Analytical Essay on War and Defence under the Bush Administration
Thirteen years later Americans are still vaguely knowledgeable about the United State’s rationale behind the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Bush administration informed Americans the war was going to begin with claims that are still to date, proven to be inaccurate. The true arcane reasoning of president, George Bush and vice president, Dick Cheney’s desire for the Iraq war is hidden behind their imperialistic attempt to economically benefit America and themselves. Despite the intense focus on the destruction of Saddam Hussein and Islamic extremist groups, fewer researchers have examined how the Bush-Cheney administration took advantage of the opportunity of war to benefit America, this research will concur with how the war on terror was sparked for American sovereignty.
Invasion of an oil-rich country on the Persian Gulf was great for the Bush administration because they saw attacking Iraq as the solution to U.S. problems. To understand their point of view, one should shift their focus from security threats to the U.S., and centralize around threats to American strategic power in the Middle East and it’s hegemony over the oil market.1
The first significant problem the Bush administration encountered was justifying the invasion of Iraq because they never threatened the United States. Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein was working with the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, in attempts to aim the war on terror at Iraq. Although sources quickly discredited the claim, Iraq had possession of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) in the country, which Bush and Cheney viewed as an alibi for invasion.2
Bush’s claim of Iraq having a strong supply of weapons of mass destruction within the nation was fully true, but misleading because the munitions were nearly two decades old along with out of Hussein’s access.3 The ordnance, in this case, chemical weapons, were fabricated by Iraq while in combat with Iran in war during the 1980s. Being funded by many Western nations, including the U.S., Iraq built up a healthy amount of chemical weapons to fight Iran.3
Through the duration of devising the Iraq war, many men involved must have faced the realization that engaging in the war was by no means completely necessary. Starting conflict with Iraq came with pressing risks, after no explicit threats, nor significant dangers presented. Urgent action was moderately aimless and undoubtedly not needed to maintain American safety. National issues of oil reserves and economy boost had solutions sitting much more conveniently than beginning a long and expensive foreign war. The decision to invade Iraq is merely a mystery because prior political interests would not have aligned with dismissing such major risks.
Even though there was no evidence of Islamic extremist groups basing out of Iraq, or furthermore any Iraqi involvement in 9/11, Iraq was the perfect location to show the strength and dominance of American military to the world. In Bush and Cheney’s recently transformed authoritative and dangerous government, they were ready implement their right to attack any foreign nation the U.S. classified as a threat. Iraq could be an exemplary country to prove this to the world. An Islamic state like Iraq could be effortlessly villainized by America, especially so soon after the tragic 9/11 attacks. Saddam Hussein possessed a sizable ego claiming that he had conquered the maximum U.S military power.14 Discontinuing Hussein’s leadership would amplify the military hegemony of the U.S., along with alert near-by terrorist groups to the the legitimacy of Bush and Cheney’s American military strength.15
The Bush-Cheney presidency has been considered to have steady economic ambition in mind when making national decisions. The U.S. economy by the year 2000 had slowed down following the vast expansion and development made in the preceding decade. Corporation merging and acquisitions, along with international investment growth, drove the rapid economy boost.17 The accelerated growth soon transformed into a national dilemma of deflation and overproduction of goods. With inflation of the USD as a priority, oil prices were the most effective booster to make it happen. Oil prices fluctuate primarily based on the situation of conflict in Middle Eastern nations. The Bush administration saw inflation as a path to the redistribution of wealth in America. Administered oil price inflation would move money where it needed to go. The Iraq war could simply solve this issue, if all tasks were followed out as planned. If the attempt failed, it would result in damage of the Middle East’s ability to supply oil across the world. The world economy flourishes off stable prices and mistakes in the Iraq war could easily upset the price stability. When minding popular societal interests, the U.S. should pressure war to be recognized as harmful, rather than as profitable.17 Powerful corporations can rarely afford to take economical risks the size of the U.S. government, so imperialism begins to benefit legal entities without major risk of loss involved.17
Saddam Hussein’s power prevented the U.S. from using the oil, due to sanctions. The U.S. believed that Hussein’s involvement with the oil reserves meant the majority of oil moving out Iraq would stay off the market. Concern lingered that if Hussein were to overcome challenges, he would be able to obtain political leverage through Iraqi oil. We have seen this happen before in attempts to make access to oil contingent on U.S. policy in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.10
