The Influence And Direction Of Deterrence.

3502 words - 14 pages

Throughout the Cold War, the U.S. National Security Policy was implemented on the sole basis of deterrence. At the time, this policy held the ability to ward off any potential threats; the effectiveness of this system was based on the mere fact that possible invaders would seriously contemplate the results of their action. The chief reason as to why the United States held such a powerful stance is the fact that the United States, at the time, was facing a rational enemy that would make rational decisions based on the power of the United States. However, since the conclusion of the Cold War, the U.S. National Security Policy does not enjoy the same leisure with the introduction of rogue states and dictators. Due to the difference in motivations, the United States cannot assume any rational decisions to be made by these powers.During the Cold War, the United States had the tremendous benefit of facing the Soviet Union, a rational actor. Facing a rational adversary permitted the United States to focus its Security Policy with one major deterrent, nuclear power. This understanding of opposing power made it essential that both actors, the U.S. and Soviet Union, developed rational policies, with rational decisions. Even through the most heightened periods of the Cold War, rational was able to prevail and save millions of lives.Immediately following the Cold War, the United States was under the impression that the current policy, that was successful in defending against the former Soviet Union, could still be inant throughout the mid-to-late-nineties. However, as rogue states became more prominent, the thought of facing a rational enemy became non-existent. During the Cold War, policy was implemented under the mindset of a rational thinker, but with the fall of the Soviet Union, only irrational enemies remained. "Underlying the concern over nuclear blackmail is the notion that emerging missiles states such as North Korea or Iraq may be 'undeterrable'--that is, their leadership may not be sufficiently rational to be deterred by the prospect of U.S. nuclear retaliation."1 Following the Cold War, the United States faced the vital task of completely restructuring the U.S. National Security Policy, to one that could be implemented towards irrational actors.The task of restructuring the U.S. National Security Policy, through the mid-nineties, carried the responsibility of creating a policy that involved multiple actors. The United States, following the Cold War, was in a situation were it depended on the aid of its allies. This situation would allow the United States to have a vigilant eye on its more prominent enemies. "In the light of these changes, strategic planning is moving toward a new regional focus."2 This mindset is completely different from the policy that was implemented during the Cold War. Throughout the Cold War, the U.S. focus was nuclear power, and in the eyes of many, this tactic would threaten the United States. "Admiral William J. Crowe...

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