We have already advanced the war on terrorism into Iraq, we have the ability to look back at it with additional knowledge. The expression,” hindsight is 20/20,” is also relevant. We have additional knowledge now that we did not have prior to advancing the war on terrorism into Iraq and that knowledge can easily influence our perspective.
During the time prior to moving into Iraq, I think we, as a nation, reacted resolutely to stop terrorists and their ability to train. After the events of Sept. 11 the movement into Afghanistan I do not think met with much resistance by the American public. That same public opinion was different for the advance into Iraq.
I think the previous action, namely the Gulf War, influenced that reaction as well.
In the four major paradigms or schools of thought on international relations, the realist school of thought believes politics is a power struggle among nation-states. Thomas Morgenthau is the “father” of realism. Realists have little faith in international law or international organizations. The globalist school of thought focuses on economic interdependence of the global arena. Political and economic decisions in one industrialized nation have consequences for all other nations as well as non-state actors. We believe President Bush acted on Iraq primarily using the realist school of thought. The realists have “little faith in international law or international organizations.” The situation in Iraq had been degrading for some time as Saddam Hussein was not adhering to the resolutions from the Gulf War. We tried to get the international community and NATO to back us and agree with our position. But this didn’t happen. I believe President Bush lost confidence in NATO and acted independently.
Alternately, we acted with the globalist school of thought in regards to the war on terrorism. The globalist adheres to the idea that political decisions in one industrialized nation have consequences for all other nations. We believed that Iraq knowingly housed and harbored terrorists. We also believe that the government in Iraq knowingly and willingly financed and provided equipment to these terrorists. As such the globalist school of thought applies, as well, as the consequences of one nation’s political actions has consequences for other nations.