Friday, September 17, 2004

Today is the second anniversary of the publication of the National Security Strategy of 2002, released by the White House, in which the doctrine of 'preemptive' warfare was thus enshrined, in chapter V of the document ("Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, Our Friends[*] with Weapons of Mass Destruction"). Here's an excerpt (links for the chapter in question, the entire document):

"We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends. ... For centuries, international law recognized that nations need not suffer an attack before they can lawfully take action to defend themselves against forces that present an imminent danger of attack. Legal scholars and international jurists often conditioned the legitimacy of preemption on the existence of an imminent threat ... We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries. Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. ... Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction ... The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction—and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively. The United States will not use force in all cases to preempt emerging threats, nor should nations use preemption as a pretext for aggression. Yet in an age where the enemies of civilization openly and actively seek the world’s most destructive technologies, the United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather. We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions. ... The purpose of our actions will always be to eliminate a specific threat to the United States or our allies and friends. The reasons for our actions will be clear, the force measured, and the cause just."

Thanks to this radical doctrine an Axis of Evil enemy such as Iran has announced that it is threatening to use the White House policy of 'preemptive' warfare against us, as cited in the New York Times.

*Thanks to this doctrine, ironically, the United States no longer has many friends in the world ...

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