National Security, Energy, Climate Change: New Paradigm, New Strategy, New Governance
Where energy is concerned, the United States has relied on a network of relationships with secular, authoritarian governments in the energyproducing regions — mainly, the Middle East — that are held in place by mutual economic interdependencies and backstopped by American military power.
This paradigm is now very seriously challenged:
- In the short term, extreme political turbulence in the Middle East raises serious questions about future relationships with successor and survivor governments across the region.
- In the medium term, geostrategic rivalries over access to energy resources in the Arctic and in the South China Sea have raised the possibility of military confrontation involving US allies, China and other countries.
- In the longer term, the rapidly emerging reality of climate change—itself a consequence of profligate use of fossil fuels – is introducing an unprecedented new form of risk to international stability.
Leon Fuerth is the Founder and Director of the Project on Forward Engagement, Research Professor of International Affairs at the George Washington University, and the former National Security Advisor to Vice President Al Gore.
During the Clinton Administration, Fuerth served simultaneously on the Deputies’ and Principals’ Committees of the National Security Council and the National Economic Council, created and managed five bi-national commissions, and led efforts to: develop the International Space Station; marshal international support for sanctions against Slobodan Milosevic’s regime; take action to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa; denuclearize former Soviet states; win China’s cooperation in protecting the environment and reducing pollution; and to spur foreign investment in Egypt as part of the Middle East peace process.