Manual Confronting Terror: 9/11 and the Future of American National Security

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Contents:
  1. Confronting Terror: 9/11 and the Future of American National Security
  2. Don't ignore serious nonmilitary threats to US national security
  3. Why Counterterrorism Won’t Stop the Latest Jihadist Threat
  4. Confronting Terror

So as a nation we have to decide: as we go about our daily lives, what level of risk is acceptable? When it comes to our privacy versus our security, what tradeoffs are we willing to accept? We must be vigilant in protecting our lives from threats posed by terrorists; we must be no less vigilant in protecting our liberties from the threat of being undone by our own hand in times of widespread fear. And achieving such balance will be particularly important when we contemplate the possibility of a major security event between now and the next election.

Knowing that, in the past decade more Americans have been killed in America by right-wing extremists than those inspired by al Qaeda or ISIS, we need to acknowledge this threat too and redirect appropriate resources to combat right-wing extremism and violent white nationalism. The world needs an America ready to reverse the rise of authoritarianism while revitalizing democracy at home and advancing it among our allies. Countries with models that fly in the face of our values—from Chinese techno-authoritarianism to Russian oligarchic capitalism to anti-modern theocratic regimes in the Middle East—all present a major challenge to us.

And it is no accident that their hostility to shared values comes as they also present a greater threat to our interests. Ironically, at the very moment when American prestige and respect is collapsing, it has never been more needed that America live up to the values we profess. The world needs the best of America right now. Now, our approach to each region in the world should be guided by an understanding of our interests that is true to our values. Take the case of Russia, which we should view not as a real estate opportunity but as a self-interested, disruptive, and adversarial actor.

As the most unequal economy of any major power, Russia represents a striking example of what happens when a country attempts to set up capitalism without democracy. And the forces unleashed there—nationalism, xenophobia, homophobia, and the repression of the press—are both highly disturbing in that country and disturbingly ascendant in our own country. Meanwhile, Russia throws its weight around abroad.

Most egregiously of course, their unacceptable interference in our elections which weakened America both by helping to elect an unstable administration and by eroding confidence in our democracy itself. We must be ready to deter such behavior in the future—through diplomatic, economic, and even cyber tools and information operations. But we must also deal with the real weaknesses that the Russians exploited—not just the gaps in our technology but our capacity to be too easily turned against each other. In this sense, domestic problems from racism to social isolation have revealed themselves to be national security vulnerabilities.

Future U. And central to this will be our partnerships—sadly fractured and endangered by this administration but ready to be renewed and reinvigorated. In Latin America, too, universal values that we support as Americans are at stake. Casual references to throwing U. But engagement will. That means adding, not subtracting, to USAID efforts in Central America, so that we can better address the crime, corruption, and poverty that contributes to mass migration in the first place. And it means working closely with Mexico, one of our largest trading partners, knowing how much we have to gain when Mexico is more prosperous and stable.

And yes, it means isolating dictatorship and encouraging democracy working in concert with our Latin American neighbors. On the African continent, the winds of change are sweeping aside old regimes and certitudes. In Algeria, a new generation has risen up against a sclerotic government.

In Sudan, women have led a revolt against a criminal one. And in Ethiopia, we have seen what it looks like when hope triumphs over hostility. That continent now boasts some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, which have lifted millions out of poverty and into the global marketplace. And as African peoples demand greater accountability and transparency from their leaders, the United States must stand ready to put our values into action, to promote empowerment alongside economic engagement. From the Arctic to South Asia, American interests will be better served when American behavior aligns with values and norms shared across humanity.

And as we mark the year anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, the challenge of China presents perhaps the most pressing example anywhere of the need to stand for American values amid the rise of a potent alternative.

The Chinese alternative is the international expansion of authoritarian capitalism. As we speak, the Chinese government is developing a repressive digital surveillance state. Of course, we can cooperate with the Chinese on areas of mutual interest, from climate disruption, to combatting terrorism to international peacekeeping operations. But we also must be prepared to defend our values, interests, and relationships. We will not be able to meet this challenge by sticking to a 20th-century strategy. Nor will it suffice to reduce the China relationship to a tit-for-tat trade fight, as if all that matters is the export-import balance on dishwashers.

