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tv   Grand Strategy in Foreign Policy  CSPAN  April 26, 2016 1:27am-3:02am EDT

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intelligence community and its impact on national security. former advisers to the president, defense secretary and secretary of state spoke about the u.s. role in world affairs. topics included climate change, humanitarian intervention and
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national security. they also looked at the effect the partisan politics is having on u.s. foreign policy. from indiana university, this is an hour and a half. all right. welcome back. and i hope had you a good evening last night. we are going to begin this morning with a very weighty topic. the big vision of american foreign policy and america's place in the world that goes by the name of grand strategy. presidential administrations have long sought the holy grail of having a grand strategy, of being the administration that produces the next containment policy or detaunt or even the new world order. and that search for grand strategy has been instrumental,
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actually, in helping to build schools of international studies like this one. some of the first international studies policy schools that were created in the united states in the 1930s came about because of grants from the rockefeller foundation and the u.s. department of state to help the government formulate a grand strategy for the united states. so this is a place where the nexus between cacka de-- academ and policy-making is strong. and what is a grand strategy and is it achievable in the current moment or even in any moment. i think there are a number of basic components that we could point to. one is, it is an integration of parts of strategy and it involves military strategy and also diplomacy, trade, technology, economics and even
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humanitarian goals thrown in. into a single narrative. a single picture of the kind of world that the united states would like to create. it's a narrative that should resonate or appear to resonate with the shared values that would give it appeal, both domestically and to key allies abroad and it ought to have some durability that would make it last for perhaps more than one administration. so not surprisingly, those three traits of policy, an integrated policy, one that is durable, one that has -- that reflects consensus values, it is not surprising that it is so historically rare that a consensus behind a grand strategy is achieved. so one question we might be
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asking today is whether conditions exist now for creating such a grand strategy. we have a terrific panel of experts to discuss this with us today. all of them are on your program except for professor sarah danzman who will join us to talk about the economic aspects of grand strategy. but let me turn first to dean james steinberg who is a former deputy secretary of state, now dean of the maxwell school at the university of syracuse. to ask, what does the exercise of trying to create a grand strategy do for policy-makers? why search out and try to be the next george kenyan? why do policymakers want to have
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a grand strategy? >> well it is a great question and it is great to be with such a wonderful group of people and to be in the presence of two of the great leaders of our country who really made such a powerful impact in getting us to think about these big questions and understanding the role of america in the world. so i'm really honored to be here and be part of this. you know, this discussion about grand strategy, there is almost a linear geographic relationship between how far you are from washington and how much you talk about grand strategy. because there haven't been very meetings in the situation room where they said good morning, ladies and gentlemen, what is our grand strategy for the united states. we have our vision of kenyan sitting in the policy department and let's have a grand strategy and puffing on our pipes. but the reality is quite different. and so i think it is important first to ask, does a president
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need a grand strategy? i know we all in the academy and think that this is really important and critical to the success of the united states and in achieving its objectives but first we ask does the president need a grand strategy before we ask the second and equally difficult question which is, is it possible to have one even if we need one. because the two don't necessarily go together, even if we do need something that meets some of the criteria that you've laid out, it may not be possible to actually have one. and so my answer to the first question is, sort of. yes, we do need something that approaches what you talked about. although i think less grand than what the grand strategists would like us to have. and also sort of in terms of whether it is possible. so briefly on the first, why do we sort of need a grand strategy. i think we need something that is reasonally integrating and has a sense of the core objectives and the means to
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achieve them. that is what strategy is. identifying goals and achieving them. for a couple of reasons. first, for all of us who either studied or practiced international relations and foreign policy, the choices that leaders have to make are difficult. we don't have the tools, the metrics and the other things that allow us to know precisely how a -- [ technical difficulties ] between sometimes conflicting objectives. so we need a set of tools that allow us, in this world of great uncertainty, to make choices, that allow us to decide, well, if we have a conflict, should we intervene or not intervene? we can evaluate the pros and cons, but in the end, they are judgment calls that require a broader perspective that allow us to make difficult choices. and that sense of strategy or overall objectives and the best ways to achieve it helps break the tie or break the, you know,
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provide a decisionmaking principle under a situation of uncertainty so, you know, you can take an intervention in libya or syria and say, should we do it or shouldn't we do it, there are lots of good arguments on either side, but if you have the view that united states interests will be threatened if the dictators are allowed to suppress their people. there for, we need to do something about it, and look, these are messy conflicts, the united states should only intervene in situations where there's a direct threat. those are places in which a broad strategy can help decide under considerable uncertainty. the second reason we need something that sounds like some of the things that you talked about is that presidents and the principals in government are very busy people. they can't sit around and decide every little question. so there's a huge bureaucracy, decisionmaking, operational mechanism of who conducts the foreign policy and international relations of the united states or any other country.
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at the levels below the president, people need to have an orientation about what to do. having a sense of grand strategy is -- allows the whole system to have a sense of orientation. to sort of have some guide posts as they conduct the day-to-day business of government in international affairs. we can talk about it perhaps later but, you know, one of the tools that have been developed in recent years is the so-called national security strategy. the national security strategy report that came as a result of actions by congress in the act that required the president to do this. i remember when i was at the nsc, we had done one of these things and they weren't very satisfactory for reasons we can talk about. you began to wonder whether it was worth it. i ran into at the time the assistant secretary for the middle east at the state department. he happened to be -- you know, this is really important. i said bob, why?
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he said, because i have to do this day-to-day job of being assistant secretary and trying to run my bureau and when i try to think what are the goals and objectives, here's a document, a set of things i can look to, that help me think about how i do my job. this is equally true for the military and the pentagon in terms of its own planning and thinking about resource development. having a kind of broad blueprint actually helps facilitate the day to day work and make sure there's some degree of coherence to what goes on. the third reason it's important is one you alluded to, in terms of communicating to external constituencies. you have to have some kind of narrative to explain how to think about all these individual decisions which in isolation can seem hard to understand or difficult to see how they fit together. whether it's talking to congress or talking to the american people or talking to friends or talking to adversaries, having some kind of narrative or strategy i think is very powerful both in terms of people understanding what you're doing but also influencing how they respond to you.
