rogue state

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Label used by the Clinton administration (1993–2001) to characterize states ‘beyond the international pale’ who are hostile to the United States. Rogue states were portrayed as being contemptuous of international norms, bent on acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and being sponsors of terrorism. Rogue states were difficult if not impossible to deter, and their unpredictable behaviour was used as an argument by proponents of ballistic missile defence to argue in favour of installing such a system. The rogue state label was most consistently applied to Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Libya during the Clinton years. The policy implication was that such states ought to be isolated and contained, approaches that did not command universal agreement among America's allies. Toward the end of the Clinton administration, the term ‘rogue state’ was replaced by the more politically correct ‘states of concern’, an indication perhaps of the diplomatic disutility of the label. The label, however, has been resurrected by the George W. Bush administration, in part to justify its pursuit of National Missile Defense.


Subjects: Politics.

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