The United States is Rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region. This is crucial to national security.


The second decade of the 21st century ushered in a strategic shift for the United States. President Obama’s remarks to the Australian Parliament two years ago was just one speech in a constant drumbeat of United States’ officials emphasizing this rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region or, as it is often called, the United States Pivot to the Pacific. Regardless of what term is used, the emphasis on this shift has been intense. This is how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it in a major article in Foreign Policy:

One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment – diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise – in the Asia-Pacific region… At a time when the region is building a more mature security and economic architecture to promote stability and prosperity, U.S. commitment there is essential… Beyond our borders, people are also wondering about America’s intentions – our willingness to remain engaged and to lead. In Asia, they ask whether we are really there to stay, whether we are likely to be distracted again by events elsewhere, whether we can make – and keep – credible economic and strategic commitments, and whether we can back those commitments with action.

Read the full article regarding the United States Pivot to the Pacific on the Defense Media Network website here.

Check out My Publication of Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds


The National Intelligence Council (NIC) has recently released their comprehensive quadrennial report forecasting global trends that have a major impact on our world, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds.”  In shorthand – GT2030. Global Trends 2030 helps us have an informed and well-nuanced view of the future. This is not as easy as it sounds, for, as John Maynard Keynes famously said in 1937: “The idea of the future being different from the present is so repugnant to our conventional modes of thought and behavior that we, most of us, offer a great resistance to acting on it in practice.”

NIC has been in existence for over three decades and represents the primary way the U.S. intelligence community (IC) communicates in the unclassified realm.  Initially a “wholly-owned subsidiary” of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the NIC now works directly for the director of national intelligence and presents the collective research and analysis of the entire IC, an enterprise comprising 16 agencies with a combined budget of well over $60 billion.  In a sentence: There is no more comprehensive analysis of future trends available anywhere, at any price. It’s not an overstatement to say this 160-page document represents the most definitive analytical look at the future security environment.
Read more about Global Trends 2030 on the Defense Media Network website here.

Ballistic missile defense (BMD) and the US

Ballistic missile defense (BMD) is one of the most important missions for the United States’ military – and it is one that is growing in importance – with rouge nations such as North Korea and Iran possessing ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction.

The U.S. Navy’s contribution to U.S. BMD is based on the Aegis weapon system and has been on patrol in guided-missile cruisers and destroyers since 2004. Aegis BMD has grown in importance based on its proven performance as well as its long-term potential.

For years, the U.S. Navy’s contribution to U.S. BMD was secondary to many other systems. Today, the U.S. Navy is “in the van” as we describe in our article in the US Navel Institute Proceedings.

DMN on Increased Autonomy for Military Unmanned Systems

Military, intelligence, and industry officials are nearly universal in their praise for unmanned systems (UxS). These systems have been used extensively in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and will continue to be equally relevant – if not more so – as the United States’ strategy shifts towards the Asia-Pacific region and the high-end warfare this strategy requires. Indeed, UxS are already creating strategic, operational, and tactical possibilities that did not exist a decade ago.

But many wonder about a potential “dark side” as unmanned systems become even more autonomous. This was the subject of my article “Where is Increased Autonomy for Military Unmanned Systems Leading?” published in Defense 2013 in Review, Fall 2013.
and also carried on the Defense Media Network’s website at this link:

Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, China, and Dr. Andrew Erickson


On his blog site, Dr. Andrew Erickson of the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) reviewed our forthcoming Naval War College Review article, Brad Hicks, George Galdorisi, and Scott C. Truver, “The Aegis BMD Global Enterprise: A ‘High-End’ Maritime Partnership,” Naval War College Review, 65.3 (Summer 2012). So what’s the connection?

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The World’s Next “Flash Point:” The South China Sea

The South China Sea

While it would be too much of a stretch to say World War III will start there, it is beyond argument that the tensions in the South China Sea (SCS) have been a source of extreme friction that has escalated into conflict between China and her smaller neighbors.  Five years ago, few people paid attention to the SCS.  Now they are – and for good reason.

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Looking at the Future; Autonomous

Center for Naval Analysis

The Grand Challenge

As a naval analyst looking at major military trends, one of the most cutting-edge and intriguing technologies out there is in the area of autonomous systems.  But are we really leveraging this awesome technology in the most effective way.  Maybe not.

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Extrapolating Current Trends: We Know Where the U.S. Navy will be Operating in the Next Decade

Center for Naval Analysis

Whether it is the intelligence community, the military, industry, or just individuals attempting to get some notion of what the future holds, extrapolating current trends to determine likely outcomes in years “downstream” is absolutely essential to stay one step ahead of any current – or future – adversaries.  This is the work of military and intelligence analysts and is more essential today than ever before.

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Navy-Air Force AirSea Battle Concept — Peering into the Future

AirSea Battle Concept

Whether it is the intelligence community, the military, industry, or just individuals attempting to get some notion of what the future holds, extrapolating current trends to determine likely outcomes in years “downstream” is both a science and an art and one that is absolutely essential to stay one step ahead of any current – or future – adversaries.  This is the work of military and intelligence analysts and is more essential today than ever before.

One such concept, the Navy-Air Force AirSea Battle Concept (ASBC), emerged well “under the radar,” in a small study by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA).  Released without fanfare by an American think tank, it was “merely” one of hundreds of such studies that emerge every year.  However, we found it prescient in looking towards the future of conflict for the U.S. Armed Forces.

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2012 Sea Air Space Symposium Summary

Sea Air Space

One of the largest gatherings of high-ranking military officials, military analysts, naval analysts, industry experts and government leaders is the annual Sea Air Space Symposium hosted by the Navy League of the United States. Widely recognized as the premier military-industry gathering in the United States, this year’s event, held at the Gaylord Center in National Harbor, Maryland, drew over 15,000 delegates.

Day 1 of this signature event focused on strategy; Day 2 on capabilities and requirements; and Day 3 on the budget. Many of the speakers emphasized the importance of the Defense Strategic Guidance, the Obama Administration’s recently-issued national strategy, and the Fiscal Year 2013 budget priorities. For the Department of Defense and for the United States Navy emphasis will continue to be placed on “capabilities” vs. “capacity” (i.e., ship numbers) and platform and system “wholeness.”

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