The National Security Council

In 1950, Harry Truman and the National Security Council Report 68

In 1950, Harry Truman, the president at the time, delivered the National Security Council Report 68, also known as the NSC-68, to the president. The document contained top-secret information and was created by the National Security Council in the United States. One of the most important arguments made in the American Policy that started the Cold War was this article. From 1950 until the Soviet Union's decline in the early 1990s, it served as the model for the militarization of the cold war. The United States increased its military assistance to its allies and increased its military budget as a result of this paper's findings regarding the creation of the hydrogen bomb. The hydrogen bomb was formulated after there was an explosion of an atomic bomb in 1949 that led to China falling into communism the month that followed after the bombing (Gaddis et al, p168).

The Patriot Act of the USA

The Patriot Act of the USA was an act of Congress which was signed into law by President George W. Bush in the year 2001. If this act is closely checked, it was aiming at uniting and strengthening America by the provision of tools that were appropriate and those required to intercept and obstruct terrorism. This act became a main concern to the Congress due to the overwhelming, arming law enforcement and bipartisan margins where new tools which could detect and prevent terrorism was to be introduced (McCarthy, p435).

Reasons for Formulation of NSC-68 and the Patriot Act

These two acts are formulated immediately after a certain threat to the national security of the United States. Looking at the Patriot Act, it follows after there was an attack in 2001 and the NSC-68 was immediately after the Second World War. This means that they are both aimed at preventing future attacks by any individual or a group. In most cases, the attacks seen are mainly aimed at polarizing the strength of this country and impose fear on the people living in the particular country. Once there is war, absolute power is not achievable, and that is why the United States is doing its best to ensure it is capable countering any attack in the future.

Historical Significance

These two documents that are formulated have a historical significance bin that they were both formulated after a hot historical debate and they all focus at shifting the American foreign policy to containment strategy that is comprehensive. Both were agreed unanimously, and the successive administrations confirmed those strategies without altering their meaning. This meant that they all agreed to them. These two policies tend to have changed the political agendas of the presidents who were elected by then.

The Nature of the Cold War

The cold war was mainly a rivalry between two great powers. This conflict mainly came as an inevitable outgrowth of world war two and mainly the power vacuum which was in seen in central Europe as a result of the destruction of Germany. The rival was between the Soviet Union and the United States due to mistrust that both states had despite them working together to defeat the Nazis. This was a mutual mistrust that had begun in 1917 after the United States had refused to recognize the Bolshevik government which was new after the Russian revolution. These two powerful states had ideological differences where the United States wanted to spread democracy, and the Russian revolutionaries had a desire to overthrow capitalism. These two states had a common believe that their survival was at stake and they found themselves succumbing to the classic prisoner's dilemma. The main nature of this war was mainly the ideological differences in that the Soviet Union was bent on expansion which was driven by the combination of the ideology of Marxist-Leninist and the traditional interest. On the other hand, the United States responded by acting pragmatically and prudently so as to defend itself from what was being seen as a security threat.

Similarities and Differences

The similarity in the two policies (NSC-68 and the Patriot Act) is very evident in that both were formulated after there was a threat. The NSC-68 followed after there was the world war two and the Patriot Act followed after an attack in 2001. Both were formulated to help strengthen the United States military base due to fear of a future attack. Looking at the Patriot Act, it aimed at revising its laws and formulates tools which would be appropriate to intercept and obstruct terrorism (McCarthy, p435). The NSC-68 on the other hand aimed at coming up with new weapons and providing its allies with military weapons so that if another war elapsed, they would be in a better position to win. In both cases, the United state was not willing to risk. Both were to result in a huge budget due to their requirements. There would be increased costs in coming up with new surveillance procedures and weapons. The difference seen is that the NSC-68 resulted in a cold war which affected the whole world but the Patriot Act never had the effect on the whole world and also never resulted in any war.

Work cited

Gaddis, John Lewis, and Paul Nitze. "NSC 68 and the Soviet Threat Reconsidered." International Security 4.4 (1980): 164-176.

McCarthy, Michael T. "USA patriot act." (2002): 435.

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