In March 2003, US and allied forces invaded Iraq with the aim of overthrowing that country’s dictator, Saddam Hussein. Over 4700 US military personnel were killed in achieving that goal, as well as tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians.
While President George W. Bush and his supporters have defended his decision to invade Iraq as a necessary move to eliminate a major threat to US national security, others have regarded his decision as one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in US history.
Which of these two views is correct? Why did Bush invade Iraq? Was his decision to do so the product of sound statecraft?
- Foreign Policy
- National Security
- Security Council
- Nuclear Weapon
- Military Action
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For Further Reading
For Bush’s account of his pre-presidential and presidential years, see George W. Bush, A Charge to Keep: My Journey to the White House (1999), and his Decision Points (2010).
Among the Bush biographies are those by Bill Minutaglio, First Son: George W. Bush and Bush Family Dynasty (1999); Lou Cannon and Carl M. Cannon, Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy (2008); Elizabeth Mitchell. W: Revenge of the Bush Dynasty (2000); Frank Bruni, Ambling into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush (2002); and the recently published biography by Jean Edward Smith, Bush (2016).
For studies emphasizing Bush’s character, see Stanley Allen Renshon, In His Father’s Shadow: The Transformations of George Bush (2004) and his edited Understanding the Bush Doctrine: Psychology and Strategy in an Age of Terrorism (2007); Steven J. Rubenzer and Thomas R. Faschingbauer, Personality, Character, Leadership in the White House: Psychologists Assess the Presidents (2004); Dan P. McAdams, George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream: A Psychological Portrait (2010); Justin A. Frank, Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of a President (2007); and Jacob Weisberg, The Bush Tragedy (2008).
For overviews of Bush’s presidency, see Fred I. Greenstein, ed., The George W. Bush Presidency: An Early Assessment (2003); Steven F. Schier, Panorama of a Presidency: How George W. Bush Acquired and Spent His Political Capital (2009); Robert Draper, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush (2007); Julian E. Zelizer, ed., The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment (2010); and George C. Edwards III and Desmond S. King, ed., The Polarized Presidency of George W. Bush (2007). For assessments of Bush’s presidency, see the essays in Robert Maranto, Tom Lansford, and Jeremy Johnson, eds., Judging Bush (2009).
Overviews of Bush’s foreign policy during his first term are provided by Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (2005); Robert Jervis, American Foreign Policy in a New Era (2005); John Newhouse, Imperial America: The Bush Assault on the World Order (2003); and Alexander Moens, The Foreign Policy of George W. Bush: Values, Strategy, Loyalty (2004). For an assessment of both Bush terms, see Ilan Pegel, The Legacy of George W. Bush’s Foreign Policy: Moving beyond Neoconservatism (2009).
The Bush-Cheney relationship is examined by Shirley Anne Warshaw, The Co-presidency of Bush and Cheney (2009). Cheney is assessed by Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency, (2008). Cheney’s memoir is entitled In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir (2011). For Rumsfeld, see Bradley Graham, By His Own Rules: The Ambitions, Successes and Ultimate Failures of Donald Rumsfeld (2009); Dale R. Herspring, Rumsfeld’s Wars: The Arrogance of Power (2008); and Rumsfeld’s memoir, Known and Unknown: A Memoir (2011).
For Colin Powell’s role, see his memoir, My American Journey (2003); Karen De Young, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell (2006); and Christopher D. O’Sullivan, Colin Powell: American Power and Intervention from Vietnam to Iraq (2009). See also the article by Walter LaFeber, “The Rise and Fall of Colin Powell and the Powell Doctrine,” Political Science Quarterly, vol. 124, Issue 1, (Spring 2009), 71–93.
The neoconservatives are examined in James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (2004); Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (2004); Jacob Heilbrunn, They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons (2008); Francis Fukuyama, America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy (2006); and Fred Kaplan, Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power (2008).
For Condoleezza Rice, see Elisabeth Bumiller, Condoleezza Rice: An American Life: A Biography (2007), and Glenn Kessler, Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy (2007). Rice’s account appears in Condoleezza Rice, No Higher Honor (2011).
Accounts by other Bush officials who played significant roles in the lead-up to the war with Iraq are provided by Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (2004); Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill (2004); and George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (2007).
