Resurrecting NSC-68 for the Global War on Terror
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Although the threat to todays U.S. national interests is a form of terrorism being waged by Radical Islam, there are distinct similarities to the threat of communism that was posed after World War II. For the defeat of communism, one single document formed the foundation for the long-term strategy to prosecute the Cold War. All instruments of national power were addressed in the recommended course of action and the entire process was centrally controlled by the newly formed National Security Council NSC. The document, NSC-68, clearly identified the threat, U.S. national interests, and the methodology for applying instruments of national power to defeat communism. Todays threat has proved to be ideological and existential, much like the communist threat. However, the strategies being developed within the U.S. Government for defeating the terrorism threat do not appear to be as effective as those that were developed during the Cold War. This monograph hypothesizes that the organization of the NSC and the processes it used during the Cold War for advising the President on foreign policy no longer work due to the bureaucratic growth in the U.S. Government. A proliferation of strategies by separate departments and agencies spurred by the lead agency approach of the current administration will prevent the United States from maintaining a long-war focus on the threat facing its vital interests. The strategy developed by the NSC under President Truman and the current National Security Strategy are examined with respect to unity of effort, feasibility, and enduring nature. Unity of effort is the desired effect when unity of command cannot be achieved. The feasibility criterion focuses on allocating resources to the effort. The final criterion, enduring nature, examines how the Cold War strategy was maintained for almost 50 years while the current GWOT strategy is experiencing shifts of support by the populace and the nations lawmakers.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Unconventional Warfare