In the National Security Strategy of the United States of America, President Bush states, “America will help nations that need our assistance in combating terror. And America will help nations that are compromised by terror, including those who harbor terrorists – because the allies of terror are the enemies of civilization.” This sounds like a solid plan to stabilize the global system in accordance with American idealism and military might. Why then, one might ask, does the State department urge a diplomatic solution instead of a military one in Chechnya when terrorists are clearly opposed to such productive political talks and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, refuses to negotiate with the Chechen terrorists as well? Bush’s doctrine of preemptive force against potential threats only applies in some cases, most notably those in Iraq, with its disappearing WMD’s. He is flip flopping on his own doctrine, yet he accuses John Kerry of doing the same: one minute Bush is for praised by his base for stabilizing regions and threatening states who harbor terrorists, but in certain situations he still uses diplomacy to render a non-violent self determining solution. In the opinion of many political scientists, Chechnya has a higher risk of selling black market WMD’s to Korea and other nation states and terrorist groups than Iraq ever had .

Boucher, the State Department spokesman, said Tuesday that “our view on the overall situation has not changed.” That is, he said, ultimately “there must be a political settlement” over Chechnya. He said U.S. officials had met with Chechens with a variety of views in the past, although “we do not meet with terrorists.” There may be additional meetings in the future, though none are planned, he said.
Responding to Russian suspicions that the terrorist group that seized the school in Beslan included Arabs with ties to the al-Qaida terror network, Boucher said the Bush administration did not have any definitive information.

Definitive information or not, Bush cannot afford to get us into another preemptive war economically or politically before this election unless it is a direct and massive threat to national security. Let’s only pray the American diplomats and the CIA and FBI are working hard enough to uncover any linkages between terrorist plots between Al Qada and the Chechen terrorist groups in Russia.

The members of the European Union are much more reluctant to join America, a country they view as a “culture of death”, according to Robert Kagan, because we no longer share a common “strategic culture” because of the lost Cold War dynamic. Based on their national identity which now fears violence much more than us (and lacks the resources to engage in such seemingly senseless warfare in Iraq), it should be the aim of the United States, particularly the State Department, to foster self determination as we have failed to do at the UN since 9/11 in all nation states by letting them experience terrorism themselves. It is pleasing to hear that the Preemptive Doctrine laid forth in the National Security Strategy of the US knows its own limitations, and will “Work with others to diffuse regional conflicts” as it proclaims. This is the first step into the manifestation of any kind of a Kantian “Perpetual Peace” between sovereign nation-state actors, although seemingly a lost cause today. Eventually, countries will hopefully find domestic reasons, one by one, over the course of many years, to join us in defeating terrorism as a concept, not just sending minimal supoprt in attacking single cells or groups. Chechnya is giving Russia a reason to engage terrorism as a concept, and ironically, the best place to start doing that for them is within.

The fact is that all civilized nations are united in their resistance to terrorism, but internal domestic politics have prevented many of them from jumping into another war with the US. Russia, France and Germany all had a large investment in Iraqi oil when we made a toppled Saddam’s regime, and oops, the pipelines too. These prudent actors furthermore did not believe the case put forth by Colin Powell at the UN, and after all, Hans Blix found nothing. After the invasion, Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “Any mistakes made should not be laid at the door of our intelligence and security community. They do a tremendous job. I accept full personal responsibility for the way the issue was presented and therefore any errors made. ” Why did President Bush not make a similar announcement taking responsibility for getting us into a egg hunt for WMD’s that never existed. Is he waiting until November First to reveal them? Where is Osama? Why did we go after Saddam when the clear first threat was completely unrelated? Why is our President counting that the American voters are as dumb as he is to get their public mandate? Why is Bush not held accountable for misleading us into a war with no clear cause and effect relationship besides of a mistake and why has he not taken responsibility for it? What is the exit strategy for Iraq, and why did we not hear a peep about it at the Republican National Convention?

America’s national memory of war is generally perceived in Europe as trigger-happy, especially under Bush 43. We made it out of WWII much better than the British and the Russians, and certainly much better than both Germany and France, and the global system of international political economy was tilted in our favor throughout the cold war because we lent most of the money to Germany and England to fund World War I . Russia, the failed hegemon, nowadays is focused on fostering a more nationalistic political agenda because the cold war tapped all their resources, and it eventually fell under its own weight, forced by the international political economy of competing with us in fueling the doomsday machine. Let’s not forget they really defeated the Nazis: they lost around 25 million people, 6 million alone at the battle of Stalingrad, whereas the United States only lost around 500,000 in World War II total.

Perhaps the American strategy in seeking a political solution in Chechnya is to abandon suggesting the use of force against Chechen terrorists to force a progressive change towards a more austere domestic Russian policy against terrorism into joining the coalition willing nation-states who will support us in preemptive warfare in places like Iraq. Domestic politics and national memory might eventually change Kremlin policy to terrorism as an interdependent global problem requiring a shoft in foreign policy itself. Only an interdependent solution can effectively combat such a threat to global security.

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