to include an Apocalyptic coda.

    All our peace rallies, psychedelic fantasies, loving behavior, and international conflicts have, for the last several decades, taken place under a nuclear “umbrella.” Thus we have tended to fight surrogate and low-intensity wars, avoiding conventional warfare for fear of escalation into a nuclear exchange.

    Are the evolutionary biologists right? Are we hard-wired for war? Members of every faith have, for millenia, spoken of peace and brotherhood. Yet, they have never really taken a hard look at belief itself, with its inherent proclivity for producing conlfict.

    The strongmen of Indo-European mythology were the Sky Gods: Jupiter, Thor, Dyus Pitar, Indra, and their aquatic cultural cognates, such as Poseidon. Strength is conceived as the overwhelming lightningbolt announcing itself unexpectedly. The earthly form of the I-E Sky God was the adamant oak (Proto-Indo-European ‘*dur’). ‘Dur’ was the great-great-great grandmother of words such as “durable” and “duracell.” Humans pass away like shadows, but these ancient luminaries remain, informing our thought patterns so tacitly that we remain but their puppets. We still name our weapon systems after them, and prefer to strike from the sky–unexpectedly.

    What really baffled the megadeth intellectuals, their thinking impelled by tacit Indo-European assumptions, was the Taoist concept of strength, based on the yielding, feminine, elusive element of water. During that era Soviets were the only Western nation that had a translation of Sun Tzu. It was the image of water that inspired Mao, who was steeped both in Sun Tzu’s axioms and their applied values in the stories of The Three Kingdoms. Sun Tzu’s highest principle was that the art of war does not consist of fighting a hundred battles and winning a hundred battles. The art of war consists of overcoming the enemy without fighting. Thus, Mao’s emphasis on “hearts and minds.” When one American general, talking shop post-war with his Vietnamese counterpart, boasted that the U.S. had won every major pitched battle it fought against the Vietnamese, the Vietnamese guy agreed but then added, “However, that is irrelevant.” It would have been interesting to see what Khan and crew would have come up with had they been nursed on Taoist rather than Indo-European assumptions.

  • Jamesnpowell

    We could learn much from the Chinese on the interplay of pen and sword, which enjoy a millenia-long relationship in Chinese culture.

    One old Chinese tale tells of a Daoist hermit who was given to meditation in his small bamboo hut, which was lost among waterfalls and mountain mists. One day some dour-faced Confucians made their way to his hut, stepped inside, and saw him sitting there stark naked, abandoned in meditation to the immensity of the Dao.

    “What are you doing, sitting there in your hut stark naked?” the Confucian do-gooders queried.

    The Daoist slowly opened his eyes. He looked up at the Confucians and replied, “This whole universe is my hut. This little hut is only my pants. What are you guys doing inside my pants?”

    There the story ends, but not really, because tales of such repartee between Daoists and Confucianists have been told for centuries. Daoism and Confucianism, in fact, form one of the fundamental dyads underlying much of Chinese thought. Always at odds with each other, they nevertheless need each other, like yin and yang.

    One of the most important Mandarin words is wen (文), which forms half of another influential dyad in early Chinese philosophical, literary, political and aesthetic thought. Wen means ‘literature,’ ‘letters,’ ‘diplomacy.’ The other half of that pair is wu, ‘war.’ In political thought, the Chinese have long disesteemed wu and favored wen. This is evident from the time of the Laozi (“I would rather retreat a mile than advance an inch.”), Sun Tzu’s Art of War (“The art of war does not consist of fighting a hundred battles and winning a hundred battles; the art of war consists of subduing the enemy without fighting.”) and Zhuangzi’s chapter “Discoursing on Swords” to contemporary elaborations such as those of Jet Li. One of the best examples is found in the novel Three Kingdoms. For centuries, passing the civil service exams, the gateway to a meaningful career, required that one be steeped in the Confucian classics and other exemplars of wen.

    So deeply engrained in Chinese culture is wen/wu dialog, that it forms one of the major aesthetic categories. In music and poetry, the wen/wu dyad reappears in the distinction between more lyrical (wen) passages and more abrasive (wu) ones, the haunting “Song of the Pipa” is an excellent example in verse.

    Just as in Chinese medicine, the principle is to build up the inner energy and resources of the individual. A nation, in order to create victory before war must build up its cultural resources — especially education, which is the real basis of strength.

