Neoconservative Ideology and US Foreign Policy Under George Bush

Introduction

Defining Neoconservative Ideology

Neoconservative ideology refers to a branch of conservatism whose proponents share with other rationalists a propensity to conceive the State as an enterprise association” (Kerwick 11). The school of through involves people as collaborators who work with the government to realise a similar and constructive national agenda. The ideology is synonymous to the USA’s push for global dominance where its main aim is to pursue and impose nation self-interest using various ways such as military, economic, and technological power around the globe. Since the fall of communism in the early 1990s, the US has become the de facto global super power. Its influence or dominance is evident in virtually all areas. The success of the US as a global leader can be traced to its approach to foreign policy, which is deeply rooted to conservatism, which has focused on preserving its status as the most powerful nation in the international political arena (Keskin and Halpern 100). The United States has so far succeeded in its quest through its sustained promotion of free and open markets as well as military powers to advance its political interests abroad.

Origin of Neoconservatism

Neoconservatism is a recent ideology that arose during the 1960s. It is majorly attributed to the work and writings of Irving Kristol, Leo Strauss, and Daniel Bell among other neoconservatives in the United States (Norton 5). Michael Harrington first used the term ‘neoconservatism’ in 1962 in his book titled, ‘The Other America’ where he intended to describe his former left wing allies. In Michael Harrington’s book, the use of neoconservatism was solely intended to define former conservatives, anti-Stalinists leftists, or liberals who had not abandoned their Marxists and/or shifted into liberal anti-communists to become more active in the Democratic Party as well as in journalism (Norton 21). As the threat of communism increased during Truman’s regime, a new era of “international liberal order” where the US sought to achieve an ‘active’ ordering of relations in the globe through sets of mechanisms and institutions was ushered in (Beeson 8). However, it soon became apparent that the USSR could affect the achievement of this goal or even replace it with a new world order. Neoconservative ideology stems from a deep hatred for communism and the desire to eliminate its influence in the global geopolitical area and install America’s liberal order across the world. As the threat of communism became apparent, the US and its allies adopted an exclusionary approach where the USSR was transformed from a threatening state actor into a grown-up strategic opponent who had to be wholly excluded from the American-led liberal order. Consequently, the US and its allies adopted an Atlantic communitas based on the exclusion and externalisation plan. Although the approach was negative, it was upheld because of the presence of an absolute and total enemy where compromise was impossible for the United States. From the USA’s perspective, there could be no peace in the world as long as Soviet Union and communism existed and that they had to be ended (Dubose and Bernstein 32).

When communism fell followed by the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the US had successfully achieved its quest for hegemony in the international political arena. Many scholars and commentators such as Norton claimed that without any other opposition and enemy such as the one that was present during the war, neoconservatism would lose its relevance or significance in the global world order of the time (23). For over ten years, the United States did not experience any threats concerning its superiority. However, the events of September 11, 2001 changed the USA’s stance and perception on non-vulnerability. The successful Al-Qaida attack on the US soil ushered a new era of international terrorism of scopes that had never been imagined (Norton 23). The United States was vulnerable again. Its hegemony was at threat from non-state and state actors that supported and participated in the terrorist activity. Led by George W. Bush, the government of the day had to adopt drastic measures to protect the interests of the US whilst strengthening and maintaining its liberal order across the world. During Bush’s administration, neoconservatism became very evident. It received much acknowledgement than any other period in the US history. For instance, in his speech against what he termed as the “axis of evil’ referring to the nations that were suspected to support terrorism, Bush said that the US would “prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or its friends and allies” (Sadat and Jones 95). In this speech, any country for instance Israel, which was suspected to threaten the US and its allies, would be dealt with militarily with all possible means. From that stage, the US was plugged on a path of neoconservatism where realism took a back stage. The US took a strong approach to dealing with countries that it viewed as enemy. This thesis seeks to understand how and to what extent the neoconservative ideology influenced the US foreign policy during Georg W. Bush’s administration. To cover all the areas of the study, the study will draw heavily from the existing literature and commentary on key aspects of Bush’s foreign policy in an effort to demonstrate how it was evidently influenced by neoconservatism.

