Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The Bush Doctrine: The Foreign Policy of Republican Empire

The Bush Doctrine: The Foreign Policy of Republican Empire


The dominant narrative concerning the Bush Doctrine maintains that it is a dangerous innovation, an anomaly that violates the principles of sound policy as articulated by the Founders. According to the conventional wisdom, the Bush Doctrine represents the exploitation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, by a small group of ideologues—the “neoconservatives”—to gain control of national policy and lead the United States into the war in Iraq, a war that should never have been fought. But far from a being a neoconservative innovation, the Bush Doctrine is, in fact, well within the mainstream of U.S. foreign policy and very much in keeping with the vision of America’s founding generation and the practice of the statesmen in the Early Republic. The Bush Doctrine is only the latest manifestation of the fact that U.S. national interest has always been concerned with more than simple security.

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