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POL300 National Security Discussion

National Security—What has changed, improved, or gotten worse?

The conclusion of the Cold War led lots of people to think that the security problems of the world’s major powers decreased and that the world was suddenly a ‘safer place’. In the United States, the Administration at the time even reduced its use of human intelligence assets (aka, spies) in favor technology. All of this turned out to be a naive view of the world. While the risk of a major conflict between the world’s major powers suddenly decreased, we all of a sudden saw a massive increase in all of these very small conflicts popping up all over the globe.

We saw conflicts in the Balkans (ironically, over many of the same issues that caused World War I), Chechnya, Somalia…the list goes on and on. What people did not realize about the Soviet Union was how it was created and maintained power. To make a long story short, it all goes back to Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, and what is called the Soviet Nationalities Policy. It worked like this: you have two regions where the people have historically hated each other. You divide up the territory so that there is a majority population and a minority population…both of which have hated each other for centuries. Just a note, but it is not hard to find such hatred all over the planet.

Next, you take the territory where the majority population is located and put the hated minority in charge. So, for example, you have the folks in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Both have hated each other for the better part of 500 years. So you create a territory dominated by Azeris and put the Armenians in charge. You take another territory dominated by Armenians and put the Azeris in charge. What this does is cause both sides to look to the iron fist of Moscow to keep everyone from killing each other. When the Soviet Union collapse in 1991, that iron fist disappeared and the killing began.

This led to all kinds of hot spots and open conflicts between rival groups flaring up all over the world. It also created a lot of safe havens for radical Islamic groups that wanted to reestablish their power as they fled their homelands for the now safer hot spots. Things like radical Islam and even organized terrorist criminal organizations created new, unexpected threats, including the 9/11 attacks. This demonstrated that all countries must always be on guard for the unexpected.

  • Select any two of the four basic strategies used to preserve security. Identify and describe what assumptions are made about the opponent according to each of the two strategies you chose.
  • Give an example of each of the two (2) strategies in current world politics and speculate on their effectiveness.
  • What are some changes in US (or foreign) policy that we have seen recently that have increased or decreased world security?

Please be SPECIFIC and do not just state an opinion without supporting fact.Review the posts of your classmates and respond to at least one other post. Remember, you do not need to respond to each of the items above. They are only there to give you ideas.

Please remember to support your opinion with well thought out fact. Do not just state your opinion and leave it without giving the reasons why you think that way.

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