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Back to the Future: The Role of the Founding Fathers in Shaping the New World Order

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Master's thesis

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This thesis asserts that America bas a core set of values inherited from the Founding Fathers that should serve as an integrating mechanism for strategic planning. The author shows how American core values developed and were operationalized in the operational codes paradigms of the Founding Fathers, the policy makers of the Cold War era, and contemporary policy makers as they set out to define Americas role in the New World Order. The paper begins with an investigation of the role that paradigms play in science and asserts that operational codes serve the same purpose for nations. This parallel is investigated because it provides an insight into the nature of paradigm shifts. The United States has had two identifiable paradigms -- isolationism and the goal of nation building of the Founding Fathers and the containment policy of the Cold War. From there, the nature of American values is investigated. Inheritance from Western civilization, the Enlightenment, the rise of Individualism, and the development of a unique American philosophy are all important elements in the nature of American values. The Declaration of Independence is shown to be an embodiment of these unique values. The best articulation of the operational code of the Founding Fathers is found in George Washingtons Farewell Address. The statements on foreign policy and articulation of values which lead up to and follow the Farewell Address are examined. The thesis then moves from the era of the Founding Fathers to the era of the Cold War. The operational codes of George Kennan and Paul Nitze are compared and contrasted. Nitzes operational code as applied to Vietnam is examined through several presidential administrations, and lessons learned are offered. The author criticizes the National Security Strategy of August 1991 for its neglect of values. He contends that the Nations new operational code must be based on core values inherited from the Founding Fathers.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History

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