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Beyond "Fortress America": National Security Controls on Science and Technology in a Globalized World IV. Conclusion Visa regulations and export controls are not issues that provoke the attention of the nation’s citizens, and for that reason, have a seemingly “quiet” impact. Nevertheless, the combined effect of these controls over the last 20 years has been to corrode the very institutions they were developed to protect—our national economic security and well-being. We recognize that neither elected officials nor policy makers have incentives to spend political capital on issues that seem arcane and persist below the public’s radar screen. However, almost all of these serious problems can be corrected with one Executive Order from the President. For this reason, the committee has undertaken this study from the point of view of a presidential order and has confined its recommendations to the essential elements of such an order. As a nation, we cannot, and should not, abandon well-conceived efforts to keep dangerous technology and scientific know-how out of the hands of those who would use this knowledge to create weapons of mass destruction and other, equally dangerous military systems. However, such knowledge and technology represent a very narrow and limited set of goods, technology, and know-how. Our former unilateral strategy of containment and isolation of our adversaries is, under current conditions, a self-destructive strategy of obsolescence and declining economic competitiveness. A strategy of international engagement is a path to prosperity that can be coupled with a smart approach to security using an adaptive system of government regulation and incentives. The committee recommends the issuance of an Executive Order that implements the recommendations it has outlined as one of the first orders of business in 2009.
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