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Spokane’s Pax Christi Engages the New National Strategic Narrative

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By Mike Nuess

Capt. Wayne Porter, USN, proposes that a new world vision and strategies for strategic security and prosperity that he presents in Mr. Y: A National Strategic Narrative (NSN)  should replace those presented in George Kennan’s 1946 document, Mr. X: The Sources of Soviet Conduct, which defined the U.S. government’s Cold War vision, strategies and tactics still in place today.

Last April Pax Christi-Spokane and Gonzaga University’s Departments of Political Science and Religion hosted Capt. Porter in a one-day conference. Porter explained the new vision in terms of the need to respond to new threats requiring new ways of thinking. For examples, we are confronted by a global resource crisis where shortages of food supplies, water and the impending demise of fossil fuels challenge us to think of sustainable solutions that bring security; we must understand and adapt to an extremely turbulent change in climate, which will likely affect large populations around the planet, further impacting strategic and economic security.

Since the NSN was published last spring under the auspices of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., the authors have travelled widely and spoken to a broad variety of audiences in an effort to stimulate a national dialog centered around rethinking American prosperity and security.

Pax Christi-Spokane is the local chapter of Pax Christi USA/International, a Catholic movement promoting non-violence, racial and economic justice, human rights and environmental restoration through prayer, spirituality, study and advocacy.

With its recent conference and ongoing efforts, Pax Christi-Spokane has engaged Porter’s new NSN and is contributing to the NSN’s effort to “Imagine a New Vision for American Prosperity and Security.” We at PJALS support Pax Christi’s effort. Good things will likely come from it.

Perhaps NSN will help wrest away the lingering bias about American exceptionalism that keeps us from fully appreciating what humans in other nations and cultures can teach us. Perhaps this will infuse the new vision with the much-needed wisdom that understands no one is safe in today’s world until all are safe. May the new NSN support a rapidly achievable, sustainable energy abundance for all nations through deployment of clean renewable energy technologies. And may NSN help support only those sustainable soil and water practices, and those resource and trade policies, that can lead quickly to abundance for all nations to the exclusion of none.

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