National Security Policy: Before and After September 11, 2001

1576 Words 7 Pages
Introduction

From the fledgling beginnings in the history of the United States, the populace of the newly formed republic were concerned with protecting into perpetuity their hard-won independence. To ensure that democracy would rein unchallenged, a formalized guarantee, the Constitution, spelled out whom would comprise the actors and what processes were to be made available for governance. Distinct roles were drafted for both the president and Congress for the purposes of evenly distributing power and preventing any single entity from wielding their power arbitrarily (Jordan et al, 2009, p. 103). Though these roles are complementary, they have also at times been conflicting. This push and pull has also been sewn into the historical
…show more content…
The result has been an “invitation to struggle for the privilege of directing American foreign policy” (Jordan et al, 2014, p. 74).

Increasing Presidential Prerogative

Creation of the National Security Council

The framework provided by the Constitution was quickly augmented as was deemed necessary. In 1793, George Washington asserted a presidential prerogative to act without congressional consultation in order to be able to act swiftly in responding to foreign crises and preserve the state (Jordan et al, 2009, p. 74). By the time of Abraham Lincoln’s administration, war power as a derivative of being commander-in-chief had become an accepted justification for acting unilaterally. The relationship between national emergency as presidential prerogative was firmly established. This presidential prerogative eventually expanded to include confronting the crises of a global war, that of World War II (Jordan et al, 2009, p. 74).

With the Allied victory of World War II emerged a new world order. The United States abandoned any lingering ideas of remaining isolationist and began to accept the role of the world’s new superpower. For the first time in its history, geopolitics and the realist paradigm dominated policy-making, and national security moved to “center stage” in American politics (Snow, 2014, p. 66). The result was was the passing of the
Open Document