Why did the US Led Coalition Invade Iraq in 2003
U.S. Invasion of Iraq- Reasons
US Invasion of Iraq: Reasons
The Republic of Iraq is located in South West Asia. Baghdad is its capital and Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the Persian Gulf, Iran and Turkey are its neighboring countries. More than 95% of the population in Iraq is Muslim. The members of Shiites sect are the main inhabitants of the country (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2009).
Saddam Hussein Takriti came in power after the resignation of President Bakr in 1979. It was immediately after his presumptuous control that a fight with Iran began which continued for eight years. The war ended in 1988 with a cessation of hostilities by the United Nations. Although Iraq was supported by the United States in Iran-Iraq war but it strongly criticized Hussein’s tyrannical strategies and unrelenting arms increase. In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. International trade sanctions were established on Iraq by the United Nations but Hussein did not ordered the troops to withdraw. In the following year, however, Iraqi armed forces surrendered to U.S.-led coalition forces. The war impacted the country severely. Most of the cities and ports get destroyed. Thousands of people fled to neighboring countries due to food shortage and lack of infrastructure (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2009).
During Hussein’s presidency, the relations between United States and Iraq remained critical. Due to Saddam’s stubborn nature and frequent violation of Persian Gulf War cease-fire terms, Iraq was smacked by the U.S. And other coalition members twice in 1993. Iraq had been found using nuclear weapons in the Iran-Iraq war. In 1997, the disarmament commission of United Nations wrapped up that Iraq is putting information regarding organic weapons out of sight. It also concluded that data pertaining chemical weapons and missiles is being concealed by the Iraqi government. As a reaction, Iraq stopped cooperating with the UN authorities. Following this, USA and Britain started an air raid on Iraq in which they targeted the military assets and oil refineries in Iraq. These raids did not end until the 2003 war (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2009).
In Dec. 1999, the UN Security Council developed a fresh arms inspection plan. Iraq strongly rejected the plan and disagreed to any offered ‘arms assessment’ policy. However, after consistent negotiations, sanctions were revised for Iraq in 2002. The U.S. government officials recommended carrying out operations against Iraq and Afghanistan to inflate the ‘war on terrorism’. In the September of same year, Iraq allowed the UN inspectors to return as United States government incessantly insisted that Iraq is building up mass destruction weapons. A referendum regarding presidency of Saddam Hussein was conducted the following month which he won and was given an extension of seven more years to rule Iraq. The U.S. Congress agreed to employ force against Iraq the same month. In November, a ‘last chance’ was given to Iraq by the Security Council of United Nations. Iraq was provided this chance to cooperate on the inquiry of weapons. Iraq declared that there are no weapons present in the country which can cause mass destruction. This claim was disagreed by the U.S. In fact, no verification could be provided by the UN inspectors that Iraq is involved in building up of weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, it was also pointed out that there is not enough cooperation by Iraqi officials. In the intervening time, the United States of America and Britain sustained their planning and preparations to attack Iraq whenever required (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2009).
United States and Britain stressed that their national security and that of their allies is threatened with the possibility of hidden weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Thus, attacks began to invade Iraq on March 19, 2003. Within a month, major cities of Iraq were conquered by the U.S. led coalition forces and Hussein’s autocratic rule malformed (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2009).
Reasons of Iraq Invasion
1. Military Reason
The efforts of United Nations to neutralize Iraq of its eccentric weapons programs continued from 1991 to 1998. However, this procedure of disarmament struggle was aggravated due to the Iraqi government’s confrontation. Therefore, no substantial progress was made in this regard (Deaver 2001). The American government took the awkward and challenging mission of invading and rejuvenating Iraq on the account that this Muslim country possesses weapons of mass destruction and has strong connection with the Al-Qaeda network (Zumes 2004).
It is a general perception that the United States has a custom of causing downfalls of sovereign governments in other countries. However, this is not regarded as respecting the international law. If Iraq is to be discussed, one will find that it was the only Arab state that had a combination of considerable educated people, huge oil resources and water supplies availability. These characteristics made it possible for the country to have a foreign policy of its own and do not follow what America wanted it to pursue. Saddam Hussein, knowing the mentioned facts, failed to hold on the U.S. ‘revolutionary’ programs which made U.S. To go back to its old ways of military intervention in Iraq. The United States wanted to leave no choice for Iraq but to engage in recreation according to America’s rule (Zumes 2004).
