Jack London, executive chairman and former chief executive at CACI International for 23 years, wrote in his January Asymmetric Threat Global Snapshot about the perils of self-inflicted vulnerabilities on the U.S. national security arena.
The venerable contracting leader opened by drawing parallels between the potential impacts averted (temporarily) by the last-minute deal that postponed sequestration and temporarily raised the nation’s debt ceiling and three self-generated flaws that harm the U.S.’ security posture.
Ambiguity, which can enable beneficial maneuverability, flexibility and anonymity, carries significant downside risk for its ability to obstruct purpose, accountability and assessment, London writes.
He points to examples where national priorities are “buried in complex, matrixed long-term strategies” or create “an inherent futility” when not clearly articulated.
For one, the changing focus of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan from counter-terrorism into long-term nation building is an example of where “without knowing what’s to be achieved, the focus drifts to the symptoms of the causes of the national security threats.”
Simply identifying and communicating U.S. national priorities provides criteria that can prevent resources being “pushed until a threshold, rather than results, are reached,” London maintains.
Beyond fostering more efficient cooperation between agencies and stakeholders, he writes that this can facilitate effective allocation of intellectual, financial and other assets.
For more details, depth and insight from London on the role of ambiguity in shaping the U.S. national security landscape, as well as the effects of perception and apathy on the same, head over to asymmetricthreat.net/.