United States¶ National Running head: NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY

1

United States¶ National Security Strategy Mark D. Derham American Military University

United States¶ National Abstract The Bush administration¶s strategic priorities were developed during a time of war, and it is evident in many of the stated national interests and strategic priorities. The main strategic

2

priorities that reverberated throughout the National Security Strategy were to enhance alliances, increase cooperation, promote democracy worldwide, and increase the global economy (White House, 2006). Bush fell short in many aspects of these priorities during his 8 years in office. Alliances were enhanced, and Bush was very successful in creating much closer ties with both Russia and China through the six party talks over North Korea¶s nuclear program. However, when it comes to alliances that will help in the Global War on Terror, there is still much to do. The Global War on Terror that the Bush administration began caused many to question the United States¶ stance on human rights. Many alliances were created at that time with nations that had less than stellar reputations, and the fiasco over Guantanamo Bay has likely scarred America for a long time to come. This hindered his objective of championing democracy and human dignity across the globe. Bush¶s desire to increase the global economy failed miserably with the advent of a global recession that is still looming in the air to this day. The global recession will be the primary focus as the Obama administration moves ahead. Attempting to gain a foothold on the Global War on Terror beginning in Afghanistan and continuing to work to limit the proliferation of WMDs just as Bush did will continue to be a top priority for Obama. It is already become apparent that Obama would like to follow a more diplomatic approach to many of the global security issues rather than use military force as a means of persuasion as the Bush administration did on many occasions.

United States¶ National The National Security Strategy outlines national interests and strategic priorities that can hardly be assessed on a short term basis; rather, results are much more evident in the long term once the strategy has been completed implemented and had time to take effect. The Bush

3

administration¶s priorities were developed during a time of war, and it is evident in many of the stated national interests and strategic priorities. The main strategic priorities that reverberate throughout the National Security Strategy were to enhance alliances, increase cooperation, promote democracy worldwide, and increase the global economy. Bush fell short in many aspects of these priorities during his 8 years in office. The first priority of President Bush¶s 2006 National Security Strategy was to ³Champion aspirations for human dignity´ (White House, 2006). In short, President Bush wanted to create more democracies and support human rights worldwide. It is widely believed that a democracy is the best form of government as democracies strengthen international stability, reduce conflicts, counter terrorism and extremism, and extend both peace and prosperity (White House, 2006). Extending human rights has long been a priority of the United States; however, I believe that many decisions that were made in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom caused many to questions our nation¶s intentions. This is mainly due to the alliances that were formed between the United States and several countries that had less than stellar reputations when it came to human rights. Additionally, the conundrum of Guantanamo Bay has liked stained the United States¶ reputation for many years to come. There is no doubt that the United States has since, and even during the last few years, pressed for human rights and democracy in many countries; however, there is much more that could be done. This includes increasing efforts to stabilize many African nations that remain in turmoil as well as nations such as Myanmar where the people don¶t have the power or the voice to dethrone the military

United States¶ National dictatorship that is in control. The Bush administration championed the fact that they were able to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan many times (Gray, 2006). However, I do not believe that was enough, and the Bush administration did not support human rights and the creation of democratic countries as much as they could have, and the policy that was implemented fell short of what is expected of the world¶s largest superpower.

4

The National Security Strategies¶ second outlined priority was to ³strengthen alliances to defeat global terrorism and work to prevent attack against us and our friends´ (White House, 2006). Alliances have been strengthened during Bush¶s terms; however, the perception of the United States has also faltered in the international community. The way the U.S. handled the toppling of Saddam Hussein¶s dictatorship in 2003 caused many to develop a lot of hatred toward our government and our country. Starting a war without the United Nations approval cost the U.S. a lot of support among the international community. There was much ground for the Bush administration to make up since then. Alliances and relations have improved since; however, there is much more to do especially when it comes to global terrorism. Terrorism continues to be a global issue, and while there have been no attacks on U.S. soil since the September 11th attacks in 2001, attacks have occurred elsewhere to include our biggest ally, Great Britain (White House, 2006). Many countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to maintain vast amounts of terrorists and extremists. The shift in focus from Iraq to Afghanistan has no doubt done much to eliminate the remaining terrorist elements; however, the country is still a long way off from being terrorist free. The fact that Pakistan, a U.S. ally, has stepped up operations to remove the terrorist safe havens from their country does give credence to the fact that Bush was able to have some success in defeating global terrorism in his term.

