Iraq War Realism

The Iraq war happened through a span of eight years, eight months and twenty eight days. The invasion began when the United States forces wanted to search Iraq who were suspected to have weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and the need to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein, the former reigning leader of Ba’athist Iraq, as he was a threat of terrorism. This essay will provide a detailed analysis of what happened during the Iraq war and with the application to the theory of realism. Realism has been able to provide a view on the political action that US has taken when deciding to go to war with Iraq.
I will be arguing on points that are inclined to the realist theory. Firstly, US wanted to balance against the rising of power of Iraq which affected
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One of the main reasons why the Iraq war happened was because US wanted to balance the power that was rising in Iraq. A claim was made by Senator Bill Nelson saying that Iraq was harbouring WMDs, were specifically chemical and biological and Saddam raised a threat to United States and their allies (Congressional Record, 2004). Before the claim was made, UN had already banned any development of WMDs in Iraq after the Persian Gulf War hence there should not have been any WMDs. The threats of nuclear and chemical weapons were then heightened after the attacks on the World Trade Centre. After the ambush, there were claims that Saddam was providing military help to Al-Qaeda (The Weekly Standard, 2003). This had aggravated the need to go to war and increase security. During the war, US successfully removed the regime of Saddam and confirmed that there were no possession of WMDs were to be found. Critics may say that if WMDs were not found, why did US still go through to war? As a realist, the two most important things to the state would be security and power. In this case, security was threatened and US had to act on it. The UN also contributed to why US proceeded with the war. They were not able to follow through the inspection of WMDs because Iraq did not provide permission to carry on with the inspection. Doubts of the presence of WMDs were floating around however the logical thing for realists was to …show more content…
In these wars that they have participated in, they had always emerged as victors. US had eventually been seen as a big super power in the world because of their military capacity and resources however, 9/11 had portrayed US as a weak and vulnerable state that terrorists can infiltrate. Bush’s West Point speech (Liberfield, 2005) declared, “America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge.” With the emergence of Saddam, Al- Qaeda and WMD development in Iraq, it posed a great hazard for the US. According to the realism theory, the more the military power in your state, the more powerful you are. Bush took control of the situation by deciding to invade Iraq. Realism is effective in this argument because it displays the capability, military power and resources that showed US were the dominant powers in the world. United States had worked hard to gain hegemony through war victories and they were not going to let an attack like 9/11 bring the status of the state down. Critics may say that war should not happen just because of self-interest which in this case is maintaining the hegemony. I argue that realist believe that the only way to maintain hegemony is to use authoritative power which is the only way to maintain peace. Being a white super power, United States had to ensure that their power was not stripped and maintain order by proving that they had the ability to counter the threat of

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