Richard E. Friedman is the President here in Chicago of the National Strategy Forum, a group I have been involved with for over 15 years. The National
Strategy Forum is recognized worldwide as a place where policy makers can go to express the stories behind their policies. Forget the soundbites and
chatter of the media, this is where one can dig behind the headlines with the actual news makers.
The upcoming event on the Presidential Campaign and U.S. National Security will deal with issues no candidate to date has been asked about, but are
the crucial issues facing the next President.
Here are the issues you probably have never heard before, inspired by Mr. Friedman's thoughts on our future:
Although as Americans we may not see it this way, but in a curious way troops in Iraq have provided a stabilizing effect on the region. Al Qaeda has
made Iraq a primary base of operations, as our troops leave battle hardened Al Qaeda vets will return to their countries of origin: Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. They will return riding a crest of popular support and will begin overthrowing governments in the
region. Consequences could include a Shi'ite revolution in Bahrain against the pro-U.S. minority Sunnis and a Shi'a attempt to take over oil
facilities in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia.
I bet you haven't heard that from any of the candidates!
How will our troops be able to leave? By supporting succession of the nation, we would trigger other nations intervention, for example a Kurdish state
would force Turkey to invade. Iraq would become a staging ground for confrontation between Mideast states, and a petri dish of terrorist activity.
The concept of grand coalitions that are being promised by all candidates running is absurd. That concept is now a thing of the past. Already nations
are hedging their bets by setting up deals with China. It is disturbing that candidates all talk of returning to an era when coalitions and mutual
trust existed, those days are over and security relationships will focus on narrow specific issues.
Our Intel remains in shambles, it is clear top to bottom re-education needs to take place with all 16 (that we know of) national security groups.
As many of you know, I have said that Al Qaeda is an idealist based group, and our propaganda and psychological warfare should be as strong as it was
during the Cold War. Yesterday on NPR it was announced that we are going to try the kinds of tactics we used in the Cold War. The reason I'm not in
government? Imagine how I would have felt from 2001 saying we need to try this, and waiting 7 years for someone to OK it! I'm just glad we finally
If the President continues the practice of unlimited executive power that we have had the last 15 years will this lead to a National Security impasse
Will the next President take on individual states with military contracts (from Boston to California) and insist on a military re-organization that
will focus on irregular warfare?
Within the next 20 years 30 nations will have nuclear weapons. Are we prepared to in the short time trying to prevent it, in the long term having a
strategy for a nuclear world including unstable states?
There will be no conclusion to the immigration issue in the foreseeable future- so can we have a strategy that can cover the national security
China and Russia are already expanding their spheres of influence. North Korea, Iran and Syria are challenging the U.S. more openly than ever before.
Are we prepared for a collapse of Gulf Energy? Have we thought about the power Russia and Iran would have on us if this occurs?
We hear talk of change, experience and everything but what we actually face. Let's hope the person chosen to be President has been studying these
issues. Or we will be in big trouble.