By J. William DeMarco
In 2007-08 I was fortunate enough to be selected a a National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. An outstanding year spent with some of the foremost personalities in National Security on both the Right and the Left sides of the aisle. While there we were required to present a paper… the DeMarco paper focused on Leadership and National Security Strategy.
As with any work, I look back on the last 4 years and the paper to see a ton of wishful thinking. However, given that the paper was written before the last election it was a bit of a plea to our incoming POTUS (then unknown) to develop a strategy in light of not only the “War on Terror” but to also stare into the next two decades and establish a strategic vision to guide our country. The paper was relatively short, maybe 50 pages…but not really a blog post. I will post the chapters over the next few weeks….but thought I would start with the abstract. Please share any thoughts… on the blog, Facebook, twitter… anything. Thank you
Stanford University, April 2008
16 July 1953…less than three months after becoming President Dwight D. Eisenhower met with his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, in the Solarium Room of the White House. The world, at the time, looked to be taking a turn for toward communism. Eisenhower long believed that the best way to formulate national policy in a democracy was to gather the best qualified people with opposing views and carefully listen to them debate the issue at hand.
The 21st Century’s generational struggle brings a specter of similarities of the Cold War. The enemy and ideology are different and, yet as in the early Cold War–today we face this enemy without a coherent strategy. This struggle is indeed complex, yet the lessons remain.
History provides answers for today’s leaders…”Wondering Where the Lions Are” poses to explore lessons from the early years of the Cold War. The 1953 Project Solarium illustrates the difficulties associated with crafting long-term policies. Containment was not spontaneously created. With the prospect of this long war…it would be wise for policymakers to concentrate their efforts on first designing a comprehensive process for defining and prioritizing America’s long-term objectives, then developing practical policies to achieve those objectives.
A proposed NSS for debate in a new Solarium structure to challenge geo-strategic concepts and shape the global environment: QUANTUM LOOK:
A) Inter-national Cultural and Spiritual Education and Understanding: Education—globally, we all need to understand each other better. The world is getting smaller and we need to understand Islamic culture… and the Muslim world must understand the West.
B) Alternative Energy Materialization: Lessen the power of oil—without the real power of oil—the mid east becomes irrelevant.
C) Nuclear Weapons Nullification: The US develops a realistic missile defense system and shares the technology with any nation interested—this removes bigger nuclear weapons from the table… nations such as Iran gaining nuclear weapons is less of an issue—although the US needs to engage and ensure that we keep the numbers of nuclear weapons down—the idea of a nuke missile landing on US soil is limited. Space based technology is required to assist in nuclear detection at ports to avoid the importation of a human dirty bomb.
President George W. Bush, much like President Harry S. Truman has led in the initial phases of this new generational conflict and now a new administration must strategically plan the path America will blaze. Much akin to President Eisenhower taking the Oval Office from Truman, the next president must develop a plan for the future conduct of this conflict. One issue must resonate clearly; this is not just about the current situation in Iraq or Afghanistan. These countries are merely fronts in this war. The new strategy, must address the U.S.’s position in the world and its position as the current hegemon. America may not taunt others with that position, but recognition of the position and what America represents is of the utmost importance.