Case Study Of Richard Pious

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The modern United States presidents that Richard M. Pious used for his case study, beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower and ending with George W. Bush, each had their own failures stemming from a variety of causes. The following four conclusions provided by Pious are poor risk management, gamesmanship, command and control, and prerogative power. They are more important than the other conclusions because all of the studied presidents exhibited these traits, in varying degrees, and each factor added to the president’s collective failure. The ensuing four conclusions impact presidential decision making in both foreign and domestic affairs. Additionally, assertive and domineering presidents, like Johnson and George W. Bush failed alongside passive …show more content…
Failure as the result of gamesmanship is readily observable in the Bay of Pigs incident under President Kennedy. In the Cuba scenario, Kennedy faced off against the Central Intelligence Agency instead of the Cuban and Soviet adversaries in which the botched invasion sought to oppose (Pious 2008, 36-37). As Pious notes, “presidential gamesmanship involves choice, but not completely rational choice, because often presidents set limiting conditions that constrain the operation’s viability” (2008, 38). President Kennedy and the CIA both sought to limit the conditions of the operations to gain advantage over one another, not necessarily Cuba or Castro. Another example of gamesmanship causing failure was witnessed through President Johnson’s failed compellence strategy against the North Vietnamese in the 1960s. Johnson attempted to engage in traditional game theory with his adversary, but never “understood the game the Vietnamese were playing or the limits of game-playing analogies” (Pious 2008, 65). Both Kennedy and Johnson became immersed in the game that they were mistakenly playing and lost sight of their administration and personal objectives seeking hollow victory instead of fruitful …show more content…
Although prerogative power is fundamental to the survival of the nation under particular circumstances, as evidenced by President Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus at the beginning of the Civil War, unwarranted and exorbitant utilization of prerogative power is dangerous and may presumably lead to a presidential failure. President George W. Bush’s unabated desire for a regime change in Iraq, before and after the attacks on September 11, 2001, created a scenario in which Bush cherry-picked intelligence reports to justify a U.S.-led invasion with minimal input from Congress or adherence to framework legislation (Pious 2008, 224). Not only are the American people “averse to the unchecked exercise of executive power”, but the international community, which was already unified and committed in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda, was not willing to join the coalition against Iraq spearheaded by George W. Bush and Tony Blair (Pious 2008, 274). By choosing to ignore international allies and domestic support from Congress and the American people, President Bush chose prerogative power, without a clear and present danger to the United States, and entered into a decade-long conflict in Iraq which

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