Topic: Space Assets and Use
Gen. Cartwright: I appreciate the opportunity to come and spend some time here today, not as much as I'd like to, but this is an important event. It's important for the military, because every time we have one of these events, we get to see people we haven't seen in ages. But probably the more important audience out there today is industry, and making sure that we have an open channel communication and you have some sense of what, at least on the military side, we're thinking. And from my perspective, the combatant commander perspective on that activity associated with space and with strategic deterrents in general.
Today is pretty significant. Today in 1945, 62 years ago, FDR died and late in the afternoon what would become the 33rd President, Truman, went over to the White House, was advised of the fact that the President had passed away, and he assumed the mantel. And history has been pretty good to the 33rd President, but as you look back on it, most historians treat that day, this day, as a watershed event in the change and deterrents for this country in our approach to deterrents. And through that administration a lot of things occurred, but we moved ourselves into an age of deterrents, mutual assured destruction and a way of doing business that became known as the Cold War.
Likely some of it that has either already occurred or will occur will define the transition that we're in today. But make no mistake, we are in a transition and we are moving on in deterrents to a different world. Whether you use the fall of the wall in the 92 timeframe or you use the Iraq war, 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, the things that are going on around us today to worry about what could happen associated with bio or pandemics, when all of these things are going to affect what we envision to be deterrents in the future.
And the question really emerges here for this group is what's the role of space in that environment? In an environment where we're not looking at one nation state, we're looking at pure nation states, ____ states. Looking at organizations that are not nation states that follow either idealistic genre or get down to the actual individual terrorists. That stand, the speed at which it has emerged, all demand a different version of deterrents. And we'll figure out what event, well, we'll let the historians do that. But we're in the middle of this transition.
And so we had, at Stratcom assumed several missions that heretofore were unassigned associated with information operations, associated with space coming out of what used to be US Space Command, integrated missile defense, combating weapons of mass destruction, global strike. It's a pretty significant list.
How do they fit together? What's the strategy? How do we put this together? We have a Quadrennial Defense Review, we had a nuclear posture review. We came up with what was called the New Triad, which is a balancing of offense/defense and infrastructure. And starting to understand how you tailor deterrents for the actors out there and not to apply it as a one-size-fits-all activity.
What adjustments have we made in space in response to that new strategy? What adjustments have we made in response, in space in response to the world that we are really having to live in today? What I'd like to do is step down through about half a dozen challenges and responses that I think are going on. Some are good news, some are not as mature as they should be, some are bad news. And I'll do that, hopefully finish this up. There's a clock that supposed to be ticking here, but it's not ticking, so I guess I get all the time I want. [Laughter.] But, and leave a few minutes for Q and A, because I understand that you have not done Q and A and you ought to have a chance to come after us a little bit on some of the things that we say, so we'll do that at the end of this.
Now, the first thing that I would say to you about space is, and what is changing in space, has to do with, there was a wonderful slide, we just finished a ___ war game. And there was a wonderful slide in the debrief, there was actually a series of two. The first one was a snapshot of space in about 1960. And there were just a couple of countries and there were tens of vessels out there. And you could kind of count the little white dots pretty easily. And the next slide was a, the same perspective, a view of the earth with all these little white dots and there were large portions of the earth that were not visible because we're now into thousands of vessels out there, not the tens.
It's changed. I have to go back to my roots, but like a dumb Marine fighter pilot, a good time was going out and attacking clouds, cause there was never going to be anything on the other side of the clouds, so you could just willy nilly run through them, have a good time, maneuver your airplane around, learn something while you were doing it. But the idea was somebody being out there besides you was just a foreign idea. And it was a big sky/ little bullet theory. And we didn't need radar and we didn't need FAA and we just kind of went where we needed to go.
