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Archive for January, 2009

Outstanding interview with Winslow Wheeler and COL GI Wilson about America’s Defense Meltdown on the radio yesterday.  This is the moral courage that leaders of character possess to tell unpopular truths with harder to take solutions to fix those problems.
 
 
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America’s Defense Meltdown

Our leaders in Washington may be fully aware of the current financial crisis, but they might be unprepared for the possible collapse of our national defense. That’s the warning from military and civilian defense experts in the anthology “America’s Defense Meltdown” edited by Winslow Wheeler. The book’s contributing authors argue that the country is descending deeper into debt from out-of-control spending on costly and ineffective weapons. Larry Mantle talks with Winslow Wheeler, and G.I. Wilson about the breakdown of the country’s military-industrial complex and what should be done about it.

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(Left, clockwise) Lt. Col. Raymond Dickerson, 442nd Signal Battalion, Capt. Kyle Yates, Headquarters A Co. 442nd Signal Battalion, Maurice Canady, 442nd Signal Battalion and Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Rickerson, 442nd Signal Battalion discuss their scenario with facilitator (center) retired Maj. Donald Vandergriff during a training session Aug. 21, 2008 at Fort Gordon, Ga.,

Innovative training methods mold next generation leaders

Lt. Col. Kris Ellis
442nd Signal Battalion
September 12, 2008

A seminar recently met, breaking into working groups, talking through scenarios; but there were no agendas, no established break times and really no boundries or guidance given.

The instructor didn’t even introduce himself. The students could just let their thoughts run. Could freeing up the training environment help leaders learn how to make decisions fast? (more…)

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“America’s Defense Meltdown”  makes The Washington Monthly’s list of 25 books recommended for President Obama

The latest edition of The Washington Monthly features an article “What Obama Should Read: Twenty-five books the new president should have by his bedside.” James Fallows, author and national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly, recommends “America’s Defense Meltdown,” describing the book as “by an all-star array of truly expert authors. There is no better, terser, more comprehensive or authoritative introduction to an independent, realistic perspective on the Pentagon – complete with the facts, details and nuance to give Obama confidence in these views.”

To access the complete Washington Monthly article, please click  here.

Order your own copy of the critically acclaimed “America’s Defense Meltdown” here.

Fallows specific comments on “America’s Defense Meltdown” follow:

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Commentary
How Obama Can Outfox the Pentagon

By: Carlton Meyer
Date: 27-01-2009

President Obama is popular because he has yet to change anything. It is
uncertain if he will attempt serious reforms. Although he campaigned on a
message of change, his cabinet appointees are Washington insiders
with a record of maintaining the status quo. On the other hand, if
Obama wants change he needs people with political and bureaucratic
experience. Reform requires good ideas, public support, and cunning to
outfox established political forces.

Follow this link:
http://www.sandersresearch.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1390

(c) Copyright Sanders Research Associates Limited, 2008
All rights reserved.

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I am honored by John Sayen’s mention of my work.  I am also proud to say I did not know about this oped until it just came out. Yes, John and I are friends, but he is very sparing with his compliments (anyone who has read his introduction to the America’s Defense Meltdown can attest to that).

I wish that the President Obama would listen to some of us instead of what appears to be all defense insiders (from contractors and think tanks). If the President surely wants true change (and I belive he does) he would bring in some of the authors from America’s Defense Meltdown. I don’t have any hope for Congress unless the President does it.

Don

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Though I hate the phrase, “first test” for the Obama Administration, it is important to see how the administration handles the appointment of William Lynn to the Pentagon given the excellent ethical guidelines issued yesterday by the President. This could be an outstanding opportunity to start reform, by denying Mr. Lynn his revolving door into the Pentagon from his lofty lobbyist job at the Defense Industry (plus his record from our standpoint is not very good).

Please Mr. President (and the aides consulting him) begin with the right foot.

Don

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REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN WELCOMING SENIOR STAFF AND CABINET SECRETARIES TO THE WHITE HOUSE

1:18 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Please be seated. Still getting used to that whole thing. (Laughter.) Please be seated. Thank you so much. I wanted to get everyone together on the first day to welcome you to the White House.

From our vantage point yesterday you couldn’t help but be inspired by the sight of Americans as far as the eye could see. They were there because they believe this is a moment of great change in America, a time for reinvigorating our democracy and remaking our country. They’ve entrusted all of us with a great responsibility. And so today I’d like to talk with you about our responsibility to keep that trust. (more…)

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