Why did America invade Iraq? The glib answer is “because it could.” In the unipolar moment the immediate costs and risks of using military force against Saddam Hussein's hollow, troublesome regime seemed low to US leaders. But this explanation begs the important questions. Dispro-portionate power allows greater freedom of action, but it is consistent with a broad spectrum of policies, ranging from messianic attempts to impose a new world order to smug attempts to insulate oneself from the world's quagmires. How this freedom is used depends on how threats and opportunities are interpreted when viewed through the prism of ideology and domestic politics.
|Title of host publication
|International Relations Theory and the Consequences of Unipolarity
|Cambridge University Press
|Number of pages
|Published - 1 Jan 2011
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Trustees of Princeton University 2011.