Motives For Iraq War Through Realism And Neo Conservatism Lenses

2015 words - 8 pages

The invasion on Iraq by the United States in 2003 has become the biggest, lengthiest, and most expensive use of armed force since the Vietnam War. It is the first major post-Cold War U.S. military action taken unilaterally, without an international coalition, and the first U.S. experience as an occupying power in a Middle Eastern country. Although the invasion decision was distinctive (U.S. military connection in an Arab or Muslim country), the argument here is that the Iraqi invasion deals with motives related to natural security, power, and resources. Both realism and neo-conservatism claim to capture the motives behind the war, but only through a comprehensive comparison of the two can a synthesis be achieved.
On March 20th, 2003, the United States military invaded Iraq with the ground campaign lasting almost three months. According to then-President of the United States, George W. Bush, and then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, stated reasons for the invasion included the disarmament of “Iraq, especially with respect to weapons of mass destruction; the ending of Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism; and the liberation of the Iraqi people” (White House Archives). On May 1, the end of major combat operations was declared, ending the invasion period and beginning the military occupation period. However, was this war really needed to put an end to Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq—a regime that, at that time, had been considered a threat to the United States, as the neo-conservatives claim? Moreover, did Iraq really possess weapons of mass destruction, or was control of Iraq's oil the reason for the United States to invade it, as realists may posit?
Often termed the “pessimistic view” of international politics, realism, as articulated by Hans Morgantheau and summarized by Stephen Walt, was the prevailing theory for organizing international politics through the end of the Cold War—mostly because it provided a simple yet effective explanation as to why states went to war, joined together in alliances, prosecuted imperialism, in addition to other phenomena (Walt 31). Realism argues that states are inherently self-interested, have “an innate desire to dominate others,” and that states are not likely to resolve their differences peacefully (Walt 31). “Rational” statesmen, as conceived by Morgantheau, continuously embarked on a struggle to accumulate more and more power. Power was “an end in itself” as only wars came out of the power struggle (Waltz 40).
Realism helps to explain qualities of foreign policy that remain consistent over time. From a realist standpoint, verdicts by governments to go to war are the product of all states' involuntary participation in “eternal quests for power and security due to an international political environment in which each state fears the actual or potential hostility of other states” (Lieberfeld 2). Leaders logically estimate war's costs and profits in terms of their state's power and security....

Find Another Essay On Motives for Iraq War through Realism and Neo-Conservatism Lenses

Geography and History in the Iraq War

1250 words - 5 pages Geography Shapes the Course of Iraq War The course of the Iraq War has been shaped immensely by the geography of the region for nearly 40 years. The movement of Iraq forces throughout the region, for better or worse, has had many effects on the way in which the way has gone. For instance, these forces often threatened certain resources needed by many countries and regions. The result of this was often war or conflict, concluding in a

The Unjust Theory and Iraq War

1122 words - 4 pages to attack or threat, but it was not a last resort. Enemark and Michaelsen explain, "Even where the cause for war is just, recourse to violent action must only occur after every other way of achieving an aim has been exhausted or proven to be ineffective" (261). Iraq had been complying with UN weapons inspector officials since the passing of the resolution 1441 in November 2002 (Kaufman 16). Two weeks before the invasion, UN's chief weapons

War engaging with America and Iraq

673 words - 3 pages The question everyone is debating about is: should America go to war with Iraq? First, the money dispersed in war can be spent on many other necessary items. One of the necessary items includes cancer research and many other related health issues. Even more important, many lives will be sacrificed, whether they are Americans or Iraqis for a vain cause. Even with these two important factors in mind, war with Iraq will not solve every problem out

Chemical Weapons: The Iraq and Iran War

1425 words - 6 pages Chemical Weapons: The Iraq and Iran War During the 1980’s, the world was in a state of turmoil. The Middle East was as volatile as ever and the Cold War was still in full swing. The Middle East has always been a hot-bed for controversy and conflict; Iraq and Iran are no exception to this norm. By 1980, Iraq had become the second-largest eastern Arab State in population and size (Goldschmidt & Davidson, 2006). However, Iraq aspired to be more

Saddam, Iraq, And The Gulf War

2896 words - 12 pages War, and even through to the Gulf War, public support has sequentially increased or decreased. For example, less than half of the early colonists backed America’s war of independence.1 According to historians, more than one third wanted to maintain their status of colonists.2 During the Spanish-American War, such a strong anti-war mood was being expressed by the American people, the Democratic party made condemning the war a major part of their

