The Center for Security Policy: Mission and Structure
Mission and Message
The Communication Process
On the Other Side of the Fence
In the post-911 era, America was made aware of the commitment of her enemies. But aside from that, the American people were made to dread the level of brutality they are willing to unleash upon their motherland. There is an agreement across every sector that this pain-filled event should not be made to reoccur. The disagreement however is on the methodology that will be used to deter America’s enemies both foreign and domestic. This is why the Center for Security Policy, a non-profit organization is determined to change the mindset of the American people before another terror attack will happen once again.
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For the CSP the events of September 11 had irreversibly changed the rules of the game so to speak. It is difficult for this group and its supporters to understand why the Obama administration cannot accept this fact and therefore unable to comprehend why the present administration seems determined to destroy what the previous Bush administration had so painstakingly built for almost eight years.
On one side of the debate, we can see the conservatives, and on the other side are the liberal-minded men and women of the United States. If we narrow this down further we have the Republicans and then on the other side the Democrats. It is easy to divide the two camps, one only has to think of the incumbent administration and the one that it replaced. In other words, it is the Obama administration versus the Bush administration. The Bush administration is defined by the history that it helped create particularly the actions made in response to September 11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The debate is due to the difference of perspective when it comes to understanding the role of the Federal government in the context of foreign policy and how it must deal with issues within the country. Aside from that, two ideologies are butting heads when it comes to dealing with these issues having in mind human rights and the freedom of expression. The Republicans believe that the state is more important than the individual while the Democrats believe that human rights and individual freedom defines the U.S. citizen and these ideals are the main reason why America is a great country, worth defending and respected by her allies. The moment we begin to compromise in this respect is also the time that the integrity and influence of our government begin to decline.
After visiting CSP’s official website and after browsing a few pages in the said site, it became clear that this non-profit organization is supportive of the ideals and principles of the Republican Party and therefore suspicious and critical of the policies that emanate from the Obama administration, which is, of course, a president coming from the Democrats. It does not require a lot of effort to collect evidence that will prove this assertion. But once the reader has accepted the fact that the CSP is supported by political groups opposed to Obama then it would be easier to examine more closely the details of their argument.
Before proceeding it is important to find out the people and the organizations that are behind CSP. It is interesting to note that majority of the leader are well-known members of the conservative party. Furthermore, many of the past and present leaders of CSP are not only members of the Republican Party but also served under two terms presidents Reagan and Bush. But let us begin with the founder of CSP, he is none other than Frank Gaffney, the founder, and president of CSP. He is a well-known conservative hardliner (Rightweb, 2010). And he is also the founding member of the Project for the New American Century (Rightweb, 2010).
Although the CSP project themselves as non-partisan it must be pointed out that many of its key leaders served under presidents coming from the Republican Party. A case in point is Mr. Gaffney, who in 1987 was nominated by President Reagan to become the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy. Aside from Gaffney, the CSP boasts of leaders and members who are identified with the Republicans. Take for instance Elliott Abrams who is the Asst. Secretary of State involved in the Iran-Contra fiasco (NNDB, 2010).
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Another prominent member of CSP is Jack Dyer Crouch II who served as U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor in 2005 under the Bush administration. One can also find as one of the members, Douglas Feith who was the former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. There is also Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Reagan’s UN Ambassador. And finally, John F. Lehman was the former 9-11 commissioner and was appointed by George W. Bush. At this point, it is already futile to deny that CSP is not biased against the Democrats simply because they adhere to a set of principles and ideas that favor those represented by the Republicans.
Mission and Message
According to CSP is a non-profit and nonpartisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resources needs that are vital to American security and then making sure that these issues are looked into by the general public and more importantly by policy experts, government officials, and opinion leaders (CSP, 2010) In other words CSP is some kind of a watchdog that will make noise to force others to listen and then will do everything in their power to ensure – within legal means – that the government will have to comply and act in accordance to what they believe is needed to secure this country from external as well as internal threats.