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if they thing about what the goal is, if you have a view, for example, when we were dealing with the problem of nato enlargement. that you thought it was a goal and something that would motivate the united states. it allowed other countries in europe and elsewhere to see, you know, what the overall approach that the united states was pursuing and what they could do for it. so i think for all those reasons something that approaches your characterization of a grand strategy is necessary. but for the reasons which everybody said, it is hard to do. >> what's your sense of when that narrative gets constructed? does it happen in policy discussions after an administration has begun or should it already be apparent to us in the context of the presidential campaign? >> so i was going to say something which i'm not -- i don't know if my colleagues will agree or not. first of all, i've had the privilege of working for three presidents. i will tell you this, presidents have their strategies, right. they bring advisers to help them
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think through how to implement the vision they have of the world. but in the end, this comes from the president. and even though most of our presidents have not, you know, been schooled in grand strategy and international relations, by the time they've come to the presidency, they have review of the world. if you think about all the presidents we've known, the grand strategy or the strategy that's being pursued now by president obama, this comes from him and from his views. it's not something the president comes in and says, okay, guys, ladies, what are we going to do now, what should our strategy be. the president comes with a set of overarching perspectives on these things. now, the advisers, the senior principals, can help flush it out, kind of push the pieces together, make sure they fit. so the formulation, kind of filling it out takes place over the course of an administration. but it comes from the perspective the president brings.
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it anti--dates the forming of the government. it wouldn't successful if it didn't really reflect the kind of values and orientation that the president himself or herself brings to the job. and so, you know, i think that this sort of notion that you -- the president's a blank slate is just -- it belies the reality -- and would be surprising in a democracy. that somehow we're electing somebody who doesn't have a view. whether it's president reagan or president carter or president obama. they come to the presidency with a view of the world and at strategy proceeds from those basic premises, principles, values, orientation, that they bring. i could talk about why it's also hard but not impossible to do, but maybe we can get to that in a minute. >> i want to go to the professor next, too, as the historian on the panel here, to ask -- yesterday, we had a lot of discussion about ideological deadlock kind of paralysis in
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the current political situation. and i'm wondering if historically or in your own experience if that is necessarily an impediment to creating a comprehensive vision or useful vision of foreign policy or whether grand strategy can be made in circumstances of political polarization. >> well, thank you. as someone who actually has been the drafter of a white house grand strategy, i share jim steinberg's skepticism about these documents and the process. let me tell you as a historian what actually really happens. what really happens is that presidents come in with notions of the world that are not terribly surprising. then things happen which they did not expect. and for which the military has no plans. they improvise either ably or poorly. and then the country is either happy about the way it turned out or unhappy. and then in retrospect, they
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rationalize how that all happened and what the grand strategy was looking in the rearview mirror. after they've already done these good and bad improvisations. we have this legend of george cannon containment 1947. i was taught this in college. of course the containment grand strategy doesn't start get talked about that way until the middle of the 1950s. well after the korean war was over. then you look back. oh, it was george cannon. cannon's importance greatly exaggerated. but of course having that sort of story makes it easy for undergraduate teachers and easier for undergraduate students. to borrow the quote. the map who shot liberty valence. sir, this is the west. if we have the truth or the legend, we print the legend. so i'm skeptical about that. therefore, i'm also a little optimistic actually about your ability to do things.
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because actually yes, there's all this partisan gridlock, and most of the gridlock has to do with old political scripts that people carry in their heads that actually at the moment are increasingly really pretty irrelevant to what's actually happening in the world and what is actually going to happen which will probably surprise them. so then since they're going to probably be surprised and they're all -- then they're going to improvise. and you see the partisan trench warfare won't dictate very clearly to them how they're supposed to improvise. for example, i'm looking at nick lugger here. senator cullather improvised, gee, let's do something about nuclear weapons in the former soviet union. to help kind of clean that up. that was a brilliant piece. of improvisation and it turned
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out to be useful. if you looked backward and say, he wouldn't be able to do that because of partisan gridlock none of parties had been talking about any of these ideas, and so he had a chance to make a move. the two constructive points i'd like to make to the audience are these. first, we are actually entering a new era of world history. from the era that i and all the older people in this room grew up with. i grew up -- i was trained as a cold warrior. i grew up in an era in which the primary issues were international. that is between rival blocks of nation states and the issues were defined by the borderlines between the blocs. since the end of the cold war, we're increasingly in an era of world history in which the issues that will shape the future of the world are transnational more than
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international. that is, instead of being defined by the borderlines between states, they're defined by the borderlines in a way within states that cut across them. what do i mean by this? the great issues i think the historians will decide turn the first quarter of the 21st century will be things like energy and the environment, the handling of ultrahazardous technologies. whether cyber, nuclear or biological. issues of global public order. including immigration, terrorism and transnational crime. including places like mexico and not just iraq. the fate of global capitalism and whether it can be effectively managed and increasingly globalized world with global companies. and the fate of the bottom billion who live in the 50 broken countries in which their people cannot advance. how those issues are handled i
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think are likely to be the decisive variables that historians will look back on and determine how we did in this century. so if we were to -- if you think about that, there are a couple of implications. first of all, of course, hardly anything in the political process is really focused on this in the way i've just described. second, note that a big difference is when i grew up there was a pretty clear dividing line between domestic and foreign policy. all the issues i've just described tend to present themselves in every country as domestic issues. although, in fact, their causes and the ways to solve them tend to be global and can only be addressed effectively in partnership. so you need to develop coalitions of common domestic policies. if you think that through the implications of that, for politics, for the whole institutions that we built in the 20th century that are increasingly ill suited for
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these problems. and then on top of that, we are experiencing the most profound economic revolution in 100 years. since the end of the second industrial revolution which is the digital revolution. i believe we're in the early phases of a revolution that will be as transformative as that one was 100 years ago. with dramatic effects. economic, social, cultural, others. so now, hold that first idea in mind. that is, international, the transnational, the blurring of the domestic and the foreign and all that means. now, think about a second concept alongside that. just think about the role of the united states. imagine for the moment that everything the united states does will mainly rely on what i'll call an indirect approach. i'm cribbing a phrase from an old military historian long deceased named vas ill hart.
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an indirect approach. what do i mean by that? look, policy consists of mostly confronting a bunch of problems. there are big problems and thin problems, fat and tall. and you confront these problems. an indirect approach means basically we can't solve almost any of these problems by ourselves. and mostly the american people don't want us to solve all these problems by ourselves directly. they're kind of disillusioned about that. so that means to solve these problems, whether it's global waves of immigration, breakdowns in global capitalism. the problem of isis. the transnational crime in mexico and central america, all of those are problems. narcotics, cyber. i've got to work through others. i've got to work through others. the battle against isis will not be decisively won or lost by the united states troops. it will be decisively won or lost by muslims fighting with other muslims.
