THE EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY SINCE THE END OF SECOND WORLD WAR



                           THE UNIVERSITY OF HULL



                           Department of Politics

                    Comparative National Security Policy



             THE EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
                      SINCE THE END OF SECOND WORLD WAR



By:
Jonas Daniliauskas

Tutor:
Eric J. Grove

March 10, 1995



The Introduction.

      The aim of this work is to account for the evolution of  the  American
national security policy since the end of the World War II.
      Charles Kegley divided the history of the American foreign  policy  of
containing the Soviet Union into the five chronologically ordered phases:
      1. Belligerence, 1947-1952
      2. Tough Talk, Accomodative Action, 1953-1962
      3. Competetive Coexistence, 1963-1968
      4. Detente, 1969-1978
      5. Confrontation, 1979 onwards[1]
      The same pattern fits for the US national security policy quite  well.
Only some additions must be introduced. The period  of  confrontation  ended
in 1986. The period between 1987 and 1990 could be called Ending  the  Cold
War, and the period from 1991  onwards  -  The  Post-Cold  War  Era.  The
period between 1945 and 1946 could be named Toward Containment.
      So, the goal of the US  national  security  policy  for  nearly  forty
years was the containment of the Soviet Union by all possible means.
      But in the 1991 the US founded itself in the confusing situation.  The
major  threat  -  the  SU  -  simply  dissapeared.  The  US  left  the  only
superpower. There are no large specific military threats facing the US.  The
US national security policy  must  be  changed,  and  it  is  changing.  The
problem is that there is no clear consensus in the US over  the  threats  to
the security and economic well-being of the US.[2]


Toward Containment, 1945-1946.

      The World War II showed that the US must change its role in the  world
politics. The World War II reafirmed that the US could  not  pretend  to  be
immune from the global turmoil and gave birth to the notion of the US  as  a
superpower.[3] The first problem was how to deal  with  the  Soviets.  The
immediate postwar American policy towards the SU was  based  on  the  belief
that  the  SU  could  be  integrated  in  the  postwar  security  structure.
President Roosevelt developed the Four Policemen idea, which was based  on
the vision that the US, Great Britain, the SU, and China would impose  order
on the rest of the postwar world.[4] But in  fact,  experience  showed  that
there was little the US  could  do  to  shape  Stalins  decisions.  It  was
realized that neither trust nor pressure  had  made  any  difference.[5]  In
less than a year President Truman realized that the Soviets would expand  as
far as they could unless effective countervailing  power  was  organized  to
stop them.[6] Stalin obviously placed  a  higher   value  on  expanding  the
Soviet sphere of control then on maintaining good relations with the US.[7]
      Many American defense officials in 1945 hoped to avoid the  escalation
with the SU. But at the same time their  aim  was  to  prevent  Europe  from
falling under Communist regime. The American objective was to avoid   Soviet
hegemony over Eurasia.[8] In winter 1945-1946 the SU increased pressures  on
Iran and Turkey. The US viewed this as a threat to  the  global  balance  of
power. The battleship Missouri was sent to Istanbul.
      In October 1945 the first postwar base system  was  approved  by  both
the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the civilian  secretaries.  It  included
Iceland as a primary base area. So, when  Winston  Churchill  delivered  his
famous Iron Curtain speech in March 1946, the US was on the  path  of  the
Cold War allready.
      In fact, the origins of the Cold War were  in  Europe.  Martin  Walker
wrote: The Cold War  started in Europe because it was  there  that  US  and
Soviet troops met in  May  1945,  over  the  corpse  of  Nazi  Germany,  and
discovered that their concepts of Europes postwar future  were  dangerously
incopatible.[9]


Five Stages of Containment:

