National Security | Wilson Center

National Security

Commentary: Should Global Poverty be a U.S. National Security Issue? (Part 2)

ECSP invited analysts to address whether global poverty should and can be a U.S. national security issue. Is poverty alleviation crucial to national and global security—and if so, which policies should be highlighted? Or would “securitizing” such efforts weaken both the drive against poverty and the drive for security? And can poverty be linked to anti-terrorism efforts? The commentaries below provide an excellent and overdue entrée into these debates. Commentaries by Jeffery D. Sachs and John Sewell.

ECSP Report 9: Event Summaries (Part 2)

Event summaries of a few of the dozens of meetings ECSP sponsored at the Woodrow Wilson Center and elsewhere over the 2002-03 academic year. Summaries include Conservation, Population and Health, with Jane Goodall; and The HIV/AIDS Pandemic and Critical Policy Issues for the Armed Forces, with Stuart Kingma and Rodger Yeager.

Fire & Water: Technologies, Institutions, and Social Issues in Arms Control and Transboundary Water-Resource Agreements

The world of environmental security is bringing the science of natural resources in ever-closer contact with the policy issues of international stability and foreign affairs. Many U.S. and international agencies - including the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Southern African Development Community - now analyze foreign policy in part through the lens of environmental resources.

ECSP Report 8: Reviews of New Publications

Experts review new publications:

Violent Environments, edited by Nancy Lee Peluso and Michael Watts (2001). Reviewed by Colin Kahl.

Sacrificing the Forest: Environmental and Social Struggles in Chiapas, by Karen L. O’Brien (1998). Reviewed by James D. Nations.

Environmental Change, Social Conflicts and Security in the Brazilian Amazon: Exploring the Links, by Alexander López (2001). Reviewed by Thomaz G. Costa.

Gender, Peace and Conflict, edited by Inger Skjelsbaek and Dan Smith (2001). Reviewed by J. Ann Tickner.

The U.S. National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2015: Excerpts, Commentaries, and Response

In January 2001, the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC), a center within the Central Intelligence Agency that provides the agency’s director with mid- and long-term strategic thinking and direction, published Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future with Nongovernmental Experts. This unclassified and public report, which expanded on the NIC’s previous effort Global Trends 2010, takes a look at the world over the next 15 years from the perspective of the national security policymaker.

ECSP Report 7: Special Reports

The Linkages Between Population and Water: Forthcoming Articles from ECSP

In collaboration with the University of Michigan Population Fellows Program, ECSP commissioned in fall 2000 a series of articles to examine global and regional linkages between population and water. The interplay among these issues is at the heart of this project.Each of the three articles (summarized below) has been jointly written by a pair of authors, representing both a Northern and Southern perspective. Each article also draws on regional case-study material.

National Intelligence Estimate: The Global Infectious Disease Threat and Its Implications for the United States

Infectious diseases are a leading cause of death, accounting for a quarter to a third of all deaths worldwide. The spread of infectious diseases results from both human behavior such as lifestyle choices, land-use patterns, increased trade and travel, and inappropriate use of antibiotic drugs, as well as mutations in pathogens. These excerpts from a January 2000 National Intelligence Estimate highlight the rising global health threat of new and reemerging infectious diseases. The National Intelligence Council argues that the infectious disease threat will complicate U.S.

ECSP Report 5: Special Reports (Part 1)

Environment and Security in an International Context: Executive Summary Report, by the NATO/Committee on The Challenges of Modern Society Pilot Study

ECSP Report 5: Official Statements

Excerpts from recent official statements in which environment and population issues are prominently cited in the context of security and national interests.

Secrecy vs. the Need for Ecological Information: Challenges to Environmental Activism in Russia

Nowhere is the connection between environmental protection and national security clearer than in the case of weaponry as a polluter. Even within this category of environmental threats, there is a hierarchy. At the top, both in terms of environmental priorities and international security, are weapons of mass destruction. They represent not only classic environmental problems— health hazards  and threats to species— but also create an obstacle to economic well-being. Plus, they tend to affect neighboring nations to the same degree as the country on whose soil they are produced or stored.