Category Archives: 060 Decentralization

The Sheriff Revolt on New Gun Laws Shows Why America Needs More Decentralization – Foundation for Economic Education

People would have far fewer political grievances in a decentralized system.

Recently, a dozen sheriffs in Washington state announced that they would refuse to enforce the newly passed Initiative 1639, which raised the legal age of purchasing a firearm of any sort to 21, expanded background check requirements, increased the waiting period, and mandated weapon storage when not in active use. Predictably, political proponents immediately threatened these sheriffs, who were hired to enforce county, not state, laws, with legal action. Of course, when I say passed, what I really mean is that 14 of 39 counties in Washington decided the referendum was a good idea.

Based on actual voting patterns, the victory of this particular bill can be almost entirely explained by the margin of victory in King County (506k), where Seattle is located, which accounted for 87 percent the margin of victory of the statewide referendum (580k). This is a common phenomenon in many states that have a large single urban population. Another classic example is New York and the political dominance of the city in state-wide politics.

The Problem with Centralized Authority

What the refusal of the 12 county law enforcement officials is doing is voicing displeasure with what amounts to a distant population dictating how they’ll operate in their own homes. Why are people in Seattle, who may never even set foot on the eastern side of the Cascades, let alone actually make that region their permanent home, imposing law on residents of Omak?

A nearly identical result of the above picture was experienced in Legislative Initiative 940, which mandated law enforcement personnel behave like good citizens, such as mandating de-escalation as first response and legally mandating police provide first aid to wounded individuals, including suspects who have been shot.

Though, to be fair to residents of King County, this reliance on statewide referendums for local issues can backfire. Initiative 1634, which banned taxation of sodas and other items politicians in Seattle find in vogue to tax, also passed, essentially with only King, San Juan, and Jefferson disagreeing with it.

An identical result to the above picture was experienced, though with colors flipped since it failed, for Initiative 1631, which would have imposed CO2 taxes on Washington residents. If we take all four referendums in bulk, only six counties in Washington can be considered 100 percent happy about the results. Everyone else basically only got some of the policies they wanted. This means that only the majorities of 15 percent of the counties in the state could be classified as satisfied with the results of the election cycle, leaving the other 85 percent stewing like those dozen sheriffs.

This is a terrible way to run a society, where only a small fraction of the people are happy with political and social decisions, and the vast majority always have to eat “compromise” imposed upon them by outsiders.

Radical Decentralization

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Residents of Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City shouldn’t have to believe that they can’t live their chosen lifestyle without this strange belief that those same policies and decisions must radiate out hundreds of miles from their borders. Nor do residents who aren’t part of large urban centers need to feel like they have to strategically handcuff urban dwellers to avoid getting swept up in their preferences.

The solution to these issues is radical decentralization. There is no logical reason why Washington state must continue to exist and can’t be split up into 39 new states. Just like there is very little that is done in D.C. that can’t be done just as well, or better, in Olympia, there’s very little that is done in Olympia that can’t be done just as well, or better, in Ephrata, Washington. This way, the people of the new state of King can have gun laws, soda taxes, a kinder police force, and CO2 taxes without stepping on the toes of people in the new state of Yakima. The only real objections would come from politicians, both in D.C. and in Washington state, who are only concerned with maintaining personal power—if Washington state decentralizes into 39 independent entities, all that would happen is a layer of state politicians and bureaucrats would be laid off, and US senators would find their vote is no longer worth 1 percent of the Senate but 0.6 percent.

It’s much easier for someone unhappy with policies of the hypothetical state of King to move to the hypothetical state of Kittitas than it is to relocate to Idaho.

In reality, the US should be made up of, at minimum, 3,142 states (the number of counties and census areas), though certain areas, like Los Angeles County, can be split into at least 17 distinct states itself, and NYC can be cut into 73 around police districts, each of which are large cities in their own right. Again, the only real objection to this would be the middlemen state-level politicians who would no longer have a job and congressmen who would see their voting power radically diluted. Which, to say, is not a legitimate reason to oppose splitting the US up into smaller political jurisdictions.

