Reading: Understanding the Bush Doctrine.doc

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Political Science
Lilach Gilady

UNDERSTANDING THE BUSH DOCTRINE-POL208- READING: THESIS: PRE- SEPT 11: • Bush practiced restraint with his foreign policy • Use of force was only meant to defend the most vital of interests 4 PART BUSH DOCTRINE: 1. A strong belief in the importance of a state’s domestic regime in determining foreign policy, and the related judgement that it is an opportune time to transform international politics--- plans and ACTION--- state’s foreign policy is determined by its domestic political system 2. Perception of great threat whereby acting on vigorous policies are necessary to defeat them i.e. preventative war 3. A willingness to act unilaterally if necessary- without regard to global community, pursue national interests on own, no dependence/ desire of approval from peers 4. ( arrogant belief) that United States must step in as guardian of stable world order, that they are the most competent people to bring peace and stability to the world Author asserts that the USA sees no limits on its fears and aspirations- pursues its aspirations boldly on the world stage • the American prescription for national and global success is specific and clear: freedom, democracy and free enterprise • powerful countries like to believe that their ideals are universal- it is their job to help all other nations follow suit, their ways are the best ways and universal adoption of them will lead to peaceful world order • Bush admin: strong, sometimes aggressive measures are needed to spread democracy, they will be effective in freeing nations from the shackles of authoritarianism and oppression • They do not see cultures, ethnicities, languages, religions as impediments to a global democratic order- overarching democratic ideologies will bring the world together • They need to recognize that there are several different variations of democracy and the form that they themselves practice, is not without its faults or contradictions • USA order = “ natural order” that has yet to be realized- America is needed to accelerate the entire world’s transition to a functioning democracy • Regime changes are necessary because so long as tyrannical governments exist, they will be ideologically, diametrically opposed to the USA and its values, they are non- compliant by nature, prone to disregard intl agreements and flagrantly violate international law----- they are a lost cause • The USA and all ther liberal countries are optimistic about the prospects of change • Bush: “ I see a peaceful world beyond the war on terror and with courage and unity, we are building the world together DOMINO DYNAMICS: • Ex) Iraq: if the US is able to encourage the realization of democracy in Iraq, this change will reverberate across the region until all other countries have voluntarily risen up against oppressive regimes and adopted American style democracies • This domino effect will deter and weaken potential disturbers of peace • “ a free Iraq can be an example of reform and progress to all the middle east “ pg 368 THREAT AND PREVENTATIVE WAR: • we live in a time of opportunity • we also live in an era of terrorism where weapons of mass destruction exist- the stakes of inaction are higher- you don’t want to take chances • non state actors = terrorists, rogue states- behavior unpredictable, knows know limits- must fight fire with fire • weapons of mass destruction could be used to overcome conventional superiority of US • a peaceful world order under the patronage and leadership of US- this democracy project serves more than one purpose- more than one interest • defense, deterrence is not a viable option in the face of terrorists/ rogue states who are not affected by international laws/ regulations, sanctions etc- they operate on their own agenda • Monroe Doctrine: Westward expansion in the 19 century that stemmed in part from the American desire to prevent any European power from establishing a presence that could menace the united states pg 370 • Deterrence and preventative war are not the same thing POST 9/11 REALITIES: • Completely altered global power dynamics and considerations • Fight against the axis of evil • Stakes changed • Capability of people world’s away to challenge one of the most, if not the most powerful country in the world—inflicting destruction and terror beyond belief • Challenges the ideological foundation of the USA • The unimaginable happened- the USA could not dismiss worst- case analysis anymore • The stakes are higher, the world has changed th • Powerful psychological link between sepetember 11 and the drive to despose of saddam Hussein ( they’d provide WMD to terrorists that could subsequently be used to trump US world prim
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