General Cartwright: It's good they've got my name up here so I don't forget it.
As I started out this morning from Omaha, and they were in a panic because there was going to be a snowstorm and an ice storm, and I was coming to a snowstorm and an ice storm, in a panic, wondering if anybody was going to be at this end. But then watching last night and this morning at the reaction or the bounce of this conference, seeing what was on C-Span, seeing what somebody just mentioned and I saw this morning, the Wall Street Journal article and some of the other printed media. But the real activity, and if you really want to understand what was going on at this conference, it was really in the blog sphere. That was where the dialogue was going and it seemed to be pretty much real time from yesterday. Each speaker was getting I don't want to say hammered, but -
There was an active dialogue going on from both sides and there was no lack of emotion in the blogs. Which is good. Which is exactly where we wanted to be in this. I think maybe nirvana will be when South Park starts to pick this up.
But that gives you a sense of the world that we live in, too. Things are moving at a pace, and while many of our institutions would like to stay in the industrial age, the reality is we are in the information age and the information age is global. It enables us globally, it facilitates things that we never thought we could do, and that always comes as a double-edged sword.
There is access to technology. Technology is proliferating. Opportunities are proliferating. Again, it just depends on what side of the equation you sit as to how you respond to it. Ignoring it should not be an option for us. That has been a difficult row to hoe here over the past few years because we are certainly on the military side an institution that is very comfortable in a very structured decision-making format, a very structured way of moving forward and trying to make sure that we develop capabilities that are responsive to the threats that we have to face. But sometimes those capabilities come later than the threats emerge.
As you look at the strategy that you all have been addressing over the past day, the idea of the new triad. The thought process, the idea that we are now at a point where we're doing a Quadrennial Defense Review, trying to merge that and pull in the pieces of the Nuclear Posture Review at the same time.
When we first did this in 2000 we laid out a plan that would move us from 2000 to 2012, whether you're talking about stockpile issues, whether you're talking about general purposes forces, whether you're talking about strategy. The idea was where do we want to be in 2012? What's the road map to get there? What's the right pace? Where are the decision points where we could adjust the pace? And this is one of the key decision points, where we are today, as to whether or not the pace of that [implementation] is right and whether or not our crystal ball back in 2000 was right.
Certainly it wasn't perfect, but certainly it probably wasn't all wrong.
After the NPR and the QDR came 9/11, came Afghanistan, came Iraq, came a tsunami, came hurricanes, and now we're looking at pandemic flu.
So the question really is -- My sense. My comment is maybe the strategy was about right, but certainly the pace at which we are getting ready for this future and this world probably needs to move faster, not slower.
So one of the options that we need to be considering at this point in our review for certainly STRATCOM is, are we putting ourselves on a footing to acknowledge the fact that the acceleration and the pace of both the capabilities out there is closer to Moore's Law than it is to the industrial constructs.
We have done a lot of work over the past few years to move ourselves forward in this construct called the new triad. I happen to think you can argue about what leg's first, what's on top, whether or not the enablers ought to be -- All of those things are interesting, but what's more important in my mind is, is it adjusting at a rate that's going to keep this country on the footing that we want to keep ourselves on? And that is not just limited to the military. It can't be just limited to the military. We cannot be one-dimensional in the application of our national power so it's got to be a broader dialogue.
We have an emergence of a global construct that we're living in as a result partially certainly of this information technology, this information age. It is not new in the construct for the military. We have had Transportation Command for a lot of years who is certainly global in their perspective, certainly understands the fact that they have to cross the boundaries of the various regional combatant commanders, the various countries. You pick your boundary; they've really got to cross it.
You're now seeing the emergence certainly, and the maturing of Special Operations Command and the value that it brings to our military capabilities.
So as Strategic Command started to grow in mission and capability, it was only logical that we would start to pick up this global perspective, start to move ourselves on a footing that would be global in nature.
We had a bit of a fire sale. We picked up space, we picked up IO, we picked up weapons of mass destruction, combating weapons of mass destruction, and we picked up C4ISR. World hunger is next, I'm sure. [Laughter]. But we'll get --
The idea here is, what are those global enablers that you really want to have out there that will allow this country to operate as a global actor rather than a regional actor? And to acknowledge the fact that while we may pay attention to a lot of the boundaries out of there whether they may be property, nation state, et cetera, not everybody in the world plays by those boundaries. And when you build those boundaries, the longer you have them the greater opportunity they are as a place to hide and have mischief go on. That's a nice way of saying it's an ugly world out there and the potential is great.
As we step forward then in this global command the question becomes how do you put yourself on a footing? How do you organize yourself in a way that will move us forward, that will allow us to cross boundaries when it's appropriate, and please, right up front, the intent here is not to throw away all the boundaries? There are checks and balances associated with our Constitution that made us great. Giving those up is tantamount to basically conceding to the enemy, and you don't want to be in that position.
