28 th Eaker Lecture Series
"The Impact on the Structure, Organization, and Process of National Security Resulting From the War on Terror and the Newly Defined Roles for Our Military Forces"
Key note Speaker: General James E. Cartwright
4 May 2006
  CADET GRAY: We are privileged tohave as tonight's guest speakerGeneral James E. Cartwright, Commander of theUnited States Strategic Command, Offutt AirForce Base, Nebraska. He is responsible for theglobal command and control of US strategic forces to meet decisive national securityobjectives.USSTRATCOM provides a broad range of strategic capabilities and options for the President and Secretary of Defense. Command mission areas include full-spectrum global strike, space operations, computer network operations, Department of Defense information operations, strategic warning, integrated missile defense, and global C41SR, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, combining weapons of mass destruction, and specialized expertise to the joint warfighter. General Cartwright was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in November 1971. He attended Naval Flight Officer training and graduated in April 1973. He attended Naval Aviator training and graduated in January 1977. He has operational assignments as an NF0 in the F-4 and as a pilot in the F-4, 0A-4, and FA-18. General Cartwright's operational assignments include: Commanding General, First Marine Aircraft Wing, 2000 to 2002; Deputy Commanding General Marine Forces Atlantic, 1999 to 2000; Commander Marine Aircraft Group 1, 1994 to 1996; Commander Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, 1992; Fixed Wing Operations Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1991; Commander Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, 1989-1990; Administration Officer and Officer-In-Charge Deployed Carrier Operations, VMFAT 101, 1983 to 1985; Aircraft Maintenance Officer, VMFA-235, 1979 to 1982; Line Division Officer, VMFA-333, USS Nimitz, 1975 to 1977; Embarkation OIC VMFA-251 and 232, 1973 to 1975. General Cartwright's staff and assignments include Director for Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, J-8 the Joint Staff, 2002 to 2004; Directorate for Force Structure, Resources and Assessments, J-8 the Joint Staff, 1996 to 1999; Deputy Aviation Plans, Policy, and Budgets Headquarters, US Marine Corp., 1993 to 1994; Assistant Program Manager for Engineering, FA-18 Naval Air Systems Command, 1986 to 1989. General Cartwright was named the Outstanding Carrier Aviator by the Association of Naval Aviation in 1983. He graduated with distinction from the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, 1986; and received his Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, 1991. He was selected for and completed a fellowship with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. (Applause.)
GENERAL CARTWRIGHT: Seats, please. I've got to tell you this is intimidating. Usually you start one of these with some sort of a joke so that you can figure out whether your audience has got a sense of humor or not, but I figure, if you're all sitting here listening to a Marine, you've got a sense of humor. I appreciate the opportunity -- when I was asked to come and make this address, they asked me to speak on national policy and how the military is adjusting or how national policy in the military are getting along together with the global war on terrorism, so let's see if we can find something more interesting to talk about. (Applause.) It is a unique time, as all times are in history, particularly for the military. When you look at what we face and the types of challenges, whether it be in Iraq or other places, a couple of things strike you: We started out with, a few years back, with a strategy that was called mutual assured destruction, and basically we and the Russians had nuclear weapons and the threat of using them was good enough to keep everybody at bay. Again, you've got a Marine now in charge of nuclear weapons, but the reality is that nuclear weapons, by themselves, are just not good enough to do the job today. They're not credible. A terrorist could care less, and so the country has had to adjust, and we've gone from mutual assured destruction over the years -- we went to two major theater wars or two MRCs -- you pick it -- but some idea that we would carry on two campaigns at the same time. The current administration, when it came into office, basically thought along the lines of four major regions because two really didn't cover the breadth that the services really have to go out and cover and deploy on a day-to-day basis to address, and then 9-11 came along and we really have moved more to a global footing, global war on terrorism. You pick it, but the activity that's going on is really global in nature. You have a credit card. You expect to go any place on the face of the earth, stick it in an ATM, and you expect to get money. That's not something that has always been the case. You know, when El Nino strikes South America and ruins the coffee crop, that the price of coffee is going up and you know why. You know that, when a tsunami strikes or some other hurricane or natural disaster, that it's going to have an economic impact that you're going to know about globally. The elections in the former stands you watch. You see. You can understand in real time what the implications are. It's a global economy. It's a global environment. How does the military start to adjust? We had just barely gotten the ink dry on this idea that we would be in four regions at the same time, versus two, when we had 9-11, shortly followed by Afghanistan, followed by Iraq, followed by a tsunami, followed by hurricanes, followed by potentially here a pandemic flu. Some of those are natural, but it doesn't take a big stretch of the imagination to understand that pandemic flu could easily be a bioattack. That's the kind of world that we're moving into. That's the kind of world that you will have to address as leaders, and the services have started to adjust to that world. I would tell you that