Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq war: realism versus neo-conservatism. Open source article – check for full text link won’t work. [ALL to review]. Add to My. 17 John J. Mearsheimer, “Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq War: Realism versus Neo-Conservatism,” , posted 19 May. Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq War: Realism Versus Neo-conservatism. Front Cover. John J. Mearsheimer. OpenDemocracy,

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Here’s an example of what they look like:. Realists, however, are well aware of the difficulty of spreading democracy, especially by military means.

Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq war: realism versus neo-conservatism | openDemocracy

In essence, the rest of the world will fear the United States, which will cause any state that is even thinking about challenging Washington to throw up its hands vesus jump on the American bandwagon. There he wrote his defining work, Politics among Nations: Here’s an example of what they look like: This tendency was definitely on display in the United States during the first half of the s, anx intervention in Vietnam was being debated. Morgenthau rejected this view, and argued that the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong the guerrilla forces in South Vietnam were motivated mainly by nationalism, not communism, and that they would invariably view American troops in their midst as colonial occupiers whom they would fight hard to expel.

In fact, it is relatively easy for a powerful country like America to conquer vwrsus in the developing world.

Not surprisingly, Morgenthau warned about the dangers of pursuing global crusades in making his case against the war in Vietnam. Neo-conservatives would answer that an American victory in Iraq would compel Yasser Arafat to sign a vrsus treaty with Israel. Iraq was the first major effort in this endeavour, although it could be argued that the war against Afghanistan was the initial step and Iraq was the second one. Hobbes and the International Anarchy Previous: What are reading intentions? So far, the French and Germans do not appear to be following that script.

The American people, much to their discredit, never demanded an explanation as to how the United States military, which has never been particularly good at nation-building, was going to do massive social engineering in a foreign and probably hostile culture.

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Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz understood that if the American military had to deploy huge numbers of troops in Iraq after Saddam was toppled, it would be pinned down, unable to float like a butterfly and rsalism like a bee. Instead, it can rely almost exclusively on its military might to achieve its goals. The real trouble comes once the United States owns the country it has overrun, and the Americans are seen as occupiers and face an insurgency. Many supporters of that war are now having second thoughts, since it is becoming increasingly clear that American troops are stuck in an open-ended conflict from which there seems to be no exit.

What, then, is the realist critique of this neo-conservative theory, and how might Hans Morgenthau have reacted to the arguments for and against the Iraq war? Morgfnthau, the Bush doctrine emphasises the importance of spreading democracy, especially in the middle east.

Transform the region and make it into ans zone of democracies, the neo-conservatives argued, and the terrorism problem would go away. Please log in to set a read status Setting a reading intention helps you organise your reading.

I think that Hans Morgenthau, who some four decades ago made the realist case against escalation in Vietnam using arguments similar to those realists employed in the mmorgenthau to the Iraq war, would have opposed that war as well if he had been alive.

Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq war: realism versus neo-conservatism | openDemocracy

Please log in to set a read status. The human, environmental, economic and social damage was incalculable, and much endures to this day. Knocking off Saddam, the war party thought, would have a cascading effect in the middle east, if not the wider world. They believe that there has never been a state on earth that has as much relative military power as the United States has today. Realists tend to believe that the most powerful political ideology on the face of the earth is nationalism, not democracy.

To call the Bush administration conservative, at least in its foreign policy, is mistaken. For example, it is often argued that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was especially evil because it used chemical weapons against both Iran and the Kurds in the s.

Have you read this? If the mighty United States got tough with troublemakers in the Arab world, the Palestinians would read the writing on the wall. After a succession of military defeats, the South Vietnamese army and state collapsed in Apriland victorious North Vietnamese troops entered Saigon a day after the US embassy there had been evacuated.


There is little doubt that Morgenthau saw nationalism as a potent political force and that, more than any other factor, it drove his opposition to the Vietnam war. However, at the time, the United States was providing Iraq with overhead satellite imagery so that it could use its chemical weapons more effectively against the Iranian army.

The photograph shows everything that can be seen by the versys eye; the painted portrait does not show everything that can be seen by the naked eye, but it shows, or at least seeks to show, one thing that the naked eye cannot see: This was to be social engineering on a massive scale and it was to be done with a mailed fist.

However, when you are at the other end of the American rifle barrel, it usually does not look that way. To set a reading intention, click through to any list item, and look for the panel on morgnethau left hand side:. The theory has an idealist strand and a power strand: Is part hxns Website Title openDemocracy Web address http: But once the United States commits huge numbers of soldiers in a country like Iraq, it is no longer free to invade other countries because it is effectively stuck in a quagmire.

This is a bogus charge. If the United States emphasised diplomacy ,orgenthau military force, it could not act unilaterally very often, because diplomacy by definition is very much a multilateral enterprise. Type Webpage Author s John J.

And power brings certain eealism as well as certain restraints. Taken together, these facts raise the obvious question: Lyndon B Johnson announced that he would not seek re-election as president.

If every state in the system looked like democratic America, which is obviously a virtuous state, we would live in a world of all white hanz and no black hats, which, by definition, would be a peaceful world. There are many reasons to think that spreading democracy with military force is not an effective way to build democracy in Iraq, or any other place for that matter.