Since May 2001 I’’ve tried, in a series of papers, to identify troubling elements of Bush foreign policy. The subjects discussed reflect my conviction that nuclear weapons remain the greatest danger. I’ve stuck to facts and texts as I know them. My judgment remains calm, but I’m appalled by what I see. So these may not, probably do not, meet your criteria of “balanced non-emotional” analysis. To put it bluntly: I see more than 50 years of post-WWII efforts to construct a global system based on restraint and mutual respect, on law and agreement, being swept away by wreckers.

My views about war as choice are set out in the book War Stories (New York & Bern: Peter Lang, 2001).

The successive papers are

   22 May 2001. ““Contrary Maxims: Can We Live With Anarcho-Unilateralism?””.

Describes Bush aims in [a] national missile defense and [b] ‘space control’, and asserts twelve maxims by which to judge Bush policy.

   18 October 2001. ““Why This is Not a War and Why It Is Important to Understand That This Is Not a War.””

A highly critical treatment of Bush’s response to 9.11, which [regrettably] prefigures subsequent Bush policies regarding war, public debate, and civil liberties.

   20 December 2001. ““Treaty Abrogation and GW Bush’s Designs on the ABM Treaty.””

One of the Bush Administration’s first unilateral moves was to announce intention to leave the ABM Treaty. This paper takes up the constitutional and political issues of treaty abrogation by the United States.

   1 February 2002. ““The US 2002 Nuclear Posture Review and its Implications for Nuclear Abolition.””

   18 October 2002. ““Action Despite GW Bush: Pursuing Nuclear Disarmament in the Face of Sovereign Unilateralism.””

Reviews evidence of unilateralism in Bush foreign policy and canvasses measures which states may take to pursue policies in the global interest.

   8 December 2002. ““Iraq: Go to War? and The Nuclear Question.”” [ Version 3]]

Obviously most relevant to the Iraq war question, this paper identifies what I consider to be the key points in public US and UK documents as of mid-October 2002 concerning “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. I isolate the US and UK characterizations of the Iraqi nuclear program and consider ‘coercive inspection’ proposals. In a section titled “WMD Aside, What is the Bush Group After?” I put the greatest weight on calculations of electoral success in November 2002 and November 2004. My views are summarised in this paragraph:

What’s at test in late 2002 is the capacity of the P5 to practice politics, both among themselves and on a broader, more widely representative, stage. What’s at risk, as French leaders have pointed out, is the developed notion of collective security. If the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld exercises are anti-political, their abandonment of collective security on any terms other than their own must not inhibit the collaborative practice of collective security by those governments which champion it.

And in February I added a vehicle for briefer comments:

   February 2003 – .. . A serious blog

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to which I’m adding bits and pieces (of which I see this note to you will be one) when I get a chance.

Finally, preventive war. Jay Bookman’s piece in the 29 September 2002 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which you circulated on IP, suggests the role of policy contributions back to the 1992 draft Defense Planning Guidance. A second source is the commitment–under Clinton but even moreso under Bush–to ‘space control’. A third is the passionate desire not to be confined by others: something which historians may associate with long-standing hostility to the United Nations so strong in US political life. A fourth is the chimera of perfect defense. Then 9.11 injected into these inclinations a powerful concern to prevent terrorist acts, in their own right and as signs of political failure. I don’t know when these strands coalesced into a doctrine of preventive war [mistitled ‘preemptive war’] but it’s clear the Bush group has grasped that doctrine as its own.


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