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Title: The total neglect of power : E.H. Carr's classical realism and American power in the northern Persian Gulf, 1943-2003
Author: Smith, Keith
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 8643
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2012
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In 2003 the United States, in conjunction with a coalition of the willing, invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein. This use of force to reshape order, in other words militarism, is often seen as a unique event, which was generated by the particular circumstances of 9/11, the Presidency of George W. Bush and the ideological outlook of his principal advisers. In reality, however, the use of force in Iraq is one case in a broader pattern of American militarism in the northern Gulf countries of Iraq and Iran. This research is concerned with understanding the factors that have generated American militarism in this region. The aim is to consider whether the policies of the George W. Bush administration, in particular the Iraq War, are consistent with the wider history of America's regional policy. Engaging with recent developments in the realist intellectual tradition, this thesis employs the classical realist perspective of E.H. Carr to enhance neoclassical realist explanation s for America's actions. A detailed analysis of primary documents, in combination with the use of secondary sources for current eras, is employed to illustrate how episodes of nationalist, statist and Islamic revolution have contoured American foreign policy. The analysis illustrates the historical importance that the United States has attached to the balance of power in the northern Gulf. The use of force has been employed when revolutionary actors and forces, which the United States has been unable to influence through alternative means, threatened to or did disrupt the balance of power and challenge America's regional interests. From this perspective, this thesis suggests that the war in Iraq was not as unrealistic as some realists contend; rather at its core, the war was concerned with balancing against Iran. The research concludes, therefore, that although the scope of Bush's militarism may have been unique, its causes seem entirely consistent with America's historic balance of power policy in the northern Gulf.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available