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Chapter

Caroline Kennedy-Pipe

This chapter examines U.S. foreign policy after 9/11 with a view to looking at continuities as well as the disjunctions of Washington’s engagement with the world. It first considers the impact of 9/11 on the United States, particularly its foreign policy, before discussing the influence of neo-conservatism on the making of U.S. foreign policy during the presidency of George W. Bush. It then analyses debates about the nature of U.S. foreign policy over the last few decades and its ability to create antagonisms that can and have returned to haunt the United States both at home and abroad. It also explores how increasing belief in the utility of military power set the parameters of U.S. foreign policy after 9/11, along with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and concludes with an assessment of Barak Obama’s approach with regards to terrorism and his foreign policy agenda more generally.

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This chapter examines U.S. foreign policy debates and policy management under the direction of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. It first provides an overview of post-Cold War American internationalism before discussing the so-called ‘Kennan sweepstakes’: a conscious effort to find a post-Soviet statement of purpose to rival George Kennan’s early Cold War concept of ‘containment’ of communism. It then considers U.S. foreign policy making in the new order and in the post-Cold War era. Both the Bush and Clinton administrations wrestled with the problem of deciding on a clear, publicly defensible, strategy for U.S. foreign policy in the new era. Clinton’s first term was dominated by free trade agendas and by efforts to operationalize the policy of ‘selective engagement’, while his second term involved a noticeable turn towards unilateralism and remilitarization. The New World Order was Bush’s main contribution to thinking beyond the Cold War.

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This chapter focuses on the ‘war on terror’ of the US and its involvement in the war in Afghanistan. In the later years of the twentieth century, Middle Eastern groups launched terrorist acts against Western targets. The advent of suicide bombers and groups like al-Qaeda changed the relationships between means and ends in the use of terror. The end of the Cold War severely undermined the effectiveness of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in gathering intelligence on terrorists. The chapter first provides an overview of terrorism prior to 9/11, before discussing George W. Bush’s ‘war on terror’, the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan during the period 2001–3 and its revival, and the problem of Pakistan. It concludes with an assessment of Barack Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan.

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16. Neoconservatism and the domestic sources of American foreign policy  

The role of ideas in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Yuen Foong Khong

This chapter examines the role played by neoconservative ideas about foreign policy in persuading the George W. Bush administration to launch a preventive war against Iraq in March 2003. It considers the four key tenets of neoconservative foreign policy thought and how some of its leading proponents won key positions in the Bush administration. It argues that, by itself, neoconservatism provides only a partial explanation of Operation Iraqi Freedom. A more satisfactory explanation, it contends, would need to take into account the following: the 9/11 attacks, the strategic placement of neoconservative ideas by its advocates in calmer times, the assumption that the United States would have no trouble waging a successful war, and the ‘one per cent’ doctrine. It is the combination of these events, ideas, and probability estimates that tipped the balance in favour of war.

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This chapter examines how the external environment of US foreign policy and internal pressures on policy makers both shifted radically in the 1990s. Internationally, the ‘long 1990s’ were characterized by intense democratic possibility. Yet they were also years of atavistic negativity and irrationality, as seen in Rwanda and Bosnia. Two questions arise: First, how should the United States respond to a world which was apparently both rapidly integrating and rapidly disintegrating? Second, was it inevitable, desirable, or even possible that the US should provide global leadership? Before discussing various approaches to these questions, the chapter considers the wider international environment of apparent unipolarity and globalization. It also analyzes the development of American foreign policy under presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, focusing in particular on the so-called ‘Kennan sweepstakes’ during the first year of Clinton’s presidency as well as Clinton’s turn towards unilateralism and remilitarization.

Chapter

Robert G. Patman

This chapter examines US foreign policy in Africa. It first considers the United States’ historical engagement with Africa, particularly during the Cold War era that saw the intensification of US–Soviet Union superpower rivalry, before discussing the rise of a New World Order in the immediate post–Cold War period that held out the possibility of positive US involvement in Africa. It then explores the United States’ adoption of a more realist approach after Somalia, as well as its renewal of limited engagement between 1996 and 2001. It also analyzes US policy towards Africa after 9/11, with emphasis on President George W. Bush’s efforts to incorporate Africa into Washington’s global strategic network as part of the new war on terror, as compared to the approach of the Obama administration calling for political transformation in Africa.

Chapter

Robert G. Patman

This chapter examines the historical evolution of U.S. foreign policy in Africa. It first considers the history of U.S.–Africa relations, particularly during the Cold War era of U.S.–Soviet Union superpower rivalry. It then turns to the immediate post-Cold War era, in which a New World Order — a vision in which the United States and the United Nations could combine to establish freedom and respect for all nations — held out the possibility of positive U.S. involvement in Africa. It also discusses American policy towards Africa after 9/11, focusing on President George W. Bush’s efforts to incorporate Africa into Washington’s global strategic network as part of the new war on terror. The chapter concludes with an assessment of Barack Obama’s peace diplomacy as an approach to the civil war in Sudan.