Key Milestones in the Nineties that Shaped a Government that was influenced By Neoconservative Ideologies

A group of thinkers and advisors influences the government and its ideologies. The group works closely with the president to ensure that it makes well-informed decisions while at the same time taking beneficial actions both internally and externally. In other words, the main aim of the advisors is to ensure that the adopted decisions are for the best interest of the nation. Contemporary neoconservatism is greatly influenced by ideologists who act through four main think tanks in the United States (Goldgeier 506). These think tanks include American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, The Project for a New American Century, Jewish Institute for National Security, Affairs and American Israel Public Affairs Committee. These think tanks have played an important role in giving neoconservatives power and influence on public opinion and political programmes. The main aim of the think tanks is to champion the formation of the American Policy towards Israel as the main ally in the Middle East while at the same time promoting the American Hegemony in the world.

Prior to Bush’s administration, various documents and open letters with statements and opinions of the American neoconservative ideologists and politicians were disclosed expressing the various goals that they wished to realise in order to contain critics of the administration in power at the time (Ledeen 19). Such opinions and open letters appeared on conservative and neoconservative magazines. The efforts reflected a quest for preparing for a future administration that was to be influenced by the neoconservative ideology. Conservatives were keen on changing the USA’s public opinion that was alienated towards a reduction of funding for armaments after the cold war and the end of bipolarity (Gupta 181). Further, the neoconservative ideologists sought to convince the public on the need of the USA to play a critical role in the global geopolitics by seizing the opportunity presented by unipolarity of its power. Some of the documents, letters, and commentaries increasingly represented appeals for policy change towards the Middle East in terms of putting pressure on Iran and breaking down Saddam Hussein’s regime. Further, the opinions and commentaries that were published by neoconservatives pushed for the achievement of neoconservative goals and a change for the US policy (Owens 24). These recommended policy changes and neoconservative goals required the US to advance its global hegemony policies and the promotion of the idea where the American military power would regularly be used to cement its hegemony in the world.

The first document that served to propel the US towards neoconservatism was titled ‘A Clean Break Report’ of 1996. It formed part of Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser’s works (Owens 26). The document was written calling for unreserved and unlimited support by the US on Israel in fighting its Arabian neighbours. In 1997, Statement of Principles, as part of Project for a New American Century’s works, was published with an aim of illustrating various principles that the US had used in the past to advance its interests locally and globally. The first principle was the use of military. The document revealed the need for the US to use its military dominance to advance its interests. As it would have been expected, the document criticised Clinton’s administration for reducing funding towards armament and hence the weakness that the US was facing. The second principle was the call for the return of Reagan’s foreign policy, which was based on military strength and a foreign policy that boldly and purposely promoted American interests and principles worldwide (Goldgeier 509). Although the document acknowledged that the Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity might not be acceptable and fashionable as it was, it revealed that it was a necessary approach of ensuring the success of the US, presently and in the future. The statement was in line with the postulations of neoconservative approaches as described by William Kristol and Robert Kagan who were key proponents of neoconservative ideology (Owens 25). The statement, which was signed by neoconservatives, stated the geopolitical goals for conserving global dominance of the United States and the desire for making its dominance stronger with time through military supremacy, which would act to convince international actors to respect the rules of the game that would be dictated by the United States.

In 1998, conservatives exerted pressure on Bill Clinton to attack Iraq and remove the administration of Saddam Hussein who they claimed posed a great threat to the peace of the world since he had control over a large amount of oil, yet Iraq continued to be a ‘rogue state’ (Owens 36). Although Clinton attacked Iraq in the same year, conservatives soon realised that he never intended to introduce regime change in Iraq, a situation that led to a lot of discontent among neoconservatives. Eventually, neoconservatives directed their support towards G.W Bush by supporting his candidature for presidency that was scheduled for 2000. They realised that the move was the only way they could use to ensure that neoconservative ideas were advanced by the government if they had one of their folks as the president. According to Mitchell, 10 out of 18 letters by neoconservatives to Clinton later played an important role in planning and conducting the war in Iraq during Bush’s administration (148).

Another important influence towards neoconservatism was through The Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile threat to the United States (Unger 6). The commission, which was chaired by Donald Rumsfeld, was made of what was referred to as Team B, which was composed of independent analysts who were supervised and directed by neoconservatives behind the curtains (Mitchell 144). Team B had been formed, courtesy of militarists to assess challenges that threatened the US’s robust defence from standing in the world. The commission, which was later referred to as Rumsfeld Commission, identified Iran and North Korea as the main threats to the US security. The commission’s report pointed out that these two countries would develop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and hence threaten the US security within a five-year period of the report. The report consequently recommended increased funding towards anti-ballistic missile research, citing the decreasing nuclear power of the US. Although the findings of Rumsfeld Commission have not materialised after being proven wrong, they greatly influenced the foreign policy of the time.

