Foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration

Foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration

intro length = October 2007
citationstyle = January 2008
update = January 2008
refimprove = January 2008

During his campaign for election as President of the United States, George W. Bush's foreign policy platform included support for a stronger economic and political relationship with Latin America, especially Mexico, and a reduction of involvement in "nation building" and other small-scale military engagements.

On December 14, 2001, Bush withdrew the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a bedrock of U.S.-Soviet nuclear stability during the Cold War-era. Bush stated, "I have concluded the ABM treaty hinders our government's ability to develop ways to protect our people from future terrorist or rogue state missile attacks." The National Missile Defense project Bush supports is supposed to detect intercontinental ballistic missiles and to destroy them in flight. Critics doubt that the project could ever work and point out that it will cost US$53 billion from 2004 to 2009, being the largest single line item in The Pentagon's balance.

The Bush presidency has also been marked by diplomatic tensions with the People's Republic of China and North Korea, the latter of which admitted in 2003 to having been in the process of building nuclear weapons and threatened to use them if provoked by the U.S. The administration is concerned that Iran may also be developing nuclear weapons, although Iran has denied such accusations and maintains that it is pursuing peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Bush made his first visit to Europe in June 2001, having never traveled there prior to winning the presidency. [ [ Politics | President Bush's first-ever trip to Europe ] ] Bush came under criticism from European leaders for his rejection of the Kyoto Protocol, which is aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. He has asserted that the Kyoto Protocol is "unfair and ineffective" because it would exempt 80 percent of the world and "cause serious harm to the U.S. economy".

Many governments have criticized the failure of the United States to ratify the Kyoto protocol, which was signed by the previous administration. Former President Bill Clinton recommended that his successor (Mr. Bush) "not" submit the treaty for ratification until the wording was altered to reflect U.S. concerns. Bush, who is opposed to the treaty, rescinded U.S. executive approval from the proposed treaty. It is doubtful that the treaty would become law in the U.S. if it were submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification as similar to the Bryd-Hagel Resolution. In 1997, prior to Kyoto Protocol negotiations, the Byrd-Hagel resolution passed in Senate by a 95-0 vote. The resolution stated that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing nations as well as industrialized ones or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". Regardless, Bush is a firm opponent of the treaty.

In July 2002, Bush cut off all funding, approximately $34 million, for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This funding had been allocated by Congress the previous December. Bush claimed that the UNFPA supported forced abortions and sterilizations in China. His justification came from a group of anti-abortion members of Congress and an anti-abortion organization called The Population Research Institute, which claimed to have obtained first-hand video taped evidence from victims of forced abortion and forced sterilization in counties where the UNFPA operates in China. This accusation has never been supported by any investigation, and has in fact been disproved by the US State Department, UK, and UN teams sent to examine UNFPA activities in China. The UNFPA points out that it "does not provide support for abortion services". [4] Its charter includes a strong statement condemning coercion.". [5]

The Bush Administration has, nevertheless, continued to withhold funding through 2007, and has fought Congressional efforts to require an explanation of its decision to block the funds. Nonprofit organizations have sprung up in an attempt to change this policy and to compensate by raising private donations, including Americans for UNFPA, the official US advocate on behalf of the agency.

Many women's rights groups criticized the decision and point out that the PRI refused to release information that would allow the team to locate the women, and thus no independent verification of PRI's claims was possible. See [ [] dead link|date=July 2008] for more information on the PRI.

Bush's foreign policy has been accused of being influenced by the right-wing think tank Project for the New American Century, and other neoconservative organisations. PNAC's goal is to promote "American global leadership". Critics allege that its policies are hegemonic and excessively interventionist.

There is some question as to whether the stepped-up policing and surveillance of the War on Terror constitutes an actual war in the legal sense, and if so, the extent to which such action requires the war powers of the unitary executive.

