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Leaders at WarHow Presidents Shape Military Interventions$
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Elizabeth N. Saunders

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449222

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449222.001.0001

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Before and After the Cold War

Before and After the Cold War

(p.186) 6 Before and After the Cold War
Leaders at War

Elizabeth N. Saunders

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines U.S. intervention decision making before and after the Cold War, from the early twentieth century to the so-called “modern interwar years,” between the fall of the Berlin Wall and September 11, 2001. It compares two pairs of leaders and their intervention choices in the same countries: Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson in the Dominican Republic, and George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton in Somalia. It also looks into the Iraq War and George W. Bush's threat perception or true goals and intended strategy for the intervention. Evidence suggests that the initial U.S. intervention strategy may have been effectively nontransformative. Furthermore, the Bush administration's lack of initial policy investments in transformative strategies reduced U.S. preparedness for combatting the insurgency that eventually developed in Iraq and the United States' ability to adjust course even when the administration shifted to a more transformative approach.

Keywords:   military intervention, foreign policy, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Somalia, Dominican Republic, Iraq, George W. Bush

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