Among the numerous books on the Iraq war, the ones that proved most useful for this study were those by James DeFronzo, The Iraq War: Origins and Consequences (2009); Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack (2004); Michael Isikoff and David Corn. Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (2006); Craig Unger, The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How A Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America’s Future (2007); Lloyd C. Gardner, The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the Present (2008); Steven Metz, Iraq and the Evolution of American Strategy (2008); Jeffrey Record, Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq (2010); Terry H. Anderson, Bush’s Wars: Democracy in the Age of Dictatorship (2011); William R. Nester, Haunted Victory: The American Crusade to Destroy Saddam and Impose Democracy on Iraq (2012): Stephen F. Knott, Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, The War On Terror, and His Critics (2012); and Robert Swansbrough, Test by Fire: The War Presidency of George W. Bush (2008). For background on US involvement in Iraq, see Peter L. Hahn, Missions Accomplished?: The United States and Iraq since World War I (2012). An analysis of the major intelligence failures is provided by James Risen, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration (2006).
For comparisons of the conflicts in Vietnam and Iraq, see Robert K. Brigham, Is Iraq Another Vietnam? (2006); Lloyd C. Gardner and Marilyn B. Young, eds., Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam: Or, How Not to Learn from the Past (2007); and Thomas Preston, Pandora’s Trap: Presidential Decision Making and Blame Avoidance in Vietnam and Iraq (2011).
Collections of presidential documents can be found in Micah L. Sifry and Christopher Cerf, eds., The Iraq War Reader: History, Documents, Opinions (2003); John W. Dietrich, ed., The George W. Bush Foreign Policy Reader: Presidential Speeches with Commentary (2005): John Ehrenberg, J. Patrice McSherry, Jose Ramon Sanchez, and Caroleen Marji Sayej, eds., The Iraq Papers (2009); and John Prados, Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War. (2004).
For documentation and background narrative on the British side, see John Prados and Christopher Ames, eds., The Iraq War, Part II: Was There Even a Decision? National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 328, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarch/NSAEBB328/index.html and their The Iraq War. Part III: Shaping the Debate, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book, No. 330, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarch/NSAEBB328/index.html
The PBS series Frontline produced a number of excellent televised and online programs dealing with the events leading to the war with Iraq, as well as the conflict itself. Among them are Gunning for Saddam (2001), The War Behind Closed Doors (2003), The Long Road to War (2003), Blair’s War (2003), Truth, War, and Consequences (2004), Chasing Saddam’s Weapons (2004), Rumsfeld’s War (2004), War in Iraq (2005), and Bush’s War (2008).
Document 1. Open Letter to President Clinton, February 19, 1998 (excerpt)
Among the 18 signatories of this letter urging President Clinton to overthrow Saddam Hussein were Former Secretaries of Defense Frank Carlucci, Caspar Weinberger, and Donald Rumsfeld, Former National Security Advisor Robert C. McFarlane, and Paul Wolfowitz, Dean of the Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS.
Dear Mr. President,
Many of us were involved in organizing the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf in 1990 to support President Bush’s policy of expelling Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Seven years later, Saddam Hussein is still in power in Baghdad. And despite his defeat in the Gulf War, continuing sanctions, and the determined effort of UN inspectors to fetter out and destroy his weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein has been able to develop biological and chemical munitions….
Iraq’s position is unacceptable. While Iraq is not unique in possessing these weapons, it is the only country which has used them—not just against its enemies, but its own people as well. We must assume that Saddam is prepared to use them again. This poses a danger to our friends, our allies, and to our nation.
It is clear that this danger cannot be eliminated as long as our objective is simply “containment,” and the means of achieving it are limited to sanctions and exhortations. … Only a determined program to change the regime in Baghdad will bring the Iraqi crisis to a satisfactory conclusion….
We urge you to provide the leadership necessary to save ourselves and the world from the scourge of Saddam and the weapons of mass destruction that he refuses to relinquish.
Source: Project for the New American Century. http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm.
Document 2. George W. Bush, Address to the Nation on the Terrorist Attacks, September 11, 2001 (excerpt)
Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts….
Today our Nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could….
Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks….
The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.
Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George W. Bush, 2001, 2: 1099–1100.
Document 3. Senate Joint Resolution 23, September 12, 2001 (excerpt)
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, ….
That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
Document 4. President Bush’s Address before a Joint Session of the Congress, September 20, 2001 (excerpt)
Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking, who attacked our country? The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as Al Qaida….
The leadership of Al Qaida has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country….
And tonight the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban: Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of Al Qaida who hide in your land. Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats, and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and hand over every terrorist and every person in their support structure to appropriate authorities. Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating. These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must act and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate….
Our war on terror begins with Al Qaida, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated….
Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George W. Bush, 2001, 2: 1140–1144.
Document 5. President Bush’s State of the Union Address, January 29, 2002 (excerpt)
In this address, President Bush used the concept “axis of evil” in referring to North Korea, Iran, and Iraq.
