Friday, June 4, 2010

New US National Security Strategy

US President Barack Obama's new National Security Strategy released recently has officially placed a 'full stop' to his predecessor's, George W. Bush's unilateralism. The focus of 'destroying the old and building the new' in Obama's 52-page doctrine on security strategy is Washington's awareness of the value of global cooperation. The United States new security strategy affirmed that it has placed foreign relations to be the focus of foreign affair policy, emphasizing on the search for consensus or 'commitment to dialogue'.

Objections From International Community
Many people would not forget, in 2001, President Bush released the US's national security strategy with the policy of 'striking preemptively', asserted the right to attack with force against any country and terrorist organizations which may be considered a threat to the United States. Implementing this strategy, the US blatantly attacked Iraq in spite of objections from the international community. Needless to say, the damage for Iraq was severe, and for the US, the Iraq war was a disaster. Sinking into increasingly unilateral policies, the United States must receive even more painful implications.

Bogged down in the so-called global war on terror, economic recession, apprehension of bomb plots, all of these show that the United States, doesn't matter how powerful it is, still shows its own deadly 'Achilles' Heels', which it cannot single handedly solve all global problems in its own way. The absurdity is in the fact that it is weakened by the chase for its own shadow. The preemptive striking policy and the freedom to act in the past is not only ineffective, but also overshadowing the US image.

Obama administration's new security strategy emphasized that the United States cannot act alone in this world, and pledged to form a 'new international order'. Learning valuable lessons from its predecessor Bush in the last eight years, the United States is forced to officially acknowledge the multi-polar new world order that is forming, with the rise of more powerful countries such as China, Russia and India. More than ever, the United States understands that, without the active and continuous multilateral cooperation, it would be very difficult to solve issues which are considered crucial for the United States and the world.
The US Government and even the people of the United States understand that, without change, the United States will surely lose its superpower status. Without change, it is a certainty that the US benefits in strategic regions will be wobbly. Better late than never, Washington is frantically adjusting to restore its influence and power.

Praises India, Condemns Pakistan
Obama's National Security Strategy provides a striking contrast between how the US views India and Pakistan -- the former as a rising global power and the latter as the epicentre of global terrorism.

The document says the US and India are building a strategic partnership that is underpinned by shared interests and shared values as the world's two largest democracies and the close contacts between its people.

The document heaps praise on India. 'India’s responsible advancement serves as a positive example for developing nations, and provides an opportunity for increased economic, scientific, environmental, and security partnership,' it says and adds, 'Working together through our Strategic Dialogue and high-level visits, we seek a broad-based relationship in which India contributes to global counterterrorism efforts, nonproliferation, and helps promote poverty-reduction, education, health, and sustainable agriculture.'

Pressure on North Korea
In reality, the United States has changed in its relations with allies and the world in the past two years. From the assembling of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces for Afghanistan, seeking support to put pressure on North Korea, lifting up its relations with Russia, repairing its relations with Europe, to the promotion of peace negotiations in the Middle East and the extensive consultation regarding the route to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan.
This clearly demonstrated the United States' old conservative idea of its transcendence and placing itself on a higher plane than the rest of the world, is gradually discarded.

World in New Order
Perhaps Obama has finished with unilateralism, or does the US want to renounce its status as the 'imposer of the game'? 'Obama's Doctrine' stressed the necessity for the United States to create a world order based on diplomatic persuasion and military strength. This shows that the US's new security strategy has not changed its fundamental goals. The United States continues to maintain its powerful military forces, with an ability and operation range beyond the rest of the world.

Alhough it has abandoned the concept of 'war on terror,' the United States did not hide its intention to interfere with 'rival countries' such as Iran and North Korea. This is synonymous with the fact that the United States is not and has never abandoned the ambition to 'lead' the world in the 'new order'. Thus, in spite of putting on new 'coats', the US goals for security strategy have not changed. Unilateralism was the official joint statement. However, the United States changes in strategy were to accommodate the new position to achieve a completely old goal.

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