A Healthy Economy is Key to National Security

February 2, 2010

The United States is in the midst of an economic shift through which the nation must prevail if it is to maintain effective national security. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an audience at West 2010 that the United States must fix its economy and deal with change if it is to maintain security. "We're in a major economic crisis," he said. "Economics is a big part of warfare. If you ignore it, you'll do it at your nation's peril." The United States is moving from an industrial construct in an industrial age into one that looks more like Moore's law-with a change cycle as short, the general elaborated. For example, how does the Navy build aircraft carriers to last 50 years in this cycle? He noted that an improvised explosive device (IED) cycle runs about 30 days. "The fights that we're really in-IEDs, cyber, you name it-have a duty cycle of about 30 days," he noted. So, in addition to fixing the economy, the United States must accommodate its changes in the national security environment.

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