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Three Approaches to Presidential Foreign Policy-Making in the Twenty-First Century

The Executive, the Magistrate, and the Maverick

Luis da Vinha and Anthony Dutton

Political scientists have long determined that a president’s relationships with his advisors is crucial in determining an administration’s policies. Over the last several decades, scholars of the presidency have paid particular attention to the advisory structures and processes involved in foreign policy decision-making. Their work has contributed to the development and refinement of three presidential management models to help frame the analysis of foreign policy-making: (1) formalistic model, (2) collegial model, and (3) competitive model. This book analyzes the management models employed by presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump throughout their presidencies by employing a structured-focus comparison method that is framed on a set of general and standardized questions used to analyze a series of case studies involving their Middle East policies. The book offers the first systematic comparative analysis of presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump’s management of foreign policy crises.
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5. Going “All In”: Pushing the Surge in Iraq


5 Going “All In”: Pushing the Surge in Iraq

As the Bush administration prepared for military action against Iraq, confidence firmly took hold amongst the many inveterate supporters of the war. For many of these advocates, the U.S. military intervention in Iraq was not only necessary, but it was also seen as justified (see Gerecht, 2002; Krauthammer, 2002; Kagan and Kristol, 2002; The Guardian, 2003). The anticipated benefits accruing to the U.S. and to the U.S.-led international order, in their belief, far outweighed any adverse potential risks. In fact, in a Washington Post op-ed prior to the outbreak of the war, the former-Pentagon official, Ken Adelman (2002), loftily claimed that “demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.” This hubris was bolstered by the seemingly expeditious U.S. military defeat of Saddam Hussein’s regime. A mere three weeks elapsed between President Bush’s announcement of the commencement of military operations in Iraq (March 19, 2003) and the moment that American troops arrived unimpeded in Baghdad to the fanfare of rejoicing crowds (April 9, 2003). The following day, Adelman (2003) again took pen to paper and boastfully excoriated the naysayers: “Administration critics should feel shock over their bellyaching about the wayward war plan.”

This euphoric sentiment of triumph was confirmed when, on May 1, aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, President Bush declared that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended,” adding that “in the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed...

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