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that's a slight simplification but it's not a dramatic. so then the issue, if you care about the outcome of those fights is you ask yourself how do we raise the odds that a side we want to win in that fight wins? we can't do it all ourselves. we have to work through others. then you think, how does the united states role-play in ways that enables others or the causes we prefer to be more likely to succeed than not? if you think, then, about all our tools in that way and you kind of look at our institutions, we actually build our institutions for a world in which we mostly relied on doing it directly and ourselves. in lots of different ways. and i'm suggesting actually a very different building up. there are elements of it now. really building up a much different kind of skillset.
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if you just thought for a little while about, say, u.s. policy towards mexico, which by the way i don't think gets nearly enough attention. it is very important and potentially very constructive. the united states isn't going to invade mexico to solve any of those problems. in fact, the more intrusive our presence there, the less we're going to be able to achieve. but the -- actually the mexicans need the americans to be able to solve any of their great problems. they need to be working with the americans. then you think through, what are the tools there, what are the roles we can play. when i was young, a country seen as a basket case, which is colombia. it is now not a basket case. when you look at mexico, you think about intelligence and the role americans can play. you think about court system, police. many of these issues are domestic in mexico but yet the
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mexicans, how do we enable them to solve their problems this way. we're not accustomed to think in this way. by the way, if we think in this way, what you end up doing is you end up flying over and skipping over most of today's partisan arguments and gridlock and moving the debate into a new place. i find it ironic that we're so stuck in these old arguments. the republican party for example has for decades opposed the ratification of the law of the sea treaty. it's kind of a nationalist position. we don't want to be multilaterally tied down how we handle the law of the sea. so the republicans have been stuck -- the republican party, much of, has been stuck in this rut for more than 20 years. today, the republican party, by taking that position, is the biggest ally the chinese government has right now in the south china sea conflict. because it is a significant
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liability in confronting the chinese over the issue of the south china sea that we can't use the law of the sea argument as effectively because we won't ratify the treaty ourselves for reasons that are 20-plus years old. and now we're actually really helping the chinese on a crisis that actually matters a lot to us. because we won't endorse a transnational rule set that actually would be hugely in our interest. again, because we're following these old scripts. so the thing i want to leave you with, if you internalize these two messages each trying to suggest, transnational, indirect approach, you might be able to see a way to get around, fly over or reconceive a lot of the partisan arguments that paralyze us now. >> i saw the professor nodding vigorusoy when you talked about transnational and i wonder if i can turn to you
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to talk about the implications of that element of grand strategy. which has been pretty stable i think over the past, i don't know, 50 years or so. the united states has advocated a policy that we might call free trade which has had pretty solid domestic consensus. are we at a moment right now because of these transnational trends, because of the way in which they manifest themselves in domestic politics or seem to, in which that grand strategy or that piece of grand strategy might be falling apart? >> yes, i want to also echo those who spoke before me. thanking this wonderful conference. we had a great conversation yesterday and i'm looking forward to continuing that today on this panel. and the one in the afternoon on indiana's place in the world. so thinking about transnationalism as it applies locally as well. and as a scholar of political economy and international political economy, what i'm struck by in this conversation
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is oftentimes when we talk about grand strategy, we're really thinking about the ways in which there are specific orientations to the world that influence the ways in which we deal with crises. and what different about trade policy is trade policy tends not to be driven by particular events or by crisis. and so there -- it's this important aspect that has been in the background of u.s., i would argue, grand strategy. i believe this has been a huge part of what the u.s. has been trying to do in creating order in the world for a long time. and i was agreeing with the notion that now what's most important is understanding how trade policy and the ways in which the u.s. attempts to continue to institutionalize free trade globally is increasingly about trying to
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facilitate transnational networks. which is quite different from oftentimes we're trying to disrupt transnational networks. so there's these interesting parallels and crossovers. but in particular, you know, i view that one of the important things that the u.s. needs to continue to maintain is our centrality and prominence in trade and financial networks going forward. and one of the ways that the current administration has been trying to do this is through the transpacific trade partnership. the deal, which now needs congressional behavior to be implemented. and i think that the tpp really helps to pivot us more towards asia in important ways, especially in terms of helping
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to create more ways for -- to create multilateral negotiation structures and also i think most importantly creating specific regulatory advantages that allow small and medium businesses both in the u.s. and also in the asia pacific sphere to integrate into global value chains more easily. i think a lot of what we've been talking about over the past couple of days is how does the u.s. maintain leverage in a growing -- in this devolution of u.s. power. when you build affinity net works, the need for leverage becomes less important in some respects because you create shared interests. and so i think that this is very important to understanding the ways in which trade helps to
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facilitate the strategic objectives of the u.s. more broadly. and to get to your point about what's happening domestically is that i think that what is happening right now in the u.s. with our -- with the presidential primaries on both sides of the aisle is an understanding that there has been -- there is a sense among a percentage of the electorate that this is not working for some portions of the american public. and i think that in a large part, this concern about globalization is a bit misplaced, but i do think it reflects problems that the u.s. hasn't dealt with their trade policy in terms of selling it to the american people and understanding the ways in which we need to facilitate ways to
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allow people who have been hurt by globalization to be retrained. you know, trade is good overall for our economies but it also creates displacement. when the u.s. doesn't really address that part of trade, that downside, we're putting ourselves at a disadvantage. so one specific example, right, is that when the senate authorized a fast track promotion, they did so without attaching as well the particular bill that would allow some trade adjustment practices that would help those that lost jobs because of the tpp. i think it's important for the u.s. to understand how those sorts of -- those sorts of policies interact with our global -- our foreign policy as
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well. >> so grand strategy is going to require some adjustment in domestic policy in addition to foreign policy. >> otherwise, we won't be able to continue to push for, you know, institutionalizing trade more broadly. >> interesting. the digital revolution is an aspect that professional zelikow highlighted yesterday as well. something that is transforming the international world in a thorough way. empowering individuals for good or ill. at the same time creating situations in which governments like ours can't keep secret their most secret secrets. i want to talk about this rapidly moving technological terrain, whether it's even possible to think in terms of a grand strategy to confront that or whether we have to react to
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developments as they unfold. >> thank you very much. let me echo my panelists in saying what a great privilege it is to be with not only distinguished colleagues here but in the audience. for me it's a special pleasure. if you'll just indulge me for a moment. to be sitting next to general renuart. in addition to a distinguished career around the world, also carried out the sacred duty of tracking santa claus on christmas eve as commander of norad north com and answering calls of anxious children who wanted to know where was he. from my point of view, that's the highest form of public service so -- i think it is possible to have a grand strategy. i'm going to encourage, at least in the realm i think about, the role that cyber plays in every aspect of our lives, to maybe abandon the word "grand." i think any strategy would actually be incredibly helpful. if we can possibly get a
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rational policy, that would be suburb. i think it's desirable. i think it's necessary. i think it's achievable. let me just say a moment to say i'm not a wildly optimistic person when i talk about these issues. because we have created a world now in which digital technology undergirds everything we do. every communication we make. every sector of our economy. our cars rely on computers. if that's not good enough, we want driverless cars. by the way, we're going to have drones flying overhead to ensure we live in a totally digital world. if we do it right, we will all be gone and it will just be digital technology enjoying the planet and global warming won't matter to these technologies. so we're in this odd situation where we have built into everything. you buy something at target. there's only one on the shelf because the moment that bar code is scanned, they order another
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one which comes in by a truck. it will be an automated truck within days. that puts it back on the shelf. we use a supply chain that's entirely digitally based. we control all of our most basic utilities all the way from the sewage treatment center in the city of bloomington to switches on our railways to our natural gas pipelines. every bit of that controlled digitally now. go look for a wheel you can stand out there to turn to change the flow of water or change the flow of natural gas. you can't find it. it's all digital. and of course we're all carrying devices which digitally track us. which digitally record us. our every thought is captured. whether we send it by e-mail or voice mail or text or anything. even places where we've been using technology for years, we have decided it would be a really good idea to put it all on the same technological backbone, namely the internet. think about atm networks. 30 years ago, you drove around looking for that little symbol that was on the back of the card.
