The following information is offered as a restatement of the ground-breaking work of Patrick C. Doherty, Director, and Col. Mark “Puck” Mykleby USMC (ret), Senior Fellow, both at the New America Foundation.
1. What is the reality of our current and growing challenges, including recession, depletion, inclusion, and resilience?
- The U.S. macro-economy is in a deleveraging, not a cyclical, downturn. The spiral has been contained, not solved, by extraordinary federal intervention. Demand has shifted away from the Cold War-era, U.S. economic engine.
- The climate is warming. Two-thirds of ecosystem services are being depleted (e.g., soil, fish, and forests). Three of nine planetary boundaries (carbon, nitrogen, and biodiversity loss) have been crossed.
- Three billion people will be entering the global middle class in 20 years. Commodity prices are already at or near all-time highs. Access to energy, water, food, and minerals is driving conflicts between major economies.
- Critical systems, supply chains, and infrastructure (bridges, roads, and energy grids) lack resilience. U.S. infrastructure is $2.2T in arrears.
2. Is there a Grand Strategy that could address all of these national and global issues, built on a foundation of historical research?
Yes. During both WWII and the Cold War, Washington shaped the economy to do the heavy lifting, out-producing the Axis and outperforming and outlasting the Soviets. These earlier versions of a Grand Strategy aligned our economic engine, governing institutions, and foreign policy to meet the global challenge of the era.
3. What would a modern Grand Strategy plan look like for both the sustainable economic engine and the required foreign policy focus to meet today’s challenges? It would:
- Create new demand by focusing on mega-trends in communities, agriculture, and productivity.
- Utilize record corporate cash reserves and other underperforming assets.
- Leverage stranded human capital, infrastructure, and ecological assets.
- Develop new global partnerships that facilitate regional economic blocs.
- Assure security with consistent U.S. strategic behavior ensuring predictable regional economic transitions.
4. What could happen if the United States stepped up again with a Grand Strategy?
- The U.S. economic house would be in order with widespread prosperity and public revenue.
- U.S. interests would be aligned with major economies and partners.
- A positive narrative of America’s role would restore global credibility.
- Greater citizen participation and trust in government would return.
- Price signals would reshape global markets toward sustainability.
- Agile U.S. firms would receive early-adopter trade advantage.
- Tensions over resources would be reduced.
- Ecological depletion would slow.
- Vulnerability to geopolitical disruption would lower.
5. Would you be interested in learning more?
For a video of Patrick and Puck sharing the central messages of their Grand Strategy, go to bit.ly/GrandStrategy. Patrick is scheduled to present the Grand Strategy in November at the SRI (Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing) Conference. Or connect with either of these superstars at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.