But you do want to put yourself on a footing that you can cross them at appropriate times, whether they be authorities, whether they be geographic in nature, and that you can create the effect that protects this nation and furthers the development that we want to have highlighted.
So as I step through this triad what I'd like to do is kind of tease out or irritate you -- and it can go either way, it doesn't matter -- to what I think is moving forward here on the triad and using that as a construct by which we have this dialogue. Both the good of this and the bad. As a fighter we're supposed to say good because nothing's ever bad, but the reality is that not everything in this activity has been perfect. It has not moved at the pace, as I said before, that I think in some cases we probably want it to move. And it certainly in some cases has not kept up with the threat that we face today, especially when you start to look at things like a pandemic flu. When you start to look at the realities of trying to protect the homeland and the breadth and the diversity of the threats that we have to address, whether they be natural in nature or manmade.
So I will start with the offensive side because that always gets all of the glamour and everybody wants to talk about the nuclear weapons and some of those pieces, but let me just step through each of the legs to engender a conversation when I finish up.
On the offensive side of the triad, the old triad is embedded in the offense, and I guess if we're going to build triads then everything should be done in three's. I was a Marine. I was raised everything was done in three's, so I'll stick with that construct.
In the offensive side we look at the nuclear kinetic capabilities, the conventional kinetic capabilities and the non-kinetic capabilities that are starting to emerge and starting to be a credible player in this forum.
On the nuclear side I know there's been an awful lot of dialogue on a lot of the activity there, but the one piece that we have honed in on as an enabler for us in understanding where you might want to go with this capability and how best to leverage it in an effective way from a science and military standpoint, precision is one of the things that comes out very quickly.
Precision as we applied it to conventional weapons really changed how we did business. You don't have to go back very far, I think the construct that people like is the idea that aircraft used to go attack targets and we counted the number of sorties necessary to kill a target. Now we're talking about the number of weapons and targets we kill per sortie. Precision drastically changed the way we did business, whether you look at it from an infrastructure standpoint, whether you look at it from a warfighting, kinetic standpoint, it changed the way we did business.
If you look more to my background to say artillery, the 155 round is the prolific round that's out there. Heretofore, before we started to introduce precision into our artillery 60 to 70 percent of the trucking from the rear to the front was carrying 155 rounds. It was incredible the infrastructure to keep that going. When you change to precision it now drops down into the 20-ish percent area. It really does change the dynamic of how you do business and how you apply force and power. That's critical.
If you apply that on the nuclear side people say geez, how accurate do you have to be with X number of megatons? Well, if you walk the ground at some place like Hiroshima or Nagasaki, you will see in fact that precision does have an effect here. Not just in how you deliver, but how many you deliver, how many are necessary to get the desired effect, et cetera. So to me precision is critical. It will bleed over and certainly have an affect on the infrastructure side of the equation, but it has a significant effect about how many times you have to go back and revisit targets, how many weapons you have to have in your inventory, how big the iron mountains have to be. And how many people have to go in harm's way and how much destruction you reap when you use these weapons.
On the conventional side when you apply precision to the equation, what we have learned, and as you watched the progress of weapons over the past 10 to 15 years, the size of the weapon reduces to get the effect. If you can be precise, you don't need 5,000 pounds, you don't need 2,000 pounds. You can start to do it with a much smaller weapon. It is an energy equation.
If you bring precision to this discussion and you have a set of targets, then it is only logical to take a look at that target set and say gee, I always held this at risk with a nuclear weapon for some reason. But I've got ten years of history, two to three wars that show that I can do this very comfortably with a with a conventional weapon. Why am I still holding at risk with a nuclear weapon?
That ought to be an intention that goes into the system. It ought to be an intention that goes into the offensive leg of the discussion. How much of this do we need to hold at risk? Or are there times when we still want to have a nuclear option but we'd also like to have a conventional option? And we'd also like to have a non-kinetic option.
So as we start to move forward, the idea that we want a range of options, a range of choices to present to the National Command Authority because the diversity of the threat and the scenarios is so much greater than it used to be.
It was really, I don't want to call it nice, but it was a much more comfortable scenario when it was just one v. one. Because then you could react to the threat, you could return the threat, but you had an understanding, you were working with somebody who had a protocol which you could understand so you understood the timelines of decisions, how they were going to be made, where you needed to create the opportunity to intervene prior to a conventional or a nuclear exchange. All of those things were there.
They are not necessarily there any more when you deal with an extremist, a terrorist group, a nation state that maybe is not all that mature in its government form, et cetera, its decision processes. So you've got to take a look at a broader range of options to offer to the National Command Authority and they should not, again going back to my training certainly as a Marine, they cannot be one size fits all. It just doesn't give us the flexibility that we need for the future.
