Publication year: 2017

On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress where he informed the House and the Senate that important changes to American foreign policy vis-à-vis national security were necessitated by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.  Specifically, a strategic change in national defense occurred when the Bush administration initiated the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism (NSCT): a proactive policy that purports a preemptive 4D strategy designed to defeat international terrorism.  The NCST asserts that the U.S. retains the right to preemptive strikes against any nation that harbors terrorists or posses a threat to U.S. national security.  Although the wars in Afghanistan and arguably Iraq are consistent with NSCT policies, international terrorists do not necessarily originate in the Middle East.  In fact, contemporary research indicates that virtually any failed or weakened state exhibit the conditions that are conducive to terrorist activities, such as poor governance, porous borders, and failed economies.  Currently, sub-Saharan Africa, not the Middle East, possess the greatest threat to U.S. nation security because it boasts the largest percentage of failed states, therefore, in order to remain consistent with the NSCT and achieve victory in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) the U.S. should allocate additional military, economic, diplomatic, and intelligence resources to failed African nations.  Nevertheless, the Bush administration believes that U.S. resources are best utilized in the oil-rich Arab nations, thereby raising important questions about America’s true intentions in the Middle East.  Notwithstanding the U.S. Presidents Constitutional entitlement as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces, Congress also possesses Constitution authority to deal with international terrorism.  As a means of demonstrating Congress’ influence vis-à-vis international terrorism, this paper will analyze Nigeria, a nation that international terrorists exploit in as a means of conducting illicit activities, and that the U.S. views as both an economic interest and as a threat to U.S. national security.  This paper argues that the current administration actions regarding the Iraq are inconsistent with NCST policies, and in so doing, it will demonstrate that Congress must assert its authority and fully implement the NCST if America desires to defeat international terrorism.

In order to understand how Congress could deal with international terrorism that originates in failed states, a comprehensive definition of a failed state is required.  By definition, a state has failed when a government loses control over its territory or the ability to make collective decisions, lacks a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, is unable to provide reasonable public services, or has lost meaningful diplomatic relations with other states.[1]  The Fund for Peace (FfP), a Washington, D.C. based non-profit organization that seeks to prevent war and alleviate the conditions caused by war, claims to have developed an index that indicates which states have, by definition, failed.[2]  The Failed States Index (FSI) utilizes complex quantitative and qualitative methodologies that identify twelve key indicators of extensive corruption and criminal behavior, inability to collect taxes, lack of citizen support, large-scale involuntary dislocation of the population, sharp economic decline, group-based inequality, and institutionalized persecution or discrimination.[3]  Currently, one hundred and six states meet the aforementioned requirements (28 have critically failed and 78 in danger of imminent failure) with more than fifty percent in Africa. [4] If lawmakers and members of Congress were to utilize the FSI’s ranking system as a means of determining appropriate economic and military allocations for fighting international terrorism, it would come to the same conclusion as the Bush administration: that Nigeria (ranked twenty-second on the Failed States Index) posses less of a risk to U.S. national security than Iraq (ranked fourth).  However, the quantitative and qualitative indicators used by the FfP fail to consider certain economic, environmental, and public health conditions, such as a countries oil supplies, and the effects of deforestation, disease, and racial and cultural clashes.  When those conditions are factored in, Nigeria and many other sub-Saharan states are more conducive to the conditions sought by terrorists than Iraq, and as a result, they pose a far greater threat to U.S. national security that Iraq.  Hence, the first step towards creating an affective national defense policy is for Congress is to develop a comprehensive definition of a failed state that is both consistent with America’s preemptive strategy, and is capable of accurately identifying states that pose the greatest risk to U.S. national security.

