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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.

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Has the Nature of Conflict Changed?

Dr. McCausland was recently invited to speak as part of a panel discussion at the New Security Learning in Berlin, Germany. The topic was “Future Conflict Learning” and Dr. McCausland was joined by Col. Amardeep Bhardwaj from India and Chris Donnelly, CMG from Great Britain.

Future conflicts will be less violent but more intense. A central feature will be the struggle for control of information systems and the achievement of ‘perception dominance’. A radical rethink of the nature of security-related education and training will be essential to meet the challenge. This was the verdict of three leading experts from the United States, India and Great Britain, when we asked them for their views on how conflict will develop and what the implications will be for training.

Security experts in the United States, Great Britain and India are expecting funadamental changes in security training priorities, as the world comes to terms with the nature of the new international security environment. The experts, Colonel Dr Jeffrey  McCausland of the US Army War College, Colonel Amardeep Bhardwaj of India’s Army War College and Chris Donnelly, CMG of the Institute for Statecraft and Governance, all agreed that the nature of conflict had changed completely and some radical thinking was urgently needed to deal with some of the challenges we now face.

Watch the video to hear their detailed thoughts and insights on the subject.

D6 Featured in Local Paper

Diamond6 Leadership & Strategy was featured in The Sentinel, the local paper for Carlisle, PA where we are headquartered.

This article provides a nice overview of our work and we are grateful to the journalist Jason Scott and The Sentinel for putting together this great piece.

Click here for the full article on The Sentinel website.

For media inquiries please contact Tanya McCausland, 717.580.7650 or tanya@diamondsixleadership.com.