Changed focus of U.S. foreign policy overnight. The “war on terrorism” became central concern of Bush administration. Was no “war on terrorism” before 9-11.
Characterized attacks as “more than acts of terror, they were acts of war”. “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” Viewed war on terrorism with “moral clarity” - as a war between good and evil. Bush's speech to nation on 9-11 Bush speech to Congress on 9-20
“Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Recruited worldwide coalition to fight“war on terrorism.” “This war on terrorism won’t end until every terrorist group with global reach... has been defeated.”
Strong support from U.S. allies. NATO invoked Article 5 of its charter for the first and only time!
New alliances based on shared interests and on geopolitics (realpolitik). Pakistan Former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Northern Alliance fighters in Afghanistan Russia and China Improved relations with some former foes. Yemen Sudan Iran
Military retaliation against al Qaeda and Taliban regime providing safe haven to bin Laden. Unconventional war fought by: CIA operatives & U.S. Special Forces. Northern Alliance allies. Supported by U.S. airpower.
Al Qaeda bases destroyed. Taliban defeated and removed from power. New pro-Western Afghan government put in place. Most Taliban and al Qaeda leaders escaped into neighboring Pakistan. Afghanistan’s new president Hamid Karsai
War on terrorism has been a global campaign with no boundaries - and no end in sight. Al Qaeda and its affiliates span the globe. Requires U.S. assistance to -- and from -- many other governments. Has meant an expanded U.S. military presence throughout the world.
2002 State of the Union speech – President Bush expanded scope of war on terrorism to include rogue states possessing or devel- oping WMD. Said an “Axis of Evil” existed in the world today: Iran Iraq North Korea
Accused all three states of seeking WMDs and said U.S. would do “whatever was necessary” to keep these states from acquiring such weapons. Accused all three countries of having links with terrorist groups. Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address
Some U.S. allies had strong reservations about expand- ing war on terrorism against these states. None of these countries had been linked to Sept. 11. Concerns over what the U.S. planned next – especially in regards to Iraq.
The Bush Doctrine, a new post 9-11 defense strategy was first spelled out in this document. Identified greatest threat facing the U.S. and the world today: Terrorist networks with global reach coexisting with rogue states possessing WMD. Warned that terrorists might soon acquire these WMD and use them against the U.S.
Doctrine asserted that U.S. must defend itself by acting preemptively against these terrorists and rogue states. Meant striking against our enemies before they can use their WMD against us.
Asserted right to act against “emerging” threats “before they are fully formed” -- not just immediate threats Controversial interpretation of the tradition right to self- defense. Why?
Sounded more like preventive war, not preemption. What’s the difference? Preemption involves the use of force to stop an imminent threat. Prevention involves the use of force to stop potential or future threats.
What does current international law allow? International law allows preemptive military action in self defense – if the threat of attack is imminent. Preventive war in the absence of an imminent threat is NEVER permitted and is considered an act of aggression.