(Source Video: Dossy Blumenthal)
(Source Video: Dossy Blumenthal)
In honor of the amazing (2nd to last) episode last night of Game of Thrones…
I am posting this artistic Dragon.
That dragon last night sure was able to do a lot of damage.
It was a very dramatic and sad episode.
I won’t give it away.
But an air force of dragons can certainly do quite well.
Dropping some serious firepower is what they do. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
The U.S. democracy is severely broken.
We are supposed to be “one out of many,” but instead we are many out of one.
There is a tearing at our nation’s fabric.
Resistance. Obstruction. Polarization. Gridlock. Shutdown. Identity Politics. Hating on each other. Can’t get anything done.
Legislatively we’re at an impasse.
It’s not just the border wall…
– No full year (let alone multi-year) budgets for all Federal agencies.
– No Healthcare Fix
– No Immigration Reform
– No Education (STEM) Improvement
– No USA Infrastructure Bill
– We are losing our edge to a resurgent Russia and a China taking world stage militarily and economically.
Executive Branch has its hands tied.
Special Counsels. Congressional Inquiries. Judicial injunctions. Media Lynchings.
Alone. Thwarted. Unable to lead or act.
Presidential hand tied by mommy Pelosi and Daddy Schumer.
State of the Union cancelled.
Presidency is compromised in the eyes of every national competitor and demagogue in the world.
Without a strong leadership reestablished and permitted to act, we are running a very strong risk of losing our superpower status and becoming just another has-been nation.
Don’t think it can’t happen.
The three branches of the government should be working together and helping each other to strengthen our nation’s survival, prosperity, and success.
If we don’t stop the madness, then we will implode and it won’t be a pretty or a happy day for anyone–Democrats or Republicans.
Last chance for E. Pluribus Unum. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
The United States is ranked as the most powerful country in the world:
But the U.S. spends more than the next 7-8 countries COMBINED!(See below chart from Forbes 2016)
In fact, military spending is more than half of all U.S. federal discretionary spending.
So the question is why are we spending so much more than everybody else, is the United States getting its money’s worth, and most importantly are we able to defend ourselves?
The U.S. defense budget is going up and has been approved at $717B for 2019.
All the other 28 NATO countries together spend less than half ($296B) as much as the U.S. alone.
If you add NATO spending as a complement to the U.S. then the total spend on our mutual defense approaches $1 trillion!
Russia ($69B) China ($146B), North Korea ($6B), and Iran’s ($16B) military spending in total pales in comparison at just $237B.
NATO as a whole is outspending Russia + China + North Korea + Iran by a factor of 4 times yet these countries are still considered major threats to us!
Despite all the truly incredible brave, hard working, and excellent men and women that serve with distinction in our military,
Therefore, again why is it that the U.S. is spending more on what others seem to get for cheaper? Is there significant fraud, waste, and abuse in the system? Are we as a rich capitalistic nation simply getting fat, lazy, and stupid?
Notwithstanding the outsized spending by the United States, incredibly from today’s Wall Street Journal, there is another article about our inability to defend ourselves:
“These are admissions that the U.S. cannot proportionally and equally defend itself in space, cyber, and response to tactical and nuclear weapons except through the threat of escalation and intrusion into other domains.”
Some poignant examples given:
– Our stationary land-based nuclear missiles are no match for Russia and China’s mobile-based ICBMs.
– Our ten busiest U.S. ports do not have an adequate defense against an underwater nuclear missile launch.
China and Russia variously are beating us out in:
In fact, it was just reported that China conducted its 8th hypersonic test of a plane–with this one said to capable of Mach 10–and that it is capable of carrying nukes!
Further, our carrier group fleet and land forces are at risk with respect to Russia and China’s hypersonic weapons.
Of course, EMP weapons can fry our electrical grid and a large cyber attack could disable our critical infrastructure.
Let’s not even talk bioweapons–think Black Plague from the Middle Ages that wiped out 30-60% of Europe.
Yes, some of these are asymmetric warfare, but why are we still thinking and fighting so kinetic and conventionally.
If we are fighting the wars of yesteryear instead of the battles of today and the threats of tomorrow then what good is our military investments and assets.
To become a more capable fighting force that is less vulnerable, more capable of defending this country, and making better use of our large investment dollars here are 10-steps we need to take to transform our military; we need to transition as follows:
Over $700B per year should buy us a lot of defense, hopefully in the future we can really use it to defend ourselves. 😉
So this is a new type of project management and it can be very effective.
It’s called (my name):
Shock and Awe Project Management
This technique is similar to the military doctrine of shock and awe that uses speed and overwhelming power to dominate the battlefield and vanquish the enemy.
In project management too, there are often naysayers, Debbie Downers, resisters, excuse makers, and people that lay down obstacle after obstacle to progress.
This invariably derails projects and causes them to fall behind schedule, go over budget, experience scope creep, not meet the genuine user requirements, and ultimately fail!
However, if you manage the project with “shock and awe” and set aggressive timelines, assign substantial and very good resources, and move the project full speed ahead, then you can similarly create a momentum to the project that enables it to overcome the “enemies of the progress” (i.e. those that don’t really want it to succeed or are too busying covering their own a*ses).
This approach is not advocating speed at the expense of quality nor is it calling for cutting corners or riding roughshod over people, but rather to the contrary, it calls for techniques similar to the military of moving with absolute focus, determination, efficiency, collaboration, synchronization, and overwhelming “project power” to ensure it’s success.
Projects, like battles, can be “won” by putting the right resources on the field and moving them to get quick wins in rapid succession (where the enemies of progress don’t stand a real fight) so that the projects get not only completed on time and within budget, but most importantly to real stakeholder satisfaction and the organization’s success.
(Source Photo: here with attribution to AlexVan)