Rogue state

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Concept.png Rogue state 

States currently considered "Rogue States" by the United States:

  1. Cuba
  2. Iran
  3. Sudan
  4. Syria
  5. North Korea
  • States formerly considered "Rogue States" by the United States:
  1. Iraq
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Libya
For the 2000 book by William Blum, see Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower

Rogue state is a controversial term applied by some international theorists to states they consider threatening to world peace. Such states are alleged to meet certain criteria, such as being ruled by authoritarian regimes that severely restrict human rights, sponsor terrorism, and seek to proliferate weapons of mass destruction.[1] The term is used most by the United States, though it has been applied by other countries.[2]

Rogue states can also be differentiated from sp called '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 are often used interchangeably.

United States usage

In late 1990s 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 was removed from the list through diplomacy involving acceptance of responsibility for the Lockerbie Bombing of 1988, the killing of WPC Yvonne Fletcher in 1984, together with other unpublicized agreements to effectively 'See things the US way'. The concept of "rogue states" was replaced by the Bush administration with the "Axis of Evil" concept which added Iraq, Iran, and North Korea to the list. U.S. President George W. Bush first spoke of this "Axis of Evil" during his January 2002 State of the Union Address.

Irrespective of what recent US administrations have said in the recent past, some American political thinkers under the influence of the Indian lobby consider Pakistan a rogue state. The manner in which Pakistan was left to engage with the Taliban (creation of CIA and ISI to challenge USSR in Afghanistan), is generally ignored by the US media however many political scientists admit the US folly of leaving Pakistan alone to face the mess that the Russian pullout had created in Afghanistan.

In the last six months of the Clinton administration, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced that the term "rogue state" would be replaced by "states of concern".[3] However the Bush administration returned to the earlier term. The U.S. government considers the alleged threat posed by these states as justifying its foreign policy and military initiatives.

As the U.S. government remains the most active proponent of the concept of "rogue state", 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. [4] [5] Others, such as author William Blum, have written that the term is also 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 simply a justification of imperialism and a useful propaganda buzz-concept.

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.


Related Quotation

Ziad Abdelnour“Iran? We will not let Iran become a nuclear power. We'll find a way, we'll find an excuse- to get rid of Iran. And I don't care what the excuse is. There is no room for rogue states in the world. Whether we lie about it, or invent something, or we don't... I don't care. The end justifies the means. What's right? Might is right, might is right. That's it. Might is right...”Ziad Abdelnour18 November 2005


  1. Rogue States?, Arms Control and Dr. A. Q. Khan.
  2. Minnerop, Petra. (2002). "Rogue States – State Sponsors of Terrorism?". German Law Journal, 9.
  3. WAMU 88.5 American University Radio, Washington D.C., Broadcast on 19 June, 10-11 a.m. / Daily Press Briefing, Monday, 19 June 2000, Briefer: Richard Boucher, Spokesman Department 5-10, "States of Concern" versus "Rogue states"
  4. Pakistan, a rogue state unpunished, Sydney Morning Herald, February 13, 2004
  5. PAKISTAN: How Washington helped create a nuclear 'rogue state', Green left online, 17 November 1993

Further reading

  • Allman, T. D. (2004). Rogue State: America at War with the World. Nation Books. ISBN 978-1560255628
  • William Blum. (2006). Rogue state: a guide to the world's only superpower. Zed Books. ISBN 978-1842778272
  • Noam Chomsky. (2000). Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs. Pluto Press. ISBN 978-0745317083
  • Jacques Derrida. (2005). Rogues: Two Essays on Reason. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804749510 (Translated by Pascale-Anne Brault, Michael Naas)
  • Pendleton, Don. (2002). Rogue State. Harlequin Books. ISBN 978-0373619450
  • Rotberg, Robert. (2007). Worst of the worst: dealing with repressive and rogue nations. World Peace Foundation. ISBN 978-0815775676
  • Thompson, Janna. (2002). Is There Such a Thing as a Rogue State? Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics
  • Triplett, William. (2004). Rogue state: how a nuclear North Korea threatens America. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 978-0895260680

External links