Meeting the challenge of China means we must maintain investments in a military that can deter aggression and adventurism. As with Russia, we also need to invest in strategies to deal with less overt threats—political interference, proxy wars, cyberattacks, and the potential weaponization of economic and technological interdependence. But beyond that, the new China challenge provides us with an opportunity to come together across the political divide; at least half the battle is at home, enhancing our domestic competitiveness and stability.

We will not be very convincing if the world sees China invest more in infrastructure abroad than we are prepared to invest here at home.


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We cannot compete for the global economic future if we continue to disinvest in education, infrastructure, health, and technology. If gross inequality and declining social mobility persist in our country, our economic and political system will become less and less respected on the world stage. Which is why perhaps the single best thing we can do to roll back authoritarianism abroad is to model the strength of inclusive democratic capitalism right here in the United States.

At key moments, the world has envied not just our strength but our prosperity, not just our prosperity but our liberty. If we lose that, we lose what makes America exceptional. And I fear we are losing it quickly. Our legitimacy abroad rests on our democracy at home. What we need is to manage immigration and our border humanely, securely, and effectively. We model our values at home in order to be convincing around the world. We must also ensure that our relationships around the world reinforce the values that anchor us here at home. That means upholding our values in dealing not just with our adversaries but with our allies.

The Middle East is one of the most important examples of a place where we can and must uphold our values while advancing our interests. We will remain open to working with a regime like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the benefit of the American people. But, we can no longer sell out our deepest values for the sake of fossil fuel access and lucrative business deals. If we recognize that the torture and execution of dissidents is wrong, then we should have the courage to say that it is wrong on both sides of the Gulf.

The security and survival of the democratic state of Israel has been and continues to be an essential tenet of U. Which is why neither American nor Israeli leaders should play personal politics with the security of Israel and its neighbors. Just as an American patriot may oppose the policies of the American president, a supporter of Israel may also oppose the policies of the Israeli right-wing government.

Especially when we see increasingly disturbing signs that the Netanyahu government is turning away from peace. The suffering of the Palestinian people—especially the humanitarian disaster in Gaza—has many authors, from the extremism of Hamas and inefficacy of the Palestinian Authority to the indifference of the international community and, yes, the policies of the current Israeli government. And now, Gaza has become a breeding ground for the kind of extremism that only exacerbates threats to Israel and the region. Israeli and Palestinian citizens should be able to enjoy the freedom to go about their daily lives without fear, and to work to achieve economic well-being for their families.

The current state of affairs cannot endure. The pressure of history and the mathematics of demography mean that well before , Israelis and Palestininians will have come to see either peace or catastrophe. At home and abroad, it is not too late for America to restore her leadership position as a beacon of values that are both universal and at the core of the American project. Democracy, freedom, shared security.

Confronting Terror: 9/11 and the Future of American National Security

And despite what we hear from this administration and from far too many Republicans in positions of responsibility, climate disruption is here. It is no longer a distant or theoretical issue, it is a clear and present threat. And as traditionally conservative sectors from other business community led by the insurance industry to our military leaders repeatedly tell us, climate instability is a threat multiplier.

It can accelerate the spread of pandemics, food insecurity, and mass migration. Research even shows a significant link between temperature rise and the frequency of conflict. The balance of my lifetime will play out in an era of climate-driven international instability. In other venues, I have had more to say about how America can rise to this national challenge. But I believe it also means we should empower rural America to be part of the solution—helping to unlock the potential of soil management and other 21st century farming techniques—and we could offer a new kind of support for cities and towns seeking to reduce their dependence on carbon.

But today, I want to emphasize the potential of climate diplomacy, and the kind of world we might build when climate stands alongside democracy and human rights as a central goal, and a source of legitimacy, for nations in global affairs. Rejoining Paris is just the beginning. As one of over mayors who committed to upholding the Paris goals, and having seen how cities are rising to meet this challenge even as our respective national governments lag behind, I believe the U.

We would do well to host a Pittsburgh Summit of cities to form commitments that will stand alongside the Paris framework among countries. Building a robust global framework for climate diplomacy is the right thing to do. It also benefits American interests—not only because we all stand to lose from climate disruption, but also because countries that share our values tend to be countries with a better track record on climate.

