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A Prosperous and Strong America is a Secure America

July 5, 2011

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - When it comes to national security, two longtime military men say in a new paper, it's time for America to refocus its strategy. Marine Corps Colonel Mark Mykleby says it's becoming less about military might and more about engaging with the world and exerting influence.

"Security is in all of our hands as citizens, because security isn't just defined by bad people that we have a military to go abroad and go fight; security has to do with how we live our lives right here. I mean, this is the nature of the world as we see it."

Navy Captain Wayne Porter believes prosperity leads to influence. That's why, he says, there needs to be greater focus on education, promoting strong local and rural communities, and sustainability.

"Americans need to recognize that we are part of this interdependent global system and that, by demonstrating the efficacy of our own values as Americans, we can provide leadership that the rest of the world, I think, still desperately needs."

Mykleby, who is a Minnesota native, says America must be able to adapt and evolve and really look at the big picture.

"We're going to have to be able to deal with the security aspects, the resilience aspects, but we also need to be able to focus on prosperity, the opportunities. And we're going to have to converge our domestic and foreign policies towards that common end."

Porter says another key to national security is having a plan that allows for easy changes in funding priorities, as new threats emerge.

"It might provide greater fungibility, the ability to dynamically reallocate funds from one department to another, or from the public and private sectors, as they're needed dynamically, to face whatever challenges and opportunities exist."

Porter and Mykleby would like to see Congress pass a new "National Prosperity and Security Act," and they have laid out their arguments in a paper entitled, "A National Strategic Narrative." Porter and Mykleby were in St. Paul last week as part of the National Rural Assembly.

See the paper at bit.ly/hrUshb

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN