Chicago Journal of International Law


The events of September 11, 2001, revealed to America and the world a new threat, qualitatively different than the dangers that have faced us in the past. This new threat has required us to adopt new policies to confront it. President Bush eloquently described the threat and the Administration's policy response in an address delivered at the National Defense University on February 11 of this year. He stated: In the Cold War, Americans lived under the threat of weapons of mass destruction but believed that deterrents made those weapons a last resort. What has changed in the 21st century is that in the hands of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction would be a first resort, the preferred means to further their ideology of suicide and random murder. These terrible weapons are becoming easier to acquire, build, hide, and transport. Armed with a single vial of a biological agent or a single nuclear weapon, small groups of fanatics or failing states could gain the power to threaten great nations, threaten the world peace. America and the entire civilized world will face this threat for decades to come. We must confront the danger with open eyes and unbending purpose. I have made clear to all the policy of this Nation: America will not permit terrorists and dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most deadly weapons.