It is hard to believe that it would be a coincidence that extraction economies and polluting societies are often those with a tendency towards authoritarianism. If we promote democracy we will also be promoting climate action, and vice versa. And by taking seriously the threat of climate disruption, we might go a long way toward improving a climate of global cooperation. And fourth, the world needs America to update the institutions through which we engage with the world, ensuring that they reflect the fact that our world is closer to than to To shape this young century to our advantage, we must renew our national security architecture—our military, certainly, but also our intelligence, communications, diplomatic, and development institutions.

The U. But in the coming decades, we are more likely than ever to face insurgencies, asymmetric attacks, and high-tech strikes with cyber weapons or drones. It proposes spending more on a single frigate than on artificial intelligence and machine learning. And chief among those priorities must be the sacred obligation we have to take care of the men and women who fight our wars.

Half our veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have applied for long-term disability benefits. We owe our veterans the best healthcare, through a strong and modern VA—which demands a significant investment to expand the quality and quantity of mental health treatment available. But caring for our veterans also means helping them and their families return to the normalcy they seek. Human connection is the most underrated and important component of community reintegration. They are engineers, Little League coaches, elected officials—and I want to enlist our communities to help them give of their extraordinary abilities.

Beyond taking a smarter approach to our defense and our care for veterans, we must also rethink our intelligence and communications. But for too long, they have focused on too few threats. In a world where data—and disinformation—dominate, we should revitalize our intelligence services with an investment in new people and a renewed commitment to tools like human intelligence and next-generation information operations.

The same goes for spreading the right kinds of information. The nation that helped Solidarity rise in Poland to begin the downfall of Communism in Europe has let the tools with which we once spread our message become weak and siloed. International communications must not be a neglected subset of our global engagement; it is a key to helping the world understand who we are and what we stand for.

Ultimately, our national security and foreign affairs strategy will only be as robust and sophisticated as the people we recruit to carry it out. The world is not standing still. To successfully navigate these dynamics and seize new opportunities will require a new generation of Americans—fluent in different languages and cultures, comfortable in a digital world, deeply committed to the American project. A foreign policy that serves our people in their daily lives can best be made by government officials who represent the full diversity of our people.

For far too long, our national security establishment has no reflected this diversity. So we must work to upgrade our hiring practices to promote both diversity and excellence. For those who choose this path, it will not always be easy. And our foreign service officers and development officials, our intelligence community, must know that Congress and their President have their backs, are committed to their mission, understand and have prepared for the risks and will not abandon them or their mission—nor scapegoat them in congressional investigations—at the first sign of trouble, and will absolutely not use them as political props or pawns.

The world needs America to cultivate a diverse and talented generation of personnel ready to engage globally. The finally, the world needs America to be in touch with its own communities. A foreign policy for must be grounded in the everyday lives of communities across the United States. Yet the discussion, in the media, in the academy, and in official Washington, seems to proceed as if foreign policy were far off in its impact and meaning. Our innovators are empowered to compete in the global marketplace only if our leaders are relentless in ensuring that intellectual property is protected.

Our workers are empowered to secure their fair share of global economic growth only if workers abroad cannot be stripped of labor rights and forced to produce at unfair wages that undercut American workers. Our Muslim friends and neighbors are empowered to work, and live, and contribute to our communities only if their government honors their faith. In this globalized century, no city—no community—is an island. Globalization is not going away. So we must insist on policies that ensure that working families in cities like mine can play a more appealing role in the story of globalization than the role of victim.

And we do that by reaffirming our longstanding international tradition, by tapping the cultural richness of our immigrant families, and by harnessing the potential of global markets. We do it by unleashing the full power of the most global institutions on our local soil—colleges and universities like this one, which teaches more languages than any other school in America—training that next generation of global leaders.

And we do it by ensuring that our local leaders—our state and local experts, our governors, yes, our mayors—are not bystanders in this dialogue. Whether the issue is climate change or trade or immigration, local leaders should be at the table from the beginning, empowered to speak with our national diplomatic, commercial and military leaders. To thrive in the coming decades, we must bring the foreign policy conversation out of Washington and into the rest of the country—and bring the rest of the country into the Washington foreign policy conversation.

