I need help writing an essay in response to the following prompt: B. The Post-Cold War era (1991-present) presents greater danger to the national security of the United States than did the era of the Cold War. The Cold War nuclear threat was obviously a high-level threat, but by the 1960s (after the Cuban missile crisis) the United States and the Soviet Union constructed a relationship which remained hostile but realistic and in which the purposeful use of nuclear weapons was highly unlikely. In contrast, the United States faces a world of many dangers, from hostile and growing competitors like China and Iran to very flexible and violent terrorist and criminal organizations that do not align with the world's national borders. The threat of a terrorist organization obtaining and using a nuclear weapons is more likely than was the launch of a thousand nuclear weapons by the Soviet Union. Explain your answer and be sure to address both sides, discussing why you support one and oppose the other. Be specific and cite any sources you use; do not take quotes directly from any source without proper punctuation and citations.

Expert Answers

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In writing an essay on this topic, you will need to talk about the wide range of current threats to national security. In order to succeed in this assignment, you might want to break it down into several sections:

  • Introduction: Your main thesis should center around the fact that it is much harder to defend against a wide variety of threats from multiple types of entities than a single known threat.
  • Transition: You then should have a transition paragraph in which you discuss some of the major types of security hazards of the post-Cold War era. The main body of your essay should address each type of threat in a separate section.
  • Rogue States: You might begin by talking about rogue states, especially North Korea, and how by being outside the framework of international law and diplomacy they are a potential threat to US security.
  • Russia: Putin's Russia may be no less dangerous than the Soviet Union as it still has a nuclear arsenal and is moving towards a rhetoric of extreme nationalism and xenophobia.
  • China: Here you might discuss the simmering conflicts in the South China Sea and the Nine-Dashed Line territorial claims of China.
  • Failed States: The next major security threat you might discuss are the failed states such as Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen and associated fragile states and discuss how they destabilize regions and increase the threat of terrorism and refugee crises. 
  • Terrorism and Cyberterrorism: In this section you would discuss how modern technology allows a relatively small group of people to pose major threats to national security by acts of terrorism and cyberterrorism.
  • Conclusion: You should argue that the sheer variety of current threats makes for a greater national security risk than did the better understood and more limited threats of the Cold War. 
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