1. Belligerence, 1947-1952. There are  different  opinions  about  the  date
when the Cold War began. In fact, there is no date of the  begining  of  the
Cold War. It didnt begin in one night. It began   step  by  step.   And  it
began from both sides.
      In February 1946, Stalin  gave a speech in which he spoke about   the
inevitability of conflict with  the capitalist powers.[10]
      On February 22, 1946, George F.Kennan, at that time charge  daffaires
in the US embassy in Moscow, sent to Washington his famous  long  telegram
assessing the motivations of the Soviets. Later he published his  well-known
article X in the Foreign Affairs (1947). In it, Kennan argued that  Soviet
leaders would  forever  feel  insecure  about  their  political  ability  to
maintain power against forces both within Soviet society andin  the  outside
world. Their insecurity would lead to an activist - and  perhaps  hostile  -
Soviet foreign policy.[11]
      In March  1947,   the  Truman  Doctrine  was  announced.  This  was  a
dramatic departure  from  traditional  US  foreign,  defense,  and  security
policy. It was based on a view of international politics as  a  contest  for
world  domination,  with  the  SU  as  an  imperial  power  bent  on   world
conquest.[12]
      This was the start of containment policy. Containment was designed  to
circumscribe Soviet expansionism in order  to  (1)  save  the  international
system from a revolutionary state, and (2) force  internal  changes  in  the
SU.[13] Containment was a desired condition in US-Soviet relations.  It  was
a geopolitical rather than ideological or military  strategy.  Its  ultimate
objective was a stable and peaceful international system.[14]
      Soon the first results  of  the  containment  appeared.  The  National
Security Act  (1947)  created  a  unified  Department  of  Defense  with  an
autonomous  Air  Force,  a  Joint  Chiefs  of  Staff  system,  the   Central
Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Council.[15]  In  June  1947,
the Marshall Plan for the economic recovery of Europe was announced.
      In July 1947, intelligence analysts in the War  Department  maintained
that the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan  provoked  a  more  aggresive
Soviet attitude toward the US.[16]  So,  the  result  of  the  beginning  of
containment was the escalation.
      Another step to  deeper  hostility  was  the  document  called  NSC-68
(approved by President Truman on September 30, 1950).  NSC-68  was  designed
to (1) bolster the conventional capabilities, (2) strenghten  the  strategic
nuclear forces, (3) assist the US allies, especially in Europe.[17]
      The aim of NSC-68 was to check and roll back the Kremlins drive  for
world domination.[18]
      The first military attempt to contain the  communism  was  the  Korean
War (1950), which had pushed the budget appropriations for defense up  to  a
peak of almost $57 billion (67 per cent of  the  whole  budget)  for  fiscal
year 1952.[19] The Korean War  marked  a  globalisation  of  containment  in
terms of operational commitments as well as rhetoric.[20]
      This period was also marked by the creation of North  Atlantic  Treaty
Organisation (NATO). The NATO Pact was signed in April 1949. This was  open-
ended, multilateral, peacetime alliance  among  the  US,  Canada,  and  West
European nations that commited the US to consider an attack  on  any  member
nation as an attack on itself.[21] The creation of NATO was  a  response  to
Soviet actions in Czekoslovakia, Berlin, and Greece.
      Also the US signed bilateral mutual defense treaties  with  Japan  and
the Philippines and a trilateral pact with Australia and  New  Zealand  (the
ANZUS Treaty). All three were signed in 1951.