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i need a cirrus network or i need a -- no longer. banks figured out we don't need to own networks. networks are expensive. we can just use the internet. that will be terrific. right, because this is the same internet that connects the rest of the world. this is the same internet that connects pornography and drug dealers and terrorists. we have to remember, for example, when we moved air traffic control which did hand-offs of airplanes as they flew from sector to sector through dedicated networks. until some bright person said we can save money by doing this on the internet. so now that control is handled on the internet. the same internet our kids are playing games on. even when you think about an airplane in flight, you know, every airplane, three redundant systems. that is the requirement. if it's a critical flight system, it must have three redundant systems. what is the backup for the a-380, the now largest commercial airplane flying? it's an ipad connecting to the wireless game network on the
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plane. now, that's great for the airlines. they save a lot of weight and money. but it means at the end of the day, that whole plane is no more secure than that game network is. and then those ipads are. where do we get this technology from? every bit of it comes from outside the united states. do we know if it's secure? we have no idea. none whatsoever. it is beyond the capacity in any economically affordable way of any industry or government agency to make sure the routers it's using, the equipment it's using. it's not a question of simply we can't do it, it's that we're not even trying to do it. we're so excited about the money we're saving. the convenience we're adding. the new toys we're building into our lives. so the federal government's been busy replacing thermostats with digitally addressable thermostats. was it that big of a deal to have to have someone go room to room to change the thermostat but now we can do it from one location.
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by the way, the same sensors that pick up temperature also can record voices. so we've now digitally connected to the internet a microphone in every government office and conference room where the switch has been done. and now we're reverse engineering it. we're going in at great cost and replacing those with digitally secure thermostats. medical devices. we're all going to be wearing one somewhere. i have an insulin pump on. this insulin pump controls my life. you can have an implanted pacemaker. you can have any number of devices. all of which for convenience sake we made wirelessly addressable. no one has to open up your chest to test your pacemaker anymore. they use a blue tooth connection. to reach your pacemaker. did anyone think about securing that? that would have been expensive. that would have used up additional battery life. that would have been something we weren't required by any regulation to do. so we haven't. here's where we are today. we're living in a world in which we are dependent for absolutely
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everything on an infrastructure that is fundamentally insecure. and there are no meaningful incentives to make secure. so they are episodic, and there are moments where you see a lot of attention to something specific. but that passes away and we go back to using an infrastructure, an insecure infrastructure. even when we use security, there's been a lot of debate recently about encrypt. very strong encryption. that's a lot of character. so what do you do with your 140 bitten corruption key? you can't remember that. what do you do with your encryption key? you store it on your iphone which you protect with a four-digit password. your fancy encryption key. which meets dod standards and should. it's very high level of encryption. is utterly worthless when you protect it with a four character password. better yet when you write the password down is especially appreciated.
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on the back of laptops. which surveys have shown the majority of users of laptops do. so this is the good news. we are relying for everything, for our lives, for our economy, for our safety, for our national security, on an infrastructure that is incredibly insecure. that is highly interconnected. that is addressable from the entire world. so we need some strategy to deal with this. we need to think about it as a national priority. today, for many perfectly understandable reasons. i don't for a moment cast an aspersion for the people involved in making those decisions. we don't have that strategy. we know how to do something in the military. when we invade iraq, iraq knows it's been invaded. right. we spend billions of dollars to do it. we put command structure in place. when we deal with cybersecurity, we have a coordinator. that is the highest ranking official for cybersecurity in the u.s. government.
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a coordinator. i can tell you, if the government is anything like the university, coordinator is not the title to get a job done, right? commands no resources, no authority, no budgetary authority. you know, can give speeches and write blogs and try to use moral persuasion power. similarly, we have totally and many ways this has been a good thing but i think it's a good thing that has gone too far. we have stayed away from regulation in this area. despite the fact we know there are significant reasons markets don't work here. free rider problems, tragedy of the commons problems. problems of the misplaced incentive. for example, amazon says of course we would require multifactor authentication. thereby requiring you to have a key fob or some sort of key fob or password to log in. if only our competitors would require it. the public will abandon a transaction if it's delayed for even as little as a few seconds. so we can't be the only ones to do it.
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if only the administration or congress would require the use of this technology or even incentivize it. currently there's none of that. literally outside of health care and finance. and of course very highly regulated industries like nuclear power and so forth. there are no broad-based cybersecurity regulations applicable in the economy. so i think it's not surprising that we don't have a strategy and therefore the rest of the world, which to be honest does look to the u.s. for leadership in areas such as this, is totally baffled by what we think we are doing. let me just give you one practical example. and i'll finish on this. this relates to current events. but, you know, we've been sort of locked in a struggle with europe for -- well, three centuries really. for the past decade over the question of whether the u.s. provides adequate data protection. and europe keeps threatening to ban exports of data to the united states and we keep
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putting together solutions that are designed to make it look like we have the standards of data protection, of privacy protection, that meet european requirements. it's been a very uneasy relationship. it's threatened trade. threatened security because of an unwillingness to share data if we don't have adequate protection. we had a safe harbor agreement under which companies could voluntarily agree to this agreement and then they would be able to move data back and forth. after the snowden disclosures, it became very hard for u.s. companies to say your data will be well protected because it doesn't matter what the company does. the company can say we share your data with no one. but if the nsa intercepts it from us, that's going to be a problem. the u.s. has worked mightily and quite effectively as a matter of fact with the national security community moving people back and forth, explaining the steps we take to protect data. to stay out of corporate data.
