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The controversial war in Iraq started with the US-led invasion in March 2003. The main reason offered for the proposed war was that Iraq has nuclear capabilities and that the war would act as a means of disabling such capabilities – thus the war would protect the interests of the US and further afield by disarming them. Countries that were opposed to the war, such as members of the UN security council who did not back plans, suggested that such fears were not correct. Another reason given for the invasion of Iraq was that there was claims linking Iraq to al-Qaeda – so far there has been no evidence linking them together in anyway.
The invasion of Iraq was lead by a largely American force, with soldiers from Australia, Great Britain, Poland and Denmark also playing their role. In an attempt to restore peace in Iraq, the Co-coalition countries attempted to establish a democratic government. Such plans have not went as smoothly as was hoped, and on-going violence has continued despite there being troops and a democratically elected government in place.
Since the invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein fled the country in an attempt to avoid the consequences that would come as a result of being caught by the coalition troops. Despite his best attempts, Saddam was captured in December 2003 and was hanged in the same month the crimes he had committed whilst in office. His trial and subsequent hanging were all completed under the Iraq interim government.
The Iraq war has been controversial for a number of reasons:
1. The war was not legal and was completed without the backing of the United Nations. Some political commentators suggest this as a reason for wider international backlash out with the coalition countries that participated.
2. Not enough troops. The number of troops that were sent to Iraq, and that are now in Iraq, is less than half of what would be needed to allow for a swift operation which would lead to less casualties, according to a Rand report. Some objectors comment that this shows a lack of respect for human life and was done as a means of lessening the financial burden of the war.
3. Insufficient post-invasion strategy. The coalition governments did not adequately prepare an exit strategy and a means of bringing peace to Iraq according to many politicians and defence analysts.
4. Financial Burden. According to Reuters news agency, the cost of the Iraq war is close to $2 trillion.
5. Iraq’s oil supply has often been quoted as a reason for the start of the war. Such claims, if true, would be much different from the original reasons cited as the reason for the war happening in the first place.
6. Weapons of Mass Destruction have been been found in Iraq, which has made analysts increasingly sceptical as to whether they were there in the first place. If indeed they were not, then this would mean that the war was started on a false premise.