About the Book

Rogue States

Rogue States

The Rule of Force in World Affairs
August 2000
Trade Paperback · 264 Pages
$16.00 U.S. · $19.50 CAN
ISBN 9780896086111
South End Press


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An Excerpt from Rogue States by Noam Chomsky
The concept of rogue state plays a pre-eminent role today in policy planning and analysis.
The current Iraq crisis is only the latest example. Washington and London declared Iraq a rogue state, a threat to its neighbors and to the entire world, an outlaw nation led by a reincarnation of Hitler who must be contained by the guardians of world order, the United States and its British junior partner, to adopt the term ruefully employed by the British foreign office half a century ago. The concept merits a close look.
A secret 1995 study of the Strategic Command, which is responsible for the strategic nuclear arsenal, outlines the basic thinking. Released through the Freedom of Information Act, the study, Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence, shows how the United States shifted its deterrent strategy from the defunct Soviet Union to so-called rogue states such as Iraq, Libya, Cuba and North Korea, AP reports. The study advocates that the US exploit its nuclear arsenal to portray itself as irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked. That should be a part of the national persona we project to all adversaries, in particular the rogue states. It hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed, let alone committed to such silliness as international law and treaty obligations. The fact that some elements of the US government may appear to be potentially 'out of control' can be beneficial to creating and reinforcing fears and doubts within the minds of an adversary's decision makers. The report resurrects Nixon's madman theory: our enemies should recognize that we are crazed and unpredictable, with extraordin