The Pax Americana was state of peace among the western hemisphere where the U.S was at a point of political preponderance that established after WWII in 1945. The collapse of the Pax Americana weakened the U.S. hegemony over Middle Eastern oil and its overall political power in the region.11 The invasion of Iraq would establish control over these countries again. Before the Bush presidency, the Clinton administration enacted the policy of dual containment. Dual containment originated from the U.S. interest of being in control of Iran and Iraq.12 Due to inhumane treatment of Iraqi people, the sanctions continued to be omitted, as Iraq was increasingly transacting oil into rival foreign nations. Sales proceeded into France, China, and Russia.13 European engagements with Iranian included shipping oil and concessions out of the Persian Gulf, beating the U.S. goal of isolation. American companies remained out of the oil fields in Iraq and Iran, but rivals of the U.S. began penetrating both.13
As the Clinton presidency concluded and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continued, the Bush administration neglected to assist in balancing policies. Bush openly supported a far-right, Israeli favoring policy. The U.S. control of Iraq worked as a substitute for balancing policies, along with the solution to the militant element of hegemony throughout the Middle East.13
Along with interests in the U.S. economy through oil prices and increasing military authority, placing a military base on conquered land near the Persian Gulf would be very advantageous. If a military base was built on land gained during the Iraq war, it would permit the U.S to raise concern and intimidate any rival forces in the area. The more Iraqi soil that becomes obtained by the U.S, power and control will continue to increase the hegemony that Bush and Cheney are after. As regimes fall from U.S. war domination, the American influence would spread throughout the region. Islamic states would be exposed to Pax Americana and ideals previously only shared in nationalist states. If this theory were to flawlessly perform, imposing American beliefs and making an effort to discontinue violent regimes and Islamic views that disagree with the priorities of the United States.15
The Bush administration utilized a terrorist attack on U.S. soil to spark a prolonged war in the Middle East. Politicians working in defense tasks are known to find loopholes where they can put American taxpayer money into certain companies by awarding a high percent of military contracts to them. These businessmen working in the government are called “Military Hawks”.7 The ‘Ruling Coalition’ or ‘The revolving door’ is the term for when the “Military Hawks” utilize excessive taxpayer money to aid the growth and wealth private companies. Very frequently there is a form of connection to men in political power and the men working in the companies they favor. The connections in private firms are most commonly, former jobs, family members, or large investments. For example, Bush and Cheney wanted as much money to go into Halliburton (KBR) Military contracting as possible.4 Cheney was formerly the CEO of Halliburton until 2000, when he left to run as Bush’s vice president. As the Iraq war started shortly after, benefitting Halliburton began as well. Once Bush left office, Cheney returned into work at previously Halliburton, now known as KBR. The second time through Cheney took positions as chairman and chief executive officer.4
The U.S. government put around 138 Billion USD of taxpayer money for military contracts into Private and public listed firms. A large amount of money went to services including, but not limited to “providing private security, building infrastructure, and feeding the troops.” Nearly 30% of all that money went to Bush and Cheney’s Halliburton, profiting 39.5 Billion USD.5 The desire to dump wealth began to get too obvious when many deals between Halliburton and the U.S. Government were completed, without any bidding from competitive firms. A 568-million USD contract renewal was completed without any competition, which later led to a Justice Department lawsuit about suspected kickbacks between Halliburton and the U.S Government.5
Donald Rumsfeld, the American secretary of defense, and Cheney, represented the oil/arms lobbies through the Bush presidency. The republican duo had interests beyond the aggressive war strategies, they considered the high possibility that required occupation and reconstruction of post-war Iraq would be necessary to fund.20 This only allowed another valuable opportunity for Rumsfeld and Cheney to eye profits in the reliable and desirable company, Halliburton. Unofficial alliances orchestrated by political figures/businessman will continue to thrive whenever taxpayer money is being bid on government needs.
Rumsfeld and Cheney were the faces representing war and defense under the Bush administration. They were well known for being far-right of the mainstream and having nationalist priorities. A vast majority of the men working alongside Rumsfeld and Cheney in foreign policy were like-minded, extremists, and militarists.16 The concern in compromising ideology with Arab regimes diminished during Bush presidency, along accommodating beliefs of the Zionist lobby, Supporting the ‘Likud-National Liberal Movement’ of aiding to develop and protect a Jewish nation, currently Israel.19
Even though Iraq never posed as dangerous or having any intents to harm the U.S., Iraq could vastly enhance America’s global hegemony. With a sturdy supply of resources, particularly oil, Iraq was a gold mine that had potential to be fully utilized by the U.S.
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