About Strategic Demands
Orthodox views of national security are challenged in a world connected by next generation networked communications and far-ranging global interests. The Internet has become a near omnipresent, always-on reality of the 21st century. Past conventions and narrowed interests are giving way to a new world of over-the-horizon understandings, trade, education, and common interests.
StratDem envisions new perspectives, new visions for a new world
We begin with a simple construct — a 360° connected world in a fast-arriving Internet era. Where we connect is a beginning point to participation in a worldwide economy and politics. When we are online, we are shaping politics, government, and transactional markets interactively, forming inter-related communities…
Security is Indivisible
Billions of individuals are connected today as never before — creating a future shaped by networked citizens — citizens of nations and as “planet citizens.”
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The Global Policy project began its strategic security work in 2005 with the publication of an initial security brief written by Roger Morris and Strategic Demands director Steven Schmidt.
Based on the Strategic Demands of the 21st Century policy paper, a conference was organized the following year in Washington DC to propose new definitions of national security. Since then, on multiple fronts and venues, we have continued our work, now further extended with Strategic Demands online.
Our goal is to add independent perspective and opinion to the contemporary national security debate. We bring experience and a belief that the current Washington DC/New York/Boston corridor that holds most all foreign policy think tanks is limited in its politics (as a two-party normative system competes for influence and positions under either Democrat or Republican administrations).
Our independent perspective draws from thinkers both left and right, Democrat and Republican, as well as major minor parties such as the Greens and Liberatarians. We consider the fact that for several decades polls indicate that American voters have continued to trend upward in identifying as “Independent”, neither Democrat or Republican, as a revealing position of where the electorate has moved in today’s complicated mix of issues and threats to security. Over 40% of Americans call themselves “Independent” and partisan politics no longer holds sway as it did in previous time. Our independent perspective reflects how the American body politic has evolved.
Today’s world is profoundly changed. The Eisenhower 50’s era and its mushroom clouds of thermonuclear tests, the radioactive dust that ‘took out’ John Wayne, of all people, seems a distant memory, distant as the Vietnam war decade is to most and its lessons of overreach. The old cold war fades, as does the memory of the Soviet challenge to the West. Capitalism, with its challenges to the environment, equity and sustainable growth still to be addressed, prevailed. Communism collapsed, over-extended, after one final decade-long war in Afghanistan.
The U.S. itself faces over-extension due to constant war-mobilization. Since 1990, the nation has been at war in the Gulf region. An estimated $4-6 trillion is being spent on the recent Afghanistan-Iraq war, adding a fourth of the total U.S. debt. The U.S. added trillions of debt due to war appropriation spending beyond budgeted defense spending. The effects of the wars and war debt were a 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 was announced in September 2014.
As the Mideast continues its decades long meltdown in which oil politics and Israel-Arab antagonisms have had a direct role, a broad spectrum of broader security threats have arisen, a number of which directly relate to failed U.S. policies and misplaced priorities.
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.
Larger global environmental challenges are set aside as nations find themselves constrained by narrowed national interests, not common interests.
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 will look at the ‘big picture’ and look to keywords-key phrases, ‘bursts’ and links, connections in the fast-evolving, democratizing Internet. We will access, edit, create and make available open source, open data from information troves that have sprung forth over the past two decades.
How one sees the world, beginning with our Internet address and geo-location, 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, -environmental and -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.
A new world of strategies, ideas, policies and practices are being shared across borders.
New security issues challenge across borders.
Strategic Demands looks to connections and a shared future.