The United Nations and its allies justified their invasion of Iraq by concluding that it was important to do so to ‘self-defense’ themselves. The Iraq’s possession of deadly weapons and its links with the biggest terrorist group Al-Qaeda gave United States a ‘just’ reason to intervene in Iraq militarily. The American government also insisted that the invasion was also necessary to save the Iraqi people. It said that one of the major purposes to conquer Iraq is to bring democracy to the region (Enemark and Michaelsen 2005, 545+).
United States and its allies asserted that ‘self-defense’ is extremely important as the ‘hated West’ is greatly threatened by the Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction. Thus, they invaded Iraq in order to keep them out of danger from any future Iraqi threat to their national security. According to the UN Charter, the precautionary use of armed forces is justified as self-defense provided that the state can prove that an attack by the opponent state is forthcoming. However, after the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration insisted that this perception of ‘pending’ threat must be changed. It squabbled that there is a need to stretch out the impression of ‘self-defense’. Thus, the United Stated led coalition forces to invade Iraq by following the mentioned conception of ‘self-defense’ (Enemark and Michaelsen 2005, 545+).
1. Strategic reason
The invasion of Iraq was the result of the strategy of the United States of America under the administration of Bush. American policy of the global domination has always been on its height and to invade Iraq was one of the stepping stone to intimidate the world. As a reaction to the 9/11 attacks, the National Security of 2002 and the Bush dogma devised the strategy of ‘defensive wars’. The mentioned stratagems suggested that in order to avoid any resistance, U.S. shall not only use the policy of simple inhibition. The utilization of the extraordinary and incomparable military competence of America was the main point of the Bush administration’s policy of domination (Hinnebusch 2007).
The Muslim Middle East has always confronted the U.S. supremacy. This resistance is fuelled by two main reasons. The first reason is American government’s support for Israel. The second reason is the persistent Western intercession to have power over the oil resources and supplies in the Middle East region. Thus, it was fundamental for America to invade Iraq in order to be successful in its project of supremacy and restructure Middle East. The invasion of Iraq meant that America could have power over the oil reserves present in the Muslim country. It is a known fact that oil is a strategic product that is the need of every nation. Oil is also exceptionally important to armed forces. The control of oil reserves concerted in the Persian Gulf meant that America can reach the height of domination globally (Hinnebusch 2007).
Iraq, by no means, was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, the Bush administration considered the attacks on the twin towers as a golden opportunity to invade Iraq. American government thought that a war with Iraq would suit U.S. interests significantly and would be crucial in the Middle East renovation (Hinnebusch 2007).
The Caspian Sea region (Central Asia) was considered to be a significant region where unexploited oil was present in abundance. It was thought that the specified region holds about 200 billion barrels of intact oil. In May 2001, American Vice President Cheney released an energy plan in which the oil reserves present in the Caspian region were a central constituent. In order to lessen the reliance on Middle East oil, the U.S. government made it a strategic goal to satisfy their increasing energy demand by utilizing the untapped oil reserves in the Caspian region. However, President Bush commanded General Tommy in January 2002 to devise a plan for Iraq invasion as 11% of the world’s total oil reserves were reported to be present in Iraq (Clark 2003).
1. Economic Reason
The economic factors played a pivotal role in compelling United States to invade Iraq. It is believed by many intellectuals that the motives of war announced by the U.S. government had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq. The only factor that compelled Iraq’s invasion by America was to get hold on its oil reserves. Many people believe that the invasion of Iraq has benefitted only those rich people involved in oil industry sector who supported President Bush (The Debate 2002).
Many intellectuals have even concluded that invasion of Iraq was just for the benefit of American oil companies (Zunes 2004). At the start of the 20th century, America was experiencing a rise in its import reliance in an ever-tense oil market. It was crucial for American government to have control over Iraq’s oil reserves as there was an increase in the oil vulnerability of U.S.. It was not acceptable for America to watch the dominance falling in the hands of the oil producers. Iraq had the world’s second largest oil reserves next to Saudi Arabia and also had very little oil production expenditures. Thus, Iraq was seen as the solution of the impending threats faced by the United States (Hinnebusch 2007). The invasion of Iraq was extremely advantageous for America as it could promise America a gargantuan influence over European Union and China. In fact, the invasion of Iraq would give America the opportunity of having control on its major financially viable resources (Zumes 2004).