By adopting a preemptive approach to fighting international terrorism, the U.S. removed any doubt about whether it considers the use of military force as a part of its foreign policy ‘tool kit’.  Between the end of the Vietnam War and September 11, 2001, America often threatened, yet rarely used significant military force.  Consequently, rogue nations frequently mocked the U.S., claiming that it had no intention of using force, which in turn portrayed America as being weak to all would-be enemies, particularly nations that do not embrace Western-style diplomatic methods of conflict resolution.[5]  That attitude towards the U.S. changed in October 2001 when it launched a full-scale attack of Afghanistan in retaliation for the September 11th attacks.  No longer do foreign nations believe that America will remain passive in the face of any threat to its citizens or interests, both domestic and abroad.  America’s newly adopted no-nonsense reputation is best portrayed through its goals in the GWOT, which is to break the global terrorist network into small groups, thereby assisting local law enforcement officials to prosecute terrorists as criminals.[6]  To accomplish that goal, the U.S. implemented the NSCT, a policy that defines America’s intentions of combating international terrorism with a ‘4D strategy’.  The 4D strategy specifies that America will defeat terrorists and their organizations; deny support, sponsorship, and sanctuary to terrorists; diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit; and defend U.S. Citizens and interests at home and abroad, thereby recognizing and eliminating threats before they present an, “the immediate threat” (NSCT, 2003) of terrorism.[7]

The following examination of the NSCT indicates that the conditions in Africa warrant immediate Congressional attention.  At times, the Bush administration has been consistent with the 4D strategy vis-à-vis immediate threats of terrorism.  For example, in 2002, the U.S. government identified Somalia, Kenya, and Yemen as posing an immediate threat to national security, and the Bush administration responded appropriately by developing the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTFHA), whose purpose is to, “deter, preempt, and disable terrorist threats.”  (Lyman and Morrison, 2004)  The concepts put forth by the CJTFHA are consistent with the first tenet of the 4D strategy, which indicates that the U.S. will use, “law enforcement, military…and other instruments of power” (NSCT, 2003) to defeat terrorist organizations.  Indeed, the Bush administration, “has recognized a connection between failed states and terrorism,” (Lyman et al., 2004) and it has conceded that,  “poverty, weak institutions, and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks.”  (Lyman et al., 2004)  Although it remains uncertain if the CJFFHA will be effective long-term, the fact that the Bush administration recognized and addressed the problems in Somalia, Kenya, and Yemen indicates that the U.S. is consistent with NSCT policies.  Currently, Congress has not been concerned with outcome of the CJTFHA, hence, it can argued that the U.S. military would benefit from Congressional action in matter concerning the NSCT, particularly with policies that pertain to failed African states that harbor terrorists.

Connections between weak states and terrorism notwithstanding, however, the U.S. has forfeited the opportunity to expound its strategic intentions in many failed African nations that otherwise exhibit the characteristics necessary to employ the 4D strategy.  For example, during a visit to Africa in 2002, and without conferring with Congress, President Bush refrained from assigning peacekeeping troops in Liberia, an area that was on the brink of civil war.  Doing so, “badly damaged” (Lyman et al., 2004) America’s credibility in Africa because it indicated that the U.S. was not committed to the region, and sent, “precisely the wrong signal” (Lyman et al., 2004) to terrorists operating in Central and West Africa.  Moreover, the Bush administration’s actions in Liberia are inconsistent with the third tenet of the 4D strategy, which asserts America’s commitment to reduce emerging threats in countries with, “people living in poverty, deprivation, social disenfranchisement, and unresolved political and regional disputes”  (NSCT, 2003) and other conditions that, “terrorists can exploit.”  (NSCT, 2003)  Therefore, it can be argued that when the Bush administration refused to establish a peacekeeping force in Liberia, it violated the tenets of the NSCT, which asserts the appropriateness and urgency of implanting troops in regions that are plagued by civil war as a means of reducing emerging threats.  The U.S. Constitution requires that the President inform Congress in matters of national security; therefore, the House and the Senate must be included in matters that deal with international terrorism.

