One of the most influential events of the past 15 years was the US invasion of Iraq. The invasion was highly controversial and resulted in a lot of backlash against the United States. Recently there has been an increased effort to fight ISIS in Syria and many claim that this battle is an outgrowth of the war in Iraq . So what was the justification for this war?

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The clear event that lead up to the war was 9/11 and the terrorist attacks that destroyed the world trade centers and killed thousands of Americans. The US at this point decided that it needed to take actions to battle extreme terrorism. The US president at the time, newly elected George W Bush, felt it was very important to take a strong military stance. This was justified on the grounds that the terrorist attacks were horrific. In short the US had considerable desire and rational for military action. The first action was to invade Afghanistan the home of Al Qaeda the terrorist responsible for 9/11 .

The continuation of the war into Iraq though remains the topic of much debate. Iraq was not directly linked to 9/11 and the leader, Saddam Hussein, had no formal connection with Al Qaeda. The war was justified mostly on the grounds that Iraq was a threat. That Iraq would be a breeding ground for more radical groups that could result in another attack on the United States. It was decided that Iraq likely had weapons of mass destruction . This was legitimized by the belief that the United States was justified in taking preemptive action to stop further terrorist attacks. Thus the Iraq invasion was carried out and has been much criticized since.

The initial time table for the Iraq war was supposed to be short. The US was going to set up a democratic government in Iraq and remove troops. However, the war lasted much longer than expected. To be specific the initial war was very short, Saddam Hussein was taken from power within days of the initial invasion. However, setting up a new government was much harder than first expected. Thus US troops remained in Iraq long after the initial invasion.

The results of the Invasions of Iraq are deep and long lasting. As mentioned many see this as resulting in much of the turmoil that still is going on in the Middle East.

    References
  • CBC News. Bin Laden claims responsibility for 9/11. 9 10 2004. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/bin-laden-claims-responsibility-for-9-11-1.513654. 2 3 2016.
  • Heinrich, Markus Nikolas. One War, Many Reasons: The US Invasion of Iraq. 19 3 2015. http://www.e-ir.info/2015/03/09/one-war-many-reasons-the-us-invasion-of-iraq/. 2 3 2016.
  • Kinsley, Michael. How the Bush Wars Opened the Door for ISIS. may 2015. http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/04/iraq-war-bush-isis. 2 3 2016.