United States¶ National

5

These successes came with a heavy price, and that is something the Obama administration must factor into the United State¶s future foreign policy strategy. To ³work with others to defuse regional conflicts´ was the third national priority outlined in the National Security Strategy. The document flouts the successful negotiations that led to a peaceful resolution to the two decade long conflict between the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement and the Sudan government. The document also gives the United States credit for improved relations between the volatile governments of India and Pakistan (White House, 2006). Those improved relations were short lived, however, after the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks occurred, and it was discovered that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan¶s boarders (CIA World Factbook, 2009). Both countries beefed up their boarder security, and tensions continue to remain at an elevated level to this day. This will continue to be an issue that the Obama administration will have to develop a strong policy on. However, I do not believe the Bush administration¶s policy on this issue was poorly constructed. It is just a reminder of how much chaos terrorism can cause in the world. The Bush administration also recognized many challenges that lay ahead in the regions of Darfur, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba and Uganda. Little was done to fix these troubled regions. In contrast, When Obama came into office, he immediately began to work on Cuba-U.S. relations, and he began a process to open up Cuba to American citizens and vice-versa. The fourth stated national interest was to ³prevent our enemies from threatening us, our allies, and our friends with weapons of mass destruction´ (White House, 2006). The Bush administration did have a few successes when it came to limiting countries¶ access to WMDs. The A.Q. Khan network, which sold nuclear secrets to those willing to buy it, including Iran, was dissolved by a joint operation. Libya gave up on their WMD program once initiatives set forth by

United States¶ National the U.S. hindered their access to shipments. Additionally, the U.S. was able to get the UN place sanctions against Iran over their nuclear program (White House, 2006). These successes are still overshadowed by looming challenges and failures. Iran continues to defy the international community and pursue nuclear technology despite all of Bush¶s attempts at stopping and hindering their program. The once successful six party talks in North Korea failed once again, and that was soon followed by another nuclear test by the rouge country as well as several ballistic missile tests. North Korea continues to provoke and defy the international community every chance they get. Also, terrorist networks that desire the destruction of the U.S. continue to pursue WMDs, and many believe that Iran and North Korea will be willing to sell their secrets once they have gained the capability themselves. It is clear that the approach the Bush

6

administration has taken towards limiting access to WMDs has been less than perfect, and it will be necessary for the Obama administration to reinvigorate this campaign. The fifth stated national interest was to ³ignite a new era of global economic growth through free markets and free trade´ (White House, 2006). The Bush administration did live by the principles of the free market system throughout the majority of its two terms. However, the end of Bush¶s second term saw a deep recession hit not only the U.S. economy but also the entire global economy. Bush abandoned the free market principles after the recession hit. Many believe that Bush¶s policy of not regulating the market caused the current crisis, especially his ³failure to regulate the mortgage markets´ (Think Progress, 2008). Bush failed to ignite a global economic growth, and his last years saw a major recession hit the global economy. While the entire credit should not be given to Bush for the failure of the U.S. economy, he bears the brunt of the attention since he was the President at the time the recession began.

