War in Iraq Can the U S Policy in Iraq Prevail Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

war on Iraq, and considers whether U.S. policy towards Iraq can prevail, through an analysis of eight facets of this policy: international trade; weapons of mass destruction; democratization; the war against tyranny vs. The grab for oil; the "shock and awe" tactics used at the beginning of the war; the U.S. occupation vs. liberation; whether the new government of Iraq will be Iraqi run or whether Iraq will become a puppet state; and, Operation Iraqi Freedom. The analysis is performed by means of an in-depth literature review, with relevant statistical support, where necessary. It is found that the war on Iraq was founded on false premises, and that the current U.S. policy towards Iraq is not sustainable for the Iraqi people nor for the honour of the U.S. government.


The war on Iraq (which some people would argue was an illegal invasion on Iraq, as it happened without regard for international law and also pre-emptively) began almost one year ago, and despite the fact that the U.S. government is trying to persuade its populace that the war is over, by making a show of handing power back to the people of Iraq (although it is not yet known who those people will be, or if those people will agree enough in the meantime to form a democratic governing body), the war is far from over. Day by day, the number of dead and the number of casualties increase in Iraq, with bombings and disagreements amongst rival Iraqi groups, most obviously the different factions of Muslims, the Shi'as and the Sunnis.

This paper looks at the war in Iraq, from an in-depth empirical viewpoint, and asks if U.S. policy can prevail. The following eight facets of U.S. policy towards Iraq are discussed in turn: international trade; weapons of mass destruction; democratization; the war against tyranny vs. The grab for oil; the "shock and awe" tactics used at the beginning of the war; the U.S. occupation vs. liberation; whether the new government of Iraq will be Iraqi run or whether Iraq will become a puppet state; and, Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Methodology and Methods

The methods employed in this paper include sourcing relevant literature, from political science journals, and various U.S. government and Iraqi interim government policy documents, along with reports and documents from various other - neutral - organizations that have independently looked in to some of the claims of the U.S. (in particular the claims about Weapons of Mass Destruction thought to have been present in Iraq, and used as a justification for going to war on Iraq).

Once the most relevant documents had been located, in terms of finding documents that had as broad a range of opinions as possible, to avoid bias in the paper, the sources were studied in-depth, within the framework outlined in the Introduction; each document's relevance to the eight facets of U.S. policy was then screened, and once its pertinence to the question in hand was ascertained, the document was studied thoroughly and used as a basis upon which to undertake the necessary empirical statistical analyses. A review of the thorough analysis of the content of each document, in terms of its relevance for the eight facets of policy under study is given in the Literature Review section.

In terms of harnessing statistical information from each of the documents, raw figures are often the most useful for this exercise i.e., number of dead in Iraq since March 2003, economic factors in Iraq before and after March 2003 etc. These raw figures were picked out from the documents during their thorough analyses: the statistics, and opinions gained from these statistics, with regards to the main question of the paper (i.e., Will U.S. policy in Iraq prevail?) will be presented in the Findings and Results section.

Literature Review

This section covers some pertinent literature reviewed during the course of this investigation. As we have seen, eight facets of U.S. policy on Iraq have been analysed in depth, and the results of the analysis of each of these will be presented in turn in this section.

International trade

In terms of the effect that the war in Iraq had on international trade, many share indices were down before the war in Iraq, and then rose steadily once the war had been 'won'. In addition, the war on Iraq had little impact on the ongoing multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO, even though officials at the WTO confess to have been worried about the possible negative effects of the war on trans-Atlantic commercial relations (International Trade Reporter, 2003).

In terms of Iraq and its position in terms of being able to re-enter in to international trade markets, the war has posed more questions than it answers. Pre-March 2003, Iraq had suffered a decade of economic sanctions, and so had no route into international trade. In May 2003, the UN Security Council and the U.S. lifted most economic sanctions against Iraq, permitting non-sensitive U.S. exports to Iraq (Iraq Investment and Reconstruction Task Force, 2004). Now the U.S. must be keen for the oil-rich Iraqi nation to enter into worldwide trade, especially if, as people have suggested, the U.S. will have a controlling hand in much of what is developed in post-March 2003 Iraq, in terms of tradable commodities (Chomsky, 2003). Indeed, in a document issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce, entitled Business Guide for Iraq, many references are made to these inroads being made by the U.S. In to Iraqi trade: "U.S. government-funded contracts...continue to be the leading business opportunity in Iraq" (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2004): it is precisely these contracts, awarded to U.S. businesses by the U.S. government, under the terms of the CPA, that are giving the U.S. The right to hold such direct power, and to potentially gain so many benefits from, Iraq as it is rebuilt. We will look at the issues this raises later, when discussing U.S. occupation vs. liberation.

Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)

This is a tricky subject, as Bush went to war on the basis that Iraq was harbouring weapons of mass destruction (which they were not allowed to have under the statutes of the UN), and now no weapons of mass destruction can be found anywhere in Iraq, suggesting that WMD were not present in Iraq at the time of the campaign against Iraq.

In the run up to the U.S. campaign against Iraq, Bush made increasingly explicit and declarative concerning his belief that Iraq held WMD (Dean, 2003), stating, on 12th September 2002,.." Iraq is expanding an improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons"; on 5th October 2002,.." Saddam Hussein has recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons"; on October 7th 2002, "The Iraqi regime...is seeking nuclear weapons"; on January 28th 2003,.." Saddam Hussein has the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin..."; and by March 17th, in his address to the nation, all of this had built up to such a point where he could say, "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised" (Dean, 2003).

Bush therefore used increasingly vitriolic, and in the face of over 300 searches which failed to show any sign of WMD in Iraq, seemingly unsubstantiated, claims about Iraq's possession of WMD's in order to launch a war against Iraq. What is the conclusion that can be drawn from this? As Dean (2003) says, "If the Bush administration intentionally manipulated...intelligence to get Congress to authorize, and the public to support, military action to take control of Iraq, then that would be a monstrous misdeed"; indeed manipulation or misuse of national security information is an impeachable offence (Dean, 2003).


Bush also called for the war on Iraq to 'democratize' Iraq; many have found this funny, that a man who did not win the Presidential election, even though he cheated outright in some states to get a disproportionate share of the votes, and who can advise people to 'hide' (in the case of the pictures of U.S. soldiers' coffins) or 'manipulate' the information (about WMD, for example) his populace receives (in true dictator style) can have the audacity to talk about bringing democracy to another country.

Yet, to be able to openly laugh at such a farce is a luxury that only people who have not experienced life under a dictator can have; the Iraqi people must be heartened that they are free from Saddam, that they are being 'democratized'; they must take this democratization of their country seriously, with open arms? A look at several academic papers will uncover some of the complexities behind this statement, especially as the road to democracy in Iraq has so many implications for democracy in that region of the world as a whole (Dawisha, 2004). This point is discussed further in Lijphart (2004), which looks at the constitution of Iraq in detail, and its implications…

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