Space has got that challenge in front of us. We're stacked, in many cases, 3 deep in space. That's good, that's bad. We've got to have some way to start to manage that, but I will tell you the challenge we face is that we've gotten little bureaucracies associated with brutes that manage, that decide whether or not something's important, whether they're going to react or not react and so if somebody is in peril out there, we decide to vote on it. And we have 3 or 4 committees that get together. But there isn't a sense of unity of command, which is important to the military. There isn't a sense of let's get this done and what are the rules of the road, and how we're going to do this. And we've got to start to do something about that. An awful lot of that effort is being laid on the shoulders of the Joint Space Operation Center, the JSPOC to start to pull these pieces together.
But today, and I'll kind of, again, fighter pilot mentality, when the guy in the backseat would say, did you see that, which was always the worst thing that could happen to you. [Laughter.] You know, we tried to figure out what went by. In space, we tend to think in terms of, well, we'll get back to you in a week. We've got to check what our priorities are first before we get back to you. Maybe it's a month that we'll get back to them. And things out there go a heck of a lot faster than airplanes. And the regret factors of not keeping track of what's going on up there when you start to get into the thousands of vehicles and debris, is pretty significant.
And add in the fact that there are lives, people that are going up there and are in the space station and as we start to move towards other endeavors in science, that's a pretty significant ____. And it's an awful lot of just trust me, it's a big sky/little boat theory. We're going to have to change that. And we're working on it, but I have to tell you we're not getting there fast enough and I'm never a patient person, so understand that I'm not terribly patient about how we're doing on that.
The second challenge that I see up there that for me goes to the heart of the group that's in this room, it's a business case. It's a risk business case. How are we going to do business in this environment? The path that we're on I would characterize as it's really expensive to go to space, so we ought to make sure that there's a lot of redundancy on the systems that we put in space. Since we're not going to launch very often, we better make sure that we put as many things on that bus as we can. Since there is as many things as we can put on that bus, we better make sure they last a long time. Since we've got to make sure they last a long time, we better put a little more redundancy on them. Since we've put all that on it's going to be heavy. Guess we're going to need a bigger spacecraft, launch vehicle. And since it's going to have to be bigger and it costs so much, we better make sure that it's affordable, but it never fails.
Most businesses that track themselves in that end up in something called chapter. [Laughter.] We have to find a way, it is not that we don't want exquisite systems in space, but we've got to find a way to keep a decent business case and more than one risk metric, which is never fail, accept the fact that things are going to happen. For Marines it's called just shit happens. [Laughter.] We're going to have to be able to have a sustained activity. We can't build one class all the way through 15 years and then come back and expect to build it again. We've got to change this. And it's easy for me to stand up here and say we've got to change it, and I can see a lot of heads going north/south on this. But we're going to have to come up with the systems that show the value to changing this risk equation.
And there's an awful lot of that activity going on out there. And Stratcom has no money. All we can do is be a squeaky wheel, but we're really pushing hard on interprocesses inside the services that are associated with the TACSATs, enterprises that the business world has been willing to partner with on. Things like IRIS comm activities, et cetera. So we've got to change the metrics, we've got to change the risk equations, we've got to change the balance of who's playing up there.
There is no reason why we should be shutting commercial out of a lot of this activity. People hate me for saying that, but that's just where we are. We've got to get to something like craft in the air. There's got to be, there's got to be some sort of similar activity in space. We've got to find a way to bring survivability and resilience into the constellations and we're not going to do that as a military or government only activity. It's just not going to work. Or we're going to end up near that chapter, whatever it is, that we end up on just building exquisite systems. We've got to fundamentally change that.
Easy to say, everybody's been saying it, but getting something going and getting utility out of this has been the challenge. I think we're on a path personally to show and to start to break some of these paradigms. That means that we're going to break some rice bowls doing it. I'm happy to join in to that club, sign me up. Because we're not going in a direction that is going to support the diversity of threat that we're facing in the world of the 21st century. We're not heading in a direction that is going to allow us the flexibility to address the unknowns that are coming at us. And we've got to change that.