Joe County goes overseas or whether a community like ours would be able to attract foreign investment. That tenuous digital link was a reminder that the counter-narcotics efforts of my threat finance cell ultimately mattered to a community on the banks of the St. Here it is clear that the United States has been preoccupied with establishing international peace and stability through the promotion of liberal democracy, through the use military force if necessary, at least since the twentieth century There is little doubt that US foreign policy has been shaped by its belief in the significance of not only adhering to liberal democratic values but also a perceived obligation to spreading these values and norms internationally.

16 Years After 9/11 & Massive Changes In National Security, Are We Safe From Terror Attacks?

In this regard, the GWoT may be viewed as but an extension of what in essence has been a historical US practice of democratisation conducted to ensure both its national security and perceived survival in what is a hierarchical and dangerous international system There were various efforts in the 20 th century to spread the values of liberalism by exporting democracy to countries that had hitherto been ruled by dictators and authoritarian regimes.

A large number of these efforts were promoted by the United States and backed by the use of U. In fact, the 20 th century began with the United States engaging in three separate military interventions aimed at bringing democracy to the former Spanish colonies of the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico Kurth ; More significantly, not all of these interventions were conducted without sustaining significant losses. For instance, the U. This paternalistic trend of democracy promotion was further strengthened by President Woodrow Wilson who first sent the U.

James Kurth identifies four theatres where the United States has used military conquest and occupation to bring about political democratization. Together, these add up to more than a dozen cases in which the United States has used military occupation to bring about political democratization.

They provide useful precedents and lessons for the [ In other words, the use of military force by the United States for the cause of democracy promotion is not a new phenomenon and, at least empirically, one can argue that it has been a benchmark of American foreign policy in the 20 th century. It is however worth noting that that the United States has had distinctly different approaches to fostering democracy in Europe vs.

At the same time, as mentioned above this was by no means a temporary or passing phase of US foreign policy. By the end of the Cold War, US armed interventions had evolved quite significantly, at least in material terms. By this period, the use of force could be relatively controlled thanks to the advent of precision technologies Freedman b. Freedman argues that the direct result of this technological evolution was that there were fewer Western and civilian casualties than before. He argues rather eloquently, that these interventions of the s had less to do with Western interests than with Western sensibilities in the face of tremendous violence and human suffering.

Don't ignore serious nonmilitary threats to US national security

Although they tended to be conducted in the most part, rather reluctantly and somewhat tentatively and they produced somewhat mixed results - in humanitarian terms they most certainly made a difference. However, the key difficulty lay in creating stable political conditions in the wake of armed intervention that would allow Western forces to withdraw. I would argue that the same case might be made for the interventions in Latin America and to some extent also in Vietnam. Furthermore, these were wars fought for justice with little, if any, regard for context idem , p.

This meant that not only were the methods offensive, in that the war was taken into enemy territory; they were also less restrained than the interventions of the s. Bush as quoted in Kaplan , p. What was different here however was that this was now an imperative, framed as essential for the survival of the nation. The United States, in launching the GWoT, was ostensibly defending its right to survival against illiberal regimes and ideologies that challenged its political, social and economic principles.

As Desch argues then, what makes the GWoT so dangerous and impels the United States towards the use of illiberal tactics is not so much the physical threat that transnational terrorism or Al Qaeda pose to the homeland, but rather the existential threat they pose to the American way of life.

Interventionist liberals and interventionist neoconservatives: old bedfellows. Monten argues that the exemplarism tradition of US liberalism believes that democracy and liberal values can be spread by example while the tradition of vindicationism believes that a more activist foreign policy is necessary to accomplish this Monten Put another way, Monten essentially categorises the US liberal tradition as leaning either towards military interventionism or non-interventionism. He also rightly asserts that while both these approaches have coexisted in American political history, there have certainly been times when one has been more prevalent than the other Pitts , p.

Based on such a categorisation, there seems to be more than just a passing resemblance between the neo-conservatives and the Wilsonian or interventionist liberals as regards their beliefs about intervention and democratisation. This is a good basis to comprehend not only the somewhat startling similarity between George W. Bush and Woodrow Wilson but also the deeply illiberal policies adopted by both during their respective presidencies.

