The study of security involves an evolving understanding of the global security situation, as well as an evolving understanding of the principle of security itself. To understand how this has changed we must understand where we came from, and where we are now. The ability to do so is crucial to our survival as a nation, and as the greatest power in the world. To show how the study of security has changed, I will demonstrate using our attitude towards security itself since the end of the Cold War. I will examine scholarly studies of security as well as National Security Council reports and addresses made by our Presidents. In doing so, I will establish that there has been a clear shift in thought on security from the days of the Truman Doctrine and NSC-68, to the Bush’s Administration and their War on Terror, and the most current shift underway, through President Obama. The security threat during the Cold War was two-fold. As a nation, we faced a super power wielding a mighty arsenal of nuclear weapons and a formable conventional force. However, our foe also had an ideological weapon. That was the ideological weapon of Communism. Communism, united Russia with deadly allies such as Cuba, North Korea, China, and much of Eastern Europe. As dangerous as the weapons of these countries were, the idea of Communism spread like a virus and threatened the sanctity of democracy and progress that it sought to make. As NSC-68 stated “ the Soviet Union, unlike previous aspirants to hegemony, is animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own, and seeks to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world" (NSC-68, 1950). NSC-68 established that America had no desire to preemptively strike, rather, it sought to stall the spread of communism and foster a “fundamental change in the nature of the Soviet System” (NSC-68, 1950), by maintaining a position of defense while the forces of democracy could establish a more suitable offensive force. The focus...
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