The third issue, this one is a little nearer and dearer to my heart. Second Lieutenant Cartwright, Company Commander, the utility of space. I got services, my GPS works. If it doesn't work, I just throw it in the dirt and continue on with my map and my compass, but I sure like that in my GPS. What's space doing for you? Oh, does that come from space? Where is the integration to the war fighter? What we're hearing and what we've got to face is in the Cold War we believed that nobody knew we were in space. And therefore everything was a secret. And therefore Lieutenant Cartwright couldn't have the information because it would divulge the secret that we're in space.
When you watch people go in harm's way and you spend a month or two in the dirt and the cold, and you watch people die, and somebody comes and tells you today, and whisper in your ear about something that might be over the hill, you'd rather put a bullet between their eyes than listen to them. You are so mad. And that's got to change. If we're putting that stuff up there to support the war fighter and national security, let's give it to the war fighter and national security. And so another squeaky wheel from Stratcom, we're going to start busting these walls down or go to jail trying.
But it is unacceptable to keep secrets from the people who need to enforce, put in place the national security objectives. It's just not acceptable. We'll have to find a way to fix it. Do we give up everything? Do we give up advantage to do that? Not likely. If it's so valuable, it will give us advantage in the right place. Keeping it a secret does not become an advantage. Making sure that we don't sell our secrets through something called ""I know the rest of the acronym,"" is not helping us the way it's supposed to. In many cases it's disadvantaging us, and we've got to work our way through this. We've got to figure out how to get this back on track. No emotion about that.
I guess number 4. Situation awareness in space. We're doing an awful lot as a team to pull situation awareness into the 21st century, to get out of the mindset of a catalog, out of the mindset of ""I'll get back to you in a week about what went by your canopy."" Into the age, the information age. The information age that demands that information move in milliseconds, not days and weeks. The problem, the most promising activity is the Joint Space Operation Center. It is the first step in pulling the pieces together that actually give you situation awareness in space, taking the 1970s ____ tech radars that we had terrestrially and bring them into the 21st century. Taking the, I think my Atari had more processing power than we have in the system that runs the ____. Bringing that stuff into the 21st century is just absolutely essential. It's unacceptable to do anything less.
But probably the biggest challenge in my mind that needs to be addressed culturally is, we've done a pretty good job of putting the J in Joint Space Operation Center. It's coming around. I've got an Air Force lead, 14th Air Force in General Sheldon. I've got an Army Deputy in General Horne, and he is also a Comm Deputy with the, with my counterpart at the NRO, Don Kerr. And he sits in both places.
We've connected those 2 virtually. We're now starting connection physically and operationally and organizationally to give us a common view of what's going on in the world. That's all good stuff. But J does not equal C. We have allies, we have other people that operate in space. We don't fight alone. It's going to have to become the CSpOC, not the JSpOC.
And we'll go back and we'll have to work our way through all of the issues with security, all of the issues about trying to keep secrets from each other while we're in harm's way in this _____. But we've got to do it. And we've got to move quickly. And one of my promises this year is that we'll have a common operating picture between ourselves, the UK, Australia and Canada. We're going to get there this year, again, or somebody's going to have to shoot me. But we've got to do it. It's just, it has to be done.
And there's no technical reason why we can't. There's several process owners out there and things like that that want to get in the way. Think about some of the challenges that we have in Stratcom across these different mission areas to give you a sense of some of the frustration every once in awhile. I have one component called net warfare who has a complete transparency that's called by an acronym called ____, the complete transparency. Right next to them is a component over on the other side that works in the 2 and 3, 2 and 3 countries that have total transparency between all the transactions that go on. And then I have a strike component in the 8th Air Force who can't see anything the other 2 components are doing. Makes a lot of sense. So we've got rules to allow it, but we've got rules to prohibit, in the same command. Which team are we on here?
The fifth one for me is this response issue, this responsive issue, this capability to do business that is relevant. People want to immediately attach acquisition, organizations. Well, interesting, okay? But what is it you want to do? Why do you want to be responsive? What is demanding a change in the responsive posture that we have and how we have handled responsiveness in the past and how do we want to handle it in the future? The world is fundamentally different. Things are happening at a much quicker pace and in a scale that is global. You cannot fly airplanes from a problem in Iraq to a problem in North Korea in a couple of hours. We're talking more like a couple of weeks, at best.
