Making Sense of Chaos: Chaos reigns in Government, in the Republic. Perhaps it’s a survival response, but eventually even the most aloof among us try to make sense out of what is happening. Like it or not, we find ourselves engaged in the search for some explanation, some way to ‘get our heads around’ what we see every day.
This is where most Americans with a pulse and the ability to fog a mirror find themselves these days. At the end of seven years of determined … like it or not … ‘hope and change,’ we are hard pressed to find a single shining bit of encouragement out of the daily torrent of government actions, pronouncements or outcomes.
With increasing understanding of America’s most dangerous dilemma, there is a corresponding erosion of citizen confidence in Government to execute in our best interest.
We at Special Operations Speaks have been largely focused on the Obama policy impacts on the military, to wit, operational security (OPSEC) leaks of highly sensitive military operations, to the debacle at Benghazi, etc. But, the military does not operate in a vacuum. Actions in other sectors of our Republic often have profound impact on the military and its people.
Over the past year, we’ve tried to follow the admonishment of Special Operations Imperative #1: Understand the Operational Environment. To obtain some clarity, we’ve fallen back on tried and true joint operational techniques that do the job.
We’d like to share one of those with you that we think aids in achieving some clarity.
Instruments of National Power: Hang with us here … this is important to understanding where we are as a nation. The joint military and interagency communities (Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, USAID et al) have worldwide responsibilities to analyze, plan, prepare and conduct a wide variety of both lethal and non-lethal operations in furtherance of national security goals and objectives, as difficult as those might be to discern of late. As a starting point, we examine the countries and regions in terms of the four instruments of National Power of National Power. These are the thermometers by which we gauge a country’s health and strength (or lack thereof) and by which we begin to assess strengths and weaknesses, either for exploitation or for bolstering, depending on our objectives. These instruments are collectively called the DIME construct.
Diplomacy: A healthy diplomatic posture favorably influences other nations and groups of nations in furtherance of U.S. national objectives. How well a nation is respected, feared and deferred to on the international stage are all measures of diplomatic standing. Strong diplomacy and, the ability to follow through on national promises and treaties over time are often lumped together in terms of an overarching doctrine. For example, the Monroe Doctrine and the Marshall Doctrine, are both engineered by the United States, are diplomatic engines of worldwide security and stability. But, as we see in the Middle East, on the Russian periphery, and in Africa, failed US diplomatic standing encourages enemy opportunism and widespread instability and suffering. We have neither the power nor the respect to effectively intervene in these situations in a way that would affect change.
Information: In part, failed diplomacy is caused by a failure to communicate national objectives and intentions. How effectively a nation communicates its values, beliefs, intentions and culture impacts its appearance of legitimacy. A nation’s standing and ability to influence its own citizens, as well as other people, are both dependent on its ability to communicate effectively. Where strong information policy is in place, America can use suasion (soft power) to achieve many of its goals. Where the national message is garbled or subjected to frequent change, our credibility, morale and national confidence suffer.
Our republic is founded on freedom of speech. From that comes the notion that an informed citizenry is an empowered and confident citizenry. The degree to which freedom of speech is exercised is in large part a function of both the private and government information structure. Liberty is endangered when government manipulates the structure and flow of information; a tyrannical situation occurs when government is the sole or major controller of that information content and flow. Trust, the glue that permits us to interact peacefully, suffers when the information flow lacks credibility. See also the Fast and Furious, and Benghazi cover–ups. It is then left to citizen efforts, like that of SOS and the Accuracy in Media Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, to champion the flow and credibility of information.
Military: In a free nation, the military is externally focused, defending its borders from invasion and extending its influence abroad to protect and promote national security interests. The military offers options to national leadership, provided the economy supports the implementation of those options. In the U.S., and in many parts of the world, the military is the sole institutional keeper of national values. In the U.S., the values of duty, honor, country are institutionalized and guide the military, a unique situation, generally. A natural, philosophical friction exists between the military and its less focused civilian agency counterparts. The military enjoys great standing among the American people. That is a barrier to Government control, and is being targeted for destruction.
Economy: The economy fuels American freedom; its free market engine is accountable for America’s world leadership since World War II. It enables the choice of individual, national and international options. It permits choices, and encourages the full range of liberal (in the original sense) governance. It fuels all the other instruments of national power. When conditions exist that promote a robust economy, all the other DIME elements, and subsequently the Nation, thrive. The American economy is the engine of prosperity and well-being. It incubates innovation, entrepreneurial creative destruction, opportunity, charity and true diversity, not the contrived diversity the Left espouses. Economic weakness tends to encourage the government to go into survival/defensive mode, to the detriment of the people who it increasingly no longer serves. Increased government intervention just deepens the economic spiral, gathering to itself control of more and more national resources.
Taking on the Skeptics: It is beyond intellectual dishonesty to claim that this Administration has not harmed this nation in a very deliberate way through its policies, regulations and fiats. But self-important skeptics in the media and in the Government typically scoff at this notion, challenging their critics to prove it and thereby hoping to shut down further discussion.
Stick with us for Part II, and we’ll begin to paint an irrefutable picture, a roadmap, if you will, to the very deliberate destruction of our Republic.
“Errors once discovered are more than half amended.” George Washington
Ken Benway is a retired soldier and co-founder of Special Operations Speaks. He lives in North Carolina, and is a long-time refugee from the Northeast.
© Copyright Special Operations Speaks 2014