How Do You Take Your War, Sir: Cold, Hot or Hybrid?
Jeffrey C. Borneman | July 2, 2015
This is an article about DEMAND for Defense
Retiring Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday that “the U.S. military needs to reorganize itself and prepare for war that has no end in sight,” and that “global disorder has trended upward while some of our comparative advantages have begun to erode,” (Defense One).
Americans well remember the term “Cold War” as it was burned into the national psyche for decades with the hope of avoiding nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Deterrence in the Cold War settled on the dreaded MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) strategy. Americans are also familiar with the idea of “proxy” wars like Vietnam but we can recognize the newest type of warfare deemed the “Hybrid” war - a close cousin to the proxy war scenario with one major nuance. Dempsey explains:
“Hybrid conflicts also may be comprised of state and non-state actors working together toward shared objectives, employing a wide range of weapons such as we have witnessed in eastern Ukraine,” Dempsey writes. “Hybrid conflicts serve to increase ambiguity, complicate decision-making, and slow the coordination of effective responses. Due to these advantages to the aggressor, it is likely that this form of conflict will persist well into the future.”
Hybrid Wars lend themselves well to the concept of Warfare “with no end in sight” as state-sponsored terror group’s form quickly depending on funding (note the speed at which ISIS [ISIL] was recognized and stormed across Iraq). U.S. commanders have repeatedly said it will “take decades to defeat ISIS and its ideology”.
Dempsey went on to mention the various regional conflicts and players – and the list is long and growing: Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Yemen, Russia (the Baltic's), Iran, North Korea and China - but a savvy investor will understand Dempsey’s call to reorganize the US war machine for never-ending War. Reorganization on this scale require massive funding as any reorganization would include all NATO member states. Note too Dempsey's use of the term “erode” as it relates to U.S. preparedness: What he is saying is the current structure and armament of U.S. (and by extension, all of NATO) forces are inadequate to fight the never-ending Hybrid War.
It is imperative for investors to know that the DEMAND for Defense will be met at the expense of all other things, and therefore, how specifically to allocate assets given the current geopolitical shifts unfolding. Fiscal spending on the War machine is evident across the globe. Where, when and between whom major conflict comes is the only question. Mankind has never changed and will not be allowed to as War is both convenient and profitable.
If you want to know more about how the MDEF™ Investing strategy is positioned in this, or other geopolitical possibilities, please contact us directly.