The War of the World


Poli 205/2 A


5 December 2003


With a high presence of terrorism in the twenty-first century, the world is on guard for practically anything that may come its way. Terrorism has played an important role in our lives, since the September 11 attack on American soil. Since that day, security measures have been taken to secure our everyday lives and we have not seen one day of peace. Following this, the U.S. found itself at war with Iraq, which has brought an imbalance to the world. Countries have become unsure of their security and about their relationships with the countries that surround them. Since September 11, a large number of scholars, scientists and political thinkers have started to analyze and provide their own theories on the U.S. and Iraqi war and state relations. One of these is Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Joseph Nye started following the war from its beginning and has provided critical theories and interpretations of the political consequences of war. I will address Joseph Nye’s article entitled “U.S. Power and Strategy After Iraq” in order to demonstrate how U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration of national security strategy involves forming alliances (cooperation) with other countries to combat global terrorism and to limit the development the nuclear weapons program.


Joseph Nye suggests that the U.S. should not and is not able to fight terrorism on its own, and he further argues that it cannot create global stability without the help of other states. In order to create such stability, the US needs the cooperation of international institutions, which also means that it would need the help of other states. Terrorism is defined as the use of “unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence to intimidate or coerce societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons” (The American Heritage College Dictionary). This quotation shows the hateful nature of terrorism and its targets.


Organizations that engage in acts of terror are usually small and limited in resources. Terrorist groups expand their influence and power through publicity and fear generated by their violence in order to create political change on either a local or an international scale. Terrorism if found all over the world, and practically in every country namely, Japan, Germany, Italy and in the United States. The technological advances in transportation, communications, microelectronics, and explosives can explain the reasons for the evolution of terrorism. Nye argues that in order for the U.S. foreign policy to be successful, it needs to ally itself with China. Nye explains “that no nation can build a safer, better world alone” (61) and powerful states such as China and the U.S. that have a large military and are technologically advanced should join forces. In fact, this article suggests that Iraq is just the smallest problem that the U.S. faces; North Korea would be the real test for the U.S. because of its nuclear weapons program. U.S. military power is essential to global stability and is a critical part in the response of global terrorism. The willingness of other countries to cooperate in dealing with transnational issues such as terrorism depends on their own interest and the U.S.’s. To apply the strategy successfully, the U.S. will have to focus on soft power, that is “the ability to attract and persuade rather than coerce” (66) and mutual cooperation with the hard powers, “the ability to coerce, [which] grows out of a country’s military and economic might”(66).


The U.S. may or may not have numerous strategies for the Iraqi war. In Nye’s article, we find at least three possible scenarios that may happen after the war in Iraq. First, he claims, once the U.S. fights off the threat to Iraq (Saddam), it will stay and create a friendly democracy. This was the scenario between Japan and Germany in the 1940s. Such a situation can occur. Unlike Germany and Japan, Iraq finds itself in the middle of terrorist organizations, which makes the situation of the American soldiers more difficult and threatening. The second scenario sees the United States moving into the threatening state, to accomplish their goals and leaving. Leaving the people of the state to do as they like, by creating any form of government, which will be best suitable, to them. This happens once the U.S.