This research aims to evaluate and present the theoretical aspects of the position of the United States in the two Iraq wars: operation desert storm (ODS) and operation Iraqi freedom (OIF). The research will also compare the US and German economies during ODS and OIF…
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s see communities, as well as the identities and norms they help to create and sustain, as the most critical determinants of order, whether at home or abroad (Lebow 56), this explanation could be considered rather plausible. On the other hand, according to Thucydides and classical realists more generally, military power and alliances are necessary safeguards in the volatile world of international relations, but also double-edged swords; thus being considered as likely to provoke as to prevent conflict (Lebow 56). The history of the North Atlantic Alliance appeared the genuine article of such an ambiguity. NATO’s existence during the Cold War was a major factor that prevented military conflict in Europe, standing out against the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet geopolitical aspirations; while after the fall of the Berlin wall and the demise of the Soviet Union, the alliance got involved in military conflicts in Europe and beyond the alliance’s geographical range – starting with the 1990 invasion in Iraq, as part of the UN-authorized multinational coalition force – thus significantly expanding its influence and geography (Gordon and Shapiro 31, 39). Finally, realism would render another explanation of the 1990 invasion in Iraq, namely as a preventive war waged by status quo powers on a ‘rising’ regional challenger such as Saddam Hussein’s regime (see Lebow 57); which, being tempted to believe that has the advantage of possessing arguably the largest military capabilities in the region, and plenty of elbow room due to messy world of international politics by that time, invaded and occupied Kuwait. Having failed to prevent the war, the balance of power – in accordance with Morgenthau’s postulates (see Morgenthau 155-9, 162-6, 170, cited in Lebow 57) – is...
From the research it can be comprehended that considering the importance of community in imposing limits on the ends and means of power, as well as exploring the relationship between domestic and international politics, classical realism presents plausible explanations of Operation Desert Storm, whereas it’s much more convincing in regard to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Having distinguished between interest and power, and delivering a sophisticated understanding of the balance of power, relative power position of the US, and the strengths and weaknesses of both allies and adversaries, classical realism explains not only the reasons for the 2003 invasion, but also the choice of invading Iraq, rather than some other of the so-called ‘rogue’ states, later designated by George Bush Jr to be constituent parts of the ‘axis of evil’. Neorealism, in turn, based on the assumption of power as the first and last resort in the anarchic self-help system of international politics, couldn’t satisfactorily explain many of the ODS features, including the role of the UN in authorizing the military action against Iraq. By stark contrast, in regard to OIF, neorealism provides extremely powerful explanations of most, if not all, aspects of the American position and actions, including the motives behind the invasion, the reason why Iraq was targeted, as well as the far-reaching goals and implications of the US-led campaign.
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