The almost universally accepted explanation for the Iraq War is very clear and consistent - the US decision to attack Saddam Hussein's regime on March 19, 2003 was a product of the ideological agenda, misguided priorities, intentional deceptions and grand strategies of President George W. Bush and prominent 'neoconservatives' and 'unilateralists' on his national security team. Despite the widespread appeal of this version of history, Frank P. Harvey argues that it remains an unsubstantiated assertion and an underdeveloped argument without a logical foundation. His book aims to provide a historically grounded account of the events and strategies which pushed the US-UK coalition towards war. The analysis is based on both factual and counterfactual evidence, combines causal mechanisms derived from multiple levels of analysis and ultimately confirms the role of path dependence and momentum as a much stronger explanation for the sequence of decisions that led to war.
Frank P. Harvey was recently appointed University Research Professor of International Relations at Dalhousie University. He held the 2007 J. William Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Canadian Studies (SUNY, Plattsburgh), is a Senior Research Fellow with the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and was former Director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Dalhousie.
1. Comparative counterfactual analysis and the 2003 Iraq War; 2. Leadership, political context(s) and the Iraq War; 3. Democratic national security advisers; 4. Domestic and congressional politics; 5. American intelligence failures and miscalculations; 6. Societal pressures and public opinion; 7. International politics, global WMD consensus and UN power balancing; 8. Hussein's mistakes, miscalculations and misperceptions; 9. Summary and implications; 10. Conclusion.