Publication Date


Document Type

Senior Integrative Project


Realism is a powerful theoretical framework to analyze international relations, including the War on Terror. For realists, US foreign policy is a tool to achieve national interests that are defined by the pursuit of power and primacy. Twenty years after 9/11, the US is still pursuing the War on Terror in order to continue protecting and building their unipolar sphere of influence. This motivation makes the War on Terror an example of realist grand strategy. However, proponents of neorealism argue that US foreign policy is engulfed in a liberal crusader sentiment that spreads democracy. But the US’s national security policies, such as the predator drone program and its strategy to combat ISIS, innately projects American power and reflects characteristics of offshore balancing in the Middle East and North Africa, a critical region to national security. Neorealists are critical of the War on Terror for projecting liberal hegemony, but they do not acknowledge that many aspects of the War on Terror follow their ideas of pursuing power, because it splits their theory from their policy preferences.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.