We need the global flexibility. You're only going to get that in space. There is really, in my mind, we have moved to a point now where the utility at space versus the utility of an airplane is starting to fall toward space for national security. It doesn't mean that we're going away from airplanes. But to have global flexibility, you've got to be in space. That means you have to have decision cycles that are responsive and don't take weeks and months to negotiate where you're going to look and what you're going to do. We've fundamentally got to change that architecture to being responsive.
When you face the unknown, our first line of defense, and I would tell you that the NRO is probably the _____ builder on responsive, but is to take what you have and adapt it. Figure out how to use what you have, because when you cross the line of departure and the adversary ends up on your flight, which is guaranteed something's going to be different, how are you going to respond? PPBS will not do it for you. You've got to be able to take what you have and adapt it.
And you cannot think in single domain nor can you think in single _____, nor can you think in single service, because that is the definition of seams. You've got to start to think in ways that we traditionally just don't like to do. There's nothing wrong with vertical integration. The adversary's love it. We've got to start to figure out how to create non-traditional relationships and advantage ourselves before we cross the line of departure and accept the fact that we're not going to know what's out there.
We had an activity associated, our close friends, the North Koreans, were nice enough to have a missile test for us back in July. One of the things in bringing the missile defense system online for that demonstration was that we got to operate it for about 90 days continuously. Pretty interesting system. It has space elements, it has terrestrial, it has air. It's, it has command and control that is much more advanced than probably any other system that we have.
Obviously, if you're trying to manage sensors and weapons across 9 time zones continually for 90 days, you start to learn some things. And one of the things we learned is that radars and systems need to go offline for maintenance and calibration. Did you just put a huge hole in your defensive shield, so to speak? How do you understand what's going on out there and who's online and who's off and what the implications are?
I could have gone and asked somebody to design a system to monitor that for us and somewhere in the next 3 to 4 years we'd of had something. But in 3 to 4 days, we connected the dots with the data and we knew it. And we had it, and we had it distributed so everybody knew who was online, who was off, who was scheduled, who is exceeding their schedule, what the implications were. That's the kind of response we need. It has to be integrated, you have to be thinking across the domains, across the services, across the stovepipes in ways that we haven't in the past.
We can't afford to wait weeks, months, years for solutions. It just, the regret factors are too high. So we've got to change the way we think and we've got to change the way we organize and architect ourselves to be responsive to the unknown. Building a radar inside of an F-18 that is there to drop a bomb and shoot a missile, and for no other purpose and everything else it sees is thrown on the ground, is unacceptable. It's just unacceptable in the future. We can't afford that.
My last rant here is survivability. We have pushed on this issue in space for the last, for me, probably the last 8 years to try to move ourselves to some posture that would give us more resilience and more survivability. Survivability is expensive. When we did it in the air and moved ourselves first to speed enough, if we can go really fast that you're invincible. Then we made ourselves invisible and then we were sure we were invincible. Now we're going back and try to figure out how we put speed and stealth together because neither one alone is doing it. You work your way through and you lead the technology and to try to figure out how to make yourself survivable.
But the wrong lesson to learn is, and this is another fighter pilot mentality, but eventually you build such a great jet and it costs so much money, that you have one. But nobody could ever destroy it. The only problem is, that may be true about a bullet, but it's not true about all the things that make the jet fly. So resilience is an absolutely critical attribute. Perfect survivability without resilience isn't going to get you where you want to be. And I go back to the bigger, more exquisite, more expensive.
There is something wonderful about numbers. Having more than one or two is really important. And we're backing ourselves into the wrong corner if we're building the Battle Star Galactica and that's the answer to all of our problems. We can't go that direction. It kills the industrial base, it takes away our competitiveness, it takes away innovation and it drives us into a corner on a _____ that we can't stand. We have to think about this differently.
