Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Admiral Mike Mullen

I just got to listen to the former Chairman of the JCS speak to our school and then take questions in a smaller group setting.  It was fascinating to hear him speak of the importance of personal connections in managing a changing and dynamic world.  We get one pretty impressive military/foreign affairs speaker every year - in the past we've had Deputy Chairman of the JCS Cartwright and CINC of Centcom Abazaid - but I really impressed with Mullen's directness.

I asked him a question about drones - the same question I asked Cartwright, about the risk of military action being immediately cost-free and thus with potentially hidden costs we can't see or manage - and he actually answered the question.  He basically agreed and worried that our capabilities might outrun our values, and before you know it our values might change without our consciously making a decision to change them.  Very candid and thoughtful.

I'm not sure how he got so far in Washington with an attitude like that.

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