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Axis of Evil

Axis of Evil, Rogue States, Outposts of Tyranny, and Axis of Terror


Updated August 15, 2007
Prior to President Bush's proclamation of the "Axis of Evil" in his State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, there were other lists of countries not considered friends of the United States. As well, since that time, there are newer lists of unfriendly countries established by leading American diplomats and others.

Cold War

Certainly, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union, its allies, members of the Warsaw Pact countries, and other communist countries were part of the Cold War-era's "Axis of Evil."

Interestingly, during the Cold War era of the Soviet Union, the term "first world" referred to the United States and its allies while the "second world" referred to the USSR and its allies. The "third world" referred to those countries that were unaligned with either the Soviet Union or the United States. These third world countries were often the less-developed countries of the world.

Today, these "worlds" are obsolete so most refer to two groups of countries as being either "developed" versus "less-developed" or "developing."

During the time of the Cold War, there was also a list developed of the "State Sponsors of Terrorism."

State Sponsors of Terrorism

The current list of State Sponsors of Terrorism are Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. International talks with North Korea in February 2007 paved the way for the removal of North Korea from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Libya is being removed from the list in mid-2006. Syria is the oldest member of the list, having been placed there in 1979.

Rogue States

At the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Soviet bloc countries were no longer enemies of the United States. Thus came the development of the list of "Rogue States," which included North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Libya. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya would no longer be considered part of this list (due to U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the mid-2006 restoration of full diplomatic relations with Libya).

Axis of Evil

In 2002, Bush announced the "Axis of Evil," in his State of the Union, consisting of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Since the invasion of Iraq, it would not be considered part of this list and the Axis of Evil should today include just Iran and North Korea.

Beyond the Axis of Evil

In May 2002, Under-Secretary of State John Bolton (later U.N. Ambassador) gave a speech which listed the three Axis of Evil members (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea) along with Libya, Syria, and Cuba as part of the "beyond the Axis of Evil" as countries having the potential of using Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Outposts of Tyranny

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice listed in a speech the six anti-American countries that are the "Outposts of Tyranny." These include Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Belarus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar (called Burma by the U.S. government).

Axis of Terror

The most recent axis was identified in April 2006 by Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, who identified the "Axis of Terror" as Iran, Syria and the Palestinian government.

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