The 2006 National Security Strategy (NSS) of the George W. Bush administration has been neglected by rhetorical and policy scholars alike. In this study, I advance a rhetorical criticism of NSS 2006 and associated rhetoric of the Bush administration. Not only is NSS 2006 a rhetorical response to many of the challenges faced by the Bush administration's foreign policy during their first political term, it is also an exercise in symbolic action. The key rhetorical theme of this document is a constitutive agon centered on a dramatic clash between democracy (good) and tyranny (evil). Using narrative and Burkean methods of analysis, I argue that NSS 2006 substantially hinders open deliberation about foreign policy while simultaneously making the United States and the world less safe.
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