Orchestrating the Instruments of Power: A Critical Examination of the U.S. National Security System

Orchestrating the Instruments of Power: A Critical Examination of the U.S. National Security System

Orchestrating the Instruments of Power: A Critical Examination of the U.S. National Security System

Orchestrating the Instruments of Power: A Critical Examination of the U.S. National Security System

Synopsis

National security, a topic routinely discussed behind closed doors by Washington's political scientists and policy makers, is believed to be an insider's game. All too often this highly specialized knowledge is assumed to place issues beyond the grasp- and interest- of the American public. Author D. Robert Worley disagrees. The U.S. national security system, designed after World War II and institutionalized through a decades-long power conflict with the Soviet Union, is inadequate for the needs of the twenty-first century, and while a general consensus has emerged that the system must be transformed, a clear and direct route for a new national security strategy proves elusive.

Furnishing the tools to assist in future national security reforms, Orchestrating the Instruments of Power articulates and synthesizes the concepts of America's economic, political, and military instruments of power.

Excerpt

There is increasing evidence that the U.S. national security apparatus, designed for a decades-long great-power conflict, is ill-suited to the needs of the twenty-first century and that the burden has largely fallen to a military designed for other purposes. Military forces for the Cold War were designed to deter, and if necessary defeat, the military forces of an opposing great-power alliance. Rather than the clash of titans—the militaries of major-power alliances colliding on the field of battle—today’s forces are tasked to conduct what the Bush administration called capacity building, the Clinton administration called nation building, the British called operations in support of civil authorities, and the Marine Corps called small wars. This class of intervention requires a deft employment of all instruments of power, not the military instrument in isolation.

Prior to World War II, the Department of War and the Department of the Navy were distinct institutions in parallel with the Department of State. To execute the constitutional responsibilities to conduct foreign affairs, the president, through the State and Navy Departments, could employ gunboats and marines for operations below the threshold of declared war—coercive diplomacy and small wars. The War Department stood by with plans to mobilize for war, to raise an army, should Congress declare war.

Today’s national security apparatus is defined in the National Security Act of 1947. The act was the product of an extensive examination of shortcomings identified in World War II—a war between great-power alliances. The Navy and War Departments were unified under the new Defense Department. Amendments to the act were made throughout the Cold War—another conflict between great-power alliances. At the end of the . . .

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