World Politics with Chapman and Wolford, Part 4

In 2003 the United States initiated a long-term commitment of ground troops in the Middle East. Was this necessary? Was it a good decision? Were there alternatives? What were they? Might the world look different today given different decisions back then?

Concluding our discussion with Terry Chapman and Scott Wolford we analyze the 2003 war against Iraq. We begin by talking about what might have happened without a U.S. intervention. On that count, history suggests a strong possibility of a nuclear arms race between Iraq and Iran, and no matter how bad things have gone in the Middle East, it would be hard to find someone who thinks such an arms race would be beneficial for international security.

Despite knowledge of the failed intelligence leading up to the war, we can only speculate if ultimately deterrence would have kept Iraq from acquiring nuclear weapons. And, if we were to say that deterrence ultimately would have failed, we cannot easily say that going to war in Iraq was the wrong decision, despite any consequences that have followed. But opponents of the war maintain that the United States could have continued deterring Iraq without resorting to military force.