Should the United States Have Gone to War in Iraq?

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The 9/11 attacks drastically altered the foreign policy of the United States. The Federal administration was confronted with new threats from terrorist groups from the Middle East. In response to these attacks, the Bush administration embarked on a military campaign to defeat these terrorist organizations and bring to justice the perpetrators of the attacks. The military strategy was to destroy regimes that offering support for these fundamentalist groups. Supposedly, the leadership of Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction that posed a significant security threat to the United States. It is from this background that the US made the decision to invade Iraq with the primary objective of dismantling Saddam Husseins weapons and the terrorist groups that received sympathy from his government in the region. The military adventure in Iraq in the year 2003 not only failed to achieve its objectives but increased terrorist threats on American citizens as well.

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The invasion of Iraq did not achieve its objectives of making the country safer and secure after the 9/11 attacks. The objective was to destroy weapons of mass destruction and dismantle terrorist organizations in the region. Although Saddam Husseins dictatorial regime was toppled and the leader executed, the aftermath of the war has caused geopolitical chaos in the region and a dire humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed during the war and millions displaced from their settlements yet no weapons of mass destruction were found. In the same breadth, sectarian violence has increased in the country, posing a threat of the country descending into chaos because the fledgling government cannot exercise control over most parts of the country (Bassil 36). These developments offer little justification for the US going to war with Iraq.

The invasion of Iraq provoked widespread resentment from the Muslim world, which saw the incursion as an aggression against the Arab nation. In spite of Saddam Husseins brutal leadership, he wielded considerable clout in the Middle East. His capture and execution were seen as an affront to the Islamic states, leading to an upsurge of Saddam sympathizers in the region. Such an environment created a breeding ground for the formation of terrorist groups such as ISIS. This resentment has made it easier for Terrorist groups to recruit young people to fight in Iraq, worsening the volatile political situation. Today, the United States citizens face more threat from Al-Qaida and ISIS than the time preceding the invasion of Iraq. Groups such as ISIS and Levant are more radical than Al-Qaida (John Duffield and Peter Dombrowski 38).These developments have had a reverse effect on the fight against terrorism in the world.

The cost of fighting the war also justifies the position that the America should not have invaded Iraq. From the deployments of troops, reconstruction of destroyed Iraq cities to the compensation of war veterans and families of the fallen soldiers, the astronomical amount of resources would have made a huge difference is put in other areas of economic development. More than 4500 American soldiers have lost their lives in the war and tens of thousands maimed. The cost of from 2005 to 2015 surpassed half a trillion dollars only in the United States. The costs of compensation and accumulated interests of these compensation packages are expected to rise to billions of shillings in the future (Bassil 37). Such costs were borne in vain because the terror groups have tremendously spread their networks and pose more threats as witnessed in the recent Brussels and Paris attacks that claimed hundreds of lives, including those of American citizens. The sticking point is that the war did not yield results that were beneficial to the American taxpayers.

In conclusion, the invasion of Iraq should not have happened because it was a product of intelligence miscalculation that did yield intended results. Many Iraqis died, and thousands became refugees. Also, the incursion led to the spread of more radical Islamic groups such as ISIS, making the world more insecure. Furthermore, billions of dollars were spent in the war for military purposes and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.

Works Cited

Bassil, Youssef. "The 2003 Iraq War: Operations, Causes, and Consequences." IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science 4.5 (2012): 29-47. Print.

Duffield, John S, and Peter J. Dombrowski. Balance Sheet: The Iraq War and U.s. National Security. Stanford: Stanford Security Studies, 2009. Print.

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