In particular, the document raises the prospects of "a unilateral U.S. defense guarantee" to Eastern Europe, "preferably in cooperation with other NATO states," and contemplates use of American military power to preempt or punish use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, "even in conflicts that otherwise do not directly engage U.S. interests."
The memo was drafted under supervision of Paul Wolfowitz, undersecretary for policy. Although it is not supplied to Congress and was not intended for public release, the document represents a response at the highest levels of the Pentagon to a growing call in the American political debate for retrenchment from commitments abroad. First reported Sunday in the New York Times, it provides the rationale for U.S. involvement around the world as "a constant fixture" in an era of fundamental change.
"While the U.S. cannot become the world's `policeman,' by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations," the document states.
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