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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Article Critique
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Pre-emption, Deterrence, and Self-Defense (Article Critique Sample)


Select a scholarly journal article relevant to the course regarding the US national response to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or the psychological impact of a WMD attack on the population. Then conduct an article review of that article. It must be related to the course or course materials. The intent is for students to do some external research away from the provided references and find an Article in the AMU/APUS Library.
Additionally, the review of the journal article is an evaluation of the article's strengths, weaknesses, and validity. It is used to inform of the article's value through your explanation, interpretation, and analysis. As you do this, ask the major questions that are central to the review process:

  1. What is the purpose of this article?
  2. Why is it important to investigate or examine the subject of the article?
  3. How are the authors carrying out the task? Are their methods and comments appropriate and adequate to the task?
  4. What do they claim to have found out? Are the findings clearly stated?
  5. How does this advance knowledge in the field?

Introduction (this will have a well-defined purpose statement in your intro paragraph that provides guidance to the reader about what you are going to cover in your paper)
Body (feel free to use sub-headings if necessary)
Conclusion (this wraps ups the key points of your work and brings your paper to a logical conclusion)


Article Critique


Article Critique

The purpose of the article critique is to examine an article titled “Pre-emption, Deterrence, and Self-Defense: A Legal and Historical Assessment” by Bart Szewczyk (2005). The paper specifically examines the claim by the author that the policy held by the United States that it has a right under international law to take part in pre-emptive use of force to prevent an errant state from the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), is unnecessary and therefore illegal under traditional international law of self-defense. An examination of this topic is important in order to ensure that other nations do engage in unlawful acts that might be punishable under international law.

In order to arrive at their conclusions, the authors examine the existing UN Security Council Resolutions on whether they support the mechanisms used by the United States to deal with terrorism. The author states that the National Security Strategy of the United States (NSS) uses the logic that normal states, such as India, Pakistan, and Israel, could be allowed to develop nuclear weapons since the possibility of using them against other nations that have nuclear capability is minimal. On the other hand, rogue states such as Iran, Iraq and North Korea, which the Bush Administration refers to the ‘Axis of Evil’ cannot be deterred. Due to this, the United States indicates that pre-emptive force should be used to bar such rogue nations from developing WMD that might be harmful to the United States. The author gives a systematic analysis of the happenings in the United States that led to the NSS resolution to use pre-emptive strikes (Szewczyk, 2005).

The approach used by the author to get to his conclusions is commendable. Instead of merely relying on hearsay, the author relies on solid research to poke holes into the NSS resolutions. The article examines the NSS reference to the Cuban Missile Crisis is ironical. The author mentions the Cuban crisis made the two nations to realize that the possibility of preventing the use of nuclear weapons through deterrence is possible. Even though Cuba and the United States mused over the possibility of using pre-emptive strikes instead of deterrence against the United States, they concluded that this was not necessary and hence settled on deterrence. At that time, China was a rogue state that used the Mao Zedong rhetoric to deal with its perceived enemies. This was highly dangerous for the United States and its allies but the nation did not result to the use of pre-emptive strikes to deal with China since rhetoric was a highly effective measure. Even though the United States was justified to use any means to achieve its objective, it did not take this measure since there was enough evidence to prove that deterrence alone was enough to prevent rogue nations from engaging in terrorism (Taft & Buchwald, 2003).

The author relies on how the United States responded to China’s development of nuclear weapons to assess the legality of the proposed American doctrine of pre-emptive use of force to bar rogue states from developi

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