The Powell Doctrine and US Foreign Policy  book cover
1st Edition

The Powell Doctrine and US Foreign Policy

ISBN 9781472425652
Published April 10, 2015 by Routledge
226 Pages

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USD $160.00

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Book Description

The Vietnam War is one of the longest and most controversial in US history. This book seeks to explore what lessons the US military took from that conflict as to how and when it was appropriate for the United States to use the enormous military force at its disposal and how these lessons have come to influence and shape US foreign policy in subsequent decades. In particular this book will focus on the evolution of the so called ’Powell Doctrine’ and the intellectual climate that lead to it. The book will do this by examining a series of case studies from the mid-1970s to the present war in Afghanistan.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction; Chapter 1 Force Should Only be Used in the “Vital National Interest”; Chapter 2 The Use of Force Must be Overwhelming; Chapter 3 US Forces Must Have Overwhelming Public and Congressional Support; Chapter 4 The Objective of US Military Forces Should be Clear; Chapter 5 The Need for a Clear “Exit Strategy”; Chapter 6 The War in Iraq; Chapter 7 The War in Afghanistan; Chapter 101 Conclusion;

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Luke Middup gained his Ph.D. in Politics and International Relations from the University of Nottingham in 2011. He has previously published on the similarities and differences between US war planning in Vietnam and US war planning in the first Persian Gulf. His research interests are US foreign and national security policy post-1945. Dr Middup is currently Associate Lecturer with Portsmouth Business School at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, UK.


’Luke Middup has produced a closely argued analysis of the so-called Powell Doctrine. He discusses its intellectual origins and examines each of its five principles and how they have been deployed or ignored in five chapters of case-studies. The book ends with two chapters providing an interesting analysis of how the principles have been applied or not as the case may be in Iraq and Afghanistan.’ Alan Dobson, St Andrews University, UK ’Luke Middup has done a fine academic service by providing a clear-eyed interpretation of both the application and non-application of the Powell Doctrine. Drawing upon key case studies of the deployment of American military force, Dr Middup shows the relevance and wisdom of the Doctrine for policy-makers in assessing the nature and limits of that force’s utility.’ Nigel Bowles, University of Oxford, UK