Confronting Iraq: U.S. Policy and the Use of Force Since the Gulf War

POL/HTY 400: Gulf Wars: Home
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Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Confronting Iraq : U. Policy and the Use of Force since the Gulf War. Free delivery worldwide. Description This text explores the history of relations between Iraq and the US during the s to derive lessons for future confrontations and for coercive diplomacy in general. It examines the nature of Iraq as an adversary, US objectives in the Gulf region, and the record of attempts to coerce Iraq.

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Learning the Wrong Lessons From Iraq

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Confronting Iraq : U.S. Policy and the Use of Force since the Gulf War

Today, calls for the United States to disengage militarily from the Middle East are commonplace. Those calls reflect deep frustration with the travails of American interventions over the past two decades, as well as the belief—entirely correct—that the United States faces greater challenges elsewhere.

Yet U. If the United States rushes for the exits, it may find that it is pulled back under worse circumstances, and at higher costs, in the future. President Trump is giving voice to a powerful and understandable urge to cut cleanly and get out of the Middle East. The interests that have long kept the United States involved in the Middle East are fairly clear.

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Coming out of World War II, American strategists resolved that the United States must prevent any hostile force from dominating a region of critical geopolitical or geo-economic significance. The Middle East, with its vast oil reserves, certainly fit that description. True, America never got a particularly large portion of its oil from Middle Eastern sources.

At present, the United States is again becoming a net energy exporter and a swing producer in the global oil market. Yet so long as the countries of the Middle East sit atop huge energy reserves that confer great wealth and power on whoever controls it, the strategic importance of the Middle East—and the imperative of keeping it out of hostile hands—will remain.

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The fact that prominent Republicans, such as former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, were calling for military strikes reinforced the message that the administration could not rule out direct military action if negotiations failed. Christian Miller 23 September In the UN described the environment in Iraq as a "civil war-like situation". When one faction resisted and killed Senate voted down a resolution to formally end the war by bringing its authorization by Congress to an end. One of the seven arrested returned alive on February 20; one, Nasser Hamza Ali, is missing; and the other five were killed in detention. Embassy of the United States in Manila.

Other issues have also kept the United States engaged. Since the s, America has had a critical interest in preventing or combating international terrorism, much of which emerges from the Middle East.

Why America Can't Quit The Middle East

American policymakers have been properly concerned with confronting aggression against friendly nations and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction to rogue states or non-state actors. Then there is the American interest in promoting peace, democracy, and human rights in the Middle East—one that has never been as important as the other U.

Over a period of decades, these issues have exerted a strong gravitational pull on American policy, making it impossible for U. And yet American policymakers have often been equally aware of the problems that U. Getting deeply involved in the Middle East ran the risk of making America the target of that radicalism and anger; it also ran the risk of distracting the United States from other areas where the prospects for constructive change seemed more promising.

This tension has been omnipresent as the U. During the late s and s, the United States built up the military capabilities necessary to prevent the Soviet Union or perhaps a hostile Iran from dominating the region. Once the Iran-Iraq War ended, American military capabilities started flowing out of the region, to be refocused on other priorities. A standards memo from the Associated Press reiterated "combat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is, even if they come from senior officials".

State Department spokesman P. Crowley stated " In his address, he covered the role of the United States' soft power, the effect the war had on the United States economy, and the legacy of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Vice President Joe Biden expressed concerns regarding the ongoing lack of progress in forming a new Iraqi government, saying of the Iraqi people that "they expect a government that reflects the results of the votes they cast".

Ray Odierno stated that the new era "in no way signals the end of our commitment to the people of Iraq".

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Speaking in Ramadi earlier in the day, Gates said that U. When asked by reporters if the seven-year war was worth doing, Gates commented that "It really requires a historian's perspective in terms of what happens here in the long run". He noted the Iraq War "will always be clouded by how it began" regarding Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction , which were never confirmed to have existed. Gates continued, "This is one of the reasons that this war remains so controversial at home".

On 7 September, two U. The incident is under investigation by Iraqi and U.

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On 8 September, the U. It was announced that the unit would assume responsibilities in five southern governorates. According to reports from Iraq, hundreds of members of the Sunni Awakening Councils may have switched allegiance back to the Iraqi insurgency or al-Qaeda.