Let me go back on the conventional kinetic side. There has been a significant amount of progress made on the conventional side. About five years back we got into the JDAM, which became a great weapon. It basically opened up the night. It opened up bad weather and our ability to work in those times, as well as good weather; brought precision to the equation; allowed us to do a lot of things.
Out of that also came what's called JSOW, but a standoff weapon, a glide weapon that was entered in the inventory.
This year we saw the advent of the fielding and operational terms of the next generation Tomahawk or TLAM""a very capable weapon that is now out there in the fleet.
We saw the introduction of a new cruise missile that was air-launched, that has proliferated across our TacAir and our bombers.
When you start to add all of those capabilities to the arsenal that a bomber, as an example, can bring to the fight, we started to see the emergence, and this just kills me to say as a Marine, but a B-52 being able to do close air support.
But it was credible. It was very credible and it remains so. And they can stand off and do things that we thought this 40-year-old bomber would never be able to do in the threat environment we live in today.
So the last year has really seen the introduction of a suite of new conventional capabilities that really do start to reach out and touch and really do challenge the number of options that you have to go against any particular problem.
On the non-conventional side, I would tell you six months ago that my report card would have put an ""F"" in this area. There's capability there, but our ability to use it properly, to apply it in ways that make sense, the strategy matched and the operational tactics that are matched with integrating this into kinetic forms of attack and offense were at best immature. At best we could apply with very temporary results and very unpredictable results. Understanding the implications, an understanding second and third order effect of using various types of these weapons was not well understood. But this area is one that has held true to Moore's Law.
I've watched over the last six months the emergence of capabilities across a broad set of terms""when you talk non-kinetic, there are the non-lethal that are at the high end of this thing, but you're into the network type activities, you're into the types of things that influence your enemy in ways, change the calculus of the formula that's in his mind about whether he could be successful or not. Certainly give us increased capabilities down at; in our linear military minds we have a set of phases that are associated with war that go from zero to four.
A lot of what I've just talked to you about are focused on phases two and three which is the shooting part of the war. But the reality is we spent most of our time in zero and one, trying to make sure that the options that we're crafting to move this conflict to the left, so to speak, into the zero and one, back to places where you can negotiate, where you can apply more elements of national power, try to move us in a direction that is more stable and gives you more choices.
The choices associated with zero and one, while kinetic certainly has a role down there, these non-kinetic things give you a much richer set of choices in phases zero and one. That's where we are moving. That to me is the great leverage that they are starting to show and have potential for. We are still not there. We are not mature in this area from a tactical warfighting standpoint but it shows great promise.
When you look at networks, the idea that we can have an effect by moving from where we are today in this room at .2, .3 milliseconds to any place on the face of the earth in geosynchronous orbit. You can watch television and you can watch the Stargate. As a metaphor, the idea that for us at STRATCOM we can be from Omaha to any place on the face of the earth in a couple of milliseconds and have effect is pretty significant.
How do you do that? If you want to see something that doesn't pay any attention to boundaries, whether they be national or whether they be authorities, this is an area. There's been some good debate when we look at the issues of press and how do you influence that, and I'm sure we'll get into that discussion, or don't you, or how do you play in that environment. But the idea that you can move at the speed of light around the earth, and the implications of that for our context of understanding boundaries, geographic authorities associated with various departments in our government, between governments, et cetera, really challenges that workspace, so to speak.
So as we start to look at these new capabilities, we can certainly look the other way, cede that space to the enemy and just say gee, that's just not some place we're going to play. That's really not a choice. That is really not a choice. What I'm hoping will be part of the dialogue that comes out of this conference is what are the pitfalls here? What are the things that people ought to worry about? Where is the leverage in these areas? How do we understand it? How do we apply it appropriately? Because I don't want to just fall down into, so to speak, we have an old term that is associated with Happy Hours. If you get down and wrestle with the pigs, you'll get muddy.
It is important to understand the non-kinetic side of this equation.
Let me slide down now, just metaphorically, to defense. Again, I look at it from a three-some. There is warning associated with defense; there is the passive activities that are associated with defense; and there are those that are active.
The boutique capability in this area that gets most of the dialogue is missile defense, particularly ballistic missile defense. We have had challenges with the ground-based interceptor that's associated with that. That has gotten certainly a lot of dialogue and a lot of work, but missile defense as a capability is much broader than the mid-course, long-range ballistic capability.
Over the past three weeks, we're right now on a very good string of successes. We have had a successful sea-based launch with the standard missile three. That was about two weeks ago. We had a very successful launch with the theater missile, the THAAD about two weeks ago. We had a very successful R&D test with the airborne laser about two weeks ago. We had the ground-based interceptor two nights ago that flew. I think 2002 is our last flight of that that could even be called successful. So those pieces have moved along.
