Dr. Jim Carafano, one of the best minds inside the beltway, has compiled his list of National Security Resolutions for 2009:

  • Finish the Job in Iraq.
  • Finish the Long War.
  • Don’t Mess with Homeland Security.
  • Build Missile Defenses.
  • Do Something about Space.
  • Worry about Iran.
  • Build Better Border Security.
  • Get Smart on Cybersecurity.
  • Stop Doing Stupid Security.
  • Don’t Let the Military Go Hollow.

Greater detail on each resolution can be obtained here. What do you think of Dr. Carafano’s resolutions? What would you add or subtract or even amend?

Posted by Jim Dolbow in Homeland Security, Policy

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  • Byron

    I’d add 10-A: do something about the DoD aquisition process, because right now is truly sucks.

  • Agreed to 10-A!

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Would like to see his plan for #2. Not sure the enem(ies) will agree to that timeline. URR

  • Steve

    #2 is seriously, verging on hopelessly, optimistic. It’s a worthy goal, but it won’t be done this year or even this presidential term, and acting like it could be is probably actually harmful.

  • Brine

    Galhrain had some depressing, but well reasoned points on number#1&#2 with respect to current commitments. In the long view (clash of the civilizations) I’d like to see Iraq become the MTV islam state or see somone else apply for the post better than Turkey has. #4 is a no brainer for students of the long game, but is unpopular with the enimies and liberals. (Read optimistic as I am the NYT stalking hourse leads me to belive the incoming adminstration will not follow through on it) #7 is a DOHS/DOS job, but has big implications politically, and probably will be lost in infighting and unaccountability. #8 Cannot be understressed IMHO despite how painful it is. I’d add a #11 of employing DOS more in “hearts and minds,” but I am hesitately optimistic about AFRICOM, and wait to see how it affects the picture.

  • Kevin

    I find #9 interesting in that he proposes eliminating failing national security mandates rather than seeking proper funding and implementation. Although it is consistent with his assertion, which requires far greater detail to appear credible, that there is no need for significant change to the Department of Homeland Security, he seems willing to sacrifice enhancing the defense of the United States because of the difficulty of addressing the threats. Given the increasing likelihood of the use of CBRNE devices in the short- to mid-term future, arguing against scanning cargo at American ports, for instance, seems illogical if doing so could prevent a devastatingly costly if improbable incident.

  • Jim, I’m prolly misguided, but here’s my take:

    1. Iraq is essentially finished. OOOH RAH!

    2. I doubt we’ll finish the long war in the upcoming decade, or century. It’s been going on for over a thousand years and no improvement is seen.

    3. Homeland security is plugging along OK. Congrats Sec. Chertoff and ADM Thad, but please, DO. NOT. SCREW. UP!

    4. If Standard MK3s work, than every Aegis ship sould have them. It’s the only wheel in town, now, so let’s play it.

    5. Space? Almost a yawn, at least at this time.

    6. Iran? Should be #3.

    7. Border security: with which facet of border security are you most worried? Just a quick official ID should help. No ID, nobody gets in. PERIOD.

    8. Cybersecurity: a worry, and it will get worse, for sure. New network is required. No home gear allowed on the net — for bidness only.

    9. There always has been stupid security. Learn from business and its mistakes and improve on it.

    10. AS much as I love the military, it’s not like the way it was 40 years ago. That said, it’s too cushy, maybe too diverse, and maybe not sufficiently kick-ass, lessun your talking about Marines or SpecOps, and I’m an ex-squid.

    10a. Why can’t taxpayers get their money’s worth?

    10b. Shipbuilding. Where are our yards, and what are they building?

  • #1. Yes.
    #2. Good Luck
    #3. By “Don’t mess” assume no cuts — definitely need to work that interagency process though and next round of reform should incorporate that.

    #4: Need to build up regional capabilities – Aegis BMD, THAAD, PAC-3 and press on N-CADE. Numbers matter – more Sm-3’s and SM-2 BlkIv’s – but we are going to run into VLS realestate issues. Do not see ABL as a player.

    #5: Critical vulnerability as to survivability/re-constitution. Love all those UAV’s flying around? Guess how we talk to them…need a rapid reconstitution capabilty that is either space-based or near-space.

    #6: See #4.

    #7-9: See #3. Rinse, repeat.

    #10: Don’t equip/train just for the fight currently in. See #2&6
    – SJS

  • Rubber Ducky

    This guy and the Heritage Foundation that is his home have been stalking horses for the Bush Administration and its failed policies for 8 years. Credibility: zero.

  • I think 1, 5, 6, and 10A are relevant today. This seems like an old list from 3 years ago?

    I would put the economy as #1 – A vibrant economy will lend significant security options to America in our dealing with some countries that don’t play well with other.



  • FOD Detector

    Dear USNI Editor:

    In the future, it would be more efficient if this blog simply reprinted Heritage Foundation, RNC, and TownHall press releases verbatim.

    Thanks, FOD

  • Byron

    FOD, you forgot Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity…

  • sid


    This is a long overdue proposition that badly needs quick implementation.

    NASA, as a “peaceful purposes only” agency, is a Cold War relic that has little relevance in a time when competitors (if not potnetial adversaries) are openly pursuing integrated military-civilian space efforts

    There is a maritime dominance angle to this as well…

    The book’s discussion of space warfare begins with the premise that the migration of warfare into the realm of space has a historical precedent in the migration of warfare into the realm of air, and later continues into an analysis concluding that the actual conduct of space warfare shares the most commonality with the conduct of naval warfare. The control of the seas is then revisited when the book concludes that controlling space will be a necessary step to maintain control of the seas, which is cited as the most fundamental mission for any hegemonic power to be able to complete in order to protect its interests and ensure its national security. As summarized on page 411 of The Future of War:

    Whoever controls space, therefore, will control the world’s oceans. Whoever controls the oceans will control the patterns of global commerce. Whoever controls the patterns of global commerce will be the wealthiest power in the world. Whoever is the wealthiest power in the world will be able to control space.

  • Frank Hoffman

    This is a good list but some contradictions or more accurately some tradeoffs may be required. Long lists of expensive objectives is just a list, not a strategy. For example, Winning the Long War at the rate we are currently consuming our ground forces will undoubtedly produce a Hollow Military, if not consume enough resources so that space, cybersecurity and homeland security are all negatively impacted. This list of resolutions needs to better match not just objectives or ends, but the ways and means of going about it.

  • Nothing on piracy or the security of commercial shipping?

  • UltimaRatioReg


    I must disagree with the assessment that the Long War will result in a hollow force. The force began sounding very hollow after the “peace divided” cuts in the mid-90s. The loss of essentially eight Army brigades, most of the combat power of a Marine Division (the 3rd), and the downsizing of the US Navy reduced our overall capability. We went from being able to fight two fights simultaneously, to fight-one, hold-one, to barely being able to fight one fight. (OIF and OEF are one fight, strategically.) We also went from a forward presence to one in CONUS that required strategic mobility to get to the fight. Then we proceeded to cut our STRATMOB capabilities. For a nation of 302 million souls and staggering wealth and resources to not be able to maintain a deployment of 250,000 without “breaking” the military is unconscionable. URR