Naval War College Review


Philip G. Cerny


Since 11 September 2001, the primary focus of American foreign policy has os- tensibly been the “war on terror,” although the George W. Bush administra- tion has also given priority to other objectives, such as Iraq and national missile defense. This emphasis on the threat of terrorism is extremely valuable for ana- lytical purposes, because it draws attention to key aspects of security today—in particular the central paradox of how to deal with the increasingly diffuse char- acter of threats with the means available to state actors, in what is still to a large extent an interstate system.