America in Denial

Michael John Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent publication of State of denial, by veteran Washington journalist Bob Woodward, created firestorm of controversy over its central claim that the Bush administration is in denial over the severity of the unfolding crisis in Iraq. But one of the most revealing aspects of the book is its portrayal of the American policymaking process as dysfunctional, incompetent and beset by personal rivalries and ambitions. Woodward's account of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq reveals that bureaucratic necrosis, cronyism and internecine warfare between the Pentagon and the State Department are now the signature features of the American government. Thus an alternative reading of Woodward's book suggests that American people are no longer in denial about Iraq, but have yet to reckon with the deeper problem: the deterioration of their foreign policy establishment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


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