Er, could you run that by me again?

The good news is that infrastructure (or, specifically, ‘infrastructure, services & economy’) is considered important enough to be part of a PowerPoint presentation detailing American military strategy (see below). The bad news is that the same presentation – first brought to attention by NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent Richard Nagel – is currently the subject of much ridicule due to its mind-boggling complexity.

“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” were the words of General Stanley McChrystal, leader of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, when he saw the slide, according to one of his advisers.

And McChrystal is not the only one drawing the conclusion that too much faith in being placed in PowerPoint which, according to a report in the New York Times, “has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession”. “PowerPoint makes us stupid,” was the succinct verdict of General James Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces Commander, at a military conference in North Carolina, according to the same report.

The case for huge infrastructure investment on a global scale is compelling, with the OECD identifying that requirement as totalling around $3 trillion annually. But there are some in the American military establishment who would no doubt strongly advise against making the case by PowerPoint. 

US military planning PowerPoint: draw your own conclusions