Strategic Demands offers forward-looking solutions to questions of national security.
Today, next generation networked communications provide unprecedented opportunities to experience a globally connected world. The Internet, wired and wireless, is the connective tissue of 21st century politics and economics. Billions of individuals are connected today as never before. Networked citizens — as citizens of nations and as planet citizens — are acting to shape a new 360° world ripe with possibilities but weighed down with old ways of seeking security.
Even as the developing Internet and social media networks are dealing with unprecedented cyber threats and conflicts, political tools and techniques are being used to damage and deconstruct institutions.
The digital world is becoming a battlefield, global and local. ‘Politics by other means’ is being fought via computer chips, data, content, and targeting. The 21st Century of nations and economic systems is entering new territory.
A 360° connected world and Internet era demand new ways of understanding and engagement. With this in mind, a Global Policy project in association with the Green Institute was initiated in 2005 with the publication of a Strategic Demands security brief written by Roger Morris and current Strategic Demands director Steven Schmidt.
We subsequently launched Strategic Demands and an associated strategic initiative, GreenPolicy360. Over the years these projects have continued to develop a wide array of work intersecting Strategic Demands & GreenPolicy360.
Our ongoing strategic goal is to develop “New Definitions of National Security”, bringing together independent perspective to expand the national and global security debate.
Our ideas offer experience and a belief that the current Washington DC/New York/Boston corridor of policy think tanks is limited in its politics, caught in competition for influence and positions under U.S. Democrat and Republican administrations.
Our independent perspective offers independence, and draws from thinkers both left and right, Democrat and Republican, as well as major-minor parties such as the Greens and Libertarians.
We have taken into consideration several decades of polls that indicate U.S. voters have continued to trend toward identifying as “Independent”, neither Democrat or Republican. Over 40% of Americans now identify themselves as “Independent”.
Politics in the U.S. is profoundly changing. The Eisenhower 50’s era and its mushroom clouds of thermonuclear tests seem a distant memory. The lessons of nuclear ‘close-calls’, a flash-point Cold War and Vietnam’s disaster, are distant to most young citizens.
Capitalism prevailed, so goes what is now called “a meme”. Communism collapsed, over-extended, after one final decade-long war in Afghanistan.
Now, the U.S. is deeply engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, across the Middle East and Near East, with trillions in war-related costs that have damaged the U.S. and international potential for constructive progress.
Challenges and paths to peace now must be envisioned. Global environmental challenges must be addressed. Economic disruptions must be seen as consequences and sustainable growth, a new “Eco-nomics”, must be sought out as a solutions. None of these challenges are being recognized with the gravity they deserve.
The U.S. itself faces over-extension due to constant war-mobilization. An estimated $6 trillion has been spent in Afghanistan-Iraq wars, a fourth of the total U.S. debt due to war appropriation spending beyond budgeted defense spending.
The costs of wars are underestimated. The effects of the wars and war debt are a direct contributing source of the 2007-2012 economic collapse. The nation is still recovering from the costs of these wars, beyond direct spending and appropriations, even as a next phase of war in Iraq/Syria was announced in September 2014.
As the Mid East continues its decades long meltdown and oil politics drives security policy, and Israeli-Arab antagonisms act to influence policy, a broad spectrum of broader security threats have arisen, a number of which directly relate to failed U.S. policies and misplaced priorities.
Larger global environmental challenges are set aside as nations find themselves constrained by narrowed national interests, not common interests.
A post cold war nexus of global challenges, new old wars, and a new cold with Russia are presenting multiple strategic questions — the U.S. and NATO threaten action over the Ukraine; China rises as a world power and continues to advance its interests; re-alignments are shifting geo-politics; proliferation re-threatens with past treaties being put on hold. Nuclear players and warnings escalate amid regional and asymmetric hot spots.
Within this complex set of reality checks, Strategic Demands sees our challenges as three-fold: Geo-political, -environmental and -economic. Geo-politics begin locally and nationally, then rise in an increasingly interconnected world to international concerns. “Think globally, act locally” becomes more than a maxim. Global and existential questions arrive in new form after previous years of brinksmanship and close calls as a nuclear sword of Damocles swiveled left and right above countries in every political orbit. Now come environmental threats and devastation that does not respect any border, boundary, edifice or human-made system.
Environmental impacts are added to the direct and indirect costs of war, the diversions of wars headlines and latest invasion, or incursion, drone campaign, secret force action, or deployment. The evening news takes our vision away from a world shaking with externalities, costs that have yet to be accounted for or confronted. Strategic Demands will begin to address this lack of foresight and the need to strategically address larger security interests.
Strategic Demands will address both the current crises and the longer term. We will add our bits of data and awareness to the online world, posting and sharing. In effect, we will be rolling our e-press and reaching out to today’s and tomorrow’s world in every corner, latitude/longitude, wired and wireless.
Strategic Demands looks to the ‘big picture’ and look to keywords-key phrases, bursts of data and an virtual links, connections in the fast-evolving, democratizing Internet. While some look to access data for ulterior motives, we will access, edit, create and make available open source, open data from information troves that are rapidly becoming available.
How one sees the world, beginning with each of our Internet ‘home’ addresses, our ‘geo-locations’, is a beginning point to participation in a worldwide economy and politics.
When we’re online, we are shaping politics, government, and transactional markets — while governments watch and commercial interests monitor our metrics, patterns, and behavior. Billions of individuals are connected today as never before — a future shaped by networked citizens, Netizens — citizens of nations and ‘citizens of the planet.’ A global and local, national and interconnected worldview is possible and achievable.
Ours is a more complicated world, even as it is a more connected world.
Strategic Demands sees global challenges as three-fold: Geo-political, geo-environmental and geo-economic.
What happens politically in any part of the planet has a rippling physics that impact other parts. Military actions, politics by ‘other means’, have effects and consequences that range far from fields of battle. Generational ‘blowback’ is not to be ignored as war and peace decisions are made.
The interconnectedness that the environmental movement focuses on transcends narrow interests. Economic waves cross markets in an instant affecting all markets as, with every point globally, the world is brought closer by networked communication.
Initiatives in one community on one continent can become, via the Internet, a model for similar initiatives in communities globally. Forward-looking ideas and policies can be shared across borders.
New security issues are coming into view and Strategic Demands looks to meet these challenges with a new vision of security.
The time has come to rethink security and to move beyond failed policies of the past.