Quote Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
I've seen similar questions being asked in various BAAs and SBIRs, but its a question (in its most basic form) that's been asked by all ruling powers throughout history. Where will the threats to our power arise from and what can we do to prevent it? There's the biblical example of Pharoah and Herod attempting to intercept the rise of a great threat to their power (Moses and Jesus) by killing all of the first born children in their kingdom. That clearly didn't work, and no similarly motivated strategy has worked for any government since.

Posen wrote:

"The activist U.S. grand strategy currently preferred by the national security establishment in both parties thus has a classically tragic quality about it. Enabled by its great power, and fearful of the negative energies and possibilities engendered by globalization, the United States has tried to get its arms around the problem: It has essentially sought more control. But the very act of seeking more control injects negative energy into global politics as quickly as it finds enemies to vanquish. It prompts states to balance against U.S. power however they can, and it prompts peoples to imagine that the United States is the source of all their troubles."

We need to lighten our touch, and change our global strategy; and part of that change is not pursuing the fool's errand of trying to predict and control every possible factor which may lead to future threats. The chaotic nature of life doesn't permit such control.

At the end of the essay Posen recaps his points with a brief summarizing statement:

"The United States needs now to test a different grand strategy: It should conceive its security interests narrowly, use its military power stingily, pursue its enemies quietly but persistently, share responsibilities and costs more equitably, watch and wait more patiently. Let’s do this for 16 years and see if the outcomes aren’t better."

I wholeheartedly agree.
If I were king (and I realize I can't be since John Fishel is), I'd create a director for long term/emerging threats on the National Security Council to try to use interagency assets to identify and respond to emerging threats. One of the first things I'd do is commission research on the actual mechanics of strategic threat recognition in the United States.