Commentators such as the previous administration's last Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have been quite critical of Bush's foreign policy. [ [,0,5251258.story?coll=la-home-commentary Good versus evil isn't a strategy - Los Angeles Times] ]

Middle East


On September 11, 2001 two hijacked planes crashed into and destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City.Human Rights Watch criticized the Bush administration's refusal to sign the treaty for the International Criminal Court, thereby refusing that court's jurisdiction for war crimes prosecutions of U.S. nationals. Under the ICC, several U.S. soldiers photographed abusing Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison might be prosecuted in this manner if the U.S. refused to do so. (cf. Human rights situation in post-Saddam Iraq and [ [ U.S. Tries to Get Off the Hook on War Crimes (Human Rights Watch, 20-5-2004)] ] )

President Bush and his administration label the detainees as "unlawful combatants" deemed to pose a threat to the U.S. or to have information about terrorist structures, plans and tactics. The administration has said that such detainees can be held for "as long as necessary". Critics claim that anyone accused of a crime has a right to a fair trial and question whether people like Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, can be called an "unlawful combatant". In the case of Zaeef, they claim he cannot be a "combatant" because he was crippled during the Soviet occupation and that he wasn't "unlawful" because he was ambassador of his country. The Bush Administration and its supporters claim that the war against America by Al-Qaeda is ongoing, that it is unconventional, and that the "battlefield" extends into the U.S. itself. [ [ United States: Guantanamo Two Years On (Human Rights Watch, 9-1-2004)] ] [] [ [] dead link|date=July 2008] According to the declassified April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate, "United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of Al-Qaeda and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa’ida will continue to pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist organization. We also assess that the global jihadist movement—which includes Al-Qaeda, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cells—is spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts." []

Although the Bush administration released over 100 detainees and authorized military tribunals for the rest, the legal framework governing them has been slow in the making. According to Human Rights Watch, as of January 2004, "the public still [did] not know who the detainees are, what they [had] allegedly done, and whether and when they will be charged with crimes or released. There [had] been no hearings to determine the legal status of detainees and no judicial review—in short, no legal process at all." [ [ United States: Guantanamo Two Years On (Human Rights Watch, 9-1-2004)] ] In February of 2002 the United States began releasing several dozen detainees to their home countries, including many British and Pakistani nationals. The British detainees were briefly investigated and cleared of any British charges within 24 hours of their arrival. [ [] dead link|date=July 2008]

The domestic political equation changed in the U.S. after the September 11, 2001 attacks, bolstering the influence of the neoconservative faction of the administration and throughout Washington. The conflict in Afghanistan, and the events that had launched the war, coincided with a reassessment of foreign policy by the administration, which President Bush articulated in his first State of the Union message on January 29, 2002. Previously, September 11 had underscored the threat of attacks from terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, as opposed to nation-states, and U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan targeted the ruling Taliban militia for having harbored al-Qaeda sponsor Osama bin Laden. Now speaking of an "axis of evil" comprising Iran, North Korea, and Iraq in his address to Congress, Bush claimed that he was preparing to open a new front in the U.S global "war on terrorism". Bush declared, "Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror." Announcing that he would possibly take action to topple the Iraqi government, he claimed, "The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade." (The full text of Bush's 2002 State of the Union address can be read in BBC News Online at [ [ BBC News | AMERICAS | Full text: State of the Union address] ] )


Beginning with the Iraq Liberation Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1998, the U.S. government officially called for regime change in Iraq. The Republican Party's campaign platform of 2000 called for "full implementation" of the act and removal of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, with a focus on rebuilding a coalition, tougher sanctions, reinstating inspections, and support for the Iraqi National Congress. In November 2001, Bush asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to begin developing a plan for war. By early 2002 Bush began publicly pressing for regime change, indicating that his government had reason to believe that the Iraqi government had ties to terrorist groups, was developing weapons of mass destruction and did not cooperate sufficiently with United Nations weapons inspectors. In January of 2003, Bush was convinced that diplomacy was not working and started notifying allies such as Saudi Arabia that war was imminent.

Although no agreement on authorizing force could be found within the United Nations Security Council, the war was ultimately launched in March 2003, after Bush, in a speech on March 17 effectively had declared war on Iraq, along with a declaration of his objectives as "assuring [the] national security" of the United States, and "no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms." [ [ President Says Saddam Hussein Must Leave Iraq Within 48 Hours] ]

Saddam Hussein was deposed and went into hiding on April 10 when Baghdad was captured, and was subsequently located and arrested in December. The occupation would ultimately prove difficult, with many Iraqis and foreigners launching attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. Eventually, the U.S. death toll in the post-war occupation surpassed that of the actual war itself. Thousands of civilians were killed during the invasion and by resistance fighters. Nevertheless, Bush remains optimistic, hailing the "victory" and such developments as the signing of the Iraqi Constitution.