Under such a system, people will have far fewer political grievances since they’ll be unlikely to have to live under a regime that’s unfavorable to them. It’s much easier for someone unhappy with policies of the hypothetical state of King to move to the hypothetical state of Kittitas than it is to relocate to Idaho, similar to how it’s easier for a resident of New Mexico to relocate to Texas than it is to New Zealand. Similar to the setup in Luxemburg, or even how Clark County residents have employment in Portland, dividing up political jurisdictions into small pieces allows for people to work and live in preferred jurisdictions without the significant inconvenience of a long-distance move. It’s much easier to find a county with a preferred lifestyle than trying to get an entire state to fit your preferences. This would radically reduce the desire of local sheriffs to rebel against imposed laws, and people would be far happier with the expanded political choices—finding common political and social ground with 50 thousand is far easier than 7.5 million.

This article was reprinted from the Mises Institute.

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In the event of a violent threat, how do you defend your enterprise?

How do you move from defenseless to defended?

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Learn more here: www.distributedsecurity.com

Another Perspective on “Arming Teachers”

Jon Alexander has raised some serious challenges to the concept of “arming teachers” to strengthen security in our schools. Allow me to shift the debate somewhat by adjusting its fundamental assumptions.

Speculation isn’t necessary

In the U.S. today, at least fourteen states have laws on the books which allow school boards to authorize concealed carry of firearms by school staff, under various conditions, while ten more states do not restrict concealed carry to school staff members only, although most of them still require specific, individual permission of the governing school board. The number is growing every year: last year, Wyoming joined; this year bills are pending in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Meantime, in Ohio alone, over 1,000 trained school staff members are carrying concealed handguns in more than one-quarter of the school districts in that state. In South Dakota, Texas, Colorado and other states, significant and growing numbers of school staff members are already legally carrying concealed firearms – while Utah has allowed anyone with a state concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on school property for going on 19 years.

So, this is not a new idea; quite the contrary. We have a considerable amount of experience with it, and because of the decentralized approach, wherein state laws and school board policies differ, we have quite a variety of experiments underway.

How is it working out? Famously. While mass shooters have not been particularly deterred by the presence of uniformed School Resource Officers (Columbine High School and Parkland, Florida being particular examples), there is no evidence of a single school shooting taking place in any district across the country where trained, non-law enforcement school staff members are carrying concealed weapons. Correlation is not causation, but that fact cannot be easily dismissed.

There are also zero examples of injuries resulting from the kind of mishaps commonly predicted by the skeptics: no accidental shootings, no rowdy students shot by frustrated teachers, no gun take-aways by students. They’re just not happening.

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DETERRENCE = Unidentified Armed Defenders, In Unknown Locations.

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 7.35.03 AM

Concealed carry of firearms by school staff – or church cadres, or businesses, or even just broadening the right to legal concealed carry by civilians – provides the ability to defend innocent lives in the first seconds that they come under attack, when police are minutes away at best. While some in our society have difficulty grasping that simple concept, even more push back against the assertion that this capability actually deters attack, and that the deterrence is far more powerful when it is in fact concealed carry by unidentified persons, whose presence, location, numbers, and response cannot be predicted by a would-be offender.  Some people understand this concept implicitly, while others do not. We are asked, “Where’s your data?” We point to the absence of mass shootings where people are known or likely to be armed, and especially to public schools in districts across 24 states that allow concealed carry by non-law enforcement (under a variety of conditions and requirements, but the skeptics ask, “How can you prove that the absence of shootings there has anything to do with concealed carry by permittees in their schools?” Well, here’s the answer: there’s no definitive data. There’s no proof. This is not something that can be established statistically. It requires critical thinking, common sense, and some experience-based understanding of how humans think, plan, and act in the arena of violence.

