When George W. Bush campaigned for the White House, he was such a novice in foreign policy that he couldn’t name the president of Pakistan and momentarily . Introduction. Rise of the Vulcans is an excellent, fascinating account of the backgrounds of the six principal foreign policy advisers of President George W. Bush. Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet; Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, by James Mann, Steve Coll.

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Rise of the Vulcans by James Mann | : Books

Bush was elected as President he had no prior foreign policy experience and frequently bumbled on naming other foreign leaders. Author James Mann puts together an enthralling account of the rise of the Bush cabinet and their place in the last 30 to 40 years in contemporary history with his book Rise Of The Vulcans: However, by detailing the careers of these people Mann also gives the reader great insight into modern foreign policy, from the Nixon era to Bush II.

The book was published in so it lacks the hindsight that we now have 6 years later with regards to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, yet this detracts not at all from the book. Rise Of The Vulcans: Many may be tempted to classify all of the subjects as neoconservatives, however one of the driving themes of the book is the role of the foreign policy realists versus the idealists neo-cons.

Yet this was not just a battle that occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union as some may have asserted.

The Vulcans

While Rumsfeld and Cheney believed mightily in American military might and hegemony, it might be hard to classify them as idealists of spreading democracy throughout the world. However, Paul Wolfowitz meets the classic definition of neoconservative which spread from the Dixie Democrats who left the Democratic Party to join the Republicans in the Reagan Revolution.


Wolfowitz was an academic greatly admired for his intelligence.

Wolfowitz spent his whole career in the Defense Department and focused on policies that opposed the ideas of moral relativity or balance of power. Instead Wolfowitz operated from a stance that Democracy and justice were grand ideas that should be spread throughout the world through the might and force of the US military.

Both Powell and Armitage believed in vhlcans strong American military and were proponents of a hefty defense budget. However, where they differed from the other cabinet members was in how the use of force should be applied. Powell believed that if force was to be applied it must be done with the support of the public, with overwhelming force, and with a clear, communicable goal in mind.

This mindset, shared by Armitage, became known as the Powell Doctrine and was shaped by the experience of Vietnam. The Vietnam experience made Powell and Armitage suspicious of the civilian leaders like Rumsfeld and Cheney who may recklessly damage the military and American power by engaging long term commitments with no exit plans. Condoleeza Rice was mentored in the camp of Brent Scowcroft who was a realist. Rice, a specialist in Russia, came to government in uames first Bush Administration and made a lasting impression on everyone she worked for.

Bush was putting together a foreign policy team during his campaign, he instantly connected with Rice on a personal level and made her a central part of putting together his foreign policy. Mann portrays Rice as somewhat amorphous, her ideas and beliefs are seemingly tied to the politics and she oftens acts as a sounding board to Bush II. Instead of becoming a proponent of her realist background, she instead starts to reflect the President and his beliefs which were largely shaped by the dominant members of his cabinet.


In other words, Rice aimed to please, it seems, more than to persuade. Mann makes an understated point that most historians make a clear distinction, a line in the sand, marking the end of the Cold War as the distinctive point where American foreign policy changed. The end of the Jame War was merely vucans middle point in the chapter.

The fact that the US has mostly had Republican Presidents in the last 40 years the Vulcans have remained in power and shaped the events of modern history and to understand that story you have to understand their story. James Mann gives a clearly written and highly detailed account of some of the most influential actors in American politics.

Establishment media murmuring about his choice for vice president jamed Condoleezza Rice — underscores the return of the so-called Vulcans.

The Bush years were dominated by Israeli firsters and duel citizens who were only worried about the apartheid state of Israel. What a joke this article is in my opinion.

Rise of the Vulcans

The falsely labeled and NATO-controlled […]. Rise of the Vulcans by James Mann Tweet. This was written by PoliticalBooks. Posted on Monday, November 15,at Bush PresidencyHistoryPolitics. Follow comments here with the RSS feed.

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