May 13, 2014

Washington's Sleeping Sickness

By Paul Scharre, and Shawn Brimley

Source: Foreign Policy

Journalist(s) David Rothkopf

In the seat of American power, power spends most of its time on its seat. That's because, as Henry Kissinger once observed, the greatest force at work in America's capital is inertia.

It handily trumps partisanship and also leaves the more positive drivers of action that one might hope for in a government -- such as leadership, creativity, or moral courage -- coughing and wheezing in the dust.

One clear, compelling illustration of this is on display in this issue ofForeign Policy. Shawn Brimley and Paul Scharre's thoughtful and thought-provoking visual feature, "Ctrl+Alt+Delete: Resetting the U.S. Military," asks the sensible question: What would the military look like if we were to design it today from scratch? Certainly, the piece observes, the military would not include the breathtaking redundancies, efficiency-killing bureaucracy, and obsolete systems of today's bloated defense apparatus. You might disagree with the feature's conclusions about what a right-sized, technologically up-to-date, doctrinally sound military, conceived and prepared to ensure America's safety and worldwide interests, might look like. That's perfectly reasonable. But it is impossible not to conclude that the feature's call to debate what the military should look like and then implement the agreed-upon changes makes sense.

Please visit Foreign Policy to read the full article. 

  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is author of the forthcoming book, A...

  • Shawn Brimley

    Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

    Shawn Brimley is Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) where he manages the center’s research agenda and staff. Mr....