New War, Good War and the War on Terror: Explaining, Excusing and Creating Western Neo-interventionism



This contribution is concerned with the manner in which current dominant security narratives intersect with discourses of imperialism and post-imperialism with regard to the post-Cold War dominance of the United States, and more specifically with the way in which such discourses create both moral justification and enabling conditions for Western interventionism. By addressing the relationship between the narrative of the ‘new war’ and the return of the ‘Good War’, this essay argues that the new war theory has not only been used to describe, explain and excuse western intervention but that, through de-politicizing, de-contextualizing and criminalizing non-western warfare, the new war theory has helped to create the conditions that support the ‘war on terror’.