Some say security fears are counterproductive
By Bryan Bender
WASHINGTON – Melting ice caps. Drought. Spreading disease. US defense planners view global climate change as a national security threat because it could create millions of new refugees and intensify conflicts over resources.
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A new debate is unfolding over whether linking climate change too closely with security planning will create a self-fulfilling prophecy, running the risk that the United States will rely too heavily on its armed forces to deal with global problems.
“Once you try to securitize the problem, you also securitize the solution,’’ said Adil Najam, director of the Boston University’s Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future.
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Najam and a growing number of others fear that policymakers will turn to the military too quickly – dispatching naval forces to secure new shipping lanes in the resource-rich Arctic as polar ice recedes, for instance – or hand the Pentagon a virtually limitless mission to stabilize regions suffering from environmental dislocation.
Phi Beta Iota Editorial Comment: The USA lacks strategic leadership at this time. The White House and the National Security Council are not stupid–they are very, very smart. They have simply chosen to betray the public trust and not do strategic holistic analysis addressing the ten high-level threats to humanity defined by LtGen Dr. Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret) and the other members of the Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change. Their report, A more secure world: Our shared responsibility, published in 2004, is the definitive prioritized threat study, and any Administration that fails to apply all of the instruments of national power against all ten threats by harmonizing the twelve core policies that are scattered across the archipelago of bureaucracy, is, in one word, IRRESPONSIBLE.
Those worrying about the militarization of all foreign policy are correct to do so, but they are in grevious denial if they fail to understand that right now the US Government is not a thinking beast.
General Tony Zinni made a fine contribution with his book, The Battle for Peace: A Frontline Vision of America’s Power and Purpos, and you would think General Jones at the NSC has read it and understood it, but by all accounts, the White House is rudderless and only able to focus on one issue at a time, the issue de jour being health care, where their lack of proper analysis and their dogmatic partisan carpet-bagging on behalf of the medical-pharmaceutical lobby leaves one wondering if Washington is in enemy hands.
We’ve published a number of pieces on strategy, the most recent of which is “Fixing the White House and National Intelligence (forthcoming, International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Fall 2009). Below are two of the graphics. All it takes is integrity is the holistic truthful sense that Buckminster Fuller defined so well. Our government has lacked integrity for as long as we have been a working member of this big machine.
For a sense of how so many of us got it right in 1988, then again in 1992, then again in 1998, study the below piece.
With all the love and professionalism one can muster, we have to conclude that at the highest political levels, our government is either insanely criminal or criminally insane. Ron Paul has it right–the government is broken. We have hope. All President Obama needs to do is embrace the 70% that did not vote for him, pass Electoral Reform, implement the ideas of General Zinni and others writing in that vein, and restore integrity to both legislative and executive decision processes. What’s not to like? It is not rocket science. Just one word is needed: INTEGRITY.