Many scholars have remarked upon this similarity between George W. Bush and the neoconservatives and the liberal traditions of the United States as exemplified by Wilsonianism. Indeed, many of the views that are associated with the neoconservatives today echo those of Woodrow Wilson who believed that American power could and should be used to promote justice and democracy internationally and that by reshaping the world, America would secure its political and security interests.

In truth, they are more alike than they admit in their ideological ambitions and their moral justifications [ At the same time, the transformative impulse for neo-conservatism also relies upon a sincere belief in US capabilities to affect liberal change abroad, which is in turn based upon an urgent acknowledgement of both its remarkable post-Cold War military primacy as well as its unrivalled position of power in the unipolar international system. In other words, the GWoT represents a culmination of the historical neoconservative call for using force to check the emergence of potential challengers to US predominance.

It is worth noting that in the post-Cold War period, the neoconservatives viewed traditional balance of power strategies as both unnecessary and unsuitable for what they argued were radically different circumstances. It was widely acknowledged, and not solely by the neoconservatives, that ongoing system-level changes meant that the United States could not expect to remain the sole superpower in the world forever.

Bush and Bill Clinton argued that it was imperative that the United States take advantage of its position to both preserve and extend its hegemony in the international system. Thus, inherent in exceptionalism is not only a clear notion of what it means to be American but also the rights, responsibilities and threats that come with being the United States. More crucially, the promotion of democracy and liberal change in the international system, as explained above, has been a central component of American political identity.

To underscore once more, this hypersecuritisation was rooted very particularly in a liberal view of the world — i. Steel , p. In short, the interplay between unipolarity and universalist aspects of American exceptionalism enabled the United States to both claim special rights and privileges in pursuit of its national security Buzan a , pp. The themes of the neoconservative GWoT discourse - in defence of liberal values and freedoms:. In examining the communications produced during the Bush administrations, especially his annual State of the Union addresses, the philosophical and political influences of Kant, Mill as well as Wilson are amply evident.

Moreover, it is also clear how this discourse deliberately a framed Al Qaeda as an existential threat to liberal values and freedoms and as such the Western way of life, and b positioned the United States as a defender of these values in the international system. Certain key themes emerge in the securitisation rhetoric and can be located in almost all the documents studied. Upon closer examination these themes clearly constitute a step-by-step construction of a case for waging a defensive liberal war, that encompassed not only preventive military action and intervention but also had at its core the clear aim of democratising what were seen as backward and barbaric and societies, for the sake of US national security.

In other words, what we see is in these communications is the systematic construction of the case, couched in Kantian, Millean and Wilsonian language, for armed intervention in first Afghanistan and then Iraq. Theme I: The presence of imminent danger from illiberal regimes and ideologies.

At the same time, the idea that traditional mechanisms of engagement are useless against this new, innovative and frighteningly irrational and destructive enemy is also clear in this discourse. In other words, countries and groups identified as enemies in the GWoT are framed by the discourse, as peoples with whom alliance or negotiation is impossible because, as Mill argues, alliances require reciprocity that barbarians, given that they cannot be relied on to observe rules, are incapable of.

Now, shadowy networks of individuals can bring great chaos and suffering to our shores for less than it costs to purchase a single tank. They seek to impose a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East and arm themselves with weapons of mass murder. Their aim is to seize power in Iraq and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world. Lacking the military strength to challenge us directly, the terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear.

When they murder children at a school in Beslan or blow up commuters in London or behead a bound captive, the terrorists hope these horrors will break our will, allowing the violent to inherit the Earth. Furthermore, repeated references are made to states that either collude with radical Islamists by proving safe havens, financial and military support or turn a blind eye to these radical groups while simultaneously representing a threat in their own right to the safety and wellbeing of the United States and its citizens.

The discourse also references the Kantian idea that these are repressive, non-representative states, essentially controlled by regimes that violate citizen rights and reject the basic principles of democracy. What is key to note here is the coalescing of multiple different threats into one large threat, which the United States ignores at its own peril. The message is clear: the United States must not shirk its liberal responsibilities but instead, once again, fight for the freedoms, values and way of life of all civilised peoples.

