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POLI 244 Lecture Notes - Wishful Thinking, Mushroom Cloud, Groupthink

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 244
Stephen Saideman

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Saideman's Biases
Unilateralism is sometimes necessary
Foreign policies shouldn't always be allowed to be veto'ed by other countries
Preemption is not inherently wrong
Not bad idea to attack someone you know will attack you first
Familiarity breeds contempt
Pre-war position
Wrong war at the wrong time by the wrong people
Weren't done with Afghanistan
Iraq hadn't done anything yet
Lack of nuclear weapon proofs
Current position
The end of American leadership?
So expensive
Going to be paying for the healthcare of veterans of Iraq for 60-80
Countries stopped respecting the Americans after starting a war that had no
reasons for being
Like the fall of the British empire after WWI
Hadn't chosen to start that war, while the Americans CHOSE to start
the Iraq war
Causes of War
US could do what it wants
No one can protect US
Created the need to prevent and preempt
You don't want your response AFTER a mushroom cloud
Effect on domestic policies
Made it hard to criticize the Bush administration
Mass media supported a response
Need/opportunity to get out of Saudi Arabia
Why in?
Partaking in sanctions against Saddam Hussein from the Gulf War
Limited group of advisors
Had common interests
Pick out the information that mattered to them
Shut down people who were against the war
Getting everyone to agree with each other
Poor management style
Focus on major objectives, not side effects
O: Get rid of Hussein
C: money, lives, time, etc
Saddam Hussein's behaviour
He let the message that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction credible
Said there was a program to develop them
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