American Exceptionalism and American International Security Policy After September

This paper is not to judge exceptionalism and to find whether it is good or not; rather it is to survey exceptionalism as Americans' difference with others.The question raised is whether American international security policy after September 11 could be taken as an example of exceptionalism?.American exceptionalism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocquevelle in 1831, referred to as the perception that the United States differs quantitatively from other developed nations because of its unique origins national credo, historical evolution and distinctive political and religious institution.

American exceptionalism is the idea that the United States and its nation hold the special place in the world by offering opportunity, hope for humanity, derived from a unique balance of public and private interests governed by constitutional ideals that are focused on personal and economic freedom.Whatever cause American international security after September 11 was considered in context of exceptionalism was flexibility of American security policy, that the United States has used this threat as opportunity because of its economic, intelligence and military power. However I should point that nowadays security does not mean the absence of threat, rather it means how to use threat as an opportunity.The United States claimed that they are looking forward political and economic freedom, peaceful relations with other states, and respect for human dignity and they said to achieve these goals the United States will "champion aspirations for human dignity, strengthen alliances to defeat global terrorism and work to prevent attacks against themselves and their friends, work with others to defuse regional conflicts, prevent their enemies from threatening them, their allies, and their friends, with weapons of mass destruction, ignite a new era of global economic growth through free markets and free trade, expand the circle of development by opening societies and building the infrastructure of democracy, develop agendas for cooperative action with other main centers of global power; and transform America's national security institutions to meet the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century.".The most remarkable consequence after September 11, is conceptualization of terrorism as a shared enemy in the world.

Immediately after the attacks, the United State response was this: "The United States was a victim of an unjustifiable terrorist act. The United States is neither anti-Islam nor engaged in a war against.Muslims and the United States will bring to justice the terrorist networks that planned and carried out the attacks, and will eliminate terrorism in the world". It is a fact that after collapse of USSR and communism, the United States encountered a lack of unity between its people and also economic depression because of absence of enemy for combat, so its military factors did not work like past and the other problems which United States encountered.After September 11, US that searched for a new enemy in the world, found a new position that introduced agents of this event as shared enemy in the world which called it terrorism, that every country can be contained in this case or we can say that every country who does not cooperate with the United States was included in terrorism group.

Furthermore, the other consequence of September 11 is that President George W. Bush outlined a radically new foreign policy. Known as the 'Bush doctrine', it sought to prevent other nations from obtaining weapons of mass destruction by adopting a policy of pre-emptive war (striking first).

It also announced that the United States would maintain unquestioned military supremacy by not allowing any other nation to emerge as a potential military rival. The Bush doctrine removed two key pillars that held United States foreign policy in place for more than 50 years: The policy of deterrence, which sought to prevent a nuclear attack by threatening massive retaliation and the policy of containment, which held that the United States' military forces needed only to be strong enough to contain any aggressor.Critics characterized the new stance as an arrogant statement of power that threatened to alienate world opinion and jeopardize the role of international institutions such as the United Nations(UN).

In this way the United States found a way for its problem; It was pre-emptive war. This way America started more war to sell more military weapons for its economic prosperity because a considerable percent of the United States revenue is from its military system and military complex, and also America found a new way to motivate more alliances, and also to introduce itself as a country which would maintain unquestioned military supremacy, like unilateral decision to attack against Iraq to prevent abuse of weapons of mass destruction. Also about the war in Afghanistan, they claimed they attack it to contain Talibanism and its terrorist activities.To sum up, I strongly assert that American international security policy after September 11, is an exceptionalism, since I found the above idea very cogent because of reasons above-mentioned; First conceptualization of terrorism as a shared enemy in the world and second a policy of pre-emptive war.

Exactly flexibility of American security policy, that United States has used this threat (september 11 event) as an opportunity.1. http://en.wikipedia.

2. eye on the empire/BOCK ALEN/march 3 2006/ http://www.antiwar.com/bock/b091002.


.Hanie Gholami, (b. Tehran, Iran, may.

10, 1906,). An Iranian MA student of Tehran University and researcher in field of America (culter and politics), Graduated Political Science from Shahid Beheshty University in BA in 2005).

By: Hanie Gholami

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