Innovate or die

17 years ago, give or take, I accepted a commission as a United States Marine Corps officer.

I served as a Ground Intelligence Officer. In essence, it was my job to lead my Marines to relentlessly and cleverly imagine the enemy’s most likely (EMLCOA) and most dangerous course of action (EMDCOA). This has colored my thinking more than a little. Join me in this exciting journey into my “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you” reflection of world geo politics. With fun gifs of comedians and allusions to the recent celebration of mothers day! 

(Pre-req – if you haven’t seen Eddie Izards hilarious cake or death bit it makes the following much funnier) 

Disclaimer: I have been out of the Marine Corps for 9 years, none of this in any way shape or form represented the thinking of the US government, military, intelligence or anyone or anything but my own concerns about outcomes that should be avoided as much as possible sourced ONLY from reading publicly available news and interpreting it through the lens of how I sometimes think. As you read it you should not, in any way, imagine this is anything but how I have imagined an outcome we should all want to avoid as a possibility based purely on public news reports. 

So. There I was talking with some friends and one remarked on how hard military innovation is and how we may not be able to get it perfect but hopefully we can get it less wrong. I concurred and built on it like this: 

Yes! Less wrong. Hopefully with a minimum of bloodshed and suffering because…

War WILL relentlessly and mercilessly make us get our shit together over and over. It truly is innovate or die. Let’s minimize the “or die” part as much as we can. Pretty please.

Innovation or death.

Eddie Izzard Death GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

“Um, I’ll have innovation please”

* The US

*China (specifically poorly intentioned or miscalculating decisionmakers within the Chinese political establishment -humorously and simplistically wrapped into a single word here)

leaps headfirst  into Thucydides trap, 

Why? knowing their population implosion puts them on a clock anyway (this is much worse than it sounds

* US  (specifically poorly intentioned or miscalculating decisionmakers within the United States political establishment -humorously and simplistically wrapped into a single word here) 

“so all you have is “or death?”

Eddie GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

*time (time/fate/destiny personified.. You get it): 

“yup all out of time for innovation”

Necessity is the mother of invention and all so…. Happy (belated) Mother’s Day all!!

And I consider the above several steps short of EMDCOA because we haven’t even mentioned one or two nukes (this is worse than its sounds).

Let alone more than that. (Yes, this is also worse than it sounds. No, no links for this you glutton for punishment, find your own. There’s lots out there).

So… what to do with all this? 

  • Advocate for the right balance of strength and peace through your elected representatives. 
  • Do some disaster preparedness preparation for yourself and your family, considering power, heat, water, and banking might all be out for a while. 
  • Have conversations about this. Bad things don’t go away if we ignore them. And bad people with bad intentions have already thought of these bad ideas. Good people, with good intentions must consider bad things and plan for ways to mitigate or prevent them.

As a species our super-power is cooperation, communication, collaboration.

 We CAN innovate, not die. 


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