Thursday, May 29, 2014

CNA Places Rake in Yard, Promptly Steps on it

When something you care about just embarrasses itself in public, one option is to just let the moment pass. Nothing you can do can add to the shame they feel themselves.

It is something altogether different though when the act was not an accident - but was an intentional act done for what appears to be personal reasons that impact the overall organization. If something gives the impression of the later, innocent or not, you have significant problems.

When it is easy for an external eye to see obvious conflicts of interest - what does it say when internally all are blind?

As reported by Rowan Scarborough, CNA needs to clean house sooner more than later. Let's connect the dots;
The May 13 report came from the military advisory board within CNA Corp., a nonprofit based in Alexandria, Virginia, that includes the Center for Naval Analyses, a Navy-financed group that also gets contracts from other Pentagon units. CNA also operates the Institute for Public Research. 
CNA’s webpage states that it is not an advocacy group. It says it maintains “absolute objectivity. In our investigations, analyses and findings we test hypotheses, carefully guard against personal biases and preconceptions, challenge our own findings and are uninfluenced by what a client would like to hear.” 
The Center for Naval Analyses’ motto is “high quality, impartial information.”
One of the CNA panel’s vice chairmen, retired Navy Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, is president of a private think tank, the American Security Project, whose prime issue is warning about climate change. 
The other vice chairman, retired Army Brig. Gen. Gerald E. Galloway Jr., is a prominent adviser to the Center for Climate and Security, a climate change group. 
In all, four CNA board members sit on the panel of advisers to the Center for Climate and Security, whose statements on climate change are similar to those found in the CNA report.

Other board members work in the climate change world of consulting and technology.
The CNA advisory panel is headed by retired four-star Army Gen. Paul Kern, who sits on the board of directors of a company that sells climate-detection products to the Pentagon and other government agencies. At least two other board members are employed in businesses that sell climate change expertise and products.
The greatest influence on CNA reports seems to come from the Center for Climate and Security, whose position is that the debate on climate change, or man-made global warming, is over. 
“This is a world which recognizes that climate change risks are unprecedented in human history and does not wait for absolute certainty before acting to mitigate and adapt to those risks,” the center says. 
The CNA report, titled “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change,” says: “Some in the political realm continue to debate the cause of a warming planet and demand more data.” It then quotes a board member as saying, “Speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”
The Center for Climate and Security has taken donations from the Tides Foundation, which gets money from Democratic Party financier and liberal billionaire George Soros. 
The CNA credits the Center for Climate and Security for helping release the report, and the center issued a press release lauding the report the day it was released.
Oh, there is a lot more there. It gets worse, and they name names. Unless CNA wants to gain the reputation as another partisan agenda driven tool in DC, selling its name and honor to the highest bidder, then it needs to do some serious thinking.

One of the big problems with this whole mess is that this isn't actually a CNA "study." If it was, it would have more rigorous analysis and data backing the conclusions. Instead it is an opinion piece by the "military advisory board," a bunch of retired GOFO who pad their resume by being "think tank guys" even though they have neither the skills nor the education/background to do real and substantial analysis. They're window dressing so CNA can say they're "in touch" with military concerns. They got away from the real analysts and did something embarrassing to themselves and those who associate with them.

This will not help anyone involved either. Having someone who used to be at the highest ranks of the military using and citing the battlefield as an analogy is a complete misuse of the public's good will. This only invites scrutiny as to their credentials and qualifications to discuss climate change. The results of that scrutiny only invites ridicule for our profession.

I wait for the CNA to report on the military implications of the expected increasing light in the morning, and the gathering gloom of darkness later in the day.

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