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politics - 21 09 2002 - 16:24 - katatonik

Internationalism and Strategy

“On Friday, the Bush administration will publish its first comprehensive rationale for shifting American military strategy toward pre-emptive action against hostile states and terrorist groups developing weapons of mass destruction. The strategy document will also state, for the first time, that the United States will never allow its military supremacy to be challenged the way it was during the cold war.
In the 33-page document, Mr. Bush also seeks to answer the critics of growing American muscle-flexing by insisting that the United States will exploit its military and economic power to encourage “free and open societies,” rather than seek “unilateral advantage.” It calls this union of values and national interests “a distinctly American internationalism.”
It sketches out a far more muscular and sometimes aggressive approach to national security than any since the Reagan era. It includes the discounting of most nonproliferation treaties in favor of a doctrine of “counterproliferation,” a reference to everything from missile defense to forcibly dismantling weapons or their components. It declares that the strategies of containment and deterrence — staples of American policy since the 1940’s — are all but dead. There is no way in this changed world, the document states, to deter those who “hate the United States and everything for which it stands.”
Much of the document focuses on how public diplomacy, the use of foreign aid, and changes in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank can be used to win what it describes as a battle of competing values and ideas — including “a battle for the future of the Muslim world.”
At several points, the document states clearly that when important American interests are at stake there will be no compromise.
Mr. Clinton’s strategy dealt at length with tactics to prevent the kind of financial meltdowns that threatened economies in Asia and Russia. The Bush strategy urges other nations to adopt Mr. Bush’s own economic philosophy, starting with low marginal tax rates. While Mr. Clinton’s strategy relied heavily on enforcing or amending a series of international treaties, from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to Kyoto protocols on the environment, Mr. Bush’s strategy dismisses most of those efforts.

In fact, the new document — which Mr. Bush told his staff had to be written in plain English because “the boys in Lubbock ought to be able to read it” — celebrates his decision last year to abandon the ABM treaty because it impeded American efforts to build a missile defense system. It recites the dangers of nonproliferation agreements that have failed to prevent Iran, North Korea, Iraq and other countries from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, and says that the United States will never subject its citizens to the newly created International Criminal Court, “whose jurisdiction does not extend to Americans.”“
New York Times: “Bush to Outline Doctrines of Striking Foes First” (login required)

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