Rogue States Book Summary - Rogue States Book explained in key points

Rogue States summary

Noam Chomsky

The Rule of Force in World Affairs

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    Rogue States
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    The term ‘rogue state’ was invented by the United States to eliminate opposition and maintain control globally.

    By objective definition, a ‘rogue state’ is a country that unilaterally violates international laws and norms, and in doing so poses a serious risk to international peace and security.

    In the post-Cold War, pre-9/11 era, US foreign policy and planning largely centered on targeting ‘rogue states.’ However, the list of states that qualified as ‘rogue’ suggests that this concept is not as clear-cut – and its purpose not as noble – as would first seem.

    Consider the state of Cuba, which has consistently been defined and treated as a rogue by the United States for its alleged involvement in international terrorism. This is despite the fact that Cuba has not been directly linked to any such offense in well over a decade.

    On the other hand, Indonesian dictator General Suharto, who oversaw the massacre of at least 100,000 inhabitants of East Timor, has not only been exempt from the list but also received implicit US support for many years.

    The difference between the two? Cuba has vehemently rejected US economic and political orthodoxy, while Indonesia willingly supported their international objectives.

    This selective adherence to the definition of ‘rogue’ demonstrates that, in a period exempt from clearly defined enemies such as ‘communists’ or ‘terrorists,’ ‘rogue state’ acts as a murky, catch-all term to target any state not willing to facilitate US political and economic interests. The extent of US power and influence results in almost complete international isolation for states that acquire the label, making it an extremely powerful tool at the hands of the global superpower. 

    The term ‘rogue state’ was invented by the United States to eliminate opposition and maintain control globally.

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    What is Rogue States about?

    In Rogue States, Noam Chomsky holds a critical lens to the nature of state capitalism and to American Foreign Policy, providing an alternative view to the one proposed by government rhetoric and mainstream media.

    Who should read Rogue States?

    • Anyone with an interest in the power structure of states in international relations
    • Those seeking an alternative commentary on US political and economic affairs to that offered by mainstream media
    • Those interested in a critique of state capitalism

    About the Author

    Noam Chomsky is a world-famous linguist, philosopher, historian and radical political critic. His popular writing focuses primarily on the subjects of war, politics and the mass media.    

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