The US position in the two Iraq wars

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The relationship between the US and Iraq in the post-Cold War era has been marked by a shift in US foreign policy, which has culminated in two wars, namely Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The focus of this paper is to critically evaluate the position of the…

Introduction

It is further submitted that in order to discuss the US position in both Iraq wars it is necessary to consider the background to the relationship between America and Iraq preceding the Gulf wars. It is proposed that the fall of the Soviet Union and the changing world order in the aftermath of the cold war triggered a change in the international political framework, thereby altering the traditional theory of international relations as evidenced by Operation Desert Storm.
This further marked a turning point in US foreign policy objectives in the Middle East, which was cemented by the events of September 11. To this end, Operation Iraqi Freedom is a prime example of this as a foreseeable end to the US war in Iraq remains precarious, leading to justifications of necessary humanitarian interventions and post conflict peace building.
Therefore, in considering the US position in the two Iraq Wars, I shall consider the background to US foreign policy in Section 2, followed by a discussion of Operation Desert Storm in Section 3. In Section 4 I shall undertake a comparative analysis of Operation Iraqi Freedom followed by a discussion of the blurring of the distinction between military operations and legitimate peace building initiatives. In Section 6, I shall consider the Operation Iraqi Freedom in context of the increased role of private military contractors by the US, followed by a conclusion in section 7.
If we consider the historical backdrop of US foreign policy, it is evident from the early 1794 the Neutrality Act, which was re-enacted and amended in 1818; that US foreign policy has roots in developing international laws of neutrality, by aiming to secure general acceptance of internal policy pronouncements “on such matters from the countries of Europe throughout the late eighteenth centuries onwards” (Boyle, 2002 at ...
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