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National Security and United States’ Foreign Policy

The United States foreign policy and terrorism does not current recognize that human security is national security, though it should. Human security should be the focus of U.S. foreign policy, as so much of current foreign policy is tied directly to developing nations whose support would increase were concerns to focus on more personal and social aspects of security.

According to Reveron and Mahoney-Norris (2011) and the United Nations Development Report (1994), security during the post-Cold War era was too narrowly defined. There was a bipolarity of the system which resulted in a focus on states, the struggles of superpower ideologies, and nuclear security. The focus stemmed from aggression from external states which overlooked the changes which had taken place within the international system. Conceptions held of security in the post-Cold War era should focus on people and human security as opposed to states. The internal divisions within other countries threaten security and as such, the concepts of security should extend so that they include security for health, the environment, jobs, income, and crime.

Within national security, the primary actors are the states. The biggest concern of national security is maintaining state sovereignty. The primary threats of national security include rival states or unfriendly states as well as economic coercion and military coercion. The measures of strength for national security include hard power. This consists of military power as well as economic strength.

In human security, the primary actors are not just states, IO’s, individuals, MNC’s, and TAN’s. The primary concerns of human security are the growth of the economy, maintaining health, as well as civil rights and civil liberties. The primary threats for human security are repressive regimes, transnational issues, and non-state actors. Human security is measured by soft power including political ideals and the appeal of the economy.

As of right now, human security is not national security, as argued by Reveron and Mahoney-Norris (2011). Simply because states are increasingly less likely to be threatened by other state actors does not mean that human and national security are the same.

According to Dobson and March (2006) after the Cold War, President Bush senior determined that the Middle East remained a critical component to the foreign policy goals of the United States. However, following the end of the Cold War brought constraints which complicated foreign policy in the form of ethnic divisions throughout the Middle East as well as and inter-linkage of problems. These problems were in the form of maintaining ties with Israel as well as ensuring “comprehensive containment” in order to prevent rogue states from birthing out of hostile regimes. Containing the rising of these within the Middle Eastern region was a critical component to the success of U.S. foreign policy goals. To ensure this, troops were deployed to land bases located in friendly countries throughout the Middle East including Saudi Arabia.