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Why Did Australia Become Involved In The War In Iraq And What Have Been Some Of The Consequences Of This?

1065 words - 4 pages

On the 19th of March, 2003, George W Bush the President of the United States of America declared war on Iraq. With the previously declared support of Australian Prime Minister John Howard and British Prime Minister Tony Blair he formed the 'Coalition of the Willing' to attempt to disarm Iraq of 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' it allegedly possessed. The actions of the government and their show of support for America caused a heartfelt reaction from the Australian people, with strong cases both for and against the war put forward. The fighting in Iraq, which still continues to this day has had a dramatic effect on world security, with the effects of the removal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein nullified by an increased threat of terrorism around the globe.In the months leading up to the election the United States government became increasingly concerned about weapons of mass destruction they believed were possessed by Saddam Hussein and his government. These weapons, which include chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons would have the potential to cause major harm if they were ever unleashed. Prior to the war, the United Nations had weapons inspectors deployed to Iraq to search for evidence of these alleged weapons, but none were found. Despite this the US government still went to war, without the backing of the United Nations, citing the presence of weapons of mass destruction as their key reason for going to war. This reason was also given by John Howard as the reason for involving Australia in the war. As the war progressed it became increasingly obvious that weapons would not be found in Iraq. To save face George W Bush used the removal of Saddam Hussein and the resulting 'liberation' of the Iraqi people to justify the war. John Howard again followed suit, using this reason to justify the Australian involvement. It is currently open to interpretation to what extent the Iraqis were 'liberated' by the war. On one hand, the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein has been removed, but on the other hand Iraq is still plagued by suicide bombings and other attacks by extremists, which the military forces of the Coalition have been ineffective in stopping. Debate is still raging over the justification America had to go to war with Iraq and the sensibilities of the Australian government in joining the war.The Australian government also joined the war to strengthen and uphold it's diplomatic relationship with America and to show Australia as a current force in global events. The feeling was that if Australia did not aid America in their war then we could not expect the return favor if we were ever the target of an attack. Fears were aroused of the 'ever present threat' of an attack from our Asian neighbors and also the prospect of a terrorist attack on Australia's shores. We would need a powerful ally such as America to help us fend off any attack, so it would not do to get on their bad side. Australia's relationship with America was indeed strengthened from...

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