The War Lobby: Iraq and the Pursuit of U.S. Primacy

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Now that Dick Cheney is again in the spotlight and arguing with Democrats over Iraq, the dissertation with the above title is pertinent because it points to Cheney and Rumsfeld as the key instigators of the Iraq War aggression. It suggests their motives were to strengthen the power of the presidency and build up the U.S. military.

The blog title is the title of a thesis available for downloading. In this 2011 work, author Edward C. Duggan argues that the decision to attack Iraq was done in pursuit of U.S. primacy:

“In my dissertation I argue that the invasion of Iraq was a part of a larger project by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to reestablish the unconstrained use of U.S. military power after the defeat of Vietnam. The study presents the best evidence against the alternative explanations that the invasion of Iraq was the result of an overreaction to 9/11, the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction, a plan to spread democracy in the Middle East, a desire to protect Israel or a plan to profit from Iraqi oil. The study also challenges the leading explanation among academics that emphasizes the role of the neoconservatives in the decision to invade. These academics argue that neoconservatives, such as Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, successfully persuaded the American President, George W. Bush, and his Vice President, Dick Cheney, of the necessity to eliminate Saddam Hussein by winning an internal policy battle over realists, such as Secretary of State Colin Powell.”

“I demonstrate that it was the primacists, not the neoconservatives, who persuaded the President to go to war with Iraq. Through historical process tracing, especially
through a close look at the careers of the major policy actors involved and their public statements as well as declassified documents, I provide strong evidence that these leaders wanted to pursue regime change in Iraq upon taking office. The invasion of Iraq would extend the War on Terror, providing an opportunity to pursue their long-held policy of
strengthening the power of the presidency and transforming the military into a high-tech and well-funded force.”

See also here.

3:11 pm on June 26, 2014