Four years after September is about time to look at the policy conducted by George W. Bush and to see if, in effect, it has made the United States a safer place.
Bush’s revolution in foreign policy was outlined in the 2002 National Security Strategy, the US’s official response to the September 11 attacks. In its fifth section, the text envisages unilateral actions by the United States against presumed enemies based on their intentions. That is the essence of the doctrine of pre-emptive attacks. Pre-emptive wars have been launched against Iraq and Afghanistan, although in the case of the latter the military action may be interpreted as a response to the September 11 attacks. The doctrine of pre-emptive attacks does not only aim at preventing challenges from other countries but also from non-state hostile groups.
The basis of prevention in international reports is that a presumed aggressor makes a cost-benefit calculus before attacking an adversary. The adversary does not attack first if he thinks that his action will entail too much damage for him. However, with the doctrine of pre-emptive attacks this is no longer an accurate analysis as the US’s adversaries know they can be attacked anytime. Thus, this doctrine makes the United States more vulnerable than in the past. Soon, the United States discover it and will have to favor a “soft power” doctrine.

Gulf News
Gulf News is the main newspaper devoted to the entire Persian Gulf . Circulation: more than 90,000 editions. Edited in Dubai in English, it is read largely by the important foreigner community residing in the region.

Post-9/11 US foreign policy is in doldrums”, by Marwan Al Kabalan, Gulf News, September 9, 2005.