Monday, December 21, 2009

New Journal Hopes to Buy a Clue

The National Defense University just launched a new, quarterly foreign policy/defense journal. Called the PRISM, it says it is:
tailored to serve policy-makers, scholars and practitioners working to enhance U.S. Government competency in complex operations by exploring whole-of-community approaches among U.S. Government agencies, academic institutions, international governments and militaries, non-governmental organizations and other participants in the complex operations space. PRISM is chartered by the Center for Complex Operations (CCO) and it welcomes articles on a broad range of complex operations issues, especially those that focus on the nexus of civil-military integration.
Hans Binnendijk and Patrick M. Cronin in the Journal's introductory article, Through the Complex Operations Prism explains the journal's mission:
It has been over 12 years since the Bill Clinton administration released Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 56, “Managing Complex Contingency Operations.” PDD 56 was issued in May 1997 to direct the institutionalization within the executive branch of lessons learned from such complex operations as Panama, Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia. Our recent frustrations in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the deaths of over 5,000 American soldiers and civilians, and multiple trillions of dollars in war-related costs have caused us once again to scrutinize the failures of our approach to complex operations and to reapply ourselves to a better understanding of those operations and the environments they are meant to address.
In the spirit of neo-cons admitting that they have failed, which appears to be the real theme of the journal, the first issue features an interview with former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. It also appears to be the only article that anyone in DC has read.  Tom Ricks gently lists the highlights in his blog.

By "gently,"I mean he simply lists, but does not comment on, some of Armitage's surprising slaps at the Bush Administration including that there did not seem to be any real presidential consultation to invade Iraq. Ricks also does not note that Armitage admitted to failing to understand soon enough that there was a difference between the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Armitage also does not have much use for female leadership and was delighted when folks told him that the "Rice years were terrible." He felt she failed to develop that military espirt de corps that Powell did; and he did not think that Hillary Clinton could either. You know, the girls were not "inculcated" with this.

Maybe someone should tell Armitage that the new president of the National Defense University is Vice Admiral Ann E. Rondeau, USN, who assumed duties as the 13th President of from Lieutenant General Frances C. Wilson, USMC, on July 10, 2009. Probably, those girls know a thing or two about espirt de corps.


  1. He didn't say there was no Presidential order, he said there was no discussion/debate on doing so.

  2. Thank you Anon for the correction.
    Why are you Anon?


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