    My dad worked with Herman Kahn in a group that came to be known as “the megadeath intellectuals.” I have heard that Kahn was reputed to have had the highest IQ ever measured. These men were the architects of NATO’s strategic posture vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. (In their spare time in the 50s and 60s, they nibbled at tidbits such as What ELSE can Afghan famers raise –viably?)

    Mr. Kahn looked out over the strategic landscape, took in the view, and deemed hundreds of thousands of casualties an acceptable number in a nuclear exahange.

    Not until after my father’s death did I really learn what he had been up to all those years. I had my suspicions: my mother had to pack a weapon because there was intelligence that Soviet goons were afoot itching to kidnap anyone in my dad’s circle — even family members.

    This group of men woke up in the morning, looked in the mirror, and saw one fundamental fact: a world bristling with nuclear weapons.

    They were paid to think about three problems:

    1. How do we prevent nuclear war?

    2. If we cannot prevent nuclear war, how do we “win” it?

    3. If we cannot win it, how do we survive it?

    Although it was preferable to solve the first problem, most of these guys had bomb shelters in their back yards.

    Their “solution” was the doctrine of mutually assured deterrence and it’s incarnation, the Poseidon system — (a quintissentially Indo-European concept of strength and example of how our myths mould our strategic culture).

    Not much has changed in the logic of this standoff since the 50s. Game theory is game theory.

    As one of a generation of kids who grew up practicing bomb drills at school, like a lot of my schoolmates, in my dreams I suffered from visions of mushroom clouds bursting skyward.

    It was a long time ago, but I remember quite clearly what my dad said in response to my telling him my fears, “You think this is bad, wait until Islamic fundamentalists get ahold of this technology.” When, a decade later, my second Sanskrit professor returned from India with the same warning, I began to take notice. (My first Sanskrit professor was Nandini Iyer, mother of Pico.)

    Now, just when the aging members of The (nuclear) Club tire of the game and even sense its obsolesence among rational players (it did nothing for U.S. efforts in Vietnam, for instance, and any exchange would likely accelerate global warming geometrically), a host of ardent, young upstarts arise, praising the technology as a savior of their faith. Theocratic visions of an Absolute, as Derrida pointed out, tend to include an Apocalyptic coda.

    All our peace rallies, psychedelic fantasies, loving behavior, and international conflicts have, for the last several decades, taken place under a nuclear “umbrella.” Thus we have tended to fight surrogate and low-intensity wars, avoiding conventional warfare for fear of escalation into a nuclear exchange.

    Are the evolutionary biologists right? Are we hard-wired for war? Members of every faith have, for millenia, spoken of peace and brotherhood. Yet, they have never really taken a hard look at belief itself, with its inherent proclivity for producing conlfict.

    The strongmen of Indo-European mythology were the Sky Gods: Jupiter, Thor, Dyus Pitar, Indra, and their aquatic cultural cognates, such as Poseidon. Strength is conceived as the overwhelming lightningbolt announcing itself unexpectedly. The earthly form of the I-E Sky God was the adamant oak (Proto-Indo-European ‘*dur’). ‘Dur’ was the great-great-great grandmother of words such as “durable” and “duracell.” Humans pass away like shadows, but these ancient luminaries remain, informing our thought patterns so tacitly that we remain but their puppets. We still name our weapon systems after them, and prefer to strike from the sky–unexpectedly.

    What really baffled the megadeth intellectuals, their thinking impelled by tacit Indo-European assumptions, was the Taoist concept of strength, based on the yielding, feminine, elusive element of water. During that era Soviets were the only Western nation that had a translation of Sun Tzu. It was the image of water that inspired Mao, who was steeped both in Sun Tzu’s axioms and their applied values in the stories of The Three Kingdoms. Sun Tzu’s highest principle was that the art of war does not consist of fighting a hundred battles and winning a hundred battles. The art of war consists of overcoming the enemy without fighting. Thus, Mao’s emphasis on “hearts and minds.” When one American general, talking shop post-war with his Vietnamese counterpart, boasted that the U.S. had won every major pitched battle it fought against the Vietnamese, the Vietnamese guy agreed but then added, “However, that is irrelevant.” It would have been interesting to see what Khan and crew would have come up with had they been nursed on Taoist rather than Indo-European assumptions.

