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Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment

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Essay title: Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment

Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment

This I’ll admit was a very interesting book that looked at what could have really caused the Iraq war and whether we really had to go to war. The book talks about the flaws with the reasons that Bush proposed for going to war with Iraq and why we haven’t had a fuller victory yet. The book basically goes into details about the four observations that arise from examining certain aspects of the war and afterwards. In the next few pages I’ll be summarizing the book then stating my analysis and opinions about ideas presented in the book.

Veteran defense analyst and AEI resident fellow Thomas Donnelly wants to know the answers to the questions behind Operation: Iraqi Freedom. He states that “More than a year after President George W. Bush declared ‘mission accomplished’ in the invasion of Iraq, a fuller victory is yet to be won. This is in part, because a fuller understanding of the war itself remains elusive.” This elusiveness is the biggest mystery of the war and because of it four key observations have emerged. Also these observations emerge after an examination of the conventional invasion of Iraq, the resulting counterinsurgency campaign and their broader significance for the global war on terrorism.

It’s pretty much impossible to know America’s decision about Saddam Hussein, if you don’t understand American policy in the Middle East-- from supporting him in power after the Islamist revolution in Iran, leaving him in power after the Gulf War, to removing him from power after the September 11 attacks, and, most crucially, replacing him in power with an experiment in Arab democracy. Militant Islam has been at war with the U.S. for twenty five years, it wasn’t until after Al Qaeda hit America’s heart, that the U.S. decided to wake up and take action. Therefore one of the main reasons for the war on Iraq was to strike terrorism and all involved at the roots. Bush’s initial strategy of invading and a change of regime essentially became a complete removal of regime. According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld getting rid of Saddam Hussein and his henchmen was comparatively easy taking into account that now they have to install a democratic and pluralistic form of Government after the people of the region know little else besides a well-entrenched dictatorship. He stated that the process is going to be a “long, hard slog.” In essence the Pentagon’s desire to fight a rapid war undercut its ability to fight a decisive war.

The “just in time” nature of the plan (counterinsurgency campaign) magnified minor problems, such as heavy resistance from Saddam’s fedayeen in the south of Iraq or the delays caused by an unexpectedly persistent sandstorm. Some other difficulties were Turkey’s refusal to permit a northern front to the war. Also the fact that a counterinsurgency campaign requires more troops and the Pentagon just didn’t have enough soldiers on the field.

The book went into more detail about the other two observations, but I’ll stop with the facts of the book and move on to the part of this essay where I give and analysis of what I thought about the book.

Overall I thought that the book gave some very convincing theories about the war and it made me understand a lot more about what happened during the war. We only had one view at the war when it was going on and that was from the standpoint of the news stations. I believe it’s always good to have different views on a topic, because then you can really begin to analyze the topic.

As much as I enjoyed the book I believe that it was a little biased, of course every author or news station will show some bias, because they’re people. I felt it was biased though because the author mentioned nothing of the theory that maybe it’s a war against Islam, or that Bush was avenging his father, or even the most common and controversial theory, that Bush waged this war because he wanted control over the oil fields in Iraq. The most that

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