Since the United States originally went into Iraq based on the fact that they were connected to Al Qaeda and the fact that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, and these facts were not only later proved false but known from the beginning as being false, the United State’s full involvement in Iraq should be scaled back. This is because the people of the United States were lied to on many issues resulting in people agreeing to a war they would have had different feelings about from the beginning if they were given more truthful information. Information was presented to the senate that stated that Saddam Hussein’s government was developing means to develop biological weapons along with developing weapons of mass destruction (Nelson). Also information was presented to the Senate that stated Unmanned Ariel Vehicles or UAVs were being developed by the Iraqi government with a means of moving the weapons from across the globe into effective firing distance of the United States (Nelson). Even when these facts were initially presented to the public, the government knew they were false. These UAVs were shown to never have been designed with any offensive capabilities, a fact that was known when this information was originally presented to the public as a reason to invade the country of Iraq (Nelson). Another report that was presented as a reason to invade Iraq but was known to be false was the report about the aluminum. This report was written by the CIA and stated that Iraq was purchasing aluminum tubes with the intent to use these tubes to enrich uranium to weapons grade. The CIA and President Bush only presented the information in such a way as to encourage the people of the United States to support the war in Iraq (Albright). Proof shows that these aluminum tubes were never used to enrich uranium to weapons grade (Albright). Because of these reasons, and many other examples like it, the number of troops that are present in Iraq should be cut back. The group also settled on the fact that even though the original reasons for entering the country and starting the war were false, the United States still wants to help the people of the area. This fact is shown in our work towards overthrowing a dictator and building a more stable government which will work to benefit the people. Life under Saddam was very difficult for everyone who opposed his rule. At his trial, he was charged with genocide, war crimes, invasion of Kuwait, crimes against humanity, and countless other less important crimes (which were dropped after Suddam Hussein was sentenced to death for the major crimes) (Sachs). His government was dismantled after the United States became involved in the area and a government that was more helpful toward the people it ruled over was put in place. Because of the new democratic government, even though there is s till some oppression of the minority, everyone is given a new chance at equality. For instance, women have more rights in the area than they have had in many recent years. They were allowed to vote and have had some of the restrictions placed on them removed because of the new government. On top of the increase in women’s rights, the minority and majority of the Islamic sects have been better able to work out their differences in a peaceful manner resulting in a better state of life for everyone. For these reasons, even though the United States began the conflict for false reasons, remaining until the conflict has been resolved will result in a better state of life for everyone in the area.
Another major point of debate for our group was whether or not all the troops should be withdrawn from the area. This group settled on the fact that leaving small bases in the area would result in more stability for the area. Since the government is new, a rapid withdrawal of troops could result in a collapse of this new system. By allowing a few small bases to stay in the area, the new system would be reinforced by the presence of United States troops. According the Coalition Provisional Authority, the level of violent crime in the Baghdad area has decreased significantly after Saddam’s government was removed from power (Walker). This stability can be maintained by keeping only a few small bases of United States troops in the area, allowing a large majority of them to return home. Also, because of the presence of the United States the number of weapons that were present on the streets of Iraq have decreased (Walker). The results of American presence can be maintained by having only a small number of American troops in the area. Also because of the false reasons for beginning the conflict, the full presence of the United States armed forces isn’t justified. The only reason for keeping small bases is to prevent the damage that was already caused by our entering the country from growing worse. By keeping small bases, the United States troops would be able to continue working for the improvement of the country. We would be able to help maintain the political stability of the country along with working toward training the native police and military forces. By training these forces, the United States can work to gradually withdraw all of the troops, over a period of time. This will result in the number of American troops in the country to decrease from the full army, to a number of small bases, resulting in finally having no American troops in the country and allowing the native police forces to protect the people in the area. We would also be able to reinforce the new government and prevent another dictator from taking power in the area.