My last comment along those lines is people are concerned because, oh, my gosh, he's trying to throw away the national architecture or he's trying to say bad things about my widget. I just need enough of them to be assured they will be there when Lance Corporal Cartwright needs them. That they actually give you an answer that's relevant to this problem when he has the problem, not after the fact. Those things have to be the attributes. And survivable and resilient has to be part of that equation.
I will let you take me to ASAT or whatever else you want to do in ___NA, but if we don't start thinking about these attributes and matching them up to the objectives of the deterrents that we want, the deterrents capabilities we want to have in the 21st century, then this is an interesting foray, but I'm not sure it's of any value.
And this is the space enterprise. And my belief is there's a huge value starting to accrue in what you could do in space. But General Jumper had a wonderful story and I'll close with it. If you've got a problem, take a few people, stick them in a room, stuff pizzas under the door and don't let them out until they solve it. [Laughter.] And they will put 90% of their effort to solving the problem. Once the problem is solved and they have invented a hammer, everything is a nail.
And you've got to fundamentally pull the group out of the closet, disperse them and get rid of them and go at the problem again if you want to understand it better. And that's probably the hardest thing culturally that we do. Because once we invent the hammer, everything is a nail.
So what does the contribution for space in the 21st century deterrent construct look like? Where will we find that? Where will we give ourselves for the opportunities to succeed and lead in the world? And where will we not be willing to let go of the hammer? That's the challenge that's out in front of us. I look forward to the opportunity to do Q and A with you. I'm not terribly bashful about giving you my opinion, for what it's worth. I mean you all gathered to listen to a Marine talk about space. [Laughter.] So I'll open it up for the audience.
Audience: Major ____ about the Chinese ASAT and the details about that and the over _____ responses if possible, but do space guys talk about how _____ space has been? What we don't know, like your analysis of why they do it, what are they after, what kind of policy or objectives are they chasing with that video?
Gen. Cartwright: Sure. You know, I'd go back to the analogy of the hammer. Every problem in space does not have to be solved by a space solution. That's number one. We learned that in a Cold War, we learned that in the World War I/World War II. In fact, it's actually disadvantageous to approach a problem symmetrically, you'd rather approach it oblique or asymmetrically.
And so try to understand how you come at this problem and why they are having this challenge now. There's not a big secret here about the Chinese wanting to go to space. Seeing what we did as we emerged and grew up in space, what it did for our nation, what it did for our science based technology and what that did for business and commerce and for the country, for unifying the country. All of those attributes, why wouldn't a country go after that? So don't be surprised.
Okay, got that. What are the implications and was this a surprise? No, it wasn't a surprise. I'm sure you've had speakers talking about them. I mean this is their third attempt. They've had plenty of models. It wasn't like the Soviet Union at the time or the United States in trying to put all the intellectual capital of the country at this problem, because we really had no model in front of us. They've got plenty of experience and so they're moving quicker through this then we did.
But we did this. Back in 85 we were doing ASAT. We did it differently and like the big sky/little airplane theory, there wasn't as much out there to be affected by it. But we were growing up as a nation doing it, we learned. And so let's give them credit for trying to move forward and trying to understand how to bring the same attributes to their nation.
Having said that, when you look at what they're doing, they have, for me, national security perspective. They have a continuum of affect in space that is comprehensive and well thought out, all the way from temporary and reversible to the high end of kinetic. Okay? Directors said ASAT's not a very sexy way to do business. I think they know that, we know that, the Russians know that, others know that. And at which you probably quickly on the wrong side of the cost imposing strategy equation.
There are smarter ways to do business, but let me go back to airplanes. When you know how to rendezvous, you know how to close on a collision course. That's all a rendezvous is, it's just that you stop sooner. [Laughter.] Hopefully. A couple of times, never mind. [Laughter.] But there are things that you need to learn to move on to be on inside _____ Earth orbit to get out. You need to be able to bring bodies together, you need to be able to avoid bodies. You need to be able to navigate, you need to be able to do it with precision, you need to be able to create guidance solutions that are not based strictly on Earth orientation. All of those things are in this activity. It's a logical place to go.
