Peace & Freedom: Foreign Policy for a Constitutional Republic

Peace & Freedom: Foreign Policy for a Constitutional Republic

Peace & Freedom: Foreign Policy for a Constitutional Republic

Peace & Freedom: Foreign Policy for a Constitutional Republic

Excerpt

The horrific events of September 11 underscore the need for a shift in the focus of America's security policy. Prior to September 11 it would have been nearly impossible to find a U.S. policymaker or high-ranking military officer who believed that the highest priority of the U.S. armed forces was to respond to an attack on the American homeland. For more than half a century, the principal mission of the U.S. military had been to serve as an instrument of Washington's foreign policy in far-flung regions of the world. As a military mission, homeland defense was barely on the radar screen.

Now, that has all changed. U.S. forces have fought al-Qaeda terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan and helped to overthrow the Taliban government that made that country a haven for Osama bin Laden and his followers. Speculation is rampant about where the next phase of the war against the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks will be conducted. Those Americans who believe that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has links to anti-U.S. terrorists (including, perhaps, al-Qaeda itself) want the next stage to be an attack on Iraq to remove his regime. Other Americans believe that dangerous cells of al-Qaeda fighters are hunkered down in such countries as Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan and that the war should be taken to those locales. An attack on Iraq, in their view, is inappropriate and potentially counterproductive.

There is also disagreement about the proper scope of America's anti-terrorist mission. The Bush administration has added to the confusion by making inconsistent, even contradictory, statements. At times, the administration seems to focus on the people responsible for the September 11 attacks. (The congressional resolution authorizing the use of force also is restricted to those adversaries.) But on other occasions, administration officials have implied that America's goal is a war against terrorism per se, whether specific terrorist organizations target the United States or only other countries. In his . . .

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