Real change requires budgets, bureaucratic platforms and visionary leaders who can be both champion and evangelist. Having successfully lobbied for the retention of Secretary Gates, the small wars/COIN/military reform/strategic security community should capitalize on the logical political momentum and not be afraid to ask for the moon. This and many other things.
The United States and the world are at the kind of crystallizing flux point – where paradigm shifts have been recognized but the policy responses have not been decided – that comes once in a half century or more. Many things are fluid right now in different domains that were once regarded as certainties. Time to push while doors and minds are open.
People, like Secretary Gates, who “get it” need to be put in critical positions ASAP. Broadly speaking, what gets decided in the next 6 months may impact all of us for the next 60 years.