The Long War

This briefing was sent to me by a concerned citizen.  So far as I know and by its markings it is completely unclassified and in the public domain.  It is not even marked "For Official Use Only" (FOUO).  Since it is so interesting and so likely to be the subject of fruitful debate by my colleagues at this place, I offer it for inspection.

Pat Lang

Download jcslongwar_vicedirectorforstratplansandpolicy_j5.ppt

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31 Responses to The Long War

  1. searp says:

    I read this briefing with interest. It seemed to me that a very unlikely hypothesized future was used to set the table for the ensuing discussion. However, I found the discussion itself to be rather more sensible than the maps showing the Caliphate metastasizing over the globe. Interesting that Iran was just going to fall into line and report to Baghdad -did anyone actually consult some facts before putting that gem on the map?
    It was a Pentagon briefing, clearly, since the “means” kind of started and ended with Combatant Commanders, etc. However, the policy – making friends, winning hearts and minds, attacking identified targets, sounded about right to me.
    It seems to me that the policy being advocated would be best accomplished using a large dose of soft power – diplomacy, development, etc. They coudn’t quite acknowledge this, buy hey, it is a Pentagon briefing, and everyone knows those other agencies are the real enemy.

  2. Michael Singer says:

    Dear Pat,
    I am sure Bush is trying very hard to get the Sunnis back to the table for government (sic) bargining. But what if he can’t? Does the US have a plan for civil war? Don’t tell me…what no plan?
    Michael Singer

  3. Eric says:

    Gave me a splitting headache.
    I can understand now why people make fun of Power Point presentations, having been subjected to one.
    My view is that the analysis and most assumptions therein are utterly fanciful.
    And God help us if this is the view of any governmental entity.
    Some people ought to get out of the bell jar, take some whiffs of fresh air, breathe deeply, relax, and start thinking strategically.

  4. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Yes. No plan. pl

  5. Serving Patriot says:

    My favorite gem is the assumption that says war is alien to the “peaceful nature and desires” of America.
    I wish I could return to that level of faux US History – the history that glosses over wars vs native, Mexicans, ourselves, natives (again), Spainards, Cubans, Phillipinos, various central americans, etc etc etc.
    I guess the Joint Staff did not get Fukyama’s message?

  6. Glen says:

    Seems like a rather worst case projection with very little real chance of happening unless we make some bad mistakes.
    We need to add in the missing slides that makes this all possible:
    Title – Tora Bora – Here’s where we could have ended al Qaeda, but some idiot took his eye off the ball.
    Title – Here’s where we should have a picture of a very dead OBL, but instead we invade Iraq
    Title – Here’s where we should have been trying to prevent Iran from going nuclear, but we couldn’t because we’re stuck in Iraq
    Title – Here’s where we get caught with out pants down and get nuked at a port because we never really did anything about homeland security except give our buddies jobs
    Title – Here’s where we cannot maintain a viable defense because we gutted our economy with soaring Federal debt, the trade inbalance and a trashed national infrstructure. Thank God all the rich people are rich enough to leave.
    OK, maybe I went overboard, but we would have to blow it as a country to enable that jihad to happen.
    Do the strategic planners at the Pentagon think our CinC is an idiot?

  7. Well, I am really worried about the global empire that’s going to be built out of Baghdad, soon after the civil war here is over and they have 12 hours of electricity a day, but he lost me on the part where we have to be “confident that our leaders know what they are doing.”

