Saturday, April 4, 2009

Defense budget: Include ‘transcendent warfare’ R&D

By Steve Hammons

When Defense Secretary Robert Gates presents his plans for the Pentagon budget, it could be wise for him to consider modest funding for “transcendent warfare” research and development. 

Transcendent warfare – a term used by a Navy SEAL officer in a 2001 research paper at the Marine Corps War College – includes elements of soft power and hard power, potentially enhancing both. We could say that a concept of transcendent power is capable of creating a synergy of superior methods and resources to face future challenges such as, but not limited to, irregular warfare (IW).

SecDef Gates might already be aware of this potential.

When breakthroughs in transcendent warfare took place in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s in Project STAR GATE’s research on human perception, the military services led the way in cooperation with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Maybe it is now time for the Defense Department to lead again on transcendent power R&D.


Many Americans find it troubling when public money is wasted on unwise defense spending or obvious fraud and war profiteering. In recent years, concern has increased about these practices – many of which seem dishonorable.

However, war profiteering should always be distinguished from legitimate and valuable defense spending. Modest funding for transcendent warfare seems to fall into the latter category.

What kinds of transcendent power projects might be valuable for our military, and also provide parallel benefits to other important security and safety personnel as well as society as a whole?

First, thorough review and revisiting of Project STAR GATE research and operations seems like a starting point. Up-to-date research and information-gathering on related scientific and practical-application approaches should be included.

In addition, training and education programs should be developed and implemented for a wider range of personnel. This educational effort would focus on concepts underlying enhanced human perception as well as real-world applications.

Additional efforts should be started to expand the potential applications for knowledge gained from Project STAR GATE and related activities that fall into the categories of transcendent warfare and transcendent power.


Can support for these kinds of efforts be created within the DoD, intelligence community, Congress, the public, the media and the current administration? We are probably experiencing a normal learning curve about the s
ignificant potential that exists in leading-edge and emerging discoveries such as those related to Project STAR GATE and transcendent warfare.

As the U.S. faces a wider variety of internal and global situations, it can be helpful to explore the possibilities associated with advances of sometimes unconventional approaches. This kind of mindset is relevant to irregular warfare and a wide range of other endeavors.

For the American military, continuing irregular and asymmetric conflicts will probably continue for a time in a kind of “warm war” with certain groups.

We may also be called upon to assist in humanitarian operations, peace operations, conflict prevention, alliance-building and other activities that can make good use of transcendent power assets.

At home, our economic innovation, technological development, educational system enhancement, health care reorganization and many other projects can also benefit from leading-edge research related to Project STAR GATE.

Minimal investments in transcendent power R&D could yield optimal benefits for Americans and the international community.