National Security & Anarchy

By Rana Athar Javed

To a degree, the popular decision-making in the US has been source of anarchy in other parts of the world. The inability to forge a consensus over broad national security issues and its negative implications on the next American generations demonstrates the partisan side of democratic system. This assessment does not automatically discounts that democracy as a political concept precludes consensus between civilian and military establishments. It however raises an important question about the way public opinion is framed as a contributing factor to continue the “the anarchy project” in other countries. One significant factor addresses the future of people-to-people contact between different nations of the world. Take the example of Afghanistan and Iraq, the American national security experts at length and in-depth managed to politicize the overall nature of war. This policy planning may not have impacted the political problems at home, but it has now become the growing crisis of governability in these countries.

Now take another example, whereas the Iraqi and Afghan governments are partially in charge and the American/NATO militaries oversee civilian and military, still the anarchy rules – the next generations of American and war affected countries virtually have no established dialogue to address the nature of their social contacts. Hateful policy implications have become political reasons to sometime target legitimate development programs. This is also an indirect cause of anarchy in the war zones – without being understood that often not fully apprised political leadership would never challenge the limited utility of overlapping assessments and position papers.

This argument should be addressed both in terms of national security making in the US and the loss of decades long good will that Americans once enjoyed. Should the national security experts worry on such occurrence, sure and yes!. Although the US/NATO are facing tremendous challenges in almost every war zones of the world, “unintended consequences” of anarchy however would cause sociopolitical obstacles for the American dream. In other words, serious deliberations to curtail the size of present conflict is required and it would be hardly surprising if leadership style of America do not gives statutory standing to it’s modern war technology.

The size of the so-called Arab Spring and different forums of peace building appears to be losing by majority, just because the popular masses seek “nothing but the truth” from the national security team of the US. Ranging from faulty/wrong intelligence assessment on war in Iraq to designed scandal of Wikileaks reflects the misunderstood patterns of undermining state to people relations in the targeted countries (e.g. Iraq & Pakistan). The ostensible solution to problem of leaking select documents (in millions) cannot be negotiated through insistence on dealing with handful of people in the war zones.

Secrecy and grandstanding still needs a credible system of assessment, mainly due to military issues, but also addressing the matter of competency in a democratic system. What kind of criteria is required to create a link between the two conceptual frameworks? One answer is that the US must improve its image, especially about the role of its intelligence community in the underdeveloped countries including Afghanistan and Pakistan. The argument that the US national security objectives also include micromanaging details of dubious and controversial issues in friendly countries typically represents authority of a superpower.

Whereas the true flow of national security decision-making should encapsulate the necessity of political harmony, no opposition is required to reduce the burden of war; the objective thus remains to prevent anarchy spreading outside the actual war zone. The personal policy preferences are too a cause of inciting further anarchy because supporting largely violent groups blurs the national security objectives, which in turn compounds the complexity of militancy. In the presence of partisan politics, it is rather impossible for the US to permanently change the course of wide military designs. Nonetheless, it has become clear that a combination of partisan politics and strategic military objectives have promoted the idea of creating long-term miseries for the general masses.

In his research paper, entitled, “The Politics of National Security in the 113th Congress, Endy Zemenides makes an interesting observation: “there has already been a shift away from the most unaffordable defense priority – the ability to wage two major wars simultaneously. Full withdrawal from Afghanistan may officially mark the end of that doctrine. Will declaring this end lead to charges of “surrender” or “weakness” that putting an end date on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars did? A new and fiscally constrained defense doctrine is still evolving, and the most vigorous debates on this issue are still ahead of us.

Still unresolved are where our nation should invest in forward bases, how many aircraft carriers are needed, and how definitive the pivot to Asia should be when the Middle East and Mediterranean remain unstable” (The National Strategy Forum Review). This assessment remarkably points out the future risks for the US dominance, the impact of which could rearrange the strategic priorities for NATO – the European governments are still trying to cope with the economic and perception cost of the previous wars.

The conclusion is that if partisan politics in the US creates domestic political drama of the highest level, the national security policy based on faulty/wrong intelligence may well become a cause to undermine long-term objectives of the US. In reality, no country or nation can be forced to suspend its social harmony and allow anarchy to take over the forces of peace.

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