Leaders in conflict

Bush and Rumsfeld in Iraq

By Stephen Dyson

Leaders in conflict


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9170-4
  • Pages: 160
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: March 2014
  • BIC Category: Politics, International relations, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Presidents & Heads of State, HISTORY / Europe / France, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Political Leaders & Leadership, Society & social sciences / International relations


Beneath the violence of the US war in Iraq was a subterranean conflict between President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, rooted in their different beliefs and leadership styles. Bush was prepared to pay a high cost in American lives, treasure, and prestige to win. Rumsfeld favoured turning the war over to the Iraqis, and was comfortable with the risk that Iraq would disintegrate into chaos. Only after Bush removed Rumsfeld in late 2006 did he bring US strategy into line with his goals, sending additional troops to Iraq and committing to continued US involvement.

In Leaders in conflict, Stephen Benedict Dyson shows that Bush and Rumsfeld thought about international politics, and about leadership, in divergent ways, and demonstrates the impact these differences had on the course of the war. The book is based upon more than two dozen interviews with administration insiders, and will appeal to those interested in the US presidency, US foreign policy, leadership and wartime decision making.


'This book is a shining example of political psychology's ability to help explain one of the most puzzling and disturbing episodes in the history of US foreign policy.'
Professor Paul 't Hart, Utrecht University School of Governance

'Students of political leadership will be bound to profit from reading Professor Dyson's crisp and analytically lucid account of the interplay of George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld as they presided over the American intervention in Iraq and its troubled aftermath.'
Professor Fred I. Greenstein, Princeton University


1. Leaders in conflict
2. Leaders and international relations
3. The emergence of the Bush doctrine
4. Rumsfeld and the invasion plan
5. The governance plan
6. Coalition provisional authority
7. Rumsfeld's exit strategy
8. Bush takes charge
9. Leadership and the Iraq war: lessons learned
Appendix: Measuring the worldviews of Bush Rumsfeld using quantitative content analysis


Stephen Benedict Dyson is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut

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