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After Bush: The Case for Continuity in American Foreign Policy Hardcover – April 28, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"To critics and decriers of the Bush doctrine, two well-versed scholars have forcefully posed the question: if not this, then what? In doing so, they have provided a most welcome tonic to the shrill election-year demagogy that has filled the American air."
Joshua Muravchik, Commentary

"In After Bush, Timothy Lynch and Robert Singh lay out the case, with incisive scholarly detail, why there is likely to be--and should be--more constancy in American foreign policy in the coming years than not....Moreover, as After Bush argues, when you step back and take an honest account of how all of this has played out in practice, you see that, on balance, this American approach to the world has been successful. Whether it is the peace enjoyed by the democracies of the world, or the advances made in the war on terror, the existing approach to foreign policy has served Americans and their allies well."
Gary Schmitt, The Weekly Standard

"After Bush is a serious, carefully researched and documented analysis of American policy in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Lynch and Singh demolish a great many of the dozens of myths and misconceptions that have become the conventional wisdom about the Bush administration's response to terrorism, the decision to go into Iraq and the thinking and influence of neoconservatives. It will take many more such books to balance the mountain of nonsense that has been piled up by ideologically driven academics and a huge flock of journalistic sheep. They should be congratulated for having made a start."
Richard Perle, Fellow, American Enterprise Institute and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense

"Lynch and Singh make a compelling case that the Bush doctrine will outlast the current American president, and they assemble considerable evidence to show that fundamental components of the doctrine are consistent with foreign policy tradition. The authors skillfully depersonalize the debate about American foreign policy in order to move beyond the current obsession with George W. Bush."
Robert J. Lieber, Professor of Government and International Affairs, Georgetown University

"This book is required reading for both defenders and critics of the current direction of American foreign policy. The authors make the provocative case that the policies of the Presidents to come will resemble those of the Bush administration, because Bush himself followed the historical traditions of America's approach to the world. On the other hand, the authors argue that a Second Cold War against Islamist terrorism has more in common with the first Cold War than many would like to think. This fascinating combination of foreign policy, strategy, and even constitutional law should cause readers to reconsider their fundamental positions."
John Yoo, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley

"...[P]erhaps of greatest importance, there is no evident wish in the US - whether in the political elite in Washington, or in the Democratic Party, or in the nation as a whole - to abandon US primacy and exceptionalism. The new president of 2009 will only in some degree alter existing policies. Washington will continue to want to run, if not control, the world."
Fred Halliday, Open Democracy

"The common sense view - shared by the chattering classes around the world - is that Bush has failed, that the war on terror has been a disaster, and that the United States should return with all speed to the multilateral system is so unnecessarily abandoned some time during 2001. Here is a book that frontally challenges all these cosy assumptions. The world and the United States have changed for ever - it insists - and the sooner the rest of us get used to the fact the better. A provocative, trenchantly argued study that leaves the reader with few places to hide."
Professor Michael Cox, The London School of Economics

"More compellingly than the Bush administration itself, Lynch and Singh argue that a Second Cold War is underway, this time against radical Islam. U.S. policies, they hold, must resemble those of the original Cold War. And American responses since 9/11 are sound and will endure. With panache, After Bush offers a well researched, original, and refreshing tonic to a truck-load of anti-Bush screeds."
Daniel Pipes, Director, Middle East Forum

"Learned, judicious, and courageous - this study of the Bush foreign policy will continue to illuminate and explain long after today's philippics and polemics have been consigned to the back shelves. A uniquely valuable work."
David Frum, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

"Bush foreign policy defenders are sometimes difficult to find in academia, and for this reason alone the book has value....Still, the War on Terror/Second Cold War will continue even after the Bush administration has departed from office. How will American foreign policy change? This is an important question, one that should be examined apart from the personal animosity that drives so much of the discussion surrounding American foreign policy under President Bush. The ultimate goal should be the development of coherent, long-term policies that are grounded in American traditions and based on American national interests. After Bush is a useful book that can help facilitate the discussions needed to move us towards this goal."
Darren Wheeler, University of North Florida, Law and Politics Book Review

"Outstanding: a worthy successor volume to Kagan's Dangerous Nation."
Brendan Simms, University of Cambridge

"Timothy Lynch and Robert Singh do a fine job of defending the foreign policy approach of the George W. Bush administration. Deeply unfashionable and brilliantly polemical, After Bush will redefine the parameters of debate."
John Dumbrell, Professor of Government, Durham University (UK)

