What role did personalities play in the War in Iraq?
The “players” in Iraq decision making, the neo cons of this administration including Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz all share certain personal characteristics that can be described by the individual levels of analysis. They all lived through Vietnam; it was their generation who “suffered” the defeat of the US. They draw a distinction between Iraq and Vietnam and are unwilling to allow the US forces to be driven out to suffer another defeat. This is also a reflection of their leadership style, where Bush’s tight inner circle in the administration act in a my way or the high way fashion. With the exception of the president, they had a lot of experience in Washington, but lacked the intellectual curiosity to generate that experience into effective policy making decisions. The President always had a hostile feeling toward Saddam Huessein after his relationship with his father. Differing opinions for debate are not allowed, creating a situation where they were able to portray a link between 9/11 and Iraq and the war on terror. Also, they are too caught up on the wrong analogy, citing withdrawal as a sign of appeasement for the enemy rather than a new approach of containing the threat. In the end it comes down to their neo conservative belief that the US should impose their belief system around the world as it is our duty to do so. It was this belief that allowed the breakout strategy to see the light of day. Wolfowitz is out of the administration as is Rumsfeld. If only the situation they caused was as easy to resolve as were their departures.
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