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Rogue state

(The neutrality of this article is disputed.)

Rogue state is a controversial political term introduced by the United States government, denoting a government which does not abide by international norms of civilized behavior and whose leadership is considered hostile or irrational to the extent that conventional methods are ineffective in persuading it to conform to standards set by western powers.

In the definition of the US government, these are countries which:

  • brutalize their own people and squander their national resources for the personal gain of the rulers;
  • display no regard for international law, threaten their neighbors, and callously violate international treaties to which they are party;
  • are determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction, along with other advanced military technology, to be used as threats or offensively to achieve the aggressive designs of these regimes;
  • sponsor terrorism around the globe; and
  • reject basic human values and hate the United States and everything for which it stands.

Rogue states (when the term is used by the United States and other countries and organizations) are almost always ruled by authoritarian regimes that severely restrict what those in the West would regard as basic human freedoms. They are generally hostile to the West and its allies Japan and South Korea in the East, and are often accused of sponsoring terrorism or of seeking to acquire or develop weapons of mass destruction.

The threat posed by alleged rogue states to the security of other countries has been used to justify foreign policy and other initiatives: for example, renewed interest in and funding of anti-ballistic missiles programs in the U.S. are, according to the most prominent public statements of U.S. officials, grounded in the concern that a rogue state may direct weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. and not be deterred by the certainty of retaliation. North Korea and Iraq have been suggested as "rogue states", along with Iran, Syria, and Libya.

Some opponents to the concept of rogue states argue that "rogue state" merely means any state that opposes the U.S. Other opponents accept the concept, but accuse the U.S. of being a rogue state itself, whose foreign policy is sometimes accused of having the sort of brutality and capriciousness of those it considers "rogue states". Those who apply this epithet to the United States will often point to its record of opting out of major international treaties such as The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, The International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Criminal Court and the Kyoto Protocol on the Environment, or its support for armed action against governments it dislikes such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In the last 6 months of the Clinton administration, the term "rogue state" was temporarily replaced with the more encouraging term "state of concern"; it has since been revived by the Bush administration.

Since the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack, the term rogue state has been supplemented in the United States by the term "axis of evil", adopted (January 29, 2002) by President George W. Bush in reference to Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

See also: failed state

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