Our nation will continue to be steadfast and patient and persistent in the pursuit of two great objectives. First, we will shut down terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans, and bring terrorists to justice. And, second, we must prevent the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world….
Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.
Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.
Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens—leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections—then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.
States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic….
America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation’s security. We’ll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.
Document 6. George W. Bush, Remarks at the 2002 Graduation Exercise of the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, June 1, 2002 (excerpt)
In this address, President Bush alludes to the developing new strategic doctrine that will bear his name and necessitate preemptive action against potentially aggressive states.
For much of the last century, America’s defense relied on the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment. In some cases, those strategies still apply. But new threats also require new thinking. Deterrence—the promise of massive retaliation against nations—means nothing against shadowy terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend. Containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to terrorist allies. We cannot defend America and our friends by hoping for the best. We cannot put our faith in the word of tyrants, who solemnly sign non-proliferation treaties, and then systemically break them. If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long.
Document 7. Brent Scowcroft, “Don’t Attack Saddam,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2002 (excerpt)
Scowcroft, President George H.W. Bush’s national security adviser, opposes a precipitous war with Iraq:
It is beyond dispute that Saddam Hussein is a menace. He terrorizes and brutalizes his own people. He has launched war on two of his neighbors. He devotes enormous effort to rebuilding his military forces and equipping them with weapons of mass destruction. We will all be better off when he is gone.
That said, we need to think through this issue very carefully. We need to analyze the relationship between Iraq and our other pressing priorities—notably the war on terrorism—as well as the best strategy and tactics available were we to move to change the regime in Baghdad.
Saddam’s strategic objective appears to be to dominate the Persian Gulf, to control oil from the region, or both. That clearly poses a real threat to key U.S. interests. But there is scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations, and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks. Indeed Saddam’s goals have little in common with the terrorists who threaten us, and there is little incentive for him to make common cause with them.
He is unlikely to risk his investment in weapons of mass destruction, much less his country, by handing such weapons to terrorists who would use them for their own purposes and leave Baghdad as the return address. Threatening to use these weapons for blackmail—much less their actual use—would open him and his entire regime to a devastating response by the U.S. While Saddam is thoroughly evil, he is above all a power-hungry survivor. … He seeks weapons of mass destruction not to arm terrorists, but to deter us from intervening to block his aggressive designs….
But the central point is that any campaign against Iraq, whatever the strategy, cost and risks, is certain to divert us for some indefinite period from our war on terrorism….
In any event, we should be pressing the United Nations Security Council to insist on an effective no-notice inspection regime for Iraq—any time, anywhere, no permission required…. And if he refused, his rejection could provide the persuasive casus belli which many claim we do not now have. Compelling evidence that Saddam had acquired nuclear-weapons capability could have a similar effect….
If we reject a comprehensive perspective, however, we put at risk our campaign against terrorism as well as stability and security in a vital region of the world.
Source: Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2002.
Document 8. Vice President Cheney’s Address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, August 26, 2002 (excerpt)
Many of us are convinced that Saddam Hussein will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon. Just how soon, we cannot really gauge. Intelligence is an uncertain business, even in the best of circumstances. This is especially the case when you are dealing with a totalitarian regime that has made a science out of deceiving the international community….
A return of inspectors would provide no assurance whatsoever of his compliance with UN resolutions. On the contrary, there is a great danger that it would provide false comfort that Saddam was somehow back in his box. Meanwhile, he would continue to plot. Nothing in the last dozen years has stopped him; not his solemn agreements; not the discoveries of inspectors; not the revelations by defectors; not criticism or ostracism by the international community; and not four days of bombing by the United States in 1998. What he wants is time, and more time to husband his resources to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons program, and to gain possession of nuclear weapons….
The elected leaders of this country have a responsibility to consider all of the available options, and we are doing so. What we must not do in the face of a mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or willful blindness. We will not simply look away, hope for the best, and leave the matter for some future administration to resolve….
If the United States could have preempted 9/11 we would have, no question. Should we be able to prevent another much more devastating attack, we will. No question. This nation will not live at the mercy of terrorists or terror regimes.
Source: New York Times, August 26, 2002.
Document 9. George W. Bush, Address to the UN General Assembly, September 12, 2002 (excerpt)
Today, Iraq continues to withhold important information about its nuclear program—weapons design, procurement logs, experiment data, an accounting of nuclear materials and documentation of foreign assistance. Iraq employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians. It retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon. Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon. Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year. And Iraq’s state-controlled media has reported numerous meetings between Saddam Hussein and his nuclear scientists, leaving little doubt about his continued appetite for these weapons….
