The ‘most powerful man in the world’ could be president if he is born in 2020
The US military might be in serious trouble if the country doesn’t change course.
That’s the conclusion of a report published this week by a former Air Force colonel who served as the chief of staff of the Central Command (CENTCOM) during the George W. Bush administration.
“It’s not surprising that we’re in a situation where we need to be thinking about a contingency plan for when this happens,” says Lt.
Gen. James W. Jones, who served from 2003 to 2008 as the top civilian and military officer at CENTCOM.
“If we don’t, we’re going to have the most powerful man on Earth in 2020.”
The plan was based on the belief that the Trump administration would take the military in a different direction if it wanted to maintain the US military presence in the Middle East.
It would focus on the fight against Islamic State militants and the threat from the North Korean nuclear threat.
But the report’s author, Lt.
Col. Jones himself, doesn’t agree.
“This is a serious, long-term problem, and the military needs to be very careful that we do not become complacent,” he says.
Jones says CENTCOM should have a more strategic plan for the next decade.
“If we’re doing this for 30 years, it’s going to be really difficult,” he adds.
Jones and others are now pushing for a more comprehensive plan, including a longer-term plan to prepare for the possibility of a nuclear-armed North Korea.
But even as the US confronts this threat, the military isn’t quite ready to go full-tilt military.
The Pentagon has been trying to shore up its force to fight the Islamic State for years.
But as a result, the US has only about 2,400 active troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the two countries with the highest proportion of American military personnel.
That means the Pentagon needs to boost its military presence by as much as 10,000 troops, and to train about 2 million people, says Jones.
In the meantime, Jones says, the Pentagon is focusing on a number of things: training Afghan troops and expanding the training mission for U.S. troops in the country, and making the military ready for potential conflicts in the region.
The report’s authors are calling for the Pentagon to accelerate its training, and for the US government to increase its investments in technology and weapons.
But he cautions that the US needs to make sure it is in the best position to deal with these threats in the future.
“We’re not there yet,” he explains.
“We need to build the capacity of our forces.”
The Pentagon is still trying to figure out exactly what the military will need to do to protect the US homeland.
For instance, it is developing new, more advanced missile defense systems that could protect US troops and U.N. facilities, but it is also developing an updated, longer-range, radar-based radar system.