28 May 2010

Memorial Day: Vigilance Reminder...

What does Memorial Day mean this weekend in the United States? A time to reflect on all those who have served and sacrificed their lives for our freedom and continued way of life. At the same time it is an opportunity to look into the minds of those who will determine the future course for our security strategy. The U.S. National Security Strategy articulates this future vision. How does Secretary of State Clinton see the new strategy?

The strategy calls on the United States to build its economy “and to shape the global system so that it is more conducive to meeting our overriding objectives: security, prosperity, the explanation and spread of our values, and a just and sustainable international order,” Clinton said.

The threats are diverse, the secretary of state continued, and include terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, climate change, cybersecurity, energy security and many others. Responding to these threats, she said, also produces opportunities, new modes of cooperation, new capacities to improve lives and tangible efforts to bridge great gaps in understanding.

“We are in a race between the forces of integration and the forces of disintegration, and we see that every day,” Clinton said. “And part of our challenge is to define American leadership in relevant terms to the world of today and tomorrow, and not merely looking in the rearview mirror, which makes it very hard to drive forward.”

If you are sitting in a "Mud Hut" in Kandahar right now or standing on the grave of a loved one in "Section 60" at Arlington National you could be asking yourself, what does this all mean to me?

The thoughts and words of world leaders may change about what is the proper way to go about the "Global Housekeeping" this year or decade yet it will never change the threat that continues to be our greatest Operational Risk. The human beings on the planet that get up every morning to fight on the battlefield, find food and water for their family, commute to a chaotic and quiet room in a major city to read, analyze and think about new information or even pray to their god, have the same vulnerability.

A complacent point of view. A lack of vigilance to help defeat the evil behavior of other humans, prepare for the hazards thrown at us by mother nature and the will to utilize civility in our approach to solving all of the problems before us. Complacency is the greatest operational risk before us.


–noun, plural -cies.

a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

It is the reason there are so many people still scratching their heads on such topics as:

  • AIG
  • Bernie Madoff
  • SEC
  • Freddie Mac
  • Fannie Mae
  • Conficker
  • Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
  • Qods Force (IRGC-QF)
  • Zeus
  • Faisal Shahzad
  • ‘Volume Algo’
  • Deep Water Horizon
And the list goes on. Memorial Day each year is a dedication to those who have served our country and still are serving our country. The operational risks are many and they are not slowing down. This Memorial Day 2010 requires that we all make the pledge to purge ourselves of any complacent attitudes. Our vigilance is the last opportunity we all have to make a difference on this planet.

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