The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the Purpose of American Power

The immediate response of President Bush and his administration to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States was superb, both purposeful and principled a military, political, and diplomatic success. But what comes next? In his State of the Union address, Bush suggested specific targets of future phases of the war the axis of evil of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. But what has been missing in the discussion of the second stage (and perhaps the third, fourth, and fifth stages) of the war on terrorism is an articulation of the general principles that will guide policy in difficult times ahead. The new threat to American national security and the American way of life is no less threatening than such earlier challenges as the defeat of fascism in Europe and imperialism in Japan during World War II, or the containment and ultimate destruction of world communism during the Cold War. A grand vision of the purposes of American power is needed not only to shape strategy, but also to sustain support from the American people and Americas allies.