2. Tough Talk, Accomodative Action, 1953-1962. This was the  period  of  the
American superiority in terms of the  nuclear  capabilities.  But  President
Eisenhover understood that American resources are not endless. The  idea  of
his policy was security and solvency -  to  regain  American  initiative  in
foreign policy without  bankrupting  the  nation.[22]  His  policy  had  two
elements. The first was   New  Look  defense  policy,  and  second  -  the
formation of a global alliance system.
       The   New   Look   was   based   on   three   concepts:   rollback,
brinkmanship,and massive retaliation.[23]
      Rollback  stated  the  goal  the  US  was  to  pursue:  reject  merely
containing the spread of communist influence and  instead  roll  back  the
iron curtain.[24]
      Brinkmanship was a strategy for dealing with the  Soviets  by  backing
them into the corner with the threat of nuclear amihilation.[25]
      Massive retaliation was a countervalue nuclear weapons  strategy  that
sought to achieve American foreign policy  objectives  by  threatening  mass
destruction of the Soviet population and industrial centers.[26]
      All this was called compellence strategy, which lasted until1961.
      In the early 1960s the  American  superiority  declined.  This  pushed
towards deterrence strategy. Deterrence  means  discouraging   an  adversary
from taking military action by convincing him that  the  cost  and  risk  of
such action would outweight the potential gain.[27] The concept of  flexible
response  was  formulated.  It  means  the  increase  of  conventional   war
capabilities. In 1962 the capacity to  wage  two-and-one-half    wars  was
embraced as the official strategy.[28]
      The formation of the global alliance system continued. The  US  signed
bilateral  agreements  with  South  Korea  (1953),  the  Republic  of  China
(Taiwan) (1954), Iran (1959), Pakistan (1959), and Turkey  (1959).  In  1954
South East Asian Treaty Organisation (SEATO) was created.  In  1959  the  US
became a member of Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO).
      Also the Middle East became the area of concern, especially after  the
Suez crizis (1956). Fear of Communist incursions in this  area  led  to  the
formulation of Eisenhower  Doctrine.[29]
      Of course, the most important event during this period was  the  Cuban
crisis (1962). It was the most dangerous event of the Cold War, and  a  good
lesson for the officials of both superpowers.  A  nuclear  exchange  was  so
close that both White House  and  Kremlin  officials  frankly  expected  the
bombs to fall.[30] They recognized that the superpowers  must  change  their
policies.

3.  Competetive  Coexistence,  1963-1968.  Because  of  growing  parity   of
American  and  Soviet  military  capabilities  the   fact   was   that   the
alternatives were coexistence or noncoexistence.[31]  The  powers  began  to
look  for  the  ways  to  coexistence.  One  of  the  first  signs  was  the
instaliation of the hot line linking the White House and the Kremlin  With
a direct communication system in 1963. Also  a  number  of  agreements  were
negotiated: The  Antarctic  Treaty  (1959),  The  Partial  Test  Ban  Treaty
(1963), The Outer Space Treaty (1967), The Nuclear  Nonproliferation  Treaty
(1968). All this paved the way towards detente.


4. Detente, 1969-1978. Detente - a policy and a process  designed  to  relax
tensions between the superpowers.[32] Nixon and Kissinger viewed detente  as
yet another  in a long series of attempts  to  contain  the  power  and  the
influence of the SU.[33]
      In July 1969, the Nixon Doctrine was declared. There were three  major
points: (1) that the US will keep all of its treaty  commitments;  (2)  that
the US will provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens the freedom  of  a
allied nation; and (3) that  the  US  will  furnish  military  and  economic
assistance when requested in accordance with treaty commitments.[34]
      The first real step in implementation of the Nixon  Doctrine  was  the
gradual withdrawal  of  American  troops  from  South  Vietnam.  Nixon  also
reduced the two-and-one-half war  strategy  to  a  one-and-one-half  war
strategy.
      There were two requirements for implementing detente:  (1)  to  engage
the SU in serious negotiations; (2) the concept of linkage .[35]
      Detente led to a series of negotiations and signing of  treaties.  The
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) was signed in 1972, the  Vladivostok
Accords - in 1974, the Helsinki Agreement - in 1975, and SALT II -  in  1979
(SALT II was never ratified by the Congress).
      At the  same  time  the  more  serious  doubts  about  mutual  assured
destruction strategy (MAD) arose. Early  in  1974,  President  Nixon  signed
National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM)-242.  This  was  the  shift  of
emphasis away from the MAD strike options in the strategic war plans  toward
more limited  and  flexible  options  designed  to  control  escalation  and
neutralize any Soviet advantage.[36]
      Another important issue was China. During the late 1960s,  both  Nixon
and Kissinger had reached the conclusion that it would not be wise to  leave
China permanently isolated.[37] Also it became clear that the split  between
the SU and the China was real.[38] Recognition of the Peoples  Republic  of
China and full diplomatic relations with the Beijing goverment  took  effect
on January 1, 1979.
      Carter came into office  in  January  1977.  In  general,  the  Carter
administration  continued the same strategy as Nixon. But some changes  were
introduced.  The Carter administration  emphasized  a  more  global  agenda,
concentrating  on  regional  issues,  the  North-South   relationship,   the
economic interdependence of the industrial democracies,  and  human  rights.
Another important departure  was  a  renewed  emphasis  on  moralism  in  US
policy.[39]
      The end of detente was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in  December
1979. Ronald  Sullivan pointed out:  The  Soviet  invasion  of  Afghanistan
finally closed the door on the policy experiment known as detente.[40]

