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America's National Security Architecture Rebuilding the Foundation von Burns, Nicholas (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 06.03.2017
  • Verlag: BookBaby
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America's National Security Architecture

In August 2016, the Aspen Strategy Group examined how to reform America's national security decision-making process. The papers in this volume provide practical solutions to repair the key functions of Washington's executive departments, agencies, and advisory bodies responsible for shaping U.S. foreign policy and national security.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 217
    Erscheinungsdatum: 06.03.2017
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781483596457
    Verlag: BookBaby
    Größe: 881kBytes
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America's National Security Architecture

The Eighth Annual Ernest May Memorial Lecture The Pearl Harbor System at 75 Douglas Stuart Stuart Chair in International Studies Dickinson College Editor's Note: Douglas Stuart presented the annual Ernest R. May Memorial Lecture at the Aspen Strategy Group's August 2016 Summer Workshop in Aspen, Colorado. The following is a paper written based on his remarks at the meeting. The Ernest May Memorial Lecture is named for Ernest May, an international relations historian and Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government professor, who passed away in 2009. ASG developed the lecture series to honor Professor May's celebrated lectures. I am very honored to have my name linked to Professor Ernest May, who personified the engaged academic. One of Professor May's most important insights was that, whether one is a scholar attempting to explain a specific foreign policy decision or a policy maker engaged in the formulation of foreign policy, it helps to think of time as a stream-in which carefully selected lessons from the past inform the discussion of current issues and help shape plans for the future. 1 But Professor May would also have been the first to admit that this is easier said than done. One big problem that both analysts and policy makers confront when they attempt to derive lessons from the past is deciding how far back one needs to go to make sense of any contemporary situation. We might call this the challenge of infiite regress. How far back do we have to go to explain the Obama administrations pivot to Asia? To the debates surrounding the Truman administration's decision to create a network of military alliances in the Pacific in 1951? To Teddy Roosevelt's deployment of the Great White Fleet in 1907? To the geostrategic arguments of Admiral Mahan in favor of the Open Door to Asia in the late nineteenth century? There have been a few instances in American history, however, where there is no doubt about how far back we need to go, because a specific event or decision clearly served as the starting point for a new era in U.S. foreign policy. One such event was the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. This single incident set in motion a series of debates and investigations-including 25,000 pages of congressional testimony-which culminated in the development of a new network of policy-making institutions. More importantly, Pearl Harbor changed the way Americans thought about their place in the world by replacing the concept of National Interest, which had served as the basis for U.S. foreign policy since the founding of the Republic, with the concept of National Security. 2 The articulation and management of the national interest was the responsibility of the Department of State for over 150 years. State was the first executive branch agency created by the new Republic, and serving as secretary of state was the most direct path to the White House between 1789 and the Civil War. Throughout the nineteenth century and up until World War II, secretaries of state managed what Steven Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley have called America's "rise to globalism" by sophisticated diplomacy that privileged American economic interests and exploited the nation's geographic location in order to be selective about foreign entanglements. 3 State also benefited from the nation's suspicion of a large standing military during peacetime, which made it difficult for the Departments of War and Navy to challenge the State Department's dominance of the policy-making process. At times, the State Department's inclination to formulate foreign policy without consulting the armed services was irresponsible. Professor May reminds us that in 1919, while he was serving as assistant secretary of the Navy, Franklin Roosevelt tried to remedy this situation by proposing the creation of an agency that would fac

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