National Security in the Obama Administration
Reassessing the Bush Doctrine
Routledge – 2010 – 296 pages
Routledge – 2010 – 296 pages
The Bush Doctrine is dead! At least that’s what critics hope. But while new U.S. national security challenges emerge, many post-9/11 threats still persist and the policies of George W. Bush offer one set of strategic answers for how President Obama can confront those dangers. Neither a polemic nor a whitewash, this book provides a careful analysis of the Bush Doctrine—its development, application, and rationale—and assesses its legacy: How will Obama respond to the many foreign policy challenges that await him?
Through an examination of psychology as much as policy, Renshon gives us the first comparative analysis of the Bush Doctrine and the developing Obama Doctrine. The book analyzes the range of national security issues Obama will face and the political divisions that permeate U.S. national security debates. It is essential reading for anyone looking to understand how presidents assess security risks generally and how Obama specifically is likely to adapt the Bush Doctrine to his own worldview.
"The Bush Doctrine is more condemned than understood, let alone defended, and Stanley Renshon not only does this but makes clear that most of the critics have failed to come to grips with the real and pressing problems that will confront the Obama administration. With strong arguments and a penetrating view of the world, this is a stimulating and important book."
—Robert Jervis, Columbia University
"National Security in the Obama Administration is a serious, fascinating, and timely account of the Bush Doctrine, its legacy, and its implications for the Obama administration's unfolding foreign policy."
—Robert Kagan, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
"Stanley Renshon’s book transcends the bitterly polarized and all too often unedifying foreign policy debates that characterized much of the presidency of George W. Bush. In this important new work, he not only provides a welcome reassessment of the Bush Doctrine, but explains how external threats and pressing foreign policy challenges shape the choices of the Obama administration. While major alterations of style and method are evident in Obama foreign policy, changes in substance and doctrine appear to be far less pronounced. Renshon’s important new book illuminates the reasons why."
—Robert J. Lieber, Georgetown University
"Dr. Renshon’s psychoanalysis of the Bush Doctrine is a useful set of guidelines to understand the state of U.S. foreign policy during President Obama’s first few months in office. In reflecting on recent events, his words are fairly prescient as the emerging Obama doctrine continues to take form."
—Daniel W. Opstal, American Intelligence Journal, Vol 29 No 1
Preface 1. The Obama Presidency and the World He Inherits Part 1: The Bush Doctrine Reconsidered 2. The Evolution of a Post 9/11 National Security Perspective 3. The Real Bush Doctrine 4. The Bush Doctrine: Myths and Criticisms Part 2: The Strategic World After 9/11 5. The New Calculus of Risk 6. Deterrence, Containment and Adversarial Bargaining Post 9/11: North Korea and Iran 7. Dangerous Threats and the Use of Force 8. Strategic Options and the Future of the Bush Doctrine Part 3: The Politics of Post 9/11 National Security 9. The Politics of Risk Assessment 10. The Politics of Post 9/11 National Security: A Profound Worldview Divide 11. Obama’s National Security Tasks: Worldview, Leadership and Judgment
Stanley A. Renshon is a Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author of over ninety articles and fourteen books and is a certified psychoanalyst.