Date of Award

August 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Joe A. Austin

Committee Members

Joe A. Rodriguez, Rachel I. Buff


Foreign Policy, George W. Bush, Iraq, Tony Blair, United States


The attacks of 11 September 2001 not only resulted in retaliatory attacks upon the nation of Afghanistan for its harboring of the terror cell al Qaeda but also for the later U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Although initial intelligence connected the terrorist group al Qaeda to the attacks, Bush’s administration officials began assembling intelligence on Iraq’s weapons capabilities and its possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction. In this 2002 National Security Strategy, Bush announced his administration’s position that the United States would react pre-emptively to threats against the United States or its global interests. This pre-emptive position opened the door for the United States to act on the presumed threats that the nation of Iraq posed. The Bush administration manipulated and misrepresented intelligence about the weapons capabilities of President Hussein in support of their argument for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Bush administration acted unilaterally, without the approval of military force by the United Nations, but with the support of numerous allied nations across the globe. The war ended with a withdrawal of coalition forces on 15 December 2011 leaving Iraq in a more destabilized position than when the U.S. invaded eight years earlier. This thesis investigates the role that Bush administration officials had in leading the nation to war, the complacency of the mainstream media in disseminating the rhetoric of the administration, and the reasons that certain allies of the United States had in joining the fight and what led other longtime allies not to participate.