Palmer Luckey, Katherine Boyle, and Joe Lonsdale on the defense tech they’re building to keep our country safe—and the threats that keep them up at night.
Okay, so Israel has about 9M citizens, which would make the US 40 times larger.
If some Mexican Cartels decided that they were going to push back against US border policies, and attack the border cities of McCallen, Juarez and wherever else, in a similar campaign to Hamas’ in Israel, they’d kill, rape mutilate almost 50K US citizens, and take 5K back across the border as hostages. Do you think we’d give a flying fuck what any of the rest of the world said about ‘genocide’ against Mexicans?
We would most likely start an extermination of cartels in Mexico. It wouldn’t be genocide, apartheid, or anything else, other than improving civilization.
That’s what Israel is doing.
And frankly, I believe we're going to end up with something akin to this in the future. The Cartels are to Mexico what Hamas is to Palestine, Hezbollah is to Lebanon and the Houthis are to Yemen. Their motives may be different, but they are criminal organizations that have taken over countries.
This was a great listen. I felt some level of relief learning there is an intelligent, socially astute younger generation picking up the drive to maintain The USA’a position in the world and with that our security and culture at home. Please, TFP, keep highlighting individuals like this. I learned so much.
My biggest takeaway is that MERIT BASED EMPLOYMENT AND MERIT BASED EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES are the keys to better life, better governance, and a better world. Anyone who has ever built or accomplished anything worthwhile knows this.
I haven’t heard this yet. I am tired! We are now embroiled in various new conflicts costing billions. We have a senile president and daffy Vice President. Yet the Free Press always has favored Biden, while subtly or not so subtly dissing RFK Jr. and Trump, both of whom seem preferable to me despite my lifelong history as a Democrat. I haven’t seen the column yet that even asks, Why was the US funding bioweapons research in China? I don’t care about Taylor Swift or the Grammys when I see intelligent journalists contributing to a possibly disastrous future. I hope I am wrong.
It's odd to me that anyone would discuss foreign threats without discussing Joe Biden not only not doing the job he swore to do--uphold the laws passed by Congress--but actively preventing anyone else from doing the job he refuses to do.
We fought a Global War on Terror for something like 20 years. The intent was to protect the American homeland from foreign threats by preempting them where they originated.
But our southern border is open. We have to assume Iran, China, North Korea, Al Queda, ISIS affiliates, Hezbolah, Hamas, and anyone else you can think of has sent over AS MANY PEOPLE AS THEY WANTED TO.
Our counterintelligence agencies have been ordered to focus on those Americas who publicly continue to ask our national government to do its job and obey the law, so the only thing preventing mass terror attacks--on our malls, our power grid, our bridges, our schools, and anything else you want to add--is that it is not currently to the tactical advantage of our enemies. That's it. Full stop. The people who should be tracking them are almost certainly not doing so. The FBI is a political organization that seems, in the main, to operate as muscle for illegal left wing operations. They probably do some good things too, but what is obviously bad is bad enough.
America has long been much stronger than our enemies. We won in Vietnam. But we retreated, after Nixon was successfully kneecapped, and not only hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese who had trusted us were murdered (which is more or less what happened in Afghanistan), but the stage was set for the Khmer Rouge and the murder--often by torture--of roughly a third of the country.
So in my own view the only enemy we have that matters in the least is the Democrats. They are the enemies of truth, effective and consistent foreign policy, rational deterrance, and in most cases rational dialogue itself. Those problems cannot be fixed with better weapons, and I speak for many in saying that the better weapons being developed will be turned on people like me if we stay on the path we are on.
Bari asks "If we had to fight for our country, who would actually show up?"
We know the answer to that because our Democrat "friends" already told us they'd run away.
Jon Lonsdale presciently notes "I think our country in general has this crisis of incompetence."
Should anyone be surprised when the person installed in 2020 to rule over us is a corrupt, senile imbecile who hasn't been right on foreign policy in decades and whose own boss warned to never underestimate his ability to fcuk things up? What sort of people "voted" for such towering incompetence?
