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National Security Strategy Report - September 2002

On September 20, 2002 President Bush released a new national security strategy that essentially abandons concepts of deterrence -- which dominated defense policies during the Cold War years -- for a forward-reaching, pre-emptive strategy against hostile states and terrorist groups, while also expanding development assistance and free trade, promoting democracy, fighting disease, and transforming the U.S. military.

Defending the United States from its enemies is the first and most fundamental commitment to the American people, Bush said in his introduction. Bush goes on to argue that radical terrorists and rogue states are the primary threats to US security and that defeating such threats requires the US to use every tool in its arsenal including military power, better homeland defenses, law enforcement, intelligence, and efforts to hinder terrorist financing.

Bush pointed out that the development and acquisition of Weapons of Mass Destruction by terrorists and rogue states will require the US to identify and destroy any terrorist threat before it reaches the United States.

The Administration went on to argue that the US should do everything possible to maintain its position as the sole Superpower by maintaining a military capability that was so far ahead of potential rivals that those states would not seek to compete.

The strategy document also outlines a policy to work with other nations and international organizations to defuse regional conflicts; to prevent enemies from using weapons of mass destruction against the United States, it allies and friends; to support and promote a new era of global economic growth through free markets and free trade; to expand the development of open societies and build the infrastructure of democracy; to reduce the toll of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases; and to transform the U.S. military to meet 21st century challenges.

Bush said the United States also is committed to lasting institutions like the United Nations, NATO, the World Trade Organization and the Organization of American States.

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