A Vulcan's Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan

By Chougule, Pratik | Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

A Vulcan's Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan


Chougule, Pratik, Middle East Quarterly


A Vulcan's Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan. By Dov S. Zakheim. Washington, D. C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2011. 335pp. $32.95.

The oft-repeated maxim attributed to Gustave Flaubert, "God is in the details," has a variant: "Governing is in the details," as Zakheim's memoir, a firsthand postmortem of the Bush administration's Afghanistan and Iraq policies, makes clear. The volume provides an insider's view not only on strategy but also on an underappreciated aspect of the history - the "practicalities of implementation."

Zakheim was one of the first advisors in 1998 to join the Bush campaign's foreign policy team, dubbed by Condoleezza Rice, the "Vulcans." He joined other, better-known names including Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, to help brief Bush on international issues and then moved on to the Department of Defense after the election.

The author demonstrates that problems with postwar reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq resulted from factors incidental to the Bush administration's initial aversion to "nation-building." He stresses another crucial reason for the mismanaged reconstruction initiatives: mid-level bureaucratic disputes over appropriations between Congress, the Defense Department, and the Office of Management and Budget.

In his capacities as the Pentagon's comptroller, chief financial officer, and coordinator for Afghan civilian reconstruction, Zakheim negotiated with coalition partners to raise and disburse funds for the Afghanistan and Iraq missions. Describing these negotiations, Zakheim provides insights into the unfortunate realities of dealing with authoritarian Middle Eastern regimes. Notwithstanding the ostensible confluence of interest between these states and Washington, corruption, haggling, secrecy, double-talk, and false promises were a fact of life. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

A Vulcan's Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.