National Security Experts


Paul D. Eaton

Biography provided by participant

Since retirement from the US Army in 2006 after 33 years service, Major General Paul D. Eaton has actively engaged in the recent Presidential campaign and currently serves as Senior Advisor to the National Security Network. His Army assignments include Infantry command from the company to brigade levels and command of the Infantry Center at Fort Benning and Chief of Infantry. His most recent operational assignment was Commanding General of the command charged with reestablishing Iraqi Security Forces 2003-2004, where he built the command and established the structure and infrastructure for the Iraqi Armed Forces and Interior Ministry security forces. Other operational assignments include Somalia, Bosnia and Albania. Other assignments include the Joint Staff, Deputy Commanding General for Transformation and Stryker Unit Development and Assistant Professor and head of the French Department at West Point. He is a 1972 graduate of West Point, married to PJ Eaton and father to sons Shane and Joshua, and daughter Gina, all Soldiers.

Recent Responses

February 27, 2012 09:52 AM

A year ago as the Libyan insurrection accelerated and threatened to produce significant civilian casualties at the hands of Colonel Qaddafi’s loyal troops, three important voices spoke up: Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice. One our Secretary of State, one a senior advisor to the President, one our Ambassador to the United Nations. All carrying very clear memories of opportunities missed, like Rwanda, and taken, like Bosnia, with respect to the use of American influence and force of arms to protect innocents. Some referred to their collective stand as the Rise of the Valkyries in support of what has become known as the responsibility to protect (R2P).

We need to hear from them again, to stimulate the planning and execution of the mission to protect the Syrian opposition; identify, engage with and facilitate the developing Syrian National Council; and to then assist the manning, training and equipping of the Free Syrian Army.

David Sanger in his oped in Sunday’s New York Times gives insight about President Obama’s national inte

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June 13, 2011 06:35 AM

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ recent blunt remarks regarding NATO members’ defense spending were the strongest I recall hearing and occur at precisely the moment when the United States military leadership has expressed concerns about the US economy as the basis of our military power and the future of US power projection.

The saying that nations have interests, not friends, becomes more true during periods of high threat, military, economic or diplomatic. When a nation’s territory, autonomy or prosperity is threatened by a combination of the three basic components of national power, the interests calculus goes under close scrutiny. This calculus works hard to discern between those interests that are vital and those that play a lesser role. Vital interests will typically get a whole of nation response, while mere interests bring in the risk/cost/benefit analysis.

Europe and NATO are about at the close scrutiny point on interests. And so is the United States.

The only wolf at the NATO door is the economy of the members of the alliance a

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September 21, 2010 12:21 PM

This week's National Journal question - What impact would a Republican majority in the House, Senate or both have on President Obama's national security and foreign affairs agenda? - begs a couple of questions.

Should we see a Republican majority in the House and Senate, the presumption would be that Tea Party candidates would be included with the predictable formation of a Tea Party caucus. That caucus, not necessarily aligned with mainstream Republican Party thought, would need to be courted in order to achieve party objectives. That fact would compound the scene that Heather Hurlburt of National Security Network refers to as a subsurface "free-for-all among old-fashioned realists, neocons, paleocons, Tea Partiers and libertarians."

In other words, from a foreign policy perspective, the Republican Party will become still more fractured as they try to reconcile the various philosophies on budget management, defense spending and foreign policy. And they may yet recognize that there is a difference between bombast and policy.

While a

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April 26, 2010 12:23 PM

Whereas it is militarily interesting to kill Al Qaeda operatives, it is militarily significant to defeat their ideas and their recruiting potential.

There is apparently no shortage of Al Qaeda recruits and certainly no shortage of basing opportunities for training or command and control. As soon as we drive them from Afghanistan, they pop up in Pakistan or Yemen or Somalia - any failed or marginal state either willing to collaborate or unable to deny access. As said in another context of counter-insurgency warfare, we can't kill our way out of this problem.

In traditional military analysis of state on state action, the strategic, operational and tactical framework has served us well. As we work with non-state actors to influence or prevent behaviors, an analytical framework is useful and the strategic, operational and tactical classifications may still be germane.

The tactical level seems pretty straight forward - upon discovering the i

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