Pandora's Trap: Presidential Decision Making and Blame Avoidance in Vietnam and Iraqby Thomas Preston
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How important is presidential personality and leadership style in foreign policy decisions? To answer this question, Thomas Preston takes readers inside the Bush administration's decision-making process and use of intelligence to better understand how administration officials justified the Iraq War—and how they sought to avoid blame for the consequences of their actions. Based on extensive interviews with key Bush administration officials, Preston offers students of American foreign policy, presidential decision making, the dynamics of blame avoidance, and future practitioners with an in depth examination of how presidential personality and leadership style impacted Bush's central foreign policy failure. In addition, Preston looks critically at the oft-cited comparisons of Iraq to Lyndon Johnson's leadership during the Vietnam War, exploring where the analogy fits and a number of important differences. He shows how both presidents' styles exacerbated their managerial weaknesses in these cases and the limits of blame avoidance strategies. Importantly, the book provides a cautionary tale for future leaders to consider more carefully the long-term consequences of satisfying their short term policy desires by lifting the lid to any new Pandora's trap.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- 1 MB
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Meet the Author
THOMAS PRESTON is C.O. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of The School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University. He is a faculty research associate at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, New York, and at CRISMART (The National Center for Crisis Management, Research, and Training) at the Swedish National Defense College, Stockholm, Sweden. His current research involves a number of projects on nuclear/biological weapons proliferation, presidential leadership and leader-adviser interactions in foreign policy decision making, and the psychology of bioterrorism. He frequently serves as a consultant for various U.S. governmental departments and agencies. Dr. Preston has published numerous articles and books, including From Lambs to Lions, The President and His Inner Circle, and Introduction to Political Psychology.
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