George W. Bush’s Overstretch Abroad

  • Thomas H. Henriksen
Part of the American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century book series (AMP21C)


Bush’s Iraq War, as Henriksen describes, is the apogee in America’s cycles of international engagement since the Cold War. Bush defied allies along with others in going to war without UN approval. This war, pretexted on the notion that Iraq possessed chemical and nuclear weapons, sees implementation of a preemptive war strategy to prevent mega-death weapons being used. The Pentagon quickly defeats Hussein’s armies before stumbling into an insurgency and sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. The White House turns to its second rationale for invasion when it finds no weapons of mass destruction. It embraces democracy promotion with a Wilsonian fervor not only in Iraq but also in the Republic of Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan Lebanon while intervening militarily in Liberia and Haiti to save democracy.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas H. Henriksen
    • 1
  1. 1.Hoover InstitutionStanford UniversityPalo AltoUSA

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