Throughout the course of the Iraq war, Bush was often the target of harsh criticism. Both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world there were numerous anti-war protests, particularly before the war's onset. See Popular opposition to war on Iraq, and Protests against the 2003 Iraq war.

Criticism also came from the governments of many countries, notably from many on the United Nations Security Council, who argued that the war broke international law. [] (Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states that "…all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land…" and that "…all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution…", while Article III states that the judicial power of the US Supreme Court extends to "all … Treaties made". This makes a violation of international law also a violation of the "supreme Law of The Land" of America, and withholds immunity from government officials, including the president.) See Worldwide government positions on war on Iraq and The UN Security Council and the Iraq war. For its part, the U.S. administration soon presented a list of countries called the coalition of the willing which supported its position. A later aspect of the criticism has been the increasing death toll in Iraq; over 100,000 Iraqi civilians and 1124 U.S. soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the war. [cite news|url=,2763,976392,00.html|title=War may have killed 10,000 civilians, researchers say|publisher="The Guardian"|accessdate=2007-07-04|date=2003-06-13|author=Jeffery, Simon] [cite web|url=|title=Iraq Coalition Casualties||accessdate=2007-07-04] [cite news|url=|title=Civilian death toll in Iraq exceeds 100,000|publisher="New Scientist"|accessdate=2007-07-04|date=2004-10-29|author=Bhattacharya, Shaoni] In 2004, public assertions by Bush's former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill and counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke raised questions about the credibility of the Bush administration's pre-war claims. Both presented evidence that questioned how focused the Bush administration was on combating Al-Qaeda (which was operating out of Afghanistan, not Iraq) before September 11. Specifically, O'Neill presented classified and unclassified documents indicating that planning for a war with Iraq and the subsequent occupation began at the first National Security Council meeting and continued with each meeting. Clarke presented testimony and witnesses concerning how Bush and much of his cabinet tried to find excuses to attack Iraq immediately after September 11, such as associating it with September 11, claiming that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, and claiming that Iraq posed an imminent threat, which implied that a war against Iraq would be legal by Article 51 [cite web|url=|title=Charter of the United Nations: CHAPTER VII|publisher=United Nations|accessdate=2007-07-04] of the U.N. Charter.

Testimony at the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (ongoing during March 2004) has included claims of how much of the Bush administration's immediate post-9/11 emphasis on Iraq was appropriate and proportional to the overall picture of terrorism, especially in light of the administration's subsequent decision to pursue military action in Afghanistan first, the fact that organizations accused of 9/11 are in Afghanistan, not Iraq, and that no links have been found between these organizations and Saddam Hussein. The Commission's report is expected to be released before the Presidential election. On June 16, 2004, the USA's 9/11 Commission filed an initial report on its findings, stating that it found "no credible evidence" of a "collaborative relationship" between pre-invasion Iraq and Al-Qaeda or of Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

The inability of the U.S. to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has led to greater domestic criticism of the administration's Iraq policy. Several of the statements that Bush and his administration made leading up to the war in Iraq, especially those involving claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, have been criticized as misleading or inaccurate. Particularly controversial was Bush's claim in the 2003 State of the Union Address that British Intelligence had discovered that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium from Africa. Officials and diplomats disputed the evidence for this claim, especially after a document describing an attempted purchase from Niger, which was presented to the United Nations Security Council by Colin Powell, was found to be a forgery. This led to a public embarrassment for George Tenet, the director of the CIA, as well as the Valerie Plame scandal. Much criticism on these issues has come from political opponents of Bush. The Iraq war was a significant issue in the 2004 Democratic primary, including the campaigns of Howard Dean, John Kerry, Al Sharpton, and Dennis Kucinich.

