American foreign policy, governmental institutions, and the public's sense of internal and external security are undergoing significant changes. The Bush Administration's remaking of American foreign policy through an emphasis on a preemptive, first strike, doctrine is an important change, since policy is based on intentions and state and non-state actors--downplaying the advantages of multilateralism. Parallel to this change in external action is its attempt to build an internal security apparatus that will likely result in the significant contraction of civil liberties. These policy shifts challenge the very fundamentals of American political life and the perception of the U.S. throughout the world. This volume brings together leading scholars to ask the important questions, provide trenchant analyses, and examine the potential implications of ongoing changes in American domestic and international politics.
"Preemption and prevention are age-old instruments of statecraft that have acquired new relevance after 9/11 and the U.S. war in Iraq. Striking First provides a variety of expert perspectives on the role of preemption and prevention in the evolution of U.S. strategic doctrine, the internal political struggles that shaped that doctrine, the impact of these changes on American presidential power and legal processes, and their ramifications for the international order and the limits of American power. One cannot comprehend our rapidly changing world without understanding these international and domestic processes, and Striking First provides timely and penetrating insights on these critical subjects."
- Jack S. Levy, Rutgers University
"The alarmed contributors to this book recognize that America's strategic doctrine stands at a critical turning point with far-reaching future implications. One need not agree with all the arguments advanced by the authors to this most timely volume to recognize they tap into vital questions on preemptive war. The volume should contribute importantly to the needed public debate among everyone concerned with thre role of the United States in world affairs." - Charles F. Hermann, Texas A&M University