Growth and complexity of the Federal government increased drastically under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR served his four terms during a national crisis in America. Between the Great Depression

Growth and complexity of the Federal government increased drastically under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR served his four terms during a national crisis in America. Between the Great Depression and the second World War, FDR instituted a New Deal which advocated for sweeping changes to the federal government which included new, wide reaching federal powers (Stucky, 2012). FDR faced opposition for his proposed centralization of government power in light of the Soviet Union’s growing influence in the region and the growing consolidation of power in Germany during the same period (Stuckey, 2012). However, the public was willing to accept the new power that was given to the federal government as people wanted relief from the Great Depression and WWII. Garrett and Rhine provide a few interesting theories related to governmental growth. According to Garrett and Rhine, (2006) governments grow in relation to either civilian demand or a surplus of supply. The first of these two theories suggests that civilians demand a greater governmental authority and regulation during times of crisis such as WWII. This theory can be witnessed in practice in FDRs government growth policies during his New Deal or it can be witnessed in the COVID-19 world in the increased CDC regulation. The second theory of governmental growth suggests that bureaucrats are in a unique position to protect and expand government control in accordance with their own preference. Bureaucracy Theory suggests that bureaucrats can, “generate budgets that are in excess of what citizen demand warrants” (Garrett & Rhine, 2012, p. 22). Governmental complexity is necessary to control the complex swath of foreign affairs that are currently characteristic of American foreign policy. However, it is important to continually evaluate the efficacy of governmental bodies to maximize efficiency.

The international security environment has always been complex. The field of geopolitics is a web of alliances, enmity, neutrality, treaties and varying degrees of power. The field is constantly changing and requires attention to maintain any semblance of preparedness. The increase in complexity in the modern age is largely due to the globalization that technology has helped to stimulate. In the wake of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security was created which consolidated 22 US government agencies (Mabee, 2007). This consolidation was meant to both streamline national security agencies and “define borders of the US security the future” (Mabee, 2007, p. 394). As globalization increases, terrorist networks and transnational criminal organizations become more prominent and skillful at moving finances and supplies around the globe. Agencies like the Department of Homeland Security are in place to attempt to intercept the innovative ways that criminal organizations may use to threaten the national security of the US. Mabee (2007) also suggests that the creation of governmental bodies which are meant to have far reaching powers to combat foreign national security threats also have the potential to undermine civil liberties. For this reason it is all the more important to strengthen the underlying morality which the nation was built on. The responsibility given to agencies in charge of combating the complex international security field is too great to be entrusted to individuals who abide by a moral relativity. However, this necessity for morality adds another dimension to the international security field, furthering the intricacies of an already convoluted system.

Mabee, B. (2007) Re-imagining the Borders of US Security after 9/11: Securitisation, Risk, and the Creation of the Department of Homeland Security, Globalizations, 4:3, 385-397, DOI: 10.1080/14747730701532567

Garrett, T. A., & Rhine, R. M. (2006). On the size and growth of government. Review – Federal Reserve Bank of St.Louis, 88(1), 13-30. Retrieved from

Mary E. Stuckey (2012) FDR, the Rhetoric of Vision, and the Creation of a National Synoptic State, Quarterly Journal of Speech, 98:3, 297-319, DOI: 10.1080/00335630.2012.691172

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