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Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward

The historical landscape of the United States has seen numerous shifts in foreign policy and how they are adopted and implemented. The United States approaches to foreign policy making has always been influenced by the different regime in power. In January 2003, President George W. Bush together with his council went to war without the full consent of the United National Security Council. The war-council of President George W. Bush which comprised of key foreign leaders, technocrats and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) they had purported that Saddam Hussein had weapons of Mass Destruction. The book succinctly explains how foreign policy making and presence of weapons of mass destruction was used by the regime of President Bush to hatch a preemptive offensive attack against Saddam Hussein.

A brush with history has shown that the U.S has always manipulated its foreign policy to favor its geopolitical conquests. During these instances, the United States has always employed its military muscle to solve ideological issues. The war took think-tanks such as the National Security Adviser Condoleezza rice and the former Secretary of State, Collin Powell. History usually repeats itself and such can be witnessed during the regime of President Reagan in 1984 when the United States lend their political support to the Iraq, after a seventeen years period of diplomatic deadlock which dented their relations with each other.

History also suggests that the use of foreign policy has always been tailored to solve or resolve certain volatile   circumstances which in retrospect is the creation of the problem directly or indirectly or situation by America. The foreign policy on arm sales for Iran and other sects in South America. This is evident in 1984, when the contra scandal which unraveled the sale of arms to the by the united states to the contras who were fighting the Sandinista in Nicaragua, though there was evidence of rogue element within Reagan administration.

The Bush administration created the Homeland Security to counter and monitor terrorism and its elements. The foreign policy is dynamic, as it tends to adapt to new situations or circumstances. The foreign policy has changed as every period comes with the nature of geopolitical landscape. The going to war which Bush vehemently supported it had served to show series of historical changes on the policy. The January 2003 war in Iraq was uncalculated and even went as far as violating human rights violation as the loss of civilian lives through combat between the American forces and the pro-Hussein faction and defense forces.

The gulf war in 1990 under the regime of President George W. Bush Snr. the foreign policy was centered mainly to acquire oil in the Middle East region. They equipped Iraq with weapons which were a strategic in order for Iraq to fight and claim victory over Iran. United States’ foreign policy had and has always been for their political and economic minefield. As the politicians are insincere about how they perceive and would handle such sensitive matter as foreign policy which directly or indirectly compromise national security.

Foreign policy is inextricably linked with military offensive. The author shows the fact of how technocrats helped perpetuate the war. The vice-president,  Dick Cheney who pushed hard by claiming that Saddam Hussein possessed considerable amounts of Weapons of Mass Destruction.  The invasion of Iraq by the America defenses went against the United Nations Security Council over the war in Iraq. Historically digging, one will find out that most of the foreign policies are offensive in nature. The war had paralyzed Iraq economically, socially and politically. The constant review of the set policies shows how they are always under constant alignment with the selfish-interest.

For instance, during the reign of Fidel Castro, in which in the  ninety seventies when the united states through its agencies such as Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and their counterpart the Central Intelligence Agency devised stealth and lethal technology to aid in eliminating Cuba’s president, Fidel Castro. This was as a result of ideological clashes; the Cuban president stuck on the communism unlike the United States which has indeed advocated for democracy. The republicans and the democrats have always throughout history illustrated different approaches to foreign policy and leadership.

The republicans are more conservative and most of the time there approaches to their geopolitical influence. For instance during the regimes of republicans, the likelihood of going to war was high as compared to their counterpart the democrats.  Regimes of republicans leadership always have high spending on Department of defense, this is a contrast compared to the democrats. Woodward also shows how the president had no experience in foreign policies which was very important aspect of his plans. He gathered a team of experts in this field such as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney together with their subordinates Paul Wolfwotiz and Scooter Libby.

Woodward vividly explains how President Bush avoided diplomacy as an option before resorting to military action. Intelligence was used selectively to give falsified impression of the gravity of the situation. By labeling the “slam dunk” the bush administration wanted to have justification to war by manipulating or influencing the public opinion by showing them how conclusive the intelligence was gathered.

Woodward has mastered the art of blending current affairs and historical episodes. The foreign policy today is influenced by history thus means that the approaches and principles are directly repetitive. The policy makers are schooled and motivated by history. Woodward excreted the idea of how President George W. Bush used the weapons of Mass Destruction as a scapegoat and therefore sending a loud message that President Bush had a hidden agenda in all this.

Looking in today’s interpretation of foreign policy, the language used by the U.S State Department audibly serves to depict military solutions to fight or for counter-terrorism. The sixteen month planning of the war by the war council, triggered by the September 11, which hit-hardly the nerve-center of the U.S, New York’s World Trade Center.

Foreign policy is a clash between the realist and the neo-conservatives, this has seen it transform from one regime to another. Today’s foreign policy is all about garnering support from the nations or countries which share or subscribe to the same ideological school of thought and principles. Philosophically speaking the America’s has grown to a culture which believes in their military superiority and that its military capabilities can never be unchallenged by any nation. It is with this that the approach to foreign policy will always be a preserve of military action.

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