United States National Security Strategy Essay

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Using the references presented, answer the question below in 300 words.

Q1) Some thoughts on the competing visions of national strategy: How does each vision (of the 4 identified) cause other nations to react to the U.S.? For example, primacy encourage coalitions to form to balance the primary power, e.g., the EU struggles to balance U.S. power; France and Germany court Russia, and Germany courts China. Primacy makes strange bedfellows! What reactions do the other strategies cause?

Q2- (85 words ) Read the following comments and write your opinion ( Why you agree with this comments or why not ACCORDING TO the references presented above in the first question. “Your comments must be substantive, meaning that you are adding something new and thoughtful to the discussion. It’s not sufficient to say you agree or disagree. Explain why.”

Each competing vision of national our national strategy creates different reactions with the rest of the international system. Aside from Primacy, the other three strategies are Neo-Isolationism, Selective Engagement and Cooperative Security. Neo-Isolationism is founded on the idea that the United States should tend only to its own local interest. Under this strategy, the rest of the World is left to defend itself. As the world’s lone superpower, Isolationism sees that there already is balance of power between Russia and China and the rest of Europe to balance those two out. Selective Engagement focuses more on ensuring that no large scale wars involving a powerful state (China, Japan, Russia and wealthy European) occur. Through the vision of Selective Engagement, states such as North Korea, Iraq and Iran will be strongly discouraged from obtaining nuclear weapons. Under SE, the United States must not allow these states to obtain nuclear power and we may be willing to use force to prevent these ambitions. Under SE, the Persian Gulf is an area of interest for the United States and its need for oil. Following SE, the United States needs to be ready to do what it takes to prevent future large scale wars. The final grand strategy is Cooperative Security. Following this strategy we find that aggression will not be tolerated by any state and everyone must diplomatically solve their problems. If aggression occurs, then the rest of the world, under Cooperative Security, will retaliate against the aggressor. Under this vision, all states would share responsibility for warding off an aggressor. Under Cooperative Security, the United States would be more engaged in humanitarian aid versus military activity. If CS was practiced amongst everyone, the world would be at peace for fear of international retaliation for actions against another state. Judging from mankinds previous behaviors, Cooperative Security is not probable.

Q3- (85 words ) Read the following comments and write your opinion ( Why you agree with this comments or why not ACCORDING TO the references presented above in the first question. “Your comments must be substantive, meaning that you are adding something new and thoughtful to the discussion. It’s not sufficient to say you agree or disagree. Explain why.”

For the sake of manageability, I\’ll approach this from a purely theoretical view: 


Neo-isolation – Were the US to withdraw our military forces from most of the world, even if we remained economically open, it would trigger an immediate bout of spiteful provocation from both our most dependent allies who feel abandoned, as well as our more troublesome rivals who would become emboldened. On the part of our allies, I believe their actions would become less restrained in their attempt to make do without us and show their enemies they mean business. Israel would be a good example. Despite our support, we do at times apply moderation to what they would like to do. Without our concern, they may be tempted to remove the gloves in their next regional dispute. 

Regarding our rivals, they would probably take advantage of our missing presence by harassing allies traditionally associated with us as well as testing the waters with aggression to see if we are truly out of the game. This in turn would lead to the types of shows of force on behalf of our old allies to both deter such harassment and to signal America that there is no reason for moderation without the stability we provided. 


Cooperative Security – Assuming this strategy could be achieved, which it can not, (again, only speaking theoretically) I think this would drastically improve relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world. It would show allies that we do in fact respect their existence in refusing to \”go it alone\” if they happen to disagree with our view and that we have no intentions of using our primacy to subject others to our vision of world order. 


Selective Engagement – This would most likely lead to other greater and lesser power states to rally around U.S. power in the expectation that if they do, they will be rewarded with security or economic benefits, and if they don\’t they increase the chances of being selectively engaged. 

We would remain prime among nations, but in a way that doesn\’t encourage competing states to balance against us for our power would be yielded more circumspectly and put non-belligerent nations (especially western Europe) at ease. 


Q4- (85 words ) Read the following comments and write your opinion ( Why you agree with this comments or why not ACCORDING TO the references presented above in the first question. “Your comments must be substantive, meaning that you are adding something new and thoughtful to the discussion. It’s not sufficient to say you agree or disagree. Explain why.”

Because the strategies vary the reaction from the international community would also vary, depending on which strategy the U.S. were to choose to implement. 
If the U.S. were to decide to go the route of neo-isolationism I believe that other competing, aggressive nation states would rise in the vacuum left by the U.S. There are other nations that, although they do not meet all the criteria for being a super power, have enough influence and resources to make noise in the international arena. The first one that comes to mind is China. Additionally, I believe that the nation states that have relied on the U.S. for protection and support would eventually turn against the U.S. after being abandoned to handle their conflicts and issues on their own. 
The idea of cooperative security is romantic in nature but there are just too many cogs in the machine for it to function properly. I think that, like any strategy requiring cooperation, if the U.S. spearheaded it most of the international community would be on board. However, this alliance would likely stir an alliance of anti-democratic nation states. Another issue would be the credibility of the cooperative nation states\’ threat of force against aggressor nations states that breach international laws and agreements. It is already well known that the U.S. would use force if necessary to keep aggressor nation states in check but if the other members of the allegiance do not do their part then this would leave the U.S. with the majority of the work and expenses, not to mention the majority of soldiers\’ lives lost. This would then cause serious disapproval domestically for the U.S. 
Finally, selective engagement is the one policy I believe works best for the U.S. It seems that we are already practicing this policy. According to this policy the U.S. can choose what conflicts to participate in and as a result this could cause tensions globally. Questions will arise, nation states will inquire as to what makes one conflict more or less important than the other, especially when it comes to humanitarian missions like the situation in Darfur. Either way, no matter which strategy the U.S. chooses there will be pros and cons. Some nation states will support and some will not.

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