Issue Guide On America's Role In The World Available

This is a little overdue, as this was released a little over a month ago, but better late than never! I am delighted to announce a new issue guide that I wrote has been released and will be used in deliberative forums across the nation.

Here is the post I wrote for the “news” section of my firm The Mannakee Circle Group that describes the whole thing:

coverAmerica's-RoleThe Mannakee Circle Group is pleased to announce a new issue book authored by Brad Rourke for the National Issues Forums Institute and the Kettering Foundation, working closely with colleague John Doble. The guide is titled America’s Role In The World: What does national security mean in the 21st century? and is available from NIFI.

The issue guide will be the basis for deliberative forums held across the nation, the results of which will be reported to a US-Russian group of policy experts and citizens in October this year.

From the issue overview:

The world bears little resemblance to the way it was in 1991, when the Soviet Union fell and the cold war ended. Where the world used to have two “superpowers,”—the Soviet Union and the United States— the end of the cold war created what many observers called a “unipolar” world in which the United States was the clear leader, able to bend most events to its will. But that moment has passed.

The U.S. Director of National Intelligence issued a report in late 2008 that assessed where things stand and where things are likely to go over the next two decades. One conclusion of this comprehensive study is that the United States “will remain the single most powerful country but will be less dominant.”

Examples of less dominance are everywhere. China has gone from being a very large nation to being an economic powerhouse. India’s economy, as well as its influence on the world stage, has grown rapidly. Pakistan is now strategically vital.

Threats are becoming more global in nature, too. Climate change (global warming), pandemics, and resource depletion face countries without regard to superpower status or military strength. Many of these threats require response, but no one nation can act alone.

This issue framing presents three possible options to consider:

Option One: National Security Means Safeguarding the United States

Our global objective must always be to maintain the safety of the United States and its citizens. We must guard against threats to national security above all.

Option Two: National Security Depends on Putting Our Economic House in Order

With such significant economic issues facing us, we need to focus on eliminating our staggering public indebtedness and improving the balance of trade. That means spending less on the military and reducing the amount of money that flows overseas.

Option Three: National Security Means Recognizing that Global Threats are our Greatest Challenge

Today’s challenges face everyone on the planet, not just one nation. We must take a leadership role in working with other nations in a collaborative way to address long-term threats to humanity and increase foreign aid so other nations can also address such threats.

The Mannakee Circle Group would like to thank NIFI and the Kettering Foundation for the opportunity to work on this important project.

My New Company: The Mannakee Circle Group

MCG Logo
Logo by Naina Redhu at Aside (http://www.aside.in/)

Today I am launching a new company called The Mannakee Circle Group. This will be an extension of some of the work I already do, but it also represents a renewed focus on helping organizations engage better with their public. The name comes from a crossroads of sorts in the town where I live — read the story about that here.

Visit our web site here: www.mannakeecircle.com.

The Mannakee Circle Group

We work with organizations to help them do their work better– advising on strategy and social media, and designing, executing, and telling the story of large civic projects. We understand how people interact with issues, how they talk to one another, how to hear what they are saying, and how to speak to them to be heard.

We will help you improve public life.

  • We can advise your organization how to use social media and how to connect that with public benefit.
  • We design civic projects and help organizations map out their strategies.
  • And we develop discussion materials about issues. This is harder than you might think to do well.

If you are a public leader and are wondering if we might be able to help you with a project, initiative, or problem – chances are we can.

Drop me a line at rourke@mannakeecircle.com and let’s talk.

P.S. The logo is a general representation of an aerial view of Mannakee Circle.