Ambushed on the Potomac

One of America’s best-known neoconservatives gives his take on what went wrong over the past eight years, the role of the State Department in hijacking Bush’s foreign policy and why 50 million conspiracy theorists have it wrong.

Issue: Jan-Feb 2009

FOR EIGHT years George W. Bush pulled the levers of government-sometimes frantically-never realizing that they were disconnected from the machinery and the exertion was largely futile. As a result, the foreign and security policies declared by the president in speeches, in public and private meetings, in backgrounders and memoranda often had little or no effect on the activities of the sprawling bureaucracies charged with carrying out the president's policies. They didn't need his directives: they had their own.

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