“Trust is the basic bond of leadership.” General (R) Frederick M. Franks, Jr. For those of you who don’t know “Franks, the Greater”, a nickname given by General (R) Tommy Franks, read Tom Clancy’s book, written with Fred Franks, “Into the Storm”. He is also featured in “It Starts with Humility” , by Dr. Merwyn Hayes.He is one of America’s greatest military heroes, the architect of the Desert Storm's 100 hour war (sorry, General Schwartzkopf) and the most inspiring leader I ever met. I worked directly for GEN Franks for three years at VII Corps and when he commanded Training and Doctrine Command. His emphasis on trust as the keystone of leadership was driven by his deep belief in values as the bedrock of any organization. Shared values engenders trust. Trust inspires the joint pursuit of a well articulated vision and shared vision leads to ultimate success. With out it, the people perish.
So what? The so what is that the American public has lost faith in the government's ability to get things done, specifically, the creation of a shared vision for an energy policy. But, apparently, the current administration took heed of the last several polls on “Confidence in Institution” by Gallup. The U.S. Military has been the most trusted institution in America for years. That trust may now be transformed into leadership in the energy sector. After the disaster that was Solyndra, the Administration is looking for someone to lead us out of the wilderness of, not a failed energy policy, but no energy policy. Where other budgets are shrinking, the energy budget for DOD may be expanding.
When the President (7th on the trust list) roles out his 2013 budget this week, it is expected that funding for DOD energy programs will be plused up. A dysfunctional Congress (dead last on the trust list) who would be unlikely to support funding for DOE programs, will back DOD running with the ball. Republicans appear to be lining up behind the idea already. As quoted in the article:
“I do expect to see the spending,” said Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, when asked about increased investment in alternative-energy programs at the Pentagon. “I think in the past three to five years this has been going on, but that it has grown as a culture and a practice – and it’s a good thing. If Israel attacks Iran, and we have to go to war – and the Straits of Hormuz are closed for a week or a month and the price of fuel is going to be high, the question is, in the military, what do you replace it with? It’s not something you just do for the ozone. It’s strategic.”
This is very encouraging. The President, Congress and the American people trust DOD to get it done. Republicans see it as a strategic move for energy security. Democrats see it as backing a proven track record to develop a nascent industry. Wouldn’t it be a great thing to have agreement on a single issue? Trust is the basic bond of leadership and leadership in energy is what the country needs. An American energy industry (not just oil companies) could be the driving force behind the economy that information technology once was, an industry sparked to life by DOD needs. Why DOD would do this is simple and straight forward. It is about energy security that has tactical, operational and strategic relevance. That it will have a positive effect on the economy, that grid security could improve and that climate change may be beneficially affected are merely bonus effects. Trust me. Coach, put DOD in; halftime is over. Dan Nolan