Conclusion? I've promised so many papers this semester that I may have to go easy on the blogging -- except when it's fairly directly related to one or more of these projects.
Because it is due first, I'm working on the prospectus for the paper on “The Bush Doctrine and Norms of Deliberation,” which I have to deliver in Washington at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace early next month. I've joined the Working Group of the Project on Preemptive and Preventive Military Intervention, directed by William Keller and Gordon Mitchell of the University of Pittsburgh's Ridgway Center for International Security Studies.
Does the Bush Doctrine require deliberation?
Well, I do see some deliberative elements in the September 2002 National Security Strategy of the US:
The United States will not use force in all cases to preempt emerging threats, nor should nations use preemption as a pretext for aggression. Yet in an age where the enemies of civilization openly and actively seek the world’s most destructive technologies, the United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather. We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions. To support preemptive options, we will:Plus, the President certainly said he was trying to foster a debate when he started talking about Iraq in 2002. This was from September 4, 2002:
build better, more integrated intelligence capabilities to provide timely, accurate information on threats, wherever they may emerge;
coordinate closely with allies to form a common assessment of the most dangerous threats;
and continue to transform our military forces to ensure our ability to conduct rapid and precise operations to achieve decisive results.
The purpose of our actions will always be to eliminate a specific threat to the United States or our allies and friends. The reasons for our actions will be clear, the force measured, and the cause just.
I also made it very clear that we look forward to a open dialogue with Congress and the American people about the threat, and that not only will we consult with the United States Congress -- we, being the administration -- but that my administration will fully participate in any hearings that the Congress wishes to have on this subject, on the subject about how to make America a more secure country, how to best protect the American families in our country.Bush added this the next day, in Louisville at an election event with Representative Anne Northup (September 5, 2002):
At the appropriate time, this administration will go to the Congress to seek approval for -- necessary to deal with the threat. At the same time, I will work with our friends in the world. I've invited Prime Minister Blair to come to Camp David on Saturday, and he'll -- he's coming. I've looked forward to talking with him about our mutual concerns about how to make the world more secure and safe.
I will see Jean Chretien on Monday, as we -- we'll talk about how to make our borders work better, but, at the same time, I'll talk to him about this subject. I'll be on the phone to leaders of the -- China and Russia and France, and then I'll be giving the speech at the United Nations.
Saddam Hussein is a serious threat. He is a significant problem. And it's something that this country must deal with. And today the process starts about how to have an open dialogue with the elected officials and, therefore, the American people about our future and how best to deal with it.
One of my jobs is to think ahead and to think -- is to cause debate, and I started that yesterday, to encourage the American people to listen to and have a dialogue about Iraq. And I meant it when I said that I'm going to consult with Congress. I want there to be a discussion about the threats that face America. Tomorrow I'm calling leaders in Russia, China and France to talk about the threats that face us all. I will see Tony Blair on Saturday. I'll see Jean Chretien Monday. My point to you is, not only will I consult with Congress and talk to Congress -- my administration and I will do so -- I will also see many of the leaders of the world and remind them of the facts.Then, Bush said the following on September 26, 2002:
The facts are, this is a man who gassed his own people, has invaded two countries, a person who stiffed the international organization time and time again.
I look forward to the debate.
We've just concluded a really good meeting with both Democrats and Republicans -- members of the United States Congress -- to discuss our national security and discuss how best to keep the peace. The security of our country is the commitment of both political parties and the responsibility of both elected branches of government.Of course, the debate stage didn't last very long, so far as President Bush was concerned. On November 7, 2002, Bush declared political victory:
We are engaged in a deliberate and civil and thorough discussion....I appreciate the spirit in which members of Congress are considering this vital issue. Congress will have an important debate, a meaningful debate, an historic debate. It will be conducted will all civility. It will be conducted in a manner that will make Americans proud, and Americans to understand the threats to our future.
The debate about whether we're going to deal with Saddam Hussein is over. And now the question is how do we deal with him.The paper is going to discuss the distortions in the debate -- both before the November elections, and after.