Download America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy by Ivo H. Daalder PDF

By Ivo H. Daalder

President George W. Bush is major a revolution in American overseas coverage. Galvanized by way of the terrorist assaults of September eleven, he has substantially amended, and occasionally deserted, recommendations and associations that for many years guided America's engagement on this planet. With terrorists, tyrants and applied sciences of mass destruction posing a grave and growing to be threat, Bush believes that the simplest - if now not the single manner - to make sure America's safeguard is to schuck the restrictions imposed through neighbors, allies and foreign associations. during this booklet, Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay discover how Bush turned a overseas coverage innovative. ahead of assuming place of work, he was once commonly noticeable as a beginner in overseas affairs who will be guided - if now not held captive - via his way more skilled advisors. His insistence in the course of the crusade that the Clinton management had overextended the USA overseas led many to finish that his presidency could go with the flow towards isolationism. Daalder and Lindsay convey that the traditional knowledge used to be improper. Bush, a White condo insider in the course of his father's management, had a transparent knowing of the way presidents needs to lead. And he believed that the convinced and unilateral workout of yankee energy used to be easy methods to advertise America's nationwide pursuits. The Bush revolution in overseas coverage, the authors argue, includes with it excessive dangers and doubtless excessive charges.

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Sample text

A minority, led by Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, was what the press often referred to as neoconservatives, but they might be more accurately called democratic imperialists. This group 03 1688-5 chap3 8/21/03 2:03 PM Page 47 bush’s worldview 47 argued that the United States should actively deploy its overwhelming military, economic, and political might to remake the world in its image—and that doing so would serve the interests of other countries as well as the United States. They were less worried about the dangers of nation-building and more willing to commit the nation’s resources not just to toppling tyrants, but also to creating democracies in their wake.

Bush, then director of Central 02 1688-5 chap2 26 8/21/03 2:03 PM Page 26 george bush and the vulcans Intelligence, set up “Team B” to review the top-secret data that the intelligence agencies used. Its ten members, all hard-liners, included Wolfowitz. Not surprisingly, given the intellectual makeup of its members, Team B depicted the Soviet Union as bent on world domination and willing to fight a nuclear war if necessary. These conclusions, which were adroitly leaked to the press, gave conservatives critical ammunition with which to attack the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) treaties and to push for a reversal in the Vietnam-inspired free fall in defense spending.

Over time Bush learned, as do all successful presidential candidates, how to handle the media. The problem for Bush was that a presidential candidate seldom gets a second chance to make a first impression. And the first impression many Americans had of him was that he was lost when it came to foreign affairs. 02 1688-5 chap2 22 8/21/03 2:03 PM Page 22 george bush and the vulcans Bush knew he could not credibly claim to be a foreign policy expert like his father, and he wisely never tried. “Nobody needs to tell me what to believe,” he said on the campaign trail.

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