The war in Iraq has been costly not only to the Iraqis and Americans but to the whole world. Some political analysts say that it is ironical that the war on terrorism has led to increased terrorism activities in defiance and retaliation. Events such as the February 22, 2006 bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, the attack in Mumbai this week and countless suicide attacks in and out of Iraq have been making headlines. In Iraq, such activities are undermining efforts of the current transitional government and the US and her allies to bring peace and stability in the region.
Seemingly, terrorists and insurgents are keen to undermine Iraq’s economy, security, and political process. This has led to different quarters asking for a change in the US Iraq policy to one that is based the desire of Iraqis for the speedy formation of an inclusive, national unity government that serves the interests of all Iraqis without drawing so much resentment and hostility from the people and form a sable government. Though the Iraqis themselves produced this key provision (transitional government), the United States throughout helped facilitate agreement on it and other key provisions be it on religion, oil allocation, or federalism.
Therefore, looking at the present US Iraq policy helps in understanding the whole process in Iraq as to why these polices are not working and the war continues almost 6 years down the line at the expense of the tax payer’s money. This paper looks at these policies and evaluates how successful or unsuccessful they have been and make recommendations for alternative policies. Policies According to the dossier on US Iraq policy http://www. uspolicy. be/issues/iraq/iraq. asp), the US activities in Iraq are based on • A noble fair and just war • Suppression of the Al-Qaeda and • Reconstruction of Iraq Fairness of the war
The underlying policy in the war in Iraq has been that “the war in Iraq is noble, necessary and fair”. President Bush has been clarifying o n the importance of the war saying that “Defeating the enemy in Iraq will make it less likely we will face this enemy here at home…. ” (www. whitehouse. gov/news/releases/2008/03/20080319-3. html). This one single policy locks out all arguments that have been fronted or were fronted even the before the war began. As such, the US feels compelled to attack and occupy Iraq until she feels that her main reason of going to war as to liberate the people of Iraqis fulfilled.
But does this bring another definition of freedom into the limelight? Salim 2007 asks. The author says that “the presence of American and allies troops in Iraq is a threat of the peace and freedom they claim to fight for the people of Iraq”. The Bush administration believes that the war in Iraq is noble in that it is carried out in the right manner in a conscious way. What necessitated the war were the claims by the Bush administration that the government of Sadam Hussein was supporting terror groups and terrorism activities. Now with the man they sought dead, what else could then be the driver to increased instances of terrorism activities?
This is one question that the Americans have not paused and addressed it unto themselves according to one online analyst Suppression of the Al-Qaeda As one of the leading terror groups in the world and the one responsible for the terror attacks in the US world trade center, Al-Qaeda is blacklisted by the American government to be denied access to resources that would enable the group to carry out its terrorism activities. With the group based in Iraq, it is feared that it will easily gain access to the numerous oil fields and utilize those resources in undermining global peace efforts.
As a result, the targeting of the Al-Qaeda as a group and not Iraq as a country has created a long list of countries that the Bush administration feels deserves action. Among them are Syria, Sudan and Somalia. In light of this view, the American government insists that the idea of attacking Iraq was not for political reasons or economic gains but by a justified reason to protect the globe from terror harm. Continued occupation of Iraq by the US and her allies thus is in pursuance of the denying the terror groups and access to resources.
This is accomplished by ensuring that Iraq has a stable government that is capable of handling internal hostilities and insurgencies which are led by the terror groups. Therefore, it would seem irresponsible of the US withdrawing from Iraq without due suppression of the Al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, suppression of the group has not been as successful as such. Countless minor or affiliate terror groups have sprung up and continue to carry out their deadly attacks. This indicates that there is need to change the manner in which the US approaches the terror group.
The approach of denying the groups access to oil money does not seem to work as it may be that the terror groups have other sources of resources to finance their activities. Reconstruction of Iraq Two wars against Iraq by the US have crippled the infrastructure of Iraq that is currently an eyesore. The gulf war and the present war have reduced oil production from the world’s third largest oil reserves with 84 billion barrels of oil under her surface. Decreased production has created an oil crisis in the global market leading to skyrocketing petrol and petroleum products.
Reconstructing Iraq and maintaining peace and stability in the region is seen as of the ways of bringing down the global oil prices that are hurting very many economies. As the attacker, the US government is bound by moral and humanitarian obligations to correct the effects of the war and reconstruct the economy. Prior to the war, the US had promised to reconstruct the country after the ousting of Saadam. Thus even as the war continues, the US government is committed into helping Iraq find her path to economic prosperity a d realize full democracy.
