The Iraq War:
An Avoidable Situation
Iraq has generally never been a nation at peace, but that did not stop the United States from exacerbating those problems. Following the attacks of September 11 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003 the United States’ actions and counter terrorism strategy created an insurgency that set them up for a long and arduous war. Through what appeared to be a rushed planning process the United States entered Iraq and acted as if they wanted to worsen their situation. This paper will look at how the ordinances passed during the first year in Iraq, due to Paul Bremer’s lack of knowledge concerning counter-insurgency, made the United States government ...view middle of the document...
The Bush administration paid little attention to the Middle East before the September 11th attacks, preferring to focus on other foreign policy considerations. Key concerns included managing relations with China following the Hainan Island Incident, improving the NATO relationship with Russia, and creating an Intercontinental Missile Defense system. The attacks on the World Trade Center sparked a whirlwind of American nationalism, which led to immense gains in popularity and support for President Bush. He did this mostly by using false information provided by, “a number of Iraqi defectors and exiles” that linked Saddam Hussein’s Baath regime to Al-Qaeda and also confirmed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Bush, in a speech at the Cincinnati Museum Center, claimed that “Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction are controlled by a murderous tyrant”, hoping to yet again instill the idea that Hussein had WMD’s.Iraq’s unwillingness to permit unrestricted inspections also helped reinforce the Bush administration’s belief that Iraq possessed the weapons they were accusing them of having. The extreme feelings of nationalism following the largest attack on the United States since Pearl Harbor provided Bush with leverage for his “War on Terror”. These feelings were evident in a poll conducted by the Washington Post in which “seven in 10 Americans continued to believe that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a role in the attacks” even though the Bush administration and congressional investigators had no hard evidence to prove it. This leverage and blind trust allowed the United States to support a war lacking U.N. approval and under the belief that Iraq had nuclear weapons, which still had not been proven true.
The Early Years and Paul Bremer
The actions and decisions of the United States in Iraq during the early years of the Iraq War can only be described as a failure. It seems that every idea and tactic used was in hopes of losing the Iraqi citizen’s trust and approval. While using these ideologically driven strategies in Iraq under Paul Bremer, the United States’ government seemed to ignore the counterinsurgency philosophies of David Galula and their own Military Counter-Insurgency manual. These actions early on in the war only furthered the degradation of the Iraqi societal stability. I will focus on the early actions of the United States government and how they created the insurgency that they said they were going to Iraq to fight. The Iraq War appears to prove the idea put forth by the United States Military Counter-Insurgency manual that, “The most important attitude remains that of the host-nation population. In the end, its members determine the ultimate victor.” After the commencement of war on March 20th ,2003, the US-led Coalition rapidly advanced on Baghdad and had removed Saddam Hussein’s regime from power by mid-April. Bush’s first key decision was to empower the US Defense Department as the primary US Government authority in Iraq, which...