Comparing Neo Conservative Thought And The Invasion Of Iraq Essay

Comparing Neo Conservative Thought And The Invasion Of Iraq Essay

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International Relations Theories 1: What, if anything, does the case of Neo-conservative thought and the invasion of Iraq tell us about the relationship between ‘theory’ and ‘reality’?

There is no doubt that Neo-conservative thought played a major role in instigating the Iraq War. The focus of this essay will be concerned with the proposal of Neo-conservative theory creating the circumstances surrounding the Iraq war in order to acquire some control and recognition as an important theory through policy formation; an argument that supported by a considerable amount of evidence. A focus will also be concerned with the significance of theoretical ideas, using Neo-conservatism as the example, when tested in the real world. In order to provide better insight into the relationship between theory and reality in this sense, the circumstances surrounding the Iraq War need to be analyzed. This refers to the roots of Neo-conservatism, the justifications given by Neo-conservatives for the Iraq war, and the Straussian-influenced methods of persuasion employed to steer the objectives of the Bush administration towards it.

Firstly, it is argued that the justifications given for the Iraq war are a mixture of liberal and realist ideas; theories that form the basis for Neo-conservative thought (Williams 2005; Schmidt & Williams 2008; Rapport 2008). Connections with liberal theory tend to concern the belief in a heightened use of humanitarian interventionist policies, democracy promotion, morals, and liberal language when dealing with foreign policy. Realist associations tend to concern an emphasis on state power; American hegemony and military superiority following the end of the Cold War, and the significance of dealing with international issues...


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...ting the Iraq war through their use of persuasion and the implementation of their policies. In the cases stated above, it is evident that the theory, and its supporters, was successful in molding the reality of the situation concerning Iraq to fit the needs of their theoretical proposals, as well as persuading people of the outcome that they expected to occur in each case. This was done, for example, by choosing only relevant information to present to the Bush administration, and by playing to the fears of the American people. Theoretical ideas can therefore be very powerful when applied to real life situations, and as we can see by the effects of the Iraq war, can have devastating effects if it disregards important information that could potentially effect their theoretical proposals, such as how the Neo-conservatives underestimated the force of nationalism in Iraq.

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