United States - Rogue State T-Shirt
Rogue state is a term applied by some international theorists to states considered threatening to the world's peace. This means meeting certain criteria, such as being ruled by authoritarian regimes that severely restrict human rights, sponsor terrorism, and seek to proliferate weapons of mass destruction. The term is used most by the United States, though it has been applied by other countries. In virtually all international foreign policy circles, rogue states are considered to be those nations utterly ruled by individuals (rather than subject to a popular electoral process) and whose legitimacy, intentions, and notions of the process of legitimate succession (if any) is highly suspect. Furthermore, rogue states (as opposed to nominal non-newsworthy dictatorships which pose no external threat) typically become consequential due to their engagement in the threat - or conduct of - war, particularly against neighbor states, without regard to international law. Rogue states can also be differentiated from 'pariah states' such as Burma (Myanmar) and Zimbabwe who allegedly abuse the human rights of their populations while not being considered a tangible threat beyond their own borders, although the terms have been used interchangeably. In late 1980s U.S. officials considered North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Libya as "rogue states". The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 removed the country from the list, and Iraq followed suit after the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. Libya achieved success through diplomacy and now is also not considered in the list. The concept of "rogue states" was replaced by the Bush administration with the "Axis of Evil" concept (gathering Iraq, Iran, and North Korea). U.S. President George W. Bush first spoke of this "Axis of Evil" during his January 2002 State of the Union Address. In the last six months of the Clinton administration, Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced that the term "rogue state" would be abolished in June 2000, in favour of "states of concern". However the Bush administration returned to the earlier term. The U.S. government perceives the threat posed by these states as justifying its foreign policy and military initiatives, as in the case of anti-ballistic missile programs, which are held to be grounded in the concern that these states will not be deterred by the certainty of retaliation. As the U.S. government remains the most active proponent of the "rogue state" expression, the term has received much criticism from those who disagree with U.S. foreign policy. Critics charge that "rogue state" merely means any state that is generally hostile to the U.S., or even one that opposes the U.S. without necessarily posing a wider threat. Some others, such as author William Blum, have written that the term is applicable to the U.S. and Israel. Both the concepts of rogue states and the "Axis of Evil" have been criticized by certain scholars, including philosopher Jacques Derrida and linguist Noam Chomsky, who considered it more or less a justification of imperialism and a useful word for propaganda. Political scientists Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer, from Harvard and the of Chicago, respectively, consider Israel to be a rogue state in The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. In Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, William Blum claims that the United States of America because of its foreign policy is itself a Rogue State.