From the above discussion, it is evident that the ‘think tanks’ played an important role in guiding the direction that the US took and its approach to foreign policy. The US sovereignty was threatened by the increasing terrorism. Hence, it was easily justifiable for the ‘think tanks’ to lead the government on a path of tough approach to terrorism and any country that was involved in it.

Foreign Policy Goals during G.W Bush Administration and their Link to Neoconservative Ideologies

The foreign policy of any nation determines the goals that it sets for its interaction with the rest of the world. For the United States, during the time of Bush, terrorism was the biggest threat and the most important foreign policy issue because of its sensitivity. Dealing with terrorism requires the non-tolerance of any individual, organisation, or country that is involved with terrorism. To have such a strong foreign policy demanded the US to adopt its realist ideologies that would guarantee that the country would deal with such threats firmly without fear or act of kindness. During the administration of G.W. Bush, the approach to foreign policy was largely towards the dictation of neoconservative ideologies. It largely took the direction that was advocated by neoconservative ideologists such as Robert Kagan and Michael Ledeen among others. Many of the foreign and defence policies that G.W Bush administration enacted were majorly influenced by various policy goals of the neoconservatives who had done what was possible to ensure that their ‘own’ became president. Drawing from policy goals of neoconservatives as contained in Rebuilding America’s Defences: Strategy, Forces and Resources for New Century, it is evident that various foreign and defence policies that G.W. Bush administration enacted were influenced by neoconservative ideologies.

The first foreign and defence policy decision that G.W. Bush administration took was to increase expenditure on armament and decisiveness for military action wherever and whenever necessary. The influence on Bush towards this decision could be attributed to policy goals by neoconservatives that had recognised the hegemony of the US and/or expressed the desire of the US to preserve and extend its advantageous position as far into the future as possible. The president emphasised “preventive war” (Tarzi 28) and hence the justification for increased armament expenditure to ensure that the US was prepared to prevent anything that acted as a threat to its supremacy (Beeson 23).

The second foreign and defence policy decision that the Bush administration took was geared towards the development of new arms and programmes, which saw an increase in funding towards military technology and armament programmes. In addition, there was a drastic increase in defence spending with clear goals of maintaining and fostering the hegemony of the United States and protection of its interests. These foreign and defence policy decisions were greatly influenced by neoconservative policy goals that had claimed that cuts in defence spending had gradually weakened the American military combat readiness. Consequently, they jeopardised the US’s ability to maintain military superiority into the future. Neoconservatives had also asserted that the US spent less than 3% of its GDP on defence. The figure was less than what had been spent in any other given time. Besides, it was very unacceptable. Hence, it triggered the need to wake up from ‘the ten years of protection neglect’, and hence the resulting policy changes during G.W. Bush administration (Keskin and Halpern 101).

Thirdly, the National State Strategy that was put in place by the US in 2002 adopted majority of the recommendations that were advanced by neoconservatives. This class had called for its adoption or its use as a road map to shape the US’s immediate and future defence plans that would be taken by the upcoming administration, which became the Bush’s regime.

Fourthly, neoconservatives had questioned the ‘national security state’ that post-Cold War US governments had taken that seemed withdrawn from active involvement in foreign and defence matters. They asserted that the US had the ability to maintain the world as a relative place. Thus, its lukewarm approach to foreign and defence matters would not assist in any way (Gupta 182). Therefore, there was a need to have serious focus and willingness to allocate more resources towards maintaining military strength to make the world safer and to secure American interests in the short-term and the long-term.

Fifthly, in their document, neoconservatives had recognised the threat that was posed by information and technology and their potential to influence weaponry developments that might have created major dynamics to the extent of affecting the US’s ability to exercise its military dominance. Further, the policy goals of neoconservatives recognised the potential risks posed by rivals such as China among others that were keen on exploiting the new technologies to twist the balance of power in the world. Adversaries such as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea were keen on developing ICBMs to act as deterrents to the American intervention and influence regions that they dominated (Dubose and Bernstein 30). In line with the sentiments of neoconservatives, the Bush administration adopted stronger policy towards China since it was seen as the main rival for global supremacy. Further, the Bush administration dubbed Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the ‘axis of evil’ and as the biggest threats to the US national security for their alleged support of terrorism and development of weapons of mass destruction. In addition, neoconservatives had recognised that the process would be a long one that would lead to a great opposition from countries where the US was intervening. Besides, the process had the capacity to lead to catastrophic ‘new Pearl Harbour like’ events in the US (Ledeen 24). When the US was attacked in September 11, 2001, it was described as a new pearl harbour catastrophe that ushered an era of increased military and defence spending and a process of transformation of military forces to boost their capacities.

