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The Polarized Presidency of George W. Bush$
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George C Edwards III and Desmond King

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199217977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217977.001.0001

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From Success to Failure? Iraq and the Organization of George W. Bush's Decision Making

From Success to Failure? Iraq and the Organization of George W. Bush's Decision Making

(p.173) 6 From Success to Failure? Iraq and the Organization of George W. Bush's Decision Making
The Polarized Presidency of George W. Bush

John P. Burke

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines decision making in the Bush presidency by analyzing its formal organizational processes, including the structure of the advisory process, the access of advisers to the president, the coordination and management of the advisory process, and the president's penchant for delegation, his emphasis on loyalty, and his willingness to impose organizational discipline on top advisers. On each dimension, the process is found wanting. The administration's collegial deliberation is then considered, raising troubling questions about the president's failure to press critical questions (such as the reliability of evidence regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the premises on which the administration planned for postwar Iraq) and his tendency to focus on how to accomplish something rather than whether to accomplish it. The issues of diversity of whom Bush chose to engage and the imbalance of power and influence among the principals are also addressed.

Keywords:   Bush Administration, decision-making, war, Iraq, advisory process, deliberation, weapons of mass destruction

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