Cause for the Iraq War and Were These Causes Justified – Coursework Example

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Cause for the Iraq War and Were These Causes Justified" is a good example of politics coursework.   American foreign policy in the period after the end of the Second World War was characterized by an unprecedented urge for the centralization of power. This expression was caused primarily by the experiences of the inter-war years and the growth of Hitler and was further reinforced and strengthened by the experiences of the cold war. The justification behind this was that global order was possible only in a situation where there is the deployment of a great deal of power in the hands of a single conscious hegemon (Cox, 2008).

The idea has lost and found its relevance and acceptability over time but was reinforced with great vigor after the 9/11 experience. The event left an unprecedented impact o the US outlook by virtue of the fact that an event of such magnitude had not been witnessed in the US since the Pearl Harbor attacks of 1942. It would be interesting to start the essay with an overview of President Bush’ s foreign policy agenda that got him elected to the Oval office and how this changed after the attacks so as to have involved the US in two wars within a period of a measly three years.

The essay will then try and look at the theoretical groundings of the Iraq War thereby looking the ways in which the White House and the Bush administration have tried over the past 5 years to justify their actions along with the aims of the coalition and the ultimate assessment of the justifications as were given by the administration. The basic groundwork in the war on Iraq can be traced back to the Kuwait War.

The points of reference were two-fold. First, it established a precedent that Saddam was indeed a villain who was not to be trusted and second, that the US was capable of successful troop deployment and control within very short periods of time and this deployment would produce results that would fulfill the set objectives. “ … America possesses not only overwhelming strategic power— constantly enhanced by technological innovation— but also an unmatched capability to project its conventional forces to distant areas. ” (Brzezenski, 1993).

It also can be mentioned here as a point of interest that the man in the oval office during the Kuwait War was Bush Sr. many have seen George W Bush’ s foreign policy beliefs and practices as an extension of this period. Indeed many of the members of the administration were drawn from here as well. Post 9/11, the perceptions in the US were simple. There were threats from state and non-state actors which needed to be dealt with. The idea was that the country was already at war by virtue of the fact that the lives of its citizens were in danger.

There was thus the need to secure these lives and this could be done only by the removal of the non-state actors that had become a threat and if this meant that the states that were harboring these elements needed to be targeted then so be it. In one of his oft-quoted speeches Pres. Bush stated, “ Whatever it takes… We will fight the terrorists across the Earth, not for pride, not for power, but because the lives of our citizens are at stake" (Bush, 2004).

The idea that was sold to the public was simple. The US was now embarking on a trans-national crusade to defeat international terrorism and was doing so with a set of capabilities that were impressive. It was in fact stated by an author, critical of the imperial stance of the Bush administration that in an age of unparalled US dominance, the US had arrogated to itself the new role of setting standards, determining threats, using force and meting out justice (Ikenberry, 2002).



Michael Cox, ‘From the cold war to the war on terror’, Baylis and Smith, The globalization of world politics: an introduction to international relations., pp.83-87.

Hinnebusch R, 2006, The Iraq War and International Relations: Implications for Small States, University of St An Andrews, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, ,

Volume 19, Number 3, p451-461, accessed May 14, 2009,

Ikenberry J, 2002, America Unrivaled: The Future of Balance of Power, Ed. Paperback, p44

Lustick I, 2006, Trapped in the war on terror, Pub, University of Pennsylvania Press, p29-35

Rockmore T, 2006, Justifying the First Blow, Duquesne University, accessed May 15, 2009, <,+books&cd=10&hl=en&ct=clnk>

Bellamy A, 2005, Just wars: from Cicero to Iraq, Edition: illustrated

Published by Polity, 2006, p157-159

Danner M, 2005, The Secret Way to war, The New York Times, Review, Vol52, no10.

Woodward B, 2004, Plan of attack, p177-178

Reasons to go to war, Thing You might have forgotten , 2005, accessed May 15, 2009, <>

.D. White and E.P.J. Myjer ‘The Use of Force Against Iraq’, Journal of conflict and security law. 2003 8: 1-14

Resolution 1441 (unanimously), accessed May 15, 2009, <>

House Joint Resolution authorizing Use of Force Against Iraq, Pub. L. 107-243, October 10, 2002

Murphy S D, 2003, Use of Force and Arms Control, Ed.AJIL, p419

Enemark, Christian, Michaelsen, Christopher, ‘Just War Doctrine and the Invasion of Iraq’, The Australian journal of politics and history. Volume 51, Number 4, 2005, pp. 545-563.

Philippe Sands Lawless World : America and the making and breaking of global rules London : Allen Lane, 2005, pp.174-203

Chomsky N, Iraq under siege, from Arnove & Abunimah, 2002, Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War, Edition: 2, illustrated, revised

Published by South End Press, p70-75

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us