Published on May 8 2007

National Security Strategy of the United States In his March 16th, 2006 introduction to the publication of the National Security Strategy of the United States, President George Bush opened with the simple sentence “America is at war.” In this report, the first since August 2002, the White House stood by its policy of “preemptive war” in the defense of the nation, but the emphasis of the strategy has changed from one stressing unilateral military power to a policy leaning more toward diplomacy and cooperation with our multilateral allies. The introduction states “Our strength is not founded on force of arms alone. It also rests on economic prosperity and a vibrant democracy [and] strong alliances, friendships, and international institutions.” The 2006 NSS is based on “two pillars”: the promotion of freedom, justice, and human dignity; and the confrontation of challenges through the leadership of the growing community of democracies. These pillars are broken down further into essential tasks but the overriding theme of the 2006 strategy is the policy of the United States to “seek and support democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in the world”. The strategy reasons that since “democracies are the most responsible members of the international system”, the United States should be most aggressive in the promotion and support of democracy. To lay the foundation for this far-reaching “generational” goal, the United States will work toward the accomplishment of several tasks, beginning with addressing terrorism, limiting the threat of weapons of mass destruction, and defusing regional conflicts. The 2002 NSS stated that the “first priority will be to disrupt and destroy terrorist organizations”; the 2006 documents carries this a step further by stating that in the long run, winning the war on terror means winning the battle of ideas as well as the military battle. If terrorism is the primary threat to US security, the causes of this threat need to be understood. Terror networks are less centralized, and therefore strategy must be preemptive to causes as well as preemptive to immediate threats. While the 2002 document stated that “no cause that justifies terror”, the 2006 document acknowledges root causes of terrorism such as political alienation, grievances that can be blamed on others, sub-cultures of conspiracy and misinformation, and ideologies that justify murder which can and must be addressed. The counter to each of these causes and to the larger causes of regional conflicts in the long term is democracy, with its offer of ownership in one’s society, its rule of law in the settling of disputes, its freedom of information and ideas, and its respect for human dignity. Short term steps to be taken towards this goal are: preventing terrorist attacks before they occur, denying weapons of mass destruction to rogue states and their terrorist allies, and deny terrorist groups the sanctuary of rogue states’ protection and support by keeping them from controlling any nation. Addressing larger regional conflicts through conflict prevention, intervention, and stabilization will require “effective international action—and the international community is most engaged in such action when the United States leads”. While the 2002 NSS argued that the US should do everything possible to maintain its position as the sole superpower by maintaining a military capability that was so far ahead of potential rivals that those states would not seek to compete; the 2006 document calls for the US to “strengthen alliances” and “work with others”. In some respects, this is being done. The United States spurned the United Nations in its decision to invade Iraq in 2003, citing Iraq’s repeated serious breaches of UN resolutions, Saddam Hussein’s abuses of his own people, and the danger to the rest of the world should Hussein use the weapons of mass destruction he was believed to have obtained. The current administration also showed its early unilateralist tendencies through its withdrawal or disengagement from international organizations and treaties ranging from the Kyoto protocol to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to the International Criminal Court. However, more recent developments show the administration’s willingness to cooperate with other countries in multilateral diplomatic efforts. An example of this is shown by the US approach to both Iranian nuclear aspirations, which are being dealt with in closer diplomacy within the United Nations Security Council; and in dealings with North Korea’s nuclear program, where the US has rejected direct bilateral negotiations with North Korea in favor of six-party talks in concert with China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea. A second thrust of the larger US strategy in promoting democratization lies in its approach to economic globalization. The document states “Promoting free and fair trade has long been a bedrock tenet of American foreign policy. Greater economic freedom is ultimately inseparable from political liberty”. The document also points out that “weak and impoverished states…are susceptible to exploitation by terrorists”, tying economic reforms firmly to the war on terrorism. The United States proposes building long-term stable and peaceful societies by working to open markets and integrate developing countries, diversifying energy markets to ensure energy independence, and reform the international financial system to ensure stability and growth. Pointing to its successful implementations of 14 Free Trade Agreements on five continents, the administration proposes to advance the opening of markets with several more FTAs and helping countries such as Russia to join the World Trade Organization. Noting that in some cases “oil revenues fund activities that destabilize regions or advance violent ideologies”, the United States proposes to diversify energy sources through technologies such as nuclear energy and other “clean” sources of energy, as well as reducing reliance on foreign energy sources. Discussion of the US strategy to reform international financial system includes encouraging adoption of flexible exchange rates, which is of particular importance in the US dealings with China in recent years. China rates a warning in the 2006 NSS document due to its continued reliance on global trade imbalances through the manipulation of its currency that the US may “hedge against [the] possibility” of China’s not working with the United States and other major powers to correct these imbalances. In its previous trade policy, the United States has refrained from making accusations that “nonmarket” economies such as China’s are illegally subsidizing their export trade, but recent Commerce Department decisions may lead to tariffs and duties on Chinese imports to the US. The 2006 NSS document goes further to encourage China to “follow the path of East Asia’s many modern democracies, adding political freedom to economic freedom” and to become one of the “close allies and friends with whom we share common values and principles”. The US strategy assumes that greater economic freedom will produce greater political freedom which will, in turn, produce greater security for the United States and the world. As George Bush stated in the introduction “Peace and international stability are most reliably built on a foundation of freedom” and the 2006 National Security Strategy states that the United States is prepared to lead in the promotion of free and effective democracies throughout the world. References The National Security Strategy. Retrieved April 25, 2007, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss/2006/intro.html. National Security Strategy - September 2002. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/national/nss-020920.htm. Foreign Policy: Democratic Enlargement: The Clinton Doctrine. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=1557. Foreign Policy—National Interests - Global Issues. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/ForeignPolicy.asp. Gaddis, J.L. (2002). A Grand Strategy of Transformation. Foreign Policy. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=180&print=1. In US security plan, more realism | csmonitor.com. Retrieved April 27, 2007, from http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0317/p01s03-usfp.html. James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy Rice University. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from http://www.bakerinstitute.org/. The New National Security Strategy and Preemption. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://www.brookings.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb113.htm.

