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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

American National Security (Part1)

Posted by JewishRefugee

The issue of the national security is not a static but an evolving matter. Therefore the approach towards the subject of the national security requires ongoing improvement or refinement in order to engage them accordingly. Indeed at the strategic level, there is a paradox of whether to address immediate threats with low plausibility now or wait until those threats might become highly plausible in the future. To illustrate this paradox, the strategic doctrines that denote the nation’s vital interests that unsurprisingly flow into the concept of containment, will be discussed.

I would like to use the anthropological term age grade that incorporates a certain age phases (infancy, childhood, adolescence, the college years, young adulthood, middle ages, and old age)[1] in analogy with United States’ evolution in regards to the national security strategy in order to give a little context. Before the Independence from the Great Britain, future United States was in its infant stage heavily depending on its parent support. Than arrived the childhood stage during that time the Great Britain was overwhelmed by the wars in Europe. As a child future United States learned how to depend on itself while the parent was busy with grown up affairs and did not pay enough attention to the child. Once the parent wanted to reestablish authoritative bond that once existed, the future United States was in the adolescence stage; thus heavily resisted its parent’s authority to bow to the demands. That brought the war of Independence in which the United States became a newly established sovereign country. In other words, the U.S. has moved out of its parents house, therefore as a newly established country the vulnerabilities are everywhere and capabilities to mitigate them are miniature.

Accordingly, the U.S. entered its college years in which it learned to “navigate the ship-of-state through these troubled diplomatic waters.”[2] During the college years the U.S. has utilized its inherent location (the detached and distant situation) to formulate its foreign policies.[3] As a result, the first four policies emerged Exceptionalism, Unilateralism, the American System, and Expansionism. During those periods the United States’ defined immediate threats that should have been addressed accordingly, things like pirates or any threat that was within close proximity to its borders. But as the time went the proximity has changed as the national interests of the United States have amplified. It came to a point that a tiny strip in the east has occupied the lands from Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean (water’s edge theory).

During college the United States has simultaneously began the young adulthood years, but after finishing college that stage was quite different in terms that it had began its real job. In other words, it has began to embark on the world stage by McKinley’s progressive imperialism, by sending its fleet around the world, and its first major involvement (alliance) with other countries breaking away from the notion of entangling alliances and that the U.S. does not hunt for monsters abroad.[4] As years passed by another war was plunged upon the United States but this time the exception to the rule has become a rule. The entangling alliances were there and the U.S. did not withdraw back to its hemisphere. The U.S. has finally entered its middle ages with the Era of Containment (inhibition) and Global Meliorism (charity) surpassing the Era of Liberal Internationalism. At its middle ages, the United States enjoyed economic, political, and social hegemony in the Western Hemisphere and a significant influence around the world. That has become hegemony after the Soviet Union collapsed, thus ending the Cold War (unipolar moment). [5] As a result the Containment Era had ended but the Era of Global Meliorism took more aggressive posture. That has also contributed to rapid globalization trend that has contributed to the geopolitical shrinking of the globe.[6]

[1] Conrad Phillip Kottak, On Being Different: Age and Generations (New York: McGraw Hill, 2008), 187.
[2] Francis P. Sempa, “U.S. National Security Doctrines Historically Viewed,” American (April 19, 2004), 2.
[3] Francis P. Sempa, “U.S. National Security Doctrines Historically Viewed,” American (April 19, 2004), 3.
[4] Jay Tolson, “The New American Empire?” USNewsClassroom (January 13, 2003), 4, 5.
[5] Jay Tolson, “The New American Empire?” USNewsClassroom (January 13, 2003), 8, 9.
[6] Francis P. Sempa, “U.S. National Security Doctrines Historically Viewed,” American (April 19, 2004), 12.

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