The war on terrorism was the battle cry sounded by the United States in response to the events of 9/11. The enemy in this war was different than any the United States had faced before. The threat posed by al Qaeda and the radical ideology it inspired required changing how the United States would approach problems and issues in the future. Unfortunately, instead of changing its strategy to fit the problem, the United States changed the problem to fit its known strategies. The war on terrorism evolved into a war on rogue states and weapons of mass destruction, the foreign policy approach the United States was pursuing before 9/11. This evolution gave the impression that the U.S. was overstepping its legal and moral authority. Support for the United States dropped significantly, both internationally and domestically. At issue is the question, has the U.S. opened up the proverbial Pandora's Box" by expanding the war on terrorism beyond terrorists and their ideology? What impact will this have on U.S. interests and influence in the world? This paper will explore these questions and reveal that a refocusing of the U.S. foreign policy is required into the next century.
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