Thursday, December 26, 2002

World Policy Journal - Toward Universal Empire: The Dangerous Quest for Absolute Security by Hendrickson

It may be an exaggeration to say that the American government is taking "hasty and colossal strides to universal empire," as Alexander Hamilton said of the French Republic in 1798, but the line of march is very clear. It is toward a nation and an executive unburdened by traditional legal precepts and normative commitments to multilateral action, a vision that finds the constraints of international society an unwanted and unacceptable burden. It is toward universal empire.

The embrace of a doctrine of preventive war is a highly significant step. It represents a radical departure from the twin pillars of national security policy during the Cold War—containment and deterrence.

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