Saturday, July 21, 2018

What is the Texas Ascendant Campaign?

Ten years ago, after the financial crash of 2008, I started posting articles to the Texas Ascendant blog.  Texas is a great state with wonderful people, and we have a lot to offer America.  Texas has a great economy and the people of Texas have a great spirit, a spirit that America needs, a positive spirit, a can-do spirit.

America has lost its way.  Starting as far back as the Vietnam War and continuing on through the Great Recession, our country's leaders in the Northeast, in Harvard and Yale, have failed and are continuing to fail America.  Our country's failure started with John Kennedy's election in 1961, with his Vietnam War and the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and this failure continues to this day in 2018, 57 years later.  It is Harvard and Yale that have failed America.  Read The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam and see how America's elites wrecked Vietnam.

One of the Northeastern elites mentioned by Halberstam was Robert A. Lovett, who was born in Texas.  His father, Robert S. Lovett, sent his son to a Northeastern prep school, then to Yale.  The younger man married into a wealthy banking family, and he eventually joined his father-in-law's firm Brown Brothers Harriman.  Robert A. Lovett eventually served the State Department as under secretary and later became Secretary of Defense.

For too long we in Texas have accepted the leadership of Harvard and Yale, sending our children to the Northeast so they could be accepted by the ruling elite, serve the ruling elite, and become wealthy in this service.  I contend that Harvard and Yale ruin young people's minds.  I contend that our country is poorly served by letting the Northeastern elites continue to rule this nation.  The book Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite by William Deresiewicz  is a reasonable indictment of the education, or miseducation, of our best and brightest.  (You should know that Halberstam was ironic when he used that phrase in his book title.)  Another expose of Harvard is Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class by Ross Gregory Douthat.  William F. Buckley exposed the flaws of Yale back in 1951 in God and Man at Yale, an excellent book I highly recommend.

What Then Should We Do?

We in Texas should stop thinking of Harvard and Yale as the pinnacle of education.  They are not.  They are doorways to power.  They are a club.  If you want a good education for your children, they should go elsewhere.  So find good schools in Texas or the Midwest, and work to increase opportunities here in Texas and the Midwest.  Everyone can start thinking about what we can do to grow the economy in Texas, the Midwest, and the Southeast, the areas we interact with the most.  I have prepared a List of Projects for ideas to improve our lives, our country, and our economy.

We can improve our banking industry in Texas and the Midwast, as I describe in The Texas Banking and Finance Project.  We can develop an industrialization plan as I describe in Industrialization Instead of Economic Development.  There are many things we can do in Texas and neighboring states to improve our economy.

Better Leadership

We must look locally for leadership, and we must send our best citizens to serve in Washington without them selling-out to get ahead.  Here is what I said back in 2008 in the article Integrity and Competence, the Cornerstone and KeystoneWe need to restore America to greatness and prosperity. We need to start here in Texas, we need to start now, and we need to start upon a foundation of integrity. Then we need to rise to the apex of competence, accumulating wealth, power and influence along the way.

We need to work with our neighboring states, as I said in 2009 in The Heartland Union.  We all need to work together across our country to build a stronger America, a more prosperous America,  a country brimming with hope and happiness.  Our children deserve a bright future.  We can start now, here in Texas.  First we make Texas ascendant.  Then we make America ascendant.

Robert Canright
Founder, Texas Ascendant

PS
My first approach to organizing ideas was to sort ideas into these categories: (1) The Texas Leadership Revolution (TLR) and (2) the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance (TBAR).  I described this arrangement here:
The Texas Ascendant Campaign Overview  March 15, 2009
If you see references to TLR or TBAR in old articles, this is the source of these acronyms.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

National Security Council Part 3: Texas National Security Network

I recommend that the people of Texas lead the way in becoming better citizens by becoming more engaged in issues like national security.  There is now within Texas an organization called the Texas National Security Network.  It has a Texas National Security Review with this website:  https://tnsr.org/.  I find the website War On the Rocks pretty interesting:  https://warontherocks.com/.  They have an article, e.g., about anti-access and area denial — known as A2/AD:  Demystifying the A2/AD Buzz by Luis Simon.  A2AD is a big topic, as shown by this article:  The Russia – NATO A2AD Environment by Ian Williams.  Here is a picture of air defense around Kaliningrad  from that article.



Kaliningrad can be conflict hot point.  It is one of the most heavily militarized zones in the world.  You might remember that Kaliningrad is a German city given to Stalin by F.D.R. in the Potsdam Conference.  We must remember that F.D.R. was responsible for the Iron Curtain and the enslavement of many free Eastern European people by the U.S.S.R. because F.D.R. appeased Stalin in much the same way that Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler.  Kaliningrad is an enduring testament to F.D.R.'s abandonment of the Eastern Europeans.  Of course no Americans died for the freedom of these people so it is hard to blame F.D.R. for his decision.  This is realism:  freedom has a price.

