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The Iraq Crisis Understanding The Conflict Iraq AREA: 271, 421 sq. miles (Twice the size of Idaho) POPULATION: 23,000,000 ETHNICITY: Arab 75% Kurdish 20% Other 5% RELIGION: Islam: 97%

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The Iraq Crisis

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The Iraq Crisis

Understanding The Conflict


Iraq

AREA: 271, 421 sq. miles

(Twice the size of Idaho)

POPULATION: 23,000,000

ETHNICITY: Arab 75%

Kurdish 20%

Other 5%

RELIGION: Islam: 97%

(Shia 65%; Sunni 35%)

Other: 3%


Iraq: Birthplace of Civilization, Biblical Arena

  • Ancient Mesopotamia

    • The “Fertile Crescent” – The land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the hypothetical location of the “Garden of Eden.”

    • One of the centers of earliest known human civilization.

    • Home of the Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian Empires.

    • Figures prominently in the events and history chronicled in the Old Testament.


Modern Iraq

  • Chronology

    • 1918: Iraq, a part of the Ottoman Empire, is seized by the British in World War I.

    • 1932: Iraq is made an independent kingdom.

    • 1958: Iraq becomes a “republic,” ruled over by military strongmen and torn by competing factions.

    • 1968: The Ba’th Party overthrows government; General Ahmad Hasan Al-Bakr, relative of Saddam Husayn (Hussein), becomes president.


Modern Iraq

  • Chronology

    • 1968: Saddam Husayn made Vice President.

    • 1973: After failed coup attempt against Al-Bakr, Saddam is made Chief of Security.

    • 1979: Al-Bakr “resigns;” Saddam becomes President.

    • 1980 – 1988: Husayn launches a war against Iran to reclaim disputed border regions. The war drags on for eight years; the two nations lose over 1,000,000 men between them.


Modern Iraq

  • Chronology

    • 1981: Israel launches a successful air strike against Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility. Sets Husayn’s atomic weapons program back 5 to 10 years.

    • 1990: Husayn, for reasons still debated, seizes Kuwait.

    • 1991: A coalition of nations led by the United States and operating under the authority of the United Nations defeats Iraq and frees Kuwait.

    • 1991: UN Security Council Resolution 687 (et.al.) requires Iraq to disarm itself of all “weapons of mass destruction” (“WMD” – chemical, biological and nuclear weapons). Iraq must submit to inspections to verify disarmament. Economic sanctions to remain in place until Iraq complies.


Modern Iraq

  • Chronology:

  • 1991-1992: Husayn puts down internal revolt against his rule. He brutally proceeds to consolidate power, and will continue to maintain that power through force and terror.

  • 1991 – Present: Coalition air forces (chiefly the U.S. and the United Kingdom) maintain constant armed patrols in the U.N. mandated “Iraqi no fly zones” over northern and southern Iraq. Against cease fire agreements and U.N. resolutions, Iraq tracks, targets and engages these patrols; combat with Iraqi air defenses is frequent.


Modern Iraq

  • Chronology

    • 1998: Husayn expels UN inspectors, charging them with spying for the U.S.; Iraqi obstruction of inspectors had effectively rendered them useless by this point.

    • 1998: The U.S. launches “Operation Desert Fox” – air and missile strikes against suspected weapons production and storage facilities. Though largely successful, the operation illustrates the difficulty and limits of identifying and dismantling Husayn’s WMD programs through air attack alone.

    • 2002: UN Security Council Resolution 1441 requires Iraq to comply with previous resolutions and allow unobstructed inspection or face enforcement.


Iraq: U.S. Concerns

  • Iraq And Weapons Of Mass Destruction

    • Iraq has failed to comply with UN resolutions and has continued to seek and develop WMD. Husayn has no intention of disarming.

    • Husayn has shown he will use WMD against both external enemies and internal opposition:

      • 1986: Used mustard gas and nerve agents against Iranian troops.

      • 1988: “Operation Anfal:” Use of chemical and nerve agents against Kurdish communities in northern Iraq; 50,000 to 100,000 people killed.

      • 1991: Possibly deployed (unsuccessfully) against UN Coalition troops. (The U.S. had promised Husayn he would be removed from power if he used WMD.)


Iraq: U.S. Concerns

If Saddam Husayn Gains WMD:

  • He will use them offensively against the U.S. and other nations.

  • He will supply them to terrorists who will use them against the U.S. and other nations.

  • He will use them offensively to further his territorial ambitions in the region.

  • He will use their existence to intimidate/blackmail other nations for his own purposes.

  • He will use them against the people of Iraq.


Iraq: U.S. Concerns

Saddam Husayn And Terrorism

  • Iraq has directly and indirectly supported various terrorist groups in the past.

  • Evidence indicates Iraq has supplied funds, weapons, intelligence and advisors to Al Queda, specifically to aid their attacks against U.S. targets.

  • Evidence indicates Al Queda and other groups have shown interest in obtaining WMD from Iraq.


Iraq: U.S. Concerns

Husayn And Oil

  • The infrastructure and economies of every modern industrialized nation in the world depend directly or indirectly upon unrestricted access to the oil produced in the Gulf region.

    • Husayn rearmed with WMD or large conventional forces could seize oil fields (as in 1990) or interfere with oil export, leading to an unparalleled world economic, political and human crisis.

    • Iraqi oil production and export, under a different regime, could be expanded with beneficial results to Iraq, the Iraqi people and the world economic community.


Iraq: U.S. Concerns

  • The “Bush Doctrine” And Saddam Husayn

  • Following the attacks of 9/11, President Bush embraced a major historical change in U.S. foreign and defense policy.

    • Historically, the U.S. has been “reactive” in its defense policy – that is, we do not respond with force until force is used on us or our interests.

    • Events such as Pearl Harbor and the attacks on 9/11 are indicative of the risks and human costs inherent with a “reactive” posture.

    • Under Bush’s new policy, the U.S. will now pursue a “proactive,” or “preemptive” defense policy – where significant threats to U.S. citizens, interests and security are identified, the U.S. will take action to prevent those threats from becoming a reality.


The U.S. Argument For War

Saddam Husayn Presents A Clear And Present Danger To U.S. And World Security.

  • Husayn has consistently defied international will, as expressed in various U.N. resolutions.

  • Twelve years of diplomacy and economic sanctions have failed both to compel his compliance with U.N. demands that he disarm and prevent him from seeking WMD.

  • Husayn is actively developing WMD and has assembled a stockpile of such weapons.

  • Husayn and an Iraq armed with WMD present a real and unacceptable level of risk to the U.S., to regional geopolitical security and world economic stability.


Iraq And The U.S.: The Conclusion

The United States Reserves The Right To Take Military Action Against Iraq To Protect Its Security, Citizens And Interests

  • All nations have the internationally recognized moral and legal right to use force in their own defense.

  • In an age of WMD and high technology, the U.S. can no longer afford the luxury of waiting to be attacked until it takes active measures against potential threats.

  • As a member and chief supporter of the U.N., the United States expects the U.N. to act decisively and promptly to enforce U.N. sanctions, for the protection of the U.S. and all other nations.

  • The U.S. government has a primary Constitutional and moral responsibility to protect its citizens and their property from harm. This responsibility cannot be placed subject to the action or inaction of the U.N., or the interests, fears and concerns of other nations.

  • Therefore, with or without the support of the U.N., the U.S. and all willing allies will act forcefully to disarm Iraq and remove Saddam Husayn from power in the interest of their own security.


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