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The UN Charter and the Neoconservative Challenge

December 13, 2005

For many, the 2003 invasion of Iraq exemplifies the emergence of powerful new justifications for the international use of force—in particular, the aims of prevention and democracy promotion. These are hallmarks of the neoconservative challenge to traditional norms on the use of force given in the UN Charter. In this background paper—the first of our new Ethics in a Violent World initiative—Tom Farer provides a broad overview of the neoconservative project as well as sharp criticisms of its aims. He also offers arguments and suggestions for shoring up the traditional norms provided in the UN Charter in the face of new global threats.

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