Policy Behind the War in Iraq
2. Causes of the war in Iraq and basic principles of American
3. The just war in Iraq as an alternative to the current foreign
Since the beginning the war in Iraq was severely criticized
not only by the world community and opponents of the US in
the world international community but also by many Americans
who attempted to look beyond the official pretext and motivation
of the war. In fact, the war in Iraq is the natural consequence
of the foreign policy of the current American President administration
and it was repeatedly emphasized that the war in Iraq is a
constituent and essential part of the war on terror declared
by the US after September 11 attacks. At the same time, the
current foreign policy of the US as well as the war in Iraq
actually demonstrate double standards that the current administration
uses in its foreign policy and, the criticism of the war gradually
increases while the solution of the problem in which American
army gets involved has not become closer or more understandable.
In fact, the war in Iraq seems to be heavy but very precious
load the Bush’s administration can neither bear nor
Causes of the war in Iraq and basic principles of American
Basically, on analyzing the current foreign policy of the
US and the war in Iraq, it is necessary to underline that
the war was logical part of the existing principles of American
foreign policy. It should be said that the national interests
of the US has always been the main priority of the US, regardless
what party controlled the White House. In such a situation,
the declarations of the current President administration concerning
the fact that the war in Iraq targets at the protection of
the national interests of the US seems to be quite natural.
In order to better analyze the argumentation of the Bush’s
administration and its opponents, it is necessary to briefly
discuss the start of the war and its causes.
First of all, it is necessary to start with the official causes
declared by the President Bush which actually defined the
further policy of the US in relation to Iraq. It should be
said that the official strategic reason to start the war in
Iraq was the terror attacks of September 11. It is after these
attacks the US have launched the war on terror, which resulted
in a number of victorious military campaign of the US army,
among which the war in Afghanistan and Iraq are the most significant.
However, it is possible to argue about the extent to which
both wars were successful, while in the case of the war in
Iraq it is hardly possible to speak about the total victory
of American armour at all.
Nevertheless, the war in Iraq was declared essential as a
part of the struggle against international terrorism, or to
put it more precisely, Bush’s administration starting
the war in Iraq actually struggled against the state supporting
international terrorism. Obviously, the weakness of such argumentation
of the war, at least on the international level was obvious,
and the official pretext of the war was found: the potential
threat to the US national interests from the part of the criminal
and non-democratic Iraqi regime headed by Saddam Hussein which,
according to the information of American intelligence possessed
the weapon of mass destruction. As a result, the US launched
the war in Iraq and along with its allies factually occupied
the country and gave rise to the new democratic government
of the country which, though, was highly dependent on American
military presence in the region.
Formally, the causes and pretext of the war in Iraq are based
on logical and clear principles of the foreign policy of the
US. It is quite natural that the country considers the protection
of its national interests the highest priority and protects
them on the international level using all possible means,
even though they may be argued by other participants of the
international politics. Moreover, the war in Iraq was practically
an essential step of the US since it declared the struggle
with international terrorism the basic goal of its foreign
policy, at least for the nearest future.
However, in such a situation, it is very important to critically
evaluate the actions of the US and its foreign policy taking
into consideration the opinion of critics of such foreign
policy of the current President administration. First of all,
it should be said that, in the course of time, the pretext
under which the US had launched the war in Iraq turned to
be totally fake since Iraq had not possess the weapon of mass
destruction at the moment of American occupation. This is
why it is obvious that the official pretext was just a tool
that helped the US start the war in Iraq.
Furthermore, the officially declared struggle against international
terrorism also seems to be not very persuading. In this respect,
it should be said that the result of the war in Iraq seems
to be quite the contrary to the declared goal to eliminate
the international terrorism at least on the territory of Iraq.