It is a known fact that Iraq has the world’s second largest reserves of oil. However, majority of the oil reserves have not been exploited yet. It has been anticipated that Iraq will become the world’s largest supplier of oil after the war will be over. It is probable that Iraq will leave behind the linchpin of oil i.e. Saudi Arabia. The U.S. government agreed that to be in charge of the oil production in Iraq will be significantly beneficial for America. Companies producing oil and weapons and people holding shares with them have been the only beneficiaries of reliable rewards. An anticipated attack on Iraq was regarded as totally illegal under the laws that are followed internationally. There was no good reason for United States to become involved in war with Iraq. It was foreseen by many that the invasion of Iraq will act as a catalyst in damaging the economies of West. The war generated an extensive increase in the prices of oil globally. The situation will not get better provided the oil fields in Iraq be controlled by USA and its allies (The Debate 2002).
1. Diplomatic Reason
After the 1991 Gulf War, a Pax-Americana was made which had several characteristics. One of them was the ‘dual suppression’ of both Iran and Iraq. The peace process and coalition with Saudi Arabia were the other important features of the Pax-Americana. However, it was broken down later and seriously affected the developments in the oil market of the United States. As Iran and Iraq did not want American supremacy over them so they started evading from the remoteness inflicted on them by the United States. The Arab world confronted the humanitarian damage wreaked on the Iraqi people by the sanctions on Iraq. Many countries, particularly Russia, France and China were being given oil dispensations by Iraq. On the other hand, America was not involved in any oil trade with Iran or Iraq. Secondly, America did not keep its promise of a peace settlement between Palestine and Israel. This created hurdles in the smoothening of relationships between the United States and the Arab world. Also, the relationship between America and Saudi Arabia destabilized due to the involvement of Saudi citizens in 9/11 attacks. Saudi Arabia failed to secure and moderate oil prices on the request of America which made the Muslim country less dependable for the Bush administration. The invasion of Iraq meant that American dependency on Saudi Arabia will stop and America will have Iraq as a new acquiescent oil producer. Thus, Iraq’s occupation allowed America to face its economic rivals with a ‘towering’ head. American invasion of Iraq permitted it to have the lion’s share in the oil industry (Hinnebusch 2007).
The United States of America wanted to declare its military supremacy on the world in an unfalteringly way. American government planned to demolish Saddam Hussein in order to send the message to the whole world that no power is superior to American military power. Hussein was United State’s main target as he had openly challenged the domination of America. Iraq could be demonized without difficulty and had several weak points that made it easily conquerable. Bush wanted to acquire the right of molesting countries that were considered as threats by the United States. Therefore, Iraq was chosen as the model to set an example for the world. The Unites States of America wanted to enter in Iraq with their troops as ‘knight in the shining armor’ for Iraqi people. They hoped that such a scenario would undermine the confidence of the Arab world. Iraq’s occupation was seen as a chance to establish lasting bases in the Middle East (Hinnebusch 2007).
1. Political Reason
Before the declaration of war on Iraq, the American people had no idea that the government will get itself involved in a war with Iraq. American nation was so proud of its right to set Iraq free. They wished to inject American values in the authoritarian society of Iraq. However, the perception changed when people were asked to support Bush Junior in his war against Iraq. United Nation’s proposals were not given a heed by the Bush administration. Neither did it consider the protests of American people against the war on Iraq (Shafer 2003).
The scenario would have been changed if there was another administration in power. However, the extraordinary interests of the political ruling coalition were the main factor for United States to lead coalition forces in Iraq. The Bush Jr. administration’s foreign policy-making was subjugated by a combination of the Likudist neo-cons and Cheney and Rumsfeld lobbies. The arms-oil lobby of Cheney and Rumsfield believed that they must hold strong ties with the Arab world to have access to profits generated by oil and arms trade. However, they changed their policy of friendship with Arabs and started to think of a war so that they could have the unswerving ownership of the oil reserves. Many oil companies like Halliburton had strong associations with the ruling coalition in Bush administration. Thus, the oil men saw the invasion and renewal of Iraq as a golden chance for their progress and development in the future. The Likudist neo-cons favored Israel and its policies of colonization in the areas conquered by it. However, supporting Israel was an obstacle in the friendship with Arab world as oil access was conditional to strong relations with Arabs. They feared that United States would conciliate with Arabian oil producers instead of considering the Israel’s aspirations of expansion. Therefore, the conquest of Iraq was unavoidable to achieve their goals (Hinnebusch 2007).