In short, it must take military action to secure not only national and international security but also human security. These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror, and mass murder. They could also give or sell those weapons to terrorist allies, who would use them without the least hesitation. This threat is new. Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world.

In each case, their ambitions of cruelty and murder had no limit. Theme II: U. The idea projected here is that of establishing a system of security that cannot be breached. More significantly, once again it is about highlighting the particularly responsibility of the US hegemon to secure national security, not by retreating within its own borders but by looking outward and guaranteeing its foreign policy interests in the international system.

If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores.

Why Counterterrorism Won’t Stop the Latest Jihadist Threat

There is no peace in retreat, and there is no honor in retreat. By allowing radical Islam to work its will, by leaving an assaulted world to fend for itself, we would signal to all that we no longer believe in our own ideals or even in our own courage. The neoconservative assumption that becomes evident in this discourse is that in the process of protecting its own citizens and acting in its own interests the United States also serves the interests of the international system.

Its pursuit of national interests after World War II led to a more prosperous and democratic world. In other words, not only is the US pursuit of its national interests legitimate, it is also virtuous Monten , p. This connection between national and international security as well as the link between security and liberal values is repeatedly emphasised. Bush as quoted in Desch , p. Clearly evident in this logic is not only an assertion of the concept of the United States as an agent of historical transformation and liberal change in the international system but also democracy promotion as central to US political identity and sense of national purpose.

Further woven into this sense of responsibility towards US citizens is the theme of sacrifice for the honour and protection of the nation state. Also clearly underscored in this discourse is the incredible spectrum of risks confronting the American nation — from biological and chemical weapon attacks to more conventional terrorism. Theme III: U. A historic sense of leadership comes through very clearly in the discourse of the GWoT that consistently underscores that this leadership role entails that the United States help maintain security for its allies and friends.

We are the nation that saved liberty in Europe and liberated death camps and helped raise up democracies and faced down an evil empire. This notion that the United States was acting on behalf of not only national but also international interests is, as highlighted above, repeatedly alluded to in the discourse. However, the discourse does not stop at making the connection between national and international security and between security and liberal values.

Instead it develops this idea into a full-fledged national responsibility to defend the reputation and credibility of international allies and organisations, with the use of military force if necessary. That is the reason [to invade] [ But the idea of defending credibility did not apply to international allies alone - the same ideals held true for the United States as well. Thus, credibility was the very foundation upon which the spread of liberal values rested. The logic was that the US discourse of promoting its political values in the international system had to be backed by a willing and demonstrable use of its material power to implement this liberal change when necessary.

In other words, the US had to have the will to put its money where its mouth was. This was more than evident in the manner that the WMD-related concessions by Libya were construed as the outcome of a post-Iraq renewal of US credibility in the international system. Bush as quoted in Monten , p. America will take the side of brave men and women who advocate these values around the world, including the Islamic world, because we have a greater objective than eliminating threats and containing resentment.

Constant references are made to this union of like-minded states and allies — words used here are coalition, allies and these are presented as upholding liberal values — respecting individual rights and freedoms — as opposed to the barbaric, brutal and oppressive regimes that they are opposing. Clearly Millean language is used as alliances are framed as being composed of like-minded, i.

America is working with Russia and China and India, in ways we have never before, to achieve peace and prosperity. In every region, free markets and free trade and free societies are proving their power to lift lives. Therefore, the overall tone is hegemonic but not necessarily imperialistic.

Terrorists who once occupied Afghanistan now occupy cells at Guantanamo Bay. And terrorist leaders who urged followers to sacrifice their lives are running for their own. America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. Theme IV: U. The sense that the United States would use military might for the benefit of the common man and for the democratic cause is repeated again and again in the discourse. If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you.

As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free. In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms.

The tyrant will soon be gone. This logic essentially builds upon the ideas mentioned previously, i. Also clearly evident in this discourse is the fact that the promotion of democracy was seen as significantly more important for US policy than stability. Desch rightly points out that had the neoconservatives been interested in no more than a pro-US regime in Baghdad they would have been content to replace Saddam Hussein with a more amenable dictator rather than pushing for a democratically elected government, especially given both the commitment and turmoil that the later entailed.

