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  • Winning the Peace: An American Strategy for Post-Conflict Reconstruction (CSIS Significant Issues, No. 26) (Csis Significant Issues Series)
    Winning the Peace: An American Strategy for Post-Conflict Reconstruction (CSIS Significant Issues, No. 26) (Csis Significant Issues Series)
    by Robert C. Orr
  • Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World
    Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World
    by Ashraf Ghani, Clare Lockhart
  • The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World (Vintage)
    The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World (Vintage)
    by Rupert Smith
  • Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization
    Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization
    by John Robb
  • Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places
    Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places
    by Paul Collier
  • The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century
    State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century
    by Francis Fukuyama
  • When States Fail: Causes and Consequences
    When States Fail: Causes and Consequences
    Princeton University Press
  • Building States to Build Peace
    Building States to Build Peace
    Lynne Rienner Publishers
  • Making States Work: State Failure And The Crisis Of Governance
    Making States Work: State Failure And The Crisis Of Governance
    United Nations University Press
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Entries in National Security (2)

Wednesday
Oct202010

America's Debt a National Security Issue?

Via Repartay . . .

 

 

A good New York Times piece on the subject is here.

 

Money quote:

 

"The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years."

 

Two reasons:  Entitlement spending (Social Security and Medicare) and stupid wars.

 

As Elizabeth MacDonald notes, the national debt is a security issue.   The worry is that foreign countries (like China) can use their dollar reservers to destablize our currency. 

 

Some more quotes: 


The biggest threat we have to our national security is our debt…the interest on our debt is $571 billion in 2012 and that’s notionally about the size of the Defense Department budget.  It’s not sustainable.”—Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, June 2010


“We’ve reached a point now where there’s an intimate link between our solvency and our national security.”—Richard Haass, president, Council on Foreign Relations


“The Pentagon sponsored a first-of-its-kind war game..on how hostile nations might seek to cripple the U.S. economy,” with the weapons being stocks, bonds and currencies…” it was the first time the Pentagon hosted a purely economic war game.”—Politico.com, 2009 

 

“Several months ago, a group of logistics officers at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces developed a national security strategy as a class exercise.  Their No. 1 recommendation for maintaining U.S. global leadership was ‘restore fiscal responsibility.”—Washington Post, May 2010

 

Thursday
Oct072010

New Interagency Reform Legislation

Via Small Wars Journal, we learn that Congressman Ike Skelton, Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, has introduced what has been called "groundbreaking" legislation to "overhaul interagency national security coordination."

 

According to SWJ, highlights include:


  • Creating a new interagency governance structure to develop interagency knowledge, skills, and experience among national security professionals;
  • Creating incentives for national security professionals to undertake-and their employing agencies to encourage-interagency education, training, and assignments;
  • Creating a consortium of colleges and universities to develop and offer consistent and effective interagency education and training opportunities; and
  • Requiring agencies to maintain staff levels to continue day-to-day functions and mission operations while national security professionals undertake professional education and training.


Click on the links to find the actual draft legisation, along with Chairman Skelton's speech introducing it, and a section-by-section summary of the bill.

 

Some additional info from Laura Hall, one of the best observers of stabilization operations, interagency issues, and "D3," can be found at the new Stimson Center blog: The Will and the Wallet.  Together with Jonathan M. Larkin she writes about some of the bills problems that could make it yet another unmet mandate.  It's worth a read.