Wars on Terrorism and Iraq: Human Rights, Unilateralism, and U.S. Foreign Policy

By Thomas G. Weiss; Margaret E. Crahan et al. | Go to book overview

The serendipity of war, human rights, and sovereignty

The case of the United States

Thomas G. Weiss, Margaret E. Crahan, and John Goering

The wars on terrorism and Iraq currently dominate public policy debates in the U.S. and abroad, often reflecting deeply held political and ideological beliefs. In-depth analyses of these issues are much less common. This book aims to fill that gap by analyzing the impact of the wars on terrorism and Iraq on the enjoyment of human rights both nationally and internationally, as well as on the historical competition between unilateralism and multilateralism in U.S. foreign policy. We should state at the outset that this approach does not imply that security or human rights specialists "should focus their attention exclusively on the terrorist threat." 1 Rather, our purpose is to identify factors that should be incorporated into the formulation of policies to respond effectively to the challenges of these wars in both the short and long term.

Our analytic point of departure is the seeming, and much hoped-for-growth of a worldwide commitment to the enjoyment of human rights in ensuring national and international security.

One of the core worries that prompts this volume is whether such rights are sufficiently entrenched that their defense will not—indeed cannot—be undermined by the demand for security in the wars against terrorism and in Iraq. In the 1970s there was debate over the supposed competition between the prerequisites for national security and human rights. By the 1990s there appeared to be substantial international consensus, clearly expressed in the upsurge of multilateral humanitarian interventions, that the observance of human rights was one of the prime guarantees of greater national and international security.

Will human rights ever be entrenched firmly enough to act as fundamental guides to the interests and choices of hegemonic powers? Does an effective war on terrorism require that human rights observance be restricted in fundamental ways, or is there an essential relationship between a high degree of respect for human rights and the prevention of terrorism? In short, what sort of balance is required for effective counter-terrorism policies if respect for human rights is, as international consensus seems to suggest, a prime means of reducing the sources of terrorism?

Since September 11, 2001, it has become clear that responding to the demands of national and international security and those of human rights promotion requires a significant rethinking of both policies and strategies. 2 This is

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Wars on Terrorism and Iraq: Human Rights, Unilateralism, and U.S. Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xix
  • Abbreviations xxii
  • Introduction 1
  • The Serendipity of War, Human Rights, and Sovereignty 3
  • Part 1 - Framing the Debate 27
  • 1 - The Interplay of Domestic Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Foreign Policy 29
  • 2 - Pre-Emption and Exceptionalism in U.S. Foreign Policy 61
  • Notes 72
  • Part 2 - Human Rights and the War on Terrorism 75
  • 3 - U.S. Foreign Policy and Human Rights in an Era of Insecurity 77
  • 4 - International Human Rights 98
  • 5 - The Fight Against Terrorism 113
  • Part 3 - U.S. Unilateralism in the Wake of Iraq 133
  • 6 - Bush, Iraq, and the U.N. 135
  • 7 - The War Against Iraq 155
  • 8 - The Future of U.S.-European Relations 174
  • 9 - Legal Unilateralism 188
  • 10 - Tactical Multilateralism 209
  • Notes 227
  • Conclusion 229
  • Whither Human Rights, Unilateralism, and U.S. Foreign Policy? 231
  • Notes 240
  • Index 242
  • Routledge Essential Reading 248
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