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After the War

After the War: Nation-Building from FDR to George W. Bush

James Dobbins
Michele A. Poole
Austin Long
Benjamin Runkle
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 188
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  • Book Info
    After the War
    Book Description:

    From the post-World War II era through the Cold War, post-Cold War era, and current war on terrorism, this volume assesses how U.S. presidential decisionmaking style and administrative structure can work in favor of, as well as against, the nation-building goals of the U.S. government and military and those of its coalition partners and allies.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4556-0
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Figure
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xxx)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxxi-xxxii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxiii-xxxvi)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    The United States has attempted at least eight significant nation-building operations over the past 60 years, beginning with the occupations of Germany and Japan at the conclusion of World War II. The next major spate of nation-building came at the end of the Cold War, in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Finally, in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks, the United States has found itself similarly involved in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The post–World War II operations were planned under Franklin D. Roosevelt and carried out under Harry Truman. The first post–Cold War operation was initiated...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Presidential Style, Institutional Structure, and Bureaucratic Process
    (pp. 3-10)

    The president is both constitutionally and empirically the prime mover of U.S. foreign policy. Executive-branch decisionmaking structure and process has, accordingly, been subjected to considerable scrutiny. For the purposes of this study, two intellectual frameworks were particularly instructive: Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow’s governmental politics model of decisionmaking and Alexander George’s work on presidential decisionmaking.

    In their revised edition of Allison’s seminal workEssence of Decision, Allison and Zelikow argue against the “rational-actor” model of governmental decisionmaking, which posits that a unitary actor—in this case, the executive branch of the U.S. government—calculates the costs and benefits of a...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Post–World War II Nation-Building: Germany and Japan
    (pp. 11-36)

    The transformation of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan into peaceful, prosperous, vibrant democracies remains to this day the gold standard of nation-building. However, if, prior to 1945, one were to have characterized the United States’ postwar plans for Germany and Japan asnation-building, the American public and many key U.S. decisionmakers would have responded with alarm. Faced with the practical problems of governing and feeding millions of Germans and Japanese, and with the threat of further Soviet expansion, U.S. policy shifted over time away from harshly punitive measures and toward the reform, reconstruction, and reintegration of these societies into the...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Post–Cold War Nation-Building: Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo
    (pp. 37-84)

    Over the subsequent 40 years, successive U.S. administrations made few attempts to replicate the early nation-building successes in Germany and Japan. During the Cold War, U.S. policy emphasized containment, deterrence, and maintenance of the status quo. Efforts were made to promote democratic and free-market values but, generally, without the element of compulsion. U.S. military power was employed to preserve the status quo, not to alter it, to manage crises, not to resolve the underlying problems, lest doing so provoke a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union. Germany, Korea, Vietnam, China, Cyprus, and Palestine were divided. U.S. and international forces were...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Post-9/11 Nation-Building: Afghanistan and Iraq
    (pp. 85-134)

    George W. Bush ran for president on a platform that clearly opposed heavy U.S. involvement in nation-building. With the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., the U.S. view of the post–Cold War order changed dramatically, and with it, albeit more slowly, so did President Bush’s attitude toward such missions.

    Most on the Bush team had observed the spate of post–Cold War missions from the sidelines and drawn lessons that were at odds with the practices that evolved during the Clinton administration. Following the debacle of Somalia, the disappointing results of his intervention in Haiti...

  13. CHAPTER SIX Toward Better Decisions and More Competent Execution
    (pp. 135-142)

    Successful nation-building requires unity of effort across multiple agencies and, often, multiple governments. Decisionmaking structures thus need to provide for a combination of common effort and unified direction. The requirement to include not just other agencies but also other governments and international organizations in modern nation-building enterprises makes any replication of the MacArthur viceroy model unrealistic. The entire U.S. national security establishment needs to be engaged, as does much of the international community. This is not a responsibility that presidents can afford to delegate, nor one that any single department of government can handle.

    Decisionmaking structures thus need to reflect...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 143-152)