Starting in November of last year I asked for the authority and the permission to do what we came to call a shakedown, in naval terms. The idea of taking a new system, putting operators on it before it's really ready to be fielded, and letting them start to decide whether or not this makes sense, and if you were going to do this how would you do it?
We went through things like emergency procedures, what if this fails, what if that fails; did an awful lot of work that changed dynamically those looking at the system today, the R&D technicians, the companies that are fielding and building this system. Average age probably in the 30s, 40s. Now we stick the 19 year olds on the systems. It makes a difference. It makes a difference how you use this system when the average age of who is going to be using it is 19 year old versus 30-40 year old. So we did seven months of working this system, not only the ballistic long range, but the short range and the medium range pieces with these youngsters. It's unfair to call them youngsters, but accept that for what it is. They are very talented and very capable people.
We took all of that learning and we are now incorporating that into the system. So we basically for seven months really rang this system out from an operational perspective and we are now in a process that will take us about six months of doing all the hardware and software upgrades that make this useable by the warfighter. That's a big step. That's a real big step for us. So that work is ongoing.
On the defensive side of this equation, and we can talk more about the various types of missile defense and where we're going, I will say one thing. One of the things I think is very important with this missile defense system, and it applies to a lot of our other systems is, if we're going to build something that arguably is very expensive and very sophisticated, and we're going to isolate it, we're going to have a command and control system for ballistic missile defense, we're going to have a set of sensors dedicated to ballistic missile defense, and we're going to have a set of weapons dedicated to it, we will go broke before we get to cruise missiles, air missile, et cetera.
We've got to start to bring these together. We've got to look at this holistically. And when you build a ballistic missile system that covers the face of the earth you cannot afford to manage it region by region. And when you start to build a system as we have where the sensors can be used for three or four or five different functions because of the technology we have today, you cannot have three or five or four or ten different command and control systems to run it. That's a very difficult thing to do for us when we have four different services applying it, we have a large group of customers in the regional combatant commanders trying to field a system in a coherent way has been a challenge.
Part of what I want to get accomplished here certainly and what I am challenging internally is we've got to find a way to field these systems so that they are coherent, so that you understand where the leverage is, where you want to spend your next dollar, where you get the most leverage for that dollar, and not be wasteful and not have stand-alone systems that only have one function in a world where functions ought to change at the speed of light. That ought to apply not only to missile defense, it's certainly in my AOR any way, has got to apply to space and a lot of other areas. We've got to start to think about this differently.
Let me step across combating weapons of mass destruction. You can put this in the defensive part of the portfolio. The reality is it has clear application on the offensive side as well as the defensive side.
I know that you have gone through the missions of non-proliferation, counter-proliferation, and consequence management.
The difficult part here for me one, is to get our arms around it. People like to think about this in terms of nuclear""and I don't want to say nuclear is easy, but in comparison to bio and chem and some of the things that are potentially going to emerge in the next few years with this pandemic and the concerns we have there, trying to understand how you do business in this area and how you can use it in a way that can particularly affect the so-called phases zero and one, but pre-hostilities, keeping things stable, keeping things under control, A.
B""how do you address adversaries who are not deterred by force? Whether they be a suicide bomber or whatever, consequence management has got to change the calculus in that enemy's mind. If the idea here is that you have a credible consequence management and the object of the terrorist is not going to be met, it makes it a lot easier to at least start a deterrence regime against them. And we've got to understand that, understand what really affects the mental psyche of someone who is not deterred by a stick, so to speak.
Infrastructure, I think that will be a large part of your discussion today. The piece here that is important to me is that we for a lot of years have managed, even considering precision, unknown and ambiguity by either larger stockpiles or more diverse stockpiles, larger amounts of energy to work out the ambiguity. If you're trying to find something that's mobile, that's hidden in a jungle that you can't find, we tend to put a bigger bomb against it.
But the problem here is, like a car industry, if when you field a particular model you have a recall because something didn't work, if you only have one model it leaves you very vulnerable. So you've got to have enough diversity to prevent that, but you do not need, or where I prefer to be is you don't have to have so much of it that you build these iron mountains out of weapons out there, and now the next idea which is more appropriate for the next generation threat is basically strangled out because you've got to maintain these mountains.
Managing by inventory is not where any business today really wants to be. Those huge inventories that try to eliminate the need for a decent crystal ball really leave you in a very difficult position financially, very difficult position against a threat that is ever morphing.
So we've got to come to an understanding of the contribution of the infrastructure, how it can be resilient, how it can embrace change and lead change, and keep you on a footing where either a genetic malfunction in a particular series of weapons or a threat that has emerged or a new technology that has emerged that has surprised you, was not in your crystal ball, we have to find a way to manage that other than large inventories of stockpiles. That can only be done with a very resilient, very adaptive infrastructure. I'll leave it at that and you all can pick at that all day long here. It's certainly got some issues associated with it. And challenges.
Command and control""one of my favorite ones. I alluded a little bit to this at the beginning of the discussion.
We have, and I see a lot of familiar faces out there so this will not be new, but we have a command and control system associated with the military in particular that has been tried and true and is basically in the same form it was when Napoleon invented it.
The question is, does it serve us well? Can we afford a process, a vertical process that starts at the bottom and goes through various committees, we call them departments, et cetera, works its way up so that the idea is that all the ambiguity is worked out when you get to the top level of the pyramid, so to speak, when you get to the combatant commander. It's had enough staffing that all the ambiguity's worked out.
The reality of that is, anybody who has been in combat tells you you're not managing known facts. You're managing the perceptions that you have picked up, the understandings, and you're living in ambiguity. So if you have a command and control system that is trying to work that all out, then what is the baseline truth?
If we put 20 of us across the stage and we start here with a secret like you did in high school or junior high school, what comes out at the other end often has no bearing on the reality of where you started- A.
B, we have over the last at least five to ten years paid an awful lot of homage to empowering people. I've got to tell you, this vertical system doesn't do a lot of empowering. You've got to push this down; you've got to break this down. You've got to flatten it out. The decision cycles take way too long. You lose the core value of the truths that you started with, that you were trying to find by the time you get to it, and when you get to the top of one pyramid there's three more that you've got to go through. By the time you've made your perfect decision, it's totally irrelevant in today's world. We've got to find a way to change that.
We moved at STRATCOM to these, we had a name the baby contest and called them joint functional components. But the idea here was to start to align function with a headquarters, number one. Number two, give them the authorities and responsibilities necessary to do the job, not have a combatant commander sitting over the top with a staff that's trying to do the job for them. STRATCOM had about 4,000 people, man years, et cetera, associated with the mission that we had which was the strategic deterrence, read nuclear mission.
When we picked up the additional five missions there was probably a terror and a tremor through the force that okay, 5,000 times five, and that will be the headquarters. The State of Nebraska was probably happy about that, but the reality of trying to then have an agile, nimble, decision-making process that could do this business, not possible.
We're heading to below 1,000. We have pushed that out. We now have these components. They are doing the work. They have significantly more authorities than the STRATCOM commander has to be able to do the job and to do it in a cycle time and a decision time that is reflective of the speed that the enemy is reacting in.
We have this culture, this vertical culture, this Napoleon command and control structure. It doesn't do well with the information age we live in. We have undertaken a lot of effort out there to get people to understand how to communicate -- chat rooms, blogs, things like that. It's more about culture than it is about technology, but what you can do is empower an incredibly larger crowd than in this vertical structure""and getting that crowd empowered.
If the average age on an aircraft carrier is 21 years old, 5,000 people, and you're only going to take care of the two or three colonels or Navy captains that are on that ship, they're the only credible decision makers on it, you're really trapped. You cannot get the flexibility and diversity. You do not get the opinions.
Again, when you're in conflict, when you're stressed you're not dealing with long staffed decisions. You're dealing with your understanding of the environment and the things that have to be done. And you need everybody able to contribute in that environment and you need them to be able to contribute inside the decision lines of the enemy. That's where we want to be.
We have a very robust, very protocol-oriented and positive control oriented decision process associated with our nuclear weapons. That has to remain in place but it doesn't have to ignore the advances in technology. Right now we're trying to maintain a [inaudible], circuit-based system to do our command and control and we've got to bring that into the 21st Century. We've got to get the assuredness that we need, but we've got to do that in a way that makes sense.
It is so much easier today to get context quickly about what's going on around you rather than isolating yourself and burying yourself in a hole deep in the earth with no understanding of what's going on around you, and then just read through a checklist. We cannot be in that position. We really can't. We've got to challenge that.
That's controversial""I understand that. But we have got to move.
For the most part our communications are still circuit-based. They haven't even moved to asynchronous. And they certainly haven't gotten to IP. We've got to challenge that. We've got to do it in a smart way, we've got to do it in a matured way because the stakes in this game are very high, but we've got to move out of that.
The last piece is intelligence as an enabler. I think you have had some conversations associated with the intelligence. The area that I would focus in on the intelligence side of the equation is that area that is associated with taking intelligence as it exists today and moving it, fusing it and moving it quickly to those who have to make decisions and those who have to pull triggers.
Today we certainly pat ourselves on the back about how integrated we are, how well we can fuse information. My criticism of that is the definition that we're using today is that if Captain Cartwright is sitting at a table in an operations center some place with a screen in front that has a display that's associated with this function, he becomes integrated when he gets a second screen. That's our definition, is we'll just pipe more information in and the fusion is all going to occur here. When you add stress, when you add dirt, when you add hunger, when you add thirst, when you add tired, is that the role that we really want the person to be in? Is that really the kind of fusion that we want? Or do we want a signal that emits off the face of the earth to go to a satellite, to go to a radar, to point sensors, to give information to a fire control solution, and to have people sitting in that chain managing by exception?
