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The Case for Invading Iraq as part of the post-9/11 Global War on Terror from a Neoconservative Perspective Drawing on Policy Statements from the Bush Administration.
This rhetoric, combined with (now dubious) intelligence evidence of Iraq’s WMD development allowed the Bush administration to present the Iraqi regime as part of an “imminent, multifaceted, undeterrable and potentially calamitous threat to the US” (Record, 2003, p.6), requiring an unprecedented response.
Key to this response would be the first of four clear neoconservative principles providing the foundations for the Bush doctrine: a policy of pre-emption.
This essay starts by briefly explaining the key tenets of a neoconservative foreign policy within a US context, before then looking at how the 9/11 attacks led to the adoption of neoconservative principles in US foreign policy, more specifically within the ‘Bush doctrine’.
Next, it looks at how the Bush doctrine transformed the threat presented by Iraq, and became the primary justification for war.
Neoconservatives were dismayed with the US’ continued use of realist containment and deterrence policies towards undemocratic regimes in the pursuit of stability.
Finally, they were to be given their opportunity to influence foreign policy upon the election of George Bush Junior in 2000.
Iraq was therefore transformed into an ‘evil’ state, where deterrence was impossible because of the irrationality of Saddam Hussein, who was willing to “gamble with the lives” of his citizens and “the wealth” of his nation (p.15).
Bush stated that “the fundamental problem with Iraq remains the nature of the regime, itself”(Bush, 2002b).
Connections with the neoconservative ideology and the Bush doctrine are clear to see, so much so that Krauthammer (2005) described the doctrine as “a synonym for neoconservative foreign policy” (p.22).
This paper will explain how an out of favour neoconservative ideology became central to US foreign policy, and how it presented its case for the 2003 military intervention of Iraq.