A National Strategic Narrative

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By Mr. Y (Wayne Porter and Mark “Puck” Mykleby)

Notes made by Russ Faure-Brac

Notes highlighted in red refer to the sections of my book Transition to Peace that are equivalent to the Narrative.

Wayne Porter is a Captain in the US Navy and Puck Myklby is a Marine Corps Colonel. Noting the lack of a grand strategy to guide or inspire all strategies of the US government, in 2009 they teamed up in the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff’s office to write this narrative of a “Grand Strategy” for the US. For historical reasons they used the pseudonym Mr. Y.

This is an example of new thinking in the US military (some have noted that key themes of the Narrative appeared in Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address). While they never use the term “nonviolence,” think about how these ideas would fit into a nonviolent framework.

See vimeo.com/34917457 for their brief presentation of the narrative.

  1. We need new answers because we are living in a time of rapid and universal change.
  1. We are in a period of “declinism” (Figure 13, Possible Change Paths, pg. 79).
  1. We need to invest less in defense and more on sustainable prosperity and effective global engagement (Conduct a Global Marshall Plan, pg. 47).
  1. 5 Major transitions are needed:
    1. From a closed to an open system.  Go from controlling events through deterrence, defense and dominance to building credible influence so we can influence events as they arise.
    2. From Containment to Sustainability.  The starting point for our strategy should be internal rather than external.  Invest in resources that can be sustained, such as youth and natural resources.
    3. From Deterrence and Defense to Civilian Engagement.  Control the US national debt, demilitarize foreign policy, invest more in diplomacy, embrace competition rather than protectionism and invest in education, energy and infrastructure.
    4. From Zero Sum to Positive Sum.  Nations have converging interests and opportunities to address threats of economic instability, global pandemics, global terrorism and crime networks.  Competitors are not necessarily adversaries.  A winner does not demand a loser.
    5. From National Security to National Prosperity and Security.  We need a new blueprint to replace the National Security Act of 1947.
  1. America’s prosperity requires a healthy global economy (even as less energy drives localization).
  1. Security is not achievable for one nation alone.  Rather, it must be recognized as a common interest of all peoples.
  1. Rather than focusing on specific threats (such as developing a War Plan against China), we should evaluate world trends and seek opportunities to credibly influence those to our advantage.  World trends (A Rapidly Changing World, pg. 9):
  1. Decline of rural economies
  2. Increase in urbanization
  3. Joblessness
  4. Increasing demand for energy
  5. Migration of populations
  6. Shifting demographics
  7. Rise of gray and black markets
  8. Extremism and anti-modernization
  9. Global climate change
  10. Spread of pandemics
  11. Lack of access to adequate health services
  12. Dependency on cyber networks
  1. We don’t need to seek the world’s friendship, nor bully, intimidate, cajole or persuade others to accept our values or share our national objectives; let others draw their own conclusions based on our actions.  Seek convergence and welcome interdependence.
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One Comment

  1. For a complete text of the document “A National Strategic Narrative” and more resources about this initiative, check out http://www.nationalstrategicnarrative.org

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