But that's integrated.
We're not there yet. We're trying to understand. And a lot of what I talked about in the missile defense shakedown was""understanding where do you put people in the chain? This is new stuff.
But integration is not just giving us more plasma displays. That's what we're treating it as today, by and large. That's not really increasing the decision cycle and the decision speed in a way that really gets us to where we want to be, or the precision of our information.
So a lot of what I want to try to get accomplished as we move forward, certainly from our perspective, is the idea that if we're sensing something the command and control system that we have has the appropriate picks, so to speak, that intervene in the process at the appropriate times, but we move that information from detecting it through sensors to the shooter side of the equation at the speed of light. That's the only way it's going to work. Particularly if who's shooting at you is on the other side of the earth. We cannot do it with strings and cans and repeaters and we cannot do it with a roomful of plasma displays that really are just displays of information, not knowledge.
I think I've picked on almost everybody now. If I left somebody out I'm sure we'll hear about it in the Q&A but I would like to move to the Q&A side and see where we go on that.
I appreciate your patience, especially early in the morning, especially cold and snowy and icy and you might not get home, mindset.
Moderator: Thank you very much, General Cartwright.
We now have the opportunity for discussion and questions, but being I guess the moderator of this session may I begin with a question and ask you to talk a bit about two of the points that you made here.
You talk about flattening command structures and building resilience into infrastructure. What immediately came to mind, as one who has been interested in business affairs for a long time and having a degree in business affairs, was what business I teach you and the military generally with regard to this issue of building a flatter command structure and also building the kinds of resilience in without large inventories, the ability to move inventories quickly to where you need them, the kinds of things that Federal Express and other are doing so well in the private sector. I wondered how that is affecting your thinking about these issues.
General Cartwright: When we started about, I guess I've been in this job for about a year and a half, but a year and a half ago when we sat down and said we really do have to change this structure and how we're approaching it. This is a good place to do it. Let's go for it.
We put together three groups to look at alternative approaches, both from an organizational construct but also from a business process construct, et cetera. We took a group that was basically academic in nature from the war colleges associated with the militaries and from a couple of the larger public institutions. We had a group that was, we call them gray beards, but retired military that participated. Then we had a group, I got a group from the then CNO, Admiral Clark, that was business oriented
We asked them, I gave them a set of attributes that I thought were appropriate for what we wanted to be able to do; asked them to take those attributes and come back and give me some alternatives on how to move forward. And I kept the three groups separate at the time.
The academic group went everything from the status quo to so far out of the box that it was probably a little bit challenging, but there were things in there that were interesting about how to think about problems.
The gray beards, I'll get in trouble for this, but that's okay, really tried to solve problems that they had had, rather than thinking about where do you want to be.
Seventy percent of what we used came out of the business group because the real thought that's gone into this, the real pain and scar tissue associated with changing the way they do business, changing how they manage their workforce, how they manage their transactions, really had some maturity to it, it had some depth to it, and so an awful lot of what we are trying to accomplish has in fact come from that sector.
It's not a one-for-one transition by any stretch of the imagination but there's enough depth and understanding in how to flatten organizations, how to move, how to do business differently. Let me give you a case in point on the intelligence side.
Today we take a very limited number of linguists and the way we manage them is we put them in an airplane and we move them to the point of intercept, where the transaction occurs. So they fly for six hours, they sit on station for two, and then they fly home for six hours. Twelve hours non-productive, two hours productive.
Those electrons can move any place on the face of the earth in less than 3/10ths of a millisecond. Why are we doing that?
Why do we do that on a regular basis in much of our institution?
So that's how we started to get at this. I don't think we're there yet, and certainly business is not resting from the standpoint of this flat architecture and we're learning more every day.
We have two groups that we call advisers out at STRATCOM. One group is former military, former labs or actively in the labs, et cetera, that advise us on a lot of the activities, but also have a purely business group that has no relationship to the military. CEOs that sit. And this is the kind of thing that I try to get out of them, and certainly it's incredibly helpful. There are an awful lot of lessons to be learned there. Some of them are direct application; some of them don't quite work. Some of them need to work but the culture's just not ready for it and that's where you go and try to get yourself in a little trouble and press the culture with things like blogs and things that can really help bring and assimilate your workforce in a way that it sees opportunity in change, not fraught with disaster.
Moderator: Thank you very much. I know there are many more questions here for you.
Question: Sir, Jim Longley.
