Unconventional Conflicts in a New Security Era: Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam

By Sam C. Sarkesian | Go to book overview

9 The United States and the Emerging Security Agenda
Although Americans may disagree on what U.S. national interests specifically are, they mostly agree on the broad significance of U.S. national interests. This includes the following:
1. Survival of the American way of life
2. Protection and perpetuation of the American political system
3. Protection of the homeland
4. Survival and protection of America's economic system
5. A peaceful and stable world order

Further, according to President Bush's 1991 national security strategy statement, our interests and objectives in the 1990s include, "healthy, cooperative and politically vigorous relations with allies and friendly nations" and "a stable and secure world, where political and economic freedom, human rights and democratic institutions flourish." 1 Such interests are not limited to the immediate homeland of the United States. "If national interests are invoked only in those cases in which the homeland is directly threatened and its survival is at stake, then the concept is of little use-- indeed, waiting until then may be too late." 2 Translating these interests into security policy and strategy is difficult, given the uncertainties of the contemporary world. It is even more difficult when attempting to apply the specifics of national interests, to design a strategy, and to shape force postures in responding to Third World conflicts.

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Unconventional Conflicts in a New Security Era: Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xi
  • Part I - Introduction 1
  • 1 - Conflict Analysis: The Comparative Framework 3
  • Notes 22
  • Part II - Comparative Analysis 25
  • 2 - The State of the Nation: Great Britain, the United States, and Unconventional Conflicts 27
  • Notes 53
  • 3 - Military Posture and Nature of Conflict: Malaya 55
  • Notes 76
  • 4 - Military Posture and Nature of Conflict: The Diem Period in Vietnam 79
  • Notes 93
  • 5 - Military Posture and Nature of Conflict: The United States and the Second Indo-China War 95
  • Notes 119
  • 6 - Nature of Indigenous Systems: Revolutionary Systems 123
  • Notes 136
  • 7 - Nature of Indigenous Systems: Counterrevolutionary Systems 137
  • Notes 161
  • 8 - Conclusions: Malaya and Vietnam 165
  • Part III - Conclusions: What Needs to Be Done 183
  • 9 - The United States and the Emerging Security Agenda 185
  • Notes 198
  • Selected Bibliography 201
  • Index 217
  • About the Author 227
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