This chapter reflects on the concept of national security in early American foreign policy. It also illuminates the relationships between the concept of national security and the burgeoning numbers of books and articles dealing with grand strategy. Here, national security had come to mean the defense of core values from external threats. As understood by U.S. officials, national security was a dynamic, changing concept, responding to the evolution of threats abroad and the definition of core values at home. Core values themselves were elusive, forcing historians and scholars of international relations to discover and analyze precisely what interests, ideals, or values policymakers most wanted to defend. Similarly, external threats existed in the eyes of beholders; different observers perceived danger in dramatically different ways. What were real threats and what were perceived threats might only be resolved in the aftermath of events, and perhaps not even then. Nonetheless, to understand the making of national security policy, the historian had to empathize with the policymakers and had to understand their perception of threat (however accurate or skewed).
Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.