Since retiring from the military in the mid-2010s, William McRaven has repeatedly called on the US to double down on science and technology education investment by the federal government, and warned that a failure to do so would ensure that China surges ahead in the global technological competition while the US stagnates.
Retired Admiral and former Navy SEAL McRaven, best known for organising and executing Operation Neptune Spear, the 2011 special ops raid to kill al-Qaeda* leader Osama bin Laden, has stepped up his criticism of the US education system, this time focusing on kindergarten to grade 12.
“When I was chancellor [of the University of Texas] I would have a lot of town hall meetings, or meetings with our alumni, and that question [of K-12 education] always came up,” McRaven said, speaking at the online Aspen Ideas Festival conference last week.
“So we have got to have an education system within the United States that really does teach and educate young men and women to think critically, to look outside their small microcosm. Because if we don’t develop those great folks, our national security in the long run may be in jeopardy,” McRaven warned.
Part of the problem, the retired admiral said, is a lack of a “culture of education” in local communities, sometimes due to prevailing inequalities. He insisted, however, that “there is a school out there for every man and woman in the United…