Would the above-mentioned conditions vis-à-vis international terrorism in Africa improve if there were better communication between the President and Congress?  Many internal, external, and historical forces influence contemporary American foreign policy, and all of them present unique philosophies vis-à-vis the best way to secure America’s future.  Hence, the fate of the GWOT depends largely on how both the President and Congress interprets those influences, and how they behave afterwards.  After September 11, 2001, “preemption became the new arm of unilateralism,” (Gurtov and Van Ness, 2004) and based on the manner in which the Bush administration invaded Iraq, the Executive branch made it clear that, “unilateral attack required only a presidential decision; the United Nations, international law, allies, Congress, and the American public could and should be bypassed.”  (Gurtov et al., 2004)  In fact, Congress offered little if any opposition to the notion of attacking Iraq, thereby suggesting that better communication would not have necessarily made a difference.[8]  According to Gurtov and Van Ness, “[t]he legalities of going to war were hardly debated, and possible diplomatic alternatives were dismissed by US officials and key members of Congress.” (Gurtov et al., 2004)  Gurtov and Van Ness argue that even if members of Congress wanted to assert their constitutional privileges and enforce the 1993 War Powers Resolution, for example, their hands were tied because, “the House and Senate had committed the same mistake after 9/11 that they had made early in the Vietnam war, and again in 1991, in approving resolutions on the use of force that were wide open to abuse.”  (Gurtov et al., 2004)  As a result, Bush was given a, “virtual blank check to respond to terrorism-first, by authorizing use of all necessary and appropriate force” (Gurtov et al., 2004) to combat terrorism, without any geographical or time limits.  For the same reason, most Republican leaders in Congress argued that Bush possessed the authority necessary to wage war on Iraq, while some within the Bush administration suggested that the UN Security Council resolutions that were implemented during the 1991 Gulf War, combined with Congressional support for that war still applied in 2002.[9]  Hence, according to the Bush administration and Republican members of Congress, the Executive branch had every legal right to act preemptively by declaring war on Iraq, even though the Constitution does in fact empower Congress to wage war.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Bush administration acted preemptively when it declared war on Iraq in 2003, it did in fact seek Congressional approval before actually waging war.  While some members of Congress supported the war, others argued that America’s newly adopted preemptive strategy was inconsistent with the nations history.  However, the right to act, “preemptively against terrorists to prevent them from doing harm to our people and our country” (NCST, 2003) is not unique to contemporary U.S. foreign policy.  Instead, it is consistent with the Jacksonian school of thought that was initially developed in the late 1790’s by Senator Andrew Jackson, who later implemented his foreign policy during his presidency (1829-1837).  Jacksonian’s assert a, “don’t tread on me” (Mead, 2004) attitude concerning threats to U.S. national security and they are more than willing to use America’s dominant, well-funded military to protect its national interests because they believe that, “at times we must fight preemptive wars.”  (Mead, 2004)  In other words, there is no substitute for victory.  Notwithstanding the fact that Jacksonian’s are often accused of possessing an ignorant, isolationist, and, “irresponsibly trigger-happy cowboy” (Mead, 2004) attitude towards diplomacy, its values are well supported in both houses of Congress and they have been highly influential in shaping American foreign policy.[10]  Because the U.S. has adopted that trigger-happy, preemptive foreign policy towards international terrorism, it can be argued that the NSCT contains characteristics consistent with Jacksonianism.  In fact, the preemptive aspect of the NSCT may not exist if it were not for the contributions of the Jacksonian’s.  Indeed, on June 1, 2002 President Bush supported a Jacksonian view vis-à-vis foreign policy by asserting that, “[w]e must take the battle to the enemy” (NSCT, 2003) disrupt their plans and confront all threats before they emerge.  Jacksonianism is also consistent with the U.S. Patriot Act, (2001) which asserts that an act violates the criminal laws of the U.S. or of any other state if it intentionally endangers human life, intimidates or coerces civilians, influences the policy of a government, or affects the behavior of a government through mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.[11]  Hence, taking action against threats to national security is synonymous with Jacksonianism, the U.S. Patriot Act, and the first tenant of the 4D strategy: “[t]he United States…will defeat terrorist organizations…by attacking their sanctuaries; leadership; command, control, and communications; material support; and finances.” (NSCT, 2003)  Nevertheless, the Bush administration has failed to act in accordance with the previously mentioned laws, as evidenced by its refusal to allocate appropriate amounts of economic and military assets to failed African states.  Notably, Article IV of the U.S. Constitution requires that the federal government take all necessary action to protect the states from both invasion and domestic violence, and that only when, “the Legislative [Branch] cannot be convened” (U.S. Constitution, 1787) should the Executive Branch take action against violence.  As a result, the notion that Congress has the authority to intervene and take a larger role is sustained not only by the U.S. Constitution, but also by contemporary law such as the Patriot Act and the NSCT.