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to stay out of perm data, unless it's a suspect for investigation of a serious crime or terrorist offense. then we have the apple-fbi -- in which the fbi ends up announcing to the world two really astonishing things. one, we know how to break into american technology. by the way, as of this morning, measure sharing this with our state and local partners so they can do it as well. thereby eliminating this intense diplomatic work with europe to say really we're a restrained government. we have a process. we have a privacy and civil liberties over sight and foreign intelligence surveillance court. apparently the fbi has none of these officials. it's out on its own making this announcement. simultaneously making the announcement. by the way, apple, the world's largest operating system, has a vulnerability. so for those of you who have nothing better to do, you might want to go look for it but we have a copy of it on our website if you want to come look for it here first.
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security people around the world are looking astonished. not over the question of should the fbi get there. that's not at all my point. but rather the way we as a government chose to deal with incredibly sensitive issue that has enormous trade, enormous diplomatic relations and, frankly, enormous security ramifications. let me stop there. >> wonderful. >> dean steinberg is catching a plane at the end of this panel, i could see he was getting a little uneasy as you were talking. >> do you want me to catch a plane. >> let me make sure my ipad is working here. >> ask general renuart. has a history of following strategies. and making and following strategies. i'll ask a regional question here. is there a part of the world
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where you think american strategizing is particularly weak, where we need to step up our game in terms of strategy? >> thanks, nick. it gives me a direction to go. again, like my fellow panelists, i want to thank the dean, the school, for just an extraordinary couple of days and the opportunity to interact with people that are leaders truly in the world. fought on some of these issues. i want to get to that question in a two-step process. i think jim steinberg makes a great comment about grand strategy and can we get there. i think as a military planner operator, most of my career, i try to pull those statements of national intent and ethics and values and relationships down to
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a level that you can distill from a national security strategy to a national defense strategy. and of course as was mentioned, the dod hangs on that its budget. so i worry sometimes that we translate national strategy to not to that, but to as the next year's presidential budget as it goes forward. it limits us in the way we view and pursue strategic objectives. jessica matthews made a great comment yesterday. i've used this in a different set of words. but we are 100% wrong at predicting the future. we can create a grand strategy, as you mentioned, phillip, that has specific goals. but understand that tomorrow something will occur, 9/11 is a great example, that completely changes strategy. we the bush administration came in and secretary rumsfeld became the secretary of defense, he had
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a vision, truly a strategy, of transforming the department of defense. it was too cumbersome, too expensive, too big, caught in history. 9/11 happened. and it changed his framework for what transformation that ought to be. so as we go forward, i think we need to try to return a little bit to a view of really what should america do around the world. and for me i go back to the four elements of national power that were sort of -- not beat into me, but certainly exposed to me from the time i was a lieutenant until the time i was a four-star general. and that is the combination of diplomatic and informational and economic and military elements of national power really allow power really allow you to achieve a strategy, grand or tactical. and i think we've gone away from that, frankly.
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i think we've -- we've -- we've allowed ourselves to become episodically conconsumed. and each of those has a strooj. potentially none of those strategies mesh together. so i think we have to understand that that's the we're going to be in. as philip said it'sist less bipolar and more transnational. so now to get to a region, i think there are probably two that i would say we have not quite got this right. one of them philip mentioned in central and south america. i think the transnational criminal activity that occurs in that region is something -- we are in a period of containment, we're not in a period of active solution. part of that problem is the demand signal for much of that
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transnational criminal activity is here. it's drugs, and it's gangs, and it's -- not immigration -- illegal immigration. so i think we've got to go back and look at those elements of national power and decide how do you take this problem on with all four of those elements of national power effectively utilized? mexico is a great case study. i spent three and a half years focused on mexico as the commander of the u.s. northern command and i had a wonderful prip with the ambassador in new york to create a strooej that we could engage with mexican government on. lots of success. lots of setbacks. obviously, they too change governments much like we do. so that does create some challenge. but i think that we have to understand that in places like mexico. colombia is another good example
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of where military was certainly a part of that. but it was diplomatic. it was economic. and it was informational. it was the message of the united states being a partner with a country like colombia and continuing to interact. people talk about -- we've been in afghanistan or iraq for ten years. i think we've been in colombia for a couple years more than that. and we're still having discussions with the park and the government on how do you solve this. so these problems are not simple solutions. it took us arguably 25 years after world war ii to create the kind of stable model in europe that they are certainly benefiting from today. so i think we've got to really focus on all of those elements of power in central and south america now at a time when some of those countries are very vulnerable. we see significant investment by skprus my china in that region. and they are not there to buy their military equipment.
