Brent Scowcroft Center Intern Albin Aronsson writes for Svenska Dagbladet about the major visions of US national security strategy and foreign policy, the debate that is ongoing in Washington, and why it is important for Sweden to follow and understand this debate:
In the Cold War, the core of US national security was relatively simple. Containment guided presidents, national security advisors and most in the US foreign and national security establishment. The Soviet Union would be opposed whenever and wherever on the global geopolitical map.
When the Cold War ended, most were caught off balance by the fact that the old principles suddenly did not seem to apply. The 1990s and 2000s became decades with many conflicts and conflagrations, but the US’s overwhelming military and economic might was never seriously threatened. However, the combination of economic crisis, serious disturbances in the Middle East, a Europe that finds itself in a somewhat identity crisis, a revanchist Russia and especially a growing China has produced a deep underlying unease for what the US role in the world is and should be.