Date of Award

Spring 1990

Document Type



Political Science & International Relations

First Advisor

Dennis Wiedmann

Second Advisor

Phillip Wittman

Third Advisor

Robert Swartout


The Iran-Contra Affair of the 1980's created such a scandal upon its discovery that it was likened to the Watergate scandal'of the 1970's. For a time there were fears that a second U. S. President might be forced to resign his office in disgrace. Serious questions were raised about the intent and direction of the U. S. foreign policy. I will argue that the entire affair occurred as a result of a combination of a certain Presidential type and a certain process of decision-making. I will rely heavily on the work of Graham T. Allison and James David Barber to formulate an explanation as to why the Iran-Contra Affair was possible.