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they are there to buy influence. and we see some of that influence being manifested in the u.n. security council discussions or in the u.n. general assembly discussions on different subjects when interestingly some of these countries come out in favor of a position that china or ruz supports. truly it's in many cases because of that economic input that has been used there. and we don't do that well. the second region of the world -- and i'm going to use the term maneuver in the global commons. sounds like a military term. by the way, digitally i've just sent a signal to move fred from the naughty to the nice list so that santa will get to him next year. it's amazing the power of these military commanders. but man nufr the global common is not really to talk about how you move military forces of. it is how do you as a national lead in areas that are transnational? philip mentioned a number of those. one he didn't mention that i'll
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make a strong point on is access to water. we will fight another fight somewhere in the world over access to or limitation of the flow of water in the countries. and so i think we have to be present in each of those areas. the global commons. certainly in the sea. the law of the sea, as a military four-star commander, i was arguing in favor, to our republicans about passing the law of the seas. i think it's critical that we have a seat at that table in order to solve some of these things diplomatically, not militarily. and yet we foon ourselves having to use that military tool sometimes too often. so the global commons certainly are the international maritime environment where we move arguably 90% of the world's economy every single day through a number of choke points that we
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don't always control. space. cyber spice. we -- i was in indianapolis yesterday morning at a board of a group called the energy systems network which is really focused on how does indiana become a leader in energy systems. we had a great presentation by a gentleman talking about autonomous vehicles. and when you think about how that vehicle operates, everything it does comes from the digital world. gps, laser, radar, camera images all tied together in the a compute hear the tells the car how to drive. and they demonstrated it driving from the east coast to the las vegas for the ces last year. so i think that is a common space that we have to lead in. and if you -- if you think about movement of goods, good goods and bad goods, we have to lead
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in how do you secure the movement of trade and how do you secure from the movement of elicit traffic across borders and across regions of the world. how do you influence nations to become a part of a coalition to take significant action there? i differ with some folks who have spoken that say the u.s. is -- we're clearly in a diminished role of leadership in the world. i disagree. i think we have the opportunity to continue to be a leader in the world, but in a very different fashion. i don't have to put the largest investment into a particular activity if i can get 12 of my friends to put in a lesser investment and we solve the problem. but i spend a lot of my time just as an anecdote -- post
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9/11ths the director of operations at u.s. central command. so that was planning and executing all the operations in afghanistan and iraq. we couldn't do that as the united states. we had a coalition of 70 nations. some as small as lat via and aestonia. but some as large as our most significant partners. what you find when you operate that, and our diplomats do this every day, is that you have got to create common sense of purpose among each of those nations. and they all have to feel like they contribute to that. so as we circle back to can a grand strategy be effective for the united states, i think if you can look at those core elements of national power and you look at where nations can contribute and the u.s. leads that effort, i think you are successful there. one final point that i think is, you know, maybe a good anecdote about why we've got to really
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pay attention to this. in another job in the pacific -- i lived two and a half years there. and part of my role was to be one of the key planners in how do we defend taiwan if china chooses to, you know, return taiwan to the fold? and as part of that, we studied chinese military strategy. what was striking to me is that our strategy literally deals with the next, you know five-year defense plan. maybe. their strategy deals in the next 50 years. and when you look at the things that chinese have done militarily over the last ten years, i can look at that strategy, and they are right on track. they believe that they can challenge the united states in those global commons where we are most vulnerable, trade, economy, information, and certainly military. we see that with direct ascent
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interceptors of space vehicles. we she that certainly in the cyber world. we see that with airbases being built on atolls in the middle of the south china sea. the united states can't allow that balance of power to shift in that way. and we're slow to realize that. and i think part of that is because we don't look at a long-term view of how we, the united states, should be involved and lead in those regions in the world. >> can i -- for our students, i'd like to -- there have been great comments here, i'd like to connect this to actually what happens in policy making. because i think what the general comments and philip's gives us a chance to look at a particular problem at how strategy can make a difference. i've been thinking a lot about the president's decision to go to cuba and to build more normal relations. there are arguments on both sides of that. there is a question whether you go. and whether that undermines the credibility of your defense of human rights and democracy by
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giving credibility to an antidemocratic regime as opposed to opening up -- but one of the things that -- you know, when philip talked about the means and the general calked about cooperation in this hemisphere. for me strategy helped. the united states has become marginalized by fighting over cuba's ability to participate over hemispheric matters. it was a significant barrier to getting cooperation from our partners on a range issue. i think in the end strategy helps you decide, there are arguments for and against dealing with the repressive regime but we have these big interests in dealing with transnational threats and working closely with mexico and others who don't like our policy and find it harder to work with us because of our cuba policy.
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okay. here is a framework where you have this argument on both sides. for me, that allowed a strategy to help think about did the president did the right thing. i think that is the place where strategy can make a difference, if you have your ideas focused on the kinds of issues that philip raised. how do these individual kremtal choices fit into the broader framework. it is the thing that allows you to come to a set of rules that help you engage in the process of policy making. >> that's interesting, i think what you are talking about there is the need to have a continual process for reconsidering the old scripts that philip was talking about, the ways in which foreign policy can be rooted in habits. there was a house -- i think they now call it the international affairs committee. a set of hearings in 2008 on grand strategy. and one of the comments that was articulated at that was that the
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united states doesn't have a grand strategy. what it has is a lot of habits. and i might just throw that out as a question to the entire group. what old scripts do we have right now that are worth intentionally discarding? >> let me tackle that a little bit. you remember i argued to you, if you accept it, that if this transnational hypothesis is right, that the old line between dome stick and foreign policy is blurrier. so that actually a lot of the foreign policy issues are really domestic policies. so right now there is a huge global struggle underway over the character of domestic governments. there is actually a hostile bloch of powers. let's call them iran, russia, china. they are not formal allies in
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any sense. they are not united by what it is they are for. what does unite them is what they are against. what they are all against in domestic governments. they are all against what we think of as classical liberal ideals of governments. that is they are against freedom of thought versus dogma. they come down on the side of dogma. when it comes to open participation based on merit and opportunity, instead of hereditary or faith-driven or criminally driven oligarchy or air stow accuracies. they are in favor of the oligarchy and not in favor of open opportunity. when you look at the economy, basically, do you prefer an open economic system with maximum opportunity for new entrants? or do you prefer monopolies in
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league with the government? and they tend to prefer the monopolies in league with the government versus open economic opportunity. and all the things that go with this. this is an old argument about how to rule societies that goes back now more than 200 years. notice now, for example, right now, what's happening in central and south america on these issues. they are in -- look at the domestic issues in brazil. where you have a brazilian government that's on the verge of being impeached and replaced. look at the domestic government issues and what has just happened in argentina where an antiliberal government has been overthrown in preference to a liberal government look at the tension that's going on right now in the country of ecuador. look at the tremendous conflict that's now unfolding in venezuela with a totally
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antiliberal government moving towards complete dictatorship in a country undergoing full economic collapse fighting against people who are trying to clamor for the restoration of liberal ideas. that is a domestic struggle that's also occurring all over -- everywhere else in the world. whether we are talking about the recent elections in indonesia or we are talking about struggles in india or in burma. if you think about that, this struggle does not fall neatly into the category of a foreign policy issue. so then you ask yourself of course the united states should care about how the struggle turns out. we don't want the antiliberals to win. if we want generally to foster what i would call an open, civilized world. so if we don't want the antiliberals to win, how do we support the people who favor liberal ideals of governments?
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and it's not as the general pointed out through the heavy handed use of military instruments right and left. it might be things like basically trying to defrost a difficult atmosphere in the americas by taking out a cuban thorn even though the cuban government is antiliberal. the problems with cuba were interfering with our ability to rally liberal causes in latin america, actually. and kinds of paradoxically. but think about the positions that america would adopt in a lot of different controversies around the world in order to align itself or strengthen these causes in these domestic struggles. do we care for example, what happens when antiliberal elements challenge norms in europe and places like hungary, or now a will be in poland? i don't think the united states is indifferent in. that it's not as if we can intervene in hungary.
