The Bush Doctrine


Explain what the bush doctrine is? Speak about the strengths and weakness of bush doctrine in term of foreign policy.

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Though there has been great success of the Bush administration against the al Qaeda still we are living in a dangerous world. There has been a great risk of the attacks from the various terrorists with the global reach that may have on the civilian population. In these kinds of circumstances it has become very important for the policy makers to consider some kind of preventive tool in order to counter such threats. In the past the leaders of democracy were not able to shied away from the prospect of the preventive war. There was no merit found by various policy makers in putting off the war when the safety of the state was considered to be of much importance. (Kaufman 2007) But in the current climate this kind of thinking is considered very controversial due to various disputes over the legal and normative wisdom. Here the doctrine which is commonly known as the Bush Doctrine came in to existence. Bush doctrine is the position that is set forth in the National Security Strategy in the year 2002. It refers to the various foreign policy principles of the 43rd President of the United States. The American Administrations were shaped by the Bush Doctrine.

The Bush Doctrine says:

“We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends.” (Yoo & Delhaunty 2009)


The Bush Doctrine is the policy by the US president Bush that aims to spread democracy at the global level. The Bush doctrine includes the various foreign policy principles of the 43rd President of the United States. There were different meanings attributed by different pundits to the Bush doctrine. The main use of the Bush doctrine was to explain the different policy elements that include the strategy of preemptive strikes which is used as a defense for the immediate threat that is caused to the security of the United States. The policy was applied in the Middle East so that the international terrorist can be countered. (Maszaka 2008)

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Bush doctrine is nothing but the collection of different ideas and rationale, various strategy principles and decisions that are used for guiding the foreign policy of United States. The four main points that are highlighted as the core of the doctrine of Bush are: Military Primacy, Preemption, and Spread of democracy and New Multilaternism. The main reason for developing the doctrine was to wake the response of the attacks of September 11, 2001, as these attacks presented a challenge on the foreign policy. Though the bush doctrine serves the interests of the public still there are many strengths and weaknesses of the doctrine because there are many people who have different attitudes towards the effectiveness of this doctrine. Though this doctrine is more widely used as it represents the key principles of the foreign policy of George W Bush. (Dueck 2015)

Various global issues can be easily solved by the Doctrine of Bush. The4 Bush Doctrine is considered as an idealistic approach to the international relations that has helped in transforming the promise of democracy and it looks military force as one of the appropriate means so that the goals can be achieved. There are various elements of the Bush Doctrine. Firstly, this doctrine helps in generating a very strong belief in developing and determining the foreign policy along with the judgments that are created by this doctrine (Renshon 2013)

The political demise of the Bush doctrine was on the traditional right of self defense. Self defense is considered as a politically legitimating factor on the war road. It is basically a set of policies adopted by the country to respond to the threats of war and terrorism where the American power remains unchanged. The Bush doctrine followed a traditional rule consequently in the formulation of the foreign policy. It has been dictated by the Bush Doctrine that America has been all prepared for acting in a unilateral manner with getting the approval of the international community where necessary. It is argued that the Bush Doctrine does not represent a radical shift in the attitude of the US government towards the foreign policy. (M 2002)

Strengths of the Bush Doctrine

The Major Strengths of Bush Doctrine: There are number of strengths of the Bush Doctrine. This is a powerful and military doctrine developed by the President Bush that has its main focus to provide proper methods so that the threats of the armed intervention can be avoided. (Jervis 2009)Some of the strengths of the Bush Doctrine are:

Based on the Conventional Force: The doctrine of Bush is based on the Conventional force for taking out the missile launchers and the various facilities that might be involved in the unconventional weapons fabrications.

Used to justify the military adventures: The military adventures of Americans has been highlighted and justified by the Bush Doctrine. It is considered as an effective tool for supporting the military operations and the war policies. According to this it is considered that the Bush doctrine is very successful. (Renshon 2013)

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Guarantees Idealism: The doctrine guarantees idealism of American Exceptionalism and focuses on foreign intervention.

Sole Yardstick: The Bush doctrine is the sole yardstick for determining the success of the nation for eliminating the terrorists.

Self Interest: The bush doctrine is put in to practice for self interest as it enlightened self interest. The main aim of the Bush doctrine is to spread democracy which is very good for the  safety and the security of the Americans. (Taheri 2005)It is also good for the nations who have the wish to enter the mainstream of the global life.

Consistent with liberalism: The bush Doctrine is very much consistent with the liberalism. Due to the bush doctrine there has been lot much success in the nation. The Bush doctrine has led to the opportunity for restructuring the world towards the freedom.

