How the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive Strike Meets the Test of the Powell Doctrine
Contributor(s)NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT FORCES STAFF COLL
KeywordsMilitary Operations, Strategy and Tactics
MASS DESTRUCTION WEAPONS
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AbstractThe terrorist attacks of September 2001 drastically changed American perceptions of national defense. With the possible exception of the communist states' developing nuclear weapons and delivery systems, no other event has so fundamentally challenged the Amen can sense of security since the United States emerged from World War II as a superpower. The Al Qaida attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon shattered deeply held notions of American security. Foremost among these was the traditional American belief that the combination of good law enforcement and geographic isolation provided security from foreign terrorist attack. The September terrorism attack also showed that the same forces that deterred state actors such as the Soviet Union and China for over 40 years would not deter transnational terrorists. In the weeks and months following the September attacks, the scope of the threat against the American homeland began to emerge. Americans learned that fanatic Islamists who were well trained and well financed had conducted the well-planned attacks. That was not all. Emerging evidence from multiple sources indicates that Al Qaida seeks to develop or acquire weapons of mass destruction.