Iraq Should We Leave or Should We Stay Term Paper

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U.S. In Iraq

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY: SHOULD the U.S. WITHDRAW FROM IRAQ

The United States launched Operation Iraqi Freedom in early 2003, primarily because reliable intelligence information announced by Secretary of Defense Collin Powell established beyond any reasonable doubt that Saddam Hussein was actively pursuing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), nuclear weapons, in particular.

According to Secretary Powell, our intelligence efforts had identified some of the tell-tale signs of assembling the uranium enrichment facilities; specifically, high-grade industrial tubes needed to construct the series of centrifuges used to extract fissionable uranium (U235) from natural uranium ore (U238) and to enrich low-grade 4-10% pure uranium 235 used in civilian nuclear reactor cores to 90+ percent purity highly enriched uranium used only in fission weapons (Allison 2004).

Secretary Powell warned of the grave consequences to the future of the State of Israel and of the unavoidable implications with respect to the global U.S. War on Terror of a nuclear-armed Iraq with ties to al-Qaeda. The Defense Secretary described the American Holocaust envisioned by Osama bin Laden which a nuclear Iraq could very well make possible, resulting in the eventual detonation of nuclear weapons in major American cities.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Iraq Should We Leave or Should We Stay Assignment

Under those circumstances, it is perfectly understandable that the decision to bomb Iraq's military infrastructure, root out and liquidate the entire command structure that failed to surrender on U.S. orders, invade with troops on the ground, and occupy the entire country passed with wide bipartisan support in the Senate. Only later did it come to light that the supposedly conclusive evidence presented by Secretary of State Powell was completely incorrect; even worse, the evidence strongly suggests that the Bush administration was fully aware of the absence of any credible evidence that Saddam Hussein was pursuing nuclear weapons and specifically, that by the time Secretary Powell delivered his persuasive presentation to Congress and to the American people on live television, the administration was also aware that the reports pertaining to the supposed centrifuge hardware had already been absolutely discredited at the highest levels of the U.S. intelligence community (Scheuer 2004). By the time that information became public knowledge, Iraq was already occupied by U.S. forces.

When President Bush proudly landed aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln to announce that the mission in Iraq was accomplished the war had cost only a small handful of American casualties. It seemed that the price paid for ousting Saddam Hussein and the Baathist Party government and achieving stability in the country with the apparent support of the Iraqi population had been worth the effort. Since then, the U.S. casualty count has risen to well over 2,000 dead and many more wounded, with thousands of soldiers who survived their injuries returning home missing limbs, thanks to improved body armor that reduced deaths on the battlefield from injuries that would have been fatal in previous wars.

Today, almost five years since Donald Rumsfeld introduced the concept of shock and awe that was supposed to eliminate any meaningful military resistance to U.S. ground troops through a U.S. bombing campaign, the war in Iraq now resembles the 10,000 day-long quagmire of Vietnam, a situation few thought would ever be repeated, much less only three decades since the last U.S. forces returned home from Southeast Asia, leaving South Vietnam to the Communist North Vietnamese we had spent a decade fighting at a cost of 57,000 American lives lost and many more changed forever for the worse. It should, therefore, be no surprise that on the eve of the 2008 presidential campaign that the question of whether to cut our losses and withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq or continue occupying the country under constant insurgent attacks and, arguably, very little chance of long-term success for as long as necessary to stabilize the country, even if that requires our military presence throughout much of the next decade, as suggested by the likely Republican Presidential Candidate, Senator John McCain.

Arguments for Withdrawing U.S. Forces from Iraq as Soon as Possible

War of Occupation Against Insurgent Resistance is Not Winnable: After President George H.W. Bush left office in 1992, he defended his decision not to pursue retreating Iraqi republican Guard forces, eliminate them as a threat to other countries in the region and to the Iraqi people who had supported Coalition efforts from sever retaliation. He suggested that doing so would have required occupying the entire country of Iraq with no foreseeable plausible exit strategy. Unfortunately, that prediction has now been proved extremely accurate.

