G. Murphy Donovan: “The Decline and Fall of National Security”

With the advent of the internet, many common sense understandings about copyright protections and acceptable usage of other writers’ works seem to have flown out the window.  Many times I’ve been tempted to just post entire articles or pictures from other websites, but my “following the rules” nature caused me to hesitate.  Stratfor authorizes reprinting their articles, so I took the liberty of posting that, but I’ll continue writing my  rather boring little pieces about great articles and offering a link.  Here’s another very insightful piece by none other than the amazing G. Murphy Donovan (GMD), in which he cuts through the trendy strategic claptrap and hones in on strategic ground truth and our national security  demise (from The American Thinker, “The Decline and Fall of National Security”).  GMD chronicles the American intelligence demise coupled with the rampant politicization of our top military brass.  I would add one other factor to his list – the complete collapse of a shared national security viewpoint among our two main political parties and amongst our populace.  Many days reading or watching the news, it sure looks like each side views the opposing domestic political party as the main national security threat rather than any foreign entity.  From biblical times to today, that old adage that a house divided cannot long stand presages our demise, unless we can find a way to fix our foundational damage and rebuild a more sound structure – tall order with the fractured polity and populace in America presently.


Filed under Culture Wars, Foreign Policy, Military, Politics

12 responses to “G. Murphy Donovan: “The Decline and Fall of National Security”

  1. As an ex-Corporal, and a Brit one, at that, I hesitate to comment on the ‘decline and (possible) fall’ of *American power* which, you will have spotted, is a slightly different concept from “national security”. Since the very real decline and fall of the Soviet Union, it seems to me that in the area of grand strategy America has floundered, unsure of exactly how and when to exert its strength and never entirely convinced of the reasons offered by politicians for doing so. Solution? Ah, yes, tricky one that . . .

    • Yes, David, it seems like we became so consumed in the Cold War strategizing , that we never considered a world beyond that point. I guess the late Australian cricket umpire, Bill Copeland, said it best, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never scoring.” From my vantage point watching the playing field, this certainly seems to be the case. The next poster, Ms Minta, referenced the Diplomad and I frequently quote the estimable, G. Murphy Donovan, men with brilliant ideas and vast experience. Sadly, they and many others with the brain trust of great ideas and ability aren’t flocking to Washington to steer our ship of state through these dangerous straits.

  2. Minta Marie Morze

    Hey, LibertyBelle, your posts are far, far, far from boring. You write with insight, clarity, and purpose, and it is a pleasure to return here, daily, ever since I saw your comment and link on Diplomad. The articles you’ve referenced are important.

    It is the United States that is a house divided—America, itself, is a body of ideas that awaits the reawakening that can only come through the efforts of individuals who value it. It is like the effort that was involved in building one of the great cathedrals of Europe, requiring devoted labor and a farseeing vision. (And, as a metaphorical statement, compare the magnificent cathedrals of Europe with the one recently built near me in Los Angeles by Progressive minds—the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.)

    Keep writing, my friend, and those lucky enough to have discovered you will keep reading and being inspired and refreshed, and also being infuriated along with you. I’ll just point out that it is delightful and encouraging to come across another valued mind on this perilous but imperative journey we’re on.

    Minta Marie Morze

    • Why thank-you Ms. Minta for your kind words and for taking the time to read my scribblings. Your metaphorical statement clearly demonstrates the challenges ahead, but sadly our culture gravitates toward freak shows rather than fine art. My fondest hope for America is that we can inspire as many young people to, in Emerson’s words, “Hitch your wagon to a star.” Sadly, we try to quantify education by dollars spent and it’s the rare sight to see someone looking beyond their electronic devices toward the sky. Definitely a tall order to “dream big” when our minds are locked into the small and meaningless. In my ordinary interactions with people it’s a waste of time to use literary references, historical references, or biblical references(although my store manager did know the answer to my question, “Who else wore a red cape?”, a few weeks back when he was carrying a Superman cape…. shocked me when he knew it was Julius Caesar). Ralph Peters, the author of numerous military-themed novels and books on strategic issues, wrote about his dismay over the questions he’s received on the title of his book, “Cain at Gettysburg”. He was stunned that the obvious biblical reference of Cain alluding to the brother-killing-brother in the US Civil War eluded many of his readers in a column titled, “Lose the Bible, Lose Your Cultural Heritage” http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/lose-the-bible-lose-your-cultural-heritage.

      • Justin

        I think I might’ve mentioned the tome authored by E.D. Hirsch Jr, [1987 Houghton Mifflin] Cultural Literacy.

        Four years ago a nephew graduated high school at “the top of the class” then after a short interval he and I “attempted” a conversation about something I considered everybody knew. I ended with the observation, “Apparently there’s been a sea change in education.”

        “Sea change? There aren’t any seas in Arkansas.”

        Fortunately I rarely toss books. “I’m gonna loan you this nephew. Skip and begin committing to your understanding what begins on page 146, “What Literate Americans Know.”

        This past Spring I was gratified the book was returned with, “Good Golly Uncle Justin, I’ve learned more in the past couple of years than my entire time in school. Old people sure are smart.”

        “No nephew, it just takes a village.” He didn’t question whether Arkansas had any villages.

  3. @ Ms. Morze: The wonders of the internet! I had never heard of this ‘cathedral’ and out of curiosity I took a look – what a monstrosity! If I hadn’t known I might have thought it was a high security prison. Am I right to suspect that the architect is a secret atheist?

  4. Justin, You did mention that book before, because I added it to my Amazon.com wish list. The public schools in PA had ditched Latin from their high schools by the time I got there and for years now I keep intending to learn the basics. Fortunately, PA used to rank pretty high on their public schools, so I did have a lot of very good teachers and my kids did well, despite moving frequently among DoDDs schools. I always told my kids that if you go to your friends’ homes and there aren’t any books, find different friends. However, I left college after one year and I know there are plenty of gaps in my education. Over the years I’ve made plenty of lists of things I think I should study and keep working at learning more.

  5. Minta Marie Morze

    Hi, guys! I’m just “Minta”. I use my full name to post because when I first posted something online, I was trying to think of a good alias and my brothers dared me to use my real name. Two of my brothers served full tours of duty as Marines in Viet Nam during the Tet Offensive and the Siege of Hue, and here I was nervous about using my name online . . . . I wrote out the full thing, and have stayed with it.

    When I first heard about their planning a new cathedral in LA, I was excited. Then I saw their plans and all I felt was disbelief. I’ve lived in this area since 1962, and I know how bizarre LA can get, but I have to say that the cathedral dumbfounded me. Situated as it was, they had had access to mega-funding and could select from the greatest talents in the world, who would have been honored to have had a part in creating a great cathedral in a great world city; so, it can only be said that they built their dream just the way they wanted it. Incredible.


  6. Justin

    Thought I might place a link to what is “officially called” Thorncrown Chapel (Arkies however refer to it as Crystal Cathedral).

    You might Minta, should any future geniuses out your way think on erecting other “Grands” suggest the California Powers-That-Be, look east for another architect.


  7. I like Minta’s stuff too! The spec about goals is spot on. Neither major political party seems to have an objective to say nothing of a strategy. Like a ship without a rudder, I guess we drift until we hit something.

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