I'm wondering, to kind of put a different take on what you're saying and maybe try and help clarify with the idea of a question. A couple of us were talking last night, there's been a lot of discussion here about the what. Not a whole lot of how. And to pick up on your information industrial analogy, it's almost as if we're taking information age missions and adding them onto an industrial age organizational [wagon]. Not thinking about the construct of the wagon.
What it sounds to me like you're with the business people particularly, getting those kinds of insights in terms of how do you change not the what necessarily in what you're doing, but the how of it.
The question is, how do we pick up the pace? What are you doing in the command to get that message down through frankly a bureaucracy that doesn't want to understand it?
If I could just add something else, and this is really a personal note. I do a lot of work in the technical community. I know that we're getting information on something happening in Iraq that's not going to be down to the people that can do something about it and we're losing [inaudible] because of it.
So I commend what you're doing and honestly, I think it's one of the most important things that we can be talking about this morning.
General Cartwright: Thank you.
Trying to push this down so that every individual in the organization and every individual associated with the organization has the opportunity to contribute is a challenge that culturally certainly gains the most resistance.
We have a very disciplined approach necessary for military operations so the transition difference between military operations and business operations -- You can move the information, but then the authorities associated with the information becomes problematic.
I'll give you an example, and I've used this several times.
But when we started the activity with blogging, the first thing that I got was nobody would blog except for the very senior people. I wondered why not? Well, they had basically ordered their people not to blog.
I said, well your choice is to be fired or get them to blog.
Then what I got was a period of what I'll call tethered goats. Lance Corporal Cartwright answered all of General Cartwright's mail to make it look like Lance Corporate Cartwright was doing something. That has eroded over time, and now people are becoming more and more comfortable.
But in that sphere you also see the crossing of the military dynamic, command and who's in charge in an environment where it's kind of free-wheeling. People worry, oh gosh, what if somebody says something bad? What if somebody says something bad about the boss? Will I get fired over that? How will it play in Washington, so to speak?
The reality is this is a very quickly self-policing environment. If you say something stupid in a blog, it's global, and there's no hiding it, A.
B, the way we do it anyway, it is associated with your IP and you're not going to say that I'm Fred and then log on as somebody else. We know who's blogging and who isn't. That's part of it.
But what we have also done in the tools that are out there, and I got this, I guess it's okay to say this in this room, but Union Pacific and the insurance companies gave me an idea about how you can take some tools and you can understand who's contributing in your dialogue.
So that if you run into a problem say in a particular sensor and you're trying to figure out who's really talking about this? If I ask my staff to give me an answer, what I get is the senior person.
The reality is, it's not the senior person that's day in and day out working that sensor and trying to understand it. You can within a millisecond find who's really talking about this and who's really involved in it, and go straight to them.
That cuts out an awful lot of the chain of command. It's fast, but the comfort zone that you have just entered is very nervous.
The more we do that, though, and the more people see success associated with that, the more compelling it becomes to allow people to contribute.
So there's a little bit of trying to show where there is opportunity to be successful and contribute, and showing that value as quickly as you can so that you get the culture to move in the direction.
It's more art than science, but it is effective. And trying to find where you can gain the leverage and show people opportunity that they really feel like they can go after, rather than risk that they're worried about, you really start to change the dynamic.
Question: General, Frank [inaudible].
I'm interested in how well you think that military resources and money, how well they're matched up or lined up with threats and [inaudible].
General Cartwright: It's a timely question. I think at least this week in the printed media there have been some very good articles, one by John Hamre, another one that was out there, I don't think it was attributed, but discussing where we ought to be going in a model for matching resource requirement, need so to speak, and then acquisition, the ability to provide that need.
I think the thrust of the discussion was that there is an opportunity to move to something that is more responsive. What we tend to do today in those three major processes is we work against cost, schedule and performance, and each one of those processes as they go, you start with the requirement. What is it I need to be able to do? Then you go to okay, how do I want to build it? Is it capable of doing it? And then you match the resources.
The idea is that each step of the way people put down red lines. You can't do this, you can't do that. By the time you get to matching to resource, you have zero flexibility. There is no slip in the schedule that can be tolerated, there's no discovery of a problem that can be tolerated, and the world can't change.
Then by the time you get it fielded in that process, which is generally five to ten years, it's legacy before the first Marine has seen it.
How do you start to move at a speed that is more aligned with the world that we live in is really the challenge that's out there.
I talk a little bit about moving the missile defense construct into a broader construct, managing it in a different way. We have the Missile Defense Agency, MDA, out there. It is one idea of how you might think about the problem. But can we get to something that would say be more businesslike, and is it appropriate? Say a technical architect that looks at an area like missile defense in a broad, technical way, and says here's where the leverage is, and if you don't put something here there's no way you're going to be able to do something over here. You can field a million dollar widget but it's not going to do anything because the rest of the pieces aren't there.
