Bush’s war refers to the war that the United States of America decided to engage in as a way of combating terror. This was initiated by the administration of President Bush after the World Trade Center in New York City was attacked by terrorists. Several officials in the Bush administration were involved in making the decisions that were made that led to the actions such as military operations in Afghanistan and later in Iraq. In this essay, I will examine the various actions taken by the Bush administration to give a verdict of either success or failure on the part of the war in Iraq.
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To begin with, the war in Iraq was based on unsubstantiated promises. The Central Intelligence Agency as well as the state department had information that showed that Al Qaeda, an organization headed by Osama bin Laden was responsible for the attacks. They, therefore, saw no reason for the inclusion of Iraq in the planned retaliatory attacks. They wanted to focus the available military resources on Afghanistan to capture Osama who was believed to be hiding in the country. But the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Vice President, Dick Cheney saw the attacks as a golden opportunity to go after Saddam Hussein. It is, therefore, true to say that the Iraq war was illegitimate. The war that was to be waged in response to the attacks is the war on Osama and his men.
Even though the war was based on what can be described as lies, the force that was assembled for the invasion was sufficient. The initial stages of the invasion were successful and the Iraq forces proved to be weaker than expected. Saddam Hussein escaped and his chest-thumping proved to be based on mere words. It was no surprise that the weapons of mass destruction that were rumored to be in plenty were nowhere to be found. It is, therefore, justifiable to say that the invasion was successful.
Moving from the invasion, the aftermath comes as the next big point in the war. This is where the United States failed and Bush had to pay the price through his popularity. The absence of a plan after an invasion or the presence of an unworkable plan led to a disaster. Iraq got into a serious humanitarian crisis and sectarian violence spiked. Sunnis were out to kill the Shiite as the Shiites tried to hit them back. The country became a fertile ground for al Qaeda operations. Indeed al Qaeda came in and attacks on American soldiers increased. At this point, the world was watching as it waited for the Americans to clear the mess they had created in Iraq. The American people saw failure in the eyes of their president and the reality of a war that was based on false intelligence was in the open for all to see. To this extent, the Bush war became a failure. There was more chaos that resulted from the poor management of the Iraq oil whereby there was a scandal involving the transfer of food to Iraq in exchange for oil. This further demonstrated how poor the war was run in that those who had planned it never included clear management ideas for the country’s resources, which were supposed to be safeguarded for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
There was a however a point after the blame reached record levels that things changed. This is when the number of troops was increased. This troop increase is popularly referred to as the surge. It turned fortunes in the war and sectarian violence reduced drastically. This is the time that the direction of the war changed leading to a reduction in the number of soldiers killed daily as well as the number of Iraq citizens dying from attacks. There has never been a dramatic upshot in violence since this time. It took place when President Bush was still in office and as President Obama took over, the conditions were still calm. Obama now plans to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq, a promise he made to the American people during the 2008 presidential campaigns.
Looking at the war in the aftermath of the Bush presidency, there are areas where success can be pointed out depending on what was being sought through the attack. In the eyes of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, the war was and still is a success because their target was Saddam Hussein. Having captured and killed Saddam, they can claim to have achieved. But the fact that thousands of civilian and military lives were and more are still being lost, it is not justifiable to call the war a success from that standpoint. The other element of success is the semblance of democracy that has begun taking shape. The promulgation of a constitution was a giant step in the right direction. The big question is: Will this last long after the American soldiers have left? It is possible that immediately after the combat troops are withdrawn from Iraq, the country will relapse into sectarian violence and descend to chaos. But it is also possible that the order will resume and the country will stabilize. It is a matter of waiting to see what happens.
In conclusion, the utilization of false intelligence and the unfounded pressure from officials in the Bush administration to wage war against Iraq is a permanent stain on the fabric of the war. The continued suffering of civilians and soldiers is another sign of failure. But the constitution and the largest democratic elections indicate a move in the direction of democracy which can be a huge success if it comes to pass. Therefore the Iraq war is a war with mixed results.
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