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The United States’ Strategic Defense Initiative Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jul 29th, 2020

Introduction

The American government has a cardinal duty to protect citizens against recurrent dangers and security threats. The world is increasingly insecure due to the stakes of various players in the global arena (Alperen, 2011). In light of these challenges, President Reagan launched the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1984. The initiative had the mandate to oversee and coordinate efforts against nuclear attacks on America. Critics argued that the program had no rationale concerning upholding national security. They questioned its capacity to forestall nuclear attacks against America (Alperen, 2011). They branded it a misplaced priority, citing poor funding and insufficient technological prowess. They argued that the initiative did not satisfy the ideals of American society concerning national security and foreign policy. This research undertaking seeks to support the extension and intensification of the initiative in light of developments articulated in the Iran scenario. This essay will support efforts by America to strengthen the initiative and promote its propagation (Alperen, 2011).

Discussion

Nuclear energy remains an important source of power in various countries across the world. Apart from the production of power, nuclear energy is vital in making weapons that have a high capacity for damage. With such advancements and innovations, America should intensify efforts towards safeguarding its citizens against external aggression. In the past, similar initiatives emphasize monitoring countries that had nuclear capabilities (Alperen, 2011). They assumed that nuclear weapons were a preserve of countries and territorial entities. However, there is an emerging reality of terrorism in the contemporary world. America should, therefore, intensify the initiative to ensure that it covers such emerging issues about national security. The American government should always struggle to ensure that citizens are free from all forms of attacks by external enemies (Alperen, 2011).

The strategic defense initiative should continue because it offers numerous advantages to the American nation. Through this initiative, people acquire vital training and knowledge regarding nuclear energy and technology (Streissguth, 2012). This knowledge is critical in ensuring and guaranteeing the security of American citizens. Through this initiative, America develops a high capacity for nuclear energy that is useful in many areas. Such energy is useful in areas such as the food industry and the provision of medical care in hospitals. The laser technology is especially instrumental in undertaking medical procedures such as surgery (Streissguth, 2012). The initiative should continue because it offers numerous benefits for the country. The initiative has a major role to play in safeguarding the interests of America with its external partners. The initiative should work in harmony with other national programs to ensure maximum results on security matters. It should explore relevant options, such as the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) (Streissguth, 2012).

The National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) constitutes bi-level terror threat advisory machinery adapted by the United States Department of Homeland Security since the year 2011. Janet Napolitano, who was then-Secretary of Homeland Security, inaugurated the system. This pronouncement came at a time when rumors were circulating and claiming that there was a new security system (Stevens, 2011). The NTAS replaced the Homeland Security Advisory System. The HSAS operated through a color-coding system. The HSAS came under criticism for availing less useful information and alerts to the public.

On the contrary, the NTAS is very specific in offering threats and alerts. The alerts issued by the system are very particular to the anticipated threat and offer a specific period within which the threat shall take place. The NTAS system is an attempt by the American government to ensure that citizens are safe and secure. Whenever a threat materializes, the system notifies the public (Stevens, 2011). This ensures that citizens have time to take precautionary measures that will avert any likely exposure to harm. This means that the security and safety of citizens is a priority for the government.

THE HSAS was adapted in response to the 9/11 terror onslaught directed on the United States of America. However, security analysts and observers argued that the color-coded system was ineffective and grossly inaccurate. Others claimed that the alerts were only causing panic and disorienting American citizens. The system came under criticism for its inability to offer any specific information and/or timelines regarding a threat alert (Stevens, 2011). The system was a sham and open to public ridicule. In 2009, the secretary of homeland security constituted a task force to look into the viability of the system. The task force concluded that the system was ambiguous and very unpopular among American citizens. The system failed to satisfy the recurrent desire for security within the precincts of America’s borders. Later, the department of homeland security tabled a draft proposal to abolish the color-coded system. They claimed that the new system could deliver information in a timely and effective manner. This explains how the National Terrorism Advisory System came to be (Dempsey, 2011).

The National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) conveys threats in two main categories: elevated or imminent. Whenever the department of homeland security receives a credible threat, it divulges as much information as possible. The information reaches the public through mass media and social networking sites. The information forwards to government agencies and those responsible for disaster mitigation. This ensures that the available information is vital to the advantage and best interests of the American people. However, since its inception, there has not been any notable threat to national security. The department of homeland security is always vigilant and on high alert (Fielding, 2012).

Conclusion

The HSAS had several flaws. The threat levels were not explicitly determined. It was difficult to determine the accuracy of threat levels. During its span of operation, the low risk (green) and general risk (blue) were never put into use. The justification for altering threat levels was questionable, and the source of threat information was confidential. The system was vulnerable to manipulation by political forces.

On the other hand, the National Terrorism Advisory System is efficient and accurate. The system gives alerts and the specific time when the attack is likely to occur. The system is also very efficient at sending alerts to the public. The public acquires the necessary precautionary measures that are helpful during disasters. Largely, the National Terrorism and Advisory Systems have more accuracy and effectiveness than the Homeland Security Advisory System. The strategic defense initiative has a crucial role to play in advancing the security needs and concerns of the American people. It is important to uphold the initiative to guarantee safety from nuclear attacks. The initiative should uphold and defend the country from attempts by Iran and other countries against America. There should be more funding for the initiative to ensure its continuity because it offers numerous benefits for national security.

References

Alperen, M. (2011). Foundations of Security: Law and Policy. Newyork: John Wiley & Sons.

Dempsey, J. (2011). An introduction to Policing. Newyork: Cengage Learning.

Fielding, N. (2012). Security and Social Conflict. London: Routledge.

Stevens, D. (2011). An Introduction to American security. Newyork: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Streissguth, T. (2012). The Security Agencies of the United States. Newyork: Enslow Publishers, Inc.

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