b. Possible Views
i. Utilitarian ii. Kantian
Peter Singer Notes:
In his classic article, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” Peter Singer (Singer, 1972) argues that we in the affluent world have an obligation to do much more than we do to improve the lives of needy people. He argues that if we can prevent something very bad from happening without incurring a comparable moral cost, then we ought to do it. For example, if one notices a small child drowning in a shallow pond, one is morally obliged to wade in and save that child, even if it means muddying up one’s clothes. As Singer points out, this seemingly innocuous principle has radical implications, implying that all of us who spend money on unnecessary luxuries should give up those luxuries in order to spend the money on saving and/or improving the lives of impoverished peoples. Why, Singer asks, do we have a strict obligation to save a nearby drowning child, but no comparable obligation to save faraway sick and starving children through charitable donations to organizations like Oxfam?
Many normative explanations come to mind, but none is terribly compelling. Are we allowed to ignore the plight of faraway children because they are citizens of foreign nations? If yes, then would it be acceptable to let the child drown, provided that the child was encountered while traveling abroad? Or in international waters?
The Enervation of Russia
Arguably, the United States is itself the product of globalization: intercontinental global travel, intercontinental trade, and the use of the dollar as an international currency are historical factors showing how the United States is both the product of, and an effector of globalization. Thus, U.S. National Security can hardly be addressed without understanding the dynamics of globalization. To begin, it is important to define national security as it depends on who is asked. If Ron Paul and libertarians are asked, they say that U.S. involvement in foreign affairs often amounts to U.S. entanglement in foreign affairs and increases our likelihood of being targeted by hostile foreign forces. Others will say that you do need a world police that is spearheaded by the U.S., to ensure world peace and prevent the spread of a regional conflict to the U.S., what is known as Pax Americana. Accordingly, this paper will role-play a neoconservative perspective towards national security.
Through a neoconservative perspective, Russia is a major national security threat to the United States because neoconservatives believe that the world needs a single leader of the pack and that this leader should be the United States. As the world becomes a global village, the world also needs a global mayor. In centuries prior, when globalization was far less advanced, regional powers could rule as petty kings over their own pond, without ever bothering about the pond of other petty kings in other parts of the still-more-fragmented-than-united world. Now, a more globalized world requires a single, centralized head, just as any multicellular being requires a single, specialized unit of brain cells to control and supervise the body as a whole.
Accordingly, any power that challenges or threatens U.S. leadership in the world should be weakened or incapacitated by whichever means possible. What makes Russia a threat is 1) the sheer size of its country stretching from Europe and its NATO members to Alaska, the U.S.’ 49th state, 2) its nuclear arsenal and military strength, notwithstanding its being the ghost of its former Soviet glory, 3) its superlative natural resources, natural gas and oil in particular, 4) in part as a result of the above, its autonomy on the global international arena and lack of deference for the U.S. point of view and U.S. interests; 5) Russia’s relative economic independence from the U.S.A. (unlike China whose number 1 importer of goods is the United States); 6) the recent measures, which…