  8. john says:

    The presentation you offered for inspection does provoke wonderment. Aside from the sensationalist warning against failure in Iraq, it looks like a sales pitch. The Pentagon has been thrashing about since the end of the Cold War for an overarching ideological enemy to focus planning and resources against. Rear Admiral Bill Sullivan took this presentation on the road 12 January 2006.
    My short version of this presentation is:
    “Violent Islamic-Based Extremism” (slide 19) confronts the United States and the world with an ideological foe determined to destroy our way of life. Indeed, they intend to “eliminate Israel and purge Jewish and Christian influence (slide 9). Western Civilization has not faced such an existential threat since the Cold War, and this threat will last for decades and if we do not stop it we face the risk of a domino-effect as moderate Muslim states fall into its clutches (slide 20). A “’Monolithic’ view of Islam under-estimates cultural and religious differences (slide 15), however, “[t]his war goes far beyond the borders of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Greater Middle East” (slide 16).
    All one can say is oh my gosh. Admiral Sullivan gratuitously points out that we can’t be defeated militarily, but can turn us into simpering wimps (slide 14). The threat to our way of life is clearly established. We must do something or all is lost. Now comes the pitch:
    This is not the first time we have faced such a challenge. We lost 300,000 lives and spent “$3.114 trillion (2005 dollars); 38% of GDP per year” to stop the Nazis and Japanese (slide 8). We even spent “$90 Billion over 4 years (2005 dollars)” for reconstruction (slide 8). Moreover, during the Cold War we had a “sustained American presence, a significant American investment, and [promoted] Democratic societies with free market economies” (slide 22). So, really, the cost now is totally within the historical record and capability of our nation.
    We now have the ideological underpinnings and budgetary justification for perpetual war against either a religion or a tactic, or both–bravo.

  9. W. Patrick Lang says:

    And it was out-sourced. pat

  10. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think the presentation, as is, is a flight of fancy. I also think that it might be good idea to turn it into a commercial computer game like the Age of Empires game; it is liable to make a lot of money. Furthermore, such a game can be used to teach strategy to staff.

  11. Greco says:

    If the use of this presentation is an ad hoc explanation of why american troops have to stay in Iraq, I can understand it.
    But does Rear Admiral Bill Sullivan really believe in his onw presentation? Does he really believe that his presentation accurateley depicts reality? Is this the official position of the American military and government?

  12. RJJ says:

    That was IMPRESSIVE!

  13. Tom Hanrahan says:

    Ah yes! By spending gazillions (2006 dollars) on the military during the cold war we defeated communism. We must do it again. While the Russian Empire collapsed, China reformed. Where now are those fervent Red Guards (12 million, perhaps)? They’re selling toasters and TVs to us.
    I hope that these overwrought notions of threat are not widley shared in the DoD.

  14. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Yes. I am impressed with all this powerpointed BS. pl

  15. RJJ says:

    It can’t be authentic. If it is disinformation, it is too crude to be credible.

  16. ckrantz says:

    Interesting but I hope you are aware that the metadata it still in the document. I dont know if it is important but an author is identified.

  17. jonst says:

    This is so frighteningly simplistic it takes one’s breath away. If I had not actually witnessed the last three years I would not believe this PPT.
    They are delusional. Its something the Linclon Group, or what have you, would dream up. At some astronomical fee no doubt.

  18. W. Patrick Lang says:

    The first slide bears the name of the institution that wrote this tripe. pl

  19. John Howley says:

    Conciseness is its own reward. Ambrose Bierce (author of The Devil’s Dictionary) was a master of it. Once he reviewed a book with a single sentence: “The covers of this book are too far apart.”
    While plotting a longer response I found the following. Professor Juan Cole concluded a recent interview with a Detroit paper thusly: “I think Washington misses the Cold War, and the great tragedy is that the Muslims are just not going to be providing the analogy. We can talk as though they do, but they don’t, and eventually this whole smoke-and-mirrors thing is going to collapse.”

  20. jonst says:

    Yeah I know it does. And I know what the metadata says about the ‘author’. I assume you are correct. But to me it still Linclon Group written all over.

