I. The NSC 68 and The USA Patriot Act
The Second World War brought about another setting war that was uprising to fill the void Germany left both in Europe and in Asia. Because of such a phenomenon, it was observed by many of the citizens that another factor threatened global security and that would be the domineering factors of both communism and capitalism. The communism that was supposedly dominated by the Soviet Union challenged much of the US territories and Europe and in Asia. Because of the defeat faced by many of the US allies, Truman, who was the president while that time decided to intervene in these countries’ defense systems to prevent the establishment of communist powers. These events gave way to one of the most powerful documents that were ever created in the history of the United States; which is the NSC 68.
The NSC 68 was the brainchild of Paul H. Nitze, who was then leading the policy planning staff of the government. The said document covered one of the greatest strategies that aimed to weaken the Soviet strategy during the cold war. According to Gaddis and Nitze, the NSC 68 represented a novel policy in the eyes of the American military-political involvement (164). It was created for the mere purpose of attempting to stop the cold type medium that was taking the world slowly. It was also a statement of the ideal National Security Policy of the United States. According again to Gaddis and Nitze, one of the document’s striking features is that it perceives the American security as a dependent of the balance of power (165). However, the authors of the NSC 68 thought that such a balance was on the edge of being poised. Because of such a perception, the authors of the document deemed it necessary for a reform of the country’s national security policies.
The document contains a detailed understanding of the beginnings of the cold war. It was a document that countered the isolation policies of the 1930s where the document deems it necessary to intervene with global analysis. Through such an analysis, Nitze’s group has claimed that the Soviet Union was beginning to adopt a new faith that was opposed to the views that drove the United States economy. For this very reason, the Soviet Union was determined to exert its hands over the power of global authority (History.state.gov). For such reasons, the NSC 68 greatly recommends an altered budget that increased the government’s taxes and recommended to reduce unnecessary expenses to help improve the country defense lines. Through this manner, the United States could maintain protection over its territory and its allies as the communist Soviet Union was slowly on the rise to challenge the US hegemony over Europe and Asia.
Of course, such policies will not suffice over the course of time. Different times call for different actions; thus, the birth of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 or The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. The USA Patriot Act of 2001 represented the primary response of the United States government after the September 11 terrorist attack. The said law was patterned after the proposal that was developed by the Department of Justice that concentrates primarily on the reinforcement of existing security tools (Justice.gov). This policy was created in light of the weaknesses of former policies that preceded the law. For one, before such a law was created, many of the surveillance tactics of the many law enforcement agencies were only used for drug dealers and organized crimes. These surveillance protocols did not cover monitoring terrorist activities in the country before the USA Patriot Act. Because of the establishment of this act, many of the country’s enforced security tools were given a new purpose in defeating terrorist operations. Also, law enforcing agencies were tasked to share data and cooperate among themselves to connect the dots in solving organized, terrorist and drug-related crimes. (Department of Justice, 3).
These two policies are similar because they were both created in order to answer a need to defeat threats to national security. They both came out from the needs of the times in order to fit the safety necessities of the country. The NSC 68 as an example was created for the very reason that the United States and its allies were threatened by the Communist feats of the Soviet Union. Conversely, the USA Patriot Act was created as a government response to the September 11 bombing that threatened many of the United States citizens. Also, both policies were evidently empowering the use of the law enforcing strategies and agencies of the country to counter the threats to national safety. For one, the NSC 68 was created and was made possible by recommendations of increasing taxes for nuclear weapons to protect the country and its allies. The USA Patriot Act, on the other hand, was created to reinforce the use of government security resources as a means to counter terrorism.
Of course, differences also arise as both policies aim to address two different threats to the country’s security. For one, the NSC 68 was created to respond to the alarming threats of the Communist policies that the Soviet Union was starting to implore globally. Conversely, the USA Patriot Act was a response to the terrorist attack of September 11, which created an impact in the country’s history. Another difference is that the NSC 68 included the country’s allies in the policy. Through this effect, one of its primary focus was to protect its territories in the other seas therefore rejecting the isolation strategy for the Second World War in the 1930s. On the other hand, the USA Patriot Act was created as a means of protecting only the country’s security from the terrorists that mean to enter US soil.
Gaddis, John L., and Paul Nitze. "NSC 68 and the Soviet Threat Reconsidered."International Security 4.4 (1980): 164-176. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.
Mount Holyoke College. "NSC-68 US Objectives and Programs for National Safety, April 1950." Mount Holyoke College. Mount Holyoke College, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.
U.S. Department of Justice. "What is the USA Patriot Web." U.S. Department of Justice. U.S. Department of Justice, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.
US Department of State Office of the Historian. "NSC-68, 1950 - 1945–1952 - Milestones." Office of the Historian. US Department of State Office of the Historian, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.