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Offensive Realism

             After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the US was forced to examine and alter its foreign policy. In previous years, the world was less complicated. During the Cold War era, we had only one country, Russia, to worry about. In recent years and still today, we find ourselves trying to defend our country against a large number of small groups that hide in countries around the world. This new world order has brought with it a much more unstable environment for the remaining super power, the US, to deal with. The question that will be examined in this paper is whether or not the US government can realistically expect these rogue states and the groups they sponsor to cooperate and how we will deal with them when/if they decide not to. Several opinions will be considered, focusing primarily on Professor John J. Mearsheimer's "Offensive Realism Theory" and the Bush administration's current foreign policy.
             I will start by analyzing the attached documents. Robert W. Tucker's "One Year On: Power, Purpose and Strategy in American Foreign Policy" discusses the changes that have occurred since the September 11th attacks. He views them as a good thing for the United States because he feels that it will allow the president more freedom/funding when addressing problems over seas. Before the terrorist attacks, the US seemed to be more concerned with how much combating enemies would cost or how long it would take to win. The concerns lied in whether or not we could fight our battles in the most ideal way possible, and if we couldn't, the plans were usually shot down. However, in light of the recent events, this idealism has been placed on the backburner and the citizens of the US as well as Congress have jumped on board to support the president in the war on terrorism. Tucker suggests that the direct attacks on US citizens may have helped to alleviate the Vietnam syndrome, especially with our more sophisticated weapons and much lower numbers of casualties.

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