Download Justifying America's Wars: The Conduct and Practice of US by Nicholas Kerton-Johnson PDF

By Nicholas Kerton-Johnson

This publication examines the excuses for, and perform of, warfare via the united states considering 1990, and examines 4 case experiences: the Gulf struggle, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The writer undertakes an exam of presidential speeches and public records from this era to figure out the focal issues on which the respective presidents established their rhetoric for struggle. The paintings then examines the perform of struggle within the mild of those justifications to figure out no matter if alterations in justifications correlate with alterations in perform. specifically, the justificatory discourse reveals 4 key issues that emerge within the presidential discourses, that are tracked around the case experiences and aspect to the basic motive force in US motivations for going to battle. The 4 key subject matters which emerge from the information are: foreign legislation or norms; human rights; nationwide curiosity; and egoist morality (similar too, yet wider than, 'exceptionalism'). This research indicates that Sept. 11 led to a thorough shift clear of a world legislation and human rights-focused justificatory discourse, to 1 which used to be overwhelmingly ruled via egoist-morality justifications and nationwide curiosity.

This ebook can be of a lot curiosity to scholars people international coverage, humanitarian intervention, safety reports, and IR concept.

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However the overwhelming number of justifications for the intervention relate to international law and norms. Freedman and Karsh interpret the administration’s justifications as an apparent ‘foraging for a compelling rationale, oscillating between a calculated act of self-­interest or a moral crusade’, such oscillation obscuring the central and original justification of opposing aggression (Freedman and Karsh, 1993: 223). This contradiction was the result of Bush’s own reasoning for the war and the additional rationale which was required to persuade the American people to support the war – albeit that this ‘additional rationale’ amounted to only 20 per cent of the justificatory discourse (Freedman and Karsh, 1993: 212).

They were not, Setting the context 17 however, justified as humanitarian by the interveners, nor were they motivated primarily by humanitarian concerns, but were justified rather in reference to self-­ defence as prescribed in the UN Charter (Jackson, 2000: 259; Wheeler and Bellamy, 2000: 478). The failure to justify intervention on humanitarian grounds, or indeed for further interventions to have taken place to halt abuses during the Cold War, can principally be seen as a result of two factors: first, post-­colonialism and the proliferation of states which relied on the principle of non-­intervention; and second, the context of the Cold War in which the UNSC was deadlocked over intervention issues (Brown, 2002: 159).

He referred to hegemony, a 16 Setting the context situation which has been referred to as ‘imperialism with good manners’, in which the hegemonic power of each region, or ideological block, would resort to force, or the threat of force, in order to achieve its aims, but that this violence would not be habitual (Bull, 2002: 209). Bull painted a picture of an international society of states in which the very building blocks of this society – sovereignty, equality and independence – were not disregarded in word, but would be violated in deed if the need arose.

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