Military Review English Edition March-April 2016 - Page 48

and fusion that provides finished intelligence and actionable information; and the capability to deliver clear applicable knowledge to decision makers. One of the key outcomes from such a consolidated and focused effort will include a revitalized national capability to design and articulate strategy, which will provide both a philosophical context and a functional guide for our responses. In the process, this could aid in the invigoration of our supporting political and public effort in a common front against our enemies and any significant or developing threats. The Way Forward Because the increasing speed and nature of change in the coming operational environment is indeed imposing, it is essential that we train and equip ourselves to more perceptively anticipate (foresee) strategic trends, and that we turn that knowledge and foresight into effective response strategies. We can never predict the future with certainty, but with greater, more specific effort, we can effectively anticipate possibilities and assess the probability of their occurrence. Sitting idly by, watching the future unfold and leaving our fate to others by inaction, is not an option under the highstakes circumstances we now find ourselves in. In order to achieve clear strategic vision, improved insight-driven planning, and appropriate actions in response to converging and emerging events, any approach should include a cadre of qualified people collaborating in a “Manhattan Project”-style effort. This cadre would share the burden of amassing and analyzing as much legally and procedurally appropriate information as possible to collectively develop means and ways to deal with anticipated or unfolding events. Our Nation can only achieve adequate understanding of how expanded areas of concern relate to each other in a thriving and ever-changing environment by ensuring collaboration among all agencies and organizations. We should develop a common cultural and informational understanding for the purpose of planning (appropriate proportional employment) for all of the elements of national power. One of the benefits of such an approach would be to help define and strengthen our relatio nships with those dependable allied nations who have stood together with us in the past, to help them understand and deal with the conditions they face. Until we approach the problems of the future with such a construct and attitude, we will continue to fall further behind in our ability to understand and estimate the future on behalf of our own strategic best interests. Our leadership and our institutions need to pay attention to the emerging future in a way that is reminiscent of, but different from, the way we have dealt with some of the greatest threats and most-dire conditions of the past—to designate the right people and resources necessary to see the way forward and to achieve strategies and an operational structure that will meet our absolute needs. We must achieve these goals in a legal and societally acceptable way. (We have had such projects in the past—at least one of which died an early administrative death because it was perceived to be a real [or potential] threat to the constitutional rights of our citizenry.) Success will require the best minds and the partnership of legislative, judicial, and executive branch leaders as well as the best of our civilian technologists and civil rights advocates. In order to justify such an effort, we must all come to the realization that things have indeed changed over time, and we are now threatened from several vectors and points of origin by lethal threats to our way of life. We need to deal with the challenges of great complexity, and we need motivating belief and functional capability to succeed. Lt. Gen. Patrick M. Hughes, U.S. Army, retired, is the former assistant secretary for information and analysis (intelligence) at the Department of Homeland Security. His military career included assignments as an enlisted medic, an infantry officer, and a military intelligence officer. He retired from active duty as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Notes Epigraph. Harrison Salisbury, Disturber of the Peace: Memoirs of a Foreign Correspondent (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989), 233. 46 March-April 2016  MILITARY REVIEW