By David Holloway
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Additional resources for 9 11 and the War on Terror (Representing American Events) (2008)
Empire revisionists also worried that US policy would exacerbate existing conﬂicts in a spiralling cycle of catastrophic blowback, at the same time as the Bush administration’s preference for unilateral policy-making would inﬂame long-standing conﬂicts, or stimulate new ones, not least between the US and traditionally friendly nation-states. As the Bush administration itself acknowledged, America could not afford to keep global order on its own. ‘European participation in peacekeeping, nation-building and humanitarian reconstruction’ was vital, Ignatieff observed, to the strategy of maintaining and expanding the empire (Ignatieff 2003a).
227). : 25) – a thoroughly Chomskyan truism, whose centrality in Bacevich’s book was indicative of how much broader the parameters of ‘respectable’ history-writing became after 9/11. Bacevich’s argument also echoed Deepak Lal’s assertion that empires deﬁne themselves primarily through the pursuit of enlarged spaces ‘open’ to economic penetration. : 26). : 215). As discussed in more detail in Chapter 2, many of the administration’s American critics preferred to paint the Bush White House as an aberration, an exception to the rule, a detour in US political history that could be regulated and corrected by submission to the norms of due constitutional process – the will of the people embodied in Congress and the judiciary, and in domestic electoral cycles.
Updating this thesis, Bacevich argued that the war on terror showed just how successfully the broad imperial strategy of US foreign policy had survived what were commonly assumed to be dramatic moments of historical rupture, in 9/11 and the end of the Cold War. In each case, Bacevich argued, ‘foreign policy remained above all an expression of domestically generated imperatives’, with ‘opening the world to trade and foreign investment . . a precondition of America’s own well being and therefore the centrepiece of US strategy’ – a strategy ‘best served by the United States occupying a position of unquestioned global pre-eminence’ (Bacevich 2002: 77).
9 11 and the War on Terror (Representing American Events) (2008) by David Holloway