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Economic Security: Neglected Dimension of National Security?

February 22, 2013

Economic Security: Neglected Dimension of National Security? (PDF)

Source: National Defense University

Historically, national security includes the strength of our nation’s infrastructure, the foundation upon which the continuous growth of our society depends. This includes our strong societal and moral codes, the rule of law, stable government, social, political, and economic institutions, and leadership. Also included are our nation’s schools and educational programs to ensure a knowledgeable citizenry and lifelong learning—a must for a democracy. Our nation’s strength also requires investments in science, engineering, research and development, and technological leadership. We cannot be strong without a viable way to power our cities, feed ourselves, and move from one place to another. Most of all, a strong economy is an essential ingredient of a global superpower. Without it, we will lose our superpower status, and quickly.

National security must include a healthy market-based economy, with a strong base of globally competitive products and services that produce jobs. This economy must include sound government policies to promote responsible choices and reduce our debt, and grand strategies for energy and environmental sustainability, science and technology leadership (at least in some areas), human capital capabilities, manufacturing, and the industrial base. And these are not the only components.

National security goes to the very core of how we define who we are as a people and a free society. It concerns how we view our world responsibilities.

Economic security is a major element of national security, even as borders are less important than ever. No matter how we look at national security, there can be no question of the need to include the economic viability of our nation. Without capital, there is no business; without business, there is no profit; without profit, there are no jobs. And without jobs, there are no taxes, and there is no military capability.

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