Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How We Got the Idea

It all started at your typical Washington, DC national security conference. Representatives from government, industry, think tanks and the press assembled to hear experts speak on current events and strategy. And at the end of the day, right before the fancy dinners, three professionals found themselves in a most awkward moment.

A senior OSD official, a defense industry executive and a local think tank resident scholar walked into the elevator. They all knew of each other. The scholar began to decompress. "If I have to listen to one more panel session talk around the issues, I think I'm going scream."

They walked out on the same parking deck floor (of course) and began to talk. The scholar complained of the lack of historical evidence to support most theories and implications. The senior OSD official wanted information that he could work with and not just data gleaned off of today's newspapers. The industry official thought his job was the most difficult. How does an executive grow his business, please shareholders and provide the warfighter the most effective, least expensive capabilities with which to win?

So here we have a forum by which the three of us have decided to talk, share information, and hopefully receive a little bit of insight. We have decided to keep our cyberspace identities as generic as possible. It's not about us, it's about the ideas.

Ace: He's our former fighter pilot turned civilian government leader. His educational background is in the mathematics and engineering. He uses any excuse to reference the Navy, though his knowledge of the Army and Air Force is unmatched. Don't ask about the Marines. He's afraid of them.

Mike: He's our senior industry executive. For a retired Air Force colonel, he knows how the defense industry works. He holds an MBA from one of those expensive schools, though we don't hold it against him.

Bill: He thinks he knows more than anyone else even though he's never been in uniform and can't get enough of JAG reruns. He holds two master's degrees in history and a PhD. He writes articles and essays like they're going out of style. And speaking of style, his ties never match his suits.

We looking forward to sharing our thoughts with you on this dynamic means of communication. And we look forward to your ideas as well. Because in the end, aren't we all net-centric?

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