Friday, January 29, 2010

Resilience: The Grand Strategy

OK I guess this is a bit of a book review, but I think this particular paper is worth talking about.

I recently read the short paper by Philip J. Palin which proposes a national security strategy based on the concept of resilience. The paper was a fleshed out version of what he playfully entitled “Long Blog” which he re-drafted at the request of the Homeland Security Affairs.

I found this to be a very interesting treatment of resilience. The concepts and approach laid out in this paper are a very valuable and I would suggest revolutionary contribution to the post 9-11 national security debate. Mr. Palin has torn a page from George Kennan’s seminal work Long Telegram of 1946 which first proposed the strategy of containment when dealing with the Soviet Union. Those initial thoughts by Kennan eventually became the underpinning of nearly 50 years of grand strategy, not only for the United States but also for the Western World.

As a matter of credibility and I suppose flattery, Palin has chosen to mirror Kennan’s structure or schema with a view to proving his theory of resilience as a viable grand strategy for the United States. He tackles the obvious difference between 1946 and 2009 with care and provides some very insightful observations of the national psyche. Meanwhile his comments on the national neurosis are at the same time both useful and frightening (at least to this non-American). I will leave it to you to determine whether that argument holds true to your own values or national identity.

Setting aside the one or two troubling excuses for past conduct, I find the overall concept and argument quite satisfying. Whether you subscribe to Palin’s view of the world, I think most could find the idea of resilience as a grand strategy for national security a concept easily adapted to most national value systems.

I have included the link to the article and recommend it to anyone interested in resilience and national security.

No comments:

Post a Comment