America possesses a powerful military, and a Jacksonian might argue that the conditions conducive to terrorism exist in Africa because the lack of American military presence permits terrorists to run rampant and conduct illicit activities such as drug trafficking, diamond trading, and kidnapping.  Military supremacy notwithstanding, the U.S. also possesses an envious, transparent economy that is characterized by a rule of law, accounting standards, and a stable currency: all necessary components of democracy.[12]  In fact, the unmatched power of the U.S. economy permits the government to use it as both a weapon (containment strategies) and a humanitarian tool (economic aid and debt relief) in its foreign policy ‘tool kit’.  For example, many failed states view the presence of the American military as an instrument designed to force democracy on their culture, and as a result, the U.S. often prefers to evoke change and promote democracy without force.  Notwithstanding America’s commitment to provide financial assistance to failed states, and the acknowledgement by the Bush administration that Central and West Africa’s stability is important to America’s GWOT, the U.S. has failed to fulfill NSCT policies and provide additional economic aid to those regions.  Instead, the U.S. launched a full-scale war against Iraq in 2003 even though America currently imports only about four percent, or six hundred fifty five thousand barrels of oil per day from Iraq.[13]By contrast, the U.S. imports, “seven percent of its oil”  (Lyman et al., 2004) or 1.7 million barrels of oil per day from Nigeria, thereby creating an important economic partnership.  One possible reason for allocating more assets in Iraq as compared to Nigeria is that once the war is over, the oil production in Iraq will, “increase four-fold” (Lyman et al., 2004) whereas Nigeria is close to full output.  Another argument suggests that Iraq offers a sustainability greater investment opportunity for the West as compared to Nigeria because in addition to oil wealth, “the Arab world is awash in cash,  “(Crocker, 2005) thereby indicating that once the war has ended, U.S. corporations might be able to establish new business opportunities in Iraq.  By comparison, Nigeria, and other West African nations exhibit similar characteristics of instability and corruption; however, they are characterized by poverty, disease, and environmental crises, thereby suggesting that it presents a greater threat to U.S. national security, but a much smaller economic opportunity.  In addition, a connection between al Qaeda, the terrorist group headed by Usama bin Laden, and West Africa has been established by the fact that it has capitalized on the civil war in Congo (ranked 2nd on the Failed States Index) by colluding with West African governments to purchase illegal diamonds that are later sold to fund terrorist activities worldwide.[14]  Conversely, a connection between al Qaeda and Hussein has yet to be established.  The above-mentioned quantitative and qualitative facts indicate that Nigeria presents a greater risk to U.S. security than Iraq.  Therefore, why did the Bush administration decide to attack Iraq rather than use the U.S. military to stabilize Nigeria and West Africa?

