Sunday, January 1, 2012

hard choices

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Hard Choices National Security and the War on Terrorism

By Ivo H. Daalder, James M. Lindsay, and James B. Steinberg

About the Authors

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Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay are “senior fellows” , and James Steinberg’s a director and VP for the foreign policy program. The policy program is located at the Brookings Institution.


Preempting-To take the place of; displace

Tyrants-An absolute ruler who governs without restrictions

Coalitions-An alliance, especially a temporary one, of people, factions, parties, or nations

Deter-To prevent or discourage from acting, as by means of fear or doubt

Adversaries-An opponent; an enemy.

Catastrophic-Of, relating to, or involving a catastrophe

Dubious-Fraught with uncertainty or doubt; undecided


George W. Bush’s National Security Strategy was released in mid-September. These state a policy that relies heavily on the help of countries that in many cases don’t like or disagree with America and our values. The next strategy does not recognize the preemption for rogue states. The third emphasizes alliances for world security. The final one warns the rogues who threaten our security as well.

Bush said, “ We will defend the peace by fighting terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. We will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent. The rest he said did not even relate to this statement. First we need to defeat American adversaries and identify terrorist from tyrant and technology. Tyrants around the world take away human rights, have weapons of mass destruction, and have a hatred for the United States. This makes them the most dangerous of all. They can blackmail us, do harm, or threaten to do harm to others. To defeat them, strategies emphasize prevention, preemption, defense, and “consequence management”. The prevention will not allow anyone without authorization to use our technology of weapons. Preemption will make us rely on other processes than we did in the past such as relying solely on “reactive posture”. We need to anticipate action, military action, on us so we can defend ourselves. We also must arm ourselves with the correct missile defense and other counteractive measures. The big powers of the world are luckily united on the same side fighting the same war against terrorism and freedom to live without having to fear it. But Bush still argues that this war will be the best time to erase all terrorism, or as much as possible, like the rise of the nation-state in the seventeenth century. He wants a world built for peace instead of war.

The National Security Strategy contends that weak states such as Afghanistan do not become evil or terrorist like on their own. Because they are weak they fall easily into the hands of powerful leaders who operate with terrorists and as a direct result the weak country becomes directly involved with the terrorism that is spread through the country. Bush claims he can bring this new trend down and give grants to nations who need help but in reality he will end up giving them to the nations who least need t instead of the countries who need it the most cause they are the countries most far gone and out of control that they choose to help those countries who can still be helped with relative ease.

Countries naturally always want to build up their defense system. But when their massive force tends to overgrow natural legal limit, worries start to happen. Though most of these countries choose not to compete with the U.S., at first. Preemption in the simple meaning of defeating the terrorists and rogue states is the strategy most widely accepted. The big debate in the United States is whether or not we are doing enough to build up homeland security in case of an attack. Furthermore, we do not plan to invade North Korea, they are one of those states preparing themselves, or so we want to make ourselves believe. Iraq is the other rogue state besides Korea that we did not plan on going into either, and just leaving them alone. That no longer looks so possible. The obvious dangers that await us are those rogue states such as Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, that can back fire on us and use mass destruction weapons on us or deliberately give them to terrorist groups that will. Korea for instance has been heeding nuclear weapons, since October which totally dismisses the agreement from 14 named Agreed Framework. We must draw the fine line that will distinguish preemption from the not needed aggressiveness Americans most times have at times like these.

The United States is committed to the UN, WTO NATO, and other organizations that it cannot do anything without having them behind him. What happens when we all disagree? What happens when they feel we are out of line or vice versa? We must take responsibility ourselves and see to it that what needs to get done gets completed.

In conclusion, all of these initiatives are superior and endorse economic growth in many different places, not presently the United States, but is the risk for it worth going to all that trouble?

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