Archive for the ‘Official’ Category

National Security Strategy

The White House, May 2010. Hosted on the Commonwealth Institute website.
http://www.comw.org/qdr/fulltext/1005NSS.pdf

Nuclear Posture Review – 2010

Office of the Secretary of Defense, 06 April 2010. Hosted on the Commonwealth Institute website.
http://www.comw.org/qdr/fulltext/2010NPR.pdf

Speech by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mullen at Kansas State University

as delivered by Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas Wednesday, 03 March 2010.
http://www.jcs.mil/speech.aspx?ID=1336

Excerpt:

I’ve come to three conclusions – three principles – about the proper use of modern military forces:

1) … military power should not – maybe cannot – be the last resort of the state. Military forces are some of the most flexible and adaptable tools to policymakers. We can, merely by our presence, help alter certain behavior. Before a shot is even fired, we can bolster a diplomatic argument, support a friend or deter an enemy. We can assist rapidly in disaster-relief efforts, as we did in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake. We can help gather intelligence, support reconnaissance and provide security.

And we can do so on little or no notice. That ease of use is critical for deterrence. An expeditionary force that provides immediate, tangible effects. It is also vital when innocent lives are at risk. So yes, the military may be the best and sometimes the first tool; it should never be the only tool.

2) Force should, to the maximum extent possible, be applied in a precise and principled way.

3) Policy and strategy should constantly struggle with one another. Some in the military no doubt would prefer political leadership that lays out a specific strategy and then gets out of the way, leaving the balance of the implementation to commanders in the field. But the experience of the last nine years tells us two things: A clear strategy for military operations is essential; and that strategy will have to change as those operations evolve. In other words, success in these types of wars is iterative; it is not decisive.

Editor’s Comment:

Mullen’s first principle is dangerous in the extreme. It is a sad reminder of the militarization of the American state. Mullen suffers from an inexplicable amnesia of the horrors of war in the 20th Century.

America will likely be paying a high price for decades to come in what comes around from the quick and easy resort to war in 2002-2003 by policy-makers enthralled with their military instrument. If war is not a last resort, then policy-makers are abject failures as leaders.

The Path to Nuclear Security: Implementing the President’s Prague Agenda

Remarks of Vice President Biden at National Defense University – As Prepared for Delivery, 18 February 2010.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-vice-president-biden-national-defense-university

Excerpt:

Now, as our technology improves, we are developing non-nuclear ways to accomplish that same objective. The Quadrennial Defense Review and Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which Secretary Gates released two weeks ago, present a plan to further strengthen our preeminent conventional forces to defend our nation and our allies.

Capabilities like an adaptive missile defense shield, conventional warheads with worldwide reach, and others that we are developing enable us to reduce the role of nuclear weapons, as other nuclear powers join us in drawing down. With these modern capabilities, even with deep nuclear reductions, we will remain undeniably strong.

Editor’s Comment:

When Vice President Biden speaks of plans to “further strengthen … preeminent conventional forces” with “capabilities like an adaptive missile defense shield” and “conventional warheads with worldwide reach” he seeks to reassure his domestic audience that nuclear disarmament will not make America less secure. His words, however, do not reassure other nuclear powers or potential future nuclear powers such as Iran who will perceive these enhanced American conventional capabilities as strategic threats to their national security.

Biden surely understands that he is not really offering us a pathway to nuclear abolition. We will not get there if other nations are expected to relinquish their nuclear arsenals to face “undeniable” conventional power from the U.S.

If Biden’s speech truly represents the elaboration of the “President’s Prague Agenda” it leaves us with a very big gap (conceptually and practically) between the near term goal Biden articulates (“We will work to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”) and the longer term goal (“We are working both to stop [nuclear weapons] proliferation and eventually to eliminate them.”) which President Obama confirmed in Prague.

Summary of the DoD Fiscal 2011 Budget Proposal

DoD summary prepared for press briefing, 01 February 2010. Hosted on the Commonwealth Institute website.
http://www.comw.org/qdr/fulltext/FY11budgetsummary-dod.pdf

Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) 2010

Office of the Secretary of Defense, 01 February 2010. Hosted on the Commonwealth Institute website.
http://www.comw.org/qdr/fulltext/1002QDR2010.pdf

Quadrennial Defense Review 2010

Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR) Report 2010

Office of the Secretary of Defense, 01 February 2010. Hosted on the Commonwealth Institute website.
http://www.comw.org/qdr/fulltext/1002BMDR.pdf

QDR 2010 – final version, early release

final version as published by InsideDefense.com on 30 January 2010. Hosted on the Commonwealth Institute website.
http://www.comw.org/qdr/fulltext/100130qdr2010.pdf