Here is a quote from their website:  War on the Rocks is a platform for analysis, commentary, debate and multimedia content on foreign policy and national security issues through a realist lens.

It is good that Texans are looking carefully at national security issues.  If you are a Texan, you ought to be reading the War on the Rocks website.

Robert

Saturday, June 23, 2018

National Security Council Part 2

If you wish to serve on the U.S. National Security Council, perhaps serving as National Security Advisor, how might you prepare?  You can read.  There are so many books you might wish to read that I will not touch that topic now.  At this time I will recommend a few online sources related to our military.  I recommend the Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute.  Here is a recent article as an example:  Visualize Chinese Sea Power.  The U.S. Naval Institute encompasses the Marines and the Coast Guard in addition to the Navy.

For the Air Force you might look at The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.   Their publications are online in their Mitchell Forum.  Examples , which are available for free download in PDF format, include the following

No.18: Rethinking the Information Paradigm: The Future of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance in Contested Environments by Col Herbert C. Kemp, PhD, USAF (Ret.)

No.11: Targeting the Islamic State: Activity-Based Intelligence and Modern Airpower by Maj Michael P. Kreuzer, USAF and Maj Denis A. Dallaire, USAF

No.10: Order In Chaos: The Future of Informed Battle Management and Command and Control by Col Tom Nicholson and Lt Col Nelson Rouleau, USAF

No.5: Chasing Relevance: Building Actionable Intelligence Analysis by US Air Force Maj. John M. Minear

No. 1: An ISR Perspective on Fusion Warfare by Maj Gen VeraLinn "Dash" Jamison, USAF and Lt Col Maurizio "Mo" Calabrese, USAF

What good does reading do?  Looking at the paper, "Chasing Relevance: Building Actionable Intelligence Analysis," you can see this in the abstract (my summary):  This paper proposes that intelligence analysts should adopt the “capabilities theory” as the core guiding principle of Air Force intelligence analysis.  If you had read the book, Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully, then you would have read this:  "In the War College's opinion ... a truly cardinal sin was Yamamoto's designing his plan around America's perceived intentions rather than their capabilities." (Page 399)  The U.S. Naval War College report was published in 1948.  Now you can see that capabilities analysis has been around for at least 70 years.

If you want to know what people in the U.S. Army are thinking then you can look at publications from the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.  Here is an example article:  Strategic Insights: Making Good on the NSS and NDS: Competing with Russia in Europe and Beyond by Dr. John R. Deni.

There are in town book clubs studying military history.  I do not know of any strategic studies clubs.  It is important to discuss and collaborate, so a Strategic Studies club is one more step we might take as informed civilians.

In a representative republic our representatives are no smarter than we are.  If we want better representation, better leadership, then we need to be better citizens.  We need to be more informed and we need better understanding of complex topics, including strategic military topics.

And we can do it.  It might take years of study, but this what college education is for: it prepares us to teach ourselves, to expand our knowledge and understanding.  I remember members of Congress saying they had to vote for the TARP bill because they did not understand banking and finance and so had to accept the advice they were given.  That is no excuse.  Members of Congress and all citizens can pick an area of expertise -- like banking, finance, economics, history, the U.S. Constitution, military or economic intelligence,  or military strategy -- then teach themselves and be prepared to question and challenge the experts.  We can do it; we should do it; we must do it.  Our survival as free people in a republic with representative government depends on us being better citizens in order to have better representatives.

Robert

Monday, June 11, 2018

National Security Council Part 1

If Texans are going to help get our country back on track, then Texans need to prepare to serve on the National Security Council.  Why would a Texan ever end up on the National Security Council (NSC)?  Well, it is happening right now.  Our former governor, now Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry is on the National Security Council.  Here is an article about that:  Rick Perry is Now on The National Security Council by Leif Reigstad, Texas Monthly Apr 5, 2017.  Here is a snap-shot of the executive members, including Rick Perry.  When Mr. Perry was a Yell Leader at Texas A&M, I'll bet he never gave a thought about the likelihood of his being on the NSC.
Click on the image to enlarge it.

All of us in Texas need to be ready to step up and serve our country.  However, how can anyone ever really prepare to serve on the NSC?  We will examine that in the future.

Robert

You might like these posts as well.  I call this collection of articles the National Security Project.
National Security Council Part 2  June 23, 2018
National Security Council Part 3: Texas National Security Network  July 4, 2018