Should we be worried about it? Should we respond in space on this issue? That's kind of the question that I generally get. Should we have a treaty about this? Personally, no. We don't need an arbitration space, treaties in space are problematic. What is a weapon? Is your car a weapon? It can be. Is just moving around, how do you define this? It's very difficult to come up with this. When we tried to do this with our friends the Russians, the shuttle was a weapon. Well, that's not going to work.
So we've got to figure out if we're going to put some rules down, what makes sense, what allows science and exploration and commerce to go on in an orderly fashion and how we're going to do it. And one of the implications on the war fighting standpoint of a direct ascent ASAT, yes, I could make the analogies of given all these rockets in a line and all of the satellites in a line, it would take this many minutes to knock them all out.
Well, that assumes, number one, that we didn't know anything was coming. A bolt out of the blue type of strategy, which is not consistent with the relationship that we have with the Chinese. It assumes that we will do nothing about it, which is inconsistent with this country's approach to business. And certainly with the responsibilities we have at Stratcom.
So, to me, we need to enter into a dialogue, where do we want to go with this relationship? What's appropriate, what are we willing to say, yes, you must be able to defend yourself, you must be able to have a voice and ensure that you have access to space, be assured access to space that you need. Sounds familiar? It's certainly in our policy. We need to think our way through this and understand and enter into a little more transparency than we have today with our counterparts on the Chinese side.
But this is not a mandate for a race to space. It is not in my mind the defining moment in our relationship. It shouldn't be. It doesn't need to be. We shouldn't put that kind of emphasis on it. We knew it was coming, it's not the end of the world. It does not put at risk all of our space assets. It certainly should affect our behavior in ways. Space situation awareness, how do we get resilience in our constellations, how do we get survivability in our ____, that's where we need to focus. And we need to focus there for more than just because somebody wants an ASAT. We need that for a lot of other reasons.
This is a good wakeup call. We need to get our act together and get onto a different business case, a different way of thinking about how reactive and predictive we are in space, what we do with our intelligence assets from the standpoint of indications and warning that somebody might put a space asset at risk. But we can do all of that, and we've been working that. It's not like we woke up yesterday ____.
So important, significant, yes. Watershed? Not in my mind. Requirement to go to a space race, honest race? No. Probably more than you wanted. Let's see, a couple more --
Audience: Well, General, coming back, you mentioned something about your needs, ____ what you see and I think the service providers will tell you that they are either fulfilling those needs now or they have plans to do that. And perhaps this connect might be, as you say, ____ condition ____. Is there something a process or a decision maker, an appropriate process that we need to change? Something that needs to be changed in order to fill that gap?
Gen. Cartwright: Fair question. I know you're back there someplace, I really couldn't pick you out. But if I just kind of look in this direction, hopefully I'll catch you. But no, I, my sense is that I would tinker with it, I would tinker with the rules a little bit, but on the margins.
What I'm looking for is a fundamentally different approach to the problem. Moving away from the exquisite only to some diversity, some constancy in going out and producing from a manufacturing standpoint. An architecture that says that my first line of defense is that these systems have to have sufficient flexibility that I can change their relationships with other phenomenology's, that there are sensor, other communications, things like that.
What we're trying to do with this service research labs, Army, Navy, Air Force, in particular, and with the national labs and with industry is start to explore choices. Doesn't mean we have to disrupt the exquisites that we need, but what are our choices out there? Where can we insert technology or relationships that advantage us? We kind of came to a ""here's how you do it, here are the relationships you need,"" mindset in the Cold War and we're scared to death of stepping out of it.
So we need to challenge the status quo and find out if there's anything there. The TACSATs, I mean they're wonderful little teasers to see whether or not there's value. The one that's up there today mixes SIGINT with IMINT. The way we do that today is there's a screen, a desk here. There's a screen and a desk here. Person, a person. And they talk to each other and that's integration.
