ABC-CLIO

The Rise of the American Security State

The National Security Act of 1947 and the Militarization of U.S. Foreign Policy

by M. Kent Bolton

 

Two administrations—a two-term Republican (George W. Bush) and a two-term Democrat (Barack Obama)—have presided over U.S. foreign policy in the post-Cold War era. What will the Trump administration bring?

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December 2017

Praeger

Pages 221
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/U.S. Foreign Policy
  Military History/General
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This book examines the impact of the National Security Act of 1947, the most important foreign policy legislation that many Americans (including policymakers and academics) have never heard of.

Since September 11, 2001, the White House—under both Bush and Obama—has pushed the envelope of taking the United States to war (without declarations), interrogating prisoners of war, spying on potential threats, and acting unilaterally. Why have these trends occurred? How has the apex of foreign power shifted, causing a sea change that has fueled a continual turf war between Capitol Hill and the White House? And perhaps most critically, what is America's role in the world now, and what should it be?

The Rise of the American Security State: The National Security Act of 1947 and the Militarization of U.S. Foreign Policy argues that the National Security Act of 1947 and the early Cold War created a bipartisan consensus among U.S. policymakers that spanned several administrations. The result of this consensus and the National Security Act was the creation of permanent institutions: the permanent Defense Department with a secretary of defense; the intelligence community, which has grown to 17 agencies; and significantly, the National Security Council inside the presidency. Collectively, these three developments have led to the militarization of U.S. foreign policy. Readers will grasp how concepts and strategies that were in their infancy during the Cold War era have persisted and continued to affect today's U.S. foreign policy.

Features

  • Surveys U.S. foreign policy in the Cold War and post-Cold War eras through the careful and consistent evaluation of 14 case studies
  • Examines the National Security Act of 1947 (and subsequent amendments) and its main creations that have propelled the United States into being the interventionist nation it is today
  • Makes connections between the policymakers involved in the Cold War consensus (both in the White House National Security Counsel and on Capitol Hill) in the late 1940s and those of today's era
Series Description

Praeger Security International


As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.

Features

  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Author Info

M. Kent Bolton is professor of political science and global studies at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). He has taught world politics, U.S. foreign policy, and U.S. national security courses for 23 years at CSUSM. Prior to taking his position at CSUSM, Bolton taught at George Washington University (1992–1994) and Arizona State University. He has written three books that focused on various aspects of the National Security Act of 1947 as well as a textbook on world politics. He has also authored numerous articles, chapters, and op-ed pieces.

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