2010 marked the 61st annual Current Strategy Forum at the Naval War College in Newport.
The forum explored the global system in transition. As Anne Marie Slaughter, the State Department’s Director for Policy Planning, observed during the 2009 forum, 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.
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.