Leadership in unexpected places

Imagine this: A bold manifesto that challenges the very notion of U.S. global dominance and the Cold War mindset of containing threat with military strength.  In its place: a new definition of security and prosperity based on sustainable communities, localized food system, renewable energy, and US leadership on human rights.  “Dominance, like fossil fuels, is not a sustainable source of energy,” the document proclaims.

Another day at Occupy Wall Street?  No.  How about read more a call to action from two military men?

Captain Wayne Porter (U.S. Navy) and Colonel Mark Mykleby (U.S. Marine Corps) recently served as special strategic assistants to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.  Porter and Mykleby authored “A National Strategic Narrative” (NSN), a paper that says international security depends on strong and sustainable communities, educated citizens, and international leadership towards global equity.  The authors argue the Cold War strategy of containing threats cannot be effective in a global ecosystem characterized by dwindling resources, climate change, and other destabilizing forces. In the 21st Century, interdependence is the operating principle, with cooperation more vital to our success than zero-sum approaches to competition that define “others” as threats.

This compelling analysis of sustainability moves beyond environmental issues and repositions it as the global security issue of our time.

I couldn’t agree more.   How inspiring to find leadership in this most unexpected place.  But perhaps it’s not so surprising.  After all, military leaders are in the middle of the global conflicts fueling unsustainability.  They will be on the front lines as water scarcity and climate change create social instability, refuges and unprecedented environmental impacts.  Seeing the need to avert these problems—rather than merely react with force—takes incredible vision.

Learn more and get inspired.  Listen to a radio report and interview with Captain Porter: “US Military Strategy to Sustain the Planet

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