A National Strategic Narrative – can we have one too please?

9 Apr

The Woodrow Wilson Centre has just launched a document calling for a US National Strategic Narrative.  Written by Mr Y, two US military officers, it makes coherently lays out the case for having a clear statement of the US’ national interests, the long-term vision of the future and its position within it.  As such, it is a clear statement of what a clear national strategy should look like – one that embraces and sets the relevant context for national assets like infrastructure, human capital and education.

Having written ’21st Century Statecraft’ for Clinton, Anne-Marie and the State Department have shown themselves equal to leading the global discussion that is necessary in thinking innovatively about the implications of the 21st century world on the challenges facing and the capabilities needed by national governments.  With the preface to this article, she continues to display this thought leadership about the role of diplomacy/ international relations, the implication of the domesticization of foreign policy, and cogently makes the case for a national strategic narrative. Anne-Marie opens with the following paragraph:

‘The United States needs a national strategic narrative. We have a national security strategy, which sets forth four core national interests and outlines a number of dimensions of an overarching strategy to advance those interests in the 21st century world. But that is a document written by specialists for specialists. It does not answer a fundamental question that more and more Americans are asking. Where is the United States going in the world? How can we get there? What are the guiding stars that will illuminate the path along the way? We need a story with a beginning, middle, and projected happy ending that will transcend our political divisions, orient us as a nation, and give us both a common direction and the confidence and commitment to get to our destination.’

This surfaces very nicely some of the vague rumblings of concern about the UK’s National Security Strategy and SDSR from last year.  If the US are going to have one, can we have one too, please?

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Porter and Mykleby talk about the US: 'A Grand Strategy for the Nation' | Fromoverhere - October 3, 2012

    […] These are the guys that wrote the National Strategic Narrative for the US (Admiral Mullen’s staff) that mirrors so nicely many of the conversations springing up across the UK.  I first wrote about it in April 2011 here. […]

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