United States' National Security Strategy: A Hamiltonian Solution for the Iranian Conundrum
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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Iran has posed a major conundrum for American national security strategists for a quarter century-and this challenge is growing, with grave consequences for Americas national security. The last five administrations have attempted to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, to deter it from being the worlds most active state sponsor of terrorism and, to a lesser degree, to influence the nation to adopt principles of a liberal democracy-all with poor results. The real conundrum in these efforts has been finding an effective way to achieve these ends when Irans government is a bifurcated system in which conservative clerics dominate one section and moderate reformers dominate the other part of their government. The administrations strategy of coercion towards Iran is failing and should be replaced with an engagement policy largely focused on trade and economic integration. The nations coercion strategy uses denial to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and compellence to stop its sponsorship of terrorism and WMD development. This policy is not effective because Iran is making progress towards producing a nuclear weapon and continues to support terrorism. Furthermore, the reformers are steadily losing power to the conservatives. The United States needs a positive engagement policy that focuses on changing Irans ends and not a denial strategy that focuses on Irans ways and means. This paper analyzes the strategy towards Iran, starting with national interests.
- Government and Political Science
- Theoretical Mathematics
- Military Intelligence