In a response to PNAC associate Robert Kagan, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz has suggested that a ‘compelling crisis’ such as Pearl Harbor or 9/11 may help bolster America’s stature in the world, which, Wolfowitz clearly hints, has been damaged by the Bush administration:
America’s future leadership role may depend even more on how threatening the world appears. Historically, that leadership role has often emerged out of a compelling crisis: Pearl Harbour, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran hostage crisis, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, or the attacks of 9/11.
Such a role would imply even more U.S. troops around the world and the need to maintain and even expand the state of crisis. In other words, it would be a continuation of the so-called ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine,’ a military-first approach to world dominance where the U.S. would function unilaterally as a pre-emptive security arm for world conflicts. However, despite Wolfowitz’s pre-war boast that Iraqis would “greet us as liberators,” the phony WMDs episode has likely soured public support for such pre-emptive action.