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National Security Questions - Essay Example

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The CIA World Factbook on Afghanistan states, “Afghanistan's living standards are among the lowest in the world…[T]he Government of Afghanistan will need to overcome a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.” …
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Download file to see previous pages official documents. The CIA World Factbook on Afghanistan states, “Afghanistan's living standards are among the lowest in the world…[T]he Government of Afghanistan will need to overcome a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.”1 Thus, Afghanistan is already a weak country in terms of having to deal with poverty, without even acknowledging the fact that it is a country occupied with American troops. Afghanistan serves as a strategical base for much of Asia Minor, and as such, is an important stomping ground for the Taliban—who have been connected to Al-Qaeda. It is the hope that by controlling Afghanistan, the U.S. is effectively controlling the war on terror. However, as General Petraeus warns, progress is not only shaky, but it’s also possible to regress. It was General Petraeus’s “…assessment that the momentum achieved by the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2005 has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in a number of important areas. However, [progress] is also fragile and reversible…[and] work [remains to be done…to solidify and expand our gains in the [future].”2 U.S. national interests include what has already been mentioned above, including the country’s well-being. Our military provides support for missions that reach those objectives. However, the U.S. is increasingly becoming dependent on China to underwrite its debt, which is a major problem—as well as the fact that the U.S. keeps spending beyond its means every second. 2.How does the 2008 National Defense Strategy counterbalance DoD's (Department of Defense) tendency to focus on conventional conflict rather than irregular war? The 2008 National Defense Strategy tends to overlook various elements that are ingrained in our consciousness. The Department of Defense has supported at least three irregular wars in the recent past—one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan, and now one in Libya. Conventional conflicts like those going on in Syria and Somalia are largely being ignored because Syria and Somalia do not have anything that the U.S. wants. In Iraq, the U.S.’s heads of state wanted access to oil and a way to get back at Saddam Hussein for Operation Desert Storm which occurred in 1991. Largely, conflicts like those that happen in Syria are not taken as seriously because the number of people affected is minimal (even 2000 casualties are considered paltry in the eyes of the U.S.). The other issue is that Somalia is largely ignored because a lot of heads of state don’t have any vested interest in Africa or the African people as a whole—even though millions are summarily being starved to death, being held hostage by Al-Shabab in a famine zone, not allowed to leave. That makes no sense. 3. What are the ends, ways and means in the report (in “Comprehensive Regional Strategy on Somalia: A Strategy for U.S. Engagement Report to Congress”)? The Comprehensive Strategy Report, although engaging, does not fully grasp the seriousness of the situation in Somalia, nor does it address all of the concerns that have been set forth by people who know the situation in Somalia as well. The report does not reflect reality. The Comprehensive Strategy Report “…does not include the full range of U.S. government activities related to Somalia, [like] DOD efforts to promote regional stability, [doesn’t] reference other key U.S. government strategic documents for Somalia…[nor]…address any of the six desirable characteristics of an effective national strategy, lacking information on necessary resources, investments, and risk management.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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