adjustment is probably not going fast enough. When you look at the pace of those conflicts, the pace of what we're expected to do as a military and how many places we're expected to be at the same time, that's a big challenge, and so, when you look at pace, when you look at the scale of the conflicts, and you look at the fact that the services are downsizing, how do you make ends meet in that environment? What's got to change in this organization, whether it be in the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, the Marines? Those are the questions that are really out there today. Those are the questions that demand that you start to think about the problem differently. One of the tensions that is starting to emerge is this tension that exists between combatant commanders and service chiefs. Always been there. Goldwater Nichols kind of mandated that we be joint. If you're not joint, it's against the law. How many people have been thrown in jail for not being joint? Zero, you know. But, when we go to these conflicts, we all pat each other on the back and say, "Gosh, we were joint." We just did Iraq, the most joint thing that we've ever done. The Army went up one side of the river and the Marines on the other side. They didn't have com. They couldn't talk to each other, but they called that joint. You figure it out. So what are we going to do? This global concept is not new. We have had what we call functional components out there, combatant commanders that are functional in nature and act and think globally. Transcom has been around for a long time. They can't help but be global in their perspective. Special Operations Command has been around for a good amount of time and they are also very global in their perspectives. Joint Forces Command is just starting to come onto the scene. They are responsible for training all of the forces that go to all of the co-coms that act in a global way. StratCom, which is my command, is coming to this game maybe a little late, but, rest assured, nobody's going to be sleeping while I'm there, in trying to adjust to this global environment. A little bit of history, and I'll step through this quickly because this is the boring part, but in 1992 we took the Navy boomers, submarines, and the Air Force bombers and missiles and we brought them together and formed Stratcom. Ten years later, in 2002, we dissolved Air Force Space Command and Space Command as a combatant commander and merged it into Stratcom. When we did that merger, the idea was that we would take all of the people from Space Command, move them to Stratcom, and we would have both missions, global in nature, at the same command. The number of people that went from Space Command to Omaha was zero, you know, so it really turned into a financial drill on how to save money, and we didn't get very far in moving Space forward over a few years. That's my opinion. A lot of people disagree with that. You judge. In 2002, this idea post 9-11 that we ought to start thinking more globally about a set of missions added to space, added to the nuclear strike capabilities, became global strike, and I'll talk a little bit about what global strike is. We picked up also information operations. We picked up integrated missile defense. We picked up intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. A year later we picked up combatting weapons of mass destruction, and I'm hoping next year we can pick up world hunger and we'll have a full portfolio. But that's a huge number of missions, and as you might expect, the amount of money and the amount of people that came to the command as a result of that was zero, so under that kind of an approach, what do you do to get this organized? These are important missions. There's no doubt about that, and they are emerging in many cases as the prime missions that we are doing in the military when you start to think about the two A0Rs that I've now inherited, space and cyber. That's probably where a lot of the future's going to lie. A lot of warfare is going to migrate to those areas. How do you start to change the way we do business? What we did, just to give you a sense, was we built functional components. Today, when you go to a -- let's just take StratCom as an example. The idea was that StratCom was about 4,000 people, and so, as you added space command in, they figured they'd grow by about 4,000 people and then each of the other missions would grow about the same amount, and you can imagine the behemoth of an organization that would have been when you add five more missions in. There aren't that many people out there. It just can't be done, so what we did and what we have done over the past two years -- and trust me -- my Christmas card list has gone way down as a result of this -- but it was necessary. We took the command, which was about 4,000 people, as I said, and we shrunk it down to a thousand people, and we gave those billets out to components, and so we stood up components to do this work and made sure that the headquarters couldn't do what the components are supposed to do, so basically, for zero growth, we stood up these components. I'll give you a sense, but basically there is space and global strike, is a component. We have a net warfare component that does information operations. We have a missile defense component, et cetera, and the way we set them up was we went to organizations that already existed and said, "I need you to take this issue on," whatever the issue happened to be, so in the case of global strike, we turned to Eighth Air Force, and my commander for global strike is Lieutenant General Chilton, aviator, astronaut, graduate from this institution. He is the Commander for global strike along with the Eighth Air Force. He has a Navy Rear Admiral as a Deputy. He has an Army Chief of Staff, so he has a joint organization. He also has the authority to go out and buy things that we need. He has the authority to declare requirements. He has the authority to deploy forces, et cetera, as needed. For my space component, 20th Air Force, Major General Willie Shelton, who will soon have