The war in Iraq

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The war in Iraq

I have chosen to write about the war in Iraq. The essay will include the prelude and the consequences of the invasion. I’ve chosen this particular subject because it interests me, and it will help me with my real project, which is about the UN’s connection with America.
In this essay you will read general facts about the war, and more deep-going descriptions of the first invasion. I will talk about the official motives and those of the conspiracy theories, which isn’t few. I will also look in deeper on what countries were against the attack, and those who were behind it.

I expect this essay to give the reader a lot of new knowledge. I will try to write it in a way so that the reader won’t have to have a lot of previous knowledge on the subject, it should be interesting anyways. For example, did you know that the war so far has cost over 300 billion dollars? Or that the death-rate in Iraq says to have increased since the American occupation?

I hope you have a good reading of my essay, and that it will teach you a lot of new things about the war in Iraq, and maybe even change your thoughts of it a little.

The war in general

The war in Iraq started on Mars nineteenth 2003. The Codename that the US used for the invasion was “Operation Iraqi freedom”, the British: “Operation Telic” and the war is sometimes called “The second gulf war" by the outside world.

The grounds for the invasion have been much questioned and it was not approved by the UN. The motives of the invasion were mainly to demobilize the alleged existent weapons of mass destruction, put a stop to Iraq’s alleged co-operation with al-Qaida and to capture the then president, Saddam Hussein.

Victory was declared by George W. Bush on May 1st 2003. Saddam Hussein had not been captured, and they had not yet found any weapons of mass destruction, but the Iraqi army had been defeated and the war was officially over. This doesn''''t mean that the whole coalition left Iraq though; some might even claim that the war is still going on today.


Preventing Saddam Hussein from using weapons of mass destruction.
An alleged attempt of murder on George H. W. Bush.
Crimes against a truce in 1991.
Crimes against numerous UN-resolutions.
Crimes against human rights.
Liberate the Iraqi people from oppression and dictatorship.
Alleged connections with al-Qaida.
(List copied from

The main official motive of the invasion was the suspicions that Iraq had or was developing weapons of mass destruction and had connections with the al-Qaida network. Although a lot of people doubted that Iraq actually had weapons of mass destruction. Some critics even went as far as saying that all these motives were just a smoke screen, and that the real motive behind the invasion was to secure Iraq''''s oil. The most common argument to imply this is that several members of Bush''''s government had close connections with the oil industry. And that the only department of the Iraqi government that was protected from looting was the oil department.

The US has counter-argued this statement by claiming that forbidden weapons actually were found and that they have given back the control of the oil to the Iraqis, and that they are paying for it. Another argument that speaks against Bush though is that he evidently has been interested in Iraq long before 2003, even before 9/11. It''''s said, and logical that the US, that is one of the worlds largest oil consumers wanted a stabile ally who could supply them with oil. It''''s also a fact that after the occupation of Iraq the oil is now valued in dollars instead of euro.

The invasion

Nearly one hundred and fifty-thousand men from the coalition were stationed in Kuwait in Mars 2003. The majority of the troops were of course Americans which were about one hundred-thousand, followed by the British who had approximately thirty-thousand men. The rest was from the other coalition countries. If you include all the naval, logistics, intelligence and air force personnel there were two hundred and fourteen-thousand Americans, forty five-thousand British, two thousand Australians, and two thousand-four hundred polish. The Iraqi armed military was counted to approximately four hundred-thousand men, although poorly equipped.

The invasion started mars nineteenth 2003 around 05:30 in the morning when the coalition started bombing Baghdad and moving special-troops into southern Iraq. The time-limit for Saddam and his sons to leave Iraq - which the coalition had put up - had ended. A couple of hours later George W. Bush announced that he had ordered the coalition to launch an "attack of opportunity" against targets in Iraq. As soon as they got the order the whole coalition army stormed in behind the borders and the war had begun fore real.

The US used a strategy called "Shock and Awe", which meant that they attacked as fast as possible with air and ground-units simultaneously. And to do so as fast as possible, which was very fast since their mobilization and co-ordination was much better than the Iraqis. The reason of their will to use "Shock and Awe" was to minimize the Iraqi civilian casualties and the damage on the infrastructure. It was also expected that the elimination of the Iraqi leadership would lead to a collapse of the Iraqi forces and government, and that much of the population would support the invaders once the government had been weakened.

The coalition of the willing

The coalition of the willing was put together by the US in March 2003 to capture the notorious dictator Saddam Hussein. Today it approximately has 47 members, some active military, but the small countries were more seen as “token” members, to support it politically. Britain was isolated and characterized here in Europe, despite the fact that most European countries were part of the coalition of the willing. Sweden had an ambiguous position to the war. When the UN decided not to approve the invasion we said we were against it, but we still helped the coalition in different ways.

The phrase “coalition of the willing” is often used openly by the UN, although during Bill Clinton’s time as president of the US he used it too. The exact origins of the phrase are unknown, but it’s known that it has been used since at least the 1980s.

Criticism of the phrase is not unusual. A common argument is that the forces in Iraq are 98 % American and British, therefore some people don’t want to call it a coalition, but a fighting duo. One of the most famous critics of the coalition was the former presidential candidate John Kerry. The population of the countries in the coalition has been surveyed and it’s been proven that the majority are against their countries involvement. A democratic senator has referred to the coalition by “COW”, expressing his concern that the United States was being milked as a “cash cow”.

This picture shows how the countries attitudes were towards the coalition.
Blue: Coalition members. Red: Openly opposed the invasion.
Green: Ambiguous position. Grey: Neutral or no position declared.

Global effects

The war in Iraq is one of the most controversial wars the world has ever seen. The way the coalition ignored the UN’ s disapproval has caused people all over the world to express their dislike, and sometimes even hate, against the US government and George Bush. It has even gone so far that terrorists all over the world claim to act because the invasion of Iraq was illegal. For example the terrorist-bombings in Madrid were blamed on the Spain involvement in the war. Al-Qaida has also taken responsibility for the London-bombings.

The US report of Iraq after the war included that they hadn’t found any evidence that suggested that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. But the US claim to have found evidence of some weapons in interviews with Iraqi prisoners, although nothing of military importance. They also claimed that Iraq frantically tried to get hold of the technique to construct weapons of mass destruction.

No connection between Iraq and al-Qaida involving the high-jackings could be found either, and this was particularly interesting since some critics claimed that he had lied about suspicions of such connections just to get support for the war. This has led to even more dislike and hatred towards Bush all over the world.

Various “Fun Facts” of the war

· So far the costs of the war in Iraq have reached past the 300-billion dollar line.

· Sweden claimed to be against the invasion after the UN disapproval and yet they kept supplying the coalition with arms.

· Norway also claimed to be against the inva...

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Inactive member [2007-05-04]   The war in Iraq
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