The Case for Continuity in American Foreign Policy
- Timothy J. Lynch, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London
- Robert S. Singh, Birkbeck College, University of London
- Date Published: April 2008
- availability: Available
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521880046
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Towards the end of his second term, it appears George W. Bush’s foreign policy has won few admirers, with pundits and politicians eagerly and opportunistically bashing the tenets of the Bush Doctrine. This provocative account dares to counter the dogma of Bush’s Beltway detractors and his ideological enemies, boldly arguing that Bush’s policy deservedly belongs within the mainstream of the American foreign policy tradition. Though the shifting tide of public opinion has led many to anticipate that his successor will repudiate the actions of the past eight years, authors Timothy Lynch and Robert S. Singh suggest that there will—and should—be continuity in US foreign policy from his Presidency to those who follow. Providing a positive audit of the war on terror (which they contend should be understood as a Second Cold War) they charge that the Bush Doctrine has been consistent with past foreign policies—from Republican and Democratic presidencies—and that the key elements of Bush’s grand strategy will rightly continue to shape America’s approach in the future. Above all, they predict that his successors will pursue the war against Islamist terror with similar dedication.Read more
- A fresh and provocative account of the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration
- Engages with the dominant historical interpretations on US foreign policy with a clear assessment of their strengths and weaknesses
- Asks vital questions about what the next president's foreign policy will look like, arguing that it is unlikely to change, irrespective of which party wins the White House
- Joint winner of the Richard E. Neustadt Book Prize 2009
Reviews & endorsements
“To critics and decriers of the Bush doctrine, two well-versed scholars have forcefully posed the question: if not this, then what? In doing so, they have provided a most welcome tonic to the shrill election-year demagogy that has filled the American air.”
Joshua Muravchik, CommentarySee more reviews
“In After Bush, Timothy Lynch and Robert Singh lay out the case, with incisive scholarly detail, why there is likely to be--and should be--more constancy in American foreign policy in the coming years than not....Moreover, as After Bush argues, when you step back and take an honest account of how all of this has played out in practice, you see that, on balance, this American approach to the world has been successful. Whether it is the peace enjoyed by the democracies of the world, or the advances made in the war on terror, the existing approach to foreign policy has served Americans and their allies well.”
Gary Schmitt, The Weekly Standard
"After Bush is a serious, carefully researched and documented analysis of American policy in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Lynch and Singh demolish a great many of the dozens of myths and misconceptions that have become the conventional wisdom about the Bush administration's response to terrorism, the decision to go into Iraq and the thinking and influence of neoconservatives. It will take many more such books to balance the mountain of nonsense that has been piled up by ideologically driven academics and a huge flock of journalistic sheep. They should be congratulated for having made a start."
Richard Perle, Fellow, American Enterprise Institute and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense
"Lynch and Singh make a compelling case that the Bush doctrine will outlast the current American president, and they assemble considerable evidence to show that fundamental components of the doctrine are consistent with foreign policy tradition. The authors skillfully depersonalize the debate about American foreign policy in order to move beyond the current obsession with George W. Bush."
Robert J. Lieber, Professor of Government and International Affairs, Georgetown University
"This book is required reading for both defenders and critics of the current direction of American foreign policy. The authors make the provocative case that the policies of the Presidents to come will resemble those of the Bush administration, because Bush himself followed the historical traditions of America’s approach to the world. On the other hand, the authors argue that a Second Cold War against Islamist terrorism has more in common with the first Cold War than many would like to think. This fascinating combination of foreign policy, strategy, and even constitutional law should cause readers to reconsider their fundamental positions."
John Yoo, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley
"...[P]erhaps of greatest importance, there is no evident wish in the US - whether in the political elite in Washington, or in the Democratic Party, or in the nation as a whole - to abandon US primacy and exceptionalism. The new president of 2009 will only in some degree alter existing policies. Washington will continue to want to run, if not control, the world."
Fred Halliday, Open Democracy
"The common sense view - shared by the chattering classes around the world - is that Bush has failed, that the war on terror has been a disaster, and that the United States should return with all speed to the multilateral system is so unnecessarily abandoned some time during 2001. Here is a book that frontally challenges all these cosy assumptions. The world and the United States have changed for ever - it insists - and the sooner the rest of us get used to the fact the better. A provocative, trenchantly argued study that leaves the reader with few places to hide."
Professor Michael Cox, The London School of Economics
“More compellingly than the Bush administration itself, Lynch and Singh argue that a Second Cold War is underway, this time against radical Islam. U.S. policies, they hold, must resemble those of the original Cold War. And American responses since 9/11 are sound and will endure. With panache, After Bush offers a well researched, original, and refreshing tonic to a truck-load of anti-Bush screeds.”
Daniel Pipes, Director, Middle East Forum
“Learned, judicious, and courageous - this study of the Bush foreign policy will continue to illuminate and explain long after today’s philippics and polemics have been consigned to the back shelves. A uniquely valuable work.”
David Frum, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
“Bush foreign policy defenders are sometimes difficult to find in academia, and for this reason alone the book has value....Still, the War on Terror/Second Cold War will continue even after the Bush administration has departed from office. How will American foreign policy change? This is an important question, one that should be examined apart from the personal animosity that drives so much of the discussion surrounding American foreign policy under President Bush. The ultimate goal should be the development of coherent, long-term policies that are grounded in American traditions and based on American national interests. After Bush is a useful book that can help facilitate the discussions needed to move us towards this goal.”
Darren Wheeler, University of North Florida, Law and Politics Book Review
“Outstanding: a worthy successor volume to Kagan’s Dangerous Nation.”
Brendan Simms, University of Cambridge
"Timothy Lynch and Robert Singh do a fine job of defending the foreign policy approach of the George W. Bush administration. Deeply unfashionable and brilliantly polemical, After Bush will redefine the parameters of debate."
John Dumbrell, Professor of Government, Durham University (UK)
"Whatever one might think of the argument that the Bush Doctrine not only will but should survive the Bush presidency - and I, for one, strongly disagree - Lynch and Singh develop it cogently and with great vigor. An important contribution to the literature on American foreign policy."
Ivo Daalder, Co-author, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy
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- Date Published: April 2008
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521880046
- length: 396 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 158 x 28 mm
- weight: 0.75kg
- contains: 1 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: winning the Second Cold War
1. Bush and the American foreign policy tradition
2. The constitution of American national security
3. The Second Cold War on Islamist terror: negative audits
4. The Second Cold War on Islamist terror: a positive audit
5. Iraq: Vietnam in the sand?
6. The Middle East: reformation or Armageddon?
7. Friends and foes after Bush
8. The emerging consensus at home and abroad
Conclusion: the case for continuity.
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