a yet-to-be-named, so it's not official, but an Army deputy for space, and you can imagine the ripples that are going through the force right now over that, but that's the right way to go, and we will stand them up, get them organized, get a full-blown AOC out there, and that will become my component for space in the near future. Cyber, net arfare, we used the National Security Agency, NSA, and the director there, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander, United States Army, is my commander. His deputy is a Marine General and a Navy Chief of Staff. They are based out at Fort Mead, and they do all of my cyber attack and exploitation, and then Lieutenant General Charlie Krum, Air Force, is my commander for defensive operations in the network and for operating the GIG, the global Internet, so to speak, for the military. Between the two of them, we fight on the cyber side of equation. For missile defense, we took the commander from the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command, SMDC, Lieutenant General Larry Dodgen, and he iscommander. He has a Navy Deputy and he has a Marine Chief of Staff on top of that organization that is predominantly Army but has command overall integrated missile defense for all services. ISR is commanded by the Commander of DIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, Army, three- star, and his deputy is Air Force Major General Mark Welsh, and then the newest of the crowd is this combatting weapons of mass destruction, which we use the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to run, and that's headed by a civilian, an SES senior civilian, who does a fantastic job of what used to be called nonproliferation, counter-proliferation, or the idea of, if they've got it, let's go destroy it. If they're trying to sell it to somebody, let's intercept it and then destroy it. So those are the commands that are associated with StratCom. This idea of functional componency is just getting started. This idea of a global command is just getting going. There is really only about 1 percent of the time that StratCom would act unilaterally. 99 percent of the time we are providing to regional combatant commanders these kinds of missions, missile defense, network warfare, space, the long-range strike that Eighth Air Force has control over, aided by 20th on the Air Force side and the boomers on the Navy side. It's interesting to have, in Lieutenant General Chilton, a commander who is a three-star, as I said, Air Force who has command over attack submarines, ballistic missile sub-marines, 20th Air Force and their missiles, Eighth Air Force and their ombers. It's aninteresting command. If you're in that command, it's not good enough to just understand how a B-52 flies. You're going to really have to broaden your horizons to be in that command. If you're in that command, you get joint credit. That's a big difference from where we were just a few years ago. So those are the kinds of commands that we are trying to build when we talk globally and when we talk StratCom. I'm going to pick on three of the mission areas, talk a little bit about them. My intent will be to --I guess I'm supposed to say, "Stimulate you," but, eally, I want to irritate you a little bit to get you going here and then we can have some good question and answer after I go through these three areas. The first one is global strike. Heretofore, that was really talking about bombers, missiles, whether they be sea-launched or land-based missiles. What we have done with global strike is set an attitude and set a hurdle against which I demand that these guys start thinking about how they want to move forward into the future. The low end of global strike is to be able to get any place on the face of the earth in less than an hour with a kinetic strike, so that means any place any time, anywhere on the face of the earth with a kinetic strike. Today we can do that, but it carries a nuclear weapon, which, in reality, is probably inappropriate for a lot of the types of targets that we want to go after, so in the last two years we have undertaken the technology between the Navy and the Air Force and we have moved from the missiles that we have today, which have an air -- circular air out there in the neighborhood of 5, 6, 7, 8 hundred meters, and we are now flying 6, 7 thousand miles with less than three meters air. That means you don't need a nuclear weapon. It really means you don't even need explosives, but that's where we want to go. It's not that we're getting rid of the nuclear weapons, but one of the major initiatives we have in front of the Congress this year is to put conventional ordnance on the top of some of these missiles and start to use them to reach out and touch people in a very short time line any place on the face of the earth. The kinds of things that we're worried about: Those things that move quickly, those things that hide, terrorists, tele-launchers, anti-air defense batteries that we want to knock down before we send aircraft in. All of those are possibilities with this kind of weapons system. We're going to field it with sub-marines first and we'll follow then with land-based variants. Those land-based variants on the Air Force side are intended to move to the combat air vehicle, which is a vehicle that maneuvers at hypersonic speeds, basically reaches out to 6, 7, 8 thousand miles, and covers that distance in something less than 20 minutes. That's the slow stuff. That's the slow stuff. That's the challenge that we're putting out in front of people. The fast side of this is the network side of this. You look around this room. Look left and right. This makes a lot of sense to this generation about bringing the networks into the war-fighting side of the house. Most of my generation just kind of slaps their head and goes "You've got to be crazy," but the reality is that we can reach out and touch people very quickly with networks. This is a millisecond world. We can be out to geostationary orbit and back in 300 milliseconds. That's speed. That's the way we're going to do warfare in