Naval War College Review


In today’s political environment, military intervention is frequently debated. These discussions often bring to light interesting points of agreement and per- haps surprising instances of disagree- ment. In the end, it is with the president that the final decision rests. Elizabeth Saunders explores the rationales that U.S. presidents have used for decid- ing whether or not to initiate military interventions. Dr. Saunders, a graduate of Yale, now teaching at George Wash- ington University, advances a thesis that the model of intervention depends mainly on a president’s formative ways of thinking about foreign policy. While it may seem that these views would fol- low party lines, Saunders shows that this is not necessarily true. On one hand, the internal approach focuses on how the foreign state is organized and follows the transformative model.