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #Pics and Babbling, #School

Repost0

Published on May 7 2007

K, spring break is over. Back to the books-- and I loooooove research, so I think this will be a too cool class! :-D On another note.... I am not a gamer. I have never been a gamer. I actually hate computer games, if the truth be known. But I could get seriously addicted to this. A shrink could probably have a field day with the fact that my original life isn't enough, lol. But it could be worse. It might be this, instead. I hear those people are *really* addicts. Yours truly, Eirual Jie

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #Pics and Babbling

Repost0

Published on May 7 2007

LILEKS James :: The Bleat
As it happens, they've killed my column, and assigned me to write straight local news stories. Really. My column will end a week from this Friday. (There’s a series of pieces I can’t wait to write.) After that, it's just-the-facts-ma'am - and I'll no longer be telecommuting, either. This means I will start burning my share of hydrocarbons like a good American. Hell, I may leave the vehicle running all day outside the building just to make up for lost time. Maybe I will put a green roof on the car to balance things out. Some turf, some switchgrass. It's murder on the paint but we all must do our part.
Somebody hire this guy. Please. He's one of the best writers on the 'net. Really. [UPDATE:] This morning my *other* favorite writer posted this:
For me, the fight to preserve Western Civilization is a fight to preserve the bright, funny, self-deprecating voice of wholesomeness and decency that makes Lileks the champion of the America that I love. If the Trib is that plain effing stupid then one can only wonder what the man will be able to achieve if he finds himself free of that Yoke of Self-Blinded Ignorance.
I can only nod my head in agreement.

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #America, #Pics and Babbling

Repost0

Published on May 6 2007

4/29truth.com
The “official story” from “official government sources” is that weekend a lone gas truck driver crashed a single tanker loaded with 8,600 gallons of unleaded gasoline into a guardrail in what they say was an ordinary accident. Unfortunately there are too many questionable statements, too many conflicting reports, and too many outright impossibilities for any serious, thoughtful individual to take this “official report” seriously. Let’s review the facts.

