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CSF 2010

Current Strategy Forum 2010

United States Naval War College
Newport, Rhode Island
June 8 - 9 2010

2010 marked the 61st annual Current Strategy Forum at the Naval War College in Newport. The first was held on 9 May 1949 under the title "Round Table Talks," and offered an opportunity for the nation's public servants, scholars, and senior military officers to join the College faculty and students to discuss the future strategy of the United States. Over time this forum has expanded to include a cross section of America's civilian leadership to encourage a wide-ranging debate on national and international security. Each year the Secretary of the Navy hosts the Current Strategy Forum to provide an opportunity for an exchange of views among outstanding scholars and leaders from across industry, government and the military.

The 2010 forum explored the global system in transition. As Anne Marie Slaughter, the State Department's Director for Policy Planning, observed at the 2009 event, international affairs are now less hierarchical, and less susceptible to solution by traditional policy mechanisms. Globalization has brought about an environment in which events can more rapidly transform the international system. Formal alliances and agreements often take too long to negotiate, or are less effective and adaptive compared to more "networked" approaches to global problems or immediate crises. Hierarchical or flat, the system still requires leadership to establish the goals and to develop relevant solutions. This provides a clear opportunity for the United States to exercise strategic leadership, but one entailing a very different approach than pursued in the past. The Maritime Strategy, in part, seeks to take advantage of this logic. The maritime services have set out to advance the collective interests among relevant states, without which meaningful solutions to emergent issues are not possible. Networks and partnerships can help advance the goal of a more stable global system. Understanding of the art and means of doing so will be among America's key challenges in the years ahead.

Purpose

The 61st Current Strategy Forum explored the following issues:

  • United States foreign policy in the emerging global order.
  • The "strategic leadership" opportunities for the United States.
  • The role of the maritime services in supporting the nation's key objectives.