Threat and preventive war: One of the second pillars for the Bush doctrine is that the current time is not only full of various opportunities but there are many threats as well which are posed by the terrorists. (Quinn 2009)It is said that if the United States is not put in to a better world then it will become more dangerous. Here the Bush doctrine plays a very important role for fighting with the threats that are caused by the terrorists. (Annoynomous 2005)

Weaknesses of the Bush Doctrine

The Major weaknesses of the Bush Doctrine: There are many people who criticize the Bush Doctrine. Though the main aim of the Bush Doctrine is democratic peace all over the world still there are few negative impacts of this approach. The Bush Doctrine is best described as the Incompetence and Internal Warfare in the August 18 Column. (Froomkin 2008). The American Policy area was in debates due to its diplomatic history and international relations. It has been argued many times that the Bush Doctrine does not make a radical shift in the attitude of the US Government towards its foreign policy. The main reason for adopting the Bush Doctrine was to respond to the existional threats imposed by the terrorist on the states and in the American territory. (Lewis 2002)

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Democratizing wars are fought: Under the Bush doctrine aggressive democratizing wars so that democracy can be spread and democratic peace can be bought. According to the Bush Doctrine war is considered as one of the major tool so that the democratic peace can be established all over the world. It is argued by many researchers that the doctrine of Bush created a myth which was so called “Just the war myth” that is being used in the political life and encourages the military traditions in which the people think that the wars are the noble adventures that helps in producing good outcomes. (Lewis 2009)But if seen in real life wars are not noble adventures instead the wars are considered as horrible events that often lead to sufferings and deaths. (Dresner 2008)

Doctrine is focused on offensive policy: It is considered that the Bush Doctrine is focused on the offensive policy instead of the defensive policy. According to the doctrine of Bush it is considered as a legitimate right of the US to start the war so that they can provide national security although that is focused on the actions of the war. (Maszaska 2008). The policy followed by the Bush doctrine is not up to the mark.

Represents the ambitious conception of the US foreign policy: It has been argued by many researchers that the Bush Doctrine represents a ambitious conception that causes damage to the American Society. It has been argued by the researchers that the Bush doctrine creates a period of great threat and great opportunity as the principles of the principles of the doctrine calls for the expansion of the power of the Americans along with the assertion of the American power. (Gadis 2002)

The doctrine is unsustainable: It has been argued by many researchers that the bush doctrine is unsustainable. Though the bush doctrine has been a great success initially but it can not be considered as fully sustained as there are number of contradictions generated by this doctrine. The doctrine needs to be sustainable in all the respects.

Overly ambitious doctrine: The bush doctrine is considered to be overly ambitious doctrine as it places demands on the US intelligence hence placing too much faith in democratic principles and democracy.

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Lack of assertiveness: The Bush doctrine lacks assertiveness in its implementation

There are various examples demonstrating the failure of the Bush doctrine and the limits of the American power are proven by these examples at the global level. (Reilley 2008)The balance of power is disrupted by the Bush doctrine by the advocating fact that the military forces are used by the United States unilaterally without any support at the international level. Furthermore the policy provided by the Bush Doctrine is vague. The vague example of Bush Doctrine is justification of US attacks and the occupation of Iraq that alienated the Muslims all over the globe and the decentralized world. Due to which the Bush Doctrine was not able to promote and organize the unification of the international community for addressing the radical Islamism. There were many countries who developed the anti US policy of sentimentalism.

Conclusion: At last it can be concluded that the main aim for which the Bush Doctrine was developed was for promoting the new policy for providing the support to the US right so that it could engage in the preemptive war against the group of terrorists and the rough states that are indulged in the production of the weapons for the mass destruction that assists the terrorists. The Bush doctrine is highly preventive solution to the threats of terrorism and war. It can be said that it is a very good approach made by the president Bush. It is greatly an idealistic approach though there are various pros and cons in the doctrine itself but it is very successful. The Bush Doctrine has been portrayed by the national security strategy that helps in the acceptation of the cold war strategy of the nuclear that is connected very closely with the threats that emerges from the spreading of the terrorism. There are both pros and cons of the Bush doctrine means it has both the strengths as well as weaknesses. Generally, it can be said that the main focus of the Bush Doctrine is to promote the democracy and attacking the states who supports the terrorists so that much of the contribution could be made to the foreign policy of US and the national defense policy.  The bush doctrine has a great impact on the international law  as was explained in the United Nations charter. (Annan 2003)However, there are various violations made by the Bush doctrine that includes the set of international obligations, and treaties that provides the guarantee for promoting peace all over the globe. Due to which it can be said that the Bush doctrine has led to the development of anti-Americanism in the Muslim world that came from the increased violations in the US.

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