December 25, 2003

The World According to Powell

The World According to Powell

A little while back here there was a discussion about whether a preemptive posture (though one with built in caveats and limitations) might simply represent a common sensical, prudential policy stance post 9/11.

We will have more on all this as time allows. But in the meantime, it appears Colin Powell (no messianic neo-con he) would agree:

"It is somewhat odd, therefore, to discover that our foreign policy strategy is so often misunderstood by both domestic and foreign observers. U.S. strategy is widely accused of being unilateralist by design. It isn't. It is often accused of being imbalanced in favor of military methods. It isn't. It is frequently described as being obsessed with terrorism and hence biased toward preemptive war on a global scale. It most certainly is not.

These distortions are partly explained by context. The NSS made the concept of preemption explicit in the heady aftermath of September 11, and it did so for obvious reasons. One reason was to reassure the American people that the government possessed common sense. As President Bush has said -- and as any sensible person understands -- if you recognize a clear and present threat that is undeterrable by the means you have at hand, then you must deal with it. You do not wait for it to strike; you do not allow future attacks to happen before you take action." [emphasis added]

Posted by Gregory at December 25, 2003 04:15 PM
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