DoD’s Flournoy on the Emerging Threat in Today’s World

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Michele Flournoy, DoD; Photo: dod.gov, tomdesigner

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy spoke at the World Affairs council about the changing face of threats and securities Nov. 4.

Flournoy said she believes “we are in a uniquely transformative moment: a time in an emergence of new global actors and an unprecedented spread of technology that will fundamentally change the international landscape.”

It’s vital Americans make the connection between what happens abroad in world affairs, and their own domestic well-being, Flournoy said.

Now, more than ever, she said, Americans should remember the painful lessons learned from World War II at a terrible price: that isolationism doesn’t work.

“It brings us neither prosperity nor protection,” Flournoy said.

We must help shape the world we want to live in, she added. “We must engage.”

The changing world affairs landscape is marked by two emerging trends, she explained. One is an increasingly multipolar world made up of a growing number of influential actors on the world stage, such as China and India. President Barack Obama will visit the latter nation in the coming days.

The other trend is the emergence and rapid rise of high-end technology.

These trends have made the world “a very different place from the one we’re accustomed to,” she said, changing even the way of warfare in the modern world.

Meanwhile, speculation is swirling over whom Obama will choose if, as expected, Defense Secretary Robert Gates retires next year. According to The Atlantic, Flournoy, who also co-founded the Center for a New American Security, is in the running.

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