Last updated: February 24, 2019
Topic: LawPolitics
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Missile Defense: Modernizing the Post Cold War Era of Defense Strategy



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Baumgartner (1993) opined that having a great military strength is one of the most appropriate descriptions constituting dominance, influence and recognition in the world of politics.[1] This concept portrayed the States’ common desire of protecting their respective territories and jurisdictions; thus playing a major role in gaining the need for the States’ recognition as a powerful entity existing within the sphere of world politics. The stated theory is attributable to the fact that possessing such capability will serve as a warning sign directed against international organs and entities who may devise any plan of attack.  According to Wallas (1998) by virtue of making such capability known to the international community, the particular State or country having such capability rises to the rank of one of the most influential entity in the world sometimes referred to as “political elites.”[2]

Wallas (1998) theory is highly exemplified in the current intramurals in world politics which determine the relationship existing among States today. Even the course of history is greatly affected by the decision of the political elites. These so-called political elites consisting of State leaders, Prime Ministers, Presidents and Monarchs, all of which have respective powers and influences, has a great impact in international community and legation. This firmly attests to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s view that in foreign-policy decision making and in world politics “there is no proper history, only biography,” highlighting the fact that leaders’ dominance and influence come into play when politics is concerned, and sometimes doing away with what really happened but focusing on the main actor who made it happen. This is the reason why leaders are oftentimes called the “makers” and the “movers” of world history. Young’s (n.d.), paper entitled “System and Society in World Affairs: Implications for International Organizations” revealed an attribute of a States’ leader as a person who possess a higher rank of authority over others. In relation to International Community, leaderships means having the capacity to withstand any form of pressures from other members of the international community and institutions while at the same time possessing a certain degree of assertiveness, manifested through influence among others.[3]

Nowadays, what seemed to be impossible years ago can be created and re-created in just a matter of a few seconds. Modernization has become unstoppable to the point of no contentment and satisfaction among international actors or players. Development no longer meant innovations that could make lives easier and more comfortable but also it was a potent tool for global dominance. In fact, technological development has turned into a weapon of destruction, highly dependent on whose hands it may be of use.


National Missile Defense: Background and Creation


The United States has emerged victorious in various wars making them influential and looked and revered upon by neighboring States and the international community as well (Greenstein, 1987).[4] The United States of America’s venerable status can be short-lived if the country becomes lax and complacent regarding the role it played in the international sphere of politics. This is the main reason why it is imperative for the United States to establish and maintain its power and influence.

Jensen’s (1982) in explaining foreign policy stated that the post-cold war era became the focal point for the United States to formulate and devise an appropriate strategy, program and structure for the country’s defense purposes.[5] It may be true that there is no imminent threat to U.S but the importance of having such strategy in maintaining that certain level of preparedness in the event that threat surfaces.

The main purpose of the creation of Missile Defense is for the early detection of any threat by means of tracking the targets.


Missile Defense: Politics’ Selective Image Using U.S.A.’s “Yardstick”


Taylor (1989) explained the evolution concept in its every context which is brought about by an agent acting against the usual and traditional systemic processes.[6] As exemplified in the development of technology, more weapons are created not necessarily for destruction but for deterrence purposes. The idea lies heavily on the fact that a State’s reputation in the International community becomes the basis of its degree of acceptance or rejection among international States.

This only goes to show that the means of change is expected to go against the existing order and challenge the contemporary schematic procedures. In this way, the status quo would be transformed into a concrete manifestation of the clamor introduced by the agent itself. This is to argue that in many ways, evolution is brought into reality by discontentment in the current order. That is, improvements are made available through the overt actuation of dissatisfaction and displeasure.

US supremacy is manifested in its impact in the international community (Young, n.d.).[7] It has created an image of being the “protector” of the oppressed.  But in the world of politics, there is always the desire for “self-preservation” and termed as selective engagement. The United States will continue to promote protection of innocents and civilians; however, it still seeks to protect itself, and when the time comes to pull back a little, as when geopolitically relevant countries are involved, the United States act in a non-intervention attitude for self-preservation. This is a natural act of every State in its desire to maintain its existence and even to widen its sphere of influence. As a result, the United States becomes “duty bound” to be ahead of everyone else in order to ensure its status as the “protector.” The only means to achieve this is through image building and projection of strength and influence in the arena of world politics. If United States continues to be advance in technology, armaments and intelligence information, it creates a barrier of protection against “attacks” from other states. The strength the United States exuded suggests the extent of its dominance.


Missile Defense: U.S Hegemony


Leaders are the chief factor of their respective states’ foreign policies formulation (Neustadt, 1976).[8]  This is attributable to the fact that by creating policies worthy of world cognizance, leaders are creating impressions of their own self-importance while imparting some of their extra ordinary powers and influences to other State leaders who profess the same ideologies. As demonstrated by political psychologists, the decisions of these world leaders are measured by their counterparts, and from there, these counterparts make their own preferences but directly or indirectly patterned with the perceptions and personalities of the known world leaders. In effect, world leaders’ ideas are magnified creating a better recognition for their brilliance, efforts and etching their name in history.

A Hegemon is a dominant global leader that possesses the capability to emerge as the dictator of rules and arrangements affecting international relations, political and economic aspect.  The United States is viewed as a hegemon in terms of foreign policies and world dominance.  Evolution of political concepts and ideologies in its every context is brought about by an agent acting against the usual and traditional systemic processes. This only goes to show that the means of change is expected to go against the existing order and challenge the contemporary schematic procedures. Spearheading this change is the United States as implied. This is interpreted to be that way because as a leader, U.S. not only acts for and by the people of the United States but also for the benefit of other nation’s people.

The United States’ Missile Defense capability has placed it in a position more advanced than others. It gave them a vantage point as to where an opponent plans to strike and in effect, prevent or counter that planned attack.




At present, much of the development in the field of Politics has been generally focused on policy-making and procedural re-awakening (Held, 1991)[9]. An example of such is the latest headline-statements of the century involving defense, creation of nuclear weapons and of course, creating more peaceful efforts for better relationships existing among nations.  This is attributable to the fact that as the State increases its influence, there is a need to increase its resources for self-preservation. By becoming a world leader and a dominant figure in the international community, the level of danger also increases as opposing entities may attack in the hope of toppling down a very influential State, using it as a symbol to emphasize that vulnerability exists and is present even with influential States.

Finally, Missile Defense System is a means to ensure that United States as well as all the ideas it embodies as a nation is well protected and can deter threats.





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[1] Baumgartner, Frank. Agendas and Instability in American Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
[2] Wallas, G. (1998) Human Nature in Politics. (London: Constable).
[3] Young, Oran. System and Society in World Affairs: Implications for International Organizations.
[4] Greenstein, Fred. Personality and Politics .Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1987.
[5] Jensen, Lloyd. Explaining Foreign Policy. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1982.
[6] Taylor, P. (1989) “Structure, Culture and Action in the Explanation of Social Change”, Politics and Society,  17.
[7] Young, Oran. System and Society in World Affairs: Implications for International Organizations.
[8] Neustadt, Richard. Presidential Power. New York: Wiley, 1976.
[9] Held, D. (1991) “Democracy, the Nation-State and the Global System”, in D. Held (ed.), Political Theory Today. (Cambridge: Polity Press).