ABSTRACT

More than any other post-Cold War presidency, that of George W. Bush has been associated with a radical shift in grand strategy and, undeniably, some far-reaching changes did take place, in particular after the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration responded to these unexpected attacks with a muscular blend of pre-emptive resolve, unilateralist readiness, and a forceful and militarist variety of “democracy promotion” aimed at regime change, cloaked in a neoconservative, Manichean discourse, stressing the need for the United States to remain the world’s unrivaled leader. The Bush administration is also widely known for its intimate involvement of a group of neoconservative grand-strategy makers who were able – due to their concentration in the White House and Pentagon, a susceptible president, and the “window of opportunity” offered by the 9/11 attacks – to wield great influence on the grand strategy that developed after September 11, 2001.