The Bush Doctrine and Iraq a Sound Application of a Sound Doctrine

Robert G. Kaufman

in In Defense of the Bush Doctrine

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780813124346
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134987 | DOI:
The Bush Doctrine and Iraq a Sound Application of a Sound Doctrine

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Many of the tenets of the Bush Doctrine are derived from the Reagan administration's foreign policy positions. Similar to Reagan's stand on nuclear arms and strategic defense during the Cold War, President George W. Bush believes that preemption is a prudential strategy in responding to terrorist threats, depending on the dynamics and changing conditions of international politics. Those who criticize Bush for what they say is an arrogant and imprudent commitment to spreading democracy in the Middle East should note that this aspiration is consistent with the traditions of diplomacy that proved successful during World War II and the Cold War. The decision to remove Saddam Hussein from Iraq in 2003 was necessary, given Saddam's posturing and propensity to take enormous risks that rendered containment or imposing sanctions inadequate. Bush wisely recognized that negotiating with rogue regimes is futile and that democratic regime change is imperative in addressing the root cause of the conflict in the Middle East.

Keywords: Bush Doctrine; American foreign policy; international relations; preemption; regime change; Iraq invasion; terrorism; democracy; Middle East

Chapter.  6936 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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