George W. Bush Role in Foreign Policy of the United States Case Study

Ten years prior to George W. Bush was sworn into office as the US President, there was hardly a common position on matters related to foreign policy.

In other words, most of the officials who were later absorbed as part and parcel of president’s advisers had separate views on delicate and sensitive foreign issues should be handled.

According to Mazaar, the policy window that was opened immediately after George W. Bush got into office was a major step towards establishing strong foreign policy of the United States (12).

The author asserts that the new regime had a deep desire to establish its authority in foreign nations that were particularly defying international law and order. There was also need to enhance the state of global peace and co-existence due to the weakening relations between the East and the West.

The Post Cold War era was undergoing difficult times and therefore, the Bush administration wanted to create a new face through which the world would be a secure place.

One of the top agendas for the Bush government was to out Saddam Hussein from power. The Iraq president was deemed to be a real threat to US interest abroad and also to the world at large.

The US authorities under President George W. Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein was actively manufacturing chemical weapons that could be used any time to launch attacks to suspected hostile nations (Woodward, ‘Plan of Attack’ 26).

While the above foreign objectives were crucial in the working agenda of the Republican officials, it is imperative to mention that there had been plans to execute these agendas even ten years before George W. Bush came into power.

Mazaar is quite emphatic that the Defense Policy Guidance of 1992 mapped out the Iraq war in a broad manner (16). Therefore, the 2003 invasion of Saddam’s government was not anything new among the Republicans.

Before the invasion of Iraq, the military prowess and funding of the American army was probably given priority by the congress since such a choice would deliver the most desired consequences on the US foreign policy.

The 1992 war plan document was considered to be rather abstract in some sections because some details were not comprehensive. Nonetheless, it depicted the zeal for the Republican government under president George W. Bush to establish a strong military power over its international affairs.

It also demonstrated that the US government was ready to go an extra mile in securing its interests both locally and overseas (Woodward ‘Bush at War’ 32)

The United States stamped its authority by attacking Iraq in 2003. Mazaar observes that the notion behind removing Saddam from power was driven by the incessant call by the Republicans who were keen in ensuring the Iraqi regime was brought down (2).

President Saddam was considered to be a dictatorial leader especially in regards to complying to the wishes of the western powers (United States in particular). Some political scientists have argued that chemical weapons were used as mere scapegoat in order to invade Iraq.

Apparently, this argument has been substantiated by other scholars who assert that chemical weapons were not found at the armory manufacturing site in Iraq (Rycroft par.2).

In retrospect, it is pertinent to underscore the fact that nuclear arsenal was the key weapon that Saddam Hussein was closely associated with during the entire period of the 1st Gulf War.

It was believed that he was the major supplier of the most lethal chemical weapons that were used to stage combat against the allied forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Saddam had demonstrated that he had aggressive regional ambitions as the Gulf War was progressing. This caught the attention of the western powers in seeking revenge.

Several key members of the US security were fully convinced that Saddam Hussein was indeed harboring weapons of mass destruction and that the main target was United States (Van belle 57).

In any case, the Gulf war factor paved way for bitter relations between Saddam’s government and that of President George W. Bush.

It is interesting to note that even though the US authorities vehemently pointed out the presence of WMDs in Iraq, they had no single evidence to support their claim.

Their only hurdle was to persuade the Congress in supporting the 2003 invasion. Perhaps, some abstract information provided about the presence of WMDs in Iraq was not very accurate as expected (Seib 44).

In the case of Libya, President Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power by the western powers on the grounds that he had stalled the progress of democracy and human rights in that country (Rochefort and Roger 96).

Claims of corruption and lack of adherence to international standards were rife to an extent that the international community was compelled to seek urgent redress.

There are some who believe that the anti Gaddafi movement was spearheaded by the United States and its allies with the sole reason of ousting him from power in a similar way like Saddam (Taylor 381).

When the civil war expanded in Libya with government forces on one side and rebel forces on the other camp, the allied powers (United States and its cronies) took the centre stage.

Basically, Gaddafi was required to step down voluntarily from authority so that the country could get back on peace. Nonetheless, he was adamant to comply with the demands of his opponents. Unfortunately, he was finally overpowered and gunned down by the US forces.

This is quite similar to the case of Saddam Hussein who never surrendered until he was captured and eventually executed by the United States.

The United States government took the Libyan case as the responsibility to protect the civilian population who had been caught between two wrangling war camps (Morayef 29).

Samantha Powers has also been a keen advocator for human rights. She has spoken widely against acts of terror and genocide across the world. In particular, she at one time emphasized the urgent need to address the Darfur crisis that had lasted for some decades (Suskind 65).

On the same note, she was angered by the manner in which Israel was adamant to end the gruesome conflict with Palestinians. She noted that thousands of lives were being lost every year because Israel was not ready to give peace a chance.

In summing up, it is also crucial to mention that the current crises in most of the Arab world are being approached by the western powers in the same manner.

For instance, the US government has managed to send troops to Egypt in a bid to avert civil crisis that may arise out of the political turmoil. The conflict in Syria is yet to be taken head-on by the western powers because a common agreement has not been reached.

Works Cited

Mazarr, Michael. The Iraq War and Agenda Setting. Foreign Policy Analysis, 3 (2007): 1–23. Print.

Morayef, Heba. Truth and Justice Can’t Wait – Human Rights Developments in Libya Amid Institutional Obstacles. New York, 2009. Print.

Rochefort, David and Cobb, Roger. The Politics of Problem Definition: Shaping the Policy Agenda. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1994. Print.

Rycroft, Matthew. Iraq: Prime Minister’s Meeting. 2002. Web.

Seib, Gerald. Campaign Query: Who Will Act to Oust Saddam? The Wall Street Journal, 4.2(2000): 43-46. Print.

Suskind, Ron. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004. Print.

Taylor, Andrew. Domestic Agenda Setting, 1947–1994. Legislative Studies Quarterly 23(2005):373–397. Print.

Van belle, Doug. New York Times and Network TV News Coverage of Foreign Disasters: TheSignificance of the Insignificant Variables. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 77 (2000):50–70. Print.

Woodward, Bob. Bush at War. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002. Print.

Woodward, Bob. Plan of Attack. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004. Print.

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