ISS_225_Lec_14_Power_Among_Nations

The threat posed by terrorist groups and hostile

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The threat posed by terrorist groups and hostile states supporting them has forced the United States to reconsider the basic tenets of national security policy. President Bush believed that the strategies and institutions that kept the peace during the Cold War were not suited to a campaign against terrorism. In particular he believed that multilateral alliances like NATO and bilateral partnerships are not effective in dealing with terrorism. Thus the United States moved away from a system of formal, structured alliances and into more fluid system of ad hoc alignments of nations in which the mission determines the alliance. The Bush administration developed a new strategic doctrine that moved away from the Cold War pillars of containment and deterrence toward a policy that supports preemptive strikes against terrorists and hostile states with chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. Thus Bush added preemption and defensive intervention as formal options. This strategy substitutes preemption of potential threats for deterrence and containment of aggression by hostile nations or groups that appear determined to use weapons of mass destruction against the United States. The Bush doctrine also explicitly advocated U.S. preeminence in military capabilities and, if necessary, unilateral action in national security policy, contrary to decades of emphasis on grounding defense policy in alliances. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 followed directly from these premises. It was a policy designed to preempt future strikes against the United States and its allies. The absence of support from core members of NATO and the potential damage to our most enduring alliances did not deter the president. Nor did the lack of support from the United Nations. Counter to his previous belief that the US should not be involved in nation building; the war on terror has led Bush to rethink America’s responsibilities. Among these he believes is the responsibility to rebuild and democratize Iraq and spread democracy to the Middle East. As war has dragged on support for Bush’s philosophy waned. Some see the war on terrorism as responding to a tactic (terrorism) rather than to the forces that generate it. 7
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ISS 225 Power, Authority, Exchange Power Among Nations Critics also fear that the arrogance of a unilateral right to define threats and use force is squandering America’s moral authority and diminishing our global credibility. They argue that the United States cannot defend itself without the help of others and thus American national security is inextricably tied to international security. President Obama’s policies on terrorism have not differed dramatically from Bush’s policies. Obama was opposed to the war in Iraq and has committed to end U.S. military presence there. He favored increased presence in Afghanistan and did increase U.S. troop commitment there. Obama increased the number of unmanned drone attacks on al-Qaeda
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