Boston University, Council On Foreign Relations Co-Sponsor Debate About Using Preemption As Anti-Terror Weapon

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 |

“The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security … (and) to forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively … We cannot let our enemies strike first.”

President George W. Bush, September 2002, from The National Security Strategy of the United States of America

(Boston, Mass.) — Official United States strategy is to include preemption — striking first — as a viable tactic in America’s post-9/11 arsenal to be used against the threat of terrorism globally. Should it be? That will be the point of a public debate on Wednesday evening, March 17, at Boston University.

Arguing the affirmative — that preemption should be used in the war against terrorism — will be Max Boot, the Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, contributing editor to the Weekly Standard, author, and former Wall Street Journal writer and editor.

Arguing the negative will be Lawrence Korb, the senior adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, author, and former assistant secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration.

Boston University President Emeritus John Silber will moderate the debate, which is open to the public and co-sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the BU College of Communication Journalism Department. It is the latest in a series of public events organized by the Council nationally to consider how security policy can address today’s challenges with domestic and international support.

“Preemption as Strategy” debate
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
6 p.m.
Boston University School of Management Auditorium
595 Commonwealth Ave., Room 105
Boston, Massachusetts