Further, neoconservatives had expressed the need for the US to develop foreign policy towards the preservation of favourable balance of power in Europe and the Middle East, especially due to their enormous oil and energy resources ( (Dubose and Bernstein 69). Neoconservatives also claim that the American power is so great and that its interests are so wide that the nation cannot afford to be indifferent in political outcomes across the world. During Bush’s administration, the government took decisive actions by intervening in key regions such as Afghanistan and Iraq, thus threatening Iran and North Korea by supporting the independence of Kosovo (Beeson 9). The government also increased its campaign and push for the democratisation of broader Middle East region. The first step was to occupy Iraq and establish a democratic regime (Keskin and Halpern 104). The continued occupation of Iraq by the US military was also in line with the neoconservative policy goals that recognised the need for the US to establish and/or play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security.

Lastly, the US under the Bush administration carried out ‘pre-emptive strikes’, which gave the US the mandate to use all means possible to attack and stop any country that threatened its power. In this case, the US attacked Iraq for its alleged development of weapons of mass destruction with the option of expanding the campaign to Iran and North Korea as part of eliminating the ‘axis of evil’ (Owens 37).

Several military policy goals were effected during the Bush’s administration, which clearly indicated the neoconservative ideology in play. It is worth noting that military power is a central tenet of neoconservatism. Consequently, the push for a more powerful military was a central factor in advancing the influence of the US in global affairs (Dubose and Bernstein 84). The first military and strategic goal was to defend the American homeland. To achieve this goal, the government reactivated the nuclear disarmament whilst cutting nuclear capabilities through a treaty with Russia. The second approach was through the complete overhaul of obsolete military technologies and a push for modernisation of military forces. The third approach towards defending the American homeland was through the establishment of a global antiballistic missile defence system.

The second military and strategic goal was the intention of ‘fighting and winning multiple and if possible, simultaneous major wars. In this quest, the Bush administration launched wars on Afghanistan and Iraq while at the same time threatening to attack Iran and North Korea (Beeson 14). The third military and strategic goal was geared towards shaping security environments in regions that were considered critical for the US (Ledeen 63). In line with this goal, the Bush administration pushed for the new positioning of the America forces in new NATO state members, Persian Gulf States, and the horn of Africa. Further, the US continued to construct aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, which were all important in protecting overseas critical regions across the world (Gupta 181). These efforts were also complimented by increased Navy activities in the Middle East and East Asia where China’s influence was expected to grow bigger and bigger. By winning such wars, the US could show its military power to ensure that its hegemony in the world was evident to all countries. Such a victory could act as deterrence to any future actors who might be planning to attack or threaten the status of the US as the superpower.

Another military and strategic goal was geared towards the transformation of the US forces to exploit the enormous changes that were expected in military affairs. The Bush’s administration consequently pushed for the development of new arms, new programmes, advanced military technologies, and better human capabilities that would place the US military forces a step ahead of the rest (Owens 39).

Lastly, the military and strategic goals called for a specific and postmodern geostrategic goal, which would allow the US to play a dominant role in the emerging technologies. For instance, the Bush’s administration introduced the ‘Echelon system’ that would ensure the US’s control over electronic communication and easier bugging of communication (Keskin and Halpern 111). Further, the establishment of the US Air Force Space Command was a key step towards this goal. However, to achieve all the above goals, more funding was required. During Bush’s administration, the government eventually and drastically increased the US military spending.