"Whatever one might think of the argument that the Bush Doctrine not only will but should survive the Bush presidency - and I, for one, strongly disagree - Lynch and Singh develop it cogently and with great vigor. An important contribution to the literature on American foreign policy."
Ivo Daalder, Co-author, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy

Book Description

In a provocative argument, running counter to the majority of analyses, Lynch and Singh support the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration and make the case for continuity. They suggest that the Bush doctrine should remain the basis which shapes America's approach in the future.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; First Edition edition (April 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521880041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521880046
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,003,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a rare and brilliant book: beautifully and clearly written, punctiliously researched, and with a clear and important message: that, once elected, American presidents have far more in common with one another than is usually believed, especially by their partisan supporters. What these two British co-authors have superbly succeeded in doing is---unlike the majority of biased books on American foreign policy---to step back from the frenzies of the moment and look at the big picture. Once they do, they see a significant continuity in the practice of American foreign policy among vastly different presidents of the two opposing political parties. All presidents seek to protect the American poeple from threats beyond the nation's borders. The co-authors are leading British authorities on the United States, and as such, they do not have the usual, tediously transparent axes to grind: their objectivity is clear and impeccable, and their conclusions are absolutely requrired reading for every American citizen, as well as for those citizens of America's allies, who live their daily lives in peace, security and prosperity, yet rarely cease complaining about the nation that provides the very safety and secutity that is essential to their own lives. This is a measured, fair and clear-eyed assessment that is a must-read for all Americans and for all readers throughout the world who care about American foreign policy. Only once or twice a decade does one encounter a book with such clear analysis, splendid prose, and utter objectivity, and there are, in my view, only two American-born authors who provide this level of clarity. If you buy only one book this election year, this should be the one.
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Format: Hardcover
If Congress had not amended the law to limit the number of terms a president could serve cynics would no doubt suggest that the co-authors of a book -- taking an historical as opposed to a hysterical look at presidential doctrine -- launched just weeks before the election were courting positions of high office.

As it happens, Bush's second term is nearing its end and he will soon be leaving the capital for Crawford, hence the title of Timothy J. Lynch's and Robert S. Singh's hardback: After Bush: The Case for Continuity in American Foreign Policy. All the same the University of London duo could still be on Bush's guest list at the White House before the moving vans approach 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Though clearly, such an offer is not the be all and end all for Messrs. Lynch and Singh. If anything an invitation from the 44th President of the United States is just as likely given their book's non-partisan, political futurology and for all of Barack Obama's mantra of 'change'.

Their historical reference point is the Truman era and the First Cold War. And their central thesis is that we are in the early stages of a Second Cold War, this time against Islamist terrorism. Notwithstanding Truman remaining the gold standard for presidential rehabilitation the pair never set out to revise Bush and make him into one of America's top ten. Depersonalizing the debate only reinforces their case and prolongs After Bush's existence on module reading lists the world over. (Indeed the bibliography alone, if read, would be enough to earn a master's degree.)

Thus After Bush should be read by everyone from Bush-backer to Bush-basher. That said if you are a Bush (doctrine)-basher and invited to debate with Lynch and Singh, decline.
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Format: Hardcover
The argument Lynch and Singh put forward is two-fold in that not only WILL the Bush-doctrine continue to form basic structure of US foreign policy in the years to come, but that this is in fact desirable and needed in the framework of what they call the Second Cold War (with Radical/Militant Islam).

While I concur with the authors that a serious change of direction will require exceptional leadership skills, as well as a profound change in the priorities of the electorate, there is in my opinion little factual support for the thesis of a Second Cold War. The authors suggest that the global ideology (Radical Islam) should be considered a threat that requires offensive means (preventive war, long-term military engagement) in order to avoid these terrorists from acquiring WMD-capacities. The idea contains several major flaws:

- While Islamic terrorism certainly poses a significant threat to Western societies, such organizations are very diverse and distinct. Thus the only real threat to western societies remains Al-Qaeda. Other organizations (Hamas, Hezbollah, etc.) are primarily concerned with their national struggles, and while they may sympathize with Al-Qaeda, they draw their membership in support against occupation of their particular homeland.

- Though Iran's theocracy pursues a very orthodox and extremist version of Islam, the idea that Iran would EVER give or sell nuclear weapons to Al-Qaeda is mistaken. Firstly Al-Qaeda is a Sunni-organization whereas Iran is a Shiite regime. Secondly, while Iran may have been and continues be very hateful in their rhetoric towards USA, they do have historically good reasons for this thus making it a very secular sentiment.
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