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American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century$
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Martin Halliwell and Catherine Morley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748626014

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626014.001.0001

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9/11 And US Foreign Policy

9/11 And US Foreign Policy

Chapter:
(p.49) 3. 9/11 And US Foreign Policy
Source:
American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century
Author(s):

David Ryan

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626014.003.0004

This chapter makes the case that the events of 11 September 2001 did not represent a major turning point in American diplomatic history. Taking a long historical view, the author, David Ryan, contends that the reaction of the Bush administration in invading Iraq harkened back to old ideas and ideologies associated with the US’s defeat in the Vietnam War and with Cold War tendencies to think in dualistic terms. Concurrent with the resurgence of such mid-to-late twentieth-century ideological positions is the revivification of the 1990s theses of Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington, the ‘end of history’ and ‘the clash of civilisations’ respectively. Ryan argues that their ideas and their constructed notion of ‘the West’, founded on nostalgic and triumphal histories of the Cold War, informed the 2002 National Security Strategy and at a meta-level represent a yearning to inject a particular purpose and morality into American foreign policy.

Keywords:   9/11, Vietnam War, Iraq War, Cold War, Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington, National Security Strategy

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