For several decades after the Second World War, American politicians and citizens shared the belief that a war launched in the absence of a truly imminent threat or in response to another’s attack was raw aggression. Preventive war was seen as contrary to the American character and its traditions, a violation of deeply held normative beliefs about the conditions that justify the use of military force. This ‘anti-preventive war norm’ had a decisive restraining effect on how the US faced the shifting threat in this period. But by the early 1990s the Clinton administration considered the preventive war option against North Korea and the Bush administration launched a preventive war against Iraq without a trace of the anti-preventive war norm that was central to the security ethos of an earlier era.
While avoiding the sharp partisan and ideological tone of much of the recent discussion of preventive war, Preventive War and American Democracy explains this change in beliefs and explores its implications for the future of American foreign policy.
The author's early years in China, American education, and career as a China expert and an advisor on U.S.-China relations and cultural affairs for over fifty years, have afforded him unique opportunities to observe and participate in the development of this important relationship.
This book brings leaders in the field of U.S. Latin American relations together with the most promising young scholars to shed historical light on the present implications of hostility to the United States in Latin America and the Caribbean. In essays that carry the reader from Revolutionary Mexico to Peronist Argentina, from Panama in the nineteenth century to the West Indies’ mid century independence movement, and from Colombian drug runners to liberation theologists, the authors unearth little known campaigns of resistance and probe deeper into episodes we thought we knew well. They argue that, for well over a century, identifying the United States as the enemy has rung true to Latin Americans and has translated into compelling political strategies. Combining history with political and cultural analysis, this collection breaks the mold of traditional diplomatic history by seeing anti Americanism through the eyes of those who expressed it. It makes clear that anti Americanism, far from being a post 9/11 buzzword, is rather a real force that casts a long shadow over U.S. Latin American relations.