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Chapter

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.

Chapter

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’.

Chapter

This chapter deals with normative international relations theory, a field of study that relies on a variety of approaches and theories to explore moral expectations, decisions, and dilemmas in world politics. Normative IR theory has adopted — and adapted — conceptual categories such as communitarianism and cosmopolitanism from political theory. It also borrows from moral philosophy to designate different types of ethical reasoning, such as deontology and consequentialism. The chapter begins with an overview of the history, influences, and some of the categories that normative IR theory brings to the study of international relations. It then examines the ways in which normative IR theory engages with the hidden ethical assumptions of a range of IR approaches. It also considers the case of civilian deaths during the 2003 Iraq war in relation to the just war tradition, and more specifically to the idea that soldiers have duties to exercise restraint in war.

Chapter

This chapter explores the relationship between American military power and foreign policy. It also considers important debates regarding containment, deterrence, preemption, and the limits of military power. The chapter begins with a discussion of the rise of American military power during the period 1945–91, focusing on the military implications of containment and deterrence as well as the role of deterrence in ending the arms race. It then examines the fundamental questions that the United States had to confront in the post-Cold War era regarding its role in the world and its military power; for example, whether nuclear weapons are still useful, and for what purpose the U.S. military should be deployed. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the U.S. response to terrorism, with particular emphasis on the U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan (2001) and the war in Iraq (2003).

Chapter

This chapter deals with normative international relations theory, a field of study that relies on a variety of approaches and theories to explore moral expectations, decisions, and dilemmas in world politics. Normative IR theory has adopted—and adapted—conceptual categories such as communitarianism and cosmopolitanism from political theory. It also borrows from moral philosophy to designate different types of ethical reasoning, such as deontology and consequentialism. The chapter begins with an overview of the history, influences, and some of the categories that normative IR theory brings to the study of international relations. It then examines the ways in which normative IR theory engages with the hidden ethical assumptions of a range of IR approaches. The case study considers the ethics of war in the Iraq war.

Book

John W. Young and John Kent

International Relations Since 1945 provides a comprehensive introduction to global political history since World War II. The text has been comprehensively updated to cover the period between 2001 and 2012. Discussing the World Trade Center bombing and concluding with the run-up to the 2012 US presidential elections, a new final section outlines broad developments including the changing world order and the global financial crisis. Three new chapters look at terrorism, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the rise of major new powers, including China. Student learning is supported by a range of helpful learning features, including biographies of key figures and chronologies of events.

Chapter

Peter Sluglett and Andrew Payne

This chapter examines the effects of the Cold War upon the states of the Middle East. Although the region was not so profoundly affected as other parts of the world in terms of loss of life or major revolutionary upheaval, it is clear that the lack of democracy and many decades of distorted political development in the Middle East are in great part a legacy of the region's involvement at the interstices of Soviet and American foreign policy. After a brief discussion of early manifestations of USSR–US rivalry in Greece, Turkey, and Iran at the beginning of the Cold War, the chapter uses Iraq as a case study of the changing nature of the relations between a Middle Eastern state and both superpowers from the 1940s until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Chapter

Paul Rogers

This chapter examines how global terrorism, and particularly the war on terror, has shaped US foreign policy. It first provides an overview of the 9/11 terror attacks and definitions of terrorism before discussing the US experience of terrorism prior to 9/11 as well as the political environment in Washington at the time of the attacks. It then considers the response of the Bush administration in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the nature and aims of the al-Qaeda organization. It also reviews the conduct of the war on terror in its first nine years, along with the decline and transformation of al-Qaeda after 2010. Finally, it analyzes the options available to the United States in the war against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and like-minded groups.

