United States invaded Iraq on 19th March 2003, and an operation known by the name of Operation Iraqi Freedom was started together with the support of United Kingdom, Australia and Poland. On March 17, President Bush had already given an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein either to surrender or to face the military wrath of the coalition forces, but the Iraqi government fell to its knees on 9th April by the invasion initiated by the US forces which concluded with the capture of the Iraqs capital Baghdad (Copson, 2003).
In the months of January March 2003, the US gathered its troops in the Persian Gulf. The total number of troops that the US gathered to invade Iraq was 100,000, furthermore military analysts assessed that though it will be possible even to attack in the extreme heat of summer, but military experts observed that fighting war in the cooler months before May would be much more favorable for the war (Hemmer, 2003). The American President George W.
Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blaire viewed their actions as that of disarming Iraq of Weapons of Mass Destruction and to end Saddam Husseins reign of terror and his support for terrorists and their activities and obviously, to free the Iraqi people (Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003). However after the invasion, no WMDs were ever found in Iraq. The intelligence officials furthermore agreed on this fact that no chemical weapons have been in production since the early gulf war of 90s (SHRADER, 2006). The CIA also accepted that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq.
CIA officially released a report stating that CIA was not able to locate any weapons of mass destruction (Associated Press, 2005). The question regarding Saddams links with terrorist organization, Al Qaeda being the most important one, was also answered. There was no evidence found regarding direct link of Saddam being supportive of terrorist groups. Certain notable US persons have also raised fingers regarding the authenticity of the claims made that Iraq is linked with Al Qaeda and can supply weapons of mass destruction to Al Qaeda too.
Carl Levin Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee clearly stated it to be exaggeration of the issue. Senator Dianne Feinsten also said that clearly the Al Qaeda issue was hyped (HAYES, 2003). Public Relations In January 2003, an American poll showed that most of the Americans were in favor of having support from the allies before indulging itself in a war. Furthermore the American public even went for supporting big time for the President Bush in order to launch an invasion against Iraq.
Polls further shifted in the favor of Bush administration following Secretary of State Collin Powells February 5 presentation to the Security Council (CNN, 2003). Although some polls which were later carried out showed a decline in support of war, but President Bushs speech which he delivered on March 17, once again was fruitful in gaining support from the American people. A Washington Post ABC News polling showed that 71% supported President Bushs decision in going to war, and 66% supported the Presidents decision in not seeking the vote from United Nations Security Council (Washington Post, 2003).
But nonetheless many Americans opposed the war too and of violating a countrys sovereignty. Large rallies and anti-war demonstrations were held in many of the cities especially huge protests in San Francisco and large demonstration in New York after the war begun. Many people also believed that because of this war, there will be high level of anti-American feelings around the whole world, and it can further add fuel to the fire (Cosgrove-Mather, 2009). Development regarding post-war Iraq
With the switch of Operation Iraqi Freedom from a military to a reconstruction phase, Congress with the passage of time started to get more and more demanding regarding specific information from Bush Administrations plans for rebuilding Iraq or the post-war future of Iraq. The Chairman of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar said that for a proper functioning of democracy in Iraq, it could at least take five years for this to be successful (Lugar, 2003).
In addition many of the analysts and policymakers believed that in order to rebuild Iraq, it will be required for Congress to allocate additional funds for the future, but many were of the view that international community should come forward too for rebuilding of Iraq. Several members of United Nations Security Council submitted a letter to President Bush too regarding their support for the post-war rebuilding of Iraq.
Overall, Congress was of the view that after the downfall of Saddams reign of terror Iraq will be highly dependent on aid from the United States and the international community, particularly from the members of U. N. Security Council as well as number of police and military forces to maintain peace and order. But the question was that for how long Iraq will be requiring United States assistance and help and how much assistance will need to be provided (Sharp, 2003). Post-Saddam Transition and Governance The U. S. aims for Iraq are for a united, democratic, and a civic Iraq that can sustain, govern, and defend it and is an ally in the global war on terrorism.
The following sections discuss Iraqs progress toward those goals. In establishing a successful and peaceful rule in the new Iraq, a lot of complexities were involved regarding various post war risks to stability in Iraq, therefore many analysts were of the view that instead of going for the democratic form of government the present Iraq might be most effectively governed under a military regime which will not be going for the restoration of full democracy in the country but instead would comply with U. N resolutions.
However no one came forward to take the role of this leadership. The Bush Administration therefore appointed a retired General, Jay Garner to take up the responsibility of administrating Iraqs ministries. The Administration largely discarded the State Departments Future of Iraq Project that planned the administration of Iraq after the fall of Saddam. The project cost $5 million and had 15 working groups on major issues (Department of State USA, 2005).
Traditional administrative law (TAL) The Bush Administration was looking forward to holding of general elections in the late 2005 however Ayatollah Sistani and others demanded for early elections and the return of Iraqi sovereignty which ultimately led the U. S to announce that sovereignty would be returned to Iraq by June 30, 2004 and national elections to be held by the end of 2005. This whole decision was made part of an interim constitution named as Transitional Administrative Law.
It was signed on 8th March 2004. It helped to provide a way for political transition and of holding of elections for National Assembly by January 31, 2005, drafting of a permanent constitution by 15th August and by providing a roadmap for national elections for a full term by 15th December 2005 (Katzman, Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security, 2009). Elections of 2005 The elections for transitional National Assembly, 18 provisional councils and the Kurdish regional assembly were held in 2005.
The Sunni Arabs did not take part in the elections thus enabling the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance to ally with the Kurds and to dominate the national government. The elected government formed a committee which was given the task of drafting a new constitution and the constitution got approved on 15th October 2005. Sunni opposition tried to oppose the constitution but achieved only two-thirds of no vote in two provinces, not in the three, required to defeat the constitution.
But in the elections later held on 15th December for a first full term government the Sunnis in a way allied with the Kurds and accepted Nuri-al-Maliki as Prime Minister, he won the approval of cabinet on 20th May 2006 (Katzman, Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks, 2009). Promoting stability internationally and domestically After the war, the U. S pressure led UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Syria and Egypt either to send ambassadors to Iraq or announced that theyll do it in the near future.
Furthermore in almost 30 years, Iraq appointed its first Ambassador to Syria. Notable leaders who visited Iraq as a beginning of a new relationship were Jordans King Abdullah who was the first Arab leader to do so, he visited on August 11, 2008. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited in March 2008. Two of the most major steps in reconciliation efforts were the visit of Turkeys foreign minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul and it was the first such visit by Turkish head of state in 30 years. The second was the visit of Kuwaits Deputy Prime Minister Mohammad Al Sabah in February 2009. Furthermore Saudi Arabia also thought of opening an embassy in Iraq, however its still one of the pending issues and the final decision has yet to be made by the Saudi Arabia (Katzman, Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security, 2009). Even before that, Secretary of the Treasury John Snow tried to use diplomatic means to promote Iraqs recovery.
What he did was to try to persuade the institutions like that of World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to support the rebuilding of Iraq. Snow reported that representatives of the G-7 industrialized nations had agreed on this decision to help Iraq in its rebuilding efforts if the U. N Security Council grants its permission. Furthermore governments were asked to forgive the debt owed by Iraq, however Russia was particularly resistant regarding the subject matter as it owed $8 billion by Iraq and was heavily in debt itself (Blustein, 2003).