Poli Sci Arms Control One Essay

Total Length: 1213 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 0

Page 1 of 4

Public concern over safety, which was fueled by the rhetoric and misinformation of the Bush administration and others, enabled swift and sweeping reforms in the way the federal government and the military conducts itself both at home and abroad. The recently released torture memos are emblematic of the shift in attitude that took place amid the power structure of the national government of the United States, and to a large degree among the people of this country as well.

The most obvious structural change that took place during the years immediately following the attacks was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which comprised the biggest reorganization of the federal government since Roosevelt's New Deals in the 1930s. The newly formed Department, which has itself already undergone several massive internal reorganizations, functions as the hub of all intelligence and defense agencies, both at home and abroad. Even the Coast Guard and the Secret Service are now run under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security; their heretofore disparate tasks are now seen as part-and-parcel of the same overall goal, which is the protection of the nation and its citizens from further acts of violence. This in itself is a major shift in the attitude of the government, at least externally -- increasing trade across international borders was a primary focus of the prior government, as indicated by a relaxed attitude towards domestic defense. Such a perspective is now unthinkable.

The increased centralization of both domestic and foreign intelligence, defense, and emergency response offices and agencies is a reflection of the increased authority wielded by the executive branch of the government. It is typical in times of crisis -- whether that crisis is real or largely exacerbated by propaganda -- to rally behind a strong, central leader, and the foreign policy and national security fears of the past decade led to just such a reaction.
This set of circumstances was taken full advantage of by the Bush administration (who, it must be admitted, at least partially helped to create the situation as well). The consolidation of intelligence and defense activities into one office makes it much easier to exert unified control over the various agencies that gather, distribute, and act on intelligence reports. The Department of Homeland Security, with its cabinet-level head nominated, as per the standard procedure, by the President himself, ensures this kind of unilateral authority for the President, if he (or eventually she) cares to use it in this manner. The formation of the Department of Homeland Security also presents a different face to the international community regarding the United States' view of itself and its definition of security and what actions are permissible to achieve it.

The perception of the United States abroad took a dramatic turn for the worse after the military actions in the Middle East began. The new foreign policy of the United States seemed to be that anyone deemed an enemy or in anyway dangerous to the United States was subject to destruction. And with the United States deciding who presented a danger, there seemed to be no limit to what the nation considered legal action against other sovereign states. The first decade of the current millennium saw the restructuring of the United States federal power structure and foreign policy in a way that seemed to deny true discretionary power to anyone but the executive branch of the U.S. federal government......

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?