The coming revolution in foreign affairs: Rethinking American national security

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Abstract

For the last two decades the US has pursued what some analysts have called the 'fantastical idea' of military transformation that would enable the US to change the very nature of war. Known as the 'revolution in military affairs', this process would use technology to provide the US with battlefield dominance that no opponent could overcome. Motivated by the politics of the Cold War, however, this exit from reality has proved less than effective in what has become known as the 'war on terror'. The US has been pulled into nasty, 'small' wars, against enemies utilizing asymmetric tactics. The Bush administration has tried to destroy these groups through the use of military force, failing, or even worse refusing, to recognize that these enemies feed off the economical, political and social rot of weak and failing states. For the last eight years the US government has addressed the symptoms of a problem rather than the actual disease. If America wants to make serious progress with the most pressing national security risks, the next American president must enact a revolution in foreign affairs that sees a massive overhaul and substantial investment in the State Department and USAID. A critical mass of research exists to illustrate the links between development and security - it is time Washington gets serious and embraces a conception of security that is more holistic, and ultimately, more effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1129
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Affairs
Volume84
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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