Apocalyptic Powerpoints

Douglas Waller and Sally B. Donnelly have a page 1 story in the current TIME with the provocative title, “Apocalyptic Powerpoints.” The story, in its entirety:

The Pentagon, which is calling for the largest defense budget since the cold war, has been floating scary threats lately. TIME has obtained a copy of a PowerPoint presentation that senior officers have been showing to groups around the U.S. warning that failure to stop Osama bin Laden and his ilk would have the same “consequences” as Europe’s appeasement of the Nazis before World War II. Bullet points describe possible U.S. economic depression and Washington being forced into an “accommodation” with terrorists. Skeptics question the timing of such predictions. Says security analyst John Pike: “The Pentagon has a long tradition of dialing up the threat to get more dollars at budget time.”

I haven’t seen the PowerPoints in question and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were a bit hyperbolic. But wouldn’t failure to stop Islamist terrorists have some pretty terrible consequences?

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. anjin-san says:

    Maybe if Bush had kept his eye on the ball (bin laden) and not gone off on a tangent of questionable value in Iraq, we could all be sleeping a bit better…

  2. legion says:

    Quite so, Anjin-san. I would also expect there to be a fairly direct correlation with this adminstration’s failure to actually address appropriate threats in a competent manner and this “possible US economic depression.”

    “We made an enormous mess! Now give us more money & power so we can fix it!” Riiiiight.

  3. ken says:

    “But wouldn’t failure to stop Islamist terrorists have some pretty terrible consequences?


    OK for a few people, yes, but for America? — a few disgrunted bomb throwers cannot hurt us.

  4. floyd says:

    note to bush haters; does anyone remember the clinton administration’s direct support of osama bin laden in serbia and elsewhere?

  5. G A PHILLIPS says:

    Another lib that thinks freeing 25millon peps was a tangent, dude you need you need to think on stuff before you type. and the only mess I see around here are you crazy fools are typing every day.P.S. BUSH RULES!

  6. anjin-san says:


    So Bush’s failue to bring bin laden to justice after he slaughtered thousands of American’s in NYC on Bush’s watch is Clinton’s fault?

  7. anjin-san says:

    On the subject of “freeing people”, well there are millions enslaved in N Korea, to say nothing of Mr. Bush’s friends in China. When do we attack?

    Perhaps we would be better off in we put more energy into keeping our own freedom’s alive & well, at the moment, they have caught a bit of a cold.

    If oppressed people want freedom, I suggest they fight for it, not wait for American boys to come over and die providing it.

  8. LJD says:

    Yes, the GWOT is an utter failure, hence so many subsequent attacks on U.S. soil.

    All the dead terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan think they’re winning, too. What with all the virgins and everything…

    Anjin- maybe we should attack California. SO many oppressed there by Commie ideology…

  9. shergald says:

    “But wouldn’t failure to stop Islamist terrorists have some pretty terrible consequences?”

    This is the largest military budget ever proposed at at time when we have, relatively speaking, the smallest standing armed forces, and that budget does not even include expected expenditures in Iraq and Afganistan of 120 billion over the next two years. We are in such bad shape as far as troops on the ground are concerned that half of our fighting forces are from the National Guard and many of those are having to have their terms of service extended by executive fiat because they are irreplaceable.

    One can only suggest that there must be a lot of twenty two dollar screwdrivers in that budget.

  10. anjin-san says:


    Study Al Queda’s pattern. They are in no hurry. Eight years between WTC attacks. The second one accomplished their goals.

    One thing is for sure, bin laden is still at large and is planning to harm our country.

    No doubt we have taken some pawns off the board in Iraq, but then pawns are not really what the game is about, no? I may be stretching though, you seem like more of a checkers guy.

    What part of the California mindset do you object to, the one that says the constitution is a good thing?

  11. LJD says:

    Wow, Anjin, you know a lot about Al Qaeda’s capabilities Perhaps we now know why you’re so jittery about wiretaps…

    The part of California I object to (as a former resident): liberal weenies that have run the state economy into the ground with their stupid handouts (and who have more understanding and respect for the terrorists than our own citizens).

  12. anjin-san says:

    Handouts? You mean like Bush giving the oil companies a multi-billion dollar tax windfall while they were in the midst of earning record revenues?

    At any rate LJD, it is easy to understand your refusal to discuss Bush’s failure to bring bin laden to justice for murdering thousands of Americans.

    By all means, lets talk about the threat to our republic posed by a senior citizen getting halfway decent health care…

  13. Jack Ehrlich says:

    anjin-san. You got it. If Clinton had taken OBL into custody in 1996, 9/11 would not have happened. You supposed California libs (?) support the constitution? That is a lie, and you know it. You only support the parts of the constitution that seem to support your arguement, when in fact, your side never supports the constitution as it is written. Actually, must of you nuts live on the pacific plate, that is not part of California, at least not forever. Keep moving north. You can guide them, pilot. Not.

  14. anjin-san says:

    Yes Jack, and if Rumsfeld had not given Saddam WMD back in the 80’s Gulf 1 & 2 Might not have been necessary. Funny how history is full of ifs…