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A National Strategic Narrative - a new US policy for the 21st century

Posted by strategicvisionlimited on April 28, 2011 at 7:59 AM
A National Strategic Narrative - a new US policy for the 21st century

"A National Strategic Narrative" is an interesting and thought provoking article published by "Y",  two top-ranking members of Admiral Mike Mullen's team, the Joint Chiefs of Staff  that is likely to influence the American foreign and national policy of the 21st century.


The article argues that the United States has embraced an entirely wrong set of priorities, particularly with regard to its federal budget. The US have overreacted to Islamic extremism and pursued military solutions instead of political ones.


Y says we are underinvesting in the real sources of national power - our youth, our infrastructure and our economy. The United States sees the world through the lens of threats, while failing to understand that influence, competitiveness and innovation are the key to advancing American interests in the modern world. Y says that above all we must invest in our children. Only by educating them properly will we ensure our ability to compete in the future.


Y also argues that we need to move from an emphasis on power and control to an emphasis on strength and influence.


Y goes on to say that US shouldn't even talk about national security as they  have for the past 60 years; instead they should be talking about national prosperity and security.


Very smart stuff for the new world we are all entering but it's even more important and influential in particular, given the source. This article that is arguing that the US needs to rely less on our military has been written by the highest echelons of the Pentagon.


Mr. Y is actually two people, both top-ranking members of Admiral Mike Mullen's team, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They are Captain Wayne Porter of the U.S. Navy and Colonel Mark Mykleby of the Marine Corps. It's likely that the essay had some official sanction, which means that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or perhaps even Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had seen it and did not stop its publication.


So why did the authors call themselves Mr. Y? It's a play on a seminal essay from Foreign Affairs magazine more than five decades ago. The title was "The Sources of Soviet Conduct," and it was signed simply X. The author turned out to be the American diplomat George Kennan, and the article turned out to have perhaps the greatest influence on American foreign policy in the second half of the 20th century.


It set out the policy of containment, that if the US contain the Soviet Union, countering its influence, eventually the internal contradictions of the Soviet system would trigger its collapse, and it worked.


"Mr Y", Porter and Mykleby, says the basic approach, a massive military to deter the Soviets, a quasi-imperial policy to counter Soviet influence all over the world, is still in place and is outmoded and outdated. They call their policy proposal sustainment, and they hope it just might be the policy that will carry us forward for the next 50 years.


Washington needs to make sure that the United States does not fall into the imperial trap of every other superpower in history, spending greater and greater time and money and energy stabilizing disorderly parts of the world on the periphery, while at the core its own industrial and economic might is waning.


Fixing America's fiscal problems - paring back defence spending, healthcare costs and entitlements while ensuring that corporations pay their fair share of taxes - making the economy competitive, improving the educational system, the infrastructure, dealing with immigration and outlining a serious plan for sustainable energy use are probably the best strategies for the US to stay a superpower, not going around killing a few tribal leaders in the remote valleys and hills of Afghanistan.





Strategic Vision Limited

www.strategicvisionlimited.co.uk


Categories: Global Politics

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