As we meet today, it’s been almost four years since the last U.N. inspectors set foot in Iraq, four years for the Iraqi regime to plan, and to build, and to test behind the cloak of secrecy. We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he stopped when they left? The history, the logic, and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime’s good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take.
Delegates to the General Assembly, we have been more than patient. We’ve tried sanctions. We’ve tried the carrot of oil for food, and the stick of coalition military strikes. But Saddam Hussein has defied all these efforts and continues to develop weapons of mass destruction. The first time we may be completely certain he has a—nuclear weapons is when, God forbids, he uses one. We owe it to all our citizens to do everything in our power to prevent that day from coming….
My nation will work with the U.N. Security Council to meet our common challenge. If Iraq’s regime defies us again, the world must move deliberately, decisively to hold Iraq to account. We will work with the U.N. Security Council for the necessary resolutions. But the purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced—the just demands of peace and security will be met—or action will be unavoidable. And a regime that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power.
Document 10. US, Congress, “Joint Resolution to Authorize the use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq,” October 11, 2002 (excerpt)
The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to—(1) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and (2) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions.
SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to—
defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council
Document 11. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Report to the UN Security Council, February 5, 2003 (excerpt)
Powell included the following arguments in his effort to persuade the UN Security Council to pass a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq:
The facts on Iraqis’ behavior—Iraq’s behavior—demonstrate that Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort—no effort—to disarm as required by the international community. Indeed, the facts and Iraq’s behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction….
Saddam Hussein and his regime are not just trying to conceal weapons, they’re also trying to hide people. You know the basic facts. Iraq has not complied with its obligation to allow immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted and private access to all officials and other persons as required by Resolution 1441….
Iraq has now placed itself in danger of the serious consequences called for in U.N. Resolution 1441. And this body places itself in danger of irrelevance if it allows Iraq to continue to defy its will without responding effectively and immediately.
The issue before us is not how much time we are willing to give the inspectors to be frustrated by Iraqi obstruction. But how much longer are we willing to put up with Iraq’s noncompliance before we, as a council, we, as the United Nations, say: “Enough. Enough.” The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose to the world….
The United States will not and cannot run that risk to the American people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.
My colleagues, we have an obligation to our citizens, we have an obligation to this body to see that our resolutions are complied with. We wrote 1441 not in order to go to war, we wrote 1441 to try to preserve the peace. We wrote 1441 to give Iraq one last chance. Iraq is not so far taking that one last chance.
We must not shrink from whatever is ahead of us. We must not fail in our duty and our responsibility to the citizens of the countries that are represented by this body.
Dan P. McAdams. George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream (2011), 66.
George W. Bush, A Charge to Keep: My Journey to the White House (1999), 14. McAdams, 170.
Jacob Weisberg, The Bush Tragedy (2008), 34. McAdams, 63.
Weisberg, 36–37. McAdams, 170.
Steven J. Rubenzer, Personality, Character, and Leadership in the White House: Psychologists Assess the Presidents (2004), 300.
Bush, A Charge to Keep, 50–51.
Byron York, “The Facts about Bush and the National Guard,” National Review Online (August 26, 2004).
Bush, A Charge to Keep, 132–139. Stanley A. Renshon, In His Father’s Shadow: The Transformations of George W. Bush (2005), 28.
Weisberg, 56. David Maraniss, “The Bush Bunch,” Washington Post, January 22, 1989.
Bush, A Charge to Keep, 80–81.
Weisberg, 59–60. Rubenzer, 299.
Elizabeth Mitchell, W: Revenge of the Bush Dynasty (2000), 252.
Justin A. Frank, Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of a President (2007), 23–33. Writing for the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard (September 27, 2004), Dr. Irwin Savodnik, a psychiatrist who teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles, described Frank’s book as a “psychoanalytic hatchet job” and said that “there is not an ounce of psychoanalytic material in the entire book.” On the other hand, Frank’s book received endorsements from such distinguished professors of psychiatry as Irvin Yalom of Stanford University and James Grotstein of UCLA (Washington Post, June 16, 2004). Dr. Carolyn Williams, a psychoanalyst who specializes in paranoid personalities, and is a registered Republican, told Capitol Hill Blue (June 17, 2004) that she found “the bulk of Frank’s analysis credible.”
Dean K. Simonton, “Presidential IQ, Openness, Intellectual Brilliance, and Leadership,” Political Psychology, 27(2) (August 2006), 511–526. McAdams, 37.
Craig Unger, The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America’s Future (2009), 198.
