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The War in Iraq, Was It Just?

America, under the impression that Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), invaded the latter in the first quarter of 2003 when it neglected to present its possession. The all out war was waged by the superpower despite the incongruity with fellow United Nations (UN) members including Germany and France. Iraq, as supposed, did put up a fight but was no match for the assault of the US military forces and that of the British, dubbing their group as the “Coalition Forces”. !

Nevertheless, recent events have come to demonstrate that the US might have bitten off more than it could chew as victims to as the statement on the towering variety of Coalition soldiers as good as expenses for war skyrocketed. A political vacuum was continuing for the empty position of head of state of the new government. Most importantly, the legality of their “justified” war lies in question.

Based on Conway Henderson, writer of “International Relations: Conflict and Cooperation at the Turn of the 21st Century”, a just war is one in which force is used in light of moral reasons and means. It’s fought with a group of states supplying support for the good of all, no matter their immediate national interests are at stake and terminating aggression. Henderson enumerated the directing principles pertaining to a just war and is used below to evaluate the nature of the US-led invasion to Iraq:

The cause must be just. Also called “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, the war in Iraq in 2003 was waged by the US to pressure the considered cradle of civilization to surrender its WMDs. Apart from that objective, the US additionally targeted to “democratize” Iraq, thus liberating it from the 25-year rule of an Iraqi despot which is Saddam Hussein.

It can be remembered that during the Persian Gulf War of 1991, the United Nations observed the Iraqi approval of a ceasefire deal, the latter consenting to the destruction of its biological and chemical weapons and accepting to pay war damages to Kuwait. UN inspectors were afterwards assigned to supervise the destruction of the aforementioned WMDs. The international organization carried on its sanctions against Iraq to ensure that it complied with the truce. Nevertheless, it refused to act in accordance with the conditions of the treaty. In 1999, the UN supposed that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological substances to create deadly weapons. Iraq was called to report the WMDs were ruined. On the other hand, the defendant revealed no signs the substances are destroyed.

Iraq has been under the government of Saddam Hussein. Reports reveal which he is a savage tyrant on the world arena for a long time. He’s used others like the Kurds together with chemical weapons on his own people. Hussein invaded Kuwait over a decade past and he set fire on oil fields, not ruining natural resources but also carrying one of the worst environmental disasters in several years, when driven out by the US forces. This goes to demonstrate that Hussein does not have any consideration for independence and human life.

A lawful authority must determine to use force. America is a valid power that’s in charge of protecting its citizens and interests. US President George W. Bush has the constitutional power and responsibility to protect his state even if it means the use of military force. !

The United Nations, on the other hand, is a lawful international body, responsible for the maintenance of international peace and protection. However, relevance and its power was challenged when it was circumvented by the US purportedly by invading Iraq. The US unilateral military action was seemingly sidestepping the principles of the UN Charter, leaving the UN Security Council broken up into a war team – United States, Uk, and Spain – and an opposition team – Germany, France, Russia, and China, with eight other members backing neither camps. It was reported that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan remarked the choice of the US to wage war is distressing for himself who believes in collective action. !

Using force must be a final resort. It can be evoked that in the ceasefire arrangement of the Persian Gulf War of 1991, Iraq was given enough time to ruin its WMDs, aware of the possible danger of the latter to mankind. Its failure functioned as a motive and was brought up in giving Saddam Hussein ultimatum. However, the defendant did not act properly, and jointly with the debacle on discussions, war became the resort that was continuing to solve the case.

The war must offers proportionality. The United States was successful in toppling the Iraqi dictator. Saddam Hussein was caught in the last quarter of 2003. However, the Coalition Forces’ casualties continue to escalate as the ward continues. Coalition troops now face a guerrilla war conducted by the members of the Iraqi Republican Guard and the Saddam Feyadeen who escaped the “Invasion Phase” to fight another day in another manner. Additionally, the fund needed in rebuilding Iraq went sky high, therefore, the US had to seek financial assistance from other developed nations. Most importantly, no WMDs have been reported to have surrendered.

The war must carry out a chance of achievement. “Operation Iraqi Freedom” may be considered unsuccessful. The established leader of Iraq may have lost power. The “democratization” procedure might also be coming to light, with the setup of a democratic authorities jointly with the reconstruction of war torn Iraqi society going on. On the other hand, the war in Iraq is unsuccessful because the US was not able to demonstrate to the international public that Iraq possessed WMDs. Additionally, the Coalition Forces’ casualties continue to increase, with over 500 soldiers dead.

Strategies of war must minimize damage to noncombatants. The utilization of modern weapons by the Coalition Forces for example warplanes, tanks, cannons, and bombs targeted Iraqi installations like ammo warehouses, and airports, communication facilities, bridges. Although casualties were discovered to be inevitable however, civilian places were saved.

The Iraq War of 2003, unfortunately, cannot be considered a “just war”. Despite fulfilling with some of the provisions the Iraq War wasn’t carried out with the UN Charter’s principle of collective security, since the UN Security Council was in a debacle over the problem of America directing the invasion. (Sheena Ricarte, Peace Education course, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, 2004).