By defining development and diplomacy as security strategies, the administration officially recognizes that building stable and sustainable peace involves preventing conflict and addressing the root causes of insecurity. The concept of “human security,” focusing on a wide range of threats to individuals rather than nations, is gaining wider currency. When former President Bill Clinton called AIDS one of the greatest threats to U.S. security he elevated the priority of AIDS from a health issue requiring charity to a security issue even for those who do not have AIDS.

The implementation of the 3-D approach raises some significant concerns. It remains under-funded. It runs the risk of militarizing aid and strengthening the Pentagon at the expense of nongovernmental organizations working on humanitarian issues. And by identifying fragile and failed states as security threats, a 3D security framework could reinforce the idea that militaries and development organizations in the northern hemisphere have the right to interfere and dictate the development paths of countries in the south.

Here’s how to improve the 3D approach:

  • Ensure that congressional budgeting reflects 3D security priorities with foreign aid rising to 1% of U.S. budget.
  • Institute firewalls that separate military actions from humanitarian and diplomatic efforts.
  • Involve local people more clearly in decision making.

For the full article, go to Leveraging “3D” Security: From Rhetoric to Reality.

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