One argument suggests that because the U.S. national debt has skyrocketed under the Bush administration, America’s, “growing dependence on foreign capital,” (Ferguson, 2004) renders it unable to commit additional economic aid to Africa.  Mobilizing an army in the remote regions of Africa would be, by comparison, more costly than mobilizing troops in the Middle East where the U.S. already has allies (Israel).[15]  As mentioned above, Iraq’s ability to produce oil is not represented by its current output, and if democracy is ever fully established in Iraq it can produce substantially more barrels of oil per day than Nigeria, thereby rendering it more attractive to the U.S. economy.[16]  Consequently, a Hamiltonian, for example, might argue that the War in Iraq is consistent with contemporary U.S. foreign policy because keeping domestic oil prices low through the direct control Iraq’s oil industries places the U.S. economy first.  In fact, a Hamiltonian might argue that it is their Constitutional right to wage war with Iraq because Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution indicates that Congress has the power to, “declare war…define and punish Piracies and Felonies…and Offenses against the Law of Nations.”  (U.S. Constitution, 1787)  Historically, Hamiltonians have supported an, open seas trading policy, and although there were times when the U.S. resisted free trade, such as during the Great Depression, the primary focus of its foreign policy is to ensure a powerful economy based on free trade.[17]  To a Hamiltonian, the open seas literally means that the U.S. can and will trade anywhere in the world, and if trading opportunities are blocked, for whatever reason, the U.S. must respond, with force if necessary, in order to secure its economic interests.[18]  Hamiltonianism purports the, “importance of trade” (Mead, 2004) rather than political superiority as the best way for America to secure its national interests.[19]  In fact, the best way to start a war with the Hamiltonians is to impede their economic progress.[20]  It is not a far stretch to apply that open sea philosophy to the War in Iraq.[21]  Simply put, Hussein stood between the U.S. and cheap oil; removing him was necessary to secure our economic interests.

Because the Bush administrations’ actions vis-à-vis Iraq are more consistent with the above-mentioned philosophies that support Jacksonian-style military intervention, and a powerful Hamiltonian-style economy, than with NSCT policies, it may seem as if contemporary American foreign policy is characterized by Jacksonianism and Hamiltonianism.  However, in addition to using the powerful U.S. economy as a weapon in foreign policy, as it did during the Cold War, both the President and Congress have the option to use it for humanitarian purposes.  In fact, in June 2005 the Bush administration, in unison with other G-8 nations (the world’s eight largest industrial countries that meet annually to evaluate and coordinate economic policy) granted Africa fifty billion dollars, and agreed on widespread debt relief, or total forgiveness of Africa’s debt.[22]  On the one hand, Jacksonianism or Hamiltonianism does not relish in the type of human suffering that most Africans experience; on the other hand, Jacksonian’s display little regard for international law, practice, and organizations; it is the Wilsonian’s, not the Jacksonian’s, that support international economic aid and debt relief.  Simply put, a Wilsonian’s liberal, or internationalist philosophy asserts that U.S. national interests are best served by spreading American democratic and social values, advancing human rights, and cooperating with all foreign nations through international organizations such as the U.N to raise funds for humanitarian purposes.[23]  Unlike the Jacksonian’s, Wilsonian’s advocate America’s involvement in international matters as a means of promoting a peaceful international community based on the rule of law.[24]  Although Jacksonian’s might argue against African debt relief because it moves the government’s focus away from national security, doing so is in fact consistent with NSCT policies.  Specifically, the NSCT’s third tenant asserts America’s commitment to,  “resolve regional disputes; foster economic, social and political development, market-based economies, good governance, and the rule of law,” in countries characterized by poverty, deprivation, social disenfranchisement, and unresolved political and regional issues, “through the direct or indirect use” (NSCT, 2003) of economic and financial power.  The NSCT indicates that in addition to the abovementioned inclusion of a Jacksonian-style military force, and Hamiltonian-friendly economic policies, the Bush administration also includes Wilsonian-fashion humanitarian policies as part of its foreign policy ‘tool kit’.  Indeed, Wilsonian philosophies are incorporated into the NSCT, which indicates that in order to defeat terrorism, and support those afflicted by corruption, poverty, and disease, the U.S. will exercise its, “inherent right under international law of individual and collective self-defense” (NSCT, 2003) and work with the U.N. in accordance with UNSCR 1373, which requires that all member states work together to urgently prevent and suppress terrorist acts.[25] Therefore, it can be argued that the policies put forth by the NSCT are consistent, to a large degree, with both liberal theories on international relations (Wilsonian) and realist theories on international relations (Jacksonian) vis-à-vis American foreign policy.  As a result, the comprehensive nature of the NSCT becomes clearer: it includes the best of ideas in American foreign policy.  Hence, the notion that Congress must enforce the NSCT is sustained by the fact that it is a paramount example of U.S. national security, economic, and humanitarian policies.

The Bush administration has recognized the connection between poverty, corruption and terrorism in Central and West Africa, and the 4D strategy proposes that the U.S. will defeat terrorism, “through the direct or indirect use” (NSCT, 2003) of economic and financial power.  Therefore, Congress must assert its power to and provide economic support to those regions as a means of alleviating the starvation, poverty, and other conditions that characterize failed states.  In particular, Nigeria’s GDP, “has fallen by two-thirds,” (Lyman et al., 2004) in the past decade, and tensions have exploded as a result of its, “severe economic depression.”  (Lyman et al., 2004)  Despite Nigeria’s brutal economic condition, which exemplifies over seventy five percent of all African nations, the U.S. has not offered it or any other African nation any meaningful economic support (until recently with the economic aid offered at the G-8 summit in June 2005).  It is reasonable to suggest that the U.S. has ignored Nigeria partly because the Bush administration officially recognizes only seven states as likely sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan.  The Bush administration has identified only those seven states as posing a serious threat to U.S. national security.  By contrast, the World Bank has identified thirty states; Britain’s Department for International Development has identified forty-six failed states; and the CIA has identified only twenty. Clearly, Congress must act by implemented a comprehensive strategy that is designed identify failed states, and enforce current laws vis-à-vis international terrorism.[26]  Doing so would be consistent with the NSCT, which indicates that America will, “destroy terrorist organizations, win the “war of ideas,” and strengthen America’s security at home and abroad.”  (NSCT, 2003)

In addition to allocating more military and economic assets to failed states, and in order to remain consistent with the first tenet of the 4D strategy, which states that America will defeat global terrorist groups through, “the direct or indirect use of diplomatic…power,” (NSCT, 2003) America must increase its diplomatic and intelligence presence in Africa.  It is within the areas of diplomacy and intelligence that Congress can be most effective in the GWOT.  The 2002 National Security Strategy recognizes that Nigeria will have a, “significant impact” (National Security Strategy, 2002) on the war on terrorism; nevertheless, the Bush administration fails to view it, “as a critical part of its global antiterrorist strategy.”  (Lyman et al., 2004)  The U.S. currently lacks both an American consulate in northern Nigeria, and an embassy representative who speaks northern Nigeria’s main language: Hausa.[27]  The absence of human diplomacy in Nigeria is not only inconsistent with Jacksonianism, which asserts that, “our diplomacy must be cunning, [and] forceful” (Mead, 2004) but it also creates an intelligence problem for the U.S., making it virtually impossible for Congress, the CIA and other pertinent security and legislative organizations to obtain accurate information about potential terrorist activities in the region.  Unlike Wilsonianism, which advocates humanitarian intervention in Africa, a Jeffersonian would support President Bush’s decision to remain as neutral as possible in Nigeria, or virtually any foreign nation.  According to Stewart (2001), Jeffersonian’s believe that, “the whole Congress…should hold a tight reign over legislature, (Stewart, 2001, Cooper, 1970) thereby indicating that Congressional members have a responsibility to get involved with all matters, including international terrorism.  Mead (2004) notes that Jeffersonianism asserts isolation as the best way to secure American’s national interests, and that Jeffersonian’s wish to avoid involvement in the international political area.  Therefore, even though the rising religious tensions in Nigeria, “between Muslims and Christians,” (Lyman et al., 2004) that developed shortly after the democratic election of Obasanjo, a born again Christian whose reformation policies asserted a separation of politics from the military, Jeffersonian’s emphasize that American interests are best served by remaining neutral in international situations.  Simply put, Jeffersonian’s resist involvement with any nation, even if the political policies of foreign leaders such as Obasanjo result in increasing anti-American sentiment in regions where terrorists, “commit kidnappings or extort local businesses” (Dishman, 2003) as a means of funding terrorist activities against the West.  The aforementioned benefits of increasing military and economic aid to weakened states, combined with the diplomatic reasons mentioned above, jointly sustains the premise that Congress must act to enforce the goals of the 4D strategy, which indicates that it will use, “all the tools of statecraft” (NSCT, 2003) available in order to prevent terrorism from developing into an immediate threat.

In addition to the foreign policy making powers bestowed upon the President by the U.S. Constitution, Congress also has significant authority in foreign affairs.  For example, it has been suggested that Liberia is the center of operations for al Qaeda, thus presenting the most compelling reason for American intervention.[28]  The CRS Report for Congress (CRS), a report published for Congress that lists foreign terrorist organizations, indicates that al Qaeda has, “used…diamond trading in Africa…to finance its operations,”  (CRS Report for Congress, 2004) thereby indicating that diamond smuggling in Africa posses a threat to U.S. national security because the proceeds are used to fund international terrorist activities.  Hence, putting an end to illegal diamond trading in Africa is consistent with NCST policies.  However, Congress and the President are, at times, unable to agree on affective foreign policies vis-à-vis international terrorism.[29]  For example, a lack of U.S. intelligence in West Africa has created a dichotomy between U.S. intelligence agencies (supported by the Executive Branch), and Princeton N. Lyman, former Ambassador to Nigeria (supported by the Legislative Branch), whose diplomatic status might conceivably give him superior knowledge of the region, and the exact locations of terrorist centers in West Africa.[30]  Although the CRS report supports Lyman’s knowledge of West Africa, the Bush administration refuses to act on his advice, thereby indicating that their actions are inconsistent with the goals of the 4D strategy, which clearly apply to both African and Iraq.  Specifically, the NSCT indicates that America shall, “employ the use of diplomatic, intelligence, and information power to defeat terrorism.”  (NSCT, 2003)  The above-mentioned lack of effective communication between the President and foreign ambassadors represents precisely where Congress can positively affect American foreign policy.  By utilizing its Constitutional powers in Article I, Section 8, paragraph 11, Congress could enact, “Letters of Marque and Reprisal.” (U.S. Constitution, 1787)  A reprisal is an action taken in return for some injury, and it includes seizing of property or guilty persons in retaliation for an attack and injury.[31]  It permits Congress to use force against a perpetrator for the redress of grievances, and it can involve killing a terrorist who is threatening further harm and cannot be captured.[32]  A Marque refers to crossing, or marching, across a border in order to perform a reprisal.  Therefore, a ‘Letter of Marque and Reprisal’ would authorize a private person, or non-member of the U.S. armed forces, to conduct reprisal operations outside the borders of the U.S.; Congress could use its Constitutional power to authorize and fund both covert and overt intelligence missions in Africa.  Working together with the President and foreign ambassadors, such as Lyman, Congress could also assign experienced diplomats in weakened and failed African nations to implement the NSCT policies.

Recently, the U.S. revamped its intelligence operations, and developed new initiatives, such as Executive Order 12333, with the goal of balancing, “constitutional protections against the need for timely and accurate information,” (Norwitz, 2002) vis-à-vis terrorist activities.  In addition, the Patriot Act (2001), which created an environment for intelligence agencies to share information with local law enforcement, was created to assist local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and track would-be terrorists.[33]  The Patriot Act is formally known as the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 from the 107th Congress, HR 3162, and it was established to deter and punish both domestic and international terrorist acts, and to enhance domestic law vis-à-vis acts of terrorism.[34]  Those initiatives represent a new direction for America, and although they have done little to increase U.S. human intelligence in Central and West Africa, they are products of a new breed of American foreign policy: the Neo-Cons.  In fact, Gurtov and Van Ness (2004) argue that the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 were in fact a gift to the Neo-Cons because without it, “they would have had a very difficult time persuading a sufficient number of Congress members that national security requires such a dramatic refocusing of political priorities and budget allocations.”[35] Although some argue that members of Congress require a more, “comprehensive grand strategy to serve alongside the global war on terrorism,” (Crocker, 2005) than the NSCT, this paper has demonstrated that the NSCT is in fact sufficient to win the GWOT.  The NSCT represents a blend of the Hamiltonian, Wilsonian, Jacksonian, and Jeffersonian schools of thought, all of which were developed by past members of Congress.  Its policies indicate that America’s goals in the GWOT are to use its economic, humanitarians, intelligence, and diplomatic tools in order to secure U.S national security, advance its economy, and provide assistance to disadvantaged individuals in regions characterized by poverty, corruption and disease.  Although the NCST is not perfect, it is far less effective when the Executive and Legislative branches of the U.S. government fail to communicate effectively and use their Constitutional powers appropriately.[36]

