This monograph examines the rhetorical nature and function of representations of the future in political discourse, focusing on political actors use of hegemonic images of future reality to achieve their political goals. It argues that a key ideological dimension of political rhetoric lies in politicians use of projections of the future to legitimate policies and actions. This argument is grounded in systemic-functional and critical discourse analyses of the Bush Doctrine, the U.S. policy response to the September 11 terrorist attacks which sanctioned a preemptive military posture. By focusing on the discursive construction of the future, this project addresses a lacunae in critical discourse studies and calls attention to the crucial role that the discourse and practice of futurology has played in post-Cold War politics and society. It will be of value to scholars interested in the discourses of politics, the war on terror, U.S. national security, and futurology.