Mark Collins – US Joint Chiefs Chairman “Dempsey warns of ‘perpetual war’”

Not what this POTUS (or any one) wants to hear–at Defense One’sD-Brief“:

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the soon-to-be-retiring chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is telling the military to dig in for a long war, one involving non-state actors in a battle that looks a lot like the current fight in Iraq and Syria. America’s top military officer issues a bleak assessment of the global security situation in his new National Military Strategy, a plan getting its first update since 2011. Since then, “global disorder has trended upward while some of our comparative advantages have begun to erode,” Dempsey said at the Pentagon Wednesday [July1].

The Take Away: “We are more likely to face prolonged campaigns than conflicts that are resolved quickly… that control of escalation is becoming more difficult and more important… and that as a hedge against unpredictability with reduced resources, we may have to adjust our global posture.”

The Threats: “Violent extremist organizations” like the Islamic State, hybrid wars in which nations like Russia support militia forces fighting on their behalf in Eastern Ukraine threaten national security interests, Dempsey says.

Who He Calls Out: The usual suspects. Russia: “[I]t … has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and it is willing to use force to achieve its goals.” Iran: “It is a state-sponsor of terrorism that has undermined stability in many nations, including Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.” And don’t forget about their nuclear ambitions. North Korea: For its “pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technologies” and the Sony cyber hack. China: For its “aggressive land reclamation efforts that will allow it to position military forces astride vital international sea lanes.”

Putting it in Writing: The new strategy codifies many statements and assessments made in recent years about the spread of instability. As Defense News’ Aaron Mehta points out: “The contents of the document should be no surprise to those who follow the Pentagon. It is a straightforward military document, devoid of politics. The words ‘budget’ and ‘sequestration’ are nowhere to be found.”..

Another nail in the coffin of that “end of history“.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a 
Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


6 thoughts on “Mark Collins – US Joint Chiefs Chairman “Dempsey warns of ‘perpetual war’””

  1. From Eric Morse ( @eriq49 ):

    “I’d say he’s got it nailed, a century of chaos. I still doubt China is more than a regional great power simply because that’s how they’ve played their cards for the last couple of thousand years and they’ve got enough to do at home [But it’s one hell of a big and important region, esp. if one includes Central Asia and all the hydrocarbon resources there].

    One of the big blank spots for me that I’d like to write about but have no idea how to get a handle on is how the Middle Eastern crisis and the Russian crisis are going to interface. They’re probably going to collide in the North Caucasus. And that would be probably not a bad outcome for the rest of us in terms of keeping Russia occupied. but the US is going to have to be very cagey in avoiding overextending itself in the Middle East and letting the locals bear the brunt.

    I think one thing that has to be prevented at all costs however is the possibility of ISIS acquiring a seacoast and real control of a port. Doubful they can get to Basra so that leaves Tartus. (Note that their vaunted Libyan ‘affiliate’ never did control Derna, MSM notwithstanding). Sinai looks more like a threat but Israel/Jordan/Gaza are in the way. I am unprepared to accept the narrative that these ‘vilayets’ are effectively controlled from Raqqa.”

    More on Central Asia:

    And consider what China’s doing in Africa,

    and Latin America:



    Mark Collins

  2. And from Gen, Dempsey’s successor:

    ‘Incoming Joint Chiefs chairman calls Russia, China top threats

    In terms of national security threats, the headline-grabbing Islamic State militants that the U.S. is seeking to subdue in Iraq are less of a concern than Russia and China, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday.

    Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, in line to assume the nation’s highest military post later this summer, cited Russia’s nuclear weapon stockpile and aggressive, unpredictable actions as reasons that country presents the most serious near-term threat to worldwide stability.

    “They present the greatest existential threat [i.e. nuclear],” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing. “If you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming.”

    He also cited China’s military strength and North Korea’s erratic international actions as other top concerns, listing the Islamic State threat in Iraq and Syria below the potential actions of those countries.

    But he emphasized that “you can’t attack those issues in sequence,” and said his greatest worry as a military commander is still the threats that have not yet emerged.,,’

    Mark Collins

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