Instead, nowadays, international observers agree that terrorism
is progressing in Iraq. Moreover, nowadays, it is obvious
that the modern Iraq is even less controllable that it use
to be under the rule of Saddam Hussein. To put it more precisely,
under the previous leader of Iraq, the country was totally
controlled by special services that use all their power to
cope with the enemies of the regime and any terrorist action
somehow associated with Iraq was sanctioned by the ruling
elite, if not directly by the leader of the country. This
fact may be quite hard to be proved officially but, in actuality,
it is true. In stark contrast, as the US army, fulfilling
the major principle of American foreign policy of protection
of national interests, has occupied the country the control
over Iraq has been practically lost. At any rate, even though
the country cannot threat to its neighbours or international
community anymore the development of terrorism in Iraq really
threatens to the stability not only within the country but
also the world community at large since modern Iraq may be
viewed as a polygon where terrorists acquire essential experience.
Consequently, it is possible to speak about the failure of
the foreign policy of the US in Iraq. Moreover, the current
American foreign policy also demonstrates double standards,
selecting the enemies threatening to the US as the President
Administration wishes they ignore the really important and
dangerous problems like North Korea, for instance. In such
a situation the allegations of critics of the current foreign
policy of the US sound quite convincingly. To put it more
precisely, it is argued that the current foreign policy and
the war in Iraq as its essential part are economically motivated
while the national interests or security turn to be secondary.
To put in simple words, the war in Iraq is viewed as the war
over oil and gas Iraq is rich in.
The just war in Iraq as an alternative to the current foreign
Obviously, the criticism of the current foreign policy of
the US and war in Iraq is, to a significant extent justified.
At any rate, I believe that this war cannot be named just
at all. Traditionally, wars have been always criticised as
absolutely inhuman and unacceptable, especially for a well
developed societies. The peaceful principles dominate in different
philosophical, ethical and cultural movements. Nonetheless,
war is probably the most typical state for relations between
peoples because there was very little historical time spent
In this respect, it is worthy to note that principles of the
just war have been developed in order to justify somehow wars
and make them more human, if it is possible to apply the word
‘human’ to wars at all. Basic principles of the
just war are quite universal and, to a significant extent,
are based on philosophical and religious beliefs, including
Christian ones, which are universal and may be characterised
as humanistic. To put it more precisely the notion of the
‘just war’ implies that the war should be waged
as the last resort, when there is no other way out. Secondly,
the war can be considered to be just if it is waged by a legitimate
authority. Thirdly, the just war can only be fought to redress
a wrong suffered. Furthermore, it should be fought with reasonable
chances for success and its ultimate goal should be to re-establish
peace. Finally, the violence in the just war should be proportional
to the injury suffered.
However, applied to war in Iraq these principles seem to be
too idealistic and practically unachievable. In fact, the
war initiated as a just war, involved the US into a vicious
circle when a ‘response’ on terror attacks and
possible threats to national interests resulted in a growing
tension and new terror attacks worldwide. Moreover, in actuality
its start turned to be unjustified and unmotivated.
Furthermore, the war in Iraq did not fulfil the basic principle
of peace keeping that is unacceptable not only for theory
of a just war but also to humanistic and religious principles,
including Christian and Judaist ones. Notably, peace is considered
to be one of the main goals of Judeo-Christian teaching that
is very important and as many believe that if Judeo-Christian
principles were followed there would be no war in Iraq at
Unfortunately, the principles of peace-making turn to be absolutely
unrealisable in the contemporary world because, as the recent
example of the war in Iraq, it is not moral or religious principles
that are the real reasons for a war but rather interests of
a limited group of people.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible
to conclude that the current foreign policy of the US and
the war in Iraq are far from perfect. Moreover, the economic
background of the foreign policy and the war in Iraq is obvious.
In such a situation, the current President Administration
is in quite a difficult position. On the one hand, it is necessary
to solve the problem of Iraq, where the presence of the US
is economically extremely profitable, but, on the other hand,
the US cannot afford the further aggravation of the situation
since the current foreign policy in Iraq apparently leads
the US to the dead-end.
1. Beverly, A. “Talking “Terrorism”: Ideologies
and Paradigms of a Post-Modern World.” Syracuse Journal
of Int’l Law and Commerce, Spring 1996.
2. Lopez, Kathryn Jean. "Justice in War: Just-war theory,"
National Review, 15 October 2001.
3. Parker, A. and Fellner, J. “Above the Law: Executive
Power after September 11 in the United States.” World
Report 2004, Human Rights Watch, Jan. 2004.