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M. Serkan Pektas – Iraq War

by on October 2, 2007

The main rationale for the Iraq War offered by U.S. President George W. Bush, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, and their domestic and foreign supporters was that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction.[1] These weapons, it was argued, posed a threat to the United States, its allies and interests. In the 2003 State of the Union Address, Bush claimed that the U.S. could not wait until the threat from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein became imminent. After the invasion some weapons were found, however they were not in usable condition and were not part of the WMD development programs for which the U.S. invaded. Some U.S. officials cited claims of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. No evidence of any substantial al-Qaeda connection has been found.

The U.S. rationale for the Iraq War has faced heavy criticism from an array of popular and official sources both inside and outside the United States. Both proponents and opponents of the invasion have also criticized the prosecution of the war effort along a number of other lines. Most significantly, critics have assailed the U.S. and its allies for not devoting enough troops to the mission, not adequately planning for post-invasion Iraq, and for permitting and perpetrating widespread human rights abuses. As the war has progressed, critics have also railed against the high human and financial costs. [2]

Criticisms include:
· Legality of the invasion
· Inadequate troop levels (a RAND study stated that 500,000 troops would be required for success[3])
· Insufficient post-invasion plans
· Human casualties
· Financial costs (approximately $454 billion spent as of 9/07)
· Adverse effect on global war on terror
· Negative impact on Israel
· Endangerment of religious minorities
· Damage to America’s traditional alliances and influence
· Economic considerations concerning Iraq’s oil supply

[1] CNN.com. (2007). War on Iraq. Retrieved Sep. 30, 2007, from http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/iraq/
[2] Iraq War. (2007, September 30). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:10, September 30, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Iraq_War&oldid=161319961
[3] Quinlivan, J. T. (2006). Burden of Victory The Painful Arithmetic of Stability Operations. Retrieved Sep. 30, 2007, from http://www.rand.org/publications/randreview/issues/summer2003/burden.html

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