John Dumbrell
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The neoconservative roots of the war in Iraq
in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq
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This chapter provides a reasonably cool and rational account of the development of neoconservative views on US foreign policy, culminating in the decision to invade Iraq. Most of the leading first generation neoconservatives, including Irving Kristol, Nathan Glazer and Daniel Bell, attended the City College of New York in the 1930s. The neoconservative role within the George H. W. Bush administration, however, was rather more equivocal. Generally, the admistration neocons were second-level "junior ministers," much as they had been in the Ronald Reagan or Bush senior administrations. Bushite pragmatism was seen as much in Bush senior's resolve to "avoid dancing on the Berlin Wall," as in the allowing of Saddam Hussein to remain safe in Baghdad two years later. The pragmatic realism of the 1991 decision to cease action in Iraq was defended in the memoirs of Colin Powell, the elder Bush and Brent Scowcroft.

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