Sample Essay on Iraq War

Iraq War

Background of war

The Iraq War of 2003 was characterized by the invasion of the US and its allies on Iraq under the regime of President Saddam Hussein. The events leading to this war can be traced back to the Israel- Palestine war of 1948, where Arab nations led by Palestine with the support of Iraq propagated territorial conflicts.

The sour relationship between Iraq and the USA after the latter supported the former in the war against Iran during Cold War also facilitated the invasion of the US into Iraq considering the relative refusal by Iraq to let the US gain control of its oil fields. The Afghan Jihad of 1980 also led to the war since Iraq supported Muslim extremists in propagating jihad activities on Soviets. This led to the establishment of Al Qaeda movement in the Middle East and it was blamed for numerous terrorist attacks including the 9/11 attacks.

The “what” of the Iraq war

Approximately 4,500 US military were killed in the Iraq war and about 32, 000 were wounded in the war. This was after the US dropped more than 4,500 bombs in Iraq and the Iraq soldiers and militants were able to down about 32 helicopters belonging to the US military. It is important to note that only about 319 non-US troops that were killed in the Iraq war.

The Iraq war cost American citizens and their government $ 1 trillion. This was aimed at covering the cost of the war especially on the equipment, military salaries and wages, diplomatic activities that were to be conducted by the US as a way of swaying Iraq to help wage war against weapons of mass destruction.

The Iraq war was a US led coalition military operation. Until July 2007, there were more than 550 known and recorded military operations in Iraq. However, with the continued operations in the country, the list of military operations continues to grow as more events and reasons to invade Iraq are identified.

Since the beginning of the war in 2003 about half a million Iraqis have been killed. These are as a result of the bombings by the US and the Iraq military and militant groups. In other instances conflicts between citizens have also led to the rise in the death toll. Thee war has also displaced about 1.5 million Iraqis. These are either internally displaced person or the y have fled the country to seek refuge in other countries.

“Why” and “who” of the Iraq war

The possession of weapons of mass destruction by President Saddam Hussein’s government was a major reason for the war. The United States together teams of experts from the United Nations and Great Britain began an investigation process aimed at determining whether Saddam Hussein was building nuclear and chemical weapons.

The decision to go to war was based on intelligence reports produced by experts who established beyond any reasonable doubt that Iraq, under the leadership of President Saddam Hussein was in the process of producing chemical and biological weapons and he was in the process of developing more nuclear weapons. Therefore, his administration was considered a danger to the existence of other states in the Middle East and on the international platform. The findings by these teams resulted in the unification of power and resources between Great Britain and USA and an eventual attack against Saddam’s regime.

The desire for economic gains from oil fields in Iraq was also a reason for invasion of the country to oust President Saddam Hussein who for a long time had been considered as an impediment to the realization of economic power in the Middle East region. It is important to note that through the war, America would weaken Iraq and by extension, weakening the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and this would provide an assurance to the country as a preventive measure of the oil prizes from eluding the control of the US government.

President Saddam was considered a dictator advocating for communist ideologies. The need to democratize the country through the introduction of periodic elections and a new constitution was also reason for the war. Upon ousting of president Saddam, Iraq introduced multi-party politics, and the installation of a new Iraq government in 2006.

Throughout his regime, Saddam Hussein was propagating war crimes and grimes against humanity, which included jailing and murder of Iraq citizens without trial. The invasion of the US to oust his regime and his eventual arrest led to a trial on accusation of international crimes against humanity. Saddam was found guilty of his crimes and sentenced to murder.

The Iraq war has also been considered as a desire by the US to maintain its hegemony on the international platform. It is therefore apparent to establish the underlying power factors that drove the war in relation to world politics. States to state relationships are considered important to the establishment of political and economic power. They are definitive of the rules of engagement owing to the need to penetrate different economies.

The demonstration of hegemonic power for the US on the invasion of Iraq was aimed at demonstrating the country’s military might. Overthrowing president Saddam, a powerful leader in Middle East politics, was an indication of the ability of the US military and government to protect the rest of the world as the sole super power on the international platform.

The Iraq war is also considered as a platform of seeking legitimacy from other states to act as a hegemon. The war was aimed at revealing to other countries that the United States had the ability to defend a world order that would cater for the interests of other states. Being a state founded on the principles of democracy, the intentions of the US to the world through the Iraq war were meant to demonstrate the essence of interests of the Iraqi citizens against those of its leader.

Links between the Iraq war and the so-called ‘Arab spring’ uprisings since December 2010

The fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 through the US led coalition and the successful toppling of Arab leaders in the name of the Arab Spring are connected in numerous ways. This factor has been largely been overlooked based on the assumptions that the war on Iraq was engendered.

The introduction of a democratic regime in Iraq through the Iraq war and the ousting of Saddam Hussein was an indication that totalitarian and dictatorial leadership championed by leaders in Arab countries could be overthrown. This would be possible through collaborative efforts as in the case of the unity between the United States and the United Kingdom in advocating for the interests of Iraqi citizens against an intolerant Saddam Hussein.

It is important to note that during the Iraq war most activists from other countries within the Arab region and on the international platform argued that a US led invasion was illegitimate and imperialistic. However, the results of this war led to increased homegrown demands for freedom and democracy. The war provided some form of agitation based on the available opportunities.

The link between the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and Egypt’s president Mubarak in 2011 can be traced back to Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Saddam’s invasion was considered a threat to the order that had been established by the authoritarian regimes and these leaders joined forces to restore the power of their regimes within the region.

The intentions of the Arab leaders were to support the US against Iraq in 1990 as a way of consolidating their power. The population in the Arab region was however against these attacks considering the mass casualties and other repercussion s of the war on innocent civilians. The need to advocate for national interests and equitable distribution of resources became the driving force of most revolutionaries in the Arab Spring.

The invasion against Iraq and the overthrow of Hussein in 2003 was an indication to young Arab revolutionaries that they could also play a role in redefining their political landscape. The establishment of democratic governments with economic gains for the attacking nations developed an understanding among Arab revolutionaries of the need to mobilize themselves against dictatorial regimes and minimize the possibility of assisting foreign nations to economically benefit from their tragedies. This explains the need to protect their interests by mobilizing and advocating from the establishment of democratic principles in government.

Despite the underlying consequences of the Iraq war, which included the loss of the country’s sovereignty to the US and mass casualties, there were also benefits associated with the war and these included the restoration of political order in the country. This explains why in Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, and Egypt among other Arab states, there erupted new movements driven by civil organizations and other citizens. These movements were demanding for the establishment of political orders in these countries, which derived their legitimacy from candid citizenship.

The recognition of the role of citizens and their rights to be engaged in the political affairs of  the country as in the case of post Saddam Iraq formed the basis for the development of an Arab community founded on communally accepted nationalistic principles and governments established with proper structures for checks and balances.

The toppling of the first Arab dictator in Iraq led to numerous demands on the remaining dictators in the Arab world where citizens demands for governments to uphold their dignity and respect. This was based on the understanding that the authoritarian regimes in Arab states were interested in advocating for the interest of few powerful members of the population at the expense of the rest of the citizens.

It is important to note that the success of democratic regime in Iraq and successful ousting of other dictators in Egypt and Libya inspired other movement in the Arab world such as those in Syria to fight against Bashar Al-Assad’s regime until it is completely overthrown to give way for the development of new Syria. The Syrian uprising like all the other uprisings in the Arab world is geared towards the restoration of political order in governance.