, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 385-402
Date: 15 Dec 2009

A case for sustainable security systems engineering: Integrating national, human, energy and environmental security

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Abstract

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, there is a growing sense of insecurity felt by many citizens around the world. Sustainable security, with roots in the sustainable development and human security literature, seeks positive transformations for the co-evolving and mutually dependent human-environmental condition by integrating (and subsuming) national, human, environmental, and energy security concerns and capitalizing on opportunities provided by human creativity, diplomatic openings, modernization and environmental change. The field of Sustainable Security Systems Engineering is proposed for protecting, restoring, designing, and implementing a set of integrated natural and man-made processes that equitably and responsibly meet the biophysical needs of human communities, while maintaining long-term security, respecting financial constraints, meeting ecological limits, and improving institutional arrangements for transparent and effective governance. Scenario planning is shown to help promote sustainable security by identifying the preconditions of instability and helping to proactively address them in an increasingly complex and uncertain world. The six papers published in this featured collection cross policy domains, geographic, political, and sectoral boundaries and were discussed at forums sponsored by the Systems Engineering and Global Policy group. Collectively, they demonstrate the quality, breadth and depth of systems engineering methodologies that are used to promote sustainable security.