In 2015, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Craig Broyles submitted his Master’s thesis at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Titled Military Maneuver Terrorism, it addresses the threat against the U.S. and the West of terrorist attacks involving multiple attackers using small arms, explosives, and other low tech, like those that occurred in Mumbai, India (2008), at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya (2011), and at the Beslan school in the Russian republic of North Ossetia (2004). He cites, among many other sources, a piece that I wrote as a research paper at the Naval War College in 2007 and published in Homeland Security Affairs in 2008: Paramilitary Terrorism – A Neglected Threat, which made several of the same points. We both applied similar concepts that are familiar to people schooled in risk management, threat assessment, intelligence, and the operational and strategic arts.

LTC Broyles recommends several potential remedies to this threat but points out that deterrence is the most important strategy against the threat of a large, organized armed group of terrorists attempting a mass casualty attack. If such an attack is executed, regardless of how well we respond, the consequences will be terrible. Better to keep it from happening at all.

One thing that terrorist organizations have in common with most of the apolitical psychopaths who perpetrate mass shootings is a penchant for planning, and especially a desire for their action to go off according to plan, without a hitch. They study their target, and if they don’t select a target because it is undefended, they have carefully prepared plans on how to circumvent or defeat whatever defensive element is there. Unpredictability is their worst enemy. They have one shot at it, either because it’s an individual who plans to die on site when he is done, or an organization that risks irreplaceable resources by coming out of the shadows to execute an attack.

The presence of an unknown number of unidentified armed defenders, in unknown locations, with response plans and specific training and rehearsals that the attacker cannot find out, is precisely the kind of thing that discourages or deters them from ever acting. “Beginnings are delicate times” as some sage said, and the chance of having your grand one-off final curtain event come apart in its first minutes, because of stout resistance you were unable to predict, is literally a show-stopper.

LTC Broyles points out the obvious – that, because of the unpredictability it creates, concealed carry of firearms by American citizens, everywhere they can (and therefore presumably do) carry, deters terrorists and other bad actors. The jihadist killing spree on the streets of Paris in November, 2015 has not occurred on the streets of any American city, and I can think of one primary reason why. We should be working to extend the distributed security provided by discreetly armed citizens into more locales, rather than fewer. Arm school staff, arm church security teams, arm business associates in the workplace. The police cannot be in these places to protect us – though we welcome and rely on their assistance – but we can.

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Bill Tallen is Executive Vice President – Tactical Operations of Distributed Security, Inc. Prior to joining the enterprise he had a 20 year career with the Department of Energy, where he served as a Federal Agent, team leader, unit commander, training instructor, and manager in the agency which provides secure transportation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials within CONUS. He helped to found DOE’s Special Response Force program, developing and teaching urban and close quarter battle techniques to Federal Agents charged with recovery of lost assets. He has designed and conducted a variety of wargaming efforts in support of vulnerability assessments, security system design, and leadership training, and has taught a variety of crisis decision making models. Bill holds the degree of Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. 

Can the Free Market Provide National Defense?

Tom Woods hosts a debate (Ep. 1062 of the Tom Woods Show) between economist Bob Murphy (Ph.D., NYU – arguing for) and podcaster Todd Lewis (arguing against) who square off in the central debate of anarcho-capitalism: is government truly necessary for national defense, or could the free market (through Private Defense Agencies or “PDAs) provide this service?

Great points are made on both sides, however, we believe what is being argued here is only half the picture.

Much like personal defense, when one abdicates personal responsibility/security to a third party causes you to abdicate control, placing yourself behind in the decision-making process, limiting potential solutions to problems, increasing cost, and introducing moral hazards.

While PDAs are a necessary part of dealing with decentralized/asymmetric warfare (4th Generation Warfare), they are only a part of the answer.

What’s the other half of the picture and a better answer?

Distributed security.

Where individuals and communities can come together and provide security solutions as needed, and disband when it’s not.

Think of the Swiss system on steroids with a greater free market twist (like PDAs) and you will see the underpinnings of the solution.

Envy Kills (the root of America’s poblems)

greeneye envy

The gunman who attempted to slay Republican Congressmen at a baseball practice had a Facebook feed. Before it was deleted, everyone could read his vitriolic attacks on the rich, his denunciations of capitalism and corporate culture, his calls for high taxes and wealth redistribution, and, of course, his push for Bernie Sanders to be the ruler of us all. We all know the litany of gripes that drove him.

