Finally, collaboration can prolong the life of American primacy. Cooperation with others can spread the cost of action among a wider range of actors, so that the United States can do more with less. By creating international regimes and organizations, Washington can incorporate its interests and values into institutions that will shape and limit countries for decades, regardless of the vicissitudes of American power. And cooperation can create links with other countries and opportunities for cultural and political tactics that, over the years, can stifle U.S. power. The term “war on terror” was first used on September 20, 2001 by U.S. President George W. Bush. Since then, the Bush administration and the Western media have used the term to refer to a global military, political, legal and ideological struggle against organizations that are labelled terrorists and regimes accused of supporting them. It has generally been used with a particular focus on Al Qaeda and other Islamist militants. Although the term is not officially used by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, it is still often used by politicians, in the media and officially by certain aspects of the administration, such as the U.S. Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
President George H.W. Bush organized a coalition of allied and Middle Eastern powers that managed to repel the invading forces, but which ceased just before the invasion of Iraq and the capture of Hussein. As a result, the dictator was free to wreak havoc for 12 years. After the Gulf War, many scholars, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, argued that the lack of a new strategic vision of American foreign policy had led to many missed opportunities for their foreign policy. In the 1990s, the United States mostly cut its foreign policy budget and Cold War defence budget to 6.5% of GDP, while it focused on domestic economic prosperity under President Clinton, who managed to run a budget surplus for 1999 and 2000. With the Carter administration supporting human rights groups in the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev accused the government of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. This has given rise to an intensive debate on whether other nations could intervene in the event of violations of fundamental human rights, such as freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The fundamental differences between the philosophies of a democracy and a one-party state did not allow for reconciliation of this issue. In addition, the Soviet Union defended its domestic human rights policy by attacking American support from countries such as South Africa and Chile, which were known to violate many of the same human rights issues.