Transatlantic Relations, the United Nations, and the Iraq Crisis

  • Joseph Stieb University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Keywords Iraq, George Bush, Tony Blair, Foreign Policy
Keywords Iraq, George Bush, Tony Blair, Foreign Policy


This article assesses the Blair administration’s attempts to convince the Bush administration to pursue diplomacy in the 2002-2003 Iraq crisis.  I argue that the Blair administration emphasized diplomacy partially for domestic political reasons but also because they believed that diplomacy was legally necessary, crucial for restraining American unilateralism, and vital for bolstering the UN and the transatlantic alliance.  The Blair administration was partially successful in convincing the U.S. to work more multilaterally.  However, in exchange, they committed to supporting the U.S. use of force against Iraq if diplomacy failed, thereby losing much of their leverage over U.S. policy.