U.S. Domestic and National Security Agendas: Into the Twenty-First Century

By Richard E. Friedman; John Mead Flanagin et al. | Go to book overview

Foreword

Political instability in the former Soviet Union, the increase in ethnic hostilities, the expansion of Islamic fundamentalism, and the potential for increased international terrorism are factors that make the world a dangerous place. Although the threat of global war between superpowers has abated, the threat of major regional conflict has increased. The United States is in a period of transition when the nature of the threat to U.S. national security is less clear than it was in the Cold War era. This is a time when strategic analysis must address a complex array of functional issues and regional perspectives against the backdrop of profound economic changes.

In the United States and among states of the G-7 ( Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the United States), economic realities are a major consideration in the formulation of strategy. The amount of money available for traditional national security objectives has diminished. However, the prevailing desire to address domestic needs first will be frustrated by the continuing challenges presented by an unstable international environment. Problems are infinite and resources are finite.

A workshop was held September 17-19, 1992, to analyze the changing relationships between domestic politics and national security. The workshop, co-sponsored by the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation, the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, and the National Strategy Forum, was held at the McCormick Tribune Foundation's Cantigny Conference Center. Top academicians from the Department of Defense, analysts from leading think tanks, and prominent scholars from major universities came together for an extensive examination of the shifting alignment between domestic and international problems. The discussions centered on strategic questions, recognizing the constraints of economic factors and the dominance of domestic requirements. National strategy was considered in its broad dimensions: economics, technology, history, demographics, in-

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