National security is one of the most fundamental provisions that a government can assure its citizens. National security affects all the other sectors within an economy because without the assurance of security no nation can pursue development goals, citizens will always live in anxiety and such a nation cannot attract local or foreign investors. As outlined by (Watson, 2008), lack of natinional security creates an environment that nurtures both domestic and foreign animosity that can never be conducive for any form of business or development venture. The United States has been a de facto global superpower since the fall of the Soviet Union after the Cold War. Therefore, national security for the government of the United States is wide in terms of approach and consideration. The September 11 2001 attack on the twin towers brought the whole nation to a standstill as both the government and citizens contemplated on the security situation of America and its citizens. The essay will look at the national security policies that seem most necessary for President Obama to respond to.
The government of the United States has always had diplomatic conflicts with some regimes that are apparntly armoring their military with nuclear weapons even in the lack of clear threat. Since the cold war the Unites States has engaged various nations that had armed themselves with nuclear weapons to destroy some of the weapons. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1986 the United States, France, China and the Soviet Union signed an agreement to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons and technology (Athanasopulos, 2000). However, with the fall of the Soviet Union various nuclear scientists fled and were absrobed by other countries. In addition, most countries are imporving their technological knowhow of nuclear technology some smaller countries are armoring themselves with nuclear weapons. The concept behind the NPT was to prevent the spread of nuclear technology to smaller and unstable countries that might use the weapons irresponsibly. The extent of destruction by nuclear weapons cannot be completely fathomed and the only indicationof the destruction is the atomic bomb dropped by the United States in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Some countries that are currently worrying the United States government through their nuclear armamenet initiatives are North Korea, Iran, India and Pakistan.
Perhaps the most devastating act of terrorism that has ever occurred in the history of the United States is the September 11 2001 attack on the twin towers. The act demonstrated the vulnerability of the United States towards terrorist groups and the extent to which the groups could go to harm the United States. The attack prompted the then president Goerge W. Bush to embark on a campaign to outst president Saddam Hussein of Iraq and to end the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. The Bush administratin claimed that the Iraq and Afghanistan were providing environment conducive for terrorists to strategize and carry out the planning for terror activities. There is a general realization that terrorist groups usually take advanatge of unstable countries such as Somalia and Aghanistant to carry out their activities. However, there is also the aspect of some apparently stable regimes supporting the activities of terrorists by protecting them. Terrorist groups are hard to wipe out mostly because they employ geurrilla warfare and because of the sympathizers that suppply them with funding and weapons. The religious sentiments most of the groups preach appeal to the young and the strong and they usually command a huge following. Furthermore, the lack of a unified international approach in terms of policies has made it difficult for the United States to deal with war on terror.
The Sum of all Fears
The extent to which the september 11 2001 attacks demonstrated a breach in the security system of the United States sends chills down the spine of every American citizen. The details of the events prior to the attack have been controversial with some saying that the CIA has been informed of the attack and failed to act earlier enough. Whether the claims are true or not, just the fact that terrosists managed to kidnap an American plane and fly it towards the twin towers claiming the lives of many Americans demonstrates a weakness in the American intelligence and security system. The sum of all fears is what would happen when the anti-American terrorist groups get their hands on nuclear weapons and manage to breach the American security system and attack the United States. The extent of damage and and loss of human life would be inconceivable. There is fear that most nations such as Iran, Pakistan and India do not have system strong enough to prevent the nuclear weapons thay make from falling into the hands of terrorist groups. Furthrmore, the loyalty of some of the government officials within those countries is questionable as they would be sympathizers of the terrorist groups. The Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine cannot work in such a situation because terrorist groups are not nations (Sapolsky, 2009). Therefore retaliation using such a doctrine would be impossible.
War on Terror and Disarmament
In consideration of the outlined issues, the two most important national security policies that should be pursued by the administration of President Obama are war on terror and nuclear disarmament. The former president George W. Bush clearly outlined that it is the responsibility of the United States to ensure that the nature of regimes is important in ensuring global security. Bush made the announcement with regard to nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan that provided favorable environment conducive for terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and Iraq that was armoring itself with nuclear power with questionable objectives (Bush, 2009). Ensuring that nations that have nuclear power reduce their number of weapons and preventing armament of small and unstable nations should also be a priority. The government of North Korea boasts of its nuclear arsenal but the rationality of the armoring is still questionable due to the lack of regional threat. The diplomatic conflicts between North Korea and South Korea are not enough to warrant such extent of nuclear armament. The same consideration applies to countries such as Pakistan, Iran and India.
National security is an important consideration for any nations that seeks to excel in the global arena by protecting the welfare of its citizens. The war on terror has been at the forefront of national security policies since the September 11 attacks. The United States has also been advocating for the seizure of disarmament of nations such as Iran. The concept is that when terrorist groups get their hands on nuclear weapons they are more than likely to use them to attack the United States of America. Therefore, the two policies should not be approached separately but should be considered as interrelated. The president should ensure that clearly outlined strategies are placed into consideration. The strategies should have the capacities to strengthen the security detail in America to ensure that the September 11 scenario does not occur again. In addition, the strategies should ensure that the United States of America cooperate with other nations to fight the terrorist groups and to arrest the leaders of the groups. Finally, the US should advocate for strong and effective international policies against the nuclear armament of nations.