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America’s National Interest

The national interest of the United States always begins with a strong military that can provide national defense and deter our enemies. Every president’s primary responsibility is to protect our country. Whenever our vital interests are threatened, at home or abroad, the president is within his rights and bound by his duty to protect the country and to act militarily if necessary. One president who always placed national defense as his paramount goal was Ronald Reagan.

His resolute actions helped win the Cold War as he promoted “peace through strength” (White House, 2009). Since the attacks of September 2001, the war on terror has become a very important component of our national interest. Radical Islamic jihadists proved that they are willing to kill large numbers of innocent civilians in the United States and across the world as they wage their war on free countries and western cultures and values.

We must continue to find these enemies and their havens throughout the world and neutralize or kill terrorists who wish harm on our country and its enduring ideals. In that same vein, a third national priority is to monitor and thwart countries that either covertly or overtly oppose our country or our close, significant allies. A fourth priority accompanies that goal as sophisticated intelligence gathering is required for our nation to diplomatically or militarily oppose dangerous rogue nations like Iran.

Bellicose actions and statements, like Iran’s wish “for Israel to be wiped off the map,” (AP, 2008) must be taken seriously and addressed sternly and competently. A fifth vital national interest is a vibrant, growing economy. Capitalism has enabled the United States to become a great, leading nation in little more than two centuries. Even though capitalistic economic activity is inherently cyclical, our nation’s leaders can enact policies that help avert or lessen the severity of economic downturns.

Currently, “Obama says his (economic) plan will stimulate vital sectors of the economy” (Teslik, 2009).

Works Cited

“About The White House: Presidents. ” May 2009. <http://www. whitehouse. gov/about/presidents/ronaldreagan>. “Iranian President Says No War with U. S. , Israel. ” Associated Press. 8 July 2008. <http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/25588284/>. Teslik, L. H. “Backgrounder: The US Economic Stimulus Plan. ” The New York Times. 27 January 2009. <http://www. nytimes. com/cfr/world/slot3_20090126. html>.

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