The Gulf: The Bush Presidencies and the Middle East
Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush both led the United States through watershed events in foreign relations: the end of the Cold War and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Many high-level cabinet members and advisers played important foreign policy roles in both administrations, most notably Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Condoleeza Rice. Both presidents perceived Saddam Hussein as a significant threat and took action against Iraq. But was the George W. Bush administration really just “Act II” of George H. W. Bush’s administration?
In The Gulf, Michael F. Cairo reveals how, despite many similarities, father and son pursued very different international strategies. He explores how the personality, beliefs, and leadership style of each man influenced contemporary U.S. foreign policy. Contrasting the presidents’ management of American wars in Iraq, approach to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and relationships with their Israeli counterparts, Cairo offers valuable insights into two leaders who left indelible marks on U.S. international relations. The result is a fresh analysis of the singular role the executive office plays in shaping foreign policy.
Michael F. Cairo is associate professor of political science at Transylvania University.
“This book is a remarkable accomplishment. Cairo has produced what students of the modern presidency have been waiting for—a thoughtful, critical, impeccably researched, and engagingly written study of the foreign policy of the two Bushes. In the first joint study of Bush 41 and Bush 43, Cairo deftly uses both a wide selection of the available literature as well as newly opened material from the Bush Papers to show how these two men defined the policy of a generation.”—John Robert Greene, Cazenovia College
"A significant contribution to scholarship. Cairo helps to put America's wars in the Middle East in the context of the larger American involvement in that region."--Ryan Barilleaux, Miami University
"Others have ventured comparisons of the Bush presidencies, but Cairo does so more methodically and systematically. His analysis is well-documented, his interpretation cogent. His finding--that personality factors such as belief and style, not simply bureaucratic politics or international context, explain the marked contrast in the effectiveness of two Bush policies toward Iraq and the Mideast peace process--represents a significant corrective to the literature on determinants of US foreign policy."--Robert F. Goeckel, SUNY Geneseo