Archive for the ‘Issue’ Category

Security Challenges Over the Horizon and Close to Home: Africa and Cook County, IL

March 22, 2013

Winter 2013 Edition: Now Available Online 

This issue contains two themes: U.S. security interests and challenges in Africa; and Cook County, Illinois security issues.

Part I: U.S. Security Interests in Africa

Africa is undergoing a period of both economic and political transition, and the consequences of uprising, insurgency, and terrorism, partially relating to the aftershocks of the Arab Spring.  For example, in North Africa, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco have been on the front lines of rapid turnover and change emanating from the Arab Spring.  In other countries, such as Mali and Somalia, Islamic insurgency has sparked regional and international military responses to stem this security threat.

Africa is generally considered low priority for U.S. national security.  However, recent trends suggest its ascent on the list of strategic priorities.  The central theme of this section is the calculus and consequences of increased U.S. attention on African security issues.  Articles include:

  • AFRICOM: A New National Security Approach for the 21st Century?
  • How the Dragon of Prosperity Uses State Power and Resources in Africa to Displace Western Influence
  • The Arab Spring, Moroccan Exceptionalism, and U.S. Strategic Interests
  • Turmoil in the Middle East: How Has Morocco Fared?
  • Operation Serval in Mali: The Fight Against Terrorism and the Strengthening of States

Part II: Cook County Urban Security

In Spring of 2012, the NSF argued that national security began at the local level, using the City of Chicago’s security strategy as a point of departure for discussing local level security issues facing other large municipalities across the U.S.  This theme is amplified with a closer look at urban security issues facing Cook County, Illinois.  The policies and strategies put in place by Cook County officials are a single component of the national security patchwork.  Without security at the local level, as in Cook County, Illinois, the national security structure is weakened.  Articles include:

  • Chicago’s Gang Problem
  • Cybersecurity and the Private Sector
  • Chicago’s FInancial Cybersecurity
  • Tackling Student Gun Violence in Chicago
  • Cyber Threats to the Power Grid
  • Climate Change and Nuclear Power
  • Risk and the Chicago Infrastructure Trust
  • Solutions for Hurricane Sandy-like Flooding
  • Illinois’ Pension Problem
  • Viewpoints on Gun Laws
  • Addressing Violence in Chicago

The National Strategy Forum Review is available online at http://www.nationalstrategy.com
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Violence and Guns in Chicago: Understanding the Background

March 12, 2013

The recent Sandy Hook school massacre has ignited a national debate regarding gun regulation and gun possession. Violence and gun-related violence should be central to measured discussion leading to a national debate. Facts and statistics are essential as a point of departure for informed discussion.

The National Strategy Forum (NSF) takes no position on the forthcoming national gun regulation / gun possession debate because we are not experts in this field. The NSF’s competency is national security strategy, wherein there is a process that begins with setting a strategic objective: “The Whole of City Approach to Chicago’s Civic Health.” The focus is on violence and gun-related violence.

The essay “Violence and Guns in Chicago: Understanding the Background” was prepared for a public program held at the Union League Club of Chicago on February 14, 2013.  The intent of the essay is to present unbiased violence and gun statistics in order to inform public discussion about the underlying root causes of violence in Chicago neighborhoods.

Violence and Guns in Chicago: Understanding the Background

By Eric S. Morse and Richard E. Friedman

2012 Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy

October 22, 2012

Tonight’s presidential debate provides the American public an opportunity to evaluate President Obama’s foreign policy over the past four years, and to learn about Candidate Mitt Romney’s approach to foreign policy for the next four years.

There are a multitude of international issues that could be examined during the debate.  Rather than attempting to tease out detailed answers regarding specific topics, Bob Schieffer, the debate moderator, may seek to establish the respective candidates’ foreign policy principles.  To do so, Mr. Schieffer will need to ask questions that probe beneath a candidate’s rote answers, assess their foreign policy credentials, and draw out more fundamental strategic approaches to these issues.

