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Ashton Carter names the Pentagon’s new strategist


On the 13th of May 2015, the Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter, named the new head of the Office of Net Assessment, the bureau which is charged with the planning and strategy of the Pentagon, replacing Andy Marshall (aged 93) [1].

He is ex-Air Force colonel James H. Baker (in the centre of the photo), instead of Andy Marshall’s protégé, ex-Navy captain Jerry Hendrix.

Even though we know nothing of the work of this new applicant, the nomination may well put an end to the reign of the « Straussians » (disciples of Leo Strauss, the creator of « Chaos Theory » and the project for war against China).

With the Joint Chiefs of Staff, James H. Baker was the director of the CJCS-Action Group (2007-2012), then the assistant director of the J5 Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (2012-2015).

An extremely retiring personality, he has a reputation for never imposing himself. According to several superior officers, whenever he spoke at meetings of the Chiefs of Staff, he spoke with a quiet, firm voice, and everyone else lapsed into sudden silence. This description corresponds to the sense of one of his articles about military professionalism. In the article, he examined the ways in which an officer can influence political power, and at what moment he should resign when asked to apply a policy of which he disapproved [2].

He played an important role with general Mike Mullen as well as general Martin Dempsey. It seems he has been working since 2007 in favour of reconciliation with Iran.

Pete Kimberley

[1] “After 42 years of service, Andy Marshall leaves the Pentagon”, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 24 January 2015.

[2] “Military Professionalism: A Normative Code for the Long War”, by James H. Baker, Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 44, 1st Quarter 2007.

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