Last updated on: 5/30/2008 8:03:00 AM PST
What was the Bush administration's National Security Strategy (aka the Bush Doctrine)?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
A Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Frontline episode from 2003 titled "The War Behind Closed Doors," contained the following description of the Bush Doctrine:

"Twenty months into his presidency, George W. Bush releases his administration's National Security Strategy (NSS). It is the first time the various elements of the Bush Doctrine have been formally articulated in one place. The 33-page document presents a bold and comprehensive reformulation of U.S. foreign policy. It outlines a new and muscular American posture in the world -- a posture that will rely on preemption to deal with rogue states and terrorists harboring weapons of mass destruction. It states that America will exploit its military and economic power to encourage 'free and open societies.' It states for the first time that the U.S. will never allow its military supremacy to be challenged as it was during the Cold War. And the NSS insists that when America's vital interests are at stake, it will act alone, if necessary."

2003 - Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) 

The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, in its 2003 publication "The U.S. Army and the New National Security Strategy," edited by Lynne E. Davis and Jeremy Shapiro, stated:

"The document [National Security Strategy] is significant as the first official elaboration of a variety of post–September 11 changes in the direction and tone of U.S. security policy...

Special prominence is given in the strategy to dealing with the threats posed by terrorists and rogue states, though it also focuses on defusing regional conflicts, preventing threats from weapons of mass destruction, developing cooperative actions with other major powers, and expanding economic growth and the infrastructure of democracy. This National Security Strategy makes clear that the United States will maintain its position of preeminent economic and military power as the means of promoting 'a balance of power that favors freedom.' Where it departs from the past strategies is in its clear statement of the intention of the United States to act alone, if necessary, and to act militarily and preemptively against terrorist groups or rogue states amassing weapons of mass destruction.

The strategy does not envision that U.S. interests and general stability can be safeguarded without the presence and sometimes active application of American political, economic, and military power worldwide. Thus, embodied in the strategy is a clear expansion of the demands placed on the military, in responding to terrorism abroad and ensuring the security of the American homeland, in maintaining American preeminence as a military power, and in preempting attacks against the United States by terrorists and rogue states, particularly attacks that might involve weapons of mass destruction."


2003 - RAND Corporation 

The Council on Foreign Relations, a research organization, stated in an introduction to the Sep. 2002 Bush Administration National Security Strategy:

"This document lays out the Administration's security issues and the strategies for addressing them. The current National Security Strategy reveals a shift in the United States Government's old strategy of deterrence to a pre-emptive strategy towards terrorism and rogue states. Issues include terrorism, regional conflicts, weapons of mass destruction, free trade, the building of partnerships, and plans for national security institutions."

Sep. 2002 - 2002 National Security Strategy (358 KB)  
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)