the future. We can be to Iraq and back in about 40 milliseconds. That means you can come into work, sit down, spend the day in Iraq, and be back for dinner, no problem, but that's the warfare of the future. That's where you're going to fight. It is a very different world. Today the way we think about it is we've got one organization that does attack another one that exploits the information that's on the networks, another one that goes and builds patches. They don't even know each other. That's kind of like -- an analogy for a grunt, anyway -- is that "I've got a great defensive perimeter. I've got an offense that's ready to go out and strike. I send my recon team out. They robe the lines of the enemy. They come back and they don't tell the defense what's coming and they don't tell the offense what's out there," and that's the way we do business in cyber today. We patch things after we've been attacked. It's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Where I want to be is I want to have the cyber guys out there. I want to detect an attack. I want to beat it back here at the speed of light, reconfigure the defenses, and be ready to respond. That's the challenge that we relay to the cyber. That's the challenge and that's the warfare that's going to be the future. If you can't think at those speeds, then you probably don't belong in that environment. The good news is you all do. The technology that we need for the future is the technology that allows you to -- you pick the way you want to describe it -- but fly out to geostationary orbit, watch several hundred thousand transactions a second, figure out which one is bad and which ones are good, turn it into knowledge, and do something about it. That's the environment we want to be in. That's not the environment we're in yet. That's global strike. The slow end, any place on the face of the earth in an hour. The high end is the speed of light, and if we're not thinking about speed of light in our tactics, in our organizations, in our techniques and procedures, then we're really just kind of thinking about the history of warfare, rather than the future of warfare. Command and control: This is one of my passions, and I generally get in trouble over it, but that's okay. What are they going to do to you? Our command and control -- the command and control system that you are learning about -- see, this is where I'll get in trouble -- you know, is this idea of the A sections in the Air Force, J in joint world, but one being admin, two being intelligence, et cetera, and somebody wants to do something so they bring in a package. They hand it in and basically it works it up through the chain of command of the commander. As you work up through that chain of command, you're working out all the ambiguity of the issue. There's a business rule that basically says, the greater the ambiguity, the larger the headquarters, and the military has done that in space, so we run up this chain and then we send it over to the organization next door and we start at the bottom again, work our way all the way up, and by the time you get to the perfect answer, the issue is irrelevant, you know. On the battlefield, that's just too long of a time line, and if you take it to this idea of any place on the face of the earth in milliseconds, it's ridiculous. That system came from Napolean, and we in the military have ensured that we have not changed it since Napolean, and you've got to wonder -- when I was in junior high school, we took a stage like this, lined people up across it, put a person at that end, and told a secret to the first person, and they passed it down the row. When it got to the other end, it had no relevance to what was started. That's the kind of command and control system we're operating in today. It just doesn't make sense. It does not turn the information into knowledge and it doesn't happen fast enough to be relevant on the battlefield, so what are we going to do about it? Well, it's going to take a major cultural shift. You've got to get a bunch of dinosaurs like me to die off first, but we've got to start that change now. Inside my headquarters, not looking for a tool, but looking for a way to bring culture of the service along and move it forward, we started running our daily intelligence updates and our command and control with a relatively simple application, but it was blogging, okay? You can imagine that first the forecasts were that everybody would die as a result of blogging. Not true. The blogging was better than having a chat room because you didn't have to be there constantly, but the speed at which we could execute in a blog environment was significantly faster than we could execute in a Napolean environment, okay? The culture didn't take well to that, as you might imagine. Again, you're talking about somebody who walked into the command and said, "75 percent of you guys go home. We're going to farm you out to other places," and then said, "We're not going to do it the same way we did it. We're going to start using a blog space to do packages for staffing, for command and control, for intelligence updates," and so what happened when we started was kind of interesting. For about the first month, people would come into the blog space and the commanders or the division heads or the section heads all said, "You don't put anything into the blog space until you clear it through me," which is exactly what we didn't want, so after about a month we got that changed by threatening to fire all of them. That generally gets their attention. And so then we entered into a period for about six months and what I discovered was happening was something that I called the tethered goat syndrome. What they did was the head of the sections would take Lance Corporal Cartwright. They'd staff an answer, and then they'd make Lance Corporal Cartwright answer it on the blog space, so that it looked like a Lance Corporal was answering the question, when, in fact, it had been staffed through that, so, again, you go out with the threat of firing to try to get that culture to change. After a year