The Iraqwar is often seen as one of the most controversial foreign policy decisions ofthe last century. The reason behind the US intervention in Iraq is said to bebased on the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. PresidentGeorge W. Bush and his administration declared a “war on terror” which was heavilysupported by the people, both in the US and in other parts of the world.
The “waron terror” meant strikes at terrorist groups and states that supported thesegroups. The goal was to destroy international terrorism and terrorist networks.However, the US and It´s coalition forces lost trust progressively throughoutthe conflict they participated in, more known as the Iraq war. Thousands of soldiers from both coalition andIraqi forces perished during the conflict and this war is still heavilyquestioned to this day. Before wecan talk about the Iraq war we need to know the history of both USA and Iraq.
Iraq had been a very unstable nation for decades. In 1979, Saddam Husseinbecame president of Iraq. Hussein was often seen as a brutal dictator, not justto his own people, but others as well. In 1980, Hussein started the Iran-Iraqwar by attacking Iran. The reasons were many such as political, religious andethic. The Iran Iraq war is often compared to the first world war because ofthe trench warfare, the barbed wire and most debated, Iraq´s use of poisonousgas on the Iranian soldiers. This (except the war itself) was heavily criticizedby the UN. Gas was also used on civilians which shocked many people and Husseinwas much more seen as a brutal dictator.
In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The Iraqi economy was bad and Kuwait had a lotof the world’s oil resources. Saddam Hussein also didn´t like that Kuwaitdemanded to get back the economic support they had given Iraq during theIran-Iraq war.
After one year, US, British, French and other coalition forcesdrove Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. After the short conflict that ended in 1991,Saddam Hussein was still in power but the UN had inflicted economic sanctionson Iraq. Iraq avoided these economic sanctions for years. The sanctions weremainly to stop Hussein from secretly developing Weapons of Mass Destructions(WMD). The suspicion that Hussein would secretly develop WMD`s grew more andmore during the beginning of the 21st century and especially fromthe US and the Bush administration. The Bushadministration with its “war on terror” policy, had as I described earlier thegoal of defeating international terrorism. The goal was mostly said to be thatthey wanted to find and kill the one responsible for the 9/11 attacks, UsamaBin Laden.
But George W. Bush also wanted to prevent this from happening again.Therefore, he started to focus on Afganistan, but also Saddam Hussein´s Iraq.In late 2002, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and intelligences fromother countries had evidence (which later was proved to be inaccurate) thatSaddam Hussein, despite the UN sanctions still developed WMD`s and/or otherchemical weapons. The United States Congress voted on a joint resolution whichgave authority to use force against Iraq.
The United Nations Security Councilmade a resolution announcing that Iraq had broken the previous resolutions andthat Hussein would be given one last chance to agree to the UN resolutions toprevent war. President Bush announced that Saddam Hussein had 48 hours to leaveIraq and he threatned to start a military engagement if he wouldn´t comply.Saddam Hussein refused and on march 20, 2003, the US and coalition forcesconsisting of 40 other nations did the first move into Iraq. It beganwith intense precision air strikes and ground forces going into the country.The US and coalition forces were surprised by the small amount of resistancecompared to what they expected.
After several weeks of fighting, the US andcoalition forces reached the capital Bagdad. They captured Saddam Hussein inDecember 2003 and he was sentenced to death in an Iraqi court for crimesagainst humanity. He was later executed by hanging December 30, 2006.
There wereto major Islamic groups in Iraq. One majority of Shia and a minority of Sunni.Saddam Hussein himself was born and raised as a Sunni. A large part of Iraq´sSunni Muslims were members of his Baath party and they had been benefited byhis regime.
After the war, Sunni Muslims felt that they were put to the side andnot being able to be heard. The dissatisfaction increased. The city of Falluja, in the so-called “Sunni triangle” west of Baghdad,became a centre of opposition. Over the country, the disappointment also grewthat the promised reconstruction was not noticeable. At the same time, a rebellionsparked among the Shia Muslims in Baghdad and several cities in the south. In January 2005, elections were held to appoint a temporaryparliament whose main task would be to write a new constitution for Iraq. Morethan half of the voters participated, but almost no Sunni Muslims.
In Decemberof the same year a new election was held. The first permanent government wasable to enter May 20, 2006. The same year, violence escalated to such an extentthat made way for a full scale civil war. More American soldiers were sent to Iraqand in 2009 there were 142000 soldiers in the country.