October 9, 2013  

Post-Western strategy | How to tackle the QDR | NSA’s conflicting missions

This piece by Robert A. Manning is a bit longer than the ones we usually link to, and more generally about global problem-solving than military action. Yet “U.S. Planning in a Post-Western World” is worth reading for its clear-eyed look at the world and where it’s going: “[D]ifferent issues and problems will require different tools and different constellations of actors to obtain results. The operative principle should be ‘form follows function’: who has a seat at the table depends on who is able and willing to act on a given issue. The test of leadership will be the ability to mobilise partners to solve problems.” (Atlantic Council)

Two takes on the upcoming QDR:

• Joseph Collins’ “A Guide to the QDR” (AFJ, free registration required)
• Robert Haddick’s “The Pentagon Is Not Adapting” (War On The Rocks)

Security guru Bruce Schneier argues that NSA’s decision to foster backdoors for eavesdropping is undercutting its other responsibility: to protect U.S. military and critical infrastructure communications from foreign attack. “Historically, these two missions have not come into conflict…But with the rise of mass-market computing and the Internet, the two missions have become interwoven…Finding a vulnerability — or creating one — and keeping it secret to attack the bad guys necessarily leaves the good guys more vulnerable. (The Guardian)

Warlord’s Quote of the Day

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” — President Ronald Reagan

Contributed by Joe Banavige, who has deployed to Iraq (State Department) and Afghanistan (Civilian Expeditionary Workforce) with a primary focus on economic and financial policy. From a list compiled by the Warlord Loop, a private email forum for national security experts.

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