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Friday, June 25, 2010

New International Economic Order or New World Order

Friday, June 25, 2010 - 0 Comments

New World Order has been used to refer to a new period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power. The first usages of the term surrounded Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and call for a League of Nations following the devastation of World War I. The phrase was used sparingly at the end of the Second World War when describing the plans for the United Nations and Bretton Woods system, in part because of the negative association to the failed League of Nations the phrase would bring. In retrospect however, many commentators have applied the term retroactively to the order put in place by WWII victors as a “new world order.”

The most recent, and most widely discussed, application of the phrase came at the end of the Cold War. Presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush used the term to try to define the nature of the post Cold War era, and the spirit of great power cooperation that they hoped might materialize. Gorbachev’s initial formulation was wide ranging and idealistic, but his ability to press for it was severely limited by the internal crisis of the Soviet system. Bush’s vision was, in comparison, much more circumscribed and pragmatic, perhaps even instrumental at times, and closely linked to the Gulf War. Perhaps not surprisingly, the perception of what the new world order entailed in the press and in the public imagination far outstripped what either Gorbachev or Bush had outlined, and was characterized by nearly comprehensive optimism.

Formation of the CIS and Official end of the USSR

Formation of the CIS and Official end of the USSR

The final round of the Soviet Union collapse took place following the Ukrainian popular referendum on December 1, 1991 wherein 90% of voters opted for independence. The leaders of Slavic republics agreed to meet for a discussion of possible forms of relationship, alternative to Gorbachev’s struggle for a union. On December 8, 1991 the leaders of the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian republics met in Belavezhskaya Pushcha and signed the Belavezha Accords declaring the Soviet Union dissolved and replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Gorbachev described this as an unconstitutional coup, but it soon became clear that the development could not be halted. On December 12, 1991, the legislature of the Russian Soviet Republic formally accepted the secession of Russia from the Soviet Union, by ratifying the Belavezha Accords and denouncing the 1922 Treaty on the creation of the Soviet Union. On December 17, 1991, twelve of the fifteen soviet republics signed the European Energy Charter in the Hague as if they were sovereign states, along with 28 other European countries, the European Community and four non-European countries.

Doubts remained over the authority of the Belavezha Accords to effect the dissolution of the Soviet Union, since they were signed by only five of the Soviet Republics. However, on December 21, 1991, the representatives of all Soviet Republics, except Georgia, signed the Alma Ata Protocol, confirming the dissolution of the Union and also making several provisions consequential to the extinction of the USSR. Also on that same date, all former Soviet republics, except the three Baltic States, agreed to join the CIS. The documents signed at Alma Ata on December 21 also authorized Russia to succeed the UN membership of the USSR, which meant that Russia would take the USSR seat in the Security Council. On December 24, 1991, the Soviet Ambassador to the UN delivered to the Secretary General a letter by Russia’s president, Boris Yeltsin, informing him that, in virtue of that agreement, Russia, was the successor State to the USSR for the purposes of UN membership. This document was circulated among the other member states of the UN, and, there being no objection, it was declared accepted on December 31. On December 25, 1991, Gorbachev, yielding to the inevitable, resigned as president of the USSR, declaring the office extinct and ceding all the powers still vested in it to the president of Russia: Yeltsin. On the night of that same day, the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time over the Kremlin. Finally, a day later on December 26, 1991, the Supreme Soviet recognized the extinction of the Union and dissolved itself. By December 31, 1991 all official Soviet institutions had ceased operations as individual republics assumed the central government’s role. The dissolution of the Soviet Union also ended the long time Cold War.

End of Soviet Union

End of Soviet Union:

The August 1991 coup, designed to halt the weakening of the centralized USSR, ironically hastened the Unions’ dissolution. Declarations of independence by the constituent republics, the abolition of all-Union institutions and the transfer of their assets to the republics, and increasing international acceptance of these developments sapped what little strength there had been in the Union. While Gorbachev tried desperately to find a formula to halt the centrifugal process, his former political allies, reading the signs, abandoned him one after the other. And yet, there was no inevitability about the decision to replace the Soviet Union with a Commonwealth of Independent States. That decision, adopted by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belorussia, seems to have been made hastily if not whimsically.

