February 28th, 2013
The politically delayed confirmation of Chuck Hagel to become the Secretary of Defense could well be a pivot point, and an essential one, for the future of the Department. It is time for this most important arm of the government to become more aligned with 21st century realities.
Much of the thinking in the United States, and particularly in Washington D.C., is what I call legacy thinking. We have powered into the 21st century thinking thoughts from the 20th century. Certainly if one is over 40 much of what one thinks was shaped in the last century. If you first developed a thought about “what is true, or right” in 1980 or1990 it may no longer be so “right” in 2013. Holding onto legacy thoughts from decades past means that one is standing in a house built in the past looking out through the window at the present, with little, if any view of the future.
When the Department of Defense was created in the late 1940s, the fundamental mission was to have a stronger nation state military than any other country, particularly the Soviet Union. This was right after the country has won WWII largely due to a massive and rapid scale-up of our industrial base. We had just moved from defeating fascism to facing the Soviet Union. It was in this context that the Department of Defense was created and given its mission.
The scale up was so rapid, large and successful that even the greatest American general of the last …
October 16th, 2007
Congratulations to Al Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Congratulations to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for sharing in that prize. There could be no better recipients for the Peace Prize than the man who, more than anyone else has raised the awareness of global warming, and for the international body of scientists that, finally, lifted the dialogue about global warming out of the world of opinion and into the world of science.
Regular readers know that I have often written about global warming. Here I discussed the Intergovernmental Panel, and here I spoke about the change in consciousness about the subject that occurred in 2006, when â€œInconvenient Truthâ€ came out. Yes, I am an environmentalist, and yes I have long believed that global warming, and mansâ€™ contribution to it was one of the most important issues we face today. As a futurist however I also see it as one of the greatest challenges in human history. Why the Nobel Peace Prize? What does global warming have to do with peace? There are two reasons.
The first is the clear view that global warming for the next two decades will create tensions between nations and even, in the U.S. between states. Climate change is going to create droughts, famine, shortages of water and competition …