Friday, March 17, 2006

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Open National Security Strategy thread

I'm crashing on a few projects today, but that shouldn't prevent readers from commenting on the 2006 National Security Stategy that the White House released yesterday. From the introduction:

Our national security strategy is founded upon two pillars:

The first pillar is promoting freedom, justice, and human dignity working to end tyranny, to promote effective democracies, and to extend prosperity through free and fair trade and wise development policies. Free governments are accountable to their people, govern their territory effectively, and pursue economic and political policies that benefit their citizens. Free governments do not oppress their people or attack other free nations. Peace and international stability are most reliably built on a foundation of freedom.

The second pillar of our strategy is confronting the challenges of our time by leading a growing community of democracies. Many of the problems we face from the threat of pandemic disease, to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to terrorism, to human trafficking, to natural disasters reach across borders. Effective multinational efforts are essential to solve these problems. Yet history has shown that only when we do our part will others do theirs. America must continue to lead.

The general thread of media commentary is that this is a more realist strategy than the 2002 document. I'll leave it to my readers to judge the accuracy of that assessment.

posted by Dan on 03.17.06 at 09:28 AM




Comments:

I too am pretty busy today but I'll just throw this into the mix:
This administration has shown no ability whatsoever to walk and chew gum. Therefore, while the mention of "pandemic disease, to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to terrorism, to human trafficking, to natural disasters" as national security priorities does not mean that the administration will either do anything effective or show any demonstrable multilateral leadership.

I'll throw these two things into the mix:
Dan, I noticed you left out the Preemtion Doctrine. (p.8) That policy is simply madness from a long-term security standpoint should be obvious. Example: What if China in some future time decided that its state economic and resource interests dictated that it was neccessary to exert more military muscle in the region. Preemtive attack on the U.S. under a Chinese Preemtion Doctrine would be a logical policy then.

Among the things I'll throw into the mix are:
Any national security document that does not address climate change and petroleum supply-demand issues is a waste of the paper it is printed on. And no, clean coal and hydrogen are not "transformational technologies."

posted by: cman on 03.17.06 at 09:28 AM [permalink]



I wish the National Security Strategy was limited to those elements defined in the Constitution: repelling invasion and supressing insurrection.

Why does every American president also want to be the world's policeman, headmaster and cheerleader? Is leading the US not a big enough job?

posted by: bartman on 03.17.06 at 09:28 AM [permalink]



Your excerpt leaves out "and a pony," but doubtless it's in the original document.

posted by: Anderson on 03.17.06 at 09:28 AM [permalink]



'Many of the problems we face from the threat of pandemic disease, to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,'

Well, the proliferation of WMD part is partly our own fault. We have about 10,000 nukes, 10-freakin' thousand, ready to launch on the President's order. Moreover we brandish our weapons, including nukes at other countries and refuse to swear off a first-strike option, while we convey prestige in association with the possession of lots and lots of nukes.

If we threaten other countries with our own WMD, brag about our massive warhead numbers and try to associate the nukes with strength and prestige, of course other countries are gonna try to get their hands on 'em for their own arsenals. Iran, North Korea, Israel, Pakistan, India-- you ain`t seen nothin' yet, as half the rest of the world tries to do the nuke prestige thing too (especially as Bush uh, rather unintelligently breaks treaties and offers to basically build India's nuke arsenal for it-- so, maybe proliferation doesn't have to have nasty consequences after all, at least in the eyes of quite a few).

The only solution is for us to go way down on the scale, not disarm of course, but limit ourselves to low 3 figures, say 100 or so nukes- perfectly good for fending off an attack but not enough to do the Day After thing and cause a really bad day for everybody especially us. Obviously, other nations would have to accept similar limits. But overall, this reduces the association of power and prestige with having a big nasty nuke arsenal. Certainly a big improvement over the current way of doing things.

posted by: Vinnie on 03.17.06 at 09:28 AM [permalink]



Any national security document that does not address climate change and petroleum supply-demand issues is a waste of the paper it is printed on.

I would argue that it should take a broader view of energy supply-demand than just petroleum. The EIA's latest long-term view has us charging blithely down the same path to dependence on foreign sources for natural gas in the future as well. I believe they envision over 25% of our NG supplied by imports by 2025, indirectly putting sizeable parts of our electricity supply at risk...

posted by: Michael Cain on 03.17.06 at 09:28 AM [permalink]



Very much a realist agenda - insomuch as it seems to be at peace with the absurd incoherence of its positions and acts accordingly with astute miscalculation. Oh so real.

posted by: saintsimon on 03.17.06 at 09:28 AM [permalink]



What happened to the federal sentencing guidelines regarding crack cocaine offenses? ISTM that many of our leaders should go away for a long period of time. They must be on crack.

posted by: Nixon Did It on 03.17.06 at 09:28 AM [permalink]






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