Interview: The Future of the Armed Forces, Leadership, National Security

Ed Ross, former DoD senior executive, retired U.S. Army intelligence officer, and defense industry consultant talks with Jeff McCausland, U.S. Army, Ret., about the future of the U.S. Armed Forces, leadership, and national security. Mr. Ross is the host of The Ed Ross Hour on the USA Talk Radio Channel on Blog Talk Radio.

Listen to internet radio with EWRoss on Blog Talk Radio

The Death of Osama bin Laden

(Article published courtesy of The Carnegie Council)

May 1, 2011, the world learned of the death of Osama bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda and the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. In an unprecedented late night broadcast President Obama broke the news to the nation. The president’s remarks were somber and reflective. They were hardly celebratory, but he underscored that the search for bin Laden had been a top priority since his election. He explained that the attack had been conducted by a small group of special operations troops (later reported to be Navy SEALS) and that bin Laden’s body had been taken into custody to verify his identity. There were no U.S. casualties. Bin Laden was living in a million-dollar mansion in Abbottabad outside Islamabad and had been there for a number of years.

The president further emphasized that the U.S. effort had been relentless and that justice had been accomplished. This would seem now to leave us with four important questions.

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Surprising Anniversary – Gettysburg 50 years later

We recently came across this incredible video telling the story of the 50th anniversary reunion of the Civil War which was held at Gettysburg in Central Pennsylvania. Thousands of Union and Confederate survivors came together for three days to find old comrades and remember the great loss of that war. With the war still fresh for most people these two sides staged an interesting and heartfelt re-enactment of Pickett’s Charge. View the video below to hear about this moving act of forgiveness.

After watching this video one of the principles we teach in the Gettysburg Leadership Seminar came to us – the need for leaders to “overcome.” Each of these survivors indeed had to overcome unimaginable odds to attend and participate in this reunion and we believe that leaders today can learn a tremendous amount from them.

William Faulkner is quoted saying “history is not was….history is.” At Diamond6 Leadership we endeavor to teach this in each one of our workshops and seminars. We use history to illustrate key leadership lessons and discuss concrete and specific changes leaders can make in their organization to affect positive and lasting change.

Has history influenced your leadership style? How and why?
What changes have you tried to make in your leadership style?

Change in the Middle East: a Longer View

(Article published courtesy of the Carnegie Council)

Events in the Middle East have continued to change so rapidly that it is nearly impossible to make any short term predictions. The dramatic if not historical changes that we have witnessed over the past eight weeks is a reminder of a saying by Lenin, “Sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen.” There appears to be a very real possibility that the United States may become directly embroiled in the conflict in Libya.

Still, it may be useful to examine the current military and security relationships that the United States has with several key countries that are experiencing dramatic political change. As Yogi Berra once said, “It is hard to predict anything, especially the future!” This is clearly true today, but one thing does remain certain. The United States has critical security relationships with a number of countries in the region. None of these are immune to the ongoing dramatic political changes that are occurring.

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The Osgood File: Handing the Libya Mission to Nato – Sort Of

CBS News Military Consultant Jeff McCausland was asked to give his thoughts at what the new coalition agreement means. Dr. McCausland answers the question “Will the United States have to redefine what President Obama has stated as U.S. policy: that Colonel Qaddafi must go?”

For complete transcript and audio please visit The Osgood File website.

Jet Engines and the 2011 Budget

(Article published courtesy of the Carnegie Council)

Anyone who has paid even scant attention to the ongoing debate in Congress over the Federal budget for Fiscal Year 2011 would have to conclude that “this ain’t no way to run a railroad.” We are now rapidly approaching the midpoint in the fiscal year without a budget. The nation is still involved in two wars with the prospects for becoming involved in a conflict in Libya, but it is clearly possible that the current budget crisis could result in a government shutdown. Clearly, the ongoing struggle over the budget is not solely about the defense budget. Still, important decisions have been taken that have an impact on national security and the overall budget.

President Barack Obama won a showdown vote in the GOP-controlled House to kill a costly alternative engine for the Pentagon’s next-generation fighter jet, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The win by the president and Defense Secretary Gates is a switch from where the House stood last year under Democratic control. It reflects a sustained administration push to win over the votes of scores of Republican freshmen elected last fall on campaign promises to cut the budget. Many taxpayer watchdog groups also weighed in against the engine program, slated to cost $3 billion over the next few years and $450 million this year alone. Curiously, former President George W. Bush had also tried to kill the second engine.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.