  • ScienceDriven

    Thank you for giving substantive air-time to the need for a National Strategy (not Security) Narrative. Other non-partisan narrative inspirations from the post-war era include “Self-Renewal” by John Gardner, and “The Vital Center” by Arthur Schlessinger.
    Personally, I have done my utmost as an independent citizen to champion the *scientific* impact on the delivery of life-saving, cost-saving healthcare for all Americans now. Surprisingly, as I learned at the Healthcare Experience Design conference in Boston, this is quite related to the National Narrative proposed by Mr. Y.

  • Zack

    I am not an ecstatic fan of the Germans, but I do admire them for their single abiding vision and their perseverance. I am particularly impressed with their long term dedication to their reunification. It took a long time, but they did it! I believe this is a sign of their national character. What is ours? We have one, of course, and it is expressed in our Constitution (the Preamble) and in our Declaration of Independence. We may be somewhat off course, sometimes, but our national character has not changed. We must each decide if we, individually, are ready to be the kind of Americans who would make G. Washington et all proud of us and what they started.

    • Tatters

      George Washington et al. were literate.

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  • GS in Boston

    I listened to Tom’s program and read the “National Strategic Narriative” last night and again this morning.

    I am struggling to see what is so groundbreaking or dynamic about this piece, it calls for a flexible – multidisciplinary – holistic approach to America’s policies, built upon our fundamental values and interests. It sees the US as an “influencer” rather than a controller of events.

    This sound just like the lectures and discussions I heard when I studied Political Science and Public Policy in the 1970′s at undergraduate school.

    Or is the point of this article that military strategy is 40 years behind American students in learning?

  • andyV

    Sounds like they’ve been researching The Venus Project

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=888600304 John Gordon Eaton

      ah yes, The Venus Project…very interesting ideas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sandra.penzkover Sandra Penzkover

    I was very happy with the topic; however once again, I found myself aggravated and wishing that Tom Ashbrook would do a better job of interviewing. I do not get this same feeling from other interviewers on NPR. So often, it seems like Tom Ashbrook is leading the answer rather than truly inquiring and letting the interviewees tell their opinion. Most of the time Tom Ashbrook seems to be creating a rift, divisiveness, or at best he is just wanting people to know what is his point of view. I find this disruptive to the discussion. Even though there may be a political impact to My Y, these 2 military strategic thinkers, are trying to avoid telling politicians what to do. We desperately need more leaders such as these.

    • MBishop

      Agreed. Like Charley Rose there’s too much interviewer in the interview. There’s also a bit to much summarization and simplification of well formed ideas into simple sentences, usually starting with “So what you’ve said is…”. Not helpful.

      • Noshoneeni

        Did you mean “a bit to munch” Billy?

  • Steed65

    Please forgive my candor, and you might think, rudeness, but this program was mostly jabberwocky. I heard very few coherent, complete sentences from the authors, and certainly no clear strategy other than moving away from massive military foreign policy initiatives. I’m not even going to read the “essay”. Sorry.

    • Zack

      I agree with you. These two guys, who have written a nice article, seemed unable to tell about it in language I can understand. I was disappointed in that, but not the article. I love the Navy and the Marines, but I am used to a little more “eye-level” speech from them.

      • MBishop

        We got plenty of “eye-level” speech from our last president – it didn’t help our country. Time to angle our gaze a little higher.

    • MBishop

      You weren’t listening. Had you been you would have read the article which is exceptional if in no other way than its courage. Sorry you missed it.

      • Noshoneeni

        Billy, Billy, Billy!
        I yam sure he was he or did you mean ‘was he’? Was he, as they, fuzzy? Was dey fuzzy wuzzy? O wit their big stick and their 16 pound her gun, dey no fuzzy, no moor, no slave.

        Godspeed before me!

    • Anonymous

      There are several steps involved in solving problems. Mr. Y is identifying that a problem exists, and setting general guidelines for this. Any solid proposals would likely cause bipartisan conflict in the government as it is now. In fact, the format of this narrative was based on the Long Telegram. The “vagueness” with which this was written is also very similar to how the Telegram was written. However, the Telegram was able to influence former President Truman to support containment policy. Equally, this narrative could potentially influence government to support influential sustainability, as described by Mr. Y.

  • Addie

    In my opinion as a retired journalist, Tom Ashcroft is the best interviewer on the air today. Capt. Porter and Col. Mickleby’s insights are another example of how military thinkers often come up with new ways of doing things which are soon adopted appreciatively by academia, industry and the public in general. Then nobody even remembers who said it first.

  • http://twitter.com/feet_in_usa Feet in USA

    Yes, maybe the US military would do more good for peaceful pursuits, as they did by inventing the Internet.

