What are the trends that have traditionally influenced how the United States acts?
One of the trends that has traditionally influenced how the United States acts is its strategic inclination towards the allied nations and especially those within the pacific region (George & Rishikof, 2011).
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The past American presidents have traditionally made pronouncements on the need to strengthen military prowess and also make strong ties with the pacific allied members. This trend goes hand in hand with the strong attachment to the European nations whenever there is need to solicit for military support before waging wars at enemies.
Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has been keen on forming allies with the European powers when there is need to strengthen international security. The strategic and military perspective that the United States’ authorities are taking seem to be changing with time especially in regards to the military friendship with the Pacific region.
Secondly, the powerful technological base of the American government has been a driving force depicting the action of the United States. While technology has been a changing factor with time, it is imperative to mention that the United States has taken keen interest in exploring its local and international interests due to the level of technology that has been put in place.
The American government would not have been in a viable position to establish its presence across the world without a formidable and well sustained skills and competences in science and technology. Both the state and non-state actors have conventionally put a lot of interest and concern on how science and technology can be employed in order to advance the interests of the nation.
In addition, a viable political structure and leadership has been instrumental in establishing rule and code of conduct among politicians within the American government (Katzenstein, 1996). Even in case where there are eminent political dysfunctions, the pat governments have always come out openly to defend the system and possibly make the necessary corrections.
For example, the US foreign policy is largely shaped by the political system and leadership that have been modeled for considerably lengthy period of time. The manner in which the U.S government acts may not be separated from the politics of the day bearing in mind that the global arena is pitched on national politics that target specific interest of a nation.
The economic well being of a nation is dependent on resource base. The natural resource base of the United States has also been a key point of interest for the government when making vital decisions and taking important steps. The scarcity of natural resources has been a major source of concern for the United States when actions are being taken.
For instance, the rising oil prices in the world market has brought along several implications in regard to energy requirements for the nation. Economic whiplash is one of the impacts that the U.S government may not accommodate at all. The 2007/2008 global recession was a clear indicator how scarcity in resources coupled with poor economic performance led to instability in government.
Moreover, the American national debt is another key area of focus that has been used to direct decisions since it is closely attached to resources. There are myriads of challenges that the American government can hardly deal with especially when the debt question is put into consideration. When the debt limit is exceeded, it is hardy possible for any government to protect its interests and affairs across the board.
Are these different trends going to be viable going forward of is the United States going to have to make significant changes to the way it thinks about national security?
Some of these trends may fail to be viable in the long run especially when they are not executed well. For example, the national debt affecting the United States government has been a major cause of concern. Improper application of the above trends may eventually culminate into capitalism.
The latter may be the worst system of governance. For example, this form of governance may not united people within a country. When a government pursues a system or tradition that tends to alienate the economic well being of its people, it may lead to gross violation of basic human rights.
It is vital to mention that national security largely relies on how well a government organizes and utilizes its resources. For example Democracy highlights that there exists total independence of participating parties when decisions are being made. When past researches are keenly explored, especially in regard to capitalism, democracy requires that the inception of guidelines into the policy making and execution of these be solely a government responsibility.
It should also be free from any interruptions emerging from the state and non state actors. However, with the emergence of capitalism, the expected benefits are yet to be attained bearing in mind that there is intense competition among nations even as political globalization is gradually taking shape. In terms of scarcity of resources, there are myriads of large companies that are fighting for the markets (Gartenstein-Ross, 2012). Hence, small establishments are left with no possibility for growth.
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How do these trends affect American national interest?
Every American citizen today is overly concerned with the status of the country’s national security especially following the events of the September 11, 2001. Indeed, as United States continues to fund its military action in Iraq among other unpopular foreign policies, the worry is that a repeat of terror attack might be in the offing. Right from the very beginning, the war on Iraq was presumably misguided, at least according to the critics of former President Bush Administration (Jordan,Taylor, Meese & Nielsen, 2009).
It is definite that the state of national security hangs in the balance following the 2003 aggression on Iraq (Marshall, 2010). The United States government and the general public is living in fear of being attacked by organized terrorism. No wonder, the Department of Homeland Security was immediately formed in 2002 after the 9/11 incidence and thereafter followed by the 2003 invasion.
Sincerely speaking, the threat to WMDs is glaring even as the government is trying to cushion itself by creating systems and structures to monitor and fight terrorism. The earlier prediction by the then vice President Dick Cheney that oil and gas prices would soon resume to normal did not come to pass. The total oil output from Iraq stagnated at 1.5 million barrels per day contrary to the expected 3 million barrels per day.
The drop in oil and gas production went down by 50% immediately after the onset of the war, thereby leading to skyrocketing of prices of this rare commodity in the international market. By 2006, the global output of oil was anticipated to increase by about 0.8 million barrels per day (Bolt, Coletta, & Shackelford, 2005). However, the shortfall experienced in Iraq as a result of the war was significant enough to derail the expected output.
Bolt, P., Coletta, D. & Shackelford, C. (2005). American Defense Policy. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Gartenstein-Ross, D. (2012). Five Trends Likely to Shape the U.S.’s National Security This Decade. Retrieved from https://gunpowderandlead.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/five-trends-likely-to-shape-the-u-s-s-national-security-this-decade/
George, R. & Rishikof, H. (2011). The National Security Enterprise: Navigating the Labyrinth. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
Jordan, A., Taylor, W., Meese, M. & Nielsen, S. (2009). American National Security. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Katzenstein, P. (1996). The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics. New York: NY: Columbia University Press.