Use of Force: Ideological Influence on US National Security Strategies under George W. Bush and Barack Obama (2002-2010)

  •  Darya Sukhovey    
  •  Yana Gayvoronskaya    


This research extends the survey that classifies the US political theories upon the issue of military enforcement issue in American foreign policy and international relations. The article demonstrates how earlier proposed theoretical classification and its implications works when applied to the comparative analysis of the National Security Strategies of the USA released by George Bush Administration in 2002 and 2006 and Barack Obama Administration in 2010. The key provisions of these Strategies are reviewed consistently with the ideas of American political scientists who participated in the elaboration of the Strategies’ drafts. The research has shown that the Strategies 2002, 2006 and 2010 had inherited the main principles and guidelines worked out in by Philip Zelikow, Peter Feaver and James Steinberg as for the Strategies of the years 2002, 2006 and 2010 respectively. The analysis of ideological influence on Bush and Obama Strategies has also exposed that Bush and Obama political courses have quite similar ideological backgrounds for the use of force issue In this way the Obama’s Strategy of the year 2010 contains the same categories as the Bush’s Strategies of 2002 and 2006: the regime change, the limited sovereignty and probable preventive use of force. Henсe, interventionalism turns out to be the primary ideological foundation of the Strategies of 2002, 2006 and 2010. However the differences between the approaches of the Bush and Obama Administrations towards the questions of the use of force legitimacy and priorities unveil that the Strategies of 2002 and 2006 have radical inclinations whereas Obama’s strategy incorporates the ideas of rationalism.

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