We see it in the news nearly every day. The world is rapidly shifting before our eyes as countries sprout up, struggle to gain a foothold in our international community, and sometimes fall just as quickly. One equally important trend is the interrelationship between the United States and international players on this stage. Never before have we seen the level of interdisciplinary security issues occurring today on all corners of the globe.
National security, the field that ASP was founded upon, is at a point of inflection. In the United States, we’re facing a defense budget decrease unlike one found in recent years, but is this drop a so-called death sentence for readiness and security at home and abroad? Adjunct Fellow, August Cole, argues for an increase in the “creativity” of those involved with the Iron Triangle of the Defense Department, Congress, and the defense industry. After all, ASP Board Members Gary Hart and Norman Augustine tell us that although national security oversight has now expanded to “108 committees… the country remains unprepared to thwart some of the same kinds of terrorist attacks that we warned about in the pre-9/11 days.” All-in-all, working towards a viable solution at home and abroad will require a partnership between technology, military personnel, and congressional oversight to ensure strategic goals are met and asymmetric threats are properly mitigated.
Climate & Energy
For the past few years, we’ve argued that climate change isn’t simply a ‘green’ issue – it’s also a national security one. Over the past few months, and continuing on throughout the rest of the year, we’re reaching critical mass with our voice and its message. Business leaders, politicians, and national security figures alike must recognize the far-reaching implications of this key issue and the necessity for action. Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate, Andrew Holland, told the Weather Channel that the world is already experiencing government failure due to climate change, which ultimately allows for opportunities in “crime and corruption to insurgency or terrorism.” This issue exemplifies the holistic view necessary for interpreting 21st century issues.
As we are face and respond to these key issues of our time, especially those overseas, success will not only be determined by our interactions with government officials, but also the public. ASP Fellow, Matthew Wallin, argues that we must “gain a nuanced understanding of a population, its history, its culture, its politics, and how it is impacted by American policy.” This belief asserts itself in situations ranging from Iranian negotiations to the role of the Olympics in the international community. Wallin, along with research assistants like Maddy Bersch, explore how America’s role on the center stage of international policy is a function of the public just as much as the leaders.
It’s been an absolute pleasure putting together this iteration of American Security Quarterly, and exploring the vast number of relationships that exist between the work we do at ASP, the broader US public, and those of you abroad. I hope you’ll take the chance to dive further into our work and read this issue of ASQ.
Adin Dobkin, Editor