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Doctrine of Preemption: Analysis and Implications for South Asia

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Strategy research rept.

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The tragic events of September 11 provoked the United States to promulgate a new National Security Strategy NSS incorporating the Doctrine of Preemption. This doctrine is intended to be applied against those state or non-state actors that are considered a threat to the United States security interests. Inclusion of this doctrine in the NSS is considered to be fraught with the danger of giving rebirth to the colonial era where the use of military might against weaker states under one pretext or the other was a common practice. Application of this doctrine by the United States as witnessed in Iraq will not only undermine the role of the United Nations but will also set a wrong precedent for other countries to turn their hegemonic dreams into reality. Following the example of the United States other states will take the preemption tool and use it to satisfy their national designs against weaker states. The effect of this doctrine on the world in general and the South Asian region in particular remains a source of concern for everyone. Within months of the announcement of this doctrine the world witnessed highly belligerent rhetoric emanating from New Delhi against Pakistan. Indian claims of Pakistani- sponsored cross-border terrorism in the Kashmir region led to Indian strategic discussions of a preemptive strike against Pakistan. This paper constitutes an effort to provide a global and regional perspective of the implications that any version of American foreign policy has for the rest of the world. Most of the research work is comprised of a critical analysis of the doctrine of preemption with some coverage of its legal aspects and its implications on the peace and stability of the world in general and South Asia in particular. The paper also offers some relevant recommendations as a logical outcome of the research.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Intelligence

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