“How often have statesmen been motivated by the desire to improve the world, and ended up making it worse? And how often have they sought one goal, and ended up by achieving something they neither expected nor desired?”Hans J. Morgenthau (1993:6)
With no peer competitor in sight, the United States is more powerful than any other nation state in modern history. The U.S. has substantial interests throughout the globe and its government seems to aim at remaining the sole superpower. The last five years have spurred a debate on the nature and purpose of this power and how best to make use of it. In the debates of the 2000 Presidential campaign, the then Governor Bush made a point of second-guessing former Vice President Al Gore’s agenda of active American involvement in a number of cases of conflict resolution abroad. To underline his point, Bush used the phrase “I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders” in a derogative manner. The Republican foreign policy agenda was significantly more isolationist than that of the Democratic Clinton administration. Six years later, in George W. Bush’s second term as United States President, Republican foreign policy has taken on a large-scale war on terrorism and intervened in Afghanistan and Iraq, operations that would be seen as inconceivable a few years ago. Coercive democratization has since become the hallmark of the Bush Presidency. Which underlying mechanisms have caused this shift from the course of 2000 to new course of 2006? This thesis intends to examine how the theoretical bases of realism and idealism have guided the current Bush administration to choose the promotion of democracy over containment and deterrence. Most particularly, these shifts in policy lead the U.S. to attack Iraq, and to this date, express no intention of leaving in the near future.