How did the ‘Committee for the Present Danger’ influence US foreign policy?

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Twenty years after the cold war divided the world there is still an uncertainty about our future. Despite the dangers and costs of the cold war created it still produced a degree of stability the world had yet seen. All participants recognised their rivals had legitimate security concerns and with this in mind they fought accordingly within a framework of informal rules (Baylis et al. 2008). Both the United States of America (US) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) attempted to avoid rising escalation while preventing nuclear war as well as keeping in mind the war was not about destroying one another but proving one’s worth (Baylis et al. 2008). The cold war was a complex relationship heightened by insecurity and could be seen as a simple clash of ideologies. To this day the peaceful end to the war is still a mystery. It is entirely possible the war ended as a political acceptance stance using a similar framework of multiculturalism rather than of direct assimilation of western ideas. However without a doubt the committee for present danger has influenced US foreign policy not only during the cold war but they are now trying to find relevancy within the 21st century (Kirchick 2004). After the cold war the US became a curious hegemony unsure of how to exercise power against those it deemed ‘rogue states’ or how to support diplomatic solutions from global problems. They have been best described as a “superpower without a mission” (Baylis et al. 2008, p. 76). This lack of direction has provided organisations with the opportunity to capitalise on US fears furthering their personal agendas by manipulating the US government. A perfect example of this manipulation would the committee for present danger (CPD) o... ... middle of paper ... ... reconsidered’, International Security, vol. 4, no. 4, p. 164-176. Kirchick, J 2004, ‘Cold warriors return for war on terrorism’, The Hill, 30 June. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from Lieberman, J & Kyl, J 2004, ‘The present danger’, Washington Post, 20 July. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from dyn/articles/A63067-2004Jul19.html Sanders, J 1999, Peddlers of Crisis: The Committee on the Present Danger and the Politics of Containment, South End Press, Cambridge. The present danger: From ‘cold war’ to ‘war on terror’ 2004. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from The Committee on Present Danger 2008. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from

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