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how do we wield our instruments how do we exercise an indirect approach to simply tilt the breds a little bit that one side comes out on top instead of another. take china for example. this is where i'll close. the great issue of china. yes, there are surface encounters with china in places like the south china sea. but the fundamental issue of china is what is china going to be when it grows up? the chinese themselves do not know the answer to this question. and they are deeply uneasy and anxious about it, right to the level of the top leadership. and by way, any american who claims to know what china's going to be in ten years, one way or the other, is someone whom you should not listen to any further. so d but then does the united states care how china resolves these great domestic struggles? of course it cares. it will have enormous effects on
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us. but then ask yourself how then if the united states care as lot does it foster one outcome over the another when obviously directed intervention in china is out of the question and not feasible? that's where you come into ideas of you foster certain kinds of norms, create certain kinds of incentives, whether it is a broadly shared consensus log to see that unites everyone around china but china that the chinese notice and see. whether it's other kinds of norms where you make global capitalism and the digital revolution look like it can work. et cetera. et cetera. this is the place where we need to anything figure out how to advance our conversation on how we foster these sorts of transnational advances on all the issues we care about while increasingly not relying on blunt force direct intervention which the american people mostly don't support anyway.
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>> can i piggyback on that for just a half a second? here another great example of how combining elements of national power can create political change. many of you may recall the tsunami that occurred in indonesia, thailand and area in the 2005 christmas season. the very first responders to all of that were the united states military. and brought millions and millions of pounds and dollars worth of aid to the region of northern indonesia and thailand and others. you will also recall maybe that that was the hot bed of the revolution with the government in that portion of indonesia. subsequent to that infusion of international aid and development, the rebels agreed to peace talks, not -- without
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the understanding that this influenced -- this influgs of global good through the use of military and later civilian activities maybe provided the opportunity to negotiate an internal political discussion that could lead to to peace among rebelling parties. i think that when you think about solving a problem in that multidimensional way, it leaves a strong impression. interestingly, relations with cambodia and viet nam considerably warmed after that, and they were observers. they just watched what happened. so the united states is the only nation that has that ability, that unique ability, to incorporate each of those critical elements of national power in a way that you don't paint the picture of military. you paint the picture of a nation with compassion, with values, and with the willingness to help. and i think, to sarah, the
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importance of trade is this is critical. i think philip maybe we have a better opportunity to influence directly via trade than maybe we do in all of the other areas because both countries are critly dependent upon each other for their livelihood. >> i want to leave plenty of time for your questions. so if we could have the micro phones come down here on either side. let's see. we already have one person with microphone. good. >> am i on? >> yes. >> keith wilson from the political science department here at iu. thank you for the extraordinary panel. i wanted to maybe get back to the original question about grant strategy. i guess i'm struck by disconnection between the principal of grand strategy and the practice of it. the dean mentioned the usefulness in certain contexts
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where there is a lot of murkiness for going back to the grand strategy as a framework for solving problems. my own reading of the national security strategy if we were to take it as a example of a gran stage, it is a variety of different principals, but general you may know better than anyone when it comes to actually facing challenges a lot of times you can go to the national security strategy and the grand strategy at large, you can find solution -- you can find a number of different courses of action that can result from that. i just wonder if you could articulate maybe some of the weaknesses to the grand strategy. and ultimately, if in fact the grand strategy leaves you in a situation where you are not able to get to some of the practical solutions that i think the professor bzdelika referred to, really what does it accomplish? >> let me just very quickly and then i'll let the others
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mention. the important element that the dean mentioned was that it is a framework. it's a document that we look at and helps us sort of figure out what the vision, the interest, those principles are of the president. from the military perspective, we then take a national defense strategy review that tries to translate that into our -- each department of the armed services. but it's also a document that other nations look at to understand where is the u.s. mine in all of this. one of the failure -- one of the pitfalls with becoming too specific -- that may not be the right word but too direct in a gran strategy is you limit yourself and you want the overarching national security strategy to outline those key
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principles but not limit your response. recall, we are a hundred percent wrong at predicting the future. so what you want to be able to do is below the level of that grand strategy create the framework that allows the u.s. to be agile in some fashion as it applies itself to problem -- unique problems anywhere in the world. i'll stop there and let others -- >> i'll add that one thing that you can do is -- that's not -- let's not call it a gran strategy. but one thing that leaders can do is describe the world they are in. and basically offer a diagnosis of the patient. as i tried to do in a small way. and then you can ask yourself after you have heard it, hmm, does that offer me any insight that i didn't already know? and by the way, around the government, if you can describe
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the world in a way that kind of maybe adds a little clarity or a little focus that wasn't there before, then you have advanced the ball. that's actually a very important thing that you can do. that's actually a very important thing. i remember when franklin roosevelt was doing his fireside chats he wasn't laying out a road map -- and before pearl harbor he didn't lay out a road map how the allies would win the war. the fireside chats was to tell americans here's the world you are living in. in fact, in one, he said please take out a map of the world. and the newspapers printed a map so he could simply tell them about the world they lived in today so they could simply understand the diagnosis that this physician -- who would later call him doctor win the war, dr. new deal, to dr. win the war. this was what was going on in
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their world. and later on he would offer prescriptions. if you want a grand strategy, grand strategy begins to provide a road map which begins to offer some sense of direction which way you should drive. maybe detailed directions but usually not base you don't want to tie yourself down and you don't want to annoy anyone. these documents are terrible things that are cures for narc lensy. or induce it. you should ask yourself whenever you hear an important strategic statement, or read one, is did this tell me anything about what the united states wants to do that i didn't already know before i read this statement? if it says like the united states wants peace, strength, and prosperity, gee, i could never have guessed that. all right. so then that tells you really nothing. and then it's basically these are just place holder documents that are designed to allow you
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to do whatever it is you actually need to do and make sure it's consistent with the strategy. so -- but occasionally, rarely, the government does say something that actually tells you something you didn't know before you heard it about what it's going to try to do. and then that can be important, about overall goals. >> down here in front. >> adam. >> thank you for the opportunity to ask a question. my name is adam leff from sgis. i have a question for the entire panel. but it was inspired by some of the things philip was saying. i extract two important themes from what he was saying. first the idea the scripts being old and in need of an update. second a theme that was to echoed in the remarks of several other panelists, the unpredict lt of events. i think a key part of strategy, grand or otherwise that is often left out of the debate perhaps
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because it's less sexy but it's arguably essential, fundamentals is the important of designing institutions to effectively, efficiently and expeditiously achieve those objectives. this is in my mind because two of my research projects today are in looking at the rationale behind and likely consequences of both china's and japan's creations establishment of new national security councils in 2013 and what they have for crisis management and with the hook of a east china sea low level incident. how do we -- how does america need to reform or restructure the key institutions and the government and the military and reallocate resources successfully to maximize the flex lt, adaptability and rapid response that the 21st century challenges we face require? thank you. >> adam, you stumped him.
