|Title||A tale of two surges: Conceptual models of foreign policy and the decisions to adopt troop surges in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars|
This study performs a case study analysis of two of the more important presidential decisions in post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy in order to accomplish two goals. First, the study examines the decision-making processes of the two cases as part of an effort to develop a more nuanced, objective understanding of how Presidents Bush and Obama arrived at two seminal decisions in their presidencies. Second, the study tests the descriptive accuracy and explanatory power of three major models of foreign policy decision-making: the rational actor model, the bureaucratic politics model, and individual-level analyses to account for the events and outcomes of the two cases. This study attempts to refine existing models of decision-making and develop an objective, academic appraisal of the decision-making processes surrounding the two troop surges. Finally, the study also attempts to advance the field of foreign policy analysis and contribute to scholars’ understanding of how decisions are made in U.S. foreign policy.
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