On August 23, 1991 Boris Eltsin, as President of the RSFSR, decreased the suspension of the Russian Communist Party on the grounds that it had lent its support to the coup attempt and had otherwise violated Soviet and Russian laws. Gorbachev, who upon returning to Moscow after the coup had tried to absolve the party of any blame and announced his intention of continuing his efforts to reform the party, was left with little choice but to resign as General Secretary of the entire (All-Union) party, which he did two days later. Seeking to counter the further erosion of central authority, Gorbachev persuaded a majority in the Congress of People’s Deputies in early September to dissolve that body in favour of a State Council which would consist of republic leaders and Gorbachev and act in a temporary capacity until a new bicameral legislature could be elected. Aside from approving independence for the three Baltic republics, the State Council accomplished nothing and was largely ignored by republic governments. Eltsin, swelled with new powers granted by the Russian parliament, meanwhile accelerated the transfer of central institutions to Russian authority.

December turned out to be the month in which the fatal blows to the Soviet Union were delivered. On December 1, voters in Ukraine overwhelmingly approved a referendum on independence and by a smaller margin elected Leonid Kravchuk, a former Communist party boss turned nationalist, as their first president. A week later, at a hunting lodge in Belovezhskaia Pushcha, not far from the Belorussian capital of Minsk, Eltsin, Kravchuk and the Belorussian leader, Stanislav Shushkevich, signed a declaration terminating the Soviet Union and replacing it with the Commonwealth of Independent States. Gorbachev, who had not been consulted or informed beforehand, publicly responded by declaring his “amazement” and urging republic parliaments to discuss the draft Treaty on the Union of Sovereign States on which he had worked tirelessly over the previous months. On December 21, the presidents of all the other republics with the exception of Georgia (already embroiled in civil war) and the three Baltic states, declared their willingness to enter the Commonwealth. Finally, on December 25, Gorbachev announced his acceptance of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and his resignation as its president.

The August Coup

Faced with growing republic separatism, Gorbachev attempted to restructure the Soviet Union into a less centralized state. On August 20, 1991, the Russian SFSR was scheduled to sign the New Union Treaty, which was to convert the Soviet Union into a federation of independent republics with a common president, foreign policy and military. The new treaty was strongly supported by the Central Asian republics, which needed the economic power and common markets of the Soviet Union to prosper. However, this meant the preservation of the Communist Party control over economy and social life. The more radical reformists were increasingly convinced that a rapid transition to a market economy was required, even if the eventual outcome included the disintegration of the Soviet state. Disintegration of the USSR also accorded with the desire of local authorities, such as Yeltsin’s presidency, to establish full power over their territories and get rid of pervasive Moscow ideological control. In contrast to the reformers’ lukewarm approach to the new treaty, the conservatives and remaining patriots of the USSR, still strong within the CPSU and military establishment, were completely opposed to anything which might contribute to the weakening of the Soviet state.

On August 19, 1991, Gorbachev’s vice president Gennadi Yanayev, prime minister Valentin Pavlov, defense minister Dmitriy Yazov, KGH chief Vladimir Kryuchkov, and other senior officials acted to prevent the signing of the union treaty by forming the “State Committee on the State Emergency”. The “Committee” put Gorbachev (vacationing in Foros, Crimea) under house arrest, reintroduced political censorship, and attempted to stop the perestroika. The coup leaders quickly issued an emergency decree suspending political activity and banning most newspapers. While coup organizers expected some popular support for their actions, the public sympathy in large cities and in republics was largely against them. Russian SFSR President Boris Yeltsin was quick to condemn the coup and grab popular support for himself. Thousands of people in Moscow came out to defend the “White House” (Yeltsin’s office), then the symbolic seat of Russian sovereignty. The organizers tried but ultimately failed to arrest Yeltsin, who rallied mass opposition to the coup. After three days, on August 21, the coup collapsed, the organizers were detained, and Gorbachev returned as president of the Soviet Union. However, Gorbachev’s powers were now fatally compromised as neither union nor Russian power structures heeded his commands.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Role of Non-Aligned Movement in International Politics

Saturday, June 19, 2010 - 3 Comments

Analyze the role of NAM Non-Aligned Movement during Cold War.

Ans: Movement (NAM) is an international organization of states considering themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It was founded in 1950s; as of 2007, it has 118 members. The purpose of the organization as stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 is to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries” in their “struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, Zionism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics”. They represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nation’s members and comprise 55% of the world population.

Important members have included Yugoslavia, India, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, South Africa, Iran, Malaysia, and, for a time, the Peoples Republic of China. Brazil has never been a formal member of the movement, but shares many of the aims of NAM and frequently sends observers to the Non-Aligned Movement’s summits. While the organization was intended to be as close an alliance as NATO or the Warsaw Pac, it has little cohesion and many of its members were actually quite closely aligned with one or another of the great powers. For example, Cuba was closely aligned with the former Soviet Union during the Cold War era. India was effectively aligned with the Soviet Union against China for many years. Additionally, some members were involved in serious conflicts with other members (e.g. India and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq). The movement fractured from its own internal contradictions when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. While the Soviet allies supported the invasion, other members (particularly Muslim nations) of the movement found it impossible to do so.

