National Security

National security is defined as the requirement to preserve the state’s survival through the use of political, military, and economic power and the practice of diplomacy. This concept developed predominately in the United States after the Second World War. National security initially focused on military but it has included a wide range of aspects, all of which infringe upon economic or military security of the nation as well as the values adopted by the society. In order to preserve national security, nations have engaged four basic strategies, namely defense, detente diplomacy, deterrence and disarmament. However, the effectiveness of these strategies has been doubted since the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. They could have predicted or even stopped the attacks. Detente diplomacy and disarmament will be considered in this discussion.

Detente diplomacy strategy is meant to lessen tensions between nations. The two nations may not reach mutual understanding but the likelihood of war between the two nations is greatly reduced. Detente diplomacy will be successful if the two countries share more interests and when they believe that negotiation will be accompanied by more benefits than the increase of hostilities or continued impasse. For instance, South and North Korea proved detente diplomacy as an appealing strategy regarding the breakthrough summit in June 2000. This led to the evaporation of persistent hostility as increased investment and trade, and family reunifications started between two countries that are still at war. Detente diplomacy depends on the willingness of the two countries to comply with its terms. Therefore, if the two countries cannot comply with its terms, detente diplomacy strategy will not be effective. The use of force, especially the nuclear weapons, has been found to be a dangerous method of ending conflicts. Therefore, Pakistan and India have been forced to employ detente diplomacy.

According to Falk & Krieger, disarmament strategy is concerned with the issue of possessing arms. Proponents of disarmament strongly believe that ownership of arms increases the likelihood of wars. Globalization has made it easier for arms to be supplied from the economically developed nations to less developed ones. The possession of arms by one state is considered as a threat by another state, and they try to arm themselves which finally leads to war. Therefore, disarmament is likely to avoid the occurrence of wars by doing away with the expectation of war tools such as arms. International law and diplomacy will then be employed to resolve disputes in a peaceful way. However, disarmament has got its own weaknesses, for instance, the disarmed nation can be threatened by the armed nation, especially due to the nuclear technology. Elimination of war tools in a specific geographical region has been found more effective. An example of the disarmament strategy is the Chemical Weapons Convention that was passed in 1997.

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