Chicago Journal of International Law


No aspect of the Bush Administration's foreign policy has caused greater consternation in Europe, at the United Nations, and among the Academy than the doctrine of "preemption." As the President has made clear, both in the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States of America ("NSS") and in numerous other public statements, the United States claims the legal right to take military action to preempt gathering threats to its national security, with or without the sanction of the UN Security Council. Despite the outraged cries of critics, both at home and abroad, the doctrine of preemptive self-defense is well- grounded in customary international law, fully consonant with the UN Charter, and promises to be an indispensable part of American statecraft in the twenty- first century. [CONT]

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