Felix Thoemmes and Lucian Conway “Integrative Complexity of 41 Presidents,” Political Psychology 28(2) April (2007), 195.
Robert Swansbrough, Test by Fire: The War Presidency of George W. Bush (2008), 20.
Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (2005), 25.
Elizabeth Drew, “The Neocons in Power, “The New York Review of Books,” June 12, 2003. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2003/jun/12/the-neocons-in-power/. McAdams, 139–141.
Steven Metz, Iraq and the Evolution of American Strategy (2008), 56. Actually, because most of those labeled neoconservatives during the Bush administration had never been part of the political left, they more accurately could be called “conservative idealists.” Nevertheless, the term “neoconservatives” is more universally used in referring to them, and will be so used throughout this study.
Daalder and Lindsay, 43.
Daalder and Lindsay, 38–39.
John Quincy Adams, Speech to the U.S. House of Representatives, July 4, 1821, http://millercenter.org/scripps/archive/speeches/detail/3484
Shirley Anne Warshaw, “The Cheneyization of the Bush Administration: Cheney Captures the Transition,” in Robert Maranto, Tom Lansford, and Jeremy Johnson, Judging Bush (2009), 24–57.
Edward J. Lordan, The Case for Combat: How Presidents Persuade Americans to Go to War (2010), 265–266.
Transcript of “Excerpts from Remarks by Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger to the National Press Club, Washington, DC, November 28, 1984.” Walter LaFeber, “The Rise and Fall of Colin Powell and the Powell Doctrine,” Political Science Quarterly, Spring 2009, Vol. 124, Issue 1, 73.
James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (2004), 184–185. George H. W. Bush and Brent Scowcroft, A World Transformed (1998), 316–317.
Mann, 198–200. Unger, 117.
Swansbrough, 71–72. Herring, 939.
Robert Draper, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush (2007). 282.
Lloyd C. Gardner, The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the Present (2008), 125.
Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill (2004), 70–75.
Letter to President Clinton, January 26, 1998, online at the Project for the New American Century, http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm.
Gareth Porter, “Manufacturing the Threat to Justify Aggressive War in Vietnam and Iraq,” in Lloyd C. Gardner and Marilyn B. Young, eds., Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam or How Not to Learn from the Past (2007), 96–97.
Terry H. Anderson, Bush’s Wars: Democracy in the Age of Dictatorship (2011), 232.
George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003. www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html.
William R. Nester, Haunted Victory: The American Crusade to Destroy Saddam and Impose Democracy on Iraq (2012), 9, 12.
The text of Bush’s address appears in the New York Times, September 12, 2001.
Senate Joint Resolution 23, September 12, 2001. www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/107/sjres23/text.
Frank Bruni, Ambling into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush (2002), 256.
Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (2004), 32.
Jeffrey Record, Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq (2010), 45.
Daalder and Lindsay, 105–113.
Steven E. Schier, Panorama of a Presidency: How George W. Bush Acquired and Sent His Political Capital (2009), 131.
Daalder and Lindsay, 119.
Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack (2004), 30.
Daalder and Lindsay. 133.
Daalder and Lindsay, 131.
George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, January 29, 2002. www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020129-11.html.
George W. Bush, Remarks at the 2002 Graduation Exercise of the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., June 1, 2002. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/06/20020601-3.html.
Daalder and Lindsay, 122, 125.
Daalder and Lindsay, 127.
New York Times, January 27, 2003.
New York Times, June 17, 2002. Daalder and Lindsay, 132.
John Prados and Christopher Ames, eds., The Iraq War, Part II: Was There Even a Decision? National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 328, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarch/NSAEBB328/index.htm. Tommy Franks with Malcolm McConnell, American Soldier (2004), 373.
Prados and Ames, Iraq War Plan, Part II. Senator Bob Graham, Intelligence Matters (2004), 122–127.
John Prados, Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War. (2004), 8.
Transcript, George W. Bush Press Conference, February 13, 2002. www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=63820.
Jonathan Powell, Testimony to the [British]Iraq Inquiry, January 18, 2010, p. 18, cited in Prados and Ames Iraq War Plan, Part II.
Tony Blair, A Journey: My Political Life (2010), 398–399.
[British] Cabinet Office briefing paper: “Conditions for Military Action,” July 21, 2002, http://www.michaelsmithwriter.com/memos.html. John Prados and Christopher Ames, eds., The Iraq War. Part III: Shaping the Debate, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 330, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarch/NSAEBB328/index.html.
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Powaski, R.E. (2017). George W. Bush’s Decision to Invade Iraq, 2001–2003. In: American Presidential Statecraft. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50454-4_6
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