Iraq War: Tactic Win but Strategic Failure
Scholars and politicians have a mixed perception about the invasion of the USA to Iraq and its results. Although the causes of the war are clear, it is not true about the proportion of success and failure of the war and future perspectives of the development of Iraq. The situation is complicated because of a vast number of international and domestic political actors involved in the war and post-war development of Iraq. Among international players, the USA, Iran, Turkey and other actors in the Middle East strive to influence the future of Iraq. Regarding domestic clash of interests, Iraqi society is divided into a Shia majority, Sunni minority, and Kurds who attempt to gain independence (Stansfield, 2011). Terrorist groups such as ISIL and previously Al-Qaeda are unpredictable players that destabilize the country (Veit, 2004; Romano, 2014).
It definitely can be stated that the complexity of the situation was underestimated by the U.S. government. The strategy of removal of Saddam Hussein as a simple way to make Iraq loyal and stable failed (Dodge, 2005). Instead, the problems that the government of Hussein was able to handle with the help of dictatorship and the USA was not by promoting democracy, contributed to the failure of the Iraqi state and its uncertain future. The end of the conventional war was perceived as a success but the next years altered this point of view.
Causes of the Iraq War
The tension between the USA and Iraq started with the Iraqi annexation of Kuwait in 1990. After this, Gulf War started. After a confident win in the war, economic sanctions on Iraq were imposed. These sanctions undermined the economic strength of Iraq because they hindered Iraqi oil trade which the USA strived to control. Consequently, it led to the impoverishment of the middle class and reduction of social programs (Dodge, 2005). Therefore, the main aim of Saddam Hussein was to keep the internal stability of the state by harsh repressions and fear. As a consequence of sanctions, Iraqi armed forces had become weaker and more vulnerable (Dodge, 2005).
Regarding the USA, in 1993 Bill Clinton became a president who started a period of the moderate foreign policy. In 2000 the Republicans returned the executive power, but this was not the main reason (Lewis, 2007). After the September 11 attacks conducted by Al-Qaeda, international policy of the USA changed considerably. The war against terrorism started. The first signal of this was the invasion in Afghanistan in 2001. Moreover, to justify his policy, George Bush created the doctrine of “preventive war” which declared that the USA has the right to conduct a preventive attack if there is a credible threat to be attacked by the adversary (Kumar, 2014). However, in the particular case of Iraq, the notion of struggle against Al-Qaeda was just a method to justify the invasion in Iraq. Another method was to accuse Iraq in the creation of weapons of …