So you've got a technical architecture that helps you understand the problem and where the priorities and leverage is. You match that up with a Board of Directors that have the authorities across acquisition, resources and requirements, to represent the community appropriately, and then you put a [titular] head at the top of it.
That means that nobody can prematurely put down red lines. If when you get to the end game it doesn't match the world you live in, somebody can actually raise their hand and say why are we doing this? Or, I need to do this, but it needs to jump this much higher or run this much faster or whatever the right attribute is.
We've got to find a way to bring this into a more coherent way of doing business and I think there's a good dialogue going on out there about that. I hope it bears some fruit and we actually start to move in a direction.
The guy who came up with JSIDS. What was he thinking about?
Question: Bob Holmsley, Lawrence Livermoor National Lab.
My question has to do with nuclear force structure, and in particular how do you see going about deciding the size and the types of nuclear weapons that you'd like for the future? Also, how do you see RRW as getting you to that point?
General Cartwright: The first piece associated with RRW is really not one of new. It is really one of making sure that the technologies associated with 40 year old systems are brought in line with today's safety, security, surety standards, and that only makes good sense from a stewardship standpoint. But it also is certainly a point of departure for a discussion about all of the problems I laid out. A diverse threat set. A threat set that morphs very quickly.
I would say that it would be a reasonable hypothesis to say that while we may have been successful at keeping a 40 year old weapon in the inventory this long, the likelihood of a 40 year old weapon lasting, a new 40 year old weapon lasting 40 years into the future with the rate of change that goes on and the new technology, et cetera, is probably not reasonable. Whatever it is we build is going to have to understand that it's got to be flexible enough to adjust to a world that is changing at an ever-increasing rate.
That doesn't mean you have to go out and build a whole new set of weapons. What it does mean though is that when you engineer, hopefully through the RRW process, you need to be thinking about modular. You need to be thinking about standards. You need to be thinking about the delivery platforms may have to change their approach to the problem because the world changed. That just has to be part of the calculus that we go into this with.
The other part of the calculus has to be that whatever it is that we build, there has to be enough resilience in that infrastructure to not only do the day-to-day management and the reasonable opportunity to find something that didn't, a particular component that failed. You've got to be able to take on the issue of a breakthrough, a surprise in technology that you're going to have to react to. A change in the platforms technology, et cetera, that you're going to have to acknowledge. That's the pieces that I think we want to set ourselves on the path towards.
Can we do it? How fast do we need to do it? We're way late to need. We are late to need on moving in this direction.
There are a lot of levers here and a lot of leverage. I think one of the most critical is that we're at a point where we can take the gray beards that are out there that have the experience in this particular field and let them train the new, and then let those new people nurture the next generation, but if we miss that opportunity -- Certainly there is an awful lot of art in this. There's a lot of science but there's also a lot of art. We don't want to miss that opportunity to have a group of people that really understand the art associated with it. And it's very different building something in virtual, building something in a lab, and productionizing it. It is a very different activity.
You can take cars, you can take airplanes. That's true across all those. It's very different.
So this activity has got to find a way to assimilate both intellectual capital, the opportunity to understand the world is going to change at an ever-increasing pace. The relevance of these weapons may change at that pace also. You're going to have to have enough resilience there to be able to accommodate all of that.
Question: Thomas Shepherd, Lawrence Livermoor.
You talked about three groups that you used when you did your studies -- academic, retired military, and business oriented. I noticed you talked a little bit about a more diffuse or more disbursed decisionmaking process. That seems to me like a small step in the direction of the way an organization like al-Qaida operates. So I was wondering --
Now I know you don't want to take too many lessons from terrorists on how do to your operations, but I'm wondering is there much to be learned by using, by observing how an organization like al-Qaida works which is extremely disbursed. Is there anything that could be incorporated into the way we operate?
General Cartwright: I don't want to liken us to al-Qaida, but if a disbursed -- Let's give us some attributes. We can argue about that, but agile, decentralized type of command and control system, and either because of, and I just happened to get up and this is what I thought this morning so I put that word out if something happens. If that kind of decision cycle is what you're really trying to react to, then the lessons that I take from it is that I've got to be at least twice as fast as that. And if that means that we've got to go up and down through three or four chain of commands, et cetera, we can't possibly succeed against that decision cycle.
Now as I said at the front of the conversation this morning, the idea here is, particularly in phases zero and one, is to start to put in place command and control architectures, non-kinetic type architectures that force decision cycles like that to stretch out so that we can intervene in a lot more places with a lot more choices and try to drive it to a more coherent response, rather than I'm in a bad mood, let's go bomb something.
And this is going to be tough.
So yes, there are lessons to be learned there, but the lesson in particular for at least STRATCOM is we've got to be at least twice as fast as that, not to stretch out the decision pace. That's a big challenge. It is a really big challenge.
Moderator: Thank you very much, General Cartwright.