Histoire CS3 - The US in a changing world since 1991
How did the USA adjust to a changing world?

1. Multilateral interventionism in a new world: the Gulf War
• President G.H. Bush’s new world order
- End of Cold War => President George H. Bush (Senior) new world order: peace, freedom and the rule of law = based on US model and values
=> New spirit of cooperation with the USSR-Russia + US duty (manifest destiny) to intervene to protect new world order
• The Gulf War (1990-1991): the manifestation of US superpower
- Military interventionism & hard power but multilateral as approved by the UN to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi aggression
=> New era of US superpower acting to protect new world order and ending the US Vietnam syndrome (fast, clean, just war = military and moral confidence)
• Unintended consequences
- Peace terms: UN inspections to prevent Iraq producing WMDs but Iraq didn’t cooperate => one of the justifications for US invasion in 2003
+ US forces in Saudi Arabia => outraged Saudi islamist Osama bin Laden because “infidels” in “the land of the two holy places” => jihadist Al-Qaeda => 9/11 => 2001: end of peaceful, happy, prosperous ‘new world order’

2. A changing interventionism: the war on terror since 2001
• President G.W. Bush & Al Qaeda: from multi to unilateralism
- Afghanistan (2001-2014): multilateral hard power to retaliate for the 9/11 attacks
- Iraq War (2003-2011): unilateral hard power preventive war on a rogue state with potential WMDs
= both from dissymmetric invasion to asymmetric warfare against US occupation
• President Obama’s new strategy and enemy
- Smart power: more negotiations (a new diplomacy-first foreign policy with Iran or communist Cuba) and less military involvement (withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq and fighting only limited wars against new terrorist enemy ISIS: the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria)
- Multilateralism if possible (Iran nuclear negotiations, new climate-change accord, 2014 airstrikes in Syria) but unilateralism if necessary (Bin Laden 2011 execution, 2014 airstrikes in Iraq because Iraqi government called for help + US responsibility: Isis cadre = former Saddam Hussein’s officers)