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Evaluating the War in Iraq

            Imagine that you are watching a daytime soap opera in the comfort of your home. One of the leading ladies is murdered, but nobody in the small town of Middlebury knows who murdered the woman. Just as in the suspenseful drama of a soap opera episode, the American public wants to know who or what is responsible for what occurs in international relations. Similar to detectives on a TV show, political experts gather evidence and attempt to understand why an event occurs. In examining the conflict in Iraq, political experts attempt to identify "causal" factors. The underlying task is to examine why the United States went to war in Iraq. The causes for the conflict in Iraq will be analyzed through three levels of analysis: system-level analysis, state-level analysis, and individual-level analysis. .
             First, the causes of the conflict in Iraq will be analyzed by system-level analysis. The system-level study of international politics states that factors external to nations and the international political environment determine how nations and transnational actors on the world stage interact. To determine the causes of the war in Iraq, the polarity of the global political stage will be examined. As the number of poles in a system increases, the system becomes quite complex. With the world in multi-polar system, the probability of war is higher than a world in a uni-polar system. The United States decision to enter war in Iraq, while dismissed by many nations, displayed the role of the United States as a powerful pole in a multi-polar world. Many European nations, along with Russia and China, opposed the war in Iraq to resist the growing hegemonic power of the United States. While the United States invaded Iraq without the approval of the United Nations, the Bush administration must exercise its power carefully to avoid having former allies of the United States team with the enemies of the United States to create a state of an anti-hegemony.

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