A Tale of Two Surges: Comparing the Politics of the 2007 Iraq Surge and the 2009 Afghanistan Surge
This manuscript compares and contrasts the political obstacles faced by Bush and Obama when they sought to deepen U.S. involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I compare their efforts in three areas. First, I examine their attempts to rally public support for a surge by “going public” and making high-profile policy speeches. Second, I examine their attempts to silence congressional critics, by framing the choice as averting defeat. Finally, I examine each president’s attempt to quell a rebellion inside his administration. Although Bush failed to rally public support, he was able to implement the surge because he succeeded in unifying Republicans in support of his policy, and dividing and silencing congressional Democrats. Obama succeeded because he was able to successfully shape public opinion. This, in turn, allowed him to withstand criticism from hawkish Republicans in Congress and also rally the support of dovish Democratic elites.
International relations, War
McHugh, K. (2015). A Tale of Two Surges: Comparing the Politics of the 2007 Iraq Surge and the 2009 Afghanistan Surge. SAGE Open, 5(4), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244015621957