Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Introduction by Jane Wales


Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

This is an effort to bring together people with many different perspectives, which is always an endeavor fraught with pitfalls. I am reminded of the story that has been told about Enrico Caruso, the Italian tenor, who was asked in an interview what he thought about Babe Ruth who was then at the height of his career. He answered very politely that he had heard the name, of course, but he had not yet heard her sing. There are lots of opportunities for our many different perceptions to fall through the cracks or to fail to connect here, but we will attempt to do our best.

I have been asked to set a framework for this first panel, which I will do very briefly. As I see it, the issue of national security revolves around the core of national security which, in its traditional sense, concerns issues that need to be addressed, and can only be addressed, by military force. There are at least now two other aspects which are much less susceptible, or maybe even not at all, to those sorts of responses.

On the one hand, we have a new set of concerns that are caused by an unprecedented combination of economic, environmental, and technological changes that are making national borders steadily less relevant and less powerful barriers between countries. These concerns have led to a whole range of challenges, from weapons of mass destruction to global warming, in which governments are basically less and less able to defend their own territory and people within a defined set of borders.

Security is becoming less a matter of national security and more a matter of international security. Some people call it "global security." I think that generally, there are a few threats that are truly global, but the majority of threats affect regions and hemispheres. The key change is from individual nations as the primary actors in ensuring security to groups of nations acting in lots of different international groupings, occasionally globally.

At the other end of the spectrum, the end of the Cold War has unleashed a set of concerns that are increasingly being called "human security." People's attention is increasingly focused on those things that affect their daily lives: Sluggish economic growth, unemployment, poverty, pollution, drugs, ill health, overcrowding, and environmental degradation.

The cause, I think, is in part being freed from the overriding fear of nuclear calamity, and is in part also an extraordinary increase in literacy and media coverage around the world in the last 20 years or so. In this period, the adult literacy rate has grown by 80 percent in the developing world, which is an enormous change. We now live in a world in which there are 18 television sets (God help us!) for every 100 people.

So we have now this core of national security in its traditional sense, international security issues that require multinational groupings of behavior, and this new set of concerns that can be called "human security," all of which I think fall in the domain of these panels and of the work of the next couple of days.

Finally, we also have (and it needs to be remembered) a brand new economic framework. Particularly financially, we used to operate by a set of rules shaped by governments. One of the nice things about those rules was if you did not like them anymore you could withdraw, as the United States did from the gold standard in 1971 under President Nixon.

What we now have is a standard shaped by technology, what Walter Wriston has called an "information standard," and no government can withdraw from it. There is no place to hide from the instantly transmitted judgments of the marketplace.

So that is another profound change. There is much more I would like to say, but I will not take the time to do that. I will instead go directly to our next speaker.

David Hamburg is currently President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, probably known most to you as the "Carnegie Foundation." During his career he has been a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, and of health policy at Harvard. In between he was president of the National Institute of Medicine at this institution from 1975 to 1980. He has also found time to be president and chair of AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and to have served the public interest in ways too numerous to mention, a few of which are in your program. I give you David Hamburg.

David Hamburg
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