Conceptualizing American power and security in a post -9/11 security context: Conflict, resistance, and global security, 2001--present

Marvin Astrada, Florida International University


In a post-Cold War, post-9/11 world, the advent of US global supremacy resulted in the installation, perpetuation, and dissemination of an Absolutist Security Agenda (hereinafter, ASA). The US ASA explicitly and aggressively articulates and equates US national security interests with the security of all states in the international system, and replaced the bipolar, Cold War framework that defined international affairs from 1945-1992. Since the collapse of the USSR and the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, the US has unilaterally defined, implemented, and managed systemic security policy. ^ The US ASA is indicative of a systemic category of knowledge (security) anchored in variegated conceptual and material components, such as morality, philosophy, and political rubrics. The US ASA is based on a logic that involves the following security components: (1) hyper militarization, (2) intimidation,(3) coercion, (4) criminalization, (5) panoptic surveillance, (6) plenary security measures, and (7) unabashed US interference in the domestic affairs of select states. Such interference has produced destabilizing tensions and conflicts that have, in turn, produced resistance, revolutions, proliferation, cults of personality, and militarization. This is the case because the US ASA rests on the notion that the international system of states is an extension, instrument of US power, rather than a system and/or society of states comprised of functionally sovereign entities. ^ To analyze the US ASA, this study utilizes: (1) official government statements, legal doctrines, treaties, and policies pertaining to US foreign policy; (2) militarization rationales, budgets, and expenditures; and (3) case studies of rogue states. The data used in this study are drawn from information that is publicly available (academic journals, think-tank publications, government publications, and information provided by international organizations). ^ The data supports the contention that global security is effectuated via a discrete set of hegemonic/imperialistic US values and interests, finding empirical expression in legal acts (USA Patriot ACT 2001) and the concept of rogue states. Rogue states, therefore, provide test cases to clarify the breadth, depth, and consequentialness of the US ASA in world affairs vis-à-vis the relationship between US security and global security. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, International Law and Relations

Recommended Citation

Astrada, Marvin, "Conceptualizing American power and security in a post -9/11 security context: Conflict, resistance, and global security, 2001--present" (2008). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3353576.