PDP Principal Ashton B. Carter Addresses Coast Guard Academy on Challenges Facing U.S. Security Agencies
New London, CT – Speaking before an audience of Coast Guard Academy cadets on October 27, 2005, PDP Co-Director Ashton B. Carter outlined a series of major managerial, architectural, and budgetary challenges facing the U.S. national security community. Citing the bureaucratic chaos that accompanied creation of the Department of Homeland Security and reorganization of the intelligence community, Carter suggested that the results have been unsatisfactory thus far. In addition, Carter criticized the U.S. ability to conduct post-war peacekeeping and stability operations, missions in which multiple U.S. agencies play a role. "Not only are we lousy at it," he said, "but we don't want to get good at it."
Carter also warned of an impending defense budget crisis that could affect the Pentagon’s plans for transformation. In addition to the ballooning retirement and health care costs that the $400 billion budget must cover, Carter predicted that the post-Iraq re-capitalizations costs – the costs of replacing worn down platforms and equipment – will starve the Pentagon’s program to purchase high-tech, next generation weapons systems.
Despite these challenges, Carter commented that the Coast Guard is one of the few bright spots in U.S. homeland security efforts. “In a department that is otherwise a managerial nightmare,” he said, “the Coast Guard is one of the very few that made the grade.”
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