Some may find this an odd posting with 9 and 1/2 months to go until a decade will have past on 9/11/01. To my knowledge a fairly significant number of major book contracts have been let for discussion of the passage of that decade and to discuss US efforts to defeat terrorism by both nation-states and non-state actors. Perhaps of interest is those major "public intellectuals" who in the broadest sense have not really addressed the implications of government policy over that soon to be decade on the U.S. its history and domestic politics. I am fascinated as always with foreign relations and foreign policy [I had a minor in what would be called International Relations- almost 40 credit hours in college] but I don't pretend to be expert in my analysis or knowledge level. I do contribute from time to time to the blog SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS run by Col. Pat Lang,USA (RETIRED) later an SES in DIA and now retired. Also an excellent novelist on the civil war period. Most of my posts are questions on that blog and not really answers but I do find it very informative given the quality of the commentators and the blogger himself.
As many readers of this blog know I believe that ignorance of the world, its peoples, cultures, and languages not just in the citizenry but also the bureacracy and military is causing the US to have an ineffective and inefficient foreign policy and foreign relations that now threatens the basics of our democracy.
I believe one essential reform would be to eliminate the HOMELAND SECURITY Committee in the HOUSE of Representatives and also the ARMED SERVICES Committee and create two new committees. First a NATIONAL SECURITY committee incorporating both the defense and war fighting establishment and the homeland security portfolio. I would also do the equivalent in the SENATE. Perhaps consideration should be given to a joint National Security committee.
But to offset the bias likely to arise in the National Security Committee and to promote the federal system designed by our Constitution I would have a Joint COMMITTEE on FEDERALISM established with an impact statement on federalism accompanying each bill in each house of Congress as it reaches the floor for vote in the respective houses of Congress.
What does this have to do with 9/11/01 and the passage of the decade since that event? We now know that Congress is a leading problem in both foreign policy, foreign relations, intelligence operations, and homeland security. All commentators seem to agree but few agree on the fix.
It is unlikely given the Presidential choices outside of the sitting President and Hillary Clinton for the DEMs and none of the GANG of 12 running potentially for the GOP that anyone will be elected President in 2012 or even 2016 that have the remotest skill set necessary to determine US foreign policy over their time in office and the rest of this decade.
It fascinates me that the citizens and residents of the US think that the domestic economy is subject to Executive Branch control through its fiscal policy and regulation. It is not!
And in fact the STATE DEPARTMENT controls so little of US foreign policy, from armed conflict, intelligence, economic activity, foreign military assistance, key technology transfers that have military implications that it is almost laughable. STATE must have dramatic, permanent, and long lasting increased in its funding and staffing. I have suggested as a start no STATE Department budget each year but in fact a 10% automatic funding level based on the DOD and Intel budgets. We must not have as a nation in a globalized world with such lack of knlwedge, capability, or expertise.
More to follow!