Posts Tagged ‘Complementary Strategy’

U.S. National Security Forecast: The Next Four Years

December 12, 2012

The election is over.  President Obama’s administration will be in charge of national security policy for the next four years.  The product of this tenure will have long lasting consequences for American security, for good or for ill.

The next issue of the National Strategy Forum Review presents a comprehensive and succinct overview of what lies ahead for the next four years—trends, options, and consequences.  It is our forecast of the major issues and challenges that will shape U.S. national security discussion in 2013 and beyond.  Articles in this issue include:

  • The Threat Array: Knowns and Unknowns: Given that there are many unknown emerging threats, it may be prudent to develop national resilience rather than to counter every known threat to U.S. national security.
  • Military Policy in a Time of Fiscal Retrenchment: The U.S. military is in a state of flux as a result of the Afghan and Iraq wars. U.S. military resources and doctrine must adapt to asymmetry, terrorism, insurgency, and a constrained defense budget.
  • Pivot to Asia: Calculus and Consequences: The American destiny may lie more with countries in the Asia-Pacific than with traditional Western European orientation.  What are the consequences and how can this shift be managed?
  • Flashpoint Mediterranean: Middle Eastern conflicts are continuing and are unresolved.  There is a Mediterranean connection that should be explored, resulting in potential amelioration of the conflict.  The realistic goal is political stability rather than peace.
  • The National Security Benefit of Good Neighbors – Canada And Mexico: America’s backyard is composed of Canada, Mexico, and Latin America.  These states are expanding their economic and political stability.  Although the U.S. has not been an exceptionally good neighbor, there is opportunity for the U.S. to initiate actions that could result in an enhanced relationship.
  • Proactive Asymmetry: To counter ongoing terrorist threats, the U.S. needs to “think small”—an asymmetric, proactive offensive doctrine.

The National Strategy Forum mission is to assist our members to become more informed about U.S. national security issues through our lecture series, conferences, and publications.  It is our hope that this new issue of the National Strategy Forum Review proves useful to you.

National Security Forecast: The Next Four Years can be read online at the link here.

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U.S.-Canada Arctic Strategy

February 16, 2012

Strategic cooperation in the Arctic is an important issue for U.S.-Canada relations.  The region is a vital source of natural ocean resources and global transportation, one that is often contentious for the complicated international interests in its strategic potential.  Managing these contentious issues is the subject of a new, excellent report by the Center of Strategic and International Studies, A New Security Architecture for the Arctic.

The National Strategy Forum Review published an issue dedicated to the U.S.-Canada relationship in the Summer of 2010.  The publication covers a number of U.S.-Canada security issues, but two articles in particular addressed the Arctic.  To read this issue, visit Canada: The Other Special Relationship.

The U.S.-Canada National Security Relationship

November 3, 2011

Canada and the U.S. operate in a rapid and continuously changing threat environment ­– acts of terrorism, economics and finance, natural disasters, pandemics, and catastrophic terrorism.  National security involves all of these events supplemented by notions of history, culture, and tradition, public diplomacy, and military concerns.  Although Canada’s population is substantially smaller than the U.S., Canada is a full partner of the U.S.  After a recent visit to Colorado Springs to visit the U.S.-Canada Tri-Command at Peterson AFB and Cheyenne Mountain, Richard Friedman shares his insights into this important security relationship.  To read the article, click on the link below.

The U.S.-Canada National Security Relationship

By Richard E. Friedman

U.S. Strategy in South Asia

September 9, 2011

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk recently issued a statement about his strategy for U.S. aid in Pakistan.  He commented that “In such an environment, and with our deficits and debt, aid to Pakistan seems naive at best and counter-productive at worst. I am seriously reconsidering and rethinking how well aid to Pakistan served us.”  The day after, the Chicago-Sun Times ran an editorial suggesting that the U.S. should pull out of Afghanistan and allow India to become the natural leader of the region.