    • guesto

      Yeah that one went really well, now we are so much more efficient we have easy access to porn (of which about 75% of home computers are used for) and we waste all the rest of our time on facebook. Great, more like something to keep us distracted so the military can have playdates in Pakistan.

  • http://twitter.com/feet_in_usa Feet in USA

    Maybe it would help if US citizens stopped murdering their best leaders such as MLK Jr.

  • http://twitter.com/feet_in_usa Feet in USA

    Maybe some people should attempt a translation into plain language and keep running the drafts by the original authors to check whether the translation sticks to their intended meaning.

  • http://twitter.com/feet_in_usa Feet in USA

    Guns should be cleaned with mineral oil. Butter will go rancid and stink.

    • Anonymous

      If you couldn’t understand what they were saying, how are you able to accurately refute them? Also, the guns and butter analogy here doesn’t make sense; resolving the weapons issue with mineral oil? Hopefully, “mineral oil” stands for something.

      • likestoread

        Maybe “mineral oil” refers to something strong and solid, made of rock, like moral fiber.  Maybe it’s a poetic/deep tissue meaning, of the sort that loses power when made banal with literal explanation.

  • Rholaday

    I believe these two officers have added the filler in the Narrative necessary to satisfy those looking for the academic liberal edu-speak solutions. I believe Mr. Y has made an end run on academia. I will cheery pick (like that done above) what I believe they really say the Strategic Narrative should look like.

    Mr. Y’s words.
    “Our first investment priority, then, is intellectual capital…. Our second investment priority is ensuring the nation’s sustainable security – on our own soil and wherever Americans and their interests take them.. Our third investment priority is to develop a plan for the sustainable access to cultivation and use of, the natural resources we need for our continued well being, prosperity and economic growth in the world marketplace.”

    “Americans must recognize this is an inevitable part of the strategic environment and continue to maintain the means to minimize, deter, or defeat these diverging or conflicting interests that threaten our security. This calls for a robust, technologically superior and agile military -equally capable of responding to low-end, irregular conflicts and to major conventional contingency operations.”

    “Only by developing internal strength through smart growth at home and smart power abroad, applied with strategic agility, can we muster the credible influence needed to remain a world leader.”

    ” We will pursue our national interests…..never betraying our values. We will encourage fair competition and will not shy away from deterring bad behavior.”

    I am a concerned citizen who sees the rest of the article as fluff that does not realistically translate into any meaningful action steps. Other aspects do not reflect the concepts held by middle America. The writer of the Preface sees this as a first step down a new path. These guys have talked right over her head and she bought it.

    • Sailordl

      They’re not necessarily *trying* to reflect concepts held by middle America – they’re stating what *they* think we need to do to maintain a strong, secure nation.  If they thought most of middle America agreed, they wouldn’t need to write a paper.

  • Jinxnolan

    I think Tom Ashbrook is a good interviewer but it does irritate me when he answers his own questions, wants to inject his own opinion/knowledge,  instead of waiting to hear what the expert/interviewee has to say.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pamela-Grace/100000831166803 Pamela Grace

    no matter what the taxer payers looses in the end we are headed for the poor house as the us keeps allowing them to take our hard working money to surport other countries when are we going to wake up.

  • DrJ

    OK — pro and con. What is new?
    Well, for myself and many, it is not so much a question as to whether evolution in policy or attempts at policy paradigm shifts are possible. We have already moved on and are fully engaged in implementation in the “by the people” milieu. Breakthrough policy follows action by those who are disinclined to debate. The actions inherent to this amazing and bold new national security view are legal, they can be taken right now for little expense by anyone willing to engage.
    Thanks now to all who are doing so and to those who will be doing so.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeddy-Mctedder/100002076043521 Jeddy Mctedder

    this is psy-ops right here. i dont’ believe this for a second. anyone who does is ignoring the history of the mic for the last 50 years, or simply ignorant of it. 

  • http://twitter.com/tedmagnuson Ted Magnuson

    Amen. Put this on your agenda, Mr 2012 Presidential Candidates. The Government/Private partnership needs to be reexamined. We can no longer afford Military adventurism and tax breaks. To the point about oil, if it is so precious, then how come we aren’t taxing it as heavily as is done in the UK, Europe and elsewhere. That would help fund and prioritize the American travels in the future.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

 
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

American companies bailing out on America. They call it inversion. Is it desertion?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

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3 Comments