War has remained an important phenomenon used by the states to achieve their goals when the diplomacy failed. Previously, many philosophers has worked over war and defined it as a phenomenon that has a specific unpredictable nature. Similarly, they also provided us with certain principles, which are more often valid for most of the wars that have taken place so far. This paper discusses the campaign where the U.S. military ignored certain principles, misjudged the character of it and faced losses in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Operation Iraqi Freedom: Analysis on Character and Principles of War
War has remained a consistent phenomenon throughout human history. It has been subject to evolution but the nature of war has always remained the same in one way or another. As compared to the development of technology or trade, literature or political reforms, the real history of a nation has been shaped by the wars it has fought for its survival (Hooker 4). The scenarios can differ; the new technological advancements can change the conventional ways and strategies of fighting a war. But the nature of war, its objectives and its character remains the same in many cases, which is observed throughout the military history.
Similarly modernizing the traditional principles of war does not make the previous principles obsolete. In fact, the new principles are made with the intention of fulfilling the essence of the previous principles (Dunlap 71). The Operation Iraqi Freedom was at first considered as one of the most successful accomplishments in the history of military expeditions. Within a short span of three weeks, with minimum causalities...
led coalition forces swept across most of the country and defeated the hostile forces efficiently (Dennison 1). However, a little time after this short celebrated victory, a new phase of guerilla warfare started which toppled the victory of the U.S. led coalition forces and expanded to a large scale civil war. The only success that the coalition forces achieved was the removal of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Similarly due to the failures in the post war Iraqi situation, the Bush administration faced trouble in home, and the Republicans lost their majorities in the Senate as well as the House of Representatives. Also, the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld had to resign due to his misjudgments in planning the war (Dennison 2).
Mistakes in Characterizing the Nature of OIF
War is not an end in itself. It is assumed and has proven to be the means to a desirable end. It is the most effective condition in which, the whole nation unites behind the leadership in pursuit of a common goal. War in its purest form is considered to be a struggle for achieving some personal or political goals. Every participant of war, let it be the civilians, politicians or the combatants, have their own goals and interests in it which unifies them. However, there is always a risk of losing the support if the losses have become sufficient enough to change the public sentiment. Similarly, if the strategies that are employed in war are continuously proving to be wrong, resulting in the unjustified sacrifices of the country men can make the rulers to lose the support from the society (Hooker 8). In the same way, war can have different endings, the ones which are never expected to occur. Victory should never be considered as an end in itself. Most often, a war has its own trajectory and non-linear nature. There will always be certain unforeseen consequences which can never be predicted in advance. Such consequences design the real ending of a war, the victor and the looser (Hooker 9).
In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the main objective of the Department of Defense was to establish its control in the country. And the removal of Saddam Hussein…
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