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Defense policy can be defined as the actions that the a government takes on behalf of its national interests a broad to ensure the security and well being of its citizens and the strength and competitiveness of the country’s economy (Till, & Chew, 2010). The U.S. government in formulating its policies has underlined its functions in the protection of its boundaries, ensuring strong economy, and a stable and an orderly society. Initially the United States identified globalization primarily as an economic phenomenon. However, the government later realized that with globalization there was an increasing need for clear enunciation and enforcement of a national security programs. With this realization in the beginning of the era of globalization, the U.S. government started expanding its initial strategies into a strategy of emboldened cooperative security backed by preeminent security force (Till, & Chew, 2010).
The Role of the Government that Influences its Defense Policies
The roots of globalization can be traced back to the actions of President Roosevelt. He, during the post World War vision, made attempts aimed at changing the global security paradigms. His made efforts to end totalitarian and imperialism and replace them with progressive international reforms. He was committed to end all forms of colonialism and to assist the developing nations in attaining total independence. This continued and was much advanced during the leadership of President Bill Clinton who made several attempts to work out a new defense policy under new conditions. Being the major supper power, U.S. government role during the era of globalization goes beyond just protecting its national interest. The government had to start assisting in managing the political and social consequences of the globalized world.
Scholars have therefore argued the U.S. has to take responsibilities for globalization because the whole process was stimulated by the internationalization of the American economy. Apart from such pressures, it was also clear that the success of the country was from this time going to be directly dependent on the success of the globalization processes. The U.S government had to take up the role of creating a favorable environment for globalization while at the same time putting the necessary measures in place to mitigate its effects. The responsibilities meant the U.S. government was going to largely rely on the military force. The United States’ national security was going to be directly dependent on its ability to project force globally. This means that the government had no option but to globalize its defense policy.
The government had to change its initial dimension of national security. It had to diverse its focus to reconsider its economic relations with former allies and adversaries and the human condition in the developing world. Other areas it had to consider included the mounting environmental challenges in industrial states and the stability in many different areas affected by the end of cold war political structures. For along time after the end of cold war, the U.S. defense policy was being driven with the desire to reduce the budget in line with the reduced threat and the domestic priority. However, it remained dominated by an obsolete nuclear and conventional structure.
The U.S. defense policy in the Era of Globalization
During President Clinton’s administration the defense policy avoided any kind of the use of force as much as possible. His major concerns were the destiny of the nuclear potential of the Soviet Union. He also wanted to settle the military conflict in Balkans. To accomplish these tasks, the government implemented a Nunn-Lugar program strategy (Welch et al, 2010). The strategy used in Balkan was majorly a peace-making one. It involved the use of NATO as a major negotiating instrument to implement the government’s policies. With its role in negotiations widely being recognized, more opportunities were opening up for the U.S. peace making operations. NATO was very instrumental in the creation of such opportunities because of its membership and control of many coalition groups. U.S. therefore adjusted its defense policy to ensure that NATO’s was empowered to allow it meet the standard of performing its new role.
The emphasis on the use of peacemaking as a foreign-policy instrument, enabled the U.S. government reduce its use of military force. The government therefore reduced the size of its National Guard and Armed Forces by approximately 40 percent. It also reduced the other defense components like that of the Army Divisions, Naval Ships and Air Force wings by about 45percent (Hillen, 2004). These measures also led to the reduction of the number of troops and military bases which were stationed outside the United States. The alert status of elements of the backup control systems were also lowered to help increase its reliability in tackling any nuclear attack.
The government also considered building a National Missile Defense System which was largely to be linked to non-proliferation activities. Another strategy was to seek the cooperation of Russia in the creation of a Global Defense System. These measures were thought to be useful in handling such matters as would result from the ABM Treaty of 1972.
The bush administration on the other hand treated the concept of the international community as illusory. It instead redirected much of its commitments to what it perceived as of interest to the nation. Scholars have argued that Bush’s approach to defense was not new but had been rooted in government’s commitment to promoting democracy and freedom for all. The passive involvement of the government in international affairs continued till the terrorist attack of September 11, 200. The incidence proved to the government that there was need to transform its Armed Forces. The government therefore started building it forces with a view to enhancing its capacity to react to any external attack (Zenko, 2010). This led to totally new approaches.
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New Approaches and New Triad
The government came up with a new defense policy which was well elaborated in its Nuclear Posture Review. The review established a New Triad, in which offensive strike systems only contributed to a third of the components. The other components ware the defense and its revitalized infrastructure. These components were to provide the needed new capabilities required to meet the emerging nuclear threats. The government ensured that it put in place the enhanced command and control and the needed intelligence and analysis systems. The strategy further ensured that all the components of the New Tried were bound together. In doing this, the government was trying to implement the same framework as that of STRATCOM (Adaminishin et al, 2007).
In 2005, the U.S. government implemented the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations. The essence of strategic deterrence and the goals guiding the employment of the U.S Armed Forces, including nuclear weapons were well defined (Adaminishin et al, 2007). The implementation of this doctrine also ensured the enhanced capacity the Armed Force to prevent any kind of adversary attack that threatens the survival and interest of the U.S. government. This strategy reduced the possibility the U.S. involvement in combat actions. It instead emphasized on the need to use military-political and diplomatic actions. This new strategy was meant to dissuade the government’s potential adversaries from using military force against the United States (Zenko, 2010).
Nuclear Deterrence under the new conditions
From its Nuclear Posture Review, it was clear that the government intended to reduce the use of nuclear weapons in deterring adversary attack. With this strategy, the government was seeking to develop non-nuclear strike forces and information systems to allow for the delivery of strikes against specific targets. It was to replace the employment of nuclear weapons by greatly reducing their need. Another strategy to reduce dependence on nuclear weapon was for the government to develop a defense system capable of countering any form of ballistic missile strikes, while refraining from launching on-warning retaliatory strikes.
The need to employ strategic nuclear forces was greatly reduced by the new security environment. The U.S. government was simply maintaining the strategy for its organizational and technical reasons. The government couldn’t completely abandon its nuclear forces because there was still the growing threat of further nuclear proliferation. The policy makers also maintained that the nature of future threats still remained unknown. However, there was no more classification of nuclear weapons into strategic and tactical ones.
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During this era, the government started to view its nuclear weapons in a broader perspective and not only as a political instrument. It also tried to assure the adversaries of the possibility of nuclear weapon employment. The government strategy was to maintain the required nuclear readiness (Till, & Chew, 2010). Second, as much as it wanted to be transparent, the government remained ambiguous of the conditions under which it would employ nuclear weapons. The emphasis was on the need for the government to ensure that it had operations to detect any new targets. This would enable it to work out plans for their destruction in real time. In its destruction plan, the use of nuclear weapons was taken as the last resort. The U.S. peace making approach has continued to date.
Even though there have been the regular use of military force through various successive administrations, it is clear the country is moving towards less use of military force. To date the American policy makers and opinion formers have increasingly resorted to recommending the use of limited military force as a way to minimize U.S. military deaths, local civilian casualties and the collateral damage. This can be seen in the U.S. continued attempts aiming at bringing Russia into serious negotiation. It has also made China a full player while establishing a role for India, Pakistan, and Israel. Today, much effort by U.S. is directed towards coming up with various ways in which limited military force can better be used in the future.
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