When was the last time you heard a sermon against envy or observed a media figure casually recognizing its evils? And yet, when the folks at National Public Radio were reflecting on his motives, the hosts declined to speculate. They feigned to be completely mystified how a happy, charming, good soul such as this could have turned to violence. Had the tables been turned – say an alt-right agitator had shot up a civil-rights protest – there would have been no question about the motivation.

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How To Beat Terrorism by L. Neil Smith

Away, way back in 1977, when I began writing my first novel, _The Probability Broach_ (still in print, after four decades), I was regarded as something of a nutcase because I argued that American society would be a much better, safer place if everybody who wanted to, carried a gun. I was by no means the first to do so, nor was I the only one at the time, but, except for Robert A. Heinlein, Elmer Keith, and the ghost of H. Beam Piper, I often felt very much alone in my simple, straightforward, common-sense advocacy of exercising one’s natural rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Now, of course, forty years later, armed self-defense has become a social movement. The degree to which I share responsibility for that is debatable, but I am proud of any part I may have had in it.

Last weekend (no, I am not changing the subject) was a pretty lousy one for peace and civil order in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Egged on by various evil shamans (one of them in the States), Islamic terrorists employed an automobile and big knives to wound and murder dozens of innocent individuals who were trying to enjoy a warm summer evening—in a near-Arctic climate that doesn’t offer many of them—and whose only “crime” was that they did not choose to follow the benighted religious precepts of a 7th century Arab merchant-trader.

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Georgia Fugitives Captured by Home Owners

Yes, we can.

The bravery of a homeowner put an end to the three-day long manhunt, Fitzhugh said.
The inmates had run through the woods to a home on Pruitt Road, near the rural community of Christiana.

“The homeowner was alerted somehow, he looked outside and saw the suspects trying to steal his vehicle,” Lt. Bill Miller from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said late Friday.

The homeowner called his neighbor and both men, each armed with a gun, confronted the fugitives…

Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe after their capture.

Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe after their capture.
Source: CNN

Does National Defense Require the State?

Gordon Tullock used to taunt anarchists by asserting that if the USA abolished its government, people would not have to worry about the Russians taking over the country because “the Mexicans would get here first.”

This little story actually incorporates a common objection to anarchy—namely, the idea that because, if a country abolished its government, other countries would not necessarily follow suit, the governments of those other countries would be free to, and would, simply take over the country that, lacking a government, also lacked an effective means of defending itself against takeover by a foreign power.

This thinking presumes at least two critical ideas: first, that defense of a population requires a government that rules that population; and, second, that if a government has the power to take over another country, it will do so.

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Concealed Carry Reciprocity May Be Coming To Illinois

“Why would some go through 16 hours of training if they could mail order to get a concealed carry permit from Virginia or from Florida?” Asked Colleen Daley, executive director of Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. “We want to make sure only the most qualified individuals… who’ve gone through the training and know what they’re doing are carrying firearms in our state.”

Really? So you think that the 16-hour course as mandated by Illinois is somehow superior to a mail order system?

Please list the facts that back up the claim that after state training people “know what they’re doing,” and then explain to the class why Illinois residents are too stupid to be able to do the same as those from Florida and Virginia who can mail order.

Source: WRSP

Actually, Repealing Obamacare Wouldn’t Kill Anyone

The best statistical estimate for the number of lives saved each year by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is zero. Certainly, there are individuals who have benefited from various of its provisions. But attempts to claim broader effects on public health or thousands of lives saved rely upon extrapolation from past studies that focus on the value of private health insurance. The ACA, however, has expanded coverage through Medicaid, a public program that, according to several studies, has failed to improve health outcomes for recipients. In fact, public health trends since the implementation of the ACA have worsened, with 80,000 more deaths in 2015 than had mortality continued declining during 2014–15 at the rate achieved during 2000–2013.

