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Who Makes U.S. Foreign Policy? Presidential Leadership in Gulf Wars I and II

  • Meena Bose
Chapter
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Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)

Abstract

One year after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), and declared that the relevance of the international organization in the twentyfirst century would depend on how it responded to the repeated failure of Iraq to comply with arms inspections. A few weeks later, the Bush administration secured a congressional resolution authorizing the use of force to institute “regime change” in Iraq. The UN Security Council followed in November with a fully unanimous resolution authorizing “serious consequences”1 in Iraq if it did not permit inspections for weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Yet when the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, UN support had disappeared, with several Security Council members criticizing the United States for taking military action without a second resolution explicitly authorizing force. Both the war and the ongoing reconstruction in Iraq thus represent largely unilateral policy making by the Bush administration.

Keywords

Foreign Policy United Nations Security Council Foreign Affair Military Action 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    See “Text of UN Security Council Resolution on Iraq,” November 8, 2002, available at <http://www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/15016.htm.> Accessed January 28 , 2004.
  2. 2.
    George W. Bush, “President’s Remarks at the United Nations General Assembly,” September 12, 2002. Available at <http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912–1.html.> Accessed January 28, 2004.
  3. 3.
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  41. 55.
    George W. Bush, “Remarks by the President at 2002 Graduation Exercise of the United States Military Academy,” June 1, 2002. Available at <http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/06/20020601–3.html.> A ccessed March 8, 2004.
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    George W. Bush, “The National Security Strategy of the United States of America,” September 17, 2002. Available at <http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html.> Accessed March 8, 2004. For a comparison of the preemption doctrine with the UN Charter, see Madeleine Albright, “Misunderstood: Why the United Nations is Indispensable,” Foreign Policy (September/October 2003), 16.
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  45. 59.
    Bush’s decision to seek a UN resolution authorizing the use of force, if necessary, to remove Saddam Hussein from power may have been influenced partly by the views of his father’s top foreign policy officials, who published opinion pieces supporting U.S. diplomacy at the UN. See Brent Scowcroft, “Don’t Attack Saddam,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2002, A12; and James A. Baker III, “The Right Way to Change a Regime,” New York Times, August 25, 2002, Sec. 4 9.Google Scholar
  46. 63.
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  47. 65.
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  48. 69.
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  49. 70.
    See summary of H.J. Res. 114, which becomes Public Law 107-243, at >http://thomas.loc.gov/cgibin/bdquery/zd107: HJ00114:@@@L&summ2=m&.> Breakdown of party votes also available through this website. Accessed January 11, 2005.
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Copyright information

© Michael A. Genovese and Lori Cox Han 2006

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  • Meena Bose

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