Thus instability was seen as part and parcel of the long march towards freedom and democracy. Bush and other key members of his administrations. I also highlighted that the tendency to adopt illiberal means to achieve ostensibly liberal ends is not a uniquely neoconservative trait. Instead it can be clearly located in American foreign policy since at least the beginning of the 20 th century. It was upon this logic that the interventions and projects of democracy promotion in Afghanistan and Iraq were predicated. These elements of the discourse and practice of the GWoT were demonstrated through a thematic analysis of key statements made by President Bush and other key personnel in his administration.

This in turn was predicated upon the deeply held political belief that in securing its national interests the United States would, as before, also be enhancing international security. There is no doubt that implicit in democracy promotion was a strategic some would argue even imperialistic imperative, however there was also a historically rooted, normative sense of rightness and superiority evident in the discourse.

Hence, the various aims under the GWoT — from controlling WMDs and protecting the American homeland to neutralising so-called rogue regimes and restricting the geographical reach of Al Qaeda to defeating it in the battle of arms and ideas - all depended upon the successful projection of US power, in the service of democracy promotion, in the international system. This is because it was through the establishment of democratic institutions and the protection of liberal freedoms and values that all these aims could be achieved.

The fact the United States was willing to use what were essentially illiberal means to achieve what were liberal ends reflects the deep paradox inherent in liberalism. Indeed one could argue that it is at the very intersection of strategic imperatives and self-perception that the shift to illiberalism occurred under the GWoT. In other words, it was in the process of attempting to guarantee both its own national security while simultaneously also fulfilling its role as hegemon, that it moved inexorably towards the adoption of illiberal policies.

Internally these policies and practices were epitomised in the implementation and re-ratification of the PATRIOT act and progressively more significant restrictions on civil liberties in the name of national security. Externally, these il-liberal practices were best seen in the flouting of established international norms governing the laws of war and the progressive erosion of human rights via policies of extraordinary rendition, incarceration and torture.

Thus, one can argue that, the excesses of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo were made possible because of the paradox inherent in liberalism — where illiberal means became acceptable in order to achieve liberal ends. But it was the deeply rooted liberal tradition within in the United States that pushed it towards viewing the threat from Al Qaeda in an alarmist, existential light and thus towards adopting what was an illiberal, unrestrained policy response.

There is also a robust debate on whether or not Immanuel Kant can be categorised as a liberal philosopher, although in this paper I have deliberately chosen to view him as a liberal thinker. See also Williams , p. Waltz, categorise him as a non-interventionist liberal. See Doyle b ; See also Waltz I would like to thank my anonymous reviewer for bringing this critical point to my attention.

Confronting Terror

Among others, see for instance Jahn a , Mehta , Passavant , and Souffrant However, given that tracing the philosophical evolution of US foreign policy is not the key purpose of this essay only Kant and Mill are addressed as being arguably the most relevant for its purposes. For a rich, complex picture that depicts various traditions in US foreign policy — Jacksonian, Jeffersonian, Hamiltonian, Wilsonian etc.

More on this later. Caverley , do not equate neo-conservatism with liberalism. Instead pointing to its distinctly illiberal elements, including the very un-Kantian trait of unilateralism, they argue it is more akin to a hegemonic form of neo-classical realism, among others using raw power to impose a form of government conducive to American interests.

Again, I would like to thank my anonymous reviewer for pointing this out. Of course, another key difference between the liberals and the neoconservatives is their perspective on the role of international institutions in foreign policy. Thus, many liberals believe that foreign policy is best conducted multilaterally through international institutions while neoconservatives tend to be clearly more unilateralist Desch See also Singh Behnke, A.

Millennium , 36 3 , pp. Berman, P. Terror and Liberalism. New York: W. Boot, M. New York: Basic Books. Brown, C. International Theory: New Normative Approaches. Brighton: Harvester. Buzan, B. Paper presented at the International Studies Association. Cambridge UK : Polity Press. Caverley, J. Millennium , 38 3 , pp. Derian, J.

Dunne, ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian. Desch, M.