I was a Zone Supervisor over Navy recruiting in the early 80s. It was a very difficult task in recruiting quality candidates especially for the nuclear power program and all officer programs. Even finding potential applicants for high tech jobs was extremely difficult. I can't imagine the life of a Navy Recruiter in today's environment. I recently read several articles on how 80% of the applicants for military service cannot pass the entrance requirements for either testing or medical reasons. No idea how this major problem can be resolved. It seems like a real mess. (Really enjoyed this Free Press article.....)
I am a veteran. I have several family members and friends who are as well. When I hear these people lament the fact that so many young people feel no impulse to join the military, I cannot help but think, "After what happened in Afghanistan, how can we blame any young person for staying away from military service? It is like our leaders have made fools of our heroes. We absolutely must have someone in charge who will give our warriors their due. That means not leaving our allies and friends at the mercy of evil regimes like the Taliban.
I've known many Raytheon employees over the last thirty years, and the picture from the inside is bad.
They started explicitly discriminating against white men years ago, openly telling their employees that race and sex are factors in both hiring and promotion. They did this despite the fact that most of their engineers were white men - it stopped being about ability, and became about identity instead. This is illegal by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights act, but virtually all of corporate America is getting away with violating this law.
Raytheon went 'woke' before there was a word for it; none of their senior leadership have any engineering expertise whatsoever, they killed all the most important research programs they should have supported 20 years ago, they have no vision for the future, and their primary concern is playing politics to make more money for themselves. The military generals they interface with are nothing but bureaucrats, and between the two they fleece taxpayers for money while falling behind in the tech.
Corporate socialist bureaucracy at its finest! And they're totally unaccountable.
I agree that incompetence from within is the biggest threat. In the face of an attack, I would see a lot of dithering and hand-wringing. However, I also think there are enough people in this country, including people with enough power, that we'd eventually respond appropriately. The thing that scares me the most is the cyberthreat from China (outline to Congress recently by Christopher Wray, but which has been in the wind for awhile). China has a lot of manpower and smarts, and they're ruthless. Even scarier, though, is the fact that they're desperate. Their economy is tanking, Xi's attempts to centrally control the economy are failing miserably, and history shows that desperate nations go to war to distract the public. China has a ready-made war waiting for them that would be guaranteed to rile the public in Xi's favor--Taiwan. The possibilities for patriotic propaganda around an invasion of Taiwan are endless, and despite Biden's proclamations, I don't see the US or anyone else in the West actually coming to Taiwan's defense. If we couldn't fully support Ukraine, why is there any reason to think we'd support Taiwan? I'm sorry, I'm not impressed by the response of the US to attacks on US facilities in the Middle East.
This was a great talk! As a longtime Navy civilian, I felt myself wanting to defend some of the old guard style, and I’ve seen lots of smart people whip up cool new tech that does t really satisfy military needs, but I’m old now and I’m happy there are energetic smart people and new companies beating down the door to DOD with new ideas.
Thank you, Bari, for finding these entrepreneurs. Their comments are like a breath of fresh air and a spark of optimism at a troubled time. I truly believe Americans evaluated and advanced upon merit rather than DEI and ESG can stay ahead (or catch up then stay ahead) of any one-party government planning system. Three cheers.
Joe, Katherine, and Palmer are legends. DIE and government incompetence are more dangerous than our foreign adversaries. In these perilous times, it is worth revisiting Vice Admiral James Stockdale's essay on "Moral Leadership": https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/moral-leadership-admiral-james-stockdale-vietnam
Sam was only in charge of nuclear material. No biggie…. Right?? .DEI has to be the most demoralizing, talent bleeding, idiotic notion ever adopted. For excellence , you hire or recruit not because of sexual orientation, gender, color, or race. You hire or recruit the best in spite of those characteristics. Youhave to be brain dead, spiteful, racist, or clueless to think otherwise.
After what happened in Afghanistan, can you blame anyone, young or old for staying away from the military? Our bravest were treated like saps and suckers.
I love these three people!