Strategic Demands of the 21st Century
The clock is ticking and for decades now we, the founders, strategists and activists from Strategic Demands and GreenPolicy360, have worked to put forward a new security vision, new ways of seeing, new definitions of national security.
The mutual threats of global climate change and a renewed nuclear arms race have risen in the last two decades of the 20th Century to become existential challenges, threatening to life on earth as we know it. We have attempted to point out the gravity of the threats that are multiplying and cascading on our watch… The international community is, though, now attempting to act in concert and confront these security threats. The actions are limited and far from reaching the level of effectiveness needed.
Science warns in the strongest terms that International climate action is failing to confront a #ClimateCrisis. A next-generation Nuclear Weapons Era is accelerating. The abandonment of international agreements; collapse of arms control architecture; a nuclear arms race 2.0 with next generation “usable” weapons and delivery systems all combine to exacerbate national and global threats. Warning signs abound in a darkening security horizon.
As the U.S. defense establishment debates procurement with a military/intel/operational budget approaching one trillion dollars annually, U.S. geo-political rivals in turn are accelerating their budgets to develop counter forces. Multiple real-world threats, beyond those addressed with trillions of dollars in spending on defense strategies and special war appropriations, are set aside or denied in this new arms race .
Yet, there are signs of a breakthrough in vision. The U.S. Intelligence Community is recognizing in its annual threat assessment report that climate change presents a severe security threat.
“Climate change will impact every country on the planet. No nation is immune. So I’m here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, [and] an immediate risk to our national security.” — President Obama in 2015, speaking to graduating cadets at the US Coast Guard Academy
In 2015, the White House highlighted a Changing Climate report as part of the National Security Strategy released designating climate change as a national security threat. It cited the impacts of sea level-rise, extreme weather events and rate of glacial melt. President Trump reversed these decisions, as he targeted the Obama climate policy initiatives across government, withdrawing the U.S. from international climate agreements and attacking the science.
2016 and the election of Donald Trump brought an attack on climate and energy data, research and science and programs. The four ‘lost years’ of the Trump administration are years that history will look back upon with harsh judgment as a setback of immense consequence.
An Abrupt Change / January 2021
President Joe Biden inauguration began an immediate turn in direction. The incoming administration’s first days marked a series of executive orders dealing with the climate crisis.
The Defense Department’s, Lloyd Austin, the new Secretary of Defense announced they “will immediately take appropriate policy actions to prioritize climate change considerations in our activities and risk assessments, to mitigate this driver of insecurity. As directed by the President, we will include the security implications of climate change in our risk analyses, strategy development, and planning guidance.”
Even with the climate threat now officially identified and on the intelligence radar, the data, facts, science are producing only limited political support. In fact and budget, weapons spending of the U.S. outraces by orders of magnitude new U.S. ‘infrastructure’ spending proposals…
The physics of climate change, the multiplier effects and tipping points as a result draw closer as observable earth system changes can be seen escalating in our lifetimes, documented by scientific measuring and monitoring.
Our generation faces a great generational challenge. We have entered the Anthropocene Era and it is time for new vision, an Eco-nomics that speaks of security as a shared, international goal, a common security that draws down nuclear and climate risks.
True security in today’s world demands new strategies that reject the failed policies of the past.
Strategic Demands in the 21st Century must present powerful new definitions of national security as a foundation for a next generation of effective responses to the reality of new security challenges.
Origins of StrategicDemands.com
The “Surviving Victory” conference in 2006 formed a foundational beginning for “Strategic Demands” based on the policy document — Strategic Demands of the 21st Century: A New Vision for a New World — written by Roger Morris & Steven Schmidt
For over a decade, Strategic Demands has continued to explore strategic issues of national and global security. In association with GreenPolicy360, Strategic Demands has become an ‘out in front’ voice challenging current national security policies. Beginning with our initial policy work and conferences, we are advancing anti-nuclear weapon policies and eco-sanity to bring about real-world security.
Real-world security in our work looks to join together national and international security. A “whole earth perspective” speaks of an internet-connected world with 24/7/365 access to knowledge. A globally connected world speaks of potential that goes far beyond limited-vision nationalism, religious division, and rivalries responsible for centuries of war.
The view of Strategic Demands and GreenPolicy360 is that humanity is at a crossroads in the 21st century. Nations and communities must find new connections, shared common values, and begin to utilize new earth science, in part made possible by unprecedented scientific studies and research, to manage 360° change.
The U.S. NASA missions which began in the 1970’s are, in effect, a first generation of technology to go global, studying earth’s life-enabling systems; monitoring environmental change and enabling management of critical policy decisions.
Strategic Demands and GreenPolicy360 share a pass it forward philosophy. Our generation’s earth science data is an essential tool today and tomorrow. Future generations need us to be scientific ‘hunter-gatherers’ and to share and act with our new found knowledge. Data is critical to understand how best to protect and assure common security, nationally and internationally across borders. Action now, not denial, is necessary. Our common future is at stake and future generations will judge how we act.
Environmental Security ↔ National Security
Beyond the confines of national borders is a sphere of The Commons, and responsibilities we hold as a common 360° security. Earth’s atmosphere is a “thin blue layer”, a global 360° security challenge. 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 life or death, progress or disastrous consequences.
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National Security & Environmental Security
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Environmental Security / US Politics
Undercutting Security / Congress and Trump Administration Act
- “The Trump Doctrine”, a Regressive Legacy
- Earth & Space Politics: US Congress & Big Science
- Climate News and Global Security from GreenPolicy360
“Republicans in the House and Senate attempt to cut NASA Earth Science…”
GOP Attacks Earth Science At NASA, Climate Change Research In Peril
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 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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21st Century Security Horizon
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Trillion Dollar US Modernization/Expansion
New Nuclear Arms Race, Proliferation, Risks ≠ National, Global, or Environmental Security
The U.S. House passes a $738B defense bill that funds Space Force
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is setting up a sixth branch of the military, even as security threats shift to crisis with climate change, and the collapse of nuclear arms agreements.
Strategic Demands again calls for New Definitions of National Security, as the U.S. exits the international climate agreement, accelerates production of fossil fuel supplied energy and resulting emissions that are highest of any country, and pushes a next generation of nuclear weapons, abandoning in effect the Outer Space Treaty that prohibits (in Article 4) placing in orbit around the earth any object(s) carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Environmental & National Security
Strategic Demands / Environmental Security
#EarthScience from Space
OCO-2 / Historic C02 monitoring