Zoellick: America ignoring link between economic and national security
The United States is failing to recognize the connection between economic security and national security, according to former World Bank President Robert Zoellick, who is now the head of the Romney campaign’s national security transition team. "Today, the power of deficits, debt, and economic trend lines to shape security is staring the United States in ...
The United States is failing to recognize the connection between economic security and national security, according to former World Bank President Robert Zoellick, who is now the head of the Romney campaign’s national security transition team.
"Today, the power of deficits, debt, and economic trend lines to shape security is staring the United States in the face. Others see it, even if America does not," Zoellick writes in the new edition of Foreign Policy, published late Sunday evening.
A rumored candidate for either secretary of state or Treasury in any future Romney administration, Zoellick has kept himself largely out of the public eye since assuming a top role in the Romney campaign’s transition planning effort, known as "Project Readiness," in August.
But his article lacerates the national security establishment and the media for treating economics and national security as two separate issues — coincidentally, on the same day Romney is giving a major speech on foreign policy at the Virginian Military Institute.
"[H]ow about a question on the eurozone crisis that threatens the integration of Europe, one of the 20th century’s greatest security-policy achievements and America’s closest ally and partner? What about America’s connections to growth in East Asia, where economics is the coin of the realm? The reply is that these topics concern economics, not foreign policy!" Zoellick writes. "America’s security strategists seem to have lost the ability to integrate the two."
America has a long tradition of integrating economic strategies in its overall national security agenda, but that tradition has been largely set aside since World War II, he argues. The current generation of national security experts in the United States has little understanding of the relationship between the two, and that needs to change, he says.
"Now, we need to rewrite economics back into the narrative of the Cold War and all that follows. We need a fuller appreciation of the links between economics and security to match the times," Zoellick writes. "Without healthy economic growth, the United States will be unable to lead. Just as dangerously, it will lose its identity on the global stage if it loses its economic dynamism. America’s unique strength is the ability to reinvent itself."
Read the whole thing here.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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