October 1, 2008  

In this issue

America is at war, new flashpoints around the world threaten our security almost daily, and force modernization has lurched to a point that almost all major military recapitalization programs are critical requirements. None of this is yet apparent in the top priorities listed by either presidential campaign. In our cover story this month, national security experts Mackenzie Eaglen and Eric Sayers join Aerospace Industries Association president Marion Blakey to lay out a compelling case why this is unacceptable. They also prioritize the defense budget and modernization needs for the next administration to address. Winslow Wheeler, a Washington maverick, rounds out this timely package with a caution that it’s not just money that’s needed, but also a properly audited Pentagon.

The risks of not stepping up to those priorities are underscored by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s article in which he warns that complacency, bureaucracy and well-intentioned meddling could jeopardize homeland security efforts.

Paul Giarra, meanwhile, looks at American security from a global alliance management viewpoint and, in particular, what Washington should do about a key ally — Japan — that is in political turmoil.

In Perspectives, Ralph Peters chides politicians for their misuse of words and unwillingness to speak plainly, an accusation that cannot be made of Ralph, the ultimate to-the-point words craftsman.

Derek Ruth’s essay on zombies, botnets and the likelihood of a cyber war picks up on Col. Charles Williamson’s article in May that sparked much interest and debate among AFJ readers — for more, see our forum at http://armedforcesjournal.com. (And note for next month, the essay will be the winning entry in our Read Different, Think Different contest.)

Lt. Col. Rob Lyman begins this month’s issue with an analysis of interagency operations (or lack thereof) and how that political jigsaw might be pieced together into a coherent picture.