Does that work? We don't do it that way on airplanes. But should we change that? Does it get us inside of somebody's decision loop and give us operational advantage? If it does, it would be an interesting experiment. Should we carry that experiment then onto something operational?
IRIS, a combination between Stratcom and industry starting to look at putting IP in space. I mean, the paradigm that we have today for communications is we have a wave form that's optimized for the medium and we put the information in that medium on that wave form. Should we be more associated with optimize the wave form for the medium, forget the information. Let it just find the path of, that makes the most sense.
And can we start to mix and match then in a much more flexible way, air in space, terrestrial in space, space in space? These are to tease out. Where is their value? These are to broaden the industrial base and ____ underpinning that's out there that might have a good idea. The strength of this nation was its diversity. Not eliminating the competition.
And so that's where we, where our focus is in the process. I'm with you, the services are building us several solutions to the ____ side ____ to that. The question is where do we want to be, what are the opportunities in front of us, how long do we have to expand the decision space, how much intellectual capital do you want to have associated with the space enterprise, how much of it do you want to chase away?
I mean, you have to think of this in more than one dimension. And I know that's not what you're doing, but that's where my head is. You know, but I change PPBS and the J ____ and all this. I did that once, nobody liked it anyway. It's really more about how you approach the problem. And one of the things that I frequently say, and really do mean, is that for some reason after we've finished the first couple of world wars the relationship which was absolutely essential to winning between industry and the government and the military has drifted apart.
We need that partnership to be tighter than ever now. We've got to find a way to bring it back together without taking away your opportunity to peak. But we've got to figure out how, I mean, terrorists are not coming to the United States to attack the military. They're coming here to attack you. Okay? You're in this with us. You ought to be able to contribute. And I don't find to many people that are pushing back on that construct, but we've got to find ways to enable that. And that's where I lean towards, solving some of these problems. Give us more choices. Okay. I think he's, he's not the ____.
Audience: To incorporate, as a former Marine, ____ got to see you in _____. But my question is, all this is a follow-up to what you were just talking about. What do you hope to see in the near term future of our space assets deal with the asymmetrical battle threats? How are we going to then support, for example, our Commander General Patreas, in Iraq with space assets? I'll ask a simple, quick question. Do you think the Marines will be the guards of the lunar outpost? [Laughter.]
Gen. Cartwright: Well, let's not go there. The key for the Patreas' of the future and today, and the PFC heartbreak out there are getting the information that advantages them in a decision cycle and an action cycle as fast as the adversary. Cause once we give the tools to American war fighters, there's nobody that's going to be inside that decision loop. They're the best trained and the best in the world.
The question is, can we do it? What space gives us is really just the ability to get out there where there is no infrastructure, which is where we live. Oftentimes we come up with these wonderful, elegant solutions that are great for headquarters and the Joint Staff. But, you know, I don't have fighter chasing me around the battlefield. I really rely on space, we really rely on air to move things to us in a timely tempo that outfaces our adversary.
If the quantity and the quality are not there, out there on the so called edge, then we're not doing what we need to do with these assets for the people who really are going to make a difference. And so a lot of what we focus on, part of the kind of the second order effect of having a Marine in Stratcom is we're really focused on how you do this for the war fighter, not for space.
And to me that's critical. You can't lose that focus. That's not to say that people before haven't thought about it that way. But if you're not getting up every day worrying about that, how are you, my question every time I talk to General Sheldon is what are you doing for the ____? Not what are you doing for me, what are you doing for the ____? Does the ___ know this? Are they able to use it, did they get it in time to make a difference? Are you getting this information forward to the fighters? That, and we've fundamentally got to change it, A.
B, there's a whole bunch of things that you can do in space or on the way to and from space to get inside the decision loop for your adversaries. We've got to start to operationalize that, and take it out of the closet and start to ____, make it relevant today. It's got to be done. We're working on it. And I think we're getting, we're making good progress there. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.