Small Wars Journal

Why Did We Invade Iraq?

Why Did We Invade Iraq? By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review.

On the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the back-and-forth recriminations continue, but in all the “not me” defenses, we have forgotten, over the ensuing decade, the climate of 2003 and why we invaded in the first place. The war was predicated on six suppositions...

Read on.



Wed, 04/03/2013 - 12:52pm

One of President Bush's main objectives for giving Saddam a final chance to comply in 2002-2003 was to bolster the UN as a credible enforcer on WMD proliferation. Bush faithfully followed the enforcement procedure on Iraq he inherited from President Clinton, although Bush deviated from Clinton's public case. However, although the UN sanctioned the post-war peace operations in Iraq, UN officials disclaimed the invasion of Iraq. By doing so, UN officials discredited the enforcement procedure that defined OIF, thus weakening the UN as a credible enforcer on WMD proliferation.

'Rogue' nations, such as Iran and north Korea, thus have been encouraged to advance their WMD pursuits.


Wed, 03/27/2013 - 7:20pm

In reply to by EricsLC

"I wonder why pundits insist on underutilizing the available primary sources on OIF."

Because it doesn't fit the narrative as progressives vigorously attempt to rewrite history.

With respect to Professor Hanson, I wonder why pundits insist on underutilizing the available primary sources on OIF.

Operation Iraqi Freedom has a thick policy backtrail in the UNSC, Congressional record, and especially the Office of the President.

"Why did we invade Iraq?" Presidents Clinton and Bush told us. Congress and the UNSC told us. There's still room for speculative analysis, but the work has been done for us.

Here's an example of explaining OIF simply by citing to primary sources available on-line: <a href="… Change from Clinton to Bush</a>.

FYI: President Clinton, in my opinion, is the best source for the US case against Saddam. Clinton's position on military action against Iraq was that the legal authority to militarily enforce the UNSC resolutions was fully vested in the Office of the President by the US statutes and UNSC resolutions for the Gulf War, and the President did not require an additional authorization from either Congress or the UNSC to order a military action against Iraq.


Tue, 03/26/2013 - 5:22pm

THAT was worth reading. Context is often forgotten in the rush to bash Bush.

Thanks SWJ editors.