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>> no. -- no. i think adam knows that we could spend all semester on this. and we do in many different contexts. i think first of all it's important both to understand where institutions give value but not to overstate it. like grand strategy architecture gets a lot of attention in the academy and is often more of an academic exercise than a reality that somehow if we just move the blocks around thing are going to work out. there is no doubt that institutions both domestic and international institutions can solve some problems that are difficult to achieve in the absence of institutions. the fact that you can have repeated interactions lowers transaction cost increases predictability, knowledge, dependence on each other. so there are police department of reasons to do it. but it's also true that the institutions have to work with the underlying forces that are taking place. and they are not a substitute for it. when we think of all the
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architectures, reorganizing the government, different nrc or a different point or different process there are things you could do that would mirror the kind of things in terms of what are the priorities, the trends, do we have ways of thinking about these transnational interme intermessic things and whether our plan surfaces those things and bring the right people to the table. for me the substance is more important than those. it is understanding the principals and the performance. the process will adapt. we have seen that over time. you can make changes but it's only when you get insights about the substance that you begin to make the adaptation and get the commitment that allows the organizations to adapt. >> let me -- you may know -- this is the 30th anniversary of the goldwater knickols act.
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and currently senator mccain and the armed services committee are undergoing a review of that and should that change in some way. and you know here i am as a military guy saying we need some more government involvement in this. one issue with respect to goldwater nickels is who will it drive the national security process it focused attention on the department of defense and how it was organized and created the joint commands and the regional commands. it didn't say anything about the rest of government, the bely moth out there. and we don't have right now any instrument other than the national security council and the consensus that it reaches through the principles to the president to drive the rest of government to be more interagency focused. a number of us have sat in in
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deputy's committee meetings and principles committee meeting and national security council meetings. all of us have the frustration in that you spend great national resource in terms of the people that are involved in in a room and you walk out without a decision. and how can we not get there. >> i think part of it is that we still need to connect the other half of what a goldwater nichols did for the department of defense so that government -- you talk about the old rsy things that we have -- government is forced to have those interdepartmental discussions in a way that drives to decisions. offersly that's something that i think steve yesterday on the panel said he would like to see new presidents sort of not create a 100 day road map and charge to it but rather step back and take a hundred days and do a new assessment of how the government operates and maybe where we ought to go and what we ought to change.
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so i think there is some of this that without some direction from congress it will continue to be very difficult to move with the ajillty that we need to in some of these areas. >> let me go off your quick concrete example. look at capacity of what you want to do. then work back from that. just as an example. the united states -- there is a lot of problems of public disorder around the world. very quickly, if you look at these problems of public disorder, this is domestic disorder at its roots. and would eye teally be solved by police and administration of justice. with then heavy use of the military even in those countries as a last resort because military units aren't going to stay will and police the town for the next 20 years. right? so the u.s. government wants to help with policing and administration of justice. so when the united states actually was asked the question
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of who has the capacity in the u.s. government to train policemen to sof solve problems of great disorder. looked around. state department. and who -- the state department had no particular administrative capacity the know how to train police but there was a brewero at the state department that knew policemen. what they did was gave the state department hundreds of millions of dollars at one time and what the state department did is said any companies out there who know how to train policemen. companies raised their hand said we know retired policemen that would be happy to take your money. the state department then becomes a contractor for private companies who claim to have the capacity to do what it is you need to do. this turns out not to be a good story. it gets addressed and patched in various ways but never really
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has become a good story. and by the way, to this day is not a good story. why? we look to a foreign policy agency to have the expertise to handling an essentially domestic function. if we wanted to solve the cyber problems that mr. tate mentioned -- let's say we want to create safety codes, i sometimes refer to then as fire codes to create safer systems you would not mind the institutional know ho, the capacity to do that in the department of state. actually if you asked where would you fine the capacity to do that in the u.s. government this, a hard question. one place you will look at is the department of commerce that has a department called nyst which has a little capacity in this space. the capacity to solve and address those domestic problems usually lie outside the traditional national security agencies or don't exist in any agency at all.
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then ask yourself how do i build this capacity and then ask yourself the question, and by the way, what label do i stick on that? and i'll figure out later what meetings they go to. >> let me go to ken moss in the far back. >> we'll make this one the last question. >> thank you very much, nick. ken moss, retired here at bloomington, taught a number of years in the national defense university. first, a very brief comment that's already partly been amplified. foreign governments and foreign audiences study these u.s. national security documents. they read them. and to some extent almost to a point that is distressing. and i'll leave it at that. i can tell personal stories as certainly a number of people on the panel can. i would like to pick up on a
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point that the general has pointed to in part about the relationship between you might say this process, the national security strategy process, and the academy at large. there is an argument often made that our national security process within government has become so absorbed by the daily momentum of events and demands that there is no much long term thinking. and that the long-term thinking, in effect -- and i'm trying to say this as succinctly as possible, is increasingly being outsourced in effect to the think tanks. that's where you have to go if you are going to get longer term visionary thinking that is beyond the four or five year cycle either of u.s. elections or other matters.
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is that something that you would agree with? is there a problem in that? should there be more lerm thinking within the government or is it a responsibility that increasingly is going to fall on the outside specialest who either comes into government at times or floats out? >> let me just briefly comment on that having been the head of policy planning. i think -- i mean this is kind of the standard wrap on government. i one level of course it's true. in fact you have to deal with the crisis of the moment. but i think the bigger problem is recognizing that you can think long term, but you act in the short-term. and the real issue is bringing the horizon of the long term into the decision making that you have now. so i don't think it's the absence of long term thinking.
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it's the lack of tools to take those broad perspectives and think if we want to be at x in ten years what would be the thinking now that gets us there. i think you get a disconnect between the two. and i think it takes a special set of frames of mine and intellectual tools to link the two. i'm going to lead on this in my life in academic as a former policy maker is this is where the academy can play an important role is think about that part not just to think about grand strategy and the abstract. but to think about how you take those perspectives the long term trends and translate them into choices that we are making now. otherwise you can write long policy planning papers, think tankers pa. but they are not going to matter to the decision makers, the actors unless you can say if you accept my broad long term trends, goals, et cetera, what with that mean for me to do
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today? and when we engage in that kind of an cities and thinking, then we are actually bridging the gap between those two dimensions in a way that's useful and meaningful to the policy makers who are not indifferent to the long term impact but have view few people explaining the them how the choices they make now have the long term consequences. >> that seems like a good point to end on. please join me in thanking our panel. [ applause ] >> good job. [ applause ] excellent discussion.
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