Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq

Overview

Wanting War is the first comprehensive analysis of the often contradictory reasons why President George W. Bush went to war in Iraq and of the war’s impact on future U.S. armed intervention abroad. Though the White House sold the war as a necessity to eliminate an alleged Iraqi threat, other agendas were at play.

Drawing on new assessments of George W. Bush’s presidency, recent memoirs by key administration decision makers, and Jeffrey Record’s own expertise on U.S. military ...

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Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq

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Overview

Wanting War is the first comprehensive analysis of the often contradictory reasons why President George W. Bush went to war in Iraq and of the war’s impact on future U.S. armed intervention abroad. Though the White House sold the war as a necessity to eliminate an alleged Iraqi threat, other agendas were at play.

Drawing on new assessments of George W. Bush’s presidency, recent memoirs by key administration decision makers, and Jeffrey Record’s own expertise on U.S. military interventions since World War II, Wanting War contends that Bush’s invasion of Iraq was more about the arrogance of post–Cold War American power than it was about Saddam Hussein. Ultimately, Iraq was selected not because it posed a convincing security threat but because Baghdad was militarily helpless. Operation Iraqi Freedom was a demonstration of American power, especially the will to use it.

Ironically, as Record points out, a war launched to advertise American combativeness is likely to lead U.S. foreign policymakers and military leaders to be averse to using force in all but the most favorable circumstances. But this new respect for the limits of America’s conventional military power, especially as an instrument of ffecting political change in foreign cultures, and for the inherent risks and uncertainties of war, may prove to be one of the Iraq War’s few positive legacies. Record argues that the American experience in Iraq ought to be a cautionary tale for those who advocate for further U.S. military action.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Record has produced an excellent interpretive analysis of the rationale for the George W. Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.”

“Powerfully argued and utterly persuasive, Wanting War offers the best account yet of the folly and miscalculation that resulted in America's heedless plunge into Iraq. In crisp, devastating prose, Jeffrey Record exposes the incoherence of the arguments offered to justify this unjustifiable and unnecessary war.”

“Why did Bush do it? The question Jeffrey Record tackles in this book is one of the most important of our time. You will learn much from reading this book, even if you don't agree with all his answers.”

"With his usual crystalline prose and piercing analysis, Jeffrey Record penetrates to the heart of the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq, laying stark all of the flawed assumptions and logic. He demonstrates that the Iraq War has important antecedents in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The book is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of American national security policy."

“Record's book is the first work on this subject to move beyond the blame game to set the decision for war in a broader historical context.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597974370
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/31/2010
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Record is a professor of strategy at the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. He is the author of Bounding the Global War on Terrorism (2004), Dark Victory: America’s Second War against Iraq(2004), and Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win (Potomac Books, Inc., 2007). He served in Vietnam as a pacification adviser and received his doctorate from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He lives in Atlanta.
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: A Mysterious War 1

2 The Neoconservative Imprint 27

3 Bogus Assumptions, Wishful Thinking 53

4 The Reasons Why 85

5 Consequences: An Iraq Syndrome? 153

Notes 179

Bibliography 197

Index 209

About the Author 217

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