In my book, Brave New War, I made the case that we would face a series of global systemic shocks of increasing scope, frequency and amplitude. However, unfortunately, we wouldn't be able to anticipate (at a societal level) with any certainty what these shocks will be (they will be Black Swans). Further, I believed that the decline(not collapse, since there isn't an alternative system that will replace it) of the nation-state as an organization, would mean that the will, means, and flexibility necessary to respond to these challenges would be increasingly insufficient. In other words, the big "Manhattan" projects or "Marshall" plans to respond to these challenges not only won't be launched, they are unlikely to work (they only seem to exist in the reality distortion fields generated by writers like Tom Friedman). What is in the realm of possibility and will work is to invent, construct, and implement solutions that provide resilience at the community level. These solutions must be:
One of the best ways to seed these early efforts is through Pentagon funding, particularly since community resilience plays a decisive role in counter-insurgency, disaster relief, and deep/remote deployments. Until recently, there hasn't been any movement towards packaging community resilience. Now there is. Lin Wells (I've had the pleasure to meet Lin on numerous occasions), a professor at the NDU (National Defense University), has taken it upon himself to coordinate a project called STAR-TIDES (Sustainable Technologies, Accelerated Research-Transportable Infrastructures for Development and Emergency Support). It's already produced some interesting results however MUCH more needs to be done. It needs some funding (millions and not billions). Here's an idea: eliminate the purchase of a single conventional weapon that will only gather dust (great power war is going the way of the Dodo) and put it into something that will become a critical element in nearly every DoD mission over the next 20 years: packaged community resilience.
BTW: I'd be more than happy to manage this effort if it does get funded. Fairly sure my demonstrated expertise in everything from military theory to technical innovation to hyper-efficient/fast project management is likely perfect for that slot.
BTW2: Of course, there is absolutely NO chance this offer will ever be capitalized upon. The DoD would never 1) invest in something so innovative nor 2) put someone in charge that isn't politically connected. I just made the offer to show I am really willing to help, even though it is almost certainly futile.