Military, Government, Business: Working Together

Dec 23, 2013

When you think about the instruments of power—diplomacy, information, military, and economics—it’s business that often serves as the nexus.

We’ve all heard the cliché that there’s a lot government and the military can learn from the private sector and vice-versa. It happens to be true.

But the relationship is about more than just efficiency in operations and practices, although they are very important.

It’s really about creating a more stable and prosperous world.

America cannot remain the economic and military powerhouse of the globe—and a force for stability and peace—unless the government, military, and private sector work closely together.

The private sector has plenty to say about how our government is run and the policies it implements.

But while we may be at odds at times, we recognize the fundamental and essential role government plays in providing for the common welfare, educating our children, building infrastructure, and ensuring public safety.

In fact, the Chamber was created to do two things—represent the common interests of the business community and to serve the country. We try to do that to the best of our ability every day.

When it comes to the private sector, people rarely stop to think about what a profound impact it has on our economy, our government, and our society.

It creates the wealth that pays for society’s bills … for defense, science and research, the social safety net, and so much more. It provides jobs and opportunities for our people. It is continually innovating new technologies, some of which help protect our men and women in uniform.

It fights for secure supply chains, open markets, and economic development across the globe.

Today the business community is working hard to advance a major deal with Europe … a sweeping agreement with 11 other nations in the Asia Pacific … and a trade in services deal with 50 other countries.

It’s not just an opportunity to create new markets for our products and services, but an opportunity to ensure that millions of people are lifted out of poverty, can live up to their full potential, and contribute to global growth.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “Countries that trade don’t invade”—at least not their trading partners.

The point is commercial ties can bind us just as strongly as diplomatic ones.

And the military, of course, plays the most important role of all—protecting and preserving our most fundamental freedoms.

The United States military has been perhaps the most important force for stability, freedom, and the unfettered flow of commerce in the last 100 years. Certainly, no other single group has sacrificed so much for so many.

All of these entities—government, the military, the private sector—must be working shoulder-to-shoulder for our country to succeed and prosper.

And in many ways, we are. We coordinate on defense technology and research; we pool resources to respond to disasters around the globe; we work together to open new markets to American goods and services; and we invest resources and know-how to help struggling countries develop, which leads to a more peaceful world.

This cooperation must continue and it must be expanded. We need to pull together in these challenging times for the good of our country and for the good of the world.

We can only do that if we understand each other’s perspective, value our respective roles, and never forget the unique responsibility each of us bears for the success of our country.


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