no immediate threat
a preventive attack launched
there is no question that when an attack is about to be carried out on a nation, that nation has the right to defend itself. it does not need to wait for the attack to be carried out, before it does so.
this principle is grounded on the idea of self-defense.
usually the words used are 'imminent' to describe the coming attack, and 'preempt' to describe the response to the imminent attack.
the bush doctrine however, expands on this. it states that a nation is allowed to carry out an attack on the basis of a threat to its security, which is not imminent.
the words usually used in this case are 'preventive' or a 'preventive war.'
the danger here is that such a preventive war necessarily calls for speculation as to the future threat, and is therefore ripe for abuse.
and as it attempts to dilute the standard required before a nation resorts to armed force, it makes the use of such force by countries around the world, more likely, and the ability of international institutions to prevent such resort to force, that much more difficult.
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