Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

There can be little doubt that the US military finds itself at what could be called a strategic crossroads. In one respect the American hegemony is reliant on both America's economic might and connectivity as well as America's exceedingly dominant military. Advanced technology, firepower and as wide a sphere of influence as possible allow America to maintain not a global hold so much as a global perspective and the propensity for global response. This global response could entail lending a hand in fighting the Abu Sayaff in the Phillipines, COIN training in Columbia, serving as disaster relief in the wake of a massive tsunami in Indonesia or bobbing around in Naval fashion off the coast of Taiwan in a deterrent fashion as the mainland rhetoric gets heated. Were Carl von Clausewitz to walk from the 19th century into the 21st he'd likely point and say, "See?"

At the same time America finds itself in two wars where the high tech and powerful war machinery necessary to project global power play a small role beyond support and logistics. The conditions of our planetary societies have made asymmetric warfare more... Symmetric. At least in terms of tactics and outcome. All the F-22's we can produce are not, within the limits of todays "acceptable" warfare, going to settle Iraq or Afghanistan.

These issues along with demographic and enlistment challenges put the American military in a precarious position from many fronts. How to maintain enlistment goals, what grand and sub-strategies to follow as the uncertain future becomes the now? This panel discussion, involving Robert Kaplan, Admiral Gary Roughead and James Steinberg take these issues on.

If you're a reader of Thomas Barnett pay close attention around 43:00 where James Stanley (a deputy national security adviser to Pres. Clinton) basically lays out something very much like Tom's SysAdmin. Stanley envisions a civilian corp the likes of the Peace Corp only focused on diplomacy. At any rate, here's the video: