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The first option recognizes that traditional strategies of deterrence and containment will not work against tyrants and terrorists. Hence, it proposes that the United States adopt a bold new strategy of dominance and preventive action that elevates preemption to a cardinal norm, maintains military dominance, and actively seeks to extend free-market democracy throughout the globe. The second option asserts that active deterrence and containment will continue to work against even the most ruthless tyrants, that preemption should be reserved for exceptional circumstances, and that the United States needs only sufficient military power to protect its vital interests and should not overextend itself by trying to remake the world in its own image. The final option emphasizes that even with its great power, the United States cannot win the war against terrorists and tyrants unilaterally. Therefore, the best way for the United States to protect its interests is to work multilaterally with its allies and partners to create a more cooperative rule-based international system backed by American power.
With the aim of generating thought and debate about national security, this Council Policy Initiative presents each of these three alternatives as presidential speeches, along with a memo that explains the strengths, weaknesses, and politics of each option. The Bush administration's original National Security Strategy is included in an appendix to complement the three foreign policy directions it inspired.
|Memorandum to the President||1|
|Speech 1||U.S. Dominance and Preventive Action||40|
|Speech 2||A More Stable World with U.S. Power for Deterrence and Containment||58|
|Speech 3||A Cooperative World Order||77|
|App. A||The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, September 2002||99|
|App. B||NSPD-17/HSPD-4: National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, December 2002||140|