The Korean, Vietnam and Iraq war

854 words - 3 pages KOREAN, VIETNAM AND IRAQ WARS WITH THE MEDIAThe Korean, Vietnam and Iraq wars were all brought up among their differences with one another. The media in hand had different styles for all three wars. The Korean War with the media was not really present as much. The media in this war, stayed out really with not showing the world what was happening. In the Vietnam was the media had a whole new way of doing things, they decided to show it all

Similarities Between the War in Iraq and the Vietnam War

816 words - 3 pages Similarities Between the War in Iraq and the Vietnam War      As time passes, every society endures situations which stress its' very fabric. Each societies' history is sprinkled with these situations. One such situation which the United States underwent was the Vietnam war. For years this particular event has been hotly debated. Hardly anyone who was present at the time agrees on any point concerning this war, except that they regret it. It

Magical Realism and Man's Search For Meaning

652 words - 3 pages Magical Realism and Man's Search For Meaning   Magical realism was first coined by Franz Roh when he was writing about paintings. Artaro Ulsar Pietri was the first to use the term when talking about literature. Magical realism is also related to other academic fields such as philosophy, psychology, mathmatics, physics, and theology. Im magical realism, "the writer confronts reality and tries to untangle it, to discover what is mysterious

The U.S. War in the Middle East: A Fight for Honor and Survival - Why America Should Continue Fighting in Iraq

1173 words - 5 pages easily as before. Of immense concern are the threats posted by terrorists in rogue countries such as Iraq (Davidson). Iraq's deadly biological agents originated from American companies when the United States was supporting Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War. The terrorist nation has been constantly attempting to obtain botulinum toxin and appears to have succeeded; in 1991, the United Nations were unable to account for three times the amount of

Why were the motives for war different in the three kingdoms?

2049 words - 8 pages . Conclusively through these findings we will understand why the motives for war were different in the three kingdoms.Background to Charles 1On the continent the 30 Years War was occurring in Europe. Catholic rulers attempted to eradicate Protestants in their countries and this fuelled rumours in England that something similar might happen. During that period Charles 1 was king of England from 1625 to 1649 and was a member of the Stuart Royal family

Was the 2003 war in Iraq justified and necessary?

11254 words - 45 pages Assignment aim.My aim in this assignment is to provide an objective view of whether the 2003 war on Iraq is justified.History of Iraq. For map see appendix 1. Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WOMD)Iraq is a country that was created after world war 1, by the then coalition. It neighbours with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Jordan. It is split, pretty much in two by the rivers, Tigress and Euphrates. Habitation and life along these two

Similar Essays

The Actual Motives For The Iraq War

3257 words - 13 pages the war in Iraq had begun, Halliburton was contracted for billions. Thus many draw a connection between business interests and the Bush Administration's motives for the war.There is another less popular, but nonetheless viable supposed motivation for the Iraq War-the vendetta between Saddam and the Bush family. During a campaign speech in September 2002, Bush cited a number of reasons-in addition to alleged terrorist links and weapons of mass

Realism And Neo Realism Essay

1163 words - 5 pages from each style of thoughts. This paper will attempt to address such shortcomings, or advantages as may be to post structural realism. CLASSICAL REALISIM Classical realism is “concerned with questions of order, justice and change at the domestic, regional, and international levels.” (Lebow, 2010) Power is at the core of the foundation of classical realism and the reason for this is because classical realists, similar to neo-realists

War And Realism And Constructivism Essay

1197 words - 5 pages feared by others, and respected. Also, This this why realism explains the reasons of war by underlining that the seeking of power and the constant willing to dominate is what that drive a country against another one. Realism is the best perspective to explain my case because it was the dominant perspective used for the study of world politics in the twentieth century and that the world war II as a good example to this case shows that when

The Vietnam War And Iraq Essay

1261 words - 5 pages East Asia. With this being said the Vietnam War was both a nationalist and communist movement, unsuccessful in America’s regards, comparable to the war in Iraq, a poor man’s war, led to the downfall of Lyndon B. Johnson, and overall stood as an unpopular war. Let’s take a look at what damage the Vietnam War caused, and why this war is so important to learn about. What did success mean in the American eye during the Vietnam War? The US and the