I’m pleased to announce a new student-led academic journal, “Fletcher Security Review,” was launched this past Friday. In its first issue, I was interviewed on security challenges and opportunities of the next decade. Another Fletcher alum, International Security Assistance Force Commander General Joe Dunford (F92), discusses the future of Afghanistan, along with many other terrific articles. Please visit their new site at http://www.fletchersecurity.org and follow them on twitter @fletcherSecRev.
Here’s an excerpt from my interview:
FSR: What do you think are the three major challenges and opportunities for U.S. national security when you look at the next ten years?
DEAN STAVRIDIS: Number one is cyber. It’s explosive. Every day you see new manifestations of the collision between our concerns about privacy and our need to protect ourselves. I think cyber is top on my list.
The second one may surprise you — it’s biology. I think that over the next ten to twenty years, there will be enormous changes in the fabric of society as a result of biology, principally because of the ability to manipulate the human genome, the ability to create energy biologically, the ability to change life expectancy, to enhance human performance. I think all of those will have profound implications in security, and I don’t think many people are thinking or talking about that right now.
And I would say the third is in the field of unmanned systems. So, it’s robotics, it’s what are commonly called drones, it’s undersea unmanned vehicles, it’s surface ocean unmanned vehicles – robots, if you will, and also, here is the interface between biology and technology.
I think those are three areas that are going to be profoundly important.
Those are functional areas, as distinct from geographical crises we could point to.
In that sense, I’d say North Korea is probably at the top of my watch list of concern. So is Iran. No surprises here. And I would say the third, somewhat functional, somewhat geographical challenge that straddles the two is trafficking – the movement of narcotics, cash, weapons, God forbid, weapons of mass destruction, over global transit lanes that are created largely to move narcotics, but are serviceable for moving other things. So that’s kind of my shopping list of things I’m really worried about.
Dean Stavridis with his basset hound, Lilly.
Dean James Stavridis is the 12th leader of The Fletcher School since its founding in 1933. A retired Admiral in the U.S. Navy, he led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander.