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10/25 The War on Terror and the Iraq War

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Jason Smith

on 27 October 2016

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Transcript of 10/25 The War on Terror and the Iraq War

10/25 The War on Terror and the Iraq War
Roots of Terrorism
Responses to Terrorism
Iraq and the United States before 9/11
The Decision to Invade Iraq
financier, soldier against Soviets; founds al-Qaeda (1988)
angered by U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia
embrace of violence (1992) leads to rejection by Saudis, Sudanese, exile in Afghanistan
1996 – Declaration of War on America draws radicals
1998-2000 – Embassy bombings, U.S. Cole – suicide bombings for max. casualties
Osama bin Laden (1957-2011)
– founder of Al-Qaeda
Us-against-the-world mentality
Embrace of violence
Allow suicide/death of innocents Destruction/purification rather than political program Egotism/insanity
Recipe for radical terrorism
Worst terrorist attack ever (2,977 casualties)
CIA knew 2 Al-Qaeda in country, does nothing
General warnings to leaders go unheeded
Accomplished goal: massive destruction, draws U.S. to Afghanistan
Congress authorizes “all necessary and appropriate force” in response (Sept. 18, 2001)
9/11 (2001)
President Bush publicly declares War on Terror (Sept. 20, 2001)
Open list of opponents and no set end date
Emphasis on presidential Power as commander-in-chief
Information not territory the prize commodity
Prevention not prosecution goal of law enforcement
Characteristics of the ‘War on Terror’
"Unlawful combatants” designation – to avoid requirements of Geneva Conventions (1949)
Guantanamo Bay – aims to skirt protection of U.S. law
“Torture” (illegal) redefined to allow coercive techniques (e.g. waterboarding)
Extraordinary Rendition – transfer without judicial procedure, facilitates torture
Some subsequent restrictions/modifications granting more legal procedure
Detention of Suspected Terrorists
Fourth Amendment requires “probable cause”, subpoena for searches
Special court (FISA) established (1978) – to review/control wiretapping requests
National Security Letters – government info gathering from 3rd party (expanded by
Patriot Act of 2001)
Warrantless Wiretapping – meta-searching of communications without warrant or
approval of FISA court (widely viewed as illegal)
Some later restrictions on practices
Surveillance of U.S. Citizens
Suspected terrorists in foreign countries are killed without judicial process
Has become dominant U.S. approach to anti-terrorism
Facilitated by use of predator/reaper drones
Critics: constitutes illegal assassination, violation of international law
Supporters: legitimate use of presidential power in time of war
Targeted Killing
Al-Qaeda critically weakened
Other Islamist groups inspired
Many innocents caught in net (e.g. Maher Arer)
Tremendous growth in security industry
Involvement in foreign conflicts
Effects of the War on Terror
Pre 1991
1979 – Saddam Hussein takes control of Iraqi government
U.S. aids Saddam Hussein in Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988)􏰀stalemate 1.3. Saddam
Hussein invades Kuwait (1990-1991)
Major financial crisis after I-I War – debts, falling oil prices
SH seizes Kuwait for cash, oil
Hopes to avoid military confrontation
U.N. approval, international support
Succeeded quickly in a few days (February 1991)
Ended with a ceasefire, left SH in power
Later uprising by Kurds (north), Shiites (south) lack outside support
U.S. leads international coalition in First Gulf War (1991)
Iraq required to discontinue/destroy all nuclear and biological weapons
Harsh economic sanctions
No-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq – to protect Kurds and Shiites
Policy of Containment (1991-2001)
Limited support before 9/11
Support grows based on WMD suspicion (August-October 2002)
Oct. 2002 – Congress authorizes military force
Support in U.S.
Argument based on connection to WMD
Argument for simple regime change would have violated U.N. charter
U.S. and Britain fail to get approval, decide to invade Iraq anyway
Effort to Secure U.N. Approval for intervention fails (Nov.-Feb. 2003)
Nothing found in initial invasion
Iraq Study Group (2005) – nuclear program ended in 1991, chemical in ‘95
WMD accusation proven false

SH sought uranium in Africa – evidence was a forgery
Aluminum tubes for uranium enrichment – alternate uses for tubes
Testimony about chemical weapons – made up by “Curveball”
WMD case based on flawed intelligence
The Iraq War (2003-2007)
Initial Military Phase (March-April 2003) – quick, limited resistance
Difficult Aftermath (2003-2007)
Troubled U.S. administration
No fixed plan
Lack of experience/skill
Problematic decisions
Restrict Ba’athists from government – lost experience
Disband Iraqi army – massive unemployment (500,000)
Declining Security
Anti-U.S. insurgency (especially western Iraq)
Sunni-Shiite violence
Transition in independent government (May 2006) under cloud
The Iraq War (2007-present)
20,000 additional troops to Iraq (“the Surge”)
Switch to Counter-Insurgency tactics
Focus on protecting population
Former insurgents hired to defend their own neighborhoods
New strategy reduces violence
Gradual withdrawal (2007-2011)
A Change in Course (2007-2011)
Stabilized Iraq under new government
Casualties: c. 5,000 coalition deaths, 100,000+ civilians.
Direct cost to U.S.: $845,000 billion
2014 Intervention against ISIS

The Iraq War: Results
Full transcript