The September 11 Terrorist Attacks

904 WordsSep 5, 20164 Pages
Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, American foreign policy altered to a more neoconservative approach embracing a proactive policy contingent upon American military power. Unlike the previous cold war policies of the Truman Doctrine that advocated deterrence and containment, this new approach became a hybrid of Wilsonianism and Jacksonianism where liberalism fused with realist means to produce a unilateral American government unafraid to demonstrate their power in order to preserve American security. Heavily influenced by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the potential threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the 2002 National Security Strategy (NSS) introduced the controversial tenet of “preemption”. As stated in part III of the 2002 NSS, the Bush administration declared that the United States: “Will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country” The above statement reflects the United States shift towards a unilateral foreign policy, one that is not hesitant to act beyond the constraints of international law. Traditionally, Preemption is based on the perceived threat of an imminent attack in order to defeat the imposing threat which is justified under the self-defense clause of Article 51 of the United Nations (UN) Charter. However, the Bush administration has broadened this definition to
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