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Imperial Crisis and Domestic Dissent

Imperial Crisis and Domestic Dissent What Is New About a Strategy of Preemption? In the months following the attacks on September 11, 2001, the president and his top officials sent strong signals that national security policy would be dramatically changed. Having identified specific countries—Iraq, Iran, and North Korea—as an axis of evil that could not be tolerated in a terrorist era, they began building a case for a military response. Their views were publicly codified in the September 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States of America. Although the thirty-one-page document was heavy on platitudes and familiar prescriptions, it contained a fresh warning: Traditional concepts of deterrence will not work against a terrorist enemy whose avowed tactics are wanton destruction and the targeting of the innocents. . . . The overlap between states that sponsor terrorism and those that pursue WMD compels us to action. . . . The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction—and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Imperial Crisis and Domestic Dissent

positions asia critique , Volume 13 (1) – Mar 1, 2005

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-13-1-75
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

What Is New About a Strategy of Preemption? In the months following the attacks on September 11, 2001, the president and his top officials sent strong signals that national security policy would be dramatically changed. Having identified specific countries—Iraq, Iran, and North Korea—as an axis of evil that could not be tolerated in a terrorist era, they began building a case for a military response. Their views were publicly codified in the September 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States of America. Although the thirty-one-page document was heavy on platitudes and familiar prescriptions, it contained a fresh warning: Traditional concepts of deterrence will not work against a terrorist enemy whose avowed tactics are wanton destruction and the targeting of the innocents. . . . The overlap between states that sponsor terrorism and those that pursue WMD compels us to action. . . . The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction—and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2005

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