War In Iraq

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War In Iraq

War In Iraq


Unilateral U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 produced vigorous debate in an already polarized diplomatic and American political landscape. Although the military defeat of Iraq remained a foregone conclusion, the drawn-out political and diplomatic deliberations in the run-up to the war have defied most simplified analyses, and the ultimate outcome of the war remains unknown (Murray, 2003).

Many observers fear that Iraq has become a possible repeat experience of the Vietnam War for the United States, but one must look further back in time, to the Spanish-American War, for an example of a military victory so easily won, followed by a confounding insurrection of the apparently liberated peoples. The Iraq campaign of 2003 (the third Gulf War) nevertheless met the timely needs of the U.S. political leadership (Beck, 2003).

Nevertheless, by late summer 2002, the United States had stationed several brigades of ground troops in Kuwait, moved at least five prepositioned equipment sets from other sites to Kuwait, and had more ships entering the Persian Gulf each week with shipments of general supplies and equipment. Some feel that President Bush had cued the U.S. forces to be ready to act against Iraq by November. However, the ongoing international diplomacy—in particular, British prodding to take the case to the United Nations in September—imposed delays. In the end, had Bush acceded to allied requests for more weapons inspections and more pressure upon Saddam to seek nonmilitary solutions, he would have had to cancel the expensive buildup of the summer of 2002, return the troops to garrison, and wait until the fall of 2003 to invade (Murray, 2003).

Causes of War

The advisers to U.S. president-elect George W. Bush had already made clear before the 2000 national election that the Iraqi question required a termination in U.S. diplomacy. Maintaining the U.S.-led aerial ...
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