Essays on American politics and foreign policy

By Donald E. Nuechterlein

Donald Nuechterlein is a political scientist and writer who resides near Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of numerous books on American politics and foreign policy, including

  • Defiant Superpower: The New American Hegemony, 2005
  • America Recommitted: A Superpower Assesses its Role in a Turbulent World, 2000
  • A Cold War Odyssey, 1997


Donald Nuechterlein



Before 9-11 last year, U.S. view of our role abroad was not clear

After 9-11, Bush's priorities changed nearly 180 degrees

Bush has now asked Congress for authority to use force in Iraq

The President has announced a new "Bush doctrine" of preemptive war against any hostile state, and those harboring terrorists: the White House report states:

Defend our interests at home and abroad by identifying and destroying threat before it reaches our borders. While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international comunity, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense, by acting preemptively and denying further sponsorship, support and sanctuary to terrorists by convincing or compelling states to accept their sovereign reponsibilities.

European critics charge that Bush is assuming the role of Imperial Rome in the first century: to be the world's sole policeman. Key questions for upcoming debate in the U.S. Congress:

  1. Is Iraq an imminent military threat to the United States?
  2. If so, what are the best means to deal with its leaders?
  3. What are the likely costs, human and financial?
  4. Do we need Allies for this task and will they join us?
  5. How long will U.S. troops be needed in Iraq if we launch an invasion and occupy the country until a new regime is operational?
  6. Will the American public support the war if casualties are significant and political chaos results in Iraq?
  7. Are we approaching the point where our all-volunteer force is no longer sufficient to met the requirements of implementing the new Bush doctrine?


The upcoming debate in Congress is essential in order for the Bush Administration to inform the public and obtain congressional support for a war in Iraq, with its costs of war and the dangers of inaction fully debated. That is the intention of the Constitution, before the United States commits itself to war.

File last modified on Thursday, 13-AUG-2004 07:00 PM EST

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