US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis

US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis

US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis

US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis

Synopsis

Why did Iranian students seize the American embassy in Tehran in 1979? Why did the Carter administration launch a rescue mission, and why did it fail so spectacularly? This book answers these and other puzzles using an analogical reasoning approach that highlights the role of historical analogies in decision making. Using interviews with key decision makers on both sides, Houghton provides an original analysis of one of the United States' greatest foreign policy disasters of recent years. The book will interest students and scholars of foreign policy analysis and international relations.

Excerpt

Like most books, this one owes several profound debts of gratitude. The argument presented here — and my interest in analogical reasoning in foreign policy analysis generally, the subject of this book — owes a great deal to the work of Yuen Foong Khong. Reading Khong's Analogies at War, which is a study of how the Vietnam decision-makers reasoned analogically about whether to escalate America's involvement in that disasterous war, got me thinking about other areas of American foreign policy to which Khong's theoretical insights might be applied, and the book proved a constant source of guidance and inspiration. A similarly formative influence was Richard Neustadt and Ernest May's Thinking in Time, whose title, I learned later on joiningthe faculty of the Department of Government at Essex, was provided by Anthony King. This work also obviously owes an intellectual debt to a great many people whose prior research in this and related areas has inspired my own efforts. Apart from those already mentioned, Alexander George, Robert Jervis, Ole Holsti and Yaacov Vertzberger in particular have all contributed powerful insights to the study of foreign policy decisionmakingand /or the investigation of the role that analogizing plays in the policy-makingprocess, and without their sterlingwork in these fields this book would almost certainly never have been written.

I would also like to extend particular thanks to the individuals who agreed to be interviewed in relation to this project, and to the staff of the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta, who were invariably friendly and helped me find my way around the initially daunting presidential library system. Former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance was particularly generous with his time, and talking to him in his law office in New York City was a special honour since this, so he assured me, was the first interview he had ever granted to an academic in relation to the Iran . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.