On the road to NATO Summit, FPRI thoughts & shots beyond Afghanistan

Delivered by SWJ grunts, some FPRI thoughts and shots on Defense Showstoppers: National Security Challenges for the Obama Administration. A Conference Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Reserve Officers Association, held in Washington, D.C.

I got the phone call that I was going to be the Allied Commander Transformation and Commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command when I was in Kabul, Afghanistan, so I called for a map of NATO. They didn’t have one there, so they got me a map of the world. At that point I was a Marine from California who answered to John Abizaid and Admiral Fallon as the Marine Force’s Central Command. There I was in Kabul, closer to Brussels than Brussels is to my current headquarters in Norfolk. And therein lies part of the problem. Right now, we are superior to our enemies in terms of nuclear warfare and conventional warfare (we’ve lost a little bit of that edge, but we’ll get it back very quickly), but we are not superior in irregular warfare, and that is what we’ve got to do.

(from Joint Warfare in the 21st Century, by General James Mattis, March 2009)

The Obama Administration will face numerous challenges to U.S. national security. Among these, several stand out for their potential as “showstoppers,” where, if the challenge is not met, the U.S. may suffer a strategic loss of capability:

+ What is the proper balance between counterinsurgency and traditional military formations in our planning?

+ With respect to the procurement process, the defense industrial base, and the budget, are we short-changing the future?

+ Can the U.S. meet its responsibilities with the current active-reserve structure? And if not, how?

+ Seven years into the Long War, how can we improve coordination among Defense, State, the CIA, and others?

In this conference, our objective is to set forth clearly the actions needed to sustain America’s defense capability.
Conference Report

Defense Showstoppers: National Security Challenges for the Obama Administration— A Conference Report, Michael P. Noonan, 3/2009

Speakers and Topics

Opening Remarks

· Lt. General Dennis M. McCarthy (USMC, Ret.), Executive Director, ROA
· Harvey Sicherman, President, FPRI

Panel 1: How Will We Fight? (Roles and Missions)
Audio/video: How Will We Fight?

· T.X. Hammes

· Stephen Biddle, Senior Fellow for Defense Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
· Roger Carstens, Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

Moderator: Michael Horowitz, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania, and Senior Fellow, FPRI

Panel 2: At What Cost? (Procurement/Defense Budget)
Towards a Balanced and Sustainable Defense, FPRI E-Notes, 3/2009
Audio/video: At What Cost?

· Frank Hoffman, Research Fellow, Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and Senior Fellow, FPRI

· Mackenzie Eaglen, Senior Policy Analyst for National Security, Heritage Foundation
· Christopher Preble, CATO Institute

· Michael P. Noonan, Director, National Security Program, FPRI

Keynote: Joint Warfare in the 21st Century
Joint Warfare in the 21st Century, Gen. James Mattis, FPRI E-Notes3/2009
Audio/video: Joint Warfare in the 21st Century

· Gen. James Mattis, USMC, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command
· Introduction by the Hon. John Hillen, Trustee, FPRI

· Panel 3: Who Will Fight For Us? (Personnel)
Audio/video: Who Will Fight For Us?

· Michael O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Brookings Institution

· Thomas L. McNaugher, Senior Principal Researcher, RAND Corporation
· Frederick W. Kagan, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

· Mackubin T. Owens, Editor, Orbis, and Associate Dean, U.S. Naval War College

· Panel 4: Brother, do you have a DIME? (Interagency) (Or, how to improve relations among U.S. agencies responsible for marshalling the four elements of national power – Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic?)

America’s Broken Interagency, FPRI E-Notes, Hon. Thomas A. Schweich, 3/2009
Audio/video: Brother, do you have a DIME?

· Janine Davidson, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

· Ralph Peters, author
· Hon. Thomas A. Schweich, Visiting Professor of Law and Ambassador in Residence, Washington University in St. Louis

· Frank Hoffman, Research Fellow, Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and Senior Fellow, FPRI

Concluding remarks: Harvey Sicherman, President, FPRI

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