Why America Cannot Leave Iraq Thesis

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Iraq Exit

No Exit: America's Responsibility and Need to Remain in Iraq

The War in Iraq began on March 19th, 2003, when American bombers began a 'Shock and Awe' campaign designed to 'decapitate' Iraqi Republican Army leadership and to pound the civilian population into preemptive submission. The attack preceded the arrival of a deadline by which despot Saddam Hussein had been given the ultimatum to vacate Iraq with his sons to make way for democratic reform or to face the wrath of the United States. The purpose of this invasion was proposed quite singularly as the disruption of a regime which 'could' aid terrorists in destroying the United States, its friends and its allies. The final justification for this war was that, to that end, Iraq was guilty of acquiring and maintaining Weapons of Mass Destruction for potential sale to terrorists for use against the United States. Unfortunately, the architects of the war in Iraq neglected to establish either a viable strategy for establishing the peace or an exit strategy. The result is the current quagmire. As the war nears the end of its seventh year and proceeds through first term of its second commander in chief, Iraq appears no closer to peace. Quite unfortunately though, and as a matter of its own doing, the United States has every obligation and motive no to remain in Iraq until this has been achieved and a stable government has been put into place.

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The discussion here considers the immediate lead up to Iraq, the failure in the execution of the immediate establishment of occupation and the outbreak of a mounting civil war in the following years. Today, the United States is a referee in a tribal conflict, an administrator of a foreign government and a catalyst in a sustained and bloody campaign. And all of these are duties for which it has enlisted itself. As the Obama Administration proceeds with the execution of a timeline for an exit strategy, it appears clear that there are many aspects of the job yet left undone.

Thesis on Why America Cannot Leave Iraq Assignment

With reference to the twin imperatives of the War on Terror and the resolution for active enforcement of United Nations sanctions imposed against Iraq after its defeat in the first Gulf War, the United States determined that Iraq was guilty of violating the conditions of its 1991 international condemnation and thus, its leadership was subject to physical removal. As the context for this action, the United States and former President George W. Bush remained steadfast in their contention that Iraq constituted a major front for winning the war against terrorism. At present, in December of 2009, Iraq has proved a quagmire.

In late 2002, the United States appeared fully prepared to enter the second phase of its War On Terror, which the Bush Administration insisted was in Iraq. It was here, that its personnel and friends began to press for a reconsideration of the apparent UN determination to proceed with weapons inspections. A member of numerous conservative think-tanks, Richard Perle spoke in advocacy of the Congressional authorization for the administration's use of force against Iraq during an Armed Services Committee hearing.

His speech goes to lengths to discredit both the alleged commitment of Hussein to concede to inspections and the United Nations as an organization capable of enforcing a meaningful process. Perle's speech is revealing of the Bush Administration's known reputation for 'staying on the message,' helping to add to the quorum of voices within the United States pressing for an urgent response to the situation.

The statement by Perle, most central to our discussion, adds some articulation to the imperatives which are currently upon as this many years hence. He answers the resounding question for many critics and even many neutral parties with regard to the administration's enthusiasm for the invasion: "Why now?' 'What is it about the current situation that has made action to deal with Saddam urgent? My answer is that we are already perilously late. We should have acted long ago -- and we should certainly have acted when Saddam expelled the inspectors in 1998." (Perle, 3) This is the most striking point rendered in a statement which otherwise reiterates many of the points already pressed by the other members of the Bush Administration. It asserts an impetus for an invasion which suggests the need for a reform which would be hard-won. The initiation of the war promised a long and difficult road based on the historical delay that allowed Hussein's government to become so deeply entrenched in Iraq and the ambitious expectations of the U.S. government to fully instate and legitimize a new form of government thereafter. Perle's message was that though this would be a perilous endeavor, action in this totalitarian state was long overdue.

Other aspects of Perle's message would be paralleled by Donald Rumsfeld's statements during an appearance on the PBS program, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, where the then Secretary of Defense would also help to characterize the measures for war against Iraq as fundamentally preventative in nature. In response to a question as to the intention of the Bush Administration as it further pursued its case, Rumsfeld explained that "we're trying to connect the dots not only before there's another September 11th on our country, but before there's a September 11th that involves weapons of mass destruction, biological or chemical, or a nuclear weapon." (Rumsfeld, 2) The sense of urgency found in Perle's statement is echoed by Donald Rumsfeld, who would be a primary figure in the design of the War On Terror.

This interview demonstrates the administration's global perspective, which reflects the Cold War domino theory. The relationship between Hussein's enmity for the United States and Osama bin Laden's agenda, Rumsfeld would here argue, made them natural partners without preemptive intervention. According to Rumsfeld, "the global war on terrorism is important, and this is a part of it. It is the nexus between an Al-Qaeda type network and other terrorist networks and a terrorist state like Saddam Hussein who has those weapons of mass destruction. As we sit here, there are senior Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They are there. They are also in Iran. They are also in other countries. They're in Pakistan." (Rumsfeld, 3)

These sentiments speak to a number of imperatives which now require that we remain positioned in Iraq and dedicated to the achievement of stability. A failure to do so would have a number of consequences to the conflict between American and its nebulous network of enemies, not the least of which would be the increased boldness of the enemy to wage war on the United States. Allowing Iraq to descend into terrorist authority and civil turmoil would be to discredit the global imperative for invading Iraq, which was to prevent the spread of terrorism. America's early departure would ensure quite the opposite.

This brings us to consider the policies of a new presidency, which serve as something of a counterpoint to those of his predecessor. In a move that was expected based on his election promise to this end, President Obama unveiled a plan in March of 2009 that "calls for the end of combat operations and the withdrawal of most of the 142,000 troops in Iraq by August 31, 2010." (The Nation, 1) This plan reflects the view on the part of the United States that the larger part of its duty has now been done in the Persian Gulf State. However, President Obama has clearly heeded to whatever extent possible the dangers represented to America's long-term security in a failure to maintain a presence there until such time as stability has been reasonably established.

Obama also appears to be pursuing this is a transitional manner that best approaches the need for global reconciliation following the Bush Administration's various failures and offenses. Thus, in unveiling his plan for an exit timeline "Obama stressed the importance of diplomacy, 'comprehensive engagement across the region' and cooperation with Iraq's neighbors and with the United Nations -- signaling to the people of Iraq and the Middle East that the United States has no intention of permanently occupying Iraq or determining its future." (The Nation, 1) Producing this impression will be an important part to transferring power to a competent government reflective of the democratic ambitious and constitutional rhetoric which helped to warrant the U.S. invasion. It will also help in the achievement of certain markers of stability, not as yet attained, which will ultimately begin to signal the proper juncture for an American exit.

Realistically speaking, no exit can be made without the accomplishment of several goals if it is to be done without enabling a serious terrorist blowback. According to Hoffmann & Bozo (2003), the U.S. must "take measures endowed with genuine political and symbolic significance: a 'normalization' of the size and nature of the U.S. Embassy, the elimination of formal U.S. advisors in the ministries, granting the Iraqi government the right to ask for military operations, a commitment not to launch unless they are… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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