and a half of this now, the culture has really started to change. As a commander, the first thing in combat that you learn is you're not going to deal with perfect information. You're going to deal with contextual information. You get everything that you can possibly know and then it's time to make a decision, whether you've got everything you want to know or not, and if you don't make the decision, you perish. That's just plain and simple, or your people do, as a result of you being unable to make a decision, so the intent here is not to lay on the requirement for perfect information. The intent is find the person who has the best information or the people who have the best information and get that information as quickly as you can to somebody who has to make a decision, and, of course, you immediately run smack into rank. Now, it's not what you know. It's what you wear on your collar. There's no chandeliers in here. Bullshit, you know. It's crazy. If you have good information, if you've been trained to do a job, your contribution should be valuable, and if you can't make a valuable contribution, you should perish. Yeah? (Applause.) We just finished a major exercise. It was a nuclear exercise and, in the middle of this exercise now, we have this blog activity and it goes out to all the components. It's global. We started at a rate of -- we would get about a thousand hits a day. Right now we're running somewhere between one and a half and two million bits an hour, okay? That many blogs are what are hitting this network. When we did the debrief, we had what we call gray periods, but a group of retired flag officers who ran the exercise for us and then debriefed us -- they brought in this exchange that occurred in the blog space. It was between my deputy, Lieutenant General Bob Kahler, Air Force, and a second lieutenant out at Air Force Space Command, and the issue was that we were trying to figure out how to defend the space asset that was under attack, and it was back and forth, back and forth between this second lieutenant and lieutenant general, and at the end of the day, the second lieutenant was right. It was the second lieutenant's decision that we executed on, did not bother General Kahler because it was the right answer. The system is not going to tolerate that the way it's built today. We've got to find a way for the system to tolerate that because that decision was actionable and it made a difference. The difficult part about working in blog space is that it's global. If you say something stupid, you're stupid globally. There's no way around it. It doesn't matter what's on your collar. You're stupid. People worry about being in the cyber environment and having an exchange between a second lieutenant and a general. Stupid is stupid. Smart is smart. If you've got complainers, if you've got people who have got an axe to grind, it is the most hostile ready room that you could ever imagine being in. It polices itself so quickly because it just won't tolerate stupidity and, when you get in that kind of an environment, you cannot walk in and just say, "Because I'm older" or "Because I happen to outrank you, I'm right." The system won't tolerate it, and that's where we need to be. We've got to change this culture. You cannot operate in a millisecond world doing Napolean staffing, not that I have any passion about it. We have now moved to moving all of our paper packages and all the crap that headquarters are supposed to do and staffing things to Wickpedia type of format where everybody watches it, changes it, fixes it. For a combatant commander -- don't tell anybody about this -- but for a combatant commander, the enemy is the joint staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense and, if you can't stay inside of their decision loop and outstaff them, you find out that you're at the back end of the dog, okay? This system has allowed us to stay so far in front of them that they have no idea how we got where we got, and that's where you want to be in combat. At the end of the day, you want your organization to be so far ahead of the enemy in your decision-making and your maneuver that the enemy has, one, no reason to ever enter into battle, and, two, if they're stupid enough to do it, they have no idea how they got defeated. That's where we want to be. We do not want to enter into this career that you are moving towards with a mindset that I'm going to incrementally improve anything. There is no such thing as a desire for a fair fight. I don't want it. You don't want it. You want to be so good that nobody bothers to fight. To do that, you have got to be agile in your decision-making. You've got to have access to the information you need as quickly as you need it, and it should not matter what's on your collar. That's hearsay, but we've got to change in that direction. Network warfare, the third one -- and then we'll move to Q and A, if anybody's still with me or awake at that point. My sense is that network warfare is really the battle ground of the future. We're going to do things in space, and that's going to become an AOR and we are moving at a pace now that will be substantially different in space than what we have today. Today we have people that do checklists in space and manage the platform or manage the constellation, the package on the platform, et cetera. It's a checklist environment with a ballistic trajectory. This year we will put in space the first of three maneuvering vehicles that do more than just fly a ballistic trajectory. They will fly and they will rendezvous and they will drive around and they will do all sorts of things, and we will do that in low earth orbit as well as in geostationary orbit. That's a big change. That means that the service and the military has to change the way they think about space, and that's got to happen in the next few years, and that's going to take a lot of effort because we've gotten in the mindset that it's pretty static out there and we just kind of watch it and monitor it, and that's not going to be the space of the future. Network warfare, on the other