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World Politics and International Law (Duke Press Policy Studies) Paperback – 1 Jun 1985

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About the Author

Francis Anthony Boyle is Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois. A highly visible actor in the international arena, he has served as legal advisor to the Palestinian Delegates in the Middle East peace negotiations, as well as to Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic. Boyle is the author of numerous books, including The Bosnian People Charge Genocide and World Politics and International Law, also published by Duke University Press.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Analysis and Critique of American Machiavellianism 9 May 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This extremely important book should be required reading for anyone who is interested in understanding U.S. Foreign Policy in general and the flawed foundations of the War Against Terrorism in particular. Boyle delves all the way to the philosophical and legal origins of U.S. Foreign Policy to illuminate the glaring flaws which have been recognized by so many but analyzed by so few.
Boyle demonstrates how respect for international law and the development of a global international legal framework for the peaceful resolution of disputes between nations represented the fundamental thinking behind U.S. Foreign Policy from its emergence as an international power after the Spanish American War until World War II . He then describes how, and just as importantly why, the U.S. intentionally forsook those principles when it self consciously adopted a foreign policy based solely upon the considerations of power politics following World War II, in substantial part because of the widely held belief that it was the U.S.'s naïve adherence to international law prior to the war which was to blame for that catastrophe. Boyle illustrates in particular the importance of Hans Morgenthau, whose seminal writings on U.S. Foreign Policy which played a decisive role in influencing policymakers much as George Kennan's "Mr. X" cable on containment had a critical influence on U.S. policy towards the Soviet Union. Ironically, Morgenthau, just like Kennan, lived to repudiate his words, arguing in 1978 that U.S. disregard of international law as a guiding force in it's foreign policy would lead almost inevitably to nuclear war.
Boyle goes on to contrast the efforts of legalists, such as Cyrus Vance with Machiavellians such as Zbignew Brezinski and demonstrates how the latter's policies were both futile, and potentially disastrous in resolving the Iranian hostage crisis while Vance's strategy led to its peaceful resolution, despite his resignation in protest of President Carter's ill conceived and ill fated hostage rescue attempts.
Along the way, Boyle offers many fascinating insights into the back stories of important foreign policy developments such as the significant role which international legal considerations played in the Israeli decision to invade Uganda to liberate hostages at Entebbe and the not implausible self defense argument which Iran had for the seizure of U.S. hostages to stave off an expected American backed counter-coup in 1979. Finally, and rather sadly, Boyle offers a vivid real world example of how the influence of U.S. multinationals can override even the most compelling humanitarian concerns in U.S. Foreign Policy when he describes how the Carter Administration's desire to protect the interests of U.S. Banks in being repaid the, in some instances, transparently fraudulent loans they had made to the Shah's government caused it to delay the release of U.S. hostages.
Altogether, Boyle provides a reasoned grounds for a thorough-going attack on U.S. Foreign Policy which gains more strength with each passing day. The fundamental error of U.S. foreign policy as Boyle so aptly illustrates is it's abandonment of any commitment to an international law regime in the world and to the principles of international law in it's own foreign policy in favor of a purely Machiavellian use of power politics which, although occasionally reaping short term advantage, ultimately has the effect of undermining the stability of the world as a whole and therefore the peace and security of all peoples of the world. Unfortunately, the Second Bush Administration appears intent upon surpassing all of its predecessors in its brutal application of Machiavellianism in its global War against Terrorism. Those who are disturbed by this strategy can find powerful tools to analyze and attack it in this ground breaking work.
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