US Invasion of Iraq and After Effects.

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April 11, 2018

What is the issue?

  • The present day Iraq largely bears the impact of US-led invasion of it in 2003.
  • The humanitarian catastrophe that Iraq is witnessing is a reminder to bring before law those responsible for this.

What was the 2003 event?

  • The US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 marks an important turning point in Iraq's history.
  • The events brought an end to Ba’ath party’s decades-long reign and Saddam Hussein's dictatorial administration.
  • US attacked Iraq citing mainly two reasons -
  1. Saddam administration possessed weapons of mass destruction
  2. the administration had ties with al-Qaeda

What are the contentions?

  • Support - The U.S. did not have a UN mandate to use force against Iraq.
  • Repeated attempts by the George Bush administration to get Security Council approval failed.
  • But the U.S. went ahead with forming an international coalition that included the U.K.
  • Claims - The war notably had no legitimate basis and was founded on misleading intelligence information.
  • The reasons cited were not convincing and proved to be false.
  • Evidently, the occupying troops failed to find any weapon of mass destruction in Iraq.
  • Moreover, al-Qaeda in Iraq was actually founded after the US invasion.

What impact has the war left?

  • Fifteen years on, Iraq is still fighting the horrible effects of the destructive war.
  • People - The war killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and displaced millions.
  • The U.S. first disbanded the Iraqi military, leaving tens of thousands of soldiers jobless overnight.
  • This posed a huge security threat.
  • Power - There was no coherent strategy to stabilise post-Saddam Iraq.
  • There were no plans to address the sectarian power struggle to fill the vacuum created.
  • Destroying the state apparatus led a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country of Iraq into utter chaos.
  • Terrorism - In this chaos, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi found the fertile ground to build his terrorist empire.
  • This, after his death, came under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
  • He transformed itself into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the IS of today.
  • In effect, the war got rid of a dictator, but left the country in a worse and much more dangerous situation.
  • Despite a functional government in Iraq, humanitarian and political tragedies are still unfolding.
  • Deepening sectarian and ethnic fault lines are evident.

What does it call for?

  • Those responsible for the present chaos and disruption in Iraq have not been brought before the legal system.
  • No action has been taken even based on the U.K.’s Chilcot report, which took apart the arguments used to justify the war.
  • The present situations call for correcting the grave failure of the international system.


Source: The Hindu

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