Friday, November 18, 2005
Maybe Gingrich Isn't So Creepy
All in all the testimony seemed balance, but he had plenty of recommendations about how the US should continue to reform the intelligence community beyond the fledgling steps taken with the appointment of John Negroponte to the position of Director on National Intelligence. One of the more poignant observations the former House Speaker made was that the United States has not adequately organized itself from a governmental or societal perspective to address the issues that are critical to this country’s survival in the 21st century and beyond. On this point, I cannot agree with Mr. Gingrich more. He wisely cites the Hart/Rudman Commission’s observation that the condition of math and science education in this country is in need of serious repair and that ignoring the need for more focus on science and mathematics in our schools has serious implications for our national security.
The American people have thus far demonstrated we learned our lesson from the dreadful way we treated our military service members during the Vietnam War. Although public support for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is failing, the devotion and respect the American people pay to the men and women of the armed forces remains strong. However, Mr. Gingrich’s point about the status of American science and math education illuminates there are other heroes in this country who need to be recognized for the role they play in securing this nation’s security and prosperity. Where would this country be with Edison, Bell, Ford, Gates, Carnegie, and Einstein? The key to out continued security and prosperity is rooted not just in our military prosperity and strength but also in the strength of our educational system especially in math and science. As a country we need to refocus our efforts to produce more citizens with the skills in math and science that will keep the United States at the forefront of discovery, innovation, and creativity. If we don’t regenerate our science and math expertise to a new generation then our ability to make technological advances will suffer. This will have dyer consequences for out national security.
Math and science education is just one point Mr. Gingrich made about the changes we need to make as a society to remain in as position of strength. Assessing intelligence successes and failures using measurable standards and metrics, developing and nurturing the analytical capacity of the intelligence agencies, re-educating our intelligence agencies about the importance of linguistics and culture, and redefining the nature of the enemy and the war the US in currently engaged in are all issues discussed during Mr. Gingrich’s testimony. I highly recommend people take a few minutes to read this very provocative and thought provoking assessment of the US intelligence community and its development for the 21st century.
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