hand, is incredibly dynamic. One of the biggest challenges we have, as I kind of alluded to earlier, in network warfare is, one, there are about three levels of this activity. There is the high school hacker who is out there for mischief, you know, either to improve his grades by hacking into something or -- you name it. There is the corporate hacker, better resourced, trying to get competitive advantage or steel competitive advantage, trying to get into the commerce section or the financial sections and figure out how to embezzle, or whatever poison you want to pick there, and then there's this huge gulf and then there are nation, state network operations, and there are at least ten of them out there that operate in this space, highly resourced, highly educated, chasing technology that is changing, not in even Moore's law of six to 18 months, but changing every minute and every hour. That is an environment in which you can move around and create effect at a rate that is significantly greater than anything that we would dream of, and this pains me because I grew up as a fighter pilot, but that's slow speed compared to working in this environment. That's the environment we've got to move to. That's the environment we're going to be in in the future. That's the environment that you will develop in the services and figure out how to fight there, and we will fight there. There was a president that once said that "The business of America is business." The networks, the Internet, was developed and is owned and operated by business. Networks are merging. There will soon, I think, in the -- most people forecast that sometime in about 2007 all of the networks will have converged to one. It will be in-7 distinguishable as to where the information is flowing and how it's flowing. The number of transactions across a fiber cable, a bundle, is in the billions per second. In there is the information that you're trying to find, the information that you're trying to influence, the activities that you want to do. We can design a jet fighter to allow a person to be able to see what they need to see, know what they need to know, and operate at speeds of 5, 6 hundred miles an hour. Here we're talking about the speed of light and billions of transactions a second. How do you do that? Do you look at something like the movie The Matrix? How do you visualize that? How do you find knowledge in that? That is the environment that we are moving into. That's the environment this nation has to move to. To me, the center of gravity of that activity -- and, again, this is somewhat perjorative, but who cares -- the services are going to be more like the corporate hackers. There is no way that the service -- you pick whichever one you want to pick -- is going to have the underpinning of mathematicians, engineers, and high-powered computing to compete in that environment. We're going to have to figure out how to do that. In this nation, that center of gravity exists at the National Security Agency. It is manned by Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines and civilians, but that's the environment that we're going to fight in. That's where we'll probably do the fighting from. This is an incredibly dynamic environment. I spent some time today in an arrangement that looked like a cockpit with two joy sticks surrounded by video screens and it was called the City of Knowledge and came out of one of the movies, but essentially each building had colored lights that were in the windows. Those lights represented threats. They represented friendly information, bad information, and what you were trying to do is make the human brain perceive billions of transactions a second and find knowledge in those transactions and fly in that environment for a couple, three hours, trying to operate those speeds. It's phenomenal. I mean, it is absolutely phenomenal. That's where we've got to go. That's the challenge that's out in front of you. I come back to the fact that I am intimidated by this crowd. The potential that you hold, the potential that you offer to this country, is immense. Charlie Brown once said, "The heaviest burden around is great potential." If you don't get up every day, as an officer, thinking about how you're going to make sure of two things, you're probably doing it wrong. Those two things are: How am I going to make sure that the people that work for me will have the opportunity to succeed, and I will tell you more people get that wrong than right because most people turn that around and are trying to figure out how they're going to make their people let them succeed. You've got to make your people succeed. You cannot get ahead in this game and get the best out of people unless you're dedicated to them, not to yourself. And the second thing is: Looking for strategic advantage for this nation as an officer, not just an incremental improvement. Incremental improvement will not keep this nation as great as it is today. You've got to look for strategic advantage. You've got to be willing to take risks. You've got to learn how to take that risk. You've got to learn how to go out and figure out how you can get asymmetric advantage in everything that we do for this country because you'll never know when you're going to need it, and just one asymmetric advantage will never be enough. Every day, how will I make sure my people succeed? I appreciate this opportunity. Hopefully I will have irritated at least a few of you and we can get some activity and question and answer. My understanding is that it's next to impossible to get you to talk and that, since this is not graded, most of you didn't pay attention anyway, and it's the end of the year, but the R0E here is anything's fair. I'll go in any direction that you want to go question-and-answer-wise, okay? Is there some way I can get rid of that light so that I can actually see if there's anybody out there? I guess the answer is no. Okay. How do we do this? (A pause occurred in the proceedings.)
CADET: You talked about being --what kind of things are you guys working on to accomplish that goal?
