The Stanley Foundation
Seeking a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on global citizenship and effective global governance.
Search 
think.

The Stanley Foundation's 50th Strategy for Peace Conference
Challenges for US and Global Security in an Interdependent World
January 2010

What does US national security mean in a world where scores of countries are severely underdeveloped and in danger of getting worse? How can we best respond as the chances of widespread state failure seem to be increasing well beyond the current high-profile cases of Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan? What policy tools, plans, and actions are needed in a world where the worst threats to both US and global security may come from state weakness rather than state strength?

The Stanley Foundation’s 50th Strategy for Peace Conference (SPC) last fall went beyond the well-worn debates over which bureaucratic agencies or departments should have more funding or authority, instead addressing the major political and conceptual hurdles still blocking structural changes in US policies toward the most fragile, weak, and failing states in the international system. Participants were asked to assess the core question, "What does it mean for the United States to treat state fragility, in all its forms and guises, as a strategic security challenge on the same order as nuclear proliferation or competition with rising powers such as China?"

Across three separate and simultaneous roundtable discussions among US officials and experts and those from the United Nations, Europe, and elsewhere, the 50th annual SPC challenged participants to think about the problem as more than just giving additional money to current bureaucratic structures or rearranging the current system. The three discussions were:

  • Forging a US Strategy for Strengthening Fragile States, chaired by Pauline H. Baker, President, Fund for Peace. This roundtable examined the conceptual and political challenges of crafting a truly "grand" strategy for holistically addressing state fragility in all its global aspects, but with limited US power and resources in mind.
     
  • Stabilizing States in Crisis: Leveraging International Capacity, chaired by Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director, Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations. This roundtable looked more precisely at the problem of states that are sliding into (or are already in) total crisis and failure, with special attention given to the ability of the United States to leverage the real or nascent capacities of actors such as the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, and other multilateral partnerships.
     
  • African Security and the Future of AFRICOM, chaired by Patrick M. Cronin, Director, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University. This roundtable concentrated on the current difficulties and conundrums (military and political, bureaucratic and budgetary) facing America’s newest regional command, in a continent housing most of the 40-60 most fragile states in the world.

The event also featured a keynote address by Ambassador Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs. All three roundtables involved a combination of working papers and selected readings in advance. And each produced a policy memo summary of recommendations and a more full report of the discussion. All of these materials are available here.

—Michael Kraig and Keith Porter


Share: Email Facebook Twitter
HIGHLIGHTS
Employment Opportunities
Director of Communications: The director of communications, a senior professional at the Stanley Foundation, is responsible for all aspects of the foundation’s external communications, from general brand to specific material production.

Program Officer, Media: The Stanley Foundation seeks a program officer to join its Policy Programming Department. The chosen candidate will work with the foundation’s leadership team and staff to plan, implement, and assess the impact of the foundation’s media programming in pursuit of our mission, vision, and organizational goals.


Employment Opportunities
Policy Program Officer, Nuclear Security: The Stanley Foundation seeks a program officer to plan, implement, and assess the impact of the foundation’s nuclear security policy programming.

Policy Program Officer, Human Protection; The Stanley Foundation seeks a program officer to plan, implement, and assess the impact of the foundation’s human protection policy programming.


Courier Courier
The latest issue of Courier features an investigation of a 2007 break-in at a South African nuclear storage facility that still unnerves many officials and experts. It also considers the architecture for climate action that needs to be built ahead of this year's global gathering in Paris. Another article looks at our annual global youth conference that brings students together to discuss global issues. Finally, two teachers share how a travel award offers unique professional development.

The full Sping 2015 issue PDF (2.0 MB) Subscribe for FREE


the latest the latest
Our bimonthly newsletter looks at the need to establish a group to negotiate an international convention on nuclear security. The Spring issue of Courier has been published and we feature a new analysis brief that offers two ideas for energizing the international community to build the rule of law around the world.

In the latest, you’ll find many extras—from upcoming events to multimedia resources. Sign up now


Receive Materials Receive Materials
The Stanley Foundation publishes policy briefs, analytical articles, and reports on a number of international issues. To reduce our carbon footprint and cut waste, we almost exclusively, use electronic distribution for our publications. Sign up to receive our resources via e-mail.

Stanley Foundation Annual Conferences
The Stanley Foundation holds two annual conferences, UN Issues and the Strategy for Peace Conference. These bring together experts from the public and private sectors to meet in a distraction-free setting and candidly exchange ideas on pressing foreign policy challenges.

Divided into roundtable talks, the cutting-edge discussions are intended to inspire group consensus and shared recommendations to push forward the debate on the foundation’s key policy areas.


Nuclear Security Video Nuclear Security Video
The Stanley Foundation produced a 13-minute video looking at what needs to be done to stop terrorist groups from acquiring enough fissile material to make a bomb. The foundation talked with over a dozen diverse and distinguished experts from the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group and the Fissile Materials Working Group to see how today's patchwork of voluntary arrangements can be forged into a long-lasting system. Watch the video.

Watch and Learn Watch and Learn
Stanley Foundation events, talks, video reports, and segments from our Now Showing event-in-a-box series can now be viewed on YouTube. To receive regular updates on our video posts, please subscribe today.