The primary plan of the coalition war known as ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ was to isolate Saddam Hussain, the ruler and his forces from the general public. The forces tried to create a wave of dissent against him by trying to win over Iraqi people’s hearts and minds in various ways. They exhorted the Shia Muslims of the country who had to suffer much under Sunni Muslims to which Saddam belonged, to rebel against the dictator.
However, the people did not rise up as expected by the Americans. Therefore, US General Tommy Franks, the commander-in-chief of the coalition forces changed the war strategy and directed his forces to move to Baghdad without capturing the cities on their way.
The new strategy was to capture Baghdad first and then wipe out the entire chain of leadership. Therefore, within a short time the capital city of Baghdad was surrounded by the coalition forces and started the selected bombings of Saddam’s citadels and centres of power.
Saddam’s strategy of using people as human shields and hiding weapons near mosques, schools and hospitals worked for sometime. The capture of Baghdad international airport within a short time marked the end of Saddam’s fall. Within a month the entire city fell to the American forces.
However, they couldn’t capture Saddam or his key lieutenants. Even after several months the American attempt to get hold of Saddam Hussain, has not been successful, though they have managed to kill both his sons, Qusay Hussain and Uday Hussain sometime in July, 2003.
The invasion of Iraq is an event of great significance. The foremost result of the invasion was the fall of Saddam Hussain and his Govt. Some of his key commanders were caught. But the worst sufferers were the 24 million Iraqi people who had to undergo immense hardship due to invasion. The city of Baghdad, which bore the brunt of the war, was shattered.
The invasion also divided the European world. Many European countries refused to come to the aid of US and Britain openly. However, the most far-reaching consequence of the invasion was the loss of importance and primacy of UN.
UN lost its position as the keeper of International peace and security in the world. The fall of the importance of UN is bound to have serious consequences in international politics in the future. The war also convinced the world that America has become world’s ‘super policeman with the power and right to attack any country, at their will. Today the freedom of every nation seems to be at stake.
The war on Iraq by US led forces was not justified on any grounds. US forces also could not recover any weapon of mass destructions as was supposed to have been possessed by the Iraqi government. A war under UN aegis would have been welcomed by all the countries of the world.
But the unilateral action by America with the sole backing of Britain has greatly undermined the role and the position of UNO. Although, they managed to conquer Iraq, yet they did not manage to capture the hearts of Iraqi people. They managed to remove Saddam Hussain but the conquerors failed to replace him with a national govt. In this respect the American invasion can be assessed to be a total failure.