The thesis seeks to accomplish two things. First and foremost, it is an inquiry into the reasons for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq that takes into account multiple dimensions of the decision-making process. This is accomplished by looking at the decision from three different angles: detailing the high-pressured political environment in which the decision to invade Iraq was made; a critical review of the Bush administration’s ideological or background in American foreign-policy tradition; and an assessment of a massive bureaucratic failure of the administration owing to the faulty intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
The secondary objective of the thesis is to debunk an explanation for the war which is now prevalent in the media: that the official rationale for war, the threat to America from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, was merely a front for a less marketable reason for war, namely neoconservatism. The thesis reveals that common understanding of neoconservatism is simplistic at best, and that the focus on this so-called ideology obscures the real, traditional origins of the administration’s foreign policy.
Finally, the findings from the three main chapters, each corresponding to an “angle” or dimension of the decision, are used to synthesize a comprehensive explanation for the war.