United States¶ National

7

The sixth national interest was to ³expand the circle of development by opening societies and building the infrastructure of democracy´ (White House, 2006). The U.S. has the largest economy in the world, but we continue to give the least percentage of our countries income to international aid efforts. While this continues to be a global issue with the richest nations worldwide not giving a larger share of their national spending, more must be done by the U.S. to assist those who are not as fortunate. Additionally, the majority of the foreign aid that was given out by the U.S. in recent years was tied to our foreign policy objectives (Shah, 2009). There continues to be little improvement in African and Asian countries that suffer on a daily basis because of the lack of necessary food and water, and I believe that the U.S. has not done enough in past years to address these issues. The seventh national interest was to ³develop agendas for cooperative action with the other main centers of global power´ (White House, 2006). There are many instances where the U.S. did a good job of collaborating with other global powers on a level that was not previously seen. The six party talks that were established to persuade North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons gave the U.S. an unprecedented chance to increase relations with China and Russia. The Bush administration was able to improve relations with the aforementioned countries; however, I believe he fell short of a cooperation that is necessary in order to establish global security. Bush also improved relations with India, the most populous democracy whose economy is also growing at a very fast rate (White House, 2006). The global powers still continue to struggle to cooperate on numerous agendas, which causes friction on a regular basis. The final national interest was to ³transform America¶s national security institutions to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century´ (White House, 2006). The September 11, 2001 attacks brought national security to the attention of our countries¶ leaders like never

United States¶ National before. The inability of our intelligence agencies to collaborate to create one coherent picture proved that change was necessary to ensure the security of our nation. While I believe some barriers have been removed that have hindered intelligence efforts in the past, there are still many issues that affect our intelligence agencies to this day. Many cannot be attributed to the Bush administration; however, I believe that there are still too many strictures and rules governing our intelligence agencies that limit the sharing of information. Overall, the Bush administration has improved our national security, which has been proven by the lack of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, but there is still much to do in order to protect our boarders in the future. President Obama is very likely to keep many of the same national interests and priorities that Bush had in his two terms. When it comes to pushing for democracies and handing out

8

foreign aid, Obama has already stated that he will double our foreign aid and continue to work on a diplomatic approach to ensuring democracy prevails in the world (McClatchy Newspapers, 2007). Ensuring the world is safe from weapons of mass destruction will be a continuing top priority for Obama. He has already shown that he desires to take a diplomatic approach to the Iranian nuclear situation, and I believe that this will carry over to North Korea as well. I believe he will also follow a path of deterrence against attacks on the U.S. by maintaining a large military presence in foreign nations and attacking terrorism at its roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Times Online, 2009). However, he has already stated that he will always take a diplomatic approach first before employing military forces. This will likely be a consistent theme throughout his presidency of putting diplomacy ahead of military might. This will no doubt put Obama on a path to improving relations with the global powers, and improving upon international cooperation in times when a global unity is necessary.

United States¶ National Many of Bush¶s priorities fell short of the intended mark and that can mainly be contributed to the majority of his attention being focused on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The allocation of resources was heavily emphasized on both of the countries, and it left little else for other priorities. The recession that hit the U.S. and global economy can also be attributed to many of the shortfalls that befell the Bush administration. There is no doubt that Bush fell short

9

on many of his objectives that were set forth in the 2006 National Security Strategy. The first and foremost priority of the Obama administration will be to ensure a quick recovery of the U.S economy, and this issue will continue to overshadow foreign policies until Americans can go to bed at night assured that their job will still be there in the morning.

United States¶ National References CIA World Factbook (2009). Pakistan. Retrieved July 20, 2009 from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pk.html.

10

Gray, Christine (2006). The Bush Doctrine Revisited: The 2006 National Security Strategy of the USA. Chinese Journal of International Law, 5(3), 555-578. Retrieved July 24, 2009. McClatchy Newspapers (2007). Obama pledges to double U.S. foreign aid. Retrieved July 20, 2009 from http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/national/stories/042407dnn atobama.31a0740.html Shah, Anup (2009). US and Foreign Aid Assistance. Global issues. Retrieved July 24, 2009 from http://www.globalissues.org/article/35/us-and-foreign-aid-assistance Think Progress (2008). Bush: µI¶ve Abandoned Free Market Principles To Save The Free Market System.¶ Retrieved July 24, 2009 from http://thinkprogress.org/2008/12/16/bush-freemarket/ Times Online (2008). Barack Obama - the security strategy. Retrieved July 21, 2009 from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article4339966.ece White House, the (2006). The National Security Strategy. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful