Trends and Strategies for the Election and the Future

This is going to be a rambling post full of wild-assed but informed speculation on strategic trends, challenges, and opportunities. I’m fully responsible for all of it.

I’ve got a few subjects to cover here; from politics, to war, to energy, so bear with me since you are bound to find something that interests you if you keep reading.

Internal Politics:

The rift between conservatives and McCain in some areas is obvious to all, which means that once he’s the nominee that Party Platform becomes the most important thing to keep him close to accord with the party and the populace.

I submit that we could have a big fight over this, or we could do it right. There are many areas where Conservatives and McCain both agree, I’ll work through those in a future post. Those planks need to get nailed-in now, so we can get to the gristle and map reasonable compromises and curbs on the rest. If we don’t do this relatively soon then we will lose the executive branch in 2008.

War:
Now the media can’t call Iraq lost anymore, the drumbeat has started to declare the war in Afghanistan lost. It’s a tie to Obama’s rhetoric, and it must be countered vigorously. Those bloggers who do imbeds might want to consider Afghanistan over Iraq next round. The first salvos are fired, and we are going to have an unending barrage from now until November.

Longer term we must support our allies, stand firm against terror, kill the rest of Al Qaeda, and on the political front counter the growing support for political Islamic extremism. To do that we are going to have to call groups with “ambivalent” attitudes toward terror on the carpet continuously.

Energy:

If we are just going to sign up for energy independence, burning food (ethanol), and “green energy” then we won’t be differentiated from what Obama is saying, and on top of that we will be stupid. The world needs more energy that’s cheap and clean.

The effects of high energy costs are beginning to show in our economy, and in that thinner mil plastic cup Starbuck’s now gives you. In the rest of the world it’s showing up in load-shedding, encroaching poverty, unpaid national electric bills, and soon-to-be famine.

We must move the goal posts from the tactical approach of “energy independence” to the strategic goal of Clean Energy Abundance for the world. It’s noble, it’s worth doing, and in the long term it’s something we must do. (When there are 9 billion humans on this planet in 2050 world demand for energy will approach or exceed 70 Peta-watt Hours. That’s massive need, and what better challenge for us in the dawn of this century?

It’s also a much more urgent and demonstrable problem than Global Warming. From energy comes all things.

Longer term Military Strategy:

We cannot just focus on the war on terror. Old enemies are gearing up for a space race once again, and the ramifications to the future security of our nation are tremendous. More to come on that in future posts. We have to be able to defend not just from terror and the small wars of the latter half of the twentieth century and this first part of this one, but larger scale conflicts. Europe is beginning to bubble like a cauldron, and the tea leaves say to me that there will be large scale war there withing fifty years. (It might be civil war if the EU constitution gets put through, but it’s still going to be large-scale war.)

Education Economics:
The next boom in the American economy is shaping now, it will come in the form of robotics, medical science, energy, transport, and believe it or not, agriculture. We have to invest in the future by putting more emphasis on the things of this century, and prepare our children for the future they will see. On top of those things, the computer and networking boom is going to continue to grow, and there are things we don’t even know about yet that are coming. We better get ready.

Obama’s promising vague hope, we need to counter with a vision for the future, one in which we aren’t automatically doomed and just reacting to crisis.

Flashback: Obama’s Oratorial Effects in Pakistan

EC pulls one from the archives here, and reminds us of the last time Obama spoke on Pakistan, note the names on the heads of the burning effigies, and the particularly humorous sign behind the crowd.