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #Current Affairs

Repost0

Published on May 6 2007

Rasmussen Reports™: Poll Results
Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. 35% of Democrats believe he did know 39% say he did not know 26% are not sure Overall, 22% of all voters believe the President knew about the attacks in advance. A slightly larger number, 29%, believe the CIA knew about the attacks in advance.
Why oh WHY do people believe that there was specific prior knowledge of 9/11? Is it paranoia? What is it?

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #Current Affairs

Repost0

Published on May 6 2007

gigcats.jpg  Post cowed by "very threatening cat"
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canada's postal system has stopped delivering mail to a home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, after a mail carrier was scared away by a "very threatening cat," the Winnipeg Free Press said on Friday. "The letter carrier who delivers mail there ... was brought up on a farm, she is very comfortable with animals," spokewoman Kathi Neal told the newspaper. "Apparently this is a very threatening cat."

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #Pics and Babbling

Repost0

Published on May 6 2007

It's been a busy week. So busy, in fact, that I had to ask for an extension on the final paper for my IR2 class. I have a month, but I am NOT going to go past tomorrow before turning in the final. I have never had to extend before, and I feel just awful about it. The pressure is on for the Mad One. Soooooo.....today is "paper day" for me. Anybody got any tips on assessing a National Security document and not sounding like a complete idiot? Okay, you can all stop giggling now. I mean it. Don't make me go "mom" on you. [UPDATE: It's done. Done. DONE. #:-S Not too much happydance, though--the next class begins TOMORROW. So much for spring break in, say.... Florida.... Jamaica.....wherever... for me!] There is a little a lot of procrastination involved here, oh yes there is. As well as a little hangover from paint fumes-- my bedroom is almost done, save the second coat of sand paint which requires *another* trip to the Depot de Casa. And the kicker came last evening. I cracked the glass top on my stove by not turning the burner off completely with an empty teapot sitting on it. (I swear I shut it off!!) Lucky I didn't burn the place down-- the pot sat on the burner empty and melting for well over an hour before I wondered what the strange smell of something cooking was. Guess now I can go get the noisy whistling teapot I always wanted, but wasn't allowed. At least I got the lawn mowed ( and the cars registered after I happened to notice that the tags on BOTH of them said "March 07". Oooops.) ..... time to go make some of that breakfast booze and hit the books. And hope that next week is a better one.

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #Background, #Pics and Babbling, #School

Repost0

Published on May 5 2007

Although I'm betting it isn't Jameson's. Guinness. Chocolate. Ice cream. Whiskey. This may just be the perfect drink. Sacrilegious or not, this looks goooooooood. Breakfast booze
Wisconsin Cow Bomb 1 pint Guinness 1 scoop vanilla ice cream 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup 1 shot Jameson Irish Whiskey Directions Pour Guinness in a pint glass. Add ice cream, then syrup, then top it off with Jameson.
H/T to Wigderson Library & Pub

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #'Sconsin stuff, #Pics and Babbling

Repost0

Published on May 4 2007

Professor Stephen Hawking takes his *first* weightless flight. "Space, here I come". I am *so* jealous. That's MY number 25!

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #Pics and Babbling

Repost0

Published on May 3 2007

Setting the Stage: The Republicans First Debate - The Fix
Tommy Thompson: Like Huckabee, Thompson remains virtually unknown in national politics but has a compelling story to tell. During his time as governor of Wisconsin -- 1987 to 2001 -- Thompson was widely seen as one of the most innovative chief executives in the country. The question is whether he gets to tell that story tonight. Thompson remains an asterisk in most state and national polling and the bulk of the questions typically go to the frontrunning candidates. And, when Thompson does get his chances can he show some foreign policy chops despite focusing almost exclusively on domestic policy during his time in office?
Um.... personally, I was unimpressed with Thompson. Very unimpressed. McCain? Not much better. Giuliani did pretty well, imho. (Now if I could just learn to spell his name) I must have made a pit stop during a couple of the candidates' questions, because I'm not sure I even heard them speak. Hmmmmm..... Romney? maaaaaybe? Where's Newt when you need him??? Or the "other" Thompson; the one who hasn't even declared yet?

See comments

Written by admin

Published on #'Sconsin stuff, #Current Affairs

Repost0