Decision making is defined as “simply the act of choosing among available alternatives about which uncertainty exists” (Mingst, p. 457). However, decision making is not an easy process especially with the participiation of individuals within the government. Individual elites or the “key players’” decisions and actions greatly affect the course of events as well as the situation of the country when one of various factors are present and one of which is during time of crisis like terrorist incidents (Mingst, p. 133).
The decisions made by these elite individuals are influence by politics within the government which eventually affect their actions (Mingst p. 460). The effects of the choices that they make are not always advantageous as sometimes it have its adverse consequences in the situation of the ccountry. A good example to exemplified such idea is the aftermath of President George W. Bush’s decision to attack Iraq. Three imporatnt areas were badly affected by it, the country’s domestic cohesion, the international standing of the United States of America and the insecurity felt by those immediately affected by the decision.
The domestic cohesion of the United States of America has been greatly affected by Pres. Bush’s decision . Many citizens especially the ones leaning towards the democratic side did not agree with his reasons of doing such in the name of U.S. battle against the war on terror. Moreover, the domestic consensus became much harder to achieve with the issue of personal gain.
Opening Iraq’s oil economy would greatly benefit the Bush family, being a member of one of the largest American oil company the Washington’s Carlyle Group (Chenoy, p. 23 ). A clear indication of which is the drop in the approval ratings of the president after his speech that ordered the deployment of more troops in Iraq. Sixty percent of those who were surveyed expressed their disapproval in Pres. Bush’s performance (Iraq drives Bush’s rating to new low, 2006).
Another area that is adversely afftected is the international standing of the country. Many states as well as international organizations are not in favor of the U.S. president’s course of action. This immediately put the country in a bad light especially its leader because the non-approval of these states emphasizes the illegitimacy of this action. A good example is the European Union (EU) that has been the country’s partner in economic activities but they didn’t support Bush’s action against Iraq. EU believes that America’s unilateral strategy would not benefit their multi-polar interest (Chenoy, p. 25 ).
Lastly, is the effects of this decision to the citizens of Iraq as well as to the U.S. soldiers. The war has left numerous casualties in terms of death tolls, damage to property, as well as the over all security of the country (Chenoy, p. 27). According to the Iraq Body Count Project (IBC), there were 947 civilian deaths reported between 1st and 27th of February this year (Enforced security: solution or stopgap?).
The weight of an elite individual’s decisions and actions is greatly felt in crisis situation like terrorist incidents. The choices they make could have numerous effects in the country of their leadership and to others as well. Unfortunately, the politically driven decision of these “key players” could have adverse consequences in the lives of many people.
Chenoy, Anuradha. Demystifying Terrorism : a War Against Terror & The Terror Of War, US Hegemony & Militarism. ARENA, 1997.
“Enforced security: solution or stopgap?”. 28 February 2008. Iraq Body Count. 12 May 2008.
“Iraq drives Bush’s ratings to a new low”. 14 March 2006. CNN. 12 May 2008. ;http://edition.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/03/13/bush.poll/;.
Mingst, Karen. Essentials of International Relations. Norton, 2001.