Presidential doctrines since Washington are evaluated to show that, despite differences between administrations, these doctrines have articulated both the responses and directions conducive to an international order that best advances U.S. interests, including “democracy,” open free markets, self-determining states, and a secure global environment.
This text assesses and evaluates the key U.S. presidential doctrines from Washington to Obama. It demonstrates that in spite of differences between successive administrations, in most instances presidential doctrines have articulated both the responses and directions conducive to an international order that best advances American interests, including democracy, open free markets, self-determining states that adhere to U.S. principles, and a secure global environment. This is manifest through such policy goals as containment, interventionism, engagement, de-entanglement, and securing the region. It also shows that the current dilemmas facing the U.S. are a continuation of perennial policy challenges, from Washington’s warning to steer clear of permanent alliances to George Bush’s radical doctrine of prevention and pre-emption and Obama’s “reluctant realist” doctrine. In navigating and assessing the key presidential doctrines, the book explains both the individual and defining themes American presidents have embodied in their respective doctrines in attempting to meet national interest goals. Ultimately, it shows that although each doctrine was formulated in reaction to immediate foreign policy concerns, each also addressed fundamental aspects of U.S. national security that led future statesmen to follow its broad objectives and prescriptions.
Chapter 1: Non-Entangling Alliances
Chapter 2: Securing the Region
Chapter 3: The Seeds of Democracy Promotion
Chapter 4: The New Terrain: Containing the ‘Outside’
Chapter 5: Maintaining the ‘Outside’
Chapter 6: Variations and Continuities in Cold War Approaches
Chapter 7: Prevention for the 21
Chapter 8: Pragmatic Realism and the Use-of-force