Whatever the merits, these policy positions have important implications that must be seriously considered by national security policymakers.  Richard E. Friedman has provided an analysis of these policy proposals in his new article titled “Toward a Complementary Strategy for the U.S. in South Asia.”  He warns that eliminating U.S. aid to Pakistan and allowing India to become the regional leader may destabilize the region and lead to outcomes counter to U.S. objectives in South Asia.  For a deeper look at the potential consequences of these proposals, and for an alternative U.S. strategy, click on the link below to read Mr. Friedman’s new commentary.

Toward a Complementary Strategy for the U.S. in South Asia

By Richard E. Friedman

Pew Global Attitudes Survey: U.S. Image in Pakistan

June 22, 2011

A new Pew Global Attitudes Project poll was released on June 21, 2011 detailing the U.S. image in Pakistan.  The survey data is available at the link here.

Many of these findings echo NSF research completed in March-April of 2011.  The Spring 2011 NSFR report titled “The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Towards a Complementary Strategy” analyzed many of these trends and suggested a complementary strategy for achieving U.S. objectives in Pakistan.

To improve the relationship, the report suggested a number of initiative (details found on page 14):

  • Restructuring American aid to Pakistan by emphasizing targeted project investments that are highly visible to the Pakistani public. Several common sense ideas include power plants and natural gas facilities.
  • Establishing anti-corruption controls to facilitate future American aid and support.
  • Emphasizing U.S. communications and branding. America must rebrand its image, sense of purpose, and policy actions in the eyes of Pakistan’s public.
  • Encouraging cultural diplomacy that leverages civilian cross-cultural exchanges and study abroad opportunities.
  • Increasing medical collaboration in projects that provide visible assistance to the Pakistani people.
  • Setting a new diplomatic tone to make it more likely that the two countries listen to one another.

The new Pew Global Attitudes survey on Pakistan reinforces a number of the trends identified in the NSF report.  There are ten notable results from the Pew Global Attitudes survey data:

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President Ma’s Cross-Strait Strategy: The Tiger’s New Posture

June 6, 2011

On May 12, 2011, President Ma of Taiwan gave a speech via videoconference to a National Strategy Forum audience in Chicago and a Center for Strategic & International Studies audience in Washington, DC.  The substance of the speech was Ma’s strategy for managing the Cross-Strait negotiations, with wide-ranging implication for the China-Taiwan and U.S.-Taiwan relationships.

For a summary and analysis of the speech, read the article:

President Ma’s Cross-Strait Strategy: The Tiger’s New Posture

The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Toward a Complementary Strategy

May 23, 2011

The U.S.-Pakistan relationship is vital to U.S. interests in the Middle East.  The relationship has been especially strained recently, putting into question the future of U.S. aid and commitments to Pakistan.

This issue of the NSFR, titled “The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Toward a Complementary Strategy”, is a report of a series of interviews with Pakistan VIPs conducted by the NSFR Editorial Board.  Our findings have been distilled and we have provided a number of policy options with the objective of reformulating U.S. relations with Pakistan.  Our suggestions are based on complementary strategy: the idea that the U.S. and Pakistan must understand each other’s objectives before hard negotiations can be effective.  Also in this issue are two articles by high level Pakistani political figures: General (Retired) Parvez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan, and Imran Khan, a prominent philanthropist and activist leader of a leading Pakistan political party.  Their thoughts add a unique Pakistani perspective to the analysis of this relationship.

Following the publication of the NSFR report, President Obama announced a new direction for America’s Middle East strategy.  Here are the key points of his speech:

  • Elevating trade and investment over financial aid handouts
  • Broadening and deepening regional trade initiatives between the U.S. and the region
  • Promoting the development of civil society
  • Demanding anti-corruption initiatives
  • Encouraging new forms of U.S. communication and outreach to the Middle East

These policy initiatives are consistent with our findings.  So far, President Obama has limited implementation to Tunisia and Egypt.  The NSFR report advocates that these principles be applied to Pakistan urgently.  A rupture of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship would be a serious set back to U.S. objectives in the region.