Other notable actions during the Bush’s administration clearly indicate its move towards conservatism. For instance, in 1972, the USA entered into a treaty (the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM)) with Russia. Under the treaty, the two superpowers agreed to limit the number of anti-ballistic and missile defence systems that each country would have to only two (Norton 46). The main aim of the treaty was to protect the two countries from an arms race since each country would try to outdo the other’s defence system and possibly lead to the first nuclear attack. The treaty was active for the following 30 years. It effectively ensured that the two nations did not develop anti-ballistic missile system beyond what had been agreed (Dubose and Bernstein 127). However, following the September 11 attack, the government started a process of increasing defence and reducing the chances of a successful missile attack from its adversaries. In 2002, the Bush’s administration withdrew from the ABM treaty, thus effectively ushering a new era of the development of ballistic missile defence systems. Under the programme of the ballistic missile defence system, the US sought to eliminate any vulnerability to enemy projectiles, including nuclear warheads while having the ability to launch nuclear and other missile attacks on enemies. The increase in funding towards missile defence system by the US is a clear indication of the US move to protect itself while maintaining its hegemony in the world. Further, the increased spending and the establishment of the US Air Force Space Command were in line with the US’s quest to control space and cyberspace in the near and far future (Gupta 181). Neoconservatives had expressed their push for the US to dominate all spheres of the emerging technologies. The space and cyberspace were identified as areas of future geostrategic confrontations. Following the September 11 events, the US global geostrategic characteristics changed drastically, including an increased determination to dominate and influence the affairs in the globe. In addition, more than ever, the US was willing to use military force in strategically important areas. Therefore, neoconservative approaches of the government altered the post-Cold War relations and consequently redefined the relations between the US, China, Russia, and the European Union (Ledeen 85). From the above discussion, it is evident that many of the foreign and military policy goals during the Bush’s administration were aimed at cementing the US’s hegemony and consequently characteristic of neoconservative ideology.

Neoconservatives’ Influence on President G.W. Bush

The support by neoconservatives on G.W. Bush was largely influenced by the fact that he had scarce knowledge on foreign politics, a leeway that the neoconservatives were keen on exploiting. In 1998, Bush was given a brief course on foreign policy by a group of overseas plan advisors who among them included Condoleezza Rice (later secretary of state in the Bush administration) and Richard Cheney (later the vice president in the Bush management) (Keskin and Halpern 109). These advisors among others are well known for their strong support for the US hegemony. Consequently, they played an important role in influencing Bush’s administration towards neoconservative approaches to governance.

The influence of the neoconservatives and their think tanks on G.W Bush was evident in his rhetoric in which the US approaches to the world were changed into some sort of black and white struggle of life and death, or in other words, a battle between the good and evil (Unger 88). This struggle between the good and the evil began with the identification of the ‘rogue states’ in reference to North Korea, Iraq, and Iran as the ‘axis of evil. Further, it involved the identification of the Middle East and Persian Gulf regions as areas of permanent American engagement in the quest of helping Israel and maintaining it as a strategic nation in advancing American interests in this hostile region.

Even before Bush’s administration came into power, neoconservatives were openly vocal on their support for the return of neo-Reaganite foreign policy strategy and their desire to have it made into the official US foreign policy (Mitchell 160). Their push for American global geo-strategy was even more evident, following the events of September 11 where they sought to influence the then President Bush’s policy, the political social circumstances of the US, and the world. The president‘s approach to foreign policy can be understood better by identifying people who formed the top advisory committee on foreign policy. Firstly, Condoleezza Rice was an openly declared neoconservative. This claim is evident especially when she served as a senior director on Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council during George H.W. Bush’s administration. Consequently, as a National Security Advisor during George W. Bush’s administration, she was a very influential figure in shaping the US foreign policy in support of its (the US) hegemony (Dubose and Bernstein 68). Although the vice president was not a declared neoconservative, his standings on the Middle East drastically changed after the September 11 attacks. Indeed, Richard Cheney went from an opponent of the US involvement in the Middle East to become the Chief advocate for the US engagement in the Middle East and attack on Iraq.

Although the declared neoconservatives did not hold key offices in Bush’s administration, their influence could not be overlooked. In many occasions, their views on foreign policy became dominant as they held positions in other foreign policy offices as well as in neoconservative think tank organisations that were influential in their right. For instance, neoconservatives in structures of power influenced their chiefs who were undeclared neoconservatives. Hence, they indirectly pushed neoconservative ideologies to the highest office holders and decision makers.