Chapter

Paul Rogers

This chapter examines the U.S. response to global terrorism, starting with the United States’ experience of terrorism prior to 9/11 as well as the political environment in Washington at the time of the attacks. It then considers U.S. foreign policy under George W. Bush and the response of his administration in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with the nature and aims of the al-Qaeda movement. It also discusses the Arab Spring, the death of Osama Bin Laden, and the conduct of the war on terror in the first nine years. Finally, it assesses the options available to the United States in what came to be called the ‘Long War against Islamofascism’.

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This chapter focuses on the predominance of the US and the search for order in the post-Cold War period. George H. W. Bush, who came to power in January 1989, concentrated on world affairs and had a series of foreign successes before the end of 1991. Bush’s cautious, pragmatic, approach carried both advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, he escaped any major disasters abroad and avoided antagonizing the Soviet Union or rekindling the Cold War. On the other, he seemed to be undynamic and at the mercy of events—he failed to provide a sense of overall direction to US foreign policy once the Cold War ended. The chapter first considers US foreign policy in the 1990s, before discussing the Gulf War of 1990–1, US–Soviet relations in the 1990s, US policy towards the ‘rogue states’ during the time of Bill Clinton, and ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Somalia and Haiti.

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This chapter focuses on the Iraq war of 2003–11 and the troubles in the Middle East. George W. Bush’s advisers, led by Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, had been considering an attack on Iraq well before 9/11. At the same time, many experts within the government pointed to the lack of any evidence for Iraqi-sponsored terrorism directed against the United States. The threats to US national security were outlined to Bush in a briefing just prior to his inauguration; these threats came primarily from al-Qaeda’s terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The chapter first considers the US decision to invade Iraq, before discussing the war, taking into account the US’s Operation Iraqi Freedom and the war’s costs to the US and to Iraq. It also examines the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and concludes with an assessment of the ‘Arab Spring’.

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This chapter examines US foreign policy in Russia. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 raised a number of questions that have profound implications for American foreign policy; for example, whether the Russian Federation, which inherited half the population and 70 per cent of the territory of the former Soviet Union, would become a friend and partner of the United States, a full and equal member of the community of democratic nations, or whether it would return to a hostile, expansionary communist or nationalist power. The chapter considers US–Russia relations at various times under Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Dmitry Medvedev, and Donald Trump. It also discusses a host of issues affecting the US–Russia relations, including the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the crisis in Kosovo and Ukraine, and the civil war in Syria.

Chapter

Lee Marsden

This chapter examines the influence of religion on US foreign policy. It first considers how religion affected American policy during the Cold War, from the time of Harry S. Truman to George H. W. Bush, before discussing the bilateral relationship between Israel and the United States. It then looks at the rise of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a US-based interest group, and how its work has been complemented by conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists who ascribe to Christian Zionism. It also explores the ways in which religion has intersected with the global war on terror and US foreign policy, how the US resorted to faith-based diplomacy, the issue of religious freedom, and George W. Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Africa. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the Office of Religion and Global Affairs (ORGA), created by Barack Obama.

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This chapter examines US foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region. It first considers America’s rise as an major power and the introduction of the Open Door policy that became a major component of US policy during the period 1899–1941. It then shows how, with the conclusion of World War II, the United States achieved maritime hegemony in the Asia-Pacific and the historic policy of Open Door was rendered irrelevant by American preponderance. It also discusses the Korean War of 1950 and how it prompted the United States aggressively to apply the containment doctrine in Asia by establishing the so-called ‘hub-and-spokes’ bilateral alliance system; the outbreak of the Vietnam War; the Richard Nixon–Henry Kissinger opening to China in the early 1970s; and American foreign policy under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

Chapter

Michael Smith

This chapter examines the United States’ transatlantic relationship with the European integration project and its implications for US foreign policy. In particular, it considers the ways in which US policy makers have developed images of the European Community (EC) and later the European Union (EU) on the challenges posed by European integration for US policy processes and the uses of US power. The chapter first explores key factors in the evolution of the relationship within US foreign policy up to the end of the Cold War before discussing trends and tensions in the period between 1990 and 2016 covering the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. It also analyzes the impact of Donald Trump’s policies on US relations with the EU before concluding with an assessment of a number of wider questions about the future of the US–EU relations.

Chapter

This chapter examines US foreign policy as ‘smart power’, a combnation of hard and soft power, in the twenty-first century. The beginning of the twenty-first century saw George W. Bush place a strong emphasis on hard power, as exemplifed by the invasion and occupation of Iraq. This was evident after 9/11. While the war in Iraq showcased America’s hard military power that removed a tyrant, it failed to resolve US vulnerability to terrorism; on the contrary, it may have increased it. The chapter first considers the Obama administration’s reference to its foreign policy as ‘smart power’ before discussing Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, the role of power in a global information age, soft power in US foreign policy, and how public diplomacy has been incorporated into US foreign policy.