In the past, a rapid withdrawal of troops from an area has resulted in many terrorist groups with ill-will towards the United States to enter the area as well as allow the rise of dictatorship type governments to come to power. Many countries in the area willingly harbor such groups. An example is Iraq before the United States and the coalition forces entered the area. The people of Iraq harbored the Al Qaeda. This was because of the fact that leaders such as Saddam Hussein ruled the country who agreed with the intentions that such groups followed. Because of the current instability of the area, a rapid withdraw of coalition forces would only result in these groups and others like them returning to the area. A very simple way of preventing this even to happen would be by allowing a small amount of troops to remain in the area until the native police and military forces are able to handle their own security. Also, as the new government gains stability and the approval of the people, the chance of another dictator such as Saddam rising to power decreases. Under Saddam’s rule, many people were killed or imprisoned. It is estimated that 3.5 million Kurdish people were killed during one of Saddam’s genocides (Sachs). A further example of the corruption of Saddam Hussein’s rule would be that during another attack on March 16, 1988, chemical weapons were used to kill about 5,000 people, with the majority being woman and children (“Iraq’s Brutal Decrees”). Another example is the group who were called “Saddam’s Dirty Dozen” (“Iraq’s Brutal Decrees”). This is what a group of twelve people, including Saddam, were called. This group was responsible for many human rights violations. The “Dirty Dozen” were also responsible for instating harsh punishments for crimes such as theft and military desertion. Some of these punishments were amputation and the death penalty (“Iraq’s Brutal Decrees”). Before the United States came into the country, this group was responsible for the rape, torture, and murder of many innocent people. This is the type of group that is widely present in the area. Once the coalition forces came into the area, this group was overthrown from power, and as previously stated, the level of human rights violations has gradually decreased. By leaving small bases in the area, the troops naturally prevent these types of groups from returning to the area. Also these bases would be temporary because the native military and police forces are being trained to take over. This results in a greatly increased quality of life for the people in the area but doesn’t require the entire coalition to remain in the area. By simple leaving a small amount of temporary bases in the area and working to train the local forces, the same result can be achieved.
Finally, the group concluded that the oil based reasons for remaining in Iraq is a major reason for remaining in Iraq (with a smaller contingent of troops) as previously stated on my side of the argument. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) controls the majority of the oil produced in the area (Congressional Quarterly). This group is controlled by the leaders of many of the countries in the area. This type of leadership results in the group working to help or hurt the United States by regulating how much oil is produced in the area and how it is distributed around the world (Congressional Quarterly). In the past this group has limited the supply of oil to governments such as Saddam’s while he was invading Kuwait because they felt his actions were an illegitimate use of power (Congressional Quarterly). This group has not been entirely helpful to the United States, though. An example of this is the Oil Embargo of 1973 where OPEC limited the supply of oil to the United States as well as other countries in Western Europe. This embargo was a response to OPEC’s disagreement with the Six-Day War. By leaving only a small presence of troops in this area, OPEC would feel less pressure to repeat such an embargo compared to the presence of a full military force. Another reason the Oil issue should not remain a major reason to stay in Iraq is because of the fact that Iraq doesn’t represent a major source of Oil. The country of Iraq only exports about 1.6 million barrels of Oil a day, after the United States and Coalition forces invaded the country (Baker). This is a smaller number than exported before the invasion (Baker). Also, even though Iraq has about 11 billion barrels of Oil making the country have the second largest supply of oil in the world; it only pumps a relatively small amount of this oil per day, limiting any affect the country could have on the worldwide market (Barker). Because of the limited possible effect on the market, the full presence of the United States and Coalition military forces in the country cannot be justified.
In conclusion, it was decided that the United States should cut back on the number of troops present in the area, but maintain small bases in order to maintain stability of the area. Also it was decided upon that even though the United States entered the country based on false reasons, the United States did truly wish to help the people of the area by providing them with a more stable government. A small presence of troops in the area would allow the people to enjoy the new found peace in the more democratic government as well as the reduced crime rate, resulting in a better standard of living.
Albright, David. "The CIA's Aluminum Tubes' Assessment: Is the Nuclear Case Going Down the Tubes?" The Institute for Science and International Security. March 10, 2003 2003.
Baker, Peter. "Bush Cites Oil as Reason to Stay in Iraq." November 05, 2006.The Washington Post (2006): November 11, 2007. Truth out
Congressional Quarterly, inc. The Middle East. 11th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.
"Iraq's Brutal Decrees: Amputation, Branding and the Death Penalty." Iraq archive: Human Rights Watch 7.3 (1995): December 5, 2007.
Montgomery, Nancy. "Finding Reasons to Stay in Iraq." Military.com. April 04, 2006 2006.
Nelson. "Congressional Record: New Information on Iraq's Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction." Senate, January 28, 2004.
Sachs, Susan. "Iraqi Governing Council Sets Up its Own Court for War Crimes." The New York Times (December 10, 2003).
Walker, Seb. "Crime spree." Baghdad Bulletin. 4/8/2003 2003.