GENERAL CARTWRIGHT: The question,in case you didn't hear it back there, was the idea that you would defeat your enemy without them ever even realizing that they had been beaten. You know, whether you go after Klouswitz or whether you -- you know, you pick your poison there, but the idea here is that it's the mind -- it's the calculus of the enemy -- that you're after. It's the calculus of the enemy that you're trying to defeat, and if that adversary has no idea how you're coming at them, if that adversary believes before he ever goes into the fight that he won't be able to figure out how it's going to go, it gets real painful at night waiting for the first attack, and if you've not been through that, you will. That's the night that you promise everything that you've ever done wrong in the world you'll never do wrong again if you can just get through the next day. You want an adversary squirming as much as possible. What are we trying to do in that environment? Here again, you go to the cyber side of the equation. If everything they hear tells them 39 they're going to lose, if everything they hear is credible and tells them they're going to lose, and if you just go out and demonstrate a few things that you can do that they can't even figure out how you did it, the first day of the war will be yours. One for-sure rule for all of you is: Either the first time you take the runway or the first time you step across the line of departure, everything you thought was going to be is going to be wrong. The enemy will change. Your plan will collapse, and then it is up to you and your training to lead your people in a way that convinces them and instills in them the discipline to stay and fight, and the guy who stays and fights with discipline will always win.
(Question by cadet.)
GENERAL CARTWRIGHT: The question was that, in information warfare, where do we think the direction will go for the war on ideas, correct? I think it's a little bit of what I just talked about in how you influence the calculus of the adversary. The difficult part here is that a lot of our forres in the military into working on the inside of the mind of an adversary, whether you call it psychological operations, information warfare, various disciplines that we use to try to get inside the mind of your adversary, start to get really close to the First Amendment and people worry about that. Is that right? Is that appropriate? If the war is just, if the war has been declared, again, I'm not looking for a fair fight, and so anything that we can do to get inside their head -- and it may be just going out and doing a little exercise. It may be something as simple as the first night of the war this time around in Iraq we launched a Tomahawk cruise missile without a warhead and we flew it inside of one of the palaces and out the other side through windows. We can be there. That's all we needed to say. When we did Kosovo, we had a young Marine company defending a town just north of the southern borders. When they got intelligence that there were a substantial number of forces that clearly outnumbered them, you know, the question was "What are we going to do about it?" And what the young first lieutenant that was in charge of the company did was he called in, set up a plan, and then he took his company out of the town, out into a valley, looked like a perfect set-up to get ambushed, but the adversary forces came from both flanks and then right behind them up over the hill rises came the Cobras and the Us and suckered them in, and then he didn't kill them. He let them go back and tell people about it. He let them run. It was much more powerful. That town was never attacked, so you've got to think about your adversary. You've got to take the things that you've learned here and not be afraid to try to try them out there. It's critical. Was he in a position where he was comfortable enough that those helicopters would have done in that adversary? You bet. He was dealing from a position of power. He was credible, and the adversary knew that there was no reason to attack at that point. They had been beaten. That's the kind of stuff that we want to put and instill and not demand that it be based on what you wear on your collar but based on your ingenuity. That's what we've got to have out there in leadership.
Sir?CADET: Good evening, sir. Cadet Fourth Class Hicks. Sir, you mentioned moving to a more Wicky open-media format for your --one of the major problems that has faced civilian projects of the same nature is maintaining standards and making sure that the information is accurate. With the information coming in from so many different directions, how do you maintain those standards in a military situation?
GENERAL CARTWRIGHT: Yeah, the question here about accuracy is one that people worry about quite a bit, you know, "Gosh, what if you didn't get perfect information?" The lieutenant in the valley did not have perfect information, but what he had was actionable and he made his best judgments based on what he knew at the time when it was time to act, and what we've got to quit doing is laying on information the requirement to be perfect. Accept the fact that there's wrong information. In fact, if you don't plan on some of your information being bogus, you miss the point because it will be bogus. Somebody will report something in your information that is just flat out wrong. It may be malicious. It may not be, but there is no requirement for perfect information. A commander has to operate on his training, his gut feel, and the context of the information that he has around him, but it is more important to act at the right time than to act with perfect information every time, and that's what you're looking for, and when you get a blog environment or a Wick media environment, you're not looking for the perfect information, but you are looking for as much context as you can possibly get as quickly as you can get it, and people will develop reputations just like they do in the commercial sector. I mean, people develop reputations. If Cartwright is stupid, Cartwright is stupid, and you're not going to read his blog, simple as
that, but if, time after time, the combination of Cartwright and Regney keep coming up and each time they do they offer a pretty decent solution, people will listen. You get a reputation. Separate from your 0ERs, you have an operational and tactical reputation in the service, and the two normally don't match, sad but true. Okay?