As evidence of this, the US government has been financing almost entirely the transitional government in Iraq either in direct aid o humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, most of the aid forwarded to the country according to Pilisuk and Rountree (2008) is in form of military aid. The future of Iraq The unprecedented length in the Iraq war has called for reevaluation of strategies used in the war. The Bush administration has unveiled six elements it incorporates in its new policy on the Iraq war (http://www. whitehouse. gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070110-3. html). 1. placing leadership on Iraqi people 2.
Empowering Iraqi people to defend themselves against terrorism 3. Isolate extremists; 4. Facilitate democracy 5. Diversify political and economic efforts 6. Situate the strategy in a regional approach. By letting the Iraq people lead, then the Iraqis will take responsibility of their own actions and have more responsibility in decision making that will be very critical in stabilizing the region. The second element of helping the Iraq people protect the population has two sides of it. For one, the Iraqi nationals will be involved in fighting terrorism. Secondly, the citizens will keep away from terrorism activities national and international.
All these elements are going to be accomplished in four fronts: economic, political, regional and security. Iraq was formerly the leading economy in the Arab world in the late 1980’s. Prior to the Gulf War, the country was using her oil reserves for economic development and prosperity. A series of external attacks have derailed the country from its earlier path and it today relies heavily on foreign aid to run basic government operations. At the moment, the country is just a shell of the former self. Questions have been raised over the effectiveness of the US policies on Iraq and the future of the country.
Now that the US economy is facing financial turmoil, the questions on whether the aid assistance to Iraq will continue if of utmost importance. The recent signing of an agreement between the US government and the transitional Iraq government signed an agreement allowing the US troops to remain in Iraq beyond 2008 into the year 2009. Unfortunately, some of the Iraq people are not comfortable with this move. They view that the presence of American troops in their territory infringes on the country’s sovereignty and it is tantamount to total disregard of democracy and independence of one country.
They therefore call for the unconditional withdrawal of all foreign troops in the region. The expected coming to power of Barack Obama as the US president provides some hope for a change in policy in how the US handles the situation in Iraq. In his campaign addresses prior to the elections the president elect promised a phased pout withdrawal of American and allied troops from the region that would approximately take 16 months. In addition to this, the fact that the president elect was against the waging of the war from the very word go shows that there is a looming drastic change in the American policy on Iraq once he occupies office.
The current economic crisis in America will throw Iraq into further turmoil unless quick strategized withdrawal is put into place. Before the on start of the war, the Bush administration claimed that Iraq had in its possession weapons of mass destruction which were suspect of being used for terrorism purposes. Therefore, the idea behind the war was based on recovery of these weapons and the toppling of the Saddam regime as a supporter of terrorist groups. Unfortunately, only the toppling of Sadaam happened as no weapons of mass destruction were seized.
Assuming that the terrorism groups never gained access to the weapons where else could they source such weapons? By adopting such a question, then the US government can have a broader perspective on the fight against terrorism. The resentment by the Iraq people that have fueled increased internal terror activities have resulted from the humanitarian crisis present in the country. US troops have been accused of committing humanitarian atrocities among them killing of innocent civilians and raping of women and young girls.
It would seem appropriate then that the US government carries out its operations in Iraq with a lot of caution over the volatility of the region and the sensitivity of the connection between Muslims and terrorism. This is because among the many violations that the troops are accused of, a majority of them have a religious violation connotation. This is very important in that abrupt withdrawal of troops could throw to waste all the efforts made in stabilizing the region and eventually winning the war on terror.
In conclusion, it would seem that the best manner in which to carry on the war and formulate polices in handling the war, the involved parties in coalition forces and the US should emphasis on winning the confidence and trust of the Iraqi people. Some of the hostilities meted against sympathizers of presence of foreign troop are not terrorism based but an expression of the anger of the presence of the troops. Unfortunately, the US has not been keen to interpret such incidences as so but is comfortable with the labeling of such activities as terrorism.
Therefore, the future of Iraq lies in how strategically America positions itself in the eyes of Iraqis and the success of sanitizing the existing image of America in the eyes of Muslim extremists. Works cited Pilisuk, M. and Rountree, J. Who benefits from global violence and war, New York: Greenwood, 2008 Pillar, P. Terrorism and the US foreign policy, Chicago: Brookings 2004 US policy towards Iraq, Washington: GPO, 2003 Iraq policy at, (www. whitehouse. gov/news/releases/2008/03/20080319-3. html US troops to stay in Iraq beyond 2008 www. arabamericannews. com/news/index. php? mod=article&cat=Iraq&article=670
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