During the presidential campaigns, G.W. Bush had clearly indicated his reluctance towards attacking and toppling Saddam Hussein’s government. However, neoconservatives knew that he had little knowledge on foreign policy, especially on the Middle East politics. Indeed, critics assert that prior to receiving neoconservative foreign policy advice, G.W. Bush was a tabula rasa, that is, he had no knowledge of how the Middle East politics and foreign policy issues played out in the international system (Mitchell 153). Consequently, his foreign policy decisions and consequent change of tune and support for an attack on Iraq were a clear indication of neoconservative ideology influence.

The Key Pillars of the Bush Administration and their Relation to Neoconservative Ideologies

As previously, discussed, neoconservative ideologies advocated the cultural absolutism and supremacy of the American regimes in dictating the global political system. In this chapter, the focus is on summarising the key pillars of the Bush administration to show how they link to neoconservative ideologies.

The first pillar of the Bush administration was democratisation. Under this pillar, the US government introduced the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (NSS), which advocated democracy as the triumph of the struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism. Consequently, the only way the world ought to go was towards the tenets of freedom, democracy, and free enterprise where the US was to set an example and push for this ideology at all costs (Goldgeier 508). As Santos and Tavares confirm, the Bush administration held democracy as ‘true’ and more prominently as ‘true’ universally and hence the reasons for its promotion and justification around the world (132). A good example of how Bush’s administration exercised its push for democracy is evident in its quest to conduct a free and fair election in Iraq.

The second pillar of the Bush administration was Militaristic Primacy where the US recognised America’s unmatched military power. During the Bush regime, military power was a vital tool for justifying the nation’s hegemony and unparalleled power across the world (Gupta 185). During this time, the US changed the military role of a passive prevention instrument to an active deterrence agent in the world affairs. In support of active engagement of the military strength as an agent of change, the National Security Strategy during Bush’s administration held that the history would judge harshly those who saw the danger coming and did not act. Hence, the only way to global peace was through action (Ledeen 22). Consequently, unlike the past, the US would promote democracy both through example as well as through active and aggressive exportation of the same when needed.

The third pillar of the Bush administration was pre-emption, which assumed that deterrence was not the solution to all problems. In this case, the Bush administration stated that some US enemies could not be deterred. In this light, the government was willing to exercise the nation’s right to self-defence by acting pre-emptively against such threatening actors and preventing them from harming the US. While pre-emption is usually a response to obvious threats to national security that is protected under the international law, the US advocated preventive warfare where the country would use its resources to protect itself from attacks by terrorist groups that were willing to use unorthodox methods and potential weapons of mass destruction against the US (Dubose and Bernstein 44).

The last pillar of the Bush administration was unilateralism. This pillar is a clear indication of the action-oriented nature of the US approaches to foreign policy during Bush’s administration. In the quest to act when necessary, it is difficult to bring the rest of the international community to support such actions. However, in the event that such actions are deemed necessary for protecting the US interests and national security, the Bush administration held the right to act unliterary. In other words, while the US sought the support of the international community, it could not hesitate to act alone. Such an approach is a confirmation of the US’s intentions on unilateral action when and where it deems appropriate.

While invading Iraq, the US justified its actions as a push for democracy where pre-emptive approach was viewed as necessary while terrorism was the target. According to Westphal, “the theory of preemption supports the rights of nation states or individuals to prevent an attack upon themselves or their nation if the attack is “anticipated,” imminent, overwhelming and there are no other options” (3). However, by using war as a means for exporting or taking democracy to Iraq, the approach was a key indicator of the neoconservative ideology in play and the depth that the US was ready to go to create democracy to guarantee its supremacy in the world. All the above pillars of Bush’s administration are clearly neoconservative since they advance the push for the cementing of the US hegemony. The willingness to be action-oriented and the use of military across the world to advance the interests of the US is a central concept in neoconservative ideologies.

Conclusion

The influence of neoconservatives on the Bush administration was profound. The foreign and military policies that the US undertook pointed in that direction. Neoconservative ideologies advocate the absolutism and supremacy of US culture and the need to advance its moral standings across the world. As discussed in the paper, during the Bush administration, the military formed a key pillar in advancing the US interests. The increased military spending was aimed at attaining military supremacy, which was central to the US’s hegemony. Other notable events that pointed to the influence of neoconservative ideologies on the Bush administration included the decision to identify enemy nations and/or attack them as it was witnessed in the case of Iraq whose situation threatened other nations such as North Korea and Iran, which were identified as the axis of evil. The areas of neoconservative influence on Bush’s administration that have been discussed clearly indicate the deep enshrinement of neoconservative ideologies during the period.

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