Isolationism, Cooperative Security, Selective Engagement Or Primacy ? American Grand Strategy After The Cold War

2083 words - 9 pages

Isolationism, cooperative security, selective engagement or primacy ? American grand strategy after the Cold WarThe demise of the Soviet Union brought an end to the Cold War, the bipolar structure of the international system, and to America's grand strategy of containment. Over the past decade, America has struggled to define its role in the post- Cold War era. The purpose of this paper is to research America's alternative grand strategy choices.Over the past decade, four model strategies have emerged. Those are : isolationism, selective engagement, cooperative security and primacy. The strategies differ in major objectives , assumptions and views on issues like NATO enlargement, nucl ...view middle of the document...

Particularly a transformed NATO have an important role to play. Cooperative security is deeply committed to arms control" the more nuclear powers there are in the world, the more dangerous it will be for international organizations to act aggressively against miscreants, the less likely they will be to act, and the more likely it is that the entire cooperative security edifice will collapse " ( Posen : 28 ). This strategy also recognizes regional conflicts among states as seriously problematic.Critics point out several basic problems with this strategy. First cooperative security downplays the importance of national interest. Second, cooperative security's commitment to arms control as a way to keep the peace cannot prevent the rise of potential aggressors.The foreign policy of the Clinton's administration ( 1993- 2001) has been largely guided by cooperative security. In 1996, President Clinton's national security team produced a detailed vision of American grand strategy called " The National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement " This document promoted a strong national defense and cooperative security measures, such as NATO expansion and a strengthened United Nations.Primacy is the second alternative strategy to look at. Primacy holds that the key to future peace and prosperity is for the united States to maintain the position it held at the end of the Cold War. The central purpose of primacy is preventing the emergence of a potential new rival along the lines of the former Soviet Union. In the words of a draft of the Bush administration's defense Planning Guidance ( DGP) that subjected to much ridicule after it was leaked to the press in March 1992, the US must " endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power............ Our strategy must now refocus on precluding the emergence of any potential future global competitor "( Huntington , p. 3)Proponents of primacy are committed to policies like NATO expansion and a continued American role in international organizations so long as institutions do not stray far from American core interests, such as maintaining American preeminence. Primacy pays much attention to identifying potential threads to American interest and measures to contain them. A rising China and a resurgent Russia top the list of potential challengers to American preeminence. Primacy advocates are also concerned with non-traditional military threats from non-states, such as terrorist organizations. Also , fear that a state like North Korea may try to strike the American homeland is the rationale behind primacy's call for the continued strong support for the development and eventual deployment of ballistic missile defense. Meeting all potential threats to America's preeminence will require a lot amount of money, since military modernization is a high priority.Primacy has its shortcomings too. A corollary argument s...


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