Il secolo americano

Iraq – the latter end

If US do not meet the Neocons requirements, America will lose a global security order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity .

For the first time in 15 years, the 2001 defence budget may reflect a modest real increase in U.S. defence spending, for  G.W.Bush administration the defence budget should be increased to 4% of the gross domestic product.

The lowest level budget was accomplished during Clinton’s administrations, the spending level decreased from $339 billion to $277 billion in 1996 .

The military reforms, reform the army, stop the decreasement of nuclear weapons, and the reform the CIA as well; in fact the intelligence services are basically an element of the war on global terrorism.

The struggle against the nuclear weapons reduction is one of the Neocon’s topics. They tried to avoid the nuclear weapon reduction since the START agreements. Now US withdrew itself from  the ABM treaty too, it was signed with USSR in 1972. In fact the ABM project was one of the main topics of Bush administration  before 9/11.

To carry out these core missions, US needs to provide sufficient force and budgetary allocations. In particular US must:

 • Maintain nuclear strategic superiority, basing the US nuclear deterrent upon a global, nuclear net assessment that weighs the full range of current and emerging threats, not merely than US-USSR balance.

• restore the personnel strength of today’s force to roughly the levels anticipated in

  the “Base Force” outlined by the Bush Administration, an increase in active-duty strength

  from 1.4 million to 1.6 million.

• reposition US forces to respond to 21st century strategic realities by shifting

  permanently-based forces to Southeast Europe and Southeast Asia, and by changing naval

  deployment patterns to reflect growing U.S. strategic concerns in East Asia.

 War in Iraq. Why and Why now ?

 At this moment terrorism is the U.S. biggest enemy. For G.W.Bush administration US could not avoid the clash with global terrorism, it concerns, within G.W.Bush’s vision of the world, a clash between good and evil. Strength is the only language that the middle east country can understand,  US has to attack that country because they support global terrorism.

 “…[the terrorists]  they benefit from State sponsorship, they can form alliance with governments hostile to US…”

 For Bush administration the terrorist acts “…are a part of a coordinated long- term strategy in pursuit of political agenda shared by a broad-based and determined enemy…” .

So, that is why US has to leave the realistic foreign policy of the past years, they have to defeat its enemies with prevent attacks.

 If  we add all the elements of the Neocons doctrine, it is easy to understand why US started the Iraq war a second time.

Iraq is in the middle of a geo-strategic area, it is one of the biggest oil makers in the world, and the Bush administration believed (…and believe now…) it was linked to the Bin Laden terrorist net.

Moreover, US believed that Saddam owned weapons of mass destruction, and with that weapons he could attack US territory and their allies.

The overthrow of Saddam’s regime could bring US to the middle of the Middle-East. It can set up a “democracy” that could be an example for the other middle-east countries, and moreover, the  Saddam regime ( according to the G.W.Bush administration) overthrow could be a big defeat of global terrorism. Most of the Bush advisers believe that the Iraq war is one of the most important steps to the defeat of terrorism “…Without the war to remove Saddam, it’s likely that the counter terrorism efforts of allied intelligence and security service in the Muslim world will diminish, if not end…” .

 But the aim of this essay is not to understand if the Iraq war can make the world safer, nor to understand if the Iraq war has been the right answer to Saddam’s brutal dictatorship, it is to analyse  why U.S. has decided to start a war  and why now .

I think that we can find most of the answers analysing the Neocons belief.

For me, the decision to start the second Iraq war did not took place after 9/11, but it has been on the Neocons minds for a long time, and they just needed a catastrophic event to let the war take place

 “…further the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalysing event- like a new Pearl Harbour…” .

 9/11 was the perfect event to act, the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction were the “perfect” topics to start a war on Iraq.

The main topics used by G.W.Bush administration to attack Iraq was the link between Al Quaeda and Iraq, and the weapons of  mass destruction owned by Saddam.

The Terrorist attacks on September 11th , and the US military response in Afghanistan against Al Quaeda terrorist organizations and the Taliban militia that harboured it, led to a sharper focus on the Iraq problem.

The attack on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon, carried out by Al Quaeda operatives trained,  led from their bases in Afghanistan, demonstrated the threat posed by terrorists who could seek safe haven in rouge nations with potential access to weapons of mass destruction.

As President Bush said in his January 2002 State of the Union Address “…States like these and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorist, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic…”  .

For almost one year (2002-2003) UN had tried to avoid the second war in Iraq. It set up an inspections system that could check if Saddam had weapon of mass destruction, but for Us the inspections were a complete failure. However, it is not the aim of this assay to analyse  the inspections “failure”.

On November 8th  the Security Council of UN approved Resolution 1441 to address “the threat Iraq’s non compliance with Council Resolution, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security” ; the Resolution was a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Council.

But for President G.W.Bush, UN’s resolution was a complete failure, Saddam would not stop  producing weapons of mass destruction and would continue to violate the UN resolutions.

That is why US  should attack, for Us administration, Iraq as soon as possible, it is believed to be a threat to US and its allies.

US wanted overthrow Saddam and set up a Democracy in Iraq, the world would have been safer.

