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Credit Where Credit is Due

After my Two Quite Reasonable Observations post, I had some uncharacteristically swift and well-informed feedback that pointed to IC amd military working groups, quietly engaged in the very kind of strategic futurism that I hoped to see the USG explore. As I cannot share confidential correspondence, I was delighted that the gents at Kent’s Imperative took up the same cudgel in public.

Vision and error

The recurring debate regarding such matters has once again surfaced in a series of blog posts at Global Guerrillas, Fabius Maximus, Zenpundit, and Opposed Systems Design.We must take exception with John Robb’s comment that there “isn’t a single research organization or think tank that is seriously studying, analyzing or synthesizing the future of warfare and terrorism”. Such statements, of course, are a common enough type of criticism which stems from what is also unfortunately a common error – the assumption that because one is not aware of a particular effort, then it must not exist. While not every shop which concerns itself with the problems of contemporary asymmetric conflict looks up from the current fight, there are a number of efforts which have attempted to answer the question of “what next” alongside the other work exploring the “what” and “so what” which tends to dominate current publications. Among just a few of the recent public aspects of such efforts that we can name off the top of our heads are the Proteus project, JFCOM’s Deep Futures project, and several of the publications authored by folks at the USMC’s Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities, the Naval War College and Army War College, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Air University, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, the National Defense Intelligence College, and many other elements within the khaki tower. Of course, to this we should also add the Global Futures Forum effort where it touches upon related areas of interest.

….We would also argue that this is already occurring to some extent within the intelligence community itself, particularly given the emerging style of smaller, more specific papers circulated in an almost academic fashion as discussion points. Indeed, we see this beginning to reshape coordination efforts prior to more formalized, and more visible assessments for major publications. We certainly see a greater role for outside subject matter experts and other thinkers in the process, but while far from perfect, this is quickly evolving given recent emphasis on analytic outreach.In short, the there that these gentlemen appear to be reaching for is already there – just not evenly distributed….”

This is certainly good news, from my perspective. Hopefully, those readers out there – and there appear to be more than I had realized – who have their hands in this process on ” the inside” will continue to push the USG’s intellectual range and bureaucratic boundaries. We are all well-served by their sub rosa efforts and I offer a hearty “Huzzah!” in their honor.

One Response to “Credit Where Credit is Due”

  1. vimothy Says:

    I.e., no evidence of disease is not evidene of no disease!

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