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April 20 , 2010

The George W. Bush Defense Program


The events of 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan make an obvious case for expert study of the George W. Bush defense program. During the Bush administration, the rise and fall of governments, the fates of peoples, and the very definitions of war and victory were up for discussion. The United States, with its unprecedented global military power at the dawn of the twenty-first century, created new opportunities for using foreign policy and military strategy on behalf of national and allied interests. But this power was limited, and its use against unconventional or otherwise unorthodox enemies required careful calibration of its various instruments.

In this insightful series of essays edited by Stephen Cimbala, eleven academic experts prominent in the defense and security think-tank communities assess Bushs defense program. Many also have past or current experience in the U.S. government or the American armed forces. They examine Bushs defense policy and strategy across several critical issues, including Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, nuclear arms control, and foreign military sales. In addition, special chapters are devoted to the leadership style of former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to the idea of victory as it might apply to Bushs defense decisions, and to the best exit strategy from Iraq for the United States. The lessons learned from the successes and failures in Bushs defense policy, clearly presented in The George W. Bush Defense Program, can also be applied to the appraisal of all presidents.
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