Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Art of Creating PowerFreedman on Strategy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Benedict Wilkinson and James Gow

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190851163

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190851163.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

The Iraq Syndrome Revisited

The Iraq Syndrome Revisited

America’s use of Force Debate Under Obama

(p.187) 11 The Iraq Syndrome Revisited
The Art of Creating Power

David Hastings Dunn

Oxford University Press

Commencing from an observation by Freedman that Donald Rumsfeld’s legacy as US Secretary for Defense was comparable with that of Robert McNamara, and that where the latter begat the ‘Vietnam syndrome’ , the former would leave behind the ‘Iraq syndrome’. Analysis of discourse under President Obama reveals that the effects of Iraq are more profound than Freedman indicated. In the Obama era the use of force itself was ever more in doubt. In limiting US commitment to fighting for core interests and formal allies, the Obama administration broke with the main post-war tradition of US foreign policy. This made the use or threat of force more difficult, as the appetite for risk was blunted by its experience in Iraq. Obama’s position was unhelpful in embracing the implications of the limitations of American power. US ‘risk aversion’ risked failing both the US and the world.

Keywords:   Use of Force, Vietnam Syndrome, Iraq Syndrome, Obama, Rumsfeld, McNamara, Risk Aversion

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .