The American war with Iraq has been the centre of worldwide controversial discussions for the last few months. Is it all just about Oil? Why does Bush not accept an alternative to war? What will happen to Iraq after the war? This study will be addressing the issues of which types of decisions the American leaders faced, the possible outcome of the war, and whether the war is justified. But, to better understand the current war, some knowledge of past events and relationships are needed.
The American-Iraq relations before the war were rather complex. During the Cold War Iraq was closely tied to the Soviet Union but in 1980, following the end of the Cold War and the crumbling relations between the U.S. and Iran, the U.S. decided to back Iraq in a war against Iran, their former partners (Council on Foreign Affairs). The U.S.-Iraq relations fell apart when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, and in the winter of 1991 a U.N.-approved U.S.-led coalition drove Iraq out but did not eliminate Saddam Hussein from power (ibid.). .
Subsequent to the Gulf War the U.S. tried containment, but after the containment regime - sanctions, weapons inspections, and no-fly zones - remained in place longer than expected Saddam found ways to get around U.N. controls (ibid.). Then in 1993, following a foiled assassinations attempt on the former President Bush, Twenty-three Tomahawk missiles were launched at the Iraq Intelligence Service in Baghdad (Beard, Jack, Spring 2002). In 1998 U.S. weapons inspection teams were withdrawn and operation Desert Storm was launched. Finally president Clinton conceded that containment was not working (Council on Foreign Affairs). .
While it had been decided that a regime change was in order certain events, such as the 2000 increase in Israeli-Arab violence, took precedent and the intended regime change was postponed (Council on Foreign Affairs). When President Bush took office, the only major Iraq-related move he made was to attempt to overhaul the unpopular U.