Debate/Topics/Invasion of Iraq

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The US-led coalition invaded Iraq and are occupying it. There are two broad areas of dispute:

The evidence that an attack was necessary
The handling of the invasion and subsequent occupation

Justification for the attack[edit]

International Law[edit]

  • According to international law, an attack on another country is illegal unless approved by the security council. The USA was unable to provide this approval.
  • The USA frequently condemn the military actions of other countries when they act without security council approval. Failing to lead by example will diminish the USA's credibility in the eyes of other countries as a law abiding moral state.

Humanitarian principles[edit]

  • Saddam Hussein was a tyrant who ruled over Iraq with a reign of terror and murder, committing acts that amount to genocide. Therefore, invading Iraq to install a more peaceful regime was an act of kindness and benevolence.
This argument relies on the premise that murder is wrong.
This argument relies on the premise that democracy is morally superior to tyrannical regimes.
This argument relies on the claim that the government of Saddam Hussein was murderous and dictatorial.
This argument relies on the claim that the invasion is not murder itself: See War is murder.

Counterpoint[edit]

  • Many governments in the world are dictatorial and sometimes even genocidal. Saddam Hussein's capacity to harm both his own people and his neighbors was so severely harmed by UN sanctions that he posed little threat to anyone, and was in any case less dangerous than many other dictators around the world. Thus, the invasion was not warranted because other countries represented a bigger threat to world peace and stability.
This argument relies on the premise that there are extant governments that routinely violate human rights.
This argument relies on the premise that UN sanctions on Iraq worked to reduce Saddam Hussein's military capacity and threat to the world.

Iminent threat[edit]

  • The invasion of Iraq was warranted because Iraq posed an imminent threat to the safety and well-being of the United States and other countries.
This argument relies on the premise that Saddam Hussein's government represented a threat to world peace.
This argument relies on the premise that the safety and well-being of the United States and other countries are important.

Aid to al-Qaeda[edit]

  • Saddam Hussein had ties to al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization that threatened the United States and other countries and has masterminded several major terrorist attacks.
This argument relies on the claim that Saddam Hussein's government had ties to al-Qaeda.
This argument relies on the claim that terrorism, and al-Qaeda specifically, remains a major threat to peace in the United States and other countries.

Weapons of Mass Destruction[edit]

This argument relies on the premise that Iraq was in possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
This argument relies on the premise that Iraq had no right to possess Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Middle-Eastern stability[edit]

Oil[edit]

Execution of invasion and occupation[edit]

Civilian casualties[edit]

Insurgency[edit]

Predictions[edit]