Hand-Off: The Foreign Policy George W. Bush Passed to Barack Obama

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Hand-Off details the Bush administration’s national security and foreign policy as described at the time in then-classified Transition Memoranda prepared by the National Security Council experts who advised President Bush. Thirty of these Transition Memoranda, newly declassified and here made public for the first time, provide a detailed, comprehensive, and first-hand look at the foreign policy the Bush administration turned over to President Obama. In a postscript to each memorandum, these same experts now in hindsight take a remarkably self- critical look at that Bush foreign policy legacy after more than a dozen years of watching subsequent administrations attempt to deal with the same vexing agenda of threats and opportunities-- China, Russia, Iran, the Middle East, terrorism, proliferation, cyber, pandemics, and climate change—an agenda that still dominates America’s national security and foreign policy.

Hand-Off will be an invaluable resource for scholars, students, policy analysts, and general readers seeking to understand afresh the Bush administration’s foreign policy, particularly in view of the records of the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations