Fareed Zakaria describes the planning Petraeus and Panetta should demand in the Washington Post.
The goal should instead be preparedness. Government agencies should be readying policymakers and bureaucrats for sharp changes in international, regional and national patterns. They should be imaginative about the possibilities of sudden shifts and new circumstances and force policymakers to confront the scenarios in advance.
The international organs, drugs, malware and weapons trades (among others) have been growing and flourishing, and the reason is globalization says Nils Gilman a consultant and scenario planner. Well, not regular old Thomas Friedman-style World is Flat type globalization, but deviant globalization. Gilman outlined his concept at the 2008 European Futurists Conference in Switzerland. Watch him describe how the global illicit economy works alongside — and expands with — the licit economy in an era of globalization
On April 18, the government approved the plan for 2011-2014, which foresees economic growth from seven to eight per cent and hopes to reduce the unemployment rate by eight to ten per cent, but it has been met with sceptism by some analysts. The plan aims to fight the informal economy, create a sole agency for tax and customs revenues, improve fiscal policies, and revitalise agriculture.
New Wrinkle for Gates’ Successor – Defense News.
Both the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review and State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review identify weak or failing states as one of the core security challenges facing the United States. For this reason, the Pentagon now considers building the security capacity of partner states to be a top Defense Department objective.
However, the Pentagon’s expansion into this area has taken security assistance out of the context of U.S. foreign policy and placed it into an operational one, Adams said. By default, foreign policy decisions are increasingly being made by the military, he said.
In the foreign countries where the United States is providing security assistance, it often means military capacity is being strengthened without equal strengthening of the government’s other institutions.
The current setup “de-links support for security forces from the need for effective, efficient, and accountable governance,” the report says.
Only a handful of the world’s failed states pose security concerns to the United States. Far greater dangers emerge from stronger developing countries that may suffer from corruption and lack of government accountability but come nowhere near qualifying as failed states.
via Why failed states shouldn’t be our biggest national security fear – The Washington Post.
Porter and Mykleby give us a non-partisan blueprint for understanding and reacting to the changes of the 21st century world. In one sentence, the strategic narrative of the United States in the 21st century is that we want to become the strongest competitor and most influential player in a deeply inter-connected global system, which requires that we invest less in defense and more in sustainable prosperity and the tools of effective global engagement.
Across Washington, all sorts of people are starting to ask the unthinkable questions about long-sacred military budgets. Can the U.S. really afford more than 500 bases at home and around the world? Do the Air Force, Navy and Marines really need $400 billion in new jet fighters when their fleets of F-15s, F-16s and F-18s will give them vast air superiority for years to come? Does the Navy need 50 attack submarines when America’s main enemy hides in caves? Does the Army still need 80,000 troops in Europe 66 years after the defeat of Adolf Hitler?
via How to Save a Trillion Dollars – TIME.
Congress happily pays for weapons but despises weaselly diplomats and woolly development aid, yet they are vital to ensuring that arms stay sheathed.
via America in Africa: A light footprint | The Economist.
Finding jobs for vets may not be as headline-stealing as financial reform or nominees to the high court. But it’s an issue that impacts every sector of our country—from the economy to national security. And we can all do our part. If you’re a business owner, consider hiring a veteran. And as the cover of Fortune Magazine recently highlighted, they make great employees.
via IAVA – Support the Troops: Hire Them! | Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
In the rush to define President Barack Obama’s “doctrine” following his decision to lead NATO’s initial no-fly-zone operations in Libya, experts have latched onto every detail’s possible meaning. But in the end, it’s easier to say what his strategy is not than what it is. While frustrating, such ambiguity makes sense for a cost-conscious superpower navigating what is arguably democracy’s emerging 4th great wave (see Samuel Huntington re: 1-3).
via Terra Incognita – How the Frugal Superpower Navigates Democracy’s Latest Wave – Wikistrat.