However, State Department documents declassified in 2006 cite hundreds of weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. Nonetheless, it was soon quickly revealed that the particular weapons in question were WMD Saddam had obtained during the Iran-Iraq war, which had long since become stale and non-functional.cite web|url= |title=Hundreds of Chemical Weapons Found in Iraq|accessdate=2007-07-04|publisher=Andrew Breitbart|date=2005-06-22] cite web|url=,2933,200499,00.html|title=Report: Hundreds of WMD Found in Iraq|publisher="Fox News"|date=2006-06-22|accessdate=2007-07-04]

On March 24, 2004, Bush joked about the weapons of mass destruction issue at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. While showing slides of himself searching the Oval Office, he joked, "those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere … nope, no weapons over there … maybe under here?" Some found it tasteless of him to be joking about the issue. Others defended the joke as being in line with the self-deprecatory sort of humor that has come to be expected of Presidents when they speak at that event.

On September 26, 2006, Bush declassified the key judgments of the April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate. The estimate, titled " [ Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States] ", states the following: "We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere. The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight."


A covert nuclear reactor bombed by Israel in September 2007 in Syria would have been capable of producing plutonium and probably was "not intended for peaceful purposes," the White House said April 24, 2008. North Korea probably assisted Syria's nuclear activities. But there is only low confidence that it was meant for developing weapons. North Korean "nuclear entities" met with high-level Syrian officials as early as 1997 and cooperated on nuclear technology as early as 2001. In 2005, the United States discovered that Syria and North Korea were working together on a project in the Deir ez-Zor region. A working reactor would make Syria the first Arab nation with nuclear capability and would potentially put nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime that the United States accuses of committing human rights abuses and supporting international terror groups.cite news
url=|accessdate=2008-04-25|title=White House: Syria reactor not for 'peaceful' purposes|publisher=CNN|date=2008-04-25


There has been much controversy surrounding Iran and its nuclear program in the past few years. The controversy centers on the Iranian enrichment of Uranium. Iran officials have stated that they are enriching the uranium to fuel civilian reactors as permitted under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other international agreements, but the processes that Iran has been developing to reprocess and enrich uranium are also critical components for the development of a nuclear weapon.

Since there exists some circumstantial evidence that Iran, classified by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism, may have intentions of pursuing a weapons program, the Iranian nuclear program has become a major foreign policy of the United States.cite news
url=|accessdate=2007-07-04|title=Strong Leads and Dead Ends in Nuclear Case Against Iran|publisher=Washington Post|date=2006-02-08|author=Linzer, Dafna
] George W. Bush has made clear that an Iranian enrichment program is unacceptable, consistently stating that the United States will not allow Iran to possess a nuclear weapon or the means to create a nuclear weapon. Accordingly, the passage of UN Security Council resolutions calling on Iran to stop enriching uranium, imposing sanctions on Iran for continuing to enrich uranium, and to tighten sanctions are seen as foreign policy successes for the Bush administration. Despite these resolutions, as of April 2007, Iran's nuclear program continues relatively unfettered, meaning that Bush's policy goal of ending Iran's enrichment has not been achieved.

Palestinian/Israeli conflict

Bush has maintained a desire to resume the peace process in Israel, and had openly proclaimed his desire for a Palestinian state to be created before 2005. He outlined a road map for peace in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations, which featured compromises that had to be made by both sides before Palestinian statehood could become a reality. [ [ Roadmap for Peace in the Middle East: Israeli/Palestinian Reciprocal Action, Quartet Support] ]

One particular proposal was his insistence on new Palestinian leadership; a stance that saw the appointment of the first ever Palestinian Prime Minister on April 29, 2003. Bush had denounced Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat for alleged continued support of violence and militant groups. The road map for peace stalled within months after more violence and the resignation of the new Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas.

By the end of 2003, neither side had done what was outlined in the plan. In April 2004 Bush announced that he endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to disengage from the Gaza Strip but retain Jewish settlements in the West Bank. He also announced agreement with Sharon's policy of denying the right of return. This led to condemnation from Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, Arab and European governments [ [,11538,1195710,00.html Blair condemns Israel and opens rift with US | Politics | The Guardian] ] and was a major departure from previous U.S. foreign policy in the region. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak commented Bush's policies had led to an 'unprecedented hatred' of Arabs for the U.S. [ [,3604,1197102,00.html Arab ally snubs Bush amid 'unprecedented hatred' for US | World news | The Guardian] ]


