2456 11MH Ms Whelan
Question: Discuss the reasons for the invasion of Iraq and its effects. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a controversial conflict aimed at deposing the dictator, Saddam Hussein. It was led by a "Coalition of the willing" consisting of the United States, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Poland, and Spain. The threat of his supposed rapid increase in stockpiling of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) was the main reason for the invasion. The conflict had lasted a total of 21 days before the Ba'athist regime was overthrown. What seemed like a clear victory for the allies quickly changed when a wave of violence against coalition forces, called the 'Iraqi Insurgency,' forced a prolonged war that would last for nearly 9 years. Saddam Hussein was elected President of Iraq in 1976, marking the beginning of a dictatorship. During his reign, he developed and used chemical weapons, a type of WMD. The first example was against Iranian troops in the IranIraq war where chemical weapons, such as mustard gas and tabun, the first known use of nerve gas in war. Initially, these 1
chemical weapons were used as a defensive measure, but the Iraqi forces continued to use them for regaining territory. The second example was against the civilian population. Nerve gas was used on the Kurdish people, who live in Northern Iraq. The chemical weapons attack was an act of genocide and over 3000 people perished in a single day. These atrocities 2
sparked international condemnation as they both violate the Geneva Convention, an international agreement which includes banning the use of chemical weapons. In January 1991, the coalition, including U.S., followed by 30 other countries fought against Iraq in the first Gulf War. The war began with Iraq invading the country of Kuwait, a competing oil exporting nation. The invasion of Kuwait was universally condemned by the 3
international community and increased sanctions on Iraq brought upon by the UN Security Council for its actions. An ultimatum was made by the United Nations stating that if the Iraqi forces did not withdraw from Kuwait by 15th January 1991, the U.S. led coalition would retaliate. On 17th January 1991, a month long air bombing campaign began driving most of the Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. The coalition troops moved into Iraqicontrolled areas of Kuwait on the 24th of February. Two days later after more heavy air bombardment, Iraq pulled out of Kuwait. Fighting ceased and the coalition won. Total killed in the invasion included 166 coalition forces and over 100 000 Iraqis. 4
After the first Gulf War ended, the U.S. continued to condemn the regime of Saddam Hussein. On 11th September 2001, the United States were the target of the biggest terrorist
1 Pike, J. 1998. Chemical Weapons Programs Iraq Special Weapons Facilities. [online] Available at: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iraq/cw/program.htm [Accessed: 31st March 2014]. 2 Uk.krg.org. n.d. WHAT HAPPENED IN THE KURDISH...