Commentary

General (RET) James L. Jones Takes the Stage at Stimson

in Program

General (RET) James L. Jones joined Lincoln Bloomfield,
Jr., Stimson’s chairman of the board, on Tuesday for the eighth installment of his series,
the Chairman’s Forum.  Gen. Jones and Ambassador
Bloomfield covered issues that ranged from the nonmilitary aspects of national
security to New START and NATO during a one-hour discussion. (Read the complete transcript).

Gen. Jones offered thoughts on:

  • Revising the 20th
    century national security establishment for the 21st century:
    “We have a system that
    worked well in the 20th century, when we were the unquestioned
    global leader in so many areas. We need
    to take another look at ourselves in order to be competitive. …Some of our
    institutions and elected representatives are living in a different century,
    they’re not living in the environment.
    It’s time to really take a look at our laws, our regulations, our policies,
    and to empower the greatness of America. When we face challenges, we always overcome
    them. And we are definitely being
    challenged.”
  • Revolution and the
    future in Egypt:
    “You can be sure that,
    just as 30 years ago, when Iran
    fell, there was a cry for openness and transparency of government and better
    lives for the people, and look what we got.
    It didn’t quite work out that way.
    You can be sure that underneath the radar, forces that do not want this
    democratic movement, or do not want Egypt to emerge with this type of
    government and this type of society, are hard at work on us. Egypt is one of the pivotal
    countries that we really have to watch.
    And it’s an opportunity for us to lead in a different way, to bring
    economic incentives. I think that the
    administration has already shown a little courage here in terms of an economic
    package, but it needs to be bigger than that, and it needs to be international
    in scope.”
  • Partisan Politics and
    New START:

    “We have to get back to a more civil political dialogue … On issues of national
    security, different opinions are fine, but partisanship shouldn’t play a role. I’ll use the example of the START treaty. …At
    the end of the day, the United
    States was relegated to watching one of the
    most important treaties of our time, relegated to a lame-duck session in
    Congress that was purely partisan. … It diminished us in the eyes of the
    world.”
  • On NATO moving forward: “One of my favorite
    sayings is ‘a vision without resources is a hallucination.’ NATO has wonderful
    intentions. … The aspirations of the alliance are very good, but the realism
    that backs up those aspirations doesn’t really stand the test.”

To view the Chairman’s
Forum with Gen. James L. Jones in its entirety, go to: http://www.stimson.org/video/chairmans-forum-general-james-jones/

About the Chairman’s Forum:

The
Chairman’s Forum is a strategic conversation, featuring respected opinion
leaders in the foreign and security policy arena. Bloomfield holds these informal discussions
about eight times a year to address the most relevant global issues we face
today.  Recent guests include Alain Le
Roy, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping; Elon Musk, co-founder of
PayPal, and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors; and Senator Lindsey Graham (R – SC).

 

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