Humanitarian aid

President Bush has done work to reduce the HIV/AIDS epidemics in Africa, stop the spread of Malaria, and rebuild broken nations from their genocidal pasts. One of the most notable programs initiated by Bush is the PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) Program, which was a commitment of $15 billion over five years (2003–2008) from the United States to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. As of September 2007, the program estimates that it has supported the provision of antiretroviral treatment to approximately 1,445,500 people, mostly in Africa. Bush has also initiated programs that have put more than 29 million of Africa's poorest children into schoolsGeldof, Bob. "The Healer." Time Magazine May 03, 2008: 38-39.] . Bush has provided "huge overt support" in Liberia to stabilize the country, and increasingly effective aid and trade backing good governance have helped improve health and provide education, skills, and jobs on the continent. He has also supported agricultural independence in Africa, reducing Chinese mercantilism on the continent that had been overwhelming the farmers. "Beninese" cotton farmers urged him to "stand fast on his opposition to the pork-belly politics of the farm bill that is winding its disgraceful way through Congress" on his last visit to Africa. Finally, he has been steadfast in skewing the Doha round of World Trade Organization talks in favor of the poor in Africa. It has been said, from Time Magazine, that Africa is the "triumph of American foreign policy" and is the "Bush Administration's greatest achievement".

udan/Darfur conflict

On October 14, 2006 Bush signed a law imposing sanctions against people responsible for genocide and war crimes in Sudan. It enables the Bush administration to deny Sudan's government access to oil revenues. Furthermore to the signing of the law, he signed another executive order that confirms the existing sanctions but eases some on parts of southern Sudan. It also includes exceptions to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid to Darfur. On the other side the order toughens some sanctions, including a provision that bars any American from engaging in oil-related transactions in Sudan. The order comes as the Bush administration's new special envoy for Sudan, Andrew Natsios, began a trip to Sudan, where he plans to meet with government officials and visit war-torn Darfur. [ [] dead link|date=July 2008]

Criticism from former diplomats and military commanders

Bush's foreign policy has been criticized by Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, a group of former ambassadors, foreign policy experts, and four-star generals. In a brief statement signed by 27 members, DMCP stated that:

:"From the outset, President George W. Bush adopted an overbearing approach to America’s role in the world, relying upon military might and righteousness, insensitive to the concerns of traditional friends and allies, and disdainful of the United Nations. Instead of building upon America’s great economic and moral strength to lead other nations in a coordinated campaign to address the causes of terrorism and to stifle its resources, the Administration, motivated more by ideology than by reasoned analysis, struck out on its own… The Bush Administration has shown that it does not grasp these circumstances of the new era, and is not able to rise to the responsibilities of world leadership in either style or substance. It is time for a change."


Bush began his second term with an emphasis on improving strained relations with European nations. Bush lauded the pro-democracy struggles in Georgia and Ukraine. However, Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, both undemocratically elected and fiercely autocratic, received official state visits to the White House, [cite web
url =
title = President Bush Welcomes President Aliyev of Azerbaijan to the White House
accessdate = 2006-10-23
date= 2005-04-28
work = Transcript from The Oval Office
publisher = Office of the Press Secretary
] along with increased economic and military assistance. [cite web
url =
title = Retreat From the Freedom Agenda
accessdate = 2006-10-23
date= 2006-04-24
publisher = The Washington Post
] The President had encouraged both leaders to hold free and fair elections early on in his second term, but in fact neither leader carried out significant reforms. [cite web
url =
title = Azerbaijan Protests Face Crackdown
accessdate = 2006-10-23
date= 2005-11-27
publisher = CBS News
] [cite web
url =
title = Supporters Of Slain Kazakh Oppositionist Open Probe
accessdate = 2006-10-23
date= 2006-08-29
publisher = Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
] [cite web
url =
title = Setback for Democracy in Kazakhstan
accessdate = 2006-10-23
date= 2005-01-12
publisher = Perspicacity Press Online


