New Definitions of National Security


An overarching goal of Strategic Demands is to envision the connections between environmental security and national security.

Strategic Demands holds that the times call for “New Definitions of National Security” and a top priority must be to look beyond the threats of the past — serious yet limited conflicts that take our eyes away from a gathering storm, the existential threats of environmental disruption and national/global crises.


StratDem first advanced “New Definitions of National Security” at a conference in Washington DC in 2006.

“Surviving Victory” Conference / Strategic Alternatives / Washington DC

This forward-looking security conference was based on a security brief written in 2005 by Roger Morris and Steven Schmidt.

Strategic Demands of the 21st Century: A New Vision for a New World

Subsequently, a non-profit think tank was established and continues to this day to explore larger issues of national and global security.



The beginning of our work can be traced to “whole earth” issues and NASA earth science/atmospheric science studies. These missions are, in effect, a first generation of technology to ‘go global’, to study earth’s life-enabling systems; monitor environmental change for critical policy decisions and pass forward this data to future generations, data that is critical to understand how best to protect and assure common security, nationally and internationally across borders.

Environmental Security ↔ National Security


Beyond the confines of national borders is a sphere of the Commons, a 360° security. Earth imaging/monitoring missions are just beginning to observe, measure and share data internationally to enable visionary policy. Within the U.S. security establishment it is essential to provide intelligence to policy makers and the public to determine priorities and policy in alignment with knowledge, science, and risks. The stakes are high even as steps backward are being proposed and taken. (The “Trump Doctrine”)





National Security & Environmental Security


Climate News:

Earth Observations:

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Environmental Security/Updates:

Undercutting Security, Congress Moves to Eviscerate Earth Science Programs

Earth & Space Politics: US Congress & Big Science

House Science Committee Guts Earth Sciences Budget

“Republicans in the House and Senate attempt to cut NASA Earth Science…”

GOP Attacks Earth Science At NASA, Climate Change Research In Peril

Phil Plait: There’s no other way to put this, so I’ll be succinct: A passel of anti-science global warming denying GOP representatives have put together a funding authorization bill for NASA that at best cuts more than $300 million from the agency’s current Earth science budget. At worst? More than $500 million.

In an op-ed in The Hill, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, wrote that the GOP members of the committee didn’t even give the writeup of the bill to Democrats on the committee until very late last week, indicating the GOP members are not operating in good faith on this issue.

Rep. Eddie Johnson: Despite the fact that in January NASA announced 2014 was likely the warmest year since 1880, it should come as no surprise that the majority wants to cut funding for climate science. Embarrassingly, just last week, every single Republican member of this committee present voted against the notion that climate change might be caused by people.

Rep Donna Edwards (D-Md.): ”'[T]he bill puts at risk 10,000 jobs at Goddard and would have “huge, deep, lasting” impacts… “I will not stand by quietly and enable that to happen.””’

Rep Donna F Edwards ‏@repdonnaedwards Apr 30
(2/2) My amendment to restore half a billion dollars in @NASA #EarthScience cuts defeated along party lines.

Rep Donna F Edwards ‏@repdonnaedwards Apr 30

Disappointed that @HouseScience Committee leadership passed a partisan bill today which guts @NASA #EarthScience programs. (1/2)

On May 1, 2015, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Dr. John P. Holdren issued the following statement on proposed funding cuts to NASA’s critical Earth science and space technology programs:

“If enacted, the NASA authorization bill headed to the House floor later this month would do serious damage to the Nation’s space program, as well as to Earth-observation and Earth-science programs essential for predicting, preparing for, and minimizing the damage from disasters both natural and human-induced.

“The bill’s cuts to space-technology development would not only risk continued U.S leadership in the space industry, but would also impede progress on precisely those technologies—on-orbit refueling, advanced space propulsion, radiation protection in deep space, and more—needed to make crewed missions to deep space a reality. In the absence of robust investments to bring these technologies into being, the goal of sending U.S. astronauts to Mars in the 2030s could be in jeopardy.

“The House bill would also gut the NASA “mission to planet Earth”—the satellite observations and related research that provide key measurements and insights relevant to forecasting and tracking hurricanes, fighting wildfires, observing the state of the world’s farms and forests, mapping the extent of droughts, measuring the stocks of groundwater, and monitoring the likelihood of landslides. The draconian cuts in the House bill would also delay advances in our ability to research and prepare for volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis and blind us to changes in the Earth’s oceans and ice sheets that can be discerned only from space.

“NASA’s mission to observe, understand, and explore the solar system and the cosmos beyond has long been matched in importance by its mission to use the unrivaled vantage point of Earth orbit for looking downward, to better understand the only home that humanity currently has. It is difficult to understand why, at this time of U.S. leadership in both the outward-facing and inward-facing facets of NASA’s operations in space, the Congress would want to undermine that leadership and sacrifice the panoply of benefits it brings to the Nation.”

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The Security Horizon

National Security: Placed at Risk by Undercutting Environmental Security Policy & Practices

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Nuclear Weapons — US Trillion Dollar Modernization/Expansion

Nuclear Proliferation ≠ Environmental Security

Nuclear Issues / Cold War 2.0



Environment & National Security

Planet Citizen

Environmental Security


New Era of #EarthScience from Space

Earth Right Now / NASA Earth Science

Earth Science from Space


OCO-2 / Historic C02 monitoring

OCO-2/Mission: Environmental Security


From the ISS — “Look at how thin our atmosphere is. This is all there is between humankind and deadly space”

“A Thin Blue Layer” / National Security-Global Security, A “Public Good” 

Democratization of Space

Doves/Planet LabsDoves — Micro-satellites and “New Space”