The Powers of War and Peace: The Constitution and Foreign Affairs after 9/11

By John Yoo | Go to book overview

1

INTRODUCTION

The end of the millennium neither brought a halt to history nor ushered in millennial peace. Terrorism, genocide, major human rights violations, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are among the urgent new threats that have arisen over the past ten years. The United States has become militarily assertive, using force in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia—and in Afghanistan and Iraq, where even “regime change” has been imposed.

Apart from the making of war, the United States has also actively re-aligned its international commitments. Once the cornerstone of international arms control, the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty has been terminated. The U.S. signature, proffered by the Clinton administration, was recently withdrawn from the Statute of Rome that established the International Criminal Court, as well as from the Kyoto Accords on global warming. In 1999, the Senate rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty—the first rejection of a treaty by the Senate since the failed Treaty of Versailles in 1919. America has also avoided multilateralism by staying out of new entangling alliances, such as our 1997 refusal to join the convention banning the use of anti-personnel land mines, and by giving other countries notice that we will not participate in a new protocol to regulate biological weapons and small arms.

Complaints that we have gone completely unilateral in our approach to international affairs, however, are not quite true. The United States has formed ad hoc coalitions of allies for its most significant conflicts. It has worked with its North American Treaty Organization (NATO) allies in Kosovo, and with a broad international alliance to remove the

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