Economic Security - Sheila R. Ronis Preview:
Historically, national security includes the strength of our nation's infrastructure, the foundation upon which the continuous growth of our society depends. This includes our strong societal and moral codes, the rule of law, stable government, social, political, and economic institutions, and leadership. Also included are our nation's schools and educational programs to ensure a knowledgeable citizenry and lifelong learning-a must for a democracy. Our nation's strength also requires investments in science, engineering, research and development, and technological leadership. We cannot be strong without a viable way to power our cities, feed ourselves, and move from one place to another. Most of all, a strong economy is an essential ingredient of a global superpower. Without it, we will lose our superpower status, and quickly. National security must include a healthy market-based economy, with a strong base of globally competitive products and services that produce jobs. This economy must include sound government policies to promote responsible choices and reduce our debt, and grand strategies for energy and environmental sustainability, science and technology leadership (at least in some areas), human capital capabilities, manufacturing, and the industrial base. And these are not the only components. National security goes to the very core of how we define who we are as a people and a free society. It concerns how we view our world responsibilities. Economic security is a major element of national security, even as borders are less important than ever. No matter how we look at national security, there can be no question of the need to include the economic viability of our nation. Without capital, there is no business; without business, there is no profit; without profit, there are no jobs. And without jobs, there are no taxes, and there is no military capability. The viability of a nation's industrial infrastructure, which provides jobs for its people, creates and distributes wealth, and leverages profits, is essential. Without jobs, the quality of peoples' lives deteriorates to a point where society itself can disintegrate. It can also lead to strife on many different levels. As a nation, we need to find a strategy to deal with this, and we will discuss the ideas of expeditionary economics. But poverty is not only a problem in Third World countries. It can occur at home, too-especially during a deep recession. No community, local or global, can sustain indefinitely whole populations of "haves" and "have nots." And that gap is now growing within the United States. There is no question that a part of the infrastructure of a nation must include a sound economy. It was the relative deterioration of the Japanese and German economies that led those nations into World War II. Poverty around the world is a global systemic issue that frequently can and does lead to political instability. But we cannot help others if we cannot help ourselves, and our current economic crisis is a warning. National security is societal, political, and economic strength. In today's world, national security for a superpower is meaningless without a strong military capability as well. The sovereignty and security of the United States, and the protection of its citizens and property around the world, remain the bedrock of national security. The execution of U.S. national security strategy is conducted in a highly volatile global environment characterized by quantum changes in technology; unprecedented social, economic, and political interdependencies; broadened opportunities to foster democratic principles; and allegiances and alliances frequently founded on interests other than traditional nationalism. Understanding the complex systems nature of national security and why the economy is a part of the equation is crucial. National Defense University..