No more Iraqs: analysing use of force decisions during the Obama administration

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In this article, I focus on a subset of Obama's foreign policy views, namely his beliefs about the appropriate circumstances under which the United States should engage in armed conflict. I argue that the Iraq war served as a formative event in the development of Obama's worldview. He derived distinct lessons from this policy failure, leading him to articulate a restrictive set of conditions that should be met before the United States considered intervening in the internal politics of another nation, absent a direct threat to national security. I undertake a detailed examination of two case studies – the administration's debates leading to the 2011 intervention in Libya and the decision not to intervene in Syria in 2013 – and demonstrate how the lessons of Iraq shaped Obama's policy choices at critical junctures in the deliberations. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Global Change, Peace & Security is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
Administrative agencies, Humanitarian law, International relations, War
McHugh, K. A. (2021). No more Iraqs: analysing use of force decisions during the Obama administration. Global Change, Peace & Security, 33(1), 1–21.