The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

X. Engage the Opportunities and Confront the Challenges of Globalization

In recent years, the world has witnessed the growing importance of a set of opportunities and challenges that were addressed indirectly in National Security Strategy 2002: the national security implications of globalization.

Globalization presents many opportunities. Much of the world’s prosperity and improved living standards in recent years derive from the expansion of global trade, investment, information, and technology. The United States has been a leader in promoting these developments, and we believe they have improved significantly the quality of life of the American people and people the world over. Other nations have embraced these opportunities and have likewise benefited. Globalization has also helped the advance of democracy by extending the marketplace of ideas and the ideals of liberty.

These new flows of trade, investment, information, and technology are transforming national security. Globalization has exposed us to new challenges and changed the way old challenges touch our interests and values, while also greatly enhancing our capacity to respond. Examples include:

These challenges are not traditional national security concerns, such as the conflict of arms or ideologies. But if left unaddressed they can threaten national security. We have learned that:

Effective democracies are better able to deal with these challenges than are repressive or poorly governed states. Pandemics require robust and fully transparent public health systems, which weak governments and those that fear freedom are unable or unwilling to provide. Yet these challenges require effective democracies to come together in innovative ways.

The United States must lead the effort to reform existing institutions and create new ones – including forging new partnerships between governmental and nongovernmental actors, and with transnational and international organizations.

To confront illicit trade, for example, the Administration launched the Proliferation Security Initiative and the APEC Secure Trade in the APEC Region Initiative, both of which focus on tangible steps governments can take to combat illegal trade.

To combat the cultivation and trafficking of narcotics, the Administration devotes over $1 billion annually to comprehensive counternarcotics efforts, working with governments, particularly in Latin America and Asia, to eradicate crops, destroy production facilities, interdict shipments, and support developing alternative livelihoods.

To confront the threat of a possible pandemic, the Administration took the lead in creating the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, a new global partnership of states committed to effective surveillance and preparedness that will help to detect and respond quickly to any outbreaks of the disease.

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