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 and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Schoenbaum, 2006, p.2).
This further marked a turning point in US foreign policy objectives in the Middle East, which was cemented by the events of September 11. Moreover, Operation Desert Storm in particular fuelled a tactical change in the US military strategy with a move towards the Rapid Dominance and Shock and Awe tactics as applied in Operation Iraqi Freedom (Martel, 2007, p.248). However, whilst Ullman and Wade (1996) suggest that the Rapid Dominance and shock and awe doctrine was necessary to ensure strategic military success in conflict, the current instability in Iraq has fuelled debate as to the long term implications of the shock and awe doctrine, with many labelling Operation Iraqi Freedom a public relations failure (Griese, 2004, p.53).
It is submitted that Operation Iraqi Freedom is a prime example of this as a foreseeable end to the current US war in Iraq remains precarious, leading to controversial justifications of necessary humanitarian interventions and post conflict peace building.
Therefore, in considering the inherent conflict between the military success of the air campaign and the ensuing controversy over the US’ continued presence in Iraq, I shall firstly consider the shock and awe doctrine applied in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Section 2, followed by a contextual discussion of Operation Iraqi Freedom in impacting US public relations within the international political framework (Heath et al, 2009, p.89). In undertaking this discussion it is submitted at the outset that whilst in the short term the