One reason why I believe the Iraq invasion was not justified is because it resulted in an escalation of violence in Iraq. Prior to the 2003 invasion in Iraq, the country had a functioning government in place and not many incidents of violence were witnessed. The war in Iraq resulted to the ousting of Saddam Husain, the then president, and caused a major destabilization in the country.
While it is true that Iraq was plagued by human rights abuses under the reign of Saddam, the country was stable and somewhat affluent before the invasion. It was after these that the country has become turbulent with numerous incidents of gun battles and suicide bomb attacks. These insurrections that are rampant in Iraq are as a direct result of US occupation of Iraq. At the present, the security situation in Iraq is indeed stark and the country remains very insecure.
Kahl, Katulis and Lynch reveal that sectarian violence has erupted in many parts of the country and incidents of sectarian cleansing have followed leading to many deaths (86). Despite addition US forces being deployed to the country and negotiations being held, the violence in Iraq is still prevalent. Kahl, Katulis and Lynch note that there is little hope of national reconciliation or the formation of a stable environment in Iraq in the foreseeable future (83).
The second reason for my belief that the war was unjustified is because war badly affects the economy and natural resources of the countries engaged in war. Both the US and Iraq have suffered economically as a result of the War. Before the war, the infrastructure in Iraq was in good conditions and the citizens enjoyed peace and stability with the availability of basic amenities.
The war was accompanied by aggressive military campaigns on strategic targets in Iraq. These targets included military facilities, government buildings and major industries. After the overthrow of Saddam, loses continue to occur as suicide bombings destroying buildings and roads (Hicks 911). Recovering from these devastating effects of war is going to be a very expensive endeavor.
For the US, the war on Iraq led to large amounts of money being taken from the federal reserves to finance the war. As of 2007, the war efforts had cost the US an estimated $1 trillion with most of the money going to military activities and reconstruction efforts (Kahl, Katulis and Lynch 92). These colossal sums of money could have been better used on more development oriented activities in the country rather than war efforts that lasted for years.
The final reason why I believe that the invasion of Iraq was unjustified is because the war has led to an increased suffering for the civilian population in Iraq. At the very onset of the war, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis fled to the neighboring countries to seek refuge from the war. Kahl, Katulis and Lynch document that since the beginning of the war, an excess of four million Iraqis have fled the country or become internally displaced (86).
These group of civilians continue to live as refugees almost a decade after the war was begun. Research by Hicks et al. revealed that the Iraqi civilian population was the primary target for suicide bombers (913). Muggah notes that the impacts of warfare extend well beyond the number of combatants and civilians killed on the battlefield; a vast proportion of deaths occur indirectly owing to easily preventable diseases such as measles and dysentery (2).
The war in Iraq has led to a collapse of basic health infrastructure, clean water and food which has led to death and suffering for the population. Considering the fact that one of the reasons for invading Iraq was to oust a tyrant who brought suffering to his people, the reality that the people of Iraq are suffering than they did during his reign as a result of the war shows that the war was unjustifiable.
Warfare has been in existence all through the history of human civilization. The reasons for engaging in war have included: ideological differences, competition for natural resources, and protecting a countries territory to name but a few. While wars have inevitably led to death and suffering, most of them have resulted in some positive measures which has made them justifiable.
The US invasion of Iraq is one of the wars whose costs far outweigh the benefits and it can therefore be seen as unjustifiable. This paper has demonstrated that the invasion of Iraq was an ill-advised undertaking which has mostly achieved negative results for both the US and Iraq.
As long as this invasion continues, human lives will continue to be lost and the economic cost will escalate even higher. It would therefore be in the best interest of both parties if the US withdrew its forces from Iraq and stopped the invasion. Such a move would result to reduced violence in Iraq since the violence is mostly in protest to the invasion. The huge financial burden that American taxpayers have been forced to bear as a result of the war would also be lifted if the war was ended.
Kahl, Colin, Katulis Brian, and Lynch Marc. “Thinking strategically about Iraq: report from a symposium.” Middle East Policy 15.1 (2008): 82-110.
Muggah, Robert. “Measuring the True Costs of War: Consensus and Controversy.” PLoS Med 8.2 (2011): 1-3.
Hicks, Madelyn et al. “Casualties in civilians and coalition soldiers from suicide bombings in Iraq, 2003–10: a descriptive study.” Lancet 378 (2011): 906–914.