Statecraft, Innovation, And Leadership: Underwriting US National Security With Economic Power

Monday, June 15, 2020
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

On Monday, June 15, 2020 at 10AM PT, Senior Fellow H.R. McMaster and Bridgewater CEO, David McCormick discussed how the US can sustain its economic might and leverage it for American security, prosperity, and influence. Their in-depth conversation centers on a set of recommendations put forward in an essay McCormick authored with Charles E. Luftig and James M. Cunningham in the Texas National Security Review titled “Economic Might, National Security, and the Future of American Statecraft.”



America faces serious headwinds—an ongoing pandemic, high levels of debt, reduced economic mobility, political discord, and balance-of-power challenges. With a history of enviable supremacy at the powerful intersection of economics and security, the United States now faces threats to its traditional power base. Both Russia and China, after two decades of dedicated effort, deploy strategies against the United States that integrate their economic ambitions and security goals with alarming success. How then can the United States sustain its economic might and leverage it in the service of American security, prosperity, and influence?

In an essay by David McCormick, Charles E. Luftig, and James M. Cunningham in the Texas National Security Review titled “Economic Might, National Security, and the Future of American Statecraft,” the authors ask how today’s leaders might amplify America’s unique strengths and asymmetric advantages to compete more effectively. They put forward a three-part policy agenda to promote innovation, conduct economic statecraft, and expand international coordination. 

David McCormick is CEO of Bridgewater Associates (the largest global hedge fund), an Army veteran, scholar (PhD in public and international affairs from Princeton University), author, and former US Treasury official. He is uniquely positioned to address how economic diplomacy, domestic investments, and international partnerships can counter threats and take advantage of opportunities in the emerging global economy and security environment. His set of recommendations should be part of a nationwide discussion of how the United States can emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger and ready to compete more effectively. 



David McCormick David McCormick is CEO of Bridgewater Associates, responsible for overseeing the firm’s strategy, governance, and operations. David joined Bridgewater in 2009 and previously served as President and then Co-CEO before becoming CEO in 2020. Before joining Bridgewater, David was the U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs in the George W. Bush Administration during the global financial crisis, and prior to that served in senior posts on the National Security Council and in the Department of Commerce. A former tech CEO, David is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and has a Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

H. R. McMaster H. R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was the 26th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. He served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018. He is author of the upcoming book, Battlefields: The Fight to Defend the Free World. McMaster is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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