The Iraq Invasion: The Longest, Largest and Most Expensive Use of Armed Force Since Vietnam War

From Napoleon’s attempt to conquer Russia to President Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq, history is beset by military blunders. President George W. Bush’s administration made a case on several grounds for operation against Saddam Hussein. The US invasion to Iraq has since become the longest, largest, as well as most expensive use of armed force since Vietnam War by the US. The Iraq invasion is not sui generis and is understandable with reference to reputable theories of causes of war although the decision to invade is in some respects unprecedented. There are a number of justifications given by Bush administration for the U.S invasion of Iraq and the ensuing war.

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

            President Bush’s administration argued that Iraq was in possession of WMD hence the need to be disarmed. In a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, President Bush said that Saddam Hussein’s administration possessed and continued to produce chemical and biological weapons hence becoming a threat to peace. Saddam Hussein was, therefore, not to be permitted to threaten America and the world atomic weapons, horrible poisons, gases, and diseases. In its defence, Bush administration argued that Iraq would give nuclear weapons as well as chemical and biological weapons to Al Qaeda hence compromising peace and threating the United States and the world (Juhasz, 47).  

Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda

            Bush administration made allegations linking Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda claiming that there existed a highly secretive relationship between the radical Islamic militant organization Al-Qaeda and Iraq president Saddam Hussein. President Bush made stronger members in bomb-making and deadly gases. The Bush administration believed there were contacts between Osama bin Laden and Iraq representatives in Sudan hence viewing Saddam Hussein as threat because he collaborated with and provided a safe haven for terrorists (Juhasz, 23).

Iraq’s lack of Democracy

            The Bush administration advocated the failures of democratization in Iraq as one of the reasons for invasion. Juhasz (16) records that democratizing Iraq became the main rationale for the U.S invasion and the actions are evident in its most of the first year invasion when the US foreign policy was able to appoint the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) as a consultative body. Most important, Jervis affirms that the Bush administration was able to organize and protect relatively free and fair elections at local as well as national level (291). Also, there were conditions created by the US government which allowed Iraq to hold two national elections for its parliament.

Saddam’s Harsh Treatment against Iraqi People

Saddam Hussein threatened international peace and security through his continued repression of Iraqi civilian population according to the Bush administration hence the need for US invasion. President George W. Bush’s administration accused Saddam Hussein of violating basic human rights of Iraqi people, torture and execution of innocent Iraqis, expanded violence against women and children, harassing humanitarian aid workers, unfair imprisonment of the Iraqis, and expanded crimes against Muslims (Kriner " Francis 162).  The US invasion to Iraq was aimed at restoring and protecting human rights as well as ousting Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial regime. The Iraqi leader did not tolerate freedom to information, freedom of press or of speech, and political dissent in areas under his control.      

            Accuracy of the Identified Reasons

            After carrying out an extensive research, it is evident that the reasons given by the Bush administration for invading and going to war in Iraq are inaccurate. There is no proof that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction which the Bush administration feared would be given to terrorist groups to launch devastating attacks to America and the world. In addition, Bush administration failed to provide concrete evidence that Iraq provided training camps and training to terrorist groups. Dolan (91) connotes that the US administration was unable to differentiate between terrorist groups and the countries which harboured or armed them. In my view, the US invasion to Iraq was a show of US military might against a visible enemy after the 9/11 attack. The US government on the other hand was acting on its expected mandate of providing national security, maintaining public order, and providing material prosperity among others as outlined by Lenz and Holman (9). 

Works Cited

Dolan, Chris J. In war we trust: the Bush doctrine and the pursuit of just war. Routledge, 2018.

Jervis, Robert. "Understanding the Bush doctrine: preventive wars and regime change." Political Science Quarterly 131.2 (2016): 285-312.

Juhasz, Antonia. The Bush Agenda. HarperCollins e-Books, 2014.

Kriner, Douglas, and Francis Shen. "Responding to war on Capitol Hill: Battlefield casualties, congressional response, and public support for the war in Iraq." American Journal of Political Science 58.1 (2014): 157-174.

Lenz, Timothy O., and Mirya Holman. American Government. Orange Grove Texts Plus, 2013.

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