5. Confrontation, 1979-1986. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan  opened  the
new  period  of  the  US-Soviet   relations.   Confrontation   rather   than
accomodation had once again become the dominant mode of interaction  between
the superpowers.[41]
      Even before that the first signs  of  confrontation  appeared.  Carter
Doctrine (1979) declared: an attempt by any outside force to  gain  control
of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded  as  an  assault  on  the  vital
interests of the USA.[42] So, the invasion  was  regarded  as  an  assault.
Carter Doctrine also underlined the importance  of  Rapid  Deployment  Force
(RDF), which was created in December 1979.
      In 1981 Ronald Reagan assumed  office.  His  administration  began  to
pursue much more anti-Communist policy.  The  keys  to  the  Reagan  foreign
policy  were  to  be:  military  and  economic  revitalization,  revival  of
alliances, stable progress in the Third World,  and  a  firm  Soviet  policy
based on Russian reciprocity and restraint.[43]
      In March 1983 President Reagan announced Strategic Defense  Initiative
(SDI), also known as  Star Wars. The US shifted the focus from offense  to
defense. The new strategy suggested a profound shift in US nuclear  strategy
away from reliance on offensive missiles to deter an attack - that is,  from
dependence on MAD, which Reagan deemed  morally unacceptable.[44]
      The new strategy led to a major increase  in  defense  spending.  Real
spending in fiscal year 1985 was over 50 per cent greater   than  in  fiscal
year 1980.[45] Reagan administration also focused its atention  on  regional
problems. In 1983, a new joint service command - CENTCOM -  was  established
to deal  specifically with contingents in Southwest Asia. By early  1986,  a
new element of strategy  informally  known  as  the  Reagan  Doctrine  had
appeared. This policy sought to roll back Soviet  and  Cuban  gains  in  the
Third World by active support of  liberation  movements  in  areas  such  as
Nicaragua, Angola, and Afghanistan.[46]
      During this period the relations between the superpowers  were  highly
escalated. But situation changed when Gorbachev came to power in the  SU  in
1985.


Ending the Cold War, 1987-1990.

      Gorbachevs Novoye Myshlenniye  or  New  Thinking  in  international
affairs was first spelt out at the Geneva summit with  President  Reagan  in
October 1985, when they agreed in principle  to  work  towards  a  Strategic
Arms Reduction Treaty to cut their nuclear arsenals in half.[47]
      Probably the most radical summit was the Reykjavik summit  in  October
1986. Despite that fact that no agreement was signed, it  succeeded  beyond
the limited horizons of  diplomats and arms controllers in that  it  shocked
the US-Soviet negotiations into a  wholly  new  dimension.  The  old  ground
rules of superpower poker, of incremental  gains  and  minimal  concessions,
had been ripped up.[48] In fact, both Reagan and Gorbachev  recognized  the
posibility of nuclear free world.  More,  they  both  made  it  their  major
mutual goal.
      The real agreement was reached at the Washington  summit  in  December
1987. The US and the SU signed the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF)  Treaty
and formalized their commitment to a 50  per  cent  reduction  in  strategic
offensive arms.[49] The signing  of the INF Treaty signalled an end to  the
New Cold War.[50]
      Following a meeting between Secretary of State James Baker and  Soviet
Foreign Minister Schevardnadze in  Wyoming  in  September,  Secretary  Baker
suggested that the era of containment had perhaps come to an end.[51]
      Then followed the Malta summit in December 1989, where President  Bush
and Gorbachev recognized common interests in maintaining  stability  in  the
midst of revolutionary  political  changes  and  were  even  explicit  about
accepting each others legitimate security interests and role  in  preserving
European security.[52]
      The end of the Cold War solved one great problem  for  the  US  -  the
nuclear threat from the Soviet side was eliminated. But it caused  a  series
of other problems. The Cold War ended wih the US and Britain in  recession,
the Japanese stock market tumbling by  40  per  cent,  with  the  wealth  of
Germany devoted to the rescue of its reunited  compatriots,  and  the  world
poised for war in the Persian Gulf.[53]


The Post-Cold War Era, 1991 onwards.

