US Defense Strategy after the September 11th

Document Type : Research Paper



The September 11th attacks demonstrated to the US administration that world strategic setting has undergone deep changes and that new threats have emerged in the international scene. Other actors have entered the scene which lack the characteristics of nation-states and in order to counter the threats, previous strategies are not very efficient in this area. In order to encounter the new threats and to secure its national objective and interests, the United Sates has to change its defense strategy. This change was made in various realms and aspects. Security environment and its actors were considered, the instruments and methods of countering were reappraised, new missions were designed for military forces, the country’s military expenditures increased significantly and its focal point was shifted from great powers toward the middle regional actors and transnational organizations. While emphasizing the creation of military bases and desirable alliances around the world geographically, the United States shifted its attention from Europe and East Asia to the Middle East. These transformations occurred both in strategic goals and interests and in defense instruments and methods as well as geographical areas. The new threat required new defense strategy as well. On this basis, this article deals with the degree of change and continuity in US defense strategy after the September 11th. The new military-security environment, national goals and US vital interests determine the basis for such change and continuity.


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