A planned missile defense system in Eastern Europe poses no threat to Russia, President George Bush, told April 1, 2008, responding to concerns that the U.S. might use interceptor missiles for offensive purposes. His comments came before he left Kiev for a NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, that is expected to highlight divisions over the plan. Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush failed to resolve their differences over U.S. plans for the planned missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic, on their meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on April 6, 2008, but said they had agreed a "strategic framework" to guide future U.S.-Russian relations, in which Russia and the U.S. said they recognized that the era in which each had considered the other to be a "strategic threat or enemy" was over. Before leaving April 1, 2008 for Bucharest, Bush told that Russia will not be able to veto Georgia's or Ukraine's inclusion into NATO. Bush said that both countries should be able to take part in NATO's Membership Action Plan, which is designed to help aspiring countries meet the requirements of joining the alliance. Bush added that Ukraine already contributes to NATO missions, specifically in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. Ukraine also has demonstrated a commitment to democracy. Bush denied that the United States might ease off on membership plans for Ukraine and Georgia if Russia acquiesces on the missile shield. [cite web
url =
title = Bush: Missile shield no threat to Russia
accessdate = 2008-04-01
date= 2008-04-01
publisher = CNN
] [cite web
url =
title = Bush, Putin disagree on missile defense
accessdate = 2008-04-06
date= 2008-04-06
publisher = CNN


Bush confirmed that he would be attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference for the first time during his presidency in 2007. It is believed that he has not previously participated in protest of political events in Myanmar (Burma). [ [ ] ] President Bush called Chinese President Hu Jintao March 26, 2008 to express his concern about China's crackdown on protesters in Tibet since March 10, 2008. Bush and Hu also discussed issues including Taiwan, North Korea's denuclearization and Myanmar. Bush also told Hu a mistake was made in shipping nuclear missile fuses to Taiwan. India-United States Relations, have improved during George W. Bush's tenure. In September, 2001, President Bush, removed sanctions, which had been imposed, in May, 1998, after the Pokhran-II Nuclear Tests. Both his Indian contemporaries, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Manmohan Singh have visited the United States, at various times. In March 2006, President Bush visited India, in which he discussed with Prime Minister Singh greater bilateral economic and military relations, but most importantly, United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act , for providing clean civilian Nuclear Energy, to satisfy India's burgeoning energy needs.

International Criminal Court

The [ International Criminal Court] came into being on July 1, 2002. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first ever permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to promote the rule of law and ensure that the gravest international crimes do not go unpunished. George W.Bush made the following comment:"I wouldn't join the International Criminal Court. It's a body based in The Hague where unaccountable judges and prosecution can pull our troops or diplomats for trial." (First Presidential Debate)

Later that year (August 2002) the American Servicemembers' Protection Act (ASPA) was passed by the United States Congress with the stated intention "to protect United States military personnel and other elected and appointed officials of the United States government against criminal prosecution by an international criminal court to which the United States is not a party." The amendment makes it possible to free U.S. soldiers that are being held and prosecuted at the ICC.

International Trade

Bush supports free trade policies and legislation but has resorted to protectionist policies on occasion. Tariffs on imported steel imposed by the White House in March 2002 were lifted after the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled them illegal. Bush explained that the safeguard measures had "achieved their purpose", and "as a result of changed economic circumstances", it was time to lift them. [ [ Bush lifts steel import tariffs - The Boston Globe] ] On August 31, 2004, WTO arbitrators authorized the European Union and other leading U.S. trade partners to impose economic sanctions against the United States for violation of global trade laws. The decision by the WTO is the latest example of several recent cases where Washington has been found to be in breach of international trade rules. [ [ The New York Times Business World Business U.S. Loses Trade Cases and Faces Penalties] ] []

However, Bush has pursued and signed free trade agreements between the U.S. and several countries, including Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Morocco, Oman, Peru, Singapore, Ukraine, and with six countries under the Central American Free Trade Agreement. [ [] ]

Defense spending

Of the US$2.4 trillion budgeted for 2005, about $450 billion is planned to be spent on defense. This level is generally comparable to the defense spending during the Cold War. [] Congress approved $87 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan in November, and had approved an earlier $79 billion package last spring. Most of those funds were for U.S. military operations in the two countries. [ [ Search - International Herald Tribune] ]

The ratio of defense spending of the U.S. and its allies to its potential adversaries, for the year 2000, is about 6 to 1. [ [ Alliance Power vs] ]