      With the collapse of the Warsaw  Treaty  Organisation  (WTO)  and  the
dissolution of the SU after the failed coup, August 1991, the US  faced  the
another problem - the lack of  a coherent American foreign policy. There  is
no clear consensus in the US over the threats to the security  and  economic
well-being of the US.[54]
      Bush administrations emphasis was on prudence  and   pragmatism.  The
Bush record of six military interventions in four years  is  remarkable.[55]
In the invasion of Panama  (Operation  Just  Came)  in  December  1989,  the
Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) in January and February 1991,  and
the intervention in Somalia in 1992 (Operation Restore  Hope),  the  US  was
motivated by the desire to impose order in the international system.[56]
      But neither  the  foreign  nor  the  defense  policy  of  the  Clinton
administration is  yet  well  defined.[57]  Through  the  1992  presidential
campaign, Clinton emphasized the following new priorities for the  post-Cold
War American foreign policy: (1) to relink foreign  and  domestic  policies;
(2) the reassertion of the moral principles most Americans share;  (3)  to
understand  that  American  security  is  largely  economic.[58]   He   also
campaigned for the restructuring US military forces. The new military  force
must be capable of:  (1)  nuclear  deterrence;  (2)  rapid  deployment;  (3)
technology; and (4) better intelligence.[59]
      As president, Clinton directed  Secretary  of  Defense  Les  Aspin  to
conduct a review  of  military  requirements.  In  September  1,  1993,  the
Clinton administrations first defense planning document   named  Bottom-Up
Review (BUR) was announced.  The  BUR  identifies  four  major  sources  of
danger to US security: (1) aggression instigated by major  regional  powers;
(2) the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;  (3)  the  failure  of
former communist states to make a succesful transition to democracy;  (4)  a
failure to maintain a strong and growing US economic  base.[60]   (Recently,
one more danger has been added: transnational threats.[61] The BUR  offers
a force structure oriented around three general  missions:  (1)  waging  two
nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts  (the  two-MRC  requirement);
(2) conducting peace operations; and (3)  maintaining  forward  presence  in
areas where the US has vital  interests.[62]  The  BUR  accords  significant
weight to maintaining the overseas military presence of US forces in  sizing
Americas post-Cold War force structure.  The  plan  is  to  retain  roughly
100,000 troops in Europe and some 98,000 troops in East Asia.[63]
      The BUR received a lot of criticims since it was announced. There is
no logical flow from the top - political guidance based on the imperative
to protect US interests in a new security environment - to the bottom,
i.e., planned forces.[64] The other problem that there are grounds for
suspecting that the force structure selected for the late 1990s is geared
more to meet fiscal goals than strategic ones.[65]
      So, it is obvious that the end of the Cold War was not the end of the
threats for US national security , and not the end of the problems for the
US defense planners. More, it seems that it was easier to deal with one big
threat rather than with a complex of relatively small threats.



                                BIBLIOGRAPHY



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Wright, E.N. (eds.), American Defense Policy (6th. ed. Baltimore: The John
Hopkins University Press, 1990), pp.165-187
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International History (London: Routledge, 1994), pp.107-122
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-----------------------
[1] Kegley, Ch.W. and Wittkopf, E.R., American Foreign Policy: Pattern and
Process (3rd. ed. London: Macmillan, 1987), p.56
[2] Korb, L.J., The United States, in Murray, D.J. and Viotti, P.R.
(eds.), The Defense Policies of Nations (3rd. ed. Baltimore: The John
Hopkins University Press, 1994), p.30
[3] Foerster, Sch., The United States as a World Power: An Overview, in
Foerster, Sch. and Wright, E.N. (eds.), American Defense Policy (6th. ed.
Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1990), p.152
[4] Gaddis, J.L., Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of
Postwar American National Security Policy (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1982), p.10
[5] Ibid., p.18
[6] Brown, S., The Faces of Power: Constancy and Change in United States
Foreign Policy from Truman To Reagan (New York: Columbia University Press,
1983), p.31
[7] Ibid., p.34
[8] Leffler, M.P., National Security and US Foreign Policy, in Leffler,
M.P. and Painter, D.S. (eds.), Origins of the Cold War: An International
History (London: Routledge, 1994), p.23
[9] Walker, M., The Cold War: And the Making of the Modern World (London:
Vintage, 1994), p.59
[10] Kegley, Ch.W. and Wittkopf, E.R., op.cit., p.56
[11] Ibid., p.58
[12] Ibid., p.58
[13] Sullivan, R.S., Dealing with the Soviets, in Foerster, Sch. and
Wright, E.N. (eds.), American Defense Policy (6th. ed. Baltimore: The John
Hopkins University Press, 1990), p.165
[14] Ibid., p.169
[15] Ibid., p.170
[16] Leffler, M.P., op.cit., p.34
[17] Nitze, P.H., Grand Strategy Then and Now: NSC-68 and its Lessons for
the Future, Strategic Review, Winter 1994, p.16
[18] Trachtenberg, M., American Policy and the Shifting Nuclear Balance,
in Leffler, M.P. and Painter, D.S. (eds.), Origins of the Cold War: An
International History (London: Routledge, 1994), p.113
[19] Williams, Ph., US Defense Policy, in Baylis, J., Booth, K., Garnett,
J., and Williams, Ph., Contemporary Strategy. Volume 2: The Nuclear Powers
(2nd. ed. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1987), p.34
[20] Brown, S., op.cit., p.58
[21] Korb, L.J., op.cit., p.27
[22] Sullivan, R.S., op.cit., p.172
[23] Kegley, Ch.W. and Wittkopf, E.R., op.cit., p.83
[24] Ibid., p.83
[25] Ibid., p.84
[26] Ibid., p.84
[27] Ibid., p.86
[28] Ibid., p.109
[29] Williams, Ph., op.cit., p.29
[30] Walker, M., op.cit., p.171
[31] Kegley, Ch.W. and Wittkopf, E.R., op.cit., p.61
[32] Ibid., p.63
[33] Gaddis, J.L., op.cit., p.289
[34] Ibid., p.298
[35] Ibid., pp.289-292
[36] Sullivan, R.S., op.cit., p.177
[37] Gaddis, J.L., op.cit., p.295
[38] Korb, L.J., op.cit., p.25
[39] Sullivan, R.S., op.cit., p.179
[40] Ibid., p.181
[41] Kegley, Ch.W. and Wittkopf, E.R., op.cit., p.65
[42] Ibid., p.65
[43] Sullivan, R.S., op.cit., p.181
[44] Kegley, Ch.W. and Wittkopf, E.R., op.cit., p.95
[45] Sullivan, R.S., op.cit., p.182
[46] Ibid., p.184
[47] Walker, M., op.cit., p.290
[48] Ibid., p.294
[49] Sullivan, R.S., op.cit., p.184
[50] Walker, M., op.cit., p.300
[51] Sullivan, R.S., op.cit., p.185
[52] Ibid., p.185
[53] Walker, M., op.cit., p.326
[54] Korb, L.J., op.cit., p.30
[55] Walker, M., op.cit., p.340
[56] Korb, L.J., op.cit., p.54
[57] Clark, M.T., The Future of Clintons Foreign and Defense Policy:
Multilateral Security, Comparative Strategy, Vol.13, 1994, p.181
[58] Ibid., p.182
[59] Ibid., pp. 184-185
[60] Krepinevich, A.F., The Clinton Defense Program: Assessing the Bottom-
Up Review, Strategic Review, Spring 1994, p.16
[61] Gray, C.S., Off the Mapp: Defense Planning After the Soviet Threat,
Strategic Review, Spring 1994, p.31
[62] Krepinevich, A.F., op.cit., p.16
[63] Ibid., p.21
[64] Ibid., p.34
[65] Gray, C.S., op.cit., p.33