The Necessity of Preemptive Military Action
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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Preemption is defined as to seize before anyone else can, excluding others appropriate.1 Preemptive military action deals with stopping an imminent enemy attack. The idea of preempting an attack on U.S. citizens or interests is a logical concept, yet when President George W. Bush first discussed the need for preemptive action in a speech at West Point on June of 2002 the idea has been controversial and has since been known as the Bush Doctrine. Preemptive action is more than military strikes. It also includes financial and diplomatic measures. One possible financial action includes freezing the economic assets of known terrorist organizations. Working with the United Nations to impose sanctions is one possible diplomatic measure. The bottom line is the need to take action before a threat can take action. Preemptive action is nothing more than taking the initiative, taking action rather than waiting for the enemy to strike.
- Unconventional Warfare