  21. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Nah. A retired ambassador friend of mine says that he has heard Sullivan give this brief a number of times to various groups of civilians. You are kidding yourself. This is the real deal. pl

  22. Charlie Green says:

    While I found this fancifully written and worthy of Marvel Comics, it contradicts itself in that it claims the militants are bent on “World Domination”. Then proceeds to delinate the “world” involved. Which looks suspiciously to me like the Caliphate (aka Ottoman Empire) plans with an Indonesian tail.
    I suspect someone wanted something written to satisfy the need for what others have pointed out: we need a long-term enemy. Preferably someone more dignified and formidable than ragtag terriers who don’t fight fair.
    And fits in with the next step of the empire builders: neutralizing the oil fields of Iran in the name of removing “nucular” reactors.
    Welcome to Dr. Strangelove: The Reality Show.
    But I could be wrong. I hope. It’s nice to have Col. Lang’s optimism rather than my cynicism.

  23. jonst says:

    Sarcasm, often, does not work well in email/commments. Ruefully shaking my head…I know, and knew, you were correct about who is the author/s of this. What I was ineloquently trying to get at was the sensation that the Linclon Group mentality, which, I am sure , predated the actual Linclon Group itself, has spread like a virus to the DOD. It looks like it may have, in fact, been the other way, from DOD out. I look with awed unease (on da knees)at the sad, and dangerous state our leadership has fallen to.

  24. Eric says:

    I went thru the Power Point again, and have a question.
    Are you hearing much about “the new Great Game”, pipelines, gas and oil,need for a presence in the ‘stans, etc?
    This might be some of
    what is behind this curious document.

  25. rdpat says:

    The tremendous misdirection of resouces and attention such a strategy suggests is a danger to America’s security. There are real problems and threats which the DoD needs to properly address. Distraction by grandiose hot air is a recipe for more disasters.
    It’s a small point, but this faux historical analysis suffers from short term amnesia: there is no mention of how Iraq was destabilized.

  26. citizen k says:

    Odd that they go to the trouble of detailing the Al Queda goals without noting that the Bush administration has given them everything they want (no more Saddam so Iraq is available as a base, collapse of the US economy, destruction of US alliances …).
    I started joking about three years ago that Bush was the Manchurian Candidate, but its less and less funny.

  27. Eric says:

    Maybe we can discuss Colbert and revisit this “Long War” thread at the same time.
    I bet old codgers can multitask.
    I am very concerned that people might believe the nonsense in the Power Point presentation.
    The PPP is strategically insane and in the hands of the buffoons currently running things, is a recipe for disaster.
    How anybody at the Pentagon above the rank of E1(mentally challenged at that) could subscribe to this horse crap is beyond me. They must want an extra star awful bad before they go out to pasture, I guess.
    In the event, I present Jeffrey Records work below. Written 12/03, it is a useful mental purgative, even if you only read the first ten pages.
    Bounding the Global War on Terror

  28. Norbert Schulz says:

    Oh, hehe. I remeber having read that report, found it sound and reasonable. And so I recommended it highly to a guy who was quite gung ho about invading Iraq.
    He read it. He disliked what he read.
    His reaction was, quote: ‘This is just a partisan smear!’
    I was speechless. Which was not all that bad because he went on, declaring that he would for the future refuse to listen to my ‘vile vitriol’.
    No kidding.

  29. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Which report? pl

  30. Norbert Schulz says:

    Jefferey Record’s report, titled ‘Bounding the war on terror’, with the link Eric provided.
    What ticked this guy off must have been subversive claims like this one:
    “In conflating Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Osama bin Laden’s
    al-Qaeda, the administration unnecessarily expanded the GWOT
    by launching a preventive war51 against a state that was not at war
    with the United States and that posed no direct or imminent threat
    to the United States at the expense of continued attention and effort
    to protect the United States from a terrorist organization with which
    the United States was at war.” (p.18) resp. 24 of pdf
    Invasion wrong? Noooo! Aaaargh, it’s corroding my brain!

  31. This was briefed last week by a Joint two-star admiral at the Naval War College. That certainly vouches for its authenticity and the level of interest in DoD.

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