In this post, I’d like to highlight two unexpected environmental allies: Captain Porter and Col. Mykleby of the Marines, who are special strategic assistants to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This past spring, they published an unofficial document called “A National Strategic Narrative“, which looks holistically at the smartest security strategies for the United States this century. Their findings, which were published in April by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, urge the United States to look to achieving global leadership in areas outside of military force. They look at the U.S.’ education system, social policies, international development and diplomacy, and sustainable energy and agriculture as keys to retaining our strength and maintaining national security:
“We must recognize that security means more than defense…we failed to recognize that dominance, like fossil fuel, is not a sustainable form of energy.”
Capt. Porter and Col. Mykleby envision a national strategy that focuses on the development of America’s youth, international development and diplomacy, and a revision of our subsidized agricultural system. They see a need for the country to strongly embody the values it espouses, including plentiful water, arable soil, and clean/abundant energy for its people (which they recognize in our current system is not commonplace). In addition, they want America to project an identity of: tolerance for all cultures, races, and religions; global opportunity for self-fulfillment; human dignity and freedom from exploitation; justice with compassion and equality under internationally recognized rule of law; and sovereignty without tyranny, with assured freedom of expression. They believe the nation’s best opportunity for change lies within its youth, “who will shape and execute the vision needed to take this nation forward into an uncertain future.” Without such revision of its 21st century policies, they think the US’ continued growth and international credibility is threatened. So will the Pentagon and White House apply their recommendations? That remains to be seen.