The weapons of mass destruction were the perfect pretext to attack Iraq and US did everything they could to show Saddam had them.

So, the Secretary of State,Collin Powel, on February 5th 2003, went to UN to show that Iraq possessed WMD, while at the time, coalition forces in Iraq continued to search for WMD sites, but any sort of weapons of mass destruction has not been discovered yet.

That kind of weapon could arrive in the hands of terrorist groups, in fact regimes like Syria, Iran and Iraq can provide WMD to Al Quaeda terrorists. So, for Bush administration to avoid any kind of attack US has to destroy that kind of regime and  terrorism.

The “best” way is an anticipatory self defence against terrorism and the rouge states that harbour it.

The anticipatory self defence was used in Libya, Panama and Afghanistan, to preserve the American interests and security, so it was not the first time the US used it as a means to protect itself. A preventive attack has served as justification for strikes against Iraq in the decade preceding March 2003. So Iraq could not be seen as an unusual case, but it could also be seen like the beginning of a new international “ relations” age. It‘s clear that 9/11 and the Global war on terrorism started a new historical period, the multilateralism and the UN system of rules to preserve the global peace and to resolve the “ problems” among the Nations, will be replaced by an “Anticipatory Self Defence” (preventive attack) made by US with the support of ad hoc coalitions .

This new kind of  international relations can be summarized in G.W.Bush’s words at West Point Academy in 2002 “…if we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long…”   

 The Secretary of Defence D.Rumsfeld, was one of the biggest supporters of the war and  most of the Bush advisors believed that the unsuccessful overthrow of Saddam during “Desert Storm” was one of the US biggest mistakes; like R.Perle said “…was so clear that is something was not done that Saddam was going to come to emerge the survivor who had outlasted the U.N…so it was urgent to deal with Iraq, and we set  a course of dealing with Iraq…” .

So, for the G:W.Bush administration, something should have been done a long time ago, during the first Iraq war, and if now US is “threatened” by Saddam, it is just from the weaknesses of the past administrations and the U.N’s weakness.

“…the fact that we tollered the expulsion of the inspector was a tribute to weak leadership at the time that that took place…”

 However not all Bush administration members and CIA members agreed with the Iraq war. Whitin G.W.Bush administration there were people, like the Secretary of State C.Powel, that had more than one doubt about the war on Iraq.

 There is another topic that could be one of the means of war on Iraq, it is the role that China will have in the world in the coming years. Reading  “Our Ambivalent China Policy”   by G. Schmitt, we can understand that the war in Iraq was made also to provide to US more control on South-East Asia, and to limit the rising of China.

It is most likely China will be a super power in a few years. It will be on the same level as US both in economical and military power; US, how I wrote above, have to place any efforts into avoiding the rise of other world powers in South-East Asia. Since the beginning of the 20th century, US has tried to avoid other powers having control on South-East Asia, and the “Open Door” doctrine (1899) is just an example of that aim. That is why we can think the war in Iraq occurred to prevent the spread of China’s power too .

 “…Next, China’s extensive effort over the past few years to  create an anti-hegemonic bloc–that is, an anti-US. bloc–blew apart. Within days of September 11, Moscow had cast its lot with Washington, as did the various “stans” of  Asia, including Beijing’s longtime friend Pakistan. The United States now had troops and bases at China’s backdoor. Add to his the new military-to-military ties between the United  States and the Philippines, and the growing cooperation between Washington and New Delhi, and Chinese strategic thinkers had to wonder whether America’s war on terrorism  wasn’t just an excuse to tighten the security noose around Beijing’s neck…” .


 I believe that is too early to find the real means for  war on Iraq, the war is still taking place, is it difficult to analyse the historical events when they are taking place. In a few of years we are going to have more answers to question of why G.W.Bush waged the war on Iraq in 2003.  I believe that we can not say that the war in Iraq was just to have the control of one of the biggest oil producing countries in the world, there are a lot of reasons behind that war.

I think we have to understand the Neocons belief to understand, as well we can, the real means of  the Iraq war. The Neocons belief was started 30 years ago, it is made up of by different topics, and just analysing them we understand why US for the second time waged war on Iraq. Maybe the G.W.Bush administration has started a new historical age and maybe not, we cannot say that now. It has change the way to lead the world and it has set up new kind of international relations.

I believe it is not the right way to lead the world and to make the world more safe. The war in Iraq did not defeat terrorism, it did not bring democracy to the Middle-East, and the “Coalition of the Willing” did not find any kind of weapons.

I think that a brutal dictatorship like Saddam’s and terrorists like Bin Laden are not in the same    “battle field”. Moreover, for me US is making the same mistake that they did during the Cold War. Now in the world there is more than one kind of  terrorism, like there was more than one kind of Communism. We have to be able to understand the differences between all kind of terrorism in the Middle-East and the differences between terrorism and dictatorships like Saddam’s.

Saddam regime was not a Islamic fundamentalist regime, we can describe his regime as Fascist one, there is more than one big difference between Saddam and Islamic terrorists like Bin Laden. That is why I believe that the policies of G.W.Bush administration are not the right way to defeat terrorism and they are not the right way to “bring” around world democracy.