National Insecurity

By Mel Goodman, 2013

Notes made by Russ Faure-Brac

Mel Goodman is ex-DOD and CIA and on staff at the Center for International Advocacy. The following notes are not from the book, but taken mostly from a March 26, 2013 video of the conference Time to Reset: Guidance for a More Effective and Affordable US Defense Posture, sponsored by the Project on Defense Alternatives and the Center for International Diplomacy.

A lot of these points are similar to those made by Carl Conetta in his report Reasonable Defense.

  • He opposes Missile Defense
  • He believes we can have strategic nuclear deterrence with 300 warheads.
  • He would remove land-based ICBM’s from the “triad” of land, sea and air and keep them on subs and planes
  • We don’t need 11 aircraft carriers
  • We don’t need each service to have its own air force
  • We get nothing back from the kind of military aid we now provide, primarily to Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey
  • We don’t need the Marine Corps – the last amphibious invasion was in 1959.
  • The F-35 joint forces jet fighter plane is a waste of money
  • The US lacks a strategic vision for a world without an enemy.

He sees three problem areas:

  1. Militarization
  • The intelligence community should not have become militarized. They should not be policy advocates.
  • We have a civil/military imbalance. Need more emphasis on diplomacy.
  1. Diplomacy
  • We haven’t had an effective Secretary of State in 20 years. Maybe Kerry.
  • Why pivot to China? Make them a stakeholder.
  1. Oversight
    1. Oversight is disappearing from the policy process.
    2. In 1990, Helms and Gingrich abolished the Office of Technology and Assessment, which reviewed weapons programs from a strategic standpoint at the Pentagon.
    3. Clinton removed OMB from a lot of the oversight process. Allowed the Pentagon to review their own weapon systems and acquisition process, which is a disaster.
    4. G.W. Bush didn’t allow review of the F-35 contract because it was assembled in Texas.
    5. The Statutory Inspector General of the CIA (consolidates responsibility for audits and investigations within the agency) was greatly weakened. Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Diane Feinstein doesn’t understand that the Statutory IG was created to allow the Intelligence Committee to have oversight of the CIA.

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