CADET: Sir, you said that 90 percent of the time StratCom will not act alone. What type of situation would make up the other 1 percent?
GENERAL CARTWRIGHT: When StratCom would be the supported commander leading something. Those activities generally would fall in global strike or network warfare and it would be something that -- they way we build force availability, it's called, but who is available to do what when is generally overseas, outside the country. We try to stop an adversary's attack if somebody attacks us in about five days, and the way we do that is we have four kinds of forces that are staged. We have those forces that are permanently stationed overseas. We
have those forces that rotate overseas. We have a group of forces that fall in on prepositioned equipment if we're attacked, and the fourth one is global strike, and the idea is global strike, if nobody's around when someone attacks, global strike holds it long enough. These are the things that go clear around the earth, missiles, things like that, or cyber. You hold it long enough. Generally behind that comes air. That's the next most responsive things, and then behind that usually naval forces and then the ground forces come in behind. The idea that we would, at StratCom, be the supported commander for the first hours, couple of days of an unwarned attack is the type of environment where we would lead until everybody got their bearings and started to flow force. That would be an instrument. Another one is the "Oh, my God" scenario of a nuclear exchange. It's something that this command has done and been responsible for for years, but if this country is attacked in a massive nuclear exchange, StratCom would be a supported commander in that environment, okay?
CADET: Sir, I was just curious what your opinion is on the generals who have recently retired and spoken out against Secretary Rumsfeld and what impact that could have on the future on civilian, military relations.
GENERAL CARTWRIGHT: The question's on the generals that have spoken out: I'll probably be as controversial in saying this as they were, but, to my way of thinking, there is a body of tort or law associated with self-defense, and in that the basic premise is that you have the right to defend yourself as long as the activity is continuous, so you're attacked. You respond. You can't go home and think about it for a week or a month and then come back and defend yourself. That's one thing that these guys violated. If you really felt like you were wronged, waiting a year or two seems, to me, to be inappropriate. It now is done at a timing that is more vengeful than self-defense. The other part of this is we take an oath, and I know, from a Marine perspective, once, always, and it doesn't matter whether you are on active duty or you have moved to a less-than-active duty status. If you decide to be a general officer and you accept that rank and you accept those responsibilities, then one of the things that we all have to recognize is that one of the things that has kept this nation great is that the military works for civilian leadership, and that leadership has the right to decide what we do and don't do as a nation, and they get elected. If you disagree with that, you can vote, and I think that's the appropriate venue to be working in, so that's where I come down on this.
CADET: Sir, as a management major here, we study a lot of about TQM and especially how it failed in the Air Force, and I was just curious -- it sounds like the command and control structure that you're trying to implement is a lot like TQM. How do you think that you can get around the rank-conscious structure of the military and actually implement something like that?
GENERAL CARTWRIGHT: I think that you will have to keep rank. At some point, as an officer, you're going to have to tell people to do something they absolutely don't want to do, and it may be to die, and you've got to be able to do that in a way that is both lawful and credible, but it does not mean that all ranks can't contribute to the solution, No. 1, that good ideas and leadership can come from people who have whatever they have on their collar, and that if you don't recognize that, you have suboptimized the opportunities that are available for good leadership, competent combat capabilities, and the ability to think outside of the box and outfox an adversary. That's where the young second lieutenant and my deputy in that blog space --it wasn't that either one of them was wrong, but the idea that the young second lieutenant came up with was so out of the box that, when we put it into the problem, our gray beards had no idea what to do with it, and the fight was over before they knew what happened. That's what you've got to incentivize. Is it based off of TQM? We've had this dialogue for a lot of years in the industry side of the equation about different ways to empower the work force. My opinion is we have done that in the military also. We do group hugs. We do all of that crap. It's just not really taken because we have not changed the culture. We have just put the lip service out there, and until you do, you really aren't empowering people. I know that's going to upset somebody here, but that's okay. Okay, we've beat you down? Okay, I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you so much and good luck to you, particularly as you finish this year.
CADET GRAY: General Cartwright, thank you for your insights today. I know that they've been well heard and they will be implemented as we consider our professional role as future military officers in the United States Air Force. As a symbol of our admiration and appreciation, we would like to give you the bird.
GENERAL CARTWRIGHT: Thank you.
CADET GRAY: There will be a reception immediately following in the ballroom. Please take advantage of this opportunity to interact directly with General Cartwright. Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain standing for the departure of the official party and other distinguished guests. WHEREUPON, the within proceedings were concluded at the approximate hour of 8:07 p.m. on May 4, 2006.





 

 

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