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Lecture 26: “Mission
May 26, 2010
Bush: War on Terror
(To joint session of Congress, 9/20/01)
Bush-Cheneyism: The 2002 National
Security Strategy
The United States possesses unprecedented—
and unequaled—strength and influence in the
world. Sustained by faith in the principles of
liberty, and the value of a free society, this
position comes with unparalleled
responsibilities, obligations, and opportunity.
The great strength of this nation must be used
to promote a balance of power that favors
“Our Enemies”
In the 1990s we witnessed the emergence of a small number of
rogue states that, while different in important ways, share a
number of attributes. These states:
brutalize their own people and squander their national resources
for the personal gain of the rulers;
display no regard for international law, threaten their neighbors,
and callously violate international treaties to which they are party;
are determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction, along
with other advanced military technology, to be used as threats or
offensively to achieve the aggressive designs of these regimes;
sponsor terrorism around the globe; and
reject basic human values and hate the United States and
everything for which it stands.
On Pre-emption
“In the Cold War…we faced a generally status
quo, risk-averse adversary. Deterrence was an
effective defense. But deterrence based only
upon the threat of retaliation is less likely to
work against leaders of rogue states more willing
to take risks…To forestall or prevent such
hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States
will, if necessary, act preemptively.”
Containment of Iraq
Making the Leap
Neo-cons used 9/11 to sideline realists
“Axis of Evil:” Iraq, Iran, North Korea, 1/02
States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the
peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and
growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their
hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these
cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.
National Security Strategy, 9/02
 Intelligence wars: CIA vs. “Office of Special
Plans” (in existence September 2002 to June 2003)
 Media campaign, fall 2002-spring 2003
What Were They Thinking?
Dictatorship  terrorism
Democracies peaceful, pro-US
Domino theory
Intimidation of “evil” states
Eliminate al-Qaeda’s grievances