General John K. Singlaub, former Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer and founding member of the Central Intelligence Agency, delivered an engaging and wide-ranging lecture on issues of U.S. national security at The Institute of World Politics on May 20, 2010.
IWP Founder and President, Dr. John Lenczowski, began the event by introducing the Institute’s Board Chairman, Owen T. Smith. Mr. Smith, whose father-in-law was the late Director of Central Intelligence William Casey, described General Singlaub’s many noteworthy accomplishments and credentials, which include being a retired Major General in the U.S. Army, his decades of service at CIA, and his role as head of the OSS veterans’ association.
General Singlaub affirmed the nation’s need for an institution like The Institute of World Politics, which prepares future leaders in national security and international affairs. His talk largely revolved around the theme that it is dangerous for the United States to do nothing in terms of its national security. He explained that government bureaucracy often stifles action, and even encourages inaction, noting, “If you don’t do anything, you won’t get fired.”
He proceeded to talk about his own experiences during the Vietnam War and the consequences of certain instances of inaction by the U.S. He continued by explaining the inherent danger of U.S. inaction with Iran and Hezbollah — both now and in the past — and expressed his opinion that the U.S. should be prepared to go to war with Iran if, for instance, it attacks Israel.
Turning to U.S.-China relations, General Singlaub remarked that the U.S. seems unwilling to realize or act upon the true nature of the Chinese regime. Instead, he suggested, the U.S. treats China as our strategic economic partners, even as China continues to gain greater control over the U.S. economy.
Audience questions led to General Singlaub addressing such issues as the type of situation that would lead to our nation to start defending itself more ably; about American investments in China; whether a single administration could change the culture of bureaucracy in Washington; and whether the Obama administration is right in being hesitant to involve the U.S. in further international conflicts.