Iii. The National Security State
During its history, the USA has protected its regions, people as well as the interests both at home and abroad. Terrorist acts have intensified public awareness with regard to national security, thus prompting the government of the U.S. to warn the citizens about the potential threat to safety. As conflicts arise and power shifts occur in the world, the role and responsibilities of the USA in safeguarding itsself and other countries are changing, thus challenging the state to reconsider its important values and to reorganize the agenda of the national security appropriately. The essay will discuss the National Security State and its impact on democracy.
Origin of the National Security State
The National Security State was formed following the results of World War II. The USA recovered from the war and became a global power. The economy and military were not affected by armed conflicts, which nearly destroyed other countries especially in Europe. The USA used this position to create a huge network of external military bases as well as to shape the world order to favor its economic interests. The national defense concern of the U.S became gradually universal in its scope and was also recognized with upholding prevailing global inequalities. The USA was the major power back then, surrounded by hostile enemies who opposed to these inequalities. The Soviet Union was the formidablefoe since it was the proponent of communism. The U.S. Congress formed new institutions to protect the increasing national interest of the country after World War II. It approved the National Security Act in 1947, which formed a National Security State tool focusing on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Council (NSC) (Hudson, 2016).
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Characteristics of the National Security State and their Impacts on Democracy
Secrecy in the National Security State means keeping most of the useful information applied in the enactment of the public policy secret from public and elected officials. According to Hudson (2016), these data are private and restricted from the socuety in irder to impede the enemies from turning it against the state. However, maintaining such facts confidential can negatively impact democracy since this may prevent citizens from holding government officers responsible for their actions and contribute more effectively to policy making. Moreover, the civil servants dealing with the national security may abuse the secrecy as an excuse to protect themselves from democratic control.
By distortion military facilities and the defense industry attain massive political powers to favor huge expenditures for defense and aggressive foreign policy at the expense of public policy. The presence of armed forces and their authority undermine democracy in many ways. For example, it can influence the capacity of the average citizens of making judgments with regard to the level and nature of security threats. Furthermore, it has led to overthrowing the democratically elected leaders through the military coup among others (Hudson, 2016).
There are no feasible reforms concerning the National Security State. According to Hudson (2016), the unilateral decision on the armed confict by one man should be reversed. However, the Congress has not voted against the commitment that makes the President declare war against the perceived enemy yet. Therefore, this means that the head of state can make choices about the warfare alone. Moreover, the current US President did not renounce the unilateral resolution by former President Bush for the warfare against Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition, Hudson (2016) expresses the necessity to dismantle the previous military-industrial complex because it is biased, this proposal has not been accepted. As a result, the US government is still allocating large budget to military spending and allocation at the expense of other important fields. Besides, the development of weapons in the USA has not changed since even now it is geared towards achieving its economic interest rather than fulfilling security needs of the country.
In conclusion, the USA exhibits many features associated with the National Security State. The powers bestowed in the military and the National Security State at large have seriously compromised the democracy of many countries and the well-being of citizens in many ways. Therefore, substantial reforms are required to ensure that safety challenges are addressed to favor the needs of ordinary people without hindering the development.