Foreign aid

On July 21, 2004, in a statement on the fiftieth anniversary of the Food for Peace program, Bush hailed the United States for feeding the hungry. Noting that "Millions are facing great affliction...," he stated that "America has a special calling to come to their aid...." [ [ USAID - 50 Years of Food For Peace: Bringing Hope to the Hungry] ] After the election, however, the Bush administration told several private charities that it would not be honoring previous funding commitments. The shortfall, estimated at $100 million, forced the charities to suspend or eliminate programs that had already been approved and that sought to improve farming, education and health in order to promote self-sufficiency in poor countries. [ [ U.S. slashes aid to food programs / Charities estimate $100 million in cuts] ]

While the United States gives large amounts of aid abroad, the George W. Bush presidency has encompassed a major impact upon the Millennium Development Goals project of the United Nations. Criticisms have been founded upon the fact that many nations, including key OECD members, haven not committed their promised aid to give .7% of their GDP in order to drastically reduce poverty by the target of 2015. The US and other nations' contributions are criticized for falling far short of 0.7%, [] .

In his State of the Union Address in January 2003, Bush outlined a five-year strategy for global emergency AIDS relief, the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. The emergency relief effort was led by U.S. Ambassador Randall L. Tobias, former CEO of Eli Lilly and Global AIDS Coordinator at the Department of State. At the time of the speech, $9 billion was earmarked for new programs in AIDS relief for the 15 countries most affected by HIV/AIDS, another $5 billion for continuing support of AIDS relief in 100 countries where the U.S. already had bilateral programs established, and an additional $1 billion towards the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. [cite news
author = Associated Press
url =
title = Quarter Of Bush's $15 Billion For AIDS Going To Christian Groups
publisher = The Huffington Post
date= 2006-01-29
accessdate = 2006-06-30
] This budget represented more money contributed to fight AIDS globally than all other donor countries combined.

As the largest national economy in the world, the United States' leadership and commitment is seen as vital in addressing world poverty and in implementation of this project, considered the most progressive and feasible to date for the United Nations or any other institution.

President George W. Bush signed a multi-million dollar aid deal with the government of Tanzania on February 17, 2008. [cite news
author = CNN
url =
title = Bush signs aid deal with Tanzania
publisher = CNN
date= 2008-02-17
accessdate = 2006-02-17
] George W. Bush, cheering Liberians to rebound from Liberian Civil War that left their nation in ruins, said February 21, 2008 that the United States will keep lending a hand to make Liberia a symbol of liberty for Africa and the world. [cite news
author = CNN
url =
title = Bush vows to help war-crippled Liberia rebound
publisher = CNN
date= 2008-02-21
accessdate = 2008-02-22
] President George W. Bush ordered the release of $200 million in emergency aid to help countries in Africa and elsewhere. Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over surging food prices catapulted the issue to the forefront of the world's attention. [cite news
author = CNN
url =
title = U.S. to give $200M in food aid
publisher = CNN
date= 2008-04-15
accessdate = 2008-04-15

ee also

*Foreign relations of the United States


Further reading

*Ambrosius, Lloyd E., “Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush: Historical Comparisons of Ends and Means in Their Foreign Policies,” "Diplomatic History"(periodical), 30 (June 2006), 509–43.
*Britton, Gregory, “September 11, American ‘Exceptionalism’, and the War in Iraq,” "Australasian Journal of American Studies" 25 (July 2006), 125–41.
*Bush, George W. "The George W. Bush Foreign Policy Reader: Presidential Speeches" ed by John W. Dietrich (2005)
*Wright, Steven. "The United States and Persian Gulf Security: The Foundations of the War on Terror", Ithaca Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0863723216
*Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay. "America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy" (2005)
*Dalby, Simon, “Geopolitics, Grand Strategy, and the Bush Doctrine,” Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies Working Papers (Singapore), no. 90 (Oct. 2005), [ online]
*Halberstam, David, [ "The History Boys",] "Vanity Fair", August 2007; Halberstam's final essay ("debunks the Bush administration's wild distortion of history")
*Bruce W. Jentleson. "American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century," Second Edition (2003)
*Robert Kagan "Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order" (2003)
*Alexander Moens. "The Foreign Policy Of George W. Bush: Values, Strategy And Loyalty" (2004)

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