The invasion of Iraq meant that dependence on Arabian oil would be reduced. Iraq was to be used as a weapon for flouting OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporing Countries). The target to strike at the foundations of the Muslim countries was also to be achieved with the conquest of Iraq. The American government’s aim to acquire the control of Arab oil without any approval and association with the Arab world was the main factor of grabbing the hold of Iraq. United States also wanted its political relations with Israel to be strengthened without any constraints so the best solution was to conquer Iraq (Hinnebusch 2007).
It is unquestionably clear to the people in United States and the rest of the world that the war in Iraq is a failure of America. The American people have crystal cleared their disappointment and consternation over the war in Iraq. The American involvement in war with Iraq is still continued to date. This span of time has exceeded the total time America spent in World War II. Hundreds and thousands of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians have been killed or injured since the commencement of war in 2003. The war has damaged and destroyed Iraq in an irretrievable way. The U.S. economy has also been negatively affected. The United States of America has faced its biggest budget insufficiency due to its occupation of Iraq. The national debt has reached its highest level in the history of United States (Oweiss 2007).
The real purpose of such a long stay in Iraq is not clear to anyone. United States has failed to declare the sole reason of its ‘hanging about’ in Iraq. Anticipation of civil war, facilitation of Iraq’s dissolution or the establishment of democracy; American government is not able to justify its intervention in the weakened country. The commanding officers of the American troops are geared up for any unforeseen event as they do not know when will be they leaving the Iraqi land. The American people and even those government officials who favored war in Iraq now want the war to end. They have turned against the occupation of the country. Iraqi civilians want the American troops to leave too. Only those who have not been affected by the war are the ones who desire America to stay in Iraq. In short, the American stay in Iraq is not justified by any means (Ackerman 2006).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth ed., s.v. “Iraq.” New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=117025268 (accessed June 25, 2011).
Deaver, Michael V. . Disarming Iraq: Monitoring Power and Resistance. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=106841608 (accessed June 25, 2011)
Zunes, Stephen. “The U.S. Invasion of Iraq: The Military Side of Globalization?.” Common Dreams. www.commondreams.org/views04/1020-28.htm (accessed June 25, 2011).
Enemark, Christian, and Christopher Michaelsen. ” Just War Doctrine and the Invasion of Iraq.” The Australian Journal Of Politics and History 51, no. 4 (2005): 545+. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5018854191 (accessed June 25, 2011).
Hinnebusch, Raymond . ” THE AMERICAN INVASION OF IRAQ: CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES.”Perceptions. 2007. http://www.sam.gov.tr/perceptions/volume12/Spring07_raymond.pdf (accessed June 26, 2011).
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ACHESON INTELLIGENCE GROUP . “WAR ON IRAQ – IS OIL A MOTIVE FOR THE MILITARY CONQUEST OF IRAQ? READ THE EVIDENCE AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF..” The Debate: Was Oil a Motive for the War on Iraq and Afghanistan? Did Oil Influence America’s Decision? Sign the Online Petition for a Public Statement from U.S. government. TheDebate.org – Debating Current Affairs.. http://www.thedebate.org/thedebate/iraq.asp (accessed June 29, 2011).
Shafer, Greg . “Lessons from the U.S. War on Iraq.” The Humanist, Jul. – Aug. 2003. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002543811 (accessed June 26, 2011).
Oweiss, Ibrahim M. . “Why Did the United States Fail in Its War on Iraq?.” The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May. – Jun. 2007. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5036850350 (accessed June 27, 2011).
Ackerman, Spencer. “War in Iraq 2003-?
: The Pentagon Had No Intention of Staying in Iraq Forever. But the White House Won’t Answer a Simple Yes-or-No Question about Permanent Bases, and the Situation Keeps Getting Worse. So Pentagon Brass Are Planning — And Building-For the (.” The American Prospect, November 2006. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5018528870 (accessed June 28, 2011).
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