Click here to read the Spring 2011 issue of the National Strategy Forum Review:

“The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Toward a Complementary Strategy”

Pakistan: The People Have Their Chance

May 11, 2011

Frank Schell, a member of the National Strategy Forum Review Editorial Board, wrote an op-ed that appeared recently in The American Spectator titled “Pakistan: The People Have Their Chance.”  The article assesses Pakistan’s domestic political and security challenges, and discusses some of the diplomatic obstacles facing U.S. foreign policymakers.

Pakistan is now a major focus of U.S. foreign policy.  The National Strategy Forum Review (NSFR) has published a number of articles about the U.S.-Pakistan and Pakistan-India relationships.  The most recent articles, listed below, provide both background information and policy suggestions.

American Foreign Policy Towards Pakistan, by Richard E. Friedman, Frank Schell, and Lauren Bean, is found in the Fall 2009 issue of the NSFR: Strategic Challenges Near and Far (available in PDF).

Conditions Needed for an India-Pakistan Rapprochement, by B. D. Jayal, is found in the Spring 2010 issue of the NSFR.

U.S. Complementary Strategy: The Pakistan Opportunity, by Richard E. Friedman, is found in the Winter 2011 issue of the NSFR.

The Importance of Being India, by Frank Schell, is found in the Winter 2011 issue of the NSFR.

Finally, the National Strategy Forum Review has a forthcoming special report on the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.  Stay tuned.

Winter 2011 National Strategy Forum Review

February 21, 2011

 

The Winter 2011 issue of the National Strategy Forum Review is now available online.  This issue titled “Thinking About National Security: An NSF Guidebook for 2011” serves as a concise overview of the emerging trends in national security and national strategy.

There are a number of emerging national security threats that will define this decade.  How should the US think about economic security?  What are the trends in homeland security?  How can the DoD respond to budget cuts while preparing the military for the future?  Is US foreign policy focusing enough attention on emerging regions?  Given the challenges in Afghanistan, what should be our strategy with Pakistan?

Crafting a national security strategy requires: 1) an understanding of the issues; and 2) developing possible policy solutions.  The Winter 2011 NSFR puts these emerging trends in context and suggests ways of thinking about policy solutions.  Articles are available for download as PDFs.

Winter 2011 National Strategy Forum Review: “Thinking About National Security: An NSF Guidebook for 2011”

Green Coal?

December 3, 2010

As Sam complained in that famous Dr. Suess poem, “I don’t like green eggs and ham,” so too have environmentalists not preferred the terms “green” and “coal” on the same page.  Unfortunately, the reality of the environmental and energy challenges are growing more difficult by the day.  The U.S. and China—both the largest consumers of energy and the largest producers of carbon emissions—are facing unpalatable tradeoffs in their strategic energy portfolios as they plan for increased energy consumption in the future.  The link between the environment and national security is clear.  Environmental instability must be incorporated into a national security strategy. In the case of energy, the difficult tradeoff is providing the massive power necessary to fuel the world’s largest economy while remaining mindful of the damaging effects on the environment.

Are you willing to turn off your refrigerator or computers for the next 30 years while alternative energy technology catches up to power needs?  Would you expect the Chinese to do the same?  Riding the wave of alternative energy is satisfying, but it is bound to end in disappointment—at least for now.  Better to hitch a ride on “dirty” coal to power the economy of tomorrow, so argues James Fallows in his new article featured this month in The Atlantic, “Dirty Coal, Clean Future.” Fallows presents one of the most clear-eyed, realistic approaches to the energy and climate change problem in a long while.  It is time to seriously consider America’s strategic approach and financial investments in the energy economy of tomorrow.  Before betting the farm on alternative energy, a realistic assessment of this problem and the available solutions may save both the environment and a few bucks in the process.

Read the full article by Eric S. Morse: “Green Coal?  The Environmental / Strategic Tradeoff.”