Key Findings

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Kansas student activist group “warns” foreign embassies about campus carry law

I hope out of the 160 foreign embassies she wrote she included the 107 countries that have higher homicide rates and tighter gun control than the United states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

“Meaning many international students at Kansas universities would be surrounded by firearms without the legal right to also carry one — making it potentially even more dangerous for these students,” she wrote. “Considering the shooting of two Indian men who were presumed to be ‘Middle Eastern’ by a white supremacist in Olathe, Kansas last week, international students, especially those from certain countries or regions, are at a greater risk of being the victims of deadly violence once this campus carry law goes into effect.”

Source: guns.com

Billionaire Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son plans to invest in singularity

Insightful and a first mover…

Billionaire Softbank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son revealed Monday (Feb. 27) at Mobile World Congress his plan to invest in singularity. “In next 30 years [the singularity] will become a reality,” he said, Tech Crunch reports.

“If superintelligence goes inside the moving device then the world, our lifestyle dramatically changes,” he said. “There will be many kinds. Flying, swimming, big, micro, run, 2 legs, 4 legs, 100 legs,” referring to robots. “I truly believe it’s coming, that’s why I’m in a hurry — to aggregate the cash, to invest.”

“Son said his personal conviction in the looming rise of billions of superintelligent robots both explains his acquisition of UK chipmaker ARM last year, and his subsequent plan to establish the world’s biggest VC fund,” noted TechCrunch — a new $100BN fund called the Softbank Vision Fund, announced last October

Source: kurzweilai.net

Trump And Russia: Just Pointing Out The Obvious — Capitalist Exploits

Chairman Trump may well be a child in a man’s body – erratic, lacking in finesse, as articulate as a gangsta rapper, contradictory, and missing the cognitive functions allowing one to think before acting. But.. But… he does seem smart enough to have thought a little about Russia. Thought alone is a welcome surprise from Washington.

The establishment for their part are fuming!

First their rice bowls are at risk, and to top it off they’re now publicly mocked. To egomaniacs this is worse than acne to a prom queen. As I mentioned a couple weeks back the mockery has come thick and fast:

CNBC’s John Hardwood decided to conduct a Twitter poll to see who the American people trusted when it came to the DNC hacks. Did they believe Wikileaks, who deny Russian involvement, or do they believe the intelligence community who has blamed Russia despite ZERO hard evidence being shown to the public?

The results were shocking and it stunned the media elite!

 

The absurdity over Russia has turned into a social meme. Few buy the narrative and those that do increasingly find mainstream thinking to be questioned.

Source: Capitalist Exploits

Off duty officer vs. Mike Strickland’s escalation of force: Something is wrong here…

 

“The confrontation began over ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property,” Anaheim police said in statement Wednesday.

This is most interesting.

You can watch the OODA Loops spin out of control as communications break down and either the wrong tactic is used or no tactic is selected at all due to the Sympathetic Nervous System or “SNS” reaction.

As the SNS response continued to rise all parties were beginning to think with their survival brain, hence the continued decline in communications which lead to anti-social behavior.

While one could write an article on the video tearing apart the officer’s tactics, or lack thereof (a training issue, not the officer’s fault). I won’t.

And while one could write an article critiquing and condemning the society and education system that fostered such blatant disregard for individual and property rights, I won’t do that either.

I will, however, state that had both sides had a modicum of respect for each other, other’s property rights, abided by the NAP, and had just a little bit of training, all these unpleasantries could have been avoided.

Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet, fortunately, were closer than most think (thanks technology!).

In the end, I hope the officer doesn’t face the same unjust consequences that as Mike Strickland is now facing for making the same sensible decisions to protect his life.

After all, two wrongs don’t make a right. And while a badge shouldn’t grant extra rights, it shouldn’t mean you have any fewer rights either.

Source: nypost.com

Repealing Obamacare Is Not Enough

American health care is not very effective in curing diseases. The National Center for Health Statistics projects over 1.6 million new cancer cases and almost 600,000 cancer deaths for 2016. Among those who suffer heart attacks, fewer than 50% are alive five years later.

Republicans do not want to repeal the regulations that make healthcare expensive and ineffective.

