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Be Alarmed . . . Be Very Alarmed


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be-alarmed-be-very-alarmed_800424.html?nopager=1#The Weekly Standard:


Aug 11, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 45


An unquestionably eminent, manifestly distinguished, and conspicuously bipartisan -congressionally appointed panel has produced a report on the state of our nation’s defenses.


One’s normal response to such a report? Yawn. Eyes glazed over. Get back to me later.

In normal times, that might be reasonable. But as Orwell famously said, “we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”


The good news is that the intelligent men and women of the National Defense Panel have done their duty, and have done it admirably (you can read their full report at www.usip.org). The panel was co-chaired by William Perry, secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, and by General John Abizaid, CENTCOM commander from 2003-2007. Joining them were the undersecretaries of defense for policy under Presidents Bush (Eric Edelman) and Obama (Michèle Flournoy), a former Democratic congressman (Jim Marshall) and a former Republican senator (James Talent), and four retired general officers, including Admiral James “Hoss” Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Bush and Obama.


These worthies have produced a compelling report that restates what should be obvious. It lays the evidence out clearly and soberly, and in a way that’s intelligible to the nonexperts among us. It’s the product of serious people addressing an important subject.



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