The Role of the United States in the Iraq War
The war in Iraq is considered as the United States and United Kingdom Armed Forces invasion of Iraq in March 20, 2003. The countries were supported by members of the international coalition. The official reason of the invasion is suspicion that Iraq had a weapon of mass destruction. That posed a major threat to the safety and the security of the world. However, different members of the United Nations Organization had other visions on this problem, considering a fact that the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission did not find anything in Iraq. After about three weeks of constant fighting, the military coalition invaded Iraq. As a result, the reign of Saddam Hussein was ended. He was later executed by the new Iraq government. A special US military team was created to search in Iraq the weapon of mass destruction. However, they also found nothing. The decision to use military force against Iraq supported almost 45 countries of the world.
According to General Tommy Franks (2003), the reasons for the invasion in Iraq were:
First, end the regime of Saddam Hussein. Second, to identify, isolate and eliminate Iraqs weapons of mass destruction. Third, to search for, to capture and to drive out terrorists from that country. Fourth, to collect such intelligence as we can relate to terrorist networks. Fifth, to collect such intelligence as we can relate to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction. Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian support to the displaced and many needy Iraqi citizens. Seventh, to secure Iraqs oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people. And last, to help the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative self-government.
However, everything began with the 687 resolution of UNO Security Council. According to which, after the end of the war in Persian Gulf, a special UN commission arrived in Iraq to monitor the process of liquidation weapons of mass destruction in the country. Commission successfully performed its functions till 1998. After 1998, Iraq rejected further cooperation with it. Another long-term consequence of the war of 1991 was the introduction of air zones that prohibited flights of military aircraft in Iraq. These zones were created in the north and south part of the country to protect the Kurds and Shiites, who were subjected to repression by the government of Saddam Hussein. These zones were controlled by the American and British aircrafts.
The first suggestions of a possible U.S. military invasion in Iraq appeared in the media after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. However, in the first months after the attacks, the whole attention of George W. Bush was focused on fighting (against the Taliban) in Afghanistan. By early 2012, the Taliban suffered a military defeat and were removed from power. Since mid-year, the United States began to demand the international inspectors to return to Iraq. In 2002-2003, the U.S. administration has made great efforts to prove that Saddam Hussein created a danger to the international community. Iraq was accused of resuming development of mass destruction weapons. Moreover, Iraq was also charged with cooperating with international terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaeda. However, U.S. secret services talked about the opposite situation that was ignored by the U.S. top officials. Blumenthal S. (2007) states:
On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers. Bush dismissed as worthless this information from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddams inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again.
In October 2012, the U.S. Congress, on the basis of the data submitted by the administration, adopted a resolution allowing military invasion in Iraq. At the same time, some U.S. forces were transferred to the Persian Gulf region. In the media appeared suggestions that the military operations would probably begin in January or February 2003.
However, the military operation against Iraq began in March 20, 2003. Its code name was Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); sometimes people mistakenly call it Shock and Awe, but this name refers to the military doctrine developed and applied against Iraq, in 1996. Kuwait became a springboard for the invasion. Five US and UK divisions did not face a serious resistance from 23 Iraq divisions. By early April, the U.S. forces were already on the outskirts of Baghdad. April 9, Baghdad was taken without a fight. The active phase of fighting ended when the American troops had taken Tikrit (April 15).
Conetta C. states (2003), Our analysis of the evidence leads to the conclusion that between 10,800 and 15,100 Iraqis were killed in the war. Of these, between 3,200 and 4,300 were noncombatants - that is: civilians who did not take up arms.
Fortunately, the coalition losses were much smaller (139 U.S. military personnel and 33 UK military personnel). According to Iraq Coalition Casualties (2011), as of 23 October, 2011, the total number of coalition military deaths count 4,799 (Iraq Coalition Casualties, 2011).
In 2008, The Guardian published some extracts from a new book on the war in Iraq. It was written by the Nobel Prize laureate and the World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglits.
Edemariam A. (2008) states, Appetites whetted, Stiglitz and Bilmes dug deeper, and what they have discovered, after months of chasing often deliberately obscured accounts, is that, in fact, Bush's Iraqi adventure will cost America - just America - a conservatively estimated $3 trillion. The rest of the world, including Britain, will probably account for about the same amount again.
During the invasion in Iraq, the headquarters were placed in Doha (Qatar). All the U.S. forces were under the command of General Tommy Franks. In July, he was changed by General John Abizaid. Among other commanders were Ricardo Sanchez (June 2003 - June 2004), George Casey (June 2004 - February 2007), David Petraeus (February 2007 - September 2008), Raymond Odierno (September 2008).
A Guerrilla war started almost immediately after the formal ending of actions. Already in May, there were several attacks on the coalition forces. The greatest damage to coalition forces made so called IED (Improvised Explosive Devise). It happened because of a weak armor of American patrol car Humvee.
Another form of protest was the organization of terrorist attacks. In August 2003, the Embassy of Jordan exploded. The next terrorist target was the UN headquarters in Baghdad. Sergio de Mello, the head of Iraqs UN mission, died during such attack. In November 2003, one of the most successful terrorist attacks on the international forces was organized; they exploded the Italian contingent barracks in Nasiriyah.
In January 2005, for the first time in half a century, multi-party parliamentary election was organized. On the eve of elections, there appeared many terroristic threats to put snipers in front of the polling stations. Despite of all threats, the election was declared valid. As it was predicted, the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance won the election. They got 48 per cent of the votes.
In January 2007, George Bush announced a new strategy in Iraq, called The New Way Forward, also known as The Big Wave. In the speech to the nation, George Bush acknowledged that, in the Iraq war, there were made some serious mistakes. The main failures, on his thought, were the lack of troops and freedom of actions of the American command. The new strategy involved sending to Iraq additional 21.5 thousand troops in order to strengthen the security of borders.
In August 2010, the vast majority of the U.S. troops leaved Iraq. In the country remained about 50,000 United States troops. Their mission was to support and train the local security forces. In September 1, 2010, the U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden announced about the official end of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also informed about the beginning of a new non-military mission called New Dawn. It was led by General Lloyd Austin. On December 15, 2011, the U.S. Armed forces lowered the flag over Baghdad. This action symbolized the end of the military campaign in Iraq, which lasted almost nine years. They delegated the power to secure the safety to the local structures.
According to Donald (2005), despite the unstable situation and the constant attacks of militants, the multinational forces in Iraq and international organizations have done considerable work, in order to reconstruct the country. Until mid-2004, the coalition troops have repaired, refitted and opened 240 hospitals, 2, 200 clinics, 2, 300 schools. They also cleaned more than 1,500 km of clogged canals and made some works on water distribution (Donald, 2005, pp. 382-383).
The United States of America also spent much money on rebuilding Iraq.
Kelley M. (2010) states, Overall, the United States has spent $44.6 billion in taxpayer funds on rebuilding Iraq, about half of it to train, equip and support Iraq's military and police forces.
Thus, the main reason to start the war was a conviction that Iraq developed the mass destruction weapons. Second, Iraq was accused of cooperation with the international terrorist organizations, including AL Qaeda. In addition, the terrorist attack on September 11 became a final moment to start the war in Iraq. Despite of all protests in the world, a number of countries supported the USA to start the war. Any war leads to heavy financial and human losses. Nowadays, it is probably one of the most expensive campaigns for the USA. The biggest problem is that because of several insane politicians suffer a lot of civil and innocent people including women and children.
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