The foreign policy of the United States is guided by deeply held beliefs, few of which are recognized much less subjected to rational analysis, Christopher J. Fettweis writes, in this, his third book. He identifies the foundations of those beliefs - fear, honor, glory and hubris - and explains how they have inspired poor strategic decisions in Washington. He then proceeds to discuss their origins. The author analyzes recent foreign policy mistakes, including the Bay of Pigs, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War, and he considers the decision-making process behind them, as well as the beliefs inspiring those decisions. The American government's strategic performance, Professor Fettweis argues, can be improved if these pathological beliefs are recognized and eliminated.
Christopher J. Fettweis is Associate Professor of Political Science at Tulane University. He is the author of Dangerous Times?: The International Politics of Great Power Peace (2010) and Losing Hurts Twice as Bad: The Four Stages to Moving beyond Iraq (2008).
Introduction: pathological beliefs in US foreign policy; 1. Fear: the power of nightmares in a safe society; 2. Honor: credibility, resolve, and paper tigers; 3. Glory: hypercompetitiveness and US foreign policy; 4. Hubris: the superpower as superhero; Conclusion: pathology, realism, and the future.