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COPYRIGHT NOTICE: G. John Ikenberry, Thomas J. Knock, Anne-Marie Slaughter & Tony Smith: The ... - page 9 / 25





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8 Introduction

would be self-legitimating. Countries were either “with us or against us,” or as Bush announced, “no nation can be neutral in this conict.” More- over, this new global security situation was essentially permanent, not just a temporary emergency. There could be no nal victory or peace settle- ment in this new war, so there would be no return to normality.11

The Bush administration was, in effect, announcing unilaterally the new rules of the global security order. It was not seeking a new global consensus on the terms of international order and change, and it was not renegotiating old bargains. The United States was imposing the rules of the new global order, rules that would be ratied not by the support of others but by the lurking presence of American power. This grand strate- gic move was a more profound shift than is generally appreciated. The Bush administration was not simply acting a bit more unilateral than pre- vious administrations. In rhetoric, doctrine, and ultimately in the Iraq war, the United States was articulating a new logic of global order. The old liberal hegemonic rules, institutions, and bargains were giving way to new American-imposed global arrangements.

The grandiosity of the Bush vision—as articulated in the 2002 National Security Strategy—had elements of the “one-world” vision of Woodrow Wilson. The rst page of the Bush strategy document proclaims: “Today, the United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military strength and great economic and political inuence. In keeping with our heritage and principles, we do not use our strength to press unilateral advantage. We seek instead to create a balance-of-power that favors human freedom.” American dominance would be put in the service of ending arms races and centuries of great power rivalries. The world would be united under American leadership. As Fareed Zakaria noted at the time: “It is a breath- taking statement, promising that American power will transform interna- tional politics itself, making the millennia-old struggle over national secu- rity obsolete. In some ways, it is the most Wilsonian statement any President has made since Wilson himself, echoing his pledge to use American power to create a ‘universal dominion of right.’”12

The Bush administration’s vision of a world order favoring freedom and protected by American power was the backdrop for the Iraq war and the promulgation of a “global war on terror.” Initially, this war on ter- ror was aimed at an enemy that was “evil” and who “hated us for who we

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