Shadow Government

A front-row seat to the Republicans' debate over foreign policy, including their critique of the Biden administration.

Confessions of a vulcan

When Texas governor George W. Bush began to gather his network of informal national security and foreign policy advisors around him in 1999, neither he nor they initially had much to say about nation building. Bush himself certainly seemed disinclined to raze enemy countries and then spend decades and billions reshaping them. Rather, he spoke ...

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

When Texas governor George W. Bush began to gather his network of informal national security and foreign policy advisors around him in 1999, neither he nor they initially had much to say about nation building. Bush himself certainly seemed disinclined to raze enemy countries and then spend decades and billions reshaping them. Rather, he spoke of a more "modest" and humble American stance in the world. Condoleezza Rice, who led the small team of advisors whom she had dubbed the Vulcans, went further when she articulated a decidedly negative view of nation building in a major article that appeared in the January 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs.

I was a Vulcan. I was, in other words, one of the original members of a group of eight who advised Bush on foreign and national security policy issues as he made his first run for the White House.

Read the rest of the article here.

When Texas governor George W. Bush began to gather his network of informal national security and foreign policy advisors around him in 1999, neither he nor they initially had much to say about nation building. Bush himself certainly seemed disinclined to raze enemy countries and then spend decades and billions reshaping them. Rather, he spoke of a more "modest" and humble American stance in the world. Condoleezza Rice, who led the small team of advisors whom she had dubbed the Vulcans, went further when she articulated a decidedly negative view of nation building in a major article that appeared in the January 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs.

I was a Vulcan. I was, in other words, one of the original members of a group of eight who advised Bush on foreign and national security policy issues as he made his first run for the White House.

Read the rest of the article here.

Dov Zakheim is the former Under Secretary of Defense.

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