So ends the ARRC’s annual exercise – ARRCADE FUSION 09 (link to web page): ambitious, ground breaking and designed to test HQ ARRC’s ability to integrate planning and execution with key non-military players in a complex and demanding scenario in order to achieve unity of purpose and effort in hybrid conflict. The hard work of drawing out all the lessons and implementing them started with the After Action Review and there remains much to be done to ensure that we extract every ounce of value. However, from my perspective, I can say conclusively that the restructuring of HQ ARRC has been a resounding success. The exercise highlighted many areas we need to get right and there were inevitable shortcomings which we need to work on. Nevertheless, thanks to the efforts of all who contributed to the exercise, both from within and without HQ ARRC and both civilian and military from across NATO, I really think we might be on the edge of something revolutionary in terms of command and control.
From 3AM on Wednesday November 25, 2009, until 3AM the following day (US east coast time), WikiLeaks released half a million US national text pager intercepts. The intercepts cover a 24 hour period surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.
THE European Union is not the only institution that prefers faceless technocrats to people with star power. The corporate world is increasingly rejecting imperial chief executives in favour of anonymous managers—bland and boring men and women who can hardly get themselves noticed at cocktail parties, let alone stop the traffic in Moscow and Beijing.
Some of the world’s most powerful bosses are striking mainly for their blandness: Sam Palmisano at IBM, Tony Hayward at BP, Terry Leahy at Tesco, Vittorio Colao at Vodafone. These men are at the head of a vast army of even more forgettable bosses. Watch the parade of chief executives who appear on CNBC every day, or drop in to a high-powered conference, and you begin to wonder whether cloning is more advanced than scientists are letting on.
All Flemish proposals for a more decentralised policy are countered with a plain on n'est demandeur de rien (we ask nothing) by Wallonia. The only thing Belgium's PM can do, is take note of this standstill. If you have any ambitions to become the prime minister of this country, first practise being a lame duck. Just ask Herman Van Rompuy. Oh yes, Yves Leterme will succeed him later this week, having abandoned all promises to thoroughly reform this old country. But soon, the smell will become unbearable to all. It is then, dear foreign friends, that we will come to you and ask you to recognise the independence of Flanders and Wallonia. And we will be very glad to support any strong candidate for the presidency of the EU, if you have one at hand.