The emergence of the Bush doctrine
in Leaders in conflict
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This chapter analyzes Bush’s instant responses to 9/11, as he made the fundamental decision that the U.S. would engage in a war on terror. The chapter then traces the development of the key principles of the Bush doctrine, and examines to what degree these were the president’s original ideas and to what degree Bush adopted the pre-existing views of neo-conservatives in his administration. It then considers other strategic responses – realist, liberal internationalist, isolationist – that Bush could have chosen and shows how they were inconsistent with his temperament. Finally, the chapter considers Secretary Rumsfeld’s response to 9/11, thereby tracing the beginnings of the divergence in ideas between the president and the secretary of defense.

Leaders in conflict

Bush and Rumsfeld in Iraq


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