About the speaker
Dr. John M. Poindexter most recently served as Director of the Information Awareness Office (IAO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Dr. Poindexter served as National Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor for President Ronald Reagan from 1983 to 1986, and as Military Assistant in the White House prior to that. Dr. Poindexter served 29 years active duty in the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of Vice Admiral. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.
Since we have someone from the Navy speaking tonight, we’re going to run a tight ship and start on time. Although since I know there are some other people who are coming, I was tempted to ask the short people – there’s one of them – to ask the short people to sit in front so that people in the back could see the slides. Does it look okay to everyone from where you are you can see the slides? Okay, alright. Excellent.
Well, our speaker tonight really doesn’t need an introduction but I’ll make a brief one nonetheless. As you know, Admiral Poindexter served as National Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor for President Ronald Reagan – remember? – from 1983 to 1986, and as military assistant in the White House prior to that. He was also responsible for improving the command and management systems to support the president and national security crisis management, culminating in the creation of a new high technology crisis management center.
We’re also happy to have Mrs. Poindexter with us tonight.
The late Mrs. Poindexter.
No, no, not the late Mrs. Poindexter, you’re very much alive.
Admiral Poindexter served for 29 years, active duty in the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of Vice Admiral. While in the Navy, he specialized in training, new tactics, and battle management procedures, and pioneering use of chip board computers. That’s how he’s able to do the slide presentation. Something beyond my competence. He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in physics from the California Institute of Technology. He’s also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Now, most recently Dr. Poindexter served as a director of the Informational Awareness Office at DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency where he developed and demonstrated information technologies systems to counter asymmetric threats by achieving total information awareness useful for preemption, national security, and national security decision making. Please join me in welcoming Admiral Poindexter.
Admiral John Poindexter:
Bob, thank you very much. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. As Bob so stated, I’m not an expert on Islam and I am a retired naval officer and scientist. But Bob asked me several weeks ago to come and speak and I asked him what he wanted me to talk about and he didn’t have an exact specification but I told him what I wanted to talk about. So what I want to talk to you about tonight is national security and how it relates to the Islamic State and what we can do about it from a foreign perspective and the domestic perspective.
And I want to compare it with what we did in the Reagan Administration. Our strategy in those years was based on five pillars: diplomatic, military, economic, public diplomacy – which, by the way, Bob is very big on – and covert operations. It’s very important to understand that an integrated strategy is essential because each action in each of the areas provides leverage to actions in the other areas and I strongly believe that we should be using this kind of strategy in the present situation with the Islamic State.