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The Blair IdentityLeadership and Foreign Policy$
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Stephen Benedict Dyson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079993

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079993.001.0001

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Iraq – Blair’s war

Iraq – Blair’s war

(p.98) 6 Iraq – Blair’s war
The Blair Identity

Stephen Benedict Dyson

Manchester University Press

The decision to invade Iraq is the most controversial of Blair's wars, undertaken without public support, and with significant disquiet among members of his government and political party. At several points it looked as though the decision to go to war could cost the prime minister his job—an incredible turn-around for a politician used to great popularity and colossal parliamentary majorities. Blair did not waver. Once it became clear that the Bush administration was set on its course, strong incentives existed from an alliance maintenance standpoint to join them. Further, Blair, with his Manichean view of international politics, shared much of the analysis of the Bush administration about the threat of weapons of mass destruction, irrational dictators and potential connections with terrorists. Blair's strong internal locus of control led him to downplay the risks in securing support for the war and in the war's ultimate success. Finally, his directive and hands-on decision style ensured that the significant opposition to the policy within his cabinet and foreign office was marginalized at the crucial decision points.

Keywords:   Tony Blair, foreign policy, Iraq invasion, United States, Bush administration, weapons of mass destruction

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