National Security Strategy Theses Examples
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The United States of America faces interesting times especially because of the increased opposition towards its relative hegemonic rule in the entire world. Arguably, the United States has performed fairly well as a superpower especially after the ouster of the Soviet Union and the bitter end of the Cold War. Be that as it may, the rivals of the United States consistently employ any strategy aimed at neutralizing or defeating the United States. Three of these countries are Russia, China and Iran which have shown consistent exploitation of the world geopolitics with the intention of bringing the United States to its knees. However, the United States has been more than prepared for these challenges. It has taken the rivalry in its stride and tacitly agreed to pay the price of being the super power. The four main areas threatened by the adversary countries are diplomacy, military, information and the economy. This paper observes that the approach applied by the United States of America in the context of containing Iran remains effective. However, there are areas of change that the United States must place additional investment if the containment policy is to stand its ground.
This paper shall address itself to three critical issues in relation to the flexible deterrent options. These are the United States’ strategic policy goals regarding Iran, the flexible deterrent options that the Obama administration has used and continue to use and thirdly, effectiveness of the Obama policies and suggested alternate flexible deterrent options. To be precise the Obama administration considers Iran has a threat for three main reasons. These are Iran’s nuclear ambition which is considered a threat to the United States and its allies including Israel, Iran covert and overt support for terrorism and terrorist movement and lastly Iran’s ambition to control the Middle East including its security threats to the stability of nations like Iraq and Afghanistan. It is imperative to note that Iran has not thus far engaged the United States or any of its allies in direct war. However, the likely impending direct engagement cannot be wished away as Iran continues to show readiness, aggressiveness and invitations that suggest preparation for war. In that context, the Obama administration has had no choice but to engage Iran in non-war aggressions especially on the diplomatic, information, military and economy fronts.
The United States has had to continuously adjust its strategic policy goals in regard to Iran. However, it can be argued that the common thread that runs through from the pre-Bush to current Obama administration has been the need to contain Iran. In that regard, the United States has resorted to a number of flexible deterrent options primarily tailored to contain the spread of the Iranian aggression. In addition, the United States continues to invest substantially in the peace and stability of the larger Middle Eastern region. However, one must appreciate the place of Israel in the United States-Iran engagement. While Iran does not necessarily present an immediate threat to the wellbeing of the United States, its consistent opposition to the existence of Israel coupled with its support of insurgent and terrorist movements fighting Israel portends immediate danger to Israel and by extension the United States. In addition, Iran’s nuclear ambitions is largely seen as a threat to the stability of the world especially when read in the context of the patency and lethal character of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, in overall, the United States’ strategic policy has been tailored to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions alongside influencing the ideological reasoning of Iran as a state and by extension the Iranian people.
The Obama administration has employed a couple of flexible deterrent options many of which remain in play up to date. Evidence suggests that given the seriousness of the matter, it is unlikely that the adoption of the flexible deterrent options would cease. One essential tool the United States has consistently applied against Iran entails the use of economic sanctions. In the prior years, Iran’s products would freely find their way into the prosperous consumer market of the United States. During the times of the Shah, the United States consumed a large portion of the Iranian oil. However, with the radicalization of the Iranian society read together with the hostile regime of the Ayatollah, the United States and her allies have ceased to be consumers of the Iranian oil and other commodities. In addition, Iran has been visited with additional trade sanctions directed primarily with the intention of starving its government of revenues. Further, the United States employing her influence in the United Nations, has ensured that Iran is slapped with a number of trade sanctions at the international levels. These sanctions have a direct effect to the economy leaving the Iranian government with little other than cooperation with the United States. In large measure, despite the protests Tehran has submitted internationally, the economic sanctions have played a major role in containing a nation otherwise determined to go rogue. Lastly, the Obama administration has lately pursued a limited direct engagement with Iran. The administration appears determined to exhaust its diplomatic options with Tehran before resorting to active war measures. In its limited engagement, the United States has promised to stop further sanctions in addition to holding direct talks with Iran. In order to ensure Iran stops its nuclear ambitions, the United States requires the former to allow it inspect the country’s nuclear plants regularly or at the very least allow the United Nations nuclear committee some oversight over the Iranian developments. While Iran has bitterly contested the United States’ aggression on its nuclear program in what Iran considers bulling and lording over them by the United States, Iran appears to have run out of options as they seem to have conceded to the American proposals. However, the deal is yet to be concluded and pundits have argued that nothing prevents Iran from reneging from any commitments it gives to the United States. In fact, critic and sceptics insist that Iran remains a rogue nation which the Obama administration cannot afford to enter negotiations with. So determined are the critics that recently the Republican speaker, invited Israeli Prime Minister to address Congress over sanctions to Iran without the knowledge of the White House. Such a diplomatic flaw between the United States and her close ally Israel illustrates the depth of confusion and distrust informing the United States-Iranian relations.
In the last section of the paper, consideration is placed on the success of the flexible deterrent options employed by the Obama administration. Further, alternate flexible deterrent options are proposed. It is imperative to note that thus far, the Obama administration appears to have succeeded in containing Iran. This is because intelligence reports suggest that Iranian nuclear program has not escalated into a potentially dangerous state. In addition, Iran has never made good its threat to attack any state in the Middle East. Perhaps the only failure of the Obama administration has been the continued dominance of Iran among its Arab counterparts and its continued support of terrorist activities, terrorists who continue to cause havoc in the entire world. In that context it can be summed that the flexible deterrent options have not entirely succeeded but neither have they entirely failed. This paper proposes some options that the United States should consider implementing if it desires full success in its flexible deterrent options. The Iranian people continue to dissent against the dictatorship of the current regime. The United States could employ the flexible deterrent options based on social instability. The United States could support dissidents such as the Kurdish separatist movement and the Mjahideen-e-Khalq groupings. Through supporting such movement, it could be possible to overthrow regimes resistant to the United States and install pro-Western governments. In addition, the United States must continue to expand its military presence and engagements in the Middle East. The same should be implemented with the intention of fragmenting the Iranian consolidation of military bases and presence in the Middle East. The same should include improving the armory of such military establishment in preparation for any Iranian aggression. Such measures would likely scare Iran and at the very least confine its aggressive tendencies to its internal lands. This may ultimately lead to the success of the United States’ anti-war strategies.
Goure , D., & Grant , R. (2011). US Naval Options for Influencing Iran. Naval War College Review, 13-35.
Rivera, J. (2014). Understanding and Countering Nation-State Use of Protracted Unconventional Warfare. Journal of Small Wars, 1-17.
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