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The Soviets have also expanded their presence in Vietnam, and continue to have access to facilities in Southeast and Southwest Africa as well as in the Horn of Africa, all areas of significant Western concern due to the resources in these areas and the sea lines around them.
In summary, while U.S. programs in place will enhance our ability to move and support significant forces, as in the reinforcement of Europe, the Soviets emphasize more subtle, indirect forms of power projection. Moreover, the military capabilities of the Soviet merchant marine, the expansion of the Soviet airlift force, the advent of new and unique platforms, like WIGS, and the expansion of Soviet sea-based air capability could allow the Soviets to comp more realistically in areas of u.s. concern in the absence of continued U.S. attention to power projection.
Most importantly, our power-projection effectiveness depends not only on our own capabilities and programs but also on close cooperation with regional allies and friends. Successful power projection requires allied assistance in the areas of basing and staging facilities, overflight rights, prepositioning sites ashore, and host nation support.
C. U.S. INTERESTS, NATIONAL SECURITY OBJECTIVES,
1. U.S. Interests, Commitments, and Goals
U.S. national interests encompass both broad ideals and specific security assets. America's paramount national interests are peace, freedom, and prosperity for ourselves and for our allies and our friends, and for others around the world. We seek an international order that encourages self-determination, democratic institutions, economic development, and human rights. We endorse the open exchange of ideas and other measures to encourage understanding between peoples.
More specifically, we maintain our steadfast concern for the security and well being of our allies and other nations friendly to our interests. We oppose the expansion of influence, control, or territory by nations opposed to freedom and other fundamental ideals shared by America and its allies.
The peaceful existence and prosperity of democracies is the core U.S. interest. Our agenda is a modest one and threatens no one. But the mere existence and prospering of democracies is also the greatest long-term danger to the world's most powerful foe of freedom, the Soviet Union. The danger to Moscow is not from the democracies' obviously defensive military forces, nor from the democracies' desire for peace and freedom. The danger is the contagiousness of freedom, the inherent superiority of free enterprise, and the universal appeal of basic human rights.
Democracies are anathema to the Soviet world view. The most recent example is Poland, where the first glimmerings of freedom brought down the iron heel of Soviet oppression in the form of a puppet Polish general, as head of the government, who might as well wear a Soviet uniform. Therefore, to survive democracies must remain militarily strong in order to deter and defend against the Soviet Union, whose bankrupt political and economic systems leave it with only its military might to perpetuate and promulgate its communist system.
The protection of U.s. interests has, over the years, led America to enter into joint commitments with other nations in the form of international treaties and agreements that reflect those interests. Alliances like NATO, and bilateral agreements such as those we have entered into with Japan and the Republic of Korea, serve to defend those common values that we share. By defending ourselves in this collective manner, we not only improve our own security, but we do so at a reduced cost, since the defense burden, which benefits all, is borne by many nations, and not the United States alone. Our adversaries seek to undermine these values and interests, thereby generating our need for military strength to uphold our commitments.
2. National Security Objectives
The threats to U.S. interests described in Chapter 1.B. require us to formulate national security objectives to counter those threats. Ma jor U.S. national security objectives are to:
Safeguard the United States and its forces, allies, and interests by deterring aggression and coercion; and should deterrence fail, by defeating the armed aggression and ending the conflict on terms favorable to the United States, our allies, and our interests at the lowest possible level of hostilities.
Encourage and assist our allies and friends in defending
ritical resources, markets, the
Ensure U.S. access to
Where possible, reduce Soviet presence throughout the world; increase the costs of Moscow's use of subversive forces; and foster changes within the Soviet bloc that will lead to a more peaceful world order.
Prevent the transfer of militarily critical technology to the Soviet bloc.
Pursue equitable and verifiable arms reduction agreements. Because compliance is key to the value of any international agreement, and in view of the Soviet record of violations, fully effective verification is the most vital part of any agreement.
America's basic defense strategy, as it has been for the entire postwar period, is to deter aggression. Our strategy seeks to safeguard u.s. interests by convincing adversaries not to commit aggression against those interests. It precludes an attack from happening in the first place through clear alliance commitments and ready forces that provide us with an effective and credible response to any level of aggression.
Deterrence works by persuading potential adversaries that by their perceptions, the probable costs of their aggression will exceed the probable gains. Deterrence is the U.S. Strategy against conventional as well as nuclear aggression. Among nuclear powers, any conflict carries the risk of irreversible escalation; therefore, our goal is to dissuade aggression of any kind.
We seek not only to deter actual aggression but also to prevent coercion of the United States, its allies, and friends through the