The Non-Aligned Movement has struggled to find relevance since the end of the Cold War. After the break-up of Yugoslavia, a founding member, its successor states of Yugoslavia have expressed little interest in membership though some have observer status. In 2004, Malt and Cyprus ceased to be members and joined the European Union.

Secretaries General

Between summits, the Non-Aligned Movement is run by the Secretary general elected at last summit meeting. As a considerate part of the movement’s work is undertaken at the United Nations in New York, the chair country’s ambassador to the UN is expected to devote time and effort to matters concerning the Non-Aligned Movement. A Co-ordinating Bureau, also based at the UN, is the main instrument for directing the work of the movement’s task forces, committees and working groups.

Role of NATO after the September 11 Attacks

NATO After the September 11 Attacks

The expansion of the activities and geographical reach of NATO grew even further as an outcome of the September 11 attacks. These caused as a response the provisional invocation (on September 12) of the collective security of NATO’s charter – Article 5 which states that any attack on a member state will be considered an attack against the entire group of members. The invocation was confirmed on 4 October 2001 when NATO determined that the attacks were indeed eligible under the terms of the North Atlantic Treaty. The eight official actions taken by NATO in response to the attacks included the first two examples of military action taken in response to an invocation of Article 5: Operation Eagle Assist and Operation Active Endeavour.

Despite this early show of solidarity, NATO faced a crisis little more than a year later, when on 10 February 2003, France and Belgium vetoed the procedure of silent approval concerning the timing of protective measures for Turkey in case of a possible war with Iraq. Germany did not use its right to break the procedure but said it supported the veto.

On the issue of Afghanistan on the other hand, the alliance showed greater unity: on 16 April 2003 NATO agreed to take command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The decision came at the request of Germany and the Netherlands, the two nations leading ISAF at the time of the agreement, and all 19 NATO ambassadors approved it unanimously. The handover of control to NATO took place on 11 August, and marked the first time in NATO’s history that it took charge of a mission outside the north Atlantic area. Canada had originally been slated to take over ISAF by itself on that date.

In January 2004, NATO appointed Minister Hikmet Cetin, of Turkey, as the Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) in Afghanistan. Minister Cetin is primarily responsible for advancing the political-military aspects of the Alliance in Afghanistan.

On 31 July 2006, a NATO-led force, made up mostly of troops from Canada, Great Britain, Turkey and the Netherlands, took over military operations in the south of Afghanistan from a U. S.-led anti-terrorism coalition.

Role of NATO during Cold War when different Nations were in Détente

Détente

During most of the duration of the Cold War, NATO maintained a holding pattern with no actual military engagement as an organisation. On 1 July 1968, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty opened for signature: NATO argued that its nuclear weapons sharing arrangements did not breach the treaty as U. S. forces controlled the weapons until a decision was made to go to war, at which point the treaty would no longer be controlling. Few states knew of the NATO nuclear sharing arrangements at that time, and they were not challenged.

On 30 May 1978, NATO countries officially defined two complementary aims of the Alliance, to maintain security and pursue détente. This was supposed to mean matching defences at the lever rendered necessary by the Warsaw Pact’s offensive capabilities without spurring a further arms race. However, on 12 December 1979, in light of a build-up of Warsaw Pact nuclear capabilities in Europe, ministers approved the deployment of U. S. Cruise and Pershing II theatre nuclear weapons in Europe. The new warheads were also meant to strengthen the western negotiating position in regard to nuclear disarmament. This policy was called the Dual Track policy. Similarly, in 1983 – 84, responding to the stationing of Warsaw Pact SS-20 medium-range missiles in Europe, NATO deployed modern Pershing II missiles able to reach Moscow within minutes. This action led to peace movement protests throughout Western Europe.

The membership of the organisation in this time period likewise remained largely static. In 1974, as a consequence of the crisis in Cyprus, Greece withdrew its forces from NATO’s military command structure, but, with Turkish cooperation, was readmitted in 1980. On 30 May 1982 NATO gained a new member when, following a referendum, the newly democratic Spain joined the alliance.

In November 1983, NATO manoeuvres simulating a nuclear launch caused panic in the Kremlin. The Soviet leadership, led by ailing General Secretary Yuri Andropov, became concerned that the manoeuvres, codenamed Able Archer 83, were the beginnings of a genuine first strike. In response, Soviet nuclear forces were readied and air units in Eastern Germany and Poland were placed on alert. Though at the time written off by U. S. intelligence as a propaganda effort, many historians now believer that the Soviet fear of a NATO first strike was genuine.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Role of NATO During