The “U.S. National Security Strategy” Congressionally mandated publication was issued by the Obama Administration in 2010.  It is bland and cautious, but it establishes principles that are markers of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy.  These include:

  • American national security strategy starts by recognizing that our strength and influence abroad begins with steps that we take at home.
  • America must also build and integrate the capabilities that can advance our interests, and the interests we share with other countries and peoples.
  • The burdens of a young century cannot fall on American shoulders alone – indeed, our adversaries would like to see America sap its strength by overextending its power.
  • America will be steadfast in strengthening those old alliances that have served us so well, while modernizing them to meet the challenges of a new century.
  • America will advocate for and advance the basic rights upon which it was built, and which peoples of every race and region have made their own.
  • As a nation made up of people from every race, region, faith, and culture, America will persist in promoting peace among different peoples and believes that democracy and individual empowerment need not come at the expense of cherished identities.

The document affords Mitt Romney an opportunity to associate with, criticize, and evaluate President Obama’s national security performance.  More importantly, the debate provides Mitt Romney an opportunity to express his national security principles and objectives that he would apply over the next four years.

U.S. foreign policy tends to confuse tactics with strategy.  The key question is: how should foreign policy be adapted to the array of threats facing America?  The National Strategy Forum Editorial Board proposes ten questions that moderator Bob Schieffer should ask the candidates on October 22nd.

To read these questions, see our new article on the Huffington Post titled “10 Questions Bob Schieffer Should Ask Obama and Romney.”

A round-up of other key articles offer additional insights for tonight’s debate.  Good sources to brush up on include:

Foreign Policy Questions for the Candidates” by the Council on Foreign Relations

Why a Foreign Policy Debate is an Anachronism” by Richard Haass at the Council on Foreign Relations

10 Law-Related Questions Bob Schieffer Should Ask the Candidates” by Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic

The Politics of National Security: Debate Edition” by Matt Bennett, Mieke Eoyang, and Michelle Diggles from Third Way

The Vice Presidential Debate: Differences on Iran

October 16, 2012

The Vice Presidential Debate: Consequential Statements on Iran (Download in PDF)

Iran’s progress towards a nuclear weapon requires three stages of development.  First, Iran must enrich uranium from 20% up to greater than 90% purity.  Second, Iran must develop a trigger mechanism to detonate a bomb.  Third, Iran must have a delivery system for transporting the bomb, typically a long range missile system.  To date, Iran has made significant progress towards enriching uranium, but progress on the missile system and trigger mechanism are believed to be not as advanced.  The “red line” in this process is the point at which Iran’s nuclear program is on the verge of completing a nuclear bomb.  Traditional views ascribe the “red line” as Iran’s ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade level, because once this step occurs, the transition to a nuclear bomb is possible in a very short time period.  For example, Israel’s Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu, made a similar argument before the UN a few weeks ago—literally drawing a red line for Israeli military intervention at the 90% enrichment.

The Vice Presidential debate on October 11th between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan illuminated their perspectives on the Iranian nuclear proliferation issue.  Their comments anticipate how each Presidential candidate would handle foreign policy issues.  When asked about the American “red line” for military intervention in the crisis, each candidate made contrasting statements.  Viewers should consider the consequences of these statements, and look for clarification from President Obama and Candidate Romney during the upcoming October 22nd foreign policy debate.   (more…)

All Options are on the Table: U.S. Foreign Policy and Iran

August 20, 2012

Satellite Image

“All options are on the table.”  These six words often spoken by President Obama, presidential aspirant Mitt Romney, DoD Chiefs, and a litany Congressmen define the contemporary U.S. strategic postures towards an Iran seemingly intent on acquiring a nuclear weapon and upsetting global stability.  However, few details are given as to what these words imply.  The magnitude of the threat, qualified by the assurance that this is the U.S.’s most pressing national security threat since 9/11, gives rise to the following question: if all options are on the table, then what are they?  This article outlines the various options that are most likely to be on the table and discusses the implications of each option.

To read the rest of the article, click on the link below.

All Options Are On The Table

By Eric S. Morse

Is There a Europe to be Saved?

June 28, 2012

With the European summit on June 28-29, all eyes are on this meeting as the leaders address their region’s deteriorating economic crisis.  Can the European Union be saved?  Is there even a sense of European community to save?

Endy Zemenides, a National Strategy Forum Review Editorial Board member, discusses the problem of solidarity among the European states and why the lack of solidarity is impeding a quick solution to the economic crisis.  The ability for Europe to solidify around a common cause will have broad repercussions for U.S. national security.

Read Is There a Europe to be Saved? by Endy Zemenides at the Huffington Post.

 

 

From India With Unrequited Love

June 14, 2012

A new article by NSF Editorial Board Member Frank Schell, featured in The American Spectator: “From India With Unrequited Love.”

“Deep within the psyche of America is the desire to be loved.  Never a colonial power in the traditional sense, and with a New World cheerfulness unlike the cynicism of so-called Old Europe, America predictably seeks to provide aid monies, investment capital, cultural exchanges, armaments, goodwill, and in the case of India — even nuclear fuel and civilian reactors.  While America has a vested interest in making these offerings to ensure a benign world order, at times we are perplexed when generosity is not met with warm display…”

Please visit the following link to read the rest of the article “From India With Unrequited Love.”

Webcast Discussion: Anti-NATO and Pro-NATO Perspectives on the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit

May 18, 2012

The May 17, 2012 discussion between the anti-NATO and pro-NATO perspectives during the Chicago NATO 2012 Summit weekend was held at the Pritzker Military Library in downtown Chicago.  The live webcast is now archived at the YouTube link below.  The theme for the webcast was “Social Responsibility and National Security: Towards a New NATO”.

Chicago, the 2012 G8 and NATO Summits, and U.S. National Security

May 9, 2012

This special edition of the National Strategy Forum Review (NSFR) addresses the local, national, and international implications of the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago.  The confluence of these three parts creates the rationale for this combined issue of the NSFR.  The articles herein are a guidebook to the global relevance of the G8 and NATO Summits in May 2012, and to the ramifications of these events to Chicago and U.S. security in the future.

The publication has three interrelated parts:

On the local level, the City of Chicago has prepared to implement a security and marketing campaign for a secure and successful Summit.  Chicago hopes to leverage this historic event into tangible benefits for the City.  Meanwhile, Chicago is also addressing many other local security strategy issues the affect the long-term prosperity of the City.  These include financial deficits, deteriorating infrastructure, business flight, and physical security concerns.  The combination of the new Emanuel administration and the opportunities afforded by the NATO Summit have coalesced at a propitious time to reevaluate Chicago’s multifaceted strategy for its future.  The articles in the “Chicago’s Security Strategy” section ask this question: What is the City’s long-term strategy for prospering as a Global City?

On the national level, the G8 and NATO Summits have created discussion regarding the viability and relevance of these institutions.  Occupy Wall Street, the Coalition Against NATO and G8, and other movements have raised concerns about these organizations’ roles in global affairs.  Public vetting of these voices is an important part of the democratic process.  At the same time, some of the issues raised – including the financial, foreign policy, and social justice concerns – relate directly to U.S. national security.  The articles in the “Social Justice, NATO, and International Security” section ask: Why are NATO and the G8 relevant (or perhaps irrelevant) to U.S. national security?

On the international level, the G8 and NATO organizations are pillars of the global architecture.  They help to form the backbone of international economics, global security, and humanitarian aid.  Yet much of what these organizations do remain unclear to the public sector.  The articles in “The G8 and NATO Summits” section ask: What are the major issues facing these organizations at their respective events in May?

The Winter-Spring 2012 Special Edition is now available online at the link here.  The entire issue is also available as a PDF download at the link here.

The 2012 G8 and NATO Summits

March 22, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

In May 2012, leaders of the Group of 8 (G8) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries are descending on Camp David and Chicago respectively to discuss pressing issues of global governance and international security. These meetings will have broad policy effects on their respective fields. To prepare for the following summit meetings, the National Strategy Forum Review is providing a background briefing  on these two organizations to discuss their institutional histories and contemporary relevance to global governance.

What are the institutional histories of these institutions?  Why are they relevant and important to global affairs?  What issues will be discussed during these summits?  To read the article, click on the link below.

Briefing: The 2012 G8 and NATO Summits

By Eric S. Morse