Affordable Security: Challenge and Opportunity
The world today faces unprecedented challenges from a growing population, increased resource scarcity and economic instability; it also faces military competition, nuclear proliferation and rising concerns about cybersecurity. All of these are transnational problems that demand transnational solutions. By examining our priorities and taking stock of our resources, we can build a new, affordable approach to security.
By: Joseph Stiglitz
At a time of increasingly tight budgets, spending on traditional security concerns is increasingly in competition with broader domestic spending needs. Two critical questions now arise: First, what strategies and measures will assure world security in the 21st century? Second, how can we weigh the competing calls for traditional defense and efforts on emerging problems?
In order to build more comprehensive security, we must understand our resources and priorities. In a time of economic turmoil, financial resources can be diminished or uncertain. Investments in both traditional and human security are needed, but real solutions must come from a solid understanding of today's complex policy and economic environment.
Security today cannot come at the expense of security tomorrow. Long-term planning is needed to "win the future," and the earth will be a beneficiary of any effective comprehensive security program. Without the food, water and energy resources that fuel human society, traditional defense is meaningless. Sustainability is a core part of the security picture.
Who will be the reformers? Many countries view security as essentially an international issue, but a more comprehensive security needs domestic coordination—and leadership. Affordable security demands a search for cooperative strategies among foreign and domestic policymakers, between the private and public sector, and among countries that often disagree.
Entrepreneurs drive changes in business, and social entrepreneurs can drive social change. The task before future strategists is to leverage what we have in innovative ways to guarantee the security the world needs. The challenge for strategists is to facilitate cooperation among nontraditional security guarantors in the private sector and in government.
The world's two largest economies share an ocean and a future. Will they build a secure future world? U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and the pricing of the Renminbi are only two of several contentious issues in current U.S.-China relations. The future calls for increased interaction between these two countries in a changing international context. How can China and the United States build the necessary trust to defuse tensions and cooperate in key areas of mutual concern?
The Big Picture: Our Conclusions and Next Steps
Conference Agenda at Glance