Deputy Secretary Discusses Strategy With Academy Faculty
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Fincham
U.S. Military Academy
WEST POINT, N.Y., June 8, 2012 Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter sat down with some of the U.S. Military Academy's leading thinkers on military strategy, doctrine and history here this week to gain their insights into the Army's past and future.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter delivers remarks to attendees of the Senior Conference XLIX at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., June 4, 2012. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Carter visited West Point as the keynote speaker for a cyberdefense conference.
"I realized that since I was going to be at West Point -- and West Point is one of the intellectual centers, as well as training centers of our armed forces -- I wanted to have an opportunity to tap into the expertise and knowledge in the social sciences department and the history department," he explained.
Carter spoke with the U.S. Corps of Cadets Commandant Brig. Gen. Theodore D. Martin and several other faculty members about lessons learned from 10 years of war, and his thoughts on the way forward.
The discussion offered different insights and perspectives from the faculty for Carter to share with other Defense Department and service leaders.
The deputy secretary encouraged the academy’s faculty to help "blaze the trail forward for the Army."
"I wanted to encourage the faculty to help us make this great transition that we're embarked on from the era of a focus on Iraq and Afghanistan to the problems that are going to define the countries' future," Carter said.
"These kinds of turning points in history are the times when you especially need to draw on the kind of depth that you find at a place like West Point," he continued. “Here you have historians who have looked at conflicts over decades and centuries and eons and where you have people who are cutting-edge social scientists who are thinking on behalf of the country and the future."
Regardless of what the future holds, the Army's mission will be to fight and win our nation's wars. Carter said that having conversations like this will undoubtedly pay dividends as the Army will play an essential role in the way forward for the nation's defense strategies.
"The Army is, by its nature and tradition, focused on the human dimensions of conflict and conflict prevention," he said. "The Army and its doctrinal thinking is going to be key in moving the whole national security perspective into this next era. That's why I think their perspective is so valuable.
"I was incredibly impressed by the faculty and the kind of insights that they have. We are so fortunate to have an institution like this working on our behalf at this time," he concluded.