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Statement From The Council On Strategic Risks: Black Lives Matter

CSR Logo_High Res_2020The Council on Strategic Risks (CSR), the parent organization of the Center for Climate and Security, recognizes the extraordinary strains on the U.S. democratic system today, which were laid bare viscerally and tragically by the murder of George Floyd, threats of the use of military force against American citizens, and other troubling developments. These strains on our society—driven by systemic racism and xenophobia, the legitimization of ethno-nationalist political views, rising authoritarianism, inequality, poverty, and other deep systemic phenomena that have long gone unresolved—will have increasingly dangerous human security consequences if allowed to continue and fester. In this context, CSR unequivocally affirms what should be a given: Black Lives Matter.

CSR’s mission is to analyze, anticipate and address core systemic risks in our society. Fundamental to this work is highlighting the plight of groups vulnerable to complex layers of endemic risks. This takes not just expressing solidarity, or highlighting injustice and inequality in the analysis and solutions we pose, but also committing as an organization to working with and elevating individuals with diverse backgrounds on, and direct experiences with, the issues of injustice being addressed. These are not commitments we take lightly—they are the heart of what we do and who we are. There is no peace, and there is no security, without justice. This core principle will continue to inform all of the CSR’s work now and in the future.

An Appeal to the National Security Community to Fight Racial Injustice

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People protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near the White House in Washington on May 31. MANDEL NGAN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

This is a cross-post article excerpt from Foreign Policy’s “Shadow Government.” 

Two former U.S. officials argue there is no security abroad without justice at home.

By Bishop Garrison, Jon Wolfstahl

We have both had the honor of serving our country, albeit in different ways. One of us is a West Point graduate, former Obama appointee, and combat veteran with experience in homeland security; the other has been a civil servant and political appointee and has worked in places such as North Korea and Russia to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. One of us is black, and one of us is white. One of us is Jewish, and the other is Christian.

We have different backgrounds, but both of us have spent our lives in service of the same goal: a safe and secure country where our fellow citizens can thrive and reach their potential. We are proud to be part of a dedicated, highly educated, and principled national security community made up of people who serve and believe in the promise of America. Those who make up this broader community give their considerable talents not to making money or gathering power, but instead to ensuring U.S. security and promoting a foreign policy that protects not just U.S. citizens and interests, but also the universal ideals of freedom and self-determination around the world.

It is time for this great community to explicitly and collectively turn serious attention and energy to the issue that fundamentally threatens our ability to protect U.S. national security: racial injustice and inequality at home. The United States cannot claim to be a beacon of freedom in the world if it continues to witness and accept the ongoing murder of innocent black people. Unless the country makes fundamental changes, cities and communities will continue to be torn apart through over-policing and abuse, economic and racial inequity, and other persistent legacies of racism—all undermining both the United States’ ability to function as a society and its credibility on the global stage.

Read the full article at the Foreign Policy website.

Disclosure: Bishop Garrison is also a Policy Fellow with the Center for Climate and Security, an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks.