Giving Compass' Take:

• Tzipi Livni and Malcolm Rifkind discuss why it is important to expand the idea of national security to include pandemic preparedness and other modern challenges. 

• Philanthropy can work to shift public opinion and drive policy decisions. What role can you play in supporting a broader national security definition and effort? 

• Read about the national security implications of ignoring climate change


If the COVID-19 pandemic has made one thing clear, it is that the definition of national security must be expanded and that some challenges require global cooperation to address. The need to bring different perspectives together to address modern challenges is the focus of Aspen Ministers Forum members Tzipi Livni and Malcolm Rifkind, in their discussion on the intersection of military and foreign policy and civil-military relations. They bring insights on this topic from their unique shared vantage points having served as both Foreign and Defense Secretaries of Israel and the United Kingdom respectively.

Tzipi Livni offers insights on her experience as a female decision-maker in Israeli national security, including the doubts she faced on her ability to be effective in the role. She believes that, far from being less effective than men, women can provide a broader perspective in national security decisions as they generally think beyond traditional military considerations to ensure decision-making is more comprehensive and holistic.

Livni and Rifkind also discuss the value of Israel’s system of mandatory military service for all citizens. In such a system, the military becomes a melting pot, broadening citizens’ perspectives by introducing them to a more diverse cross-section of society than they would otherwise encounter. Livni posits that an additional benefit of mandatory service is that it makes decision-makers more responsible as they are likely to personally know some of the people that they are putting at risk.

Read the full article about national security by Tzipi Livni and Malcolm Rifkind at The Aspen Institute.