Proponents of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars argue that the military objectives underlying the US involvement in the wars were achieved despite some scholarly criticisms that claim otherwise (Sharp 3). President Georg W. Bush emphatically empowered his war chiefs along with the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair with the objectives to embark on war with Iraq to root out terrorism, remove Saddam Hussein from power, deliver humanitarian aid, and destroy the weapons of mass destruction as the underlying objectives in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the underlying objectives. Sharp argues that the objectives of the American war in Afghanistan were contextualized in the fight against terrorism and the promotion of democracy after the 9/11 events (8).
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In the case of Iraq, critics fault the United States for its reliance on faulty evidence to conduct the war despite acting under the umbrella of the UN Security Council Resolutions 678 and 687 that had been adopted in 2002 by the 15 member countries.
Cooley and Ron’s discourse of the results of the war demonstrate lack of evidence of weapons of mass destruction, negating the reliability of the evidence that led to the drums of war (19). However, a significant number of objectives that underpinned the Iraq war were achieved, but the overall objective of making the world a safer place to live in after the toppling of the Baath party and the subsequent rise of the Islamic State terrorists attest to the contrary.
The United States and other countries including the UK learnt hard lessons of going to war on false evidence in Iraq (Scahill and Greenwald 11). It is evident that the ISiS stemmed from the desire to create a democratic regime in Iraq, which turned out to be false. Fleeing Iraq armies were the potential sources of weapons for the pseudo terrorist army of the Islamic State. That has also led to the radicalization of the people in Iraq and other Middle East nations. The CIA was discredited, the war divided the Americans, the war was misplaced, and the entire country was pervaded with the negative effects of the war.
Phillips focused their discussion on Afghanistan as a battle ground for the US vs. Al-Qaida for a long time (11). The military operations in the country have been conducted by NATO and other coalition partners under the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the stabilization strategies. The coalition partners and NATO with their overwhelming military force have managed to destroy al Qaeda.
The Americans’ learning points include the fact that war alone cannot be used as an instrument to win war, but additional factors need to be accounted for when waging war. It is evident that insurgents need to be integrated into the peace process, a matter that surfaced during the January 2010 London Conference. In most cases, surrendering insurgents need to be provided with jobs and other sources of income despite the poor indicators of democracy due to the deterioration of security and weak institutions.
Besides, the Americans need to learn the language and culture of the people in Afghanistan to solve intelligence problems to ensure the rule of law, security, and injustice. In conclusion, the war in Afghanistan has been rewarding in the context of destroying the powers of the terrorist groups despite insurgencies occurring quite often.
Cooley, Alexander, and James Ron. “The NGO scramble: Organizational insecurity and the political economy of transnational action.” International Security 27.1 (2002): 5-39. Print.
Phillips, David L. Losing Iraq: Inside the postwar reconstruction fiasco. Basic Books, 2014. Print.
Scahill, Jeremy, and Glenn Greenwald. “The NSA’s secret role in the US assassination program.” The Intercept 10 (2014). Print.
Sharp, Jeremy M. Jordan: Background and US Relations. DIANE Publishing, 2014. Print.