In his State of the Union address in January 2002, President George W. Bush characterized Iraq, Iran and North Korea as members of an ‘axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world’ through the development and proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the direct sponsorship of international and transnational terrorist organizations. More pointedly, he pledged that the United States would take the requisite action – ideally multilaterally but also unilaterally if necessary – to reduce if not eliminate the dangers those adversaries pose to its interests at home and abroad, emphasizing that ‘all nations should know [that] America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation's security’. 1