Chapter

J. Ann Tickner and Laura Sjoberg

This chapter examines feminist perspectives on international relations. It first provides a historical background on the development of feminist IR, paying attention to different kinds of feminist analyses of gender. It then considers feminist perspectives on international security and global politics, along with developments in feminist reanalyses and reformulations of security theory. It illustrates feminist security theory by analysing the case of the United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iraq following the First Gulf War. The chapter concludes by assessing the contributions that feminist IR can make to the practice of world politics in general and to the discipline of IR in particular.

Chapter

Richard Ned Lebow

This chapter examines the central assumptions of classical realism by analysing the texts of ancient and modern writers and contrasting their ideas with neorealism and other variants of modern realism. Classical realism represents an approach to international relations that dates back to Thucydides and his account of the Peloponnesian War. According to classical realists, power plays a major role in politics, but they also acknowledge its limitations and the ways it can be self-defeating. The chapter begins with a discussion of the position of classical realists regarding order and stability, focusing on the views of Thucydides and Hans J. Morgenthau with respect to the concepts of community, balance of power, and interest and justice. It then considers what classical realists think about change and transformation as well as the nature and purpose of theory. It concludes by commenting on the Iraq war in the context of classical realism.

Chapter

Richard Ned Lebow

This chapter examines the central assumptions of classical realism by analysing the texts of ancient and modern writers and contrasting their ideas with neorealism and other variants of modern realism. Classical realism represents an approach to international relations that dates back to Thucydides and his account of the Peloponnesian War. According to classical realists, power plays a major role in politics, but they also acknowledge its limitations and the ways it can be self-defeating. The chapter begins with a discussion of the position of classical realists regarding order and stability, focusing on the views of Thucydides and Hans J. Morgenthau with respect to the concepts of community, balance of power, and interest and justice. It then considers what classical realists think about change and transformation as well as the nature and purpose of theory. It concludes by commenting on the Iraq war in the context of classical realism.

Chapter

J. Ann Tickner and Laura Sjoberg

This chapter examines feminist perspectives on international relations. It first provides a historical background on the development of feminist IR, paying attention to feminist analyses of gender, before outlining a typology of feminist international relations, namely: liberal feminism, critical feminism, feminist constructivism, feminist poststructuralism, and postcolonial feminism. It then considers feminist perspectives on international security and global politics, along with developments in feminist reanalyses and reformulations of security theory. It illustrates feminist security theory by analysing the case of the United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iraq following the First Gulf War. The chapter concludes by assessing the contributions that feminist IR can make to the practice of world politics in general and to the discipline of IR in particular.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on conflicts in the Middle East during the 1980s. Despite the Camp David settlement, peace remained elusive in the Middle East. An Egyptian–Israeli settlement could neither resolve the conflict between Israel and the Arab states nor bring stability and peace to the region. Anwar Sadat and Menachim Begin had achieved a limited peace for Egypt. Egypt, for its part, had abandoned the myth of Arab unity between the competing states of the region and pursued national interests. However, other conflicts were taking place in the region, including those arising from the Lebanese Civil War, which added to the fundamental failure to deal with the Palestinian Question. The chapter first considers Israel’s invasion of Lebanon before discussing the Arab–Israeli conflict and the Palestinian Question, the Iran–Iraq war of 1980–8, and the accusation of the US, that Libya was a supporter of ‘international terrorism’.

Chapter

Ralf Emmers

This chapter examines the Copenhagen School and its securitization model. The Copenhagen School broadens the definition of security by encompassing five different sectors: military, political, societal, economic, and environmental security. It first provides an overview of the Copenhagen School’s securitization model before discussing its application to empirical research as well as the limitations of the securitization model. It then considers the role of the securitizing actor and the importance of the ‘speech act’ in convincing a specific audience of a threat’s existential nature. It argues that the Copenhagen School allows for non-military matters to be included in Security Studies while still offering a coherent understanding of the concept of security. It also describes the dangers and the negative connotations of securitizing an issue and concludes with some cases of securitization, including the securitization of undocumented migration, securitization of drug trafficking, and the failure of securitization in the Iraq War.

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’.