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Introduction

The Pre-9/11 Years
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Abstract

In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, neoconservatism became the “cause célèbre. of international politics.” The ideology of neoconservatism was, it seemed, the intellectual justification for the Bush administration’s new “war on terror.”2 A number of influential neocons served in, or as advisors to, the Bush administration, and it became apparent that these neoconservatives had lobbied for many of the policies now being pursued under the aegis of a “war on terror” several years before the 2001 terrorist attacks that catalyzed them.3 As Robert Kagan observes in the quotation prefacing this introduction, neoconservatism had provided “something to come back to.”

Keywords

Foreign Policy Terrorist Attack Global Strategy Moral Ideal Single Pole 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Robert Kagan to George Packer. Cited in Packer’s The Assassins Gate: America In Ira. (Faber and Faber, London, 2006): 38.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, America Alone: The Neoconservatives and the Global Orde. (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004): 9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Critiques of the war on terror and its origins include Gary Dorrien, Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax American. (Routledge, New York and London, 2004);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  7. 4.
    A report of the PNAC, Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century. September 2000: 76. URL: http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf (15 January 2009).Google Scholar
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    On the first generation on Cold War neoconservatives, which has been covered far more extensively than the second, see Gary Dorrien, The Neoconservative Mind: Politics, Culture and the War of Ideolog. (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1993);Google Scholar
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    Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke have labeled the neocons “liberal imperialists” who “elevat[e] human rights to centre stage” and are on “a democratic crusade.” One of the determining criteria for intervention is to “challeng[e] the evildoers who defy American values.” America Alone. 18, 19, 22, 76, 80, 101. Gary Dorrien states that most neocons were “democratic globalists who believe in creating and/or imposing pro- American democracies throughout the world.” Gary Dorrien, Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax American. (Routledge, New York and London, 2004): 5–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  23. 11.
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  27. 12.
    On Muravchik’s tepid attitude to humanitarian interventions, see for example, Joshua Muravchik, “Beyond Self-Defense,” Commentary. Vol. 96 (3) December 1993: 22.Google Scholar
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  37. 19.
    Bruce Kuklick, Blind Oracles: Intellectuals and War from Kennan to Kissinge. (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2006): 44.Google Scholar
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    Anne Norton, Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empir. (Yale University Press, New Haven; London, 2004);Google Scholar
  39. Kenneth Weinstein, “Philosophic Roots, the Role of Leo Strauss and the War in Iraq,” in Stelzer ed. Neocon Reade.: 203–12; Douglas Murray, Neoconservatism: Why We Need I. (Social Affairs Unit, London, 2005): 25–35, 52.Google Scholar
  40. 21.
    Gilles Kepel argues that the neoconservative project has only two objectives: to protect oil supplies and to protect Israeli security. Kepel, War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the Wes. (Harvard, Belknapp Press, 2006): 63.Google Scholar
  41. 22.
    See Melvyn P. Leffler, “9/11 and American Foreign Policy” Diplomatic History. Vol. 29, No. 3, June 2005: 395–413;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Stephen M. Walt, Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primac. (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., New York, 2005);Google Scholar
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  46. Richard Crockatt, America Embattled: September 11, Anti-Americanism and the Global Orde. (Routledge, London and New York, 2003): 108–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 24.
    Those arguing that it was a radical break include: Halper and Clarke, America Alon.: 7, 9, 10, 139; G. John Ikenberry, “The End of the Neoconservative Moment” Surviva., Vol. 46, No. 1, Spring 2004: 7, 10;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. John Lewis Gaddis, Surprise, Security and the American Experienc. (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, 2004): 90;Google Scholar
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  50. 25.
    Andrew J. Bacevich, American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomac. (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA and London, 2002) especially pp. 198–224.Google Scholar

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© Maria Ryan 2010

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