The 75th Anniversary of the National Security Act of 1947

A Call to Rethink Our Strategy Towards China
Jul 26, 2022 By Will Hurd
Updated: Dec 27, 2023
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The National Security Act passed in of 1947, created the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Council. In this legislation, the United States Congress codified America’s strategy of “containment” against the Soviet Union. In light of recent events, it is time for America to return to the thought process that led to that landmark 1947 act and dedicate our efforts toward rethinking our strategy towards China. For too long, we have pursued a policy of strategic ambiguity towards Taiwan. This has done little to deter China from its aggressive behavior in the region and will not prevent a China Taiwan invasion.

Background Prior to Passage

During the floor debate on the National Security Act of 1947, Senator Edward Gurney (R-Florida) explained that the legislation was based on the hard, costly experience gained by American participation in two great wars. He explained, “It represents a determination upon the part of responsible civilian and military leaders that our country profits from the terrible lessons of World War II while those lessons are still fresh in our minds.”

For too long, we have pursued a policy of strategic ambiguity towards Taiwan.

In hearings on the bill, Lieutenant General Hoyt Vandenberg, the Director of Central Intelligence,  explained: “Before Pearl Harbor, we did not have an intelligence service in this country comparable to that of Great Britain, or France, or Russia, or Germany, or Japan.” He added that The National Security Act of 1947 would provide “a firm basis on which we can construct the finest intelligence service in the world.”

How A 75-Year-Old Bill Applies Today

Do we have to wait for some major catastrophe before we take the steps necessary to prevent Xi Jinping and his Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from achieving their stated goal of replacing the United States of America as the sole global superpower?

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President Xi and the CCP are not ten feet tall. As the international experts at OODA Loop explain, there are “signs of economic weakness in China indicating a coming crisis.” However even if this is the scenario that plays out over time, an economically weakened and less interdependent China could result in “increased threats of military action in Asia and cyberspace during periods of economic decline.”

The National Security Act of 1947 was a product of intense deliberations throughout the military, executive branch, and Congress. This is the same level of effort that will be needed to ensure the entirety of the US government is ready to win this New Cold War with the Chinese Government. This effort should begin with assessing whether the 40-plus-year-old “One China Policy” is the best way to continue into the next century.

What do you think? Is it time for America to rethink its strategy towards China? Let me know via email! Thanks for reading.

-Will Hurd

P.S. If you liked this blog post, be sure to check out my other blog posts on the website! I write about a variety of topics, including politics, history, and current events. Thanks for reading!

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