The paper has demonstrated that the military, diplomatic, intelligence and economic aid that America has provided to areas posing an immediate threat of terrorism, such as Kenya, Somalia, and Yemen, is appropriate because it is consistent with America’s National Strategy for Combating Terrorism.  In contrast, ignoring the developing problems in Central and West Africa is both inappropriate and dangerous because terrorism typically develops after deep-rooted problems have long been in place.  Despite the numerous private organizations, such as the FfP, that provide data on failed states, Congress must develop its own system of identifying states that pose the greatest threat to U.S. national security.  Nevertheless, that data is worthless if the President fails to embrace it, or if Congress fails to assert its Constitutional authority on matters concerning international terrorism.  To prevent anti-American sentiment, poverty, and corruption in weak foreign states from developing into an immediate threat of terrorism, the U.S. must remain consistent with all of the goals and objectives of the NSCT, particularly those that preemptively fight terrorism and work towards dismantling environments that are conducive to funding terrorist activities.  Is the Iraqi war morally wrong?  Was it wrong to remove Saddam Hussein from power?  Although those questions are well beyond the scope of this paper, Congress must work with the President to increase America’s economic, military, diplomatic, and intelligence allocation to Africa before another ‘Saddam’ can emerge.




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[2] see

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] see Lijphart, A. (1999). Patterns of Democracy – Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

[6] Norwitz, J. H. (2002, August). Combating Terrorism: With a Helmet or a Badge? Retrieved from

[7] National Strategy for Combating Terrorism. (2003). Retrieved from


[8] Gurtov, M. & Van Ness, P. (Eds). (2004). Confronting the Bush Doctrine: Critical Views from the Asia-Pacific.

New York: Routledge.

[9] Gurtov, M. & Van Ness, P. (Eds). (2004). Confronting the Bush Doctrine: Critical Views from the Asia-Pacific.

New York: Routledge.

[10] see Mead, W. (2003). Special Providence. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. P. 244


[11]  U.S. Patriot Act (2001)

[12]  see Friedman, T. L. (2000). The Lexus and the Olive Tree. New York: Anchor Books.


[14]  see Lyman, P. N., & Morrison, J. (2004). The Terrorist Threat in Africa. Foreign Affairs, 75 to 86.

[15]  see Ferguson, N. (2004). A World Without Power. Foreign Policy.

[16]  Ibid.

[17] see Mead, W. (2003). Special Providence. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.


[23] see Mead, W. (2003). Special Providence. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

[24] Ibid.



[27] see Lyman, P. N., & Morrison, J. (2004). The Terrorist Threat in Africa. Foreign Affairs, 77

[28] see Lyman, P. N., & Morrison, J. (2004). The Terrorist Threat in Africa. Foreign Affairs, 77

[29] see Hamilton, L. H. (2005). A Creative Tension – The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.

[30] see Lyman, P. N., & Morrison, J. (2004). The Terrorist Threat in Africa. Foreign Affairs, 77.

[31] see O’Brien, D. M. (2003). Constitutional Law and Politics (Two). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.

[32] Ibid.


[34] Ronczkowski, M.R. (2004) Terrorism and Organized Hate Crime: Intelligence Gathering, Analysis, and

Investigations. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

[35] Gurtov, M. & Van Ness, P. (Eds). (2004). Confronting the Bush Doctrine: Critical Views from the Asia-Pacific.

New York: Routledge.

[36] see Hamilton, L. H. (2005). A Creative Tension – The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.