Each of the social sciences contributes irreplaceable content knowledge and methodologies to our collective understanding of other political entities and the social norms underlying their intentions toward the United States. It is a rather harsh truth that as long as the United States remains a global power, the nation will have to work specifically to maintain national security—not only in order to retain power, but because both our allies and our adversaries rely on it. To a certain extent, our national security is maintained through deterrence—in the sheer fact that we possess certain capabilities and engage internationally.
Since we cannot step away from the intelligence and analysis that underscores our international engagement, we must confront the reality that we will undertake national-security efforts with greater or lesser expertise and wisdom. The social sciences are what we use to make sense of international relations. Warfare and peacekeeping are fundamentally social, human activities, and the resources at stake in both are also essentially social: physical resources for survival, political identity, institutional prestige and influence, and shared ideation and values.Read More