The combined U.S. Armed Forces undoubtedly constitute the most powerful military force ever assembled in human history. Our military technology is no less than breathtaking in its deployment of sophisticated weapons that were hardly imaginable in World War II. Precision "smart bombs" are accurate to within a few feet, compared to the munitions dropped by airborne bombers fifty years ago when formations of one hundred heavy bombers or more were required to ensure the destruction of ground targets by "dumb bombs" each capable of accuracy measured in thousands of yards. Highly complex computers coordinate all facets of joint operations among Special Forces, Army tank battalions, Marine close tactical air support of ground troops, and Naval operations, and Air Force strategic bombing. Our ground forces are equipped with secure satellite telephones, GPS-linked coordinates transmitted instantaneously from extensive satellite networks, and night-vision goggles.

The problem is the U.S. military, as impressive as it is, was designed to take on the military forces of other nation states, all of whom it now outclasses in every respect.

It was not, however, designed, nor ever intended to combat an extensive, well funded, committed local insurgent resistance to a prolonged war of occupation. Undoubtedly, U.S. soldiers are better trained and better equipped than the Iraqi insurgents, but a guerilla insurgency levels the playing field to the degree that much of our technical advantage is circumvented in the field (Mulrine 2007).

Furthermore, the Iraqi insurgents have several substantial advantages over their occupiers. First, most of them are comparatively unconcerned with dying, whereas our culture has a much different view of losing soldiers in combat Second, our military philosophy, much to our credit, has a long tradition of minimizing collateral damage at great expense and difficulty, both in terms of civilian casualties and also in our respect for the sacred and holy structures of our enemies. Even our most extensive bombing campaigns are preceded by millions of leaflets warning civilians to vacate our intended target areas, and no other military in the history of the world simultaneously conducts a full-scale war while conducting thousands of humanitarian missions to civilians in enemy territory, sometimes at great risk to our service personnel.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi insurgents respect no such boundaries or concerns: they attack fellow Iraqis who are non-combatants without regard to age or gender; they take cover in their own sacred holy structures knowing that U.S. forces are prohibited from damaging them; they wear no uniforms and are not constrained by any of the concepts of war defined by the Geneva Convention or the Hague; they use innocent civilians, including women and children, as cover, knowing U.S. troops will not fire when the risk of collateral damage is high, and they abuse, torture, and kill captured enemy combatants, sometimes hanging their mutilated corpses from bridges or dragging them through the streets, engulfed in flames.

Nevertheless, U.S. forces are supremely well trained and dedicated to their mission; where U.S. involvement in military conflict is justified, the American people will support virtually any circumstances or hardships in the homeland where the ends justify the sacrifices involved, as the "Greatest Generation" of Americans demonstrated to the world during four years of bitter conflict across the globe between 1941 and 1945.

There Was Never Any Justification for a U.S. War in Iraq in the First Place:

The Bush administration led America to war in Iraq under completely false pretenses. We now know that Iraq was not involved in assisting Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda perpetrate the attacks of September 11th 2001. Likewise, we now know that Saddam Hussein had no WMD program capable of threatening her neighbors in the Middle East, much less the U.S. homeland. There is no credible evidence that Iraq pursued any nuclear material or that Saddam Hussein had invested any resources in resurrecting a nuclear weapons program since the first Gulf War in 1991 (Rubin 2007).

The last supposed justification of the U.S. war in Iraq was the safety and security of the Iraqi people. In reality, millions of Iraqi civilians have been displaced by the war and hundreds of thousands killed. Many of the same civilians - those still alive, that is - now resent the U.S. occupation and believe they were actually better off under the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein and his two savagely cruel sons (Desch 2007). The U.S. is not the self-appointed "World Police," charged with the moral obligation to overthrow every tyrannical ruler who abuses his people. If it were, there are dozens of equally cruel, equally unjust heads of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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