Saturday, July 31st, 2004
THINKING ABOUT PNM: LEVIATHAN VS. SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR FORCE
While driving down to Boston from Bar Harbor the other day I mulled over the new type of force structure that Dr. Barnett envisions called ” System Administrator ” that would complement the already existing ” Leviathan ” capability of the United States military. In part Dr. Barnett is asking the USG to reorganize some of the things the military already does in ” missions other than war ” but he’s also indicating the need for evolution toward a whole new service. ” Small Wars ” involve ” Big Chores ” that extend beyond blowing up bad guys and their real estate. I’m going to blog in more detail later but here’s the difference, as I see it, between ” Leviathan ” and ” System Administrator ” in quick and dirty conceptual terms. First, what Leviathan is:
Unidimensional ( warfighting)
Chain of Command
Leviathan would be the composed of the core forces assembled to fight ” the big one ” – carriers, armored divisions, strategic bombers and the like. A very large and dramatic iron fist designed to do one thing – swiftly crush an opponent completely and utterly.
By contrast, System Administrator would have to be good at many things traditionally done by peacetime governments while still retaining the organization and combat ability of a military force. The purpose here is ” Connectivity ” for struggling or failed states; the System Administrator comes in and helps these societies connect to the Core by alleviating multiple problems long enough for the Gap state to ” catch it’s breath ” and stabilize. In other words, the System Administrator would have significant para-civilian program capabilities backed by military prowess.
Regional or Local
A System Administrator force is much more like an expedition than an invasion. Sure there are Special Operations guys to engage in counterinsurgency, counterterrorism and training but the army engineer, the medical corpsman or the legal advisor might be, in a given situation, just as important to the success of the mission to ” Shrink the Gap “. Flexibility, adaptibility and creative engagement would be the watchwords of a hypothetical System Administration force.
Sort of the Alliance for Progress…. but with Apache helicopters for air support.