It is widely believed that Republican strategy is in part based on the idea of creating continuous fear and anger against a common enemy, as in the Cold War, when Republicans systematically overstated Russia's military capabilities, and pushed the US to support military dictatorships and proxy wars worldwide. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Republicans have been casting about for a new enemy, which the Bush administration has found in The War on Terror and supposed Axis of Evil (Iraq under Saddam Hussein and the Baathist Party, Iran under the Islamic Revolution, and North Korea under its bizarre brand of Stalinism).

The policy includes pushing "enemies" to make them resist, refusing to negotiate with them, and where possible starting active wars against them. Iran is threatened by the US presence on both sides of them, in Iraq and Afghanistan. North Korea has set up an artillery system that could flatten all of Seoul, the South Korean capital, if war broke out, and developed atomic weapons, specifically to deter such a war. Other "enemies" include Cuba, Syria, Venezuela, and occasionally China, but not Sudan.

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