Medical treatment is so expensive that people need insurance to survive financial catastrophe in case they become ill or get hurt. Even middle class folks who need extensive medical care cannot begin to pay the costs. Those facts supported demand for Obamacare, the halfway point on the road to socialized medicine.

Republicans argue that American medicine was the finest in the world, with only minor problems, until it was ruined by Obamacare. But American medicine has been plagued with extraordinarily high costs and ineffective treatments for many years.

According to Forbes.com, in the Commonwealth Fund’s 2014 healthcare survey of the eleven wealthiest countries, the USA came in last.

Republicans campaigned to repeal Obamacare. But they waffle about its replacement, because they sense they have no answers to the problems that predated the disastrous Affordable Care Act. Republicans want medicine to be inexpensive and effective, but they do not want to repeal the morass of regulations that make it expensive and ineffective.

A Brief History of Medical Regulations

After the Civil War, there were virtually no regulations of medicine in the United States. People would choose their doctor and treatment, and doctors would thrive or languish according to the exigencies of the market. Profit-seeking medical schools flourished and graduated many practitioners.

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After Orlando shooting, Florida Republicans want to eliminate gun-free zones

A rose by any other name…

Seems rather desperate when one is forced to use the same regurgitated, unpopular, and failed arguments one has used in years gone by.

I do recall the same reactionary types calling Florida the “Gunshine State” because its citizens had the gall to support giving themselves more control over their own security.

This repeated itself time and time again, as it will continue to and should.

You can’t defeat a distributed threat by centralizing the response… most people sense this intuitively, hence the resistance to centralize.

“In the aftermath of the deadly Orlando nightclub and Fort Lauderdale airport shootings, two Republican lawmakers in Florida are pushing to eradicate the Sunshine State’s “gun-free zones” in a move that would put more guns in public areas. Sen. Dennis Baxley, of Ocala, and Rep. Don Hahnfeldt, of The Villages, want to allow people with concealed weapon permits to carry a deadly firearm nearly anywhere, including local bars, voting booths, courthouses, public schools, colleges and university campuses, airport passenger terminals and maybe even a Miami Dolphins game.”

 

Source: rawstory.com

Ex-SEAL: Battlefield medical techniques needed for civilian shootings

Remember, you are the “first responder,” by the time the police and emergency medical services arrive, it can be too late for someone who is bleeding.

Learning the basics needed to save lives during the “golden hour” isn’t rocket science.If a private can be trained in the proper application of pressure dressings and tourniquets, you can bet you can learn these simple skills yourself.

If a private can be trained in the proper application of pressure dressings and tourniquets (and they are), you too can learn these simple life-saving skills yourself.

Butler is part of the national campaign and its work to train first responders and civilians about what to do in the moments after a mass-casualty attack… “You have to think of an active shooting as a military action. The casualties are essentially combat casualties,” Butler said… More difficult is getting the message out to untrained civilians who could be in a position to stop bleeding during an attack. Butler hopes tourniquet use will eventually become a basic part of first-aid teaching like CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.

Source: pnj.com

Delta Force Operator: Gem of the week

Politics aside, the gem of the week is tucked away in a Delta operators observations abut conducting missions in non-permissive environments such as those found in Yemen.

After clearly explaining the situation on the ground in the larger context, he gets into the weeds and reveals a key to the reason for the difficulties:

“The terrorists have protected themselves and secured themselves, too. They have IEDs surrounding their bases. They have tripwires.  They run surveillance and counter surveillance. In some ways, they operate like a military without a state behind them. They’ve learned a lot of lessons from Iraq, and because of that, they are much more deadly than before.”

Bill Lind, John Boyd, Martin van Creveld, Chet Richards, and many more have been talking about this eventuality for decades now so this comes as no surprise for most people who keep an eye on these types of developments.

Decentralization is the only logical path forward, and fortunately, it’s the simplest to achieve in the immediate future and will pay much higher dividends than the current top heavy system.

The fourth generation of warfare is upon us, that means the 5th isn’t far behind.

You can’t beat today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions, especially when they are generations behind.

 

Source: ijr.com

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