National Security Strategy Bill Clinton vs. George Bush - Essay Example

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Bill Clinton and George Bush view national security strategy as a critical component of the financial security and foreign policy of the country. Their approaches towards this policy differed to some extent, and this paper is aimed to underline the major differences and similarities between policies outlined in each national security strategy.
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National Security Strategy Bill Clinton vs. George Bush
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National Security Strategy: Bill Clinton vs. George Bush Bill Clinton and George Bush view national security strategy as a critical component of thefinancial security and foreign policy of the country. Their approaches towards this policy differed to some extent, and this paper is aimed to underline the major differences and similarities between policies outlined in each national security strategy.
On the one hand, the main difference between these approaches was caused by political situations and foreign policies provided by Bill Clinton and George Bush. Clinton's defeat motivated him to adopt a more cautious, pragmatic, and moderate approach reflected the post-Cold war situation needed the policy of "engagement and enlargement". In contrast, President Bush provides the policy of national power maximization and international cooperation against terrorism as a major threat of contemporary world order and peace. His national policy reflects the events and the threats America now faces (terrorism). In general, Bush's policy is more radical in comparison with American foreign policy tradition. In contrast to Clinton, Bush supports pre-emptive military action against hostile states and terrorist groups seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction.
As well as Clinton, Bush calls for engagement, but in the way of cooperation especially marked that the USA "will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary" (2002) to defend national interests and security. The major difference is that Bush reject the single-minded approach, adopted by Clinton, of multilateralism for its own sake. The similarity of both strategies is that they calls for spreading democracy and human rights in other countries, but Bush underlined that this is especially important for Muslim countries today. Both of them are aimed to protect American nation creating strong foreign security policy, but Clinton and Bush employ different doctrines to support their foreign policies. Also, the similarity is that Clinton and Bush view U.S. military strength as the only one with a global mission and global capabilities.
Taking into account the Realistic and Idealistic understanding of both policies, it is possible to characterize the strategy of Clinton as a liberal one, and the strategy of Bush as a combination of realistic and liberal approaches.
The following example shows the realistic features of the policy of Bush: "We are guided by the conviction that no nation can build a safer, better world alone. Alliances and multilateral institutions can multiply the strength of freedom-loving nations. The United States is committed to lasting institutions...." (2002). The realism of Bush is aimed to maximize the leading role of the USA to counter the dangers of terrorism and impose the multilateral understanding of justice and peace. It shows the deep-seated understanding of American national strategy and supports long-standing American beliefs about foreign policy. The liberal feature of Bush's strategy is that his National security announced democratic principles and rights for all nations around the world, which coincides with the liberalism of Clinton who stated that: "At the same time, this does not mean we or the international community must tolerate gross violations of human rights within those borders" (1995). On the other hand his realistic assumption can be explained saying that: " a matter of common sense and self-defense, America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed." (2002). Liberal position of Clinton towards foreign policy lies in his vision on the state power and engagement. He supposed that: "the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity; the rule of law; limits on the absolute power of the state; free speech; freedom of worship; equal justice; respect for women; religious and ethnic tolerance; and respect for private property." (1995). His policy feels lack of realism peculiar to a "new policy" of Bush.
It is possible to conclude that national security strategy of Clinton and Bush are similar as they aimed to protect American citizens from military invasion, but the main difference is found in the core of their policies: liberal approach used by Clinton, and combination of two (realistic and liberal) employed by Bush.
1. A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement.1995. Available at:
2. The National Security Strategy of the United States. 2002. Available at: Read More
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