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