A good way to begin a more detailed analysis of CSP is to focus on a newly initiated project by the said group. The conclusion of the first volume of the report speaks volumes as to why the CSP will not rest until Obama listens to what they have to say and then make him think and act like them. However, their main goal is to replace him – hopefully after his first term as U.S. President – or persuade the government to drastically alter their policies especially those about national security. In the said report, provocatively entitled; “How safe are you?” the main idea that they want to propagate can be gleaned from the purpose statement and it reads:
…to highlight selected policy and legislative actions taken during the first year of the Obama Presidency that have demonstrably undermined our allies, emboldened our enemies, and endangered our national security (CSP, 2010).
There is no doubt in their minds that the present administration does not have a clue as to how to develop foreign policies that are vital to the United States. They believe that the Obama administration is creating one mistake after another that allowed the enemies of the state to grow even stronger every day. They do not tire of talking about the reason why September 11 became reality.
It was because in the years before the attack, America was never serious in assessing the threats posed by the terrorist groups, especially Muslim extremists. It is also easy to discern that they are pointing the blame also on the fact that during the pre- 9/11 years, it was the former Bill Clinton, a Democrat who did not make preparations and intensified the government’s effort so that it stays one step ahead of her enemies. The CSP has vowed, never again. Today, their central message is clear: “Peace through Strength” (CSP, 2010). They believe in diplomacy but they also know that a good defense is a good offense.
The CSP will do everything to achieve its objectives. Its members will pore over government documents. They will look into military contracts. They will analyze agreements made between two governments. They will monitor the speeches made by presidents. They will try to find out what the Obama administration is trying to accomplish in the short-term and the long term regarding foreign policies. And when they will find out that there are policies, laws made and plans created that are not in the best interest of the country, they will make sure that the American people will know about it and especially that the U.S. government will have to do something to address the situation.
The CSP it seems can be partly understood by looking at it as some sort of a relic from the Cold War. It argues against the benefits of arming the U.S. to the highest possible levels. This is a problem as far as the Democrats are concern because they know that this nation cannot spend great amounts of money to build bigger and faster weapons and machines without sacrificing a part of the economy and depriving the American citizens of services. For the CSP these things are justified because the nation is at war. But others are asking, are we really at war? They want to reassess the situation and instead of saying that the U.S. is in a state of war, this has to be revised and understood as simply trying to defend itself from future threats.
The Communication Process
The CSP has a nice way of saying how they intend to do their job; they say that they are the Special Forces in this war of ideas. It was clear to them that this is a battle of ideology. Therefore, their primary goal is to educate. They work night and day to simply, “undermine the ideological foundations of totalitarianism and Islamist extremism” (CSP, 2010) Thus, one way to look at them is to remember the Cold War during the time of the Reagan administration but instead of thinking about the Communists, this time around the targets are rogue nations like North Korea and of course the breeding ground for terrorists.
They are aided in this pursuit because of “…the active participation of a sizeable network of past and present, civilian and military security policy practitioners.” (Defence-Guide, 2010) But this has to clarify by pointing out that most if not all of them are members of the Republican Party.
On the Other Side of the Fence
The Democrats, members of the Obama administration, and members of the general public are not in agreement with the CSP. They come across as extremists and may at times sound like the people who are anti-government and itching to bring this country to the brink of another civil war. Some believe that America can be great and strong not only by building up her defense systems but to reach out in dialogue to her enemies. But this has simply irritated the CSP, its leadership convinced that these are signs of weaknesses and will result in emboldening her enemies to go ahead with their diabolical plans.
It is easy to like and hate the CSP depending on how the person views the current threat to the United States and how to properly address this threat. Those who are not happy with this group are those who see them as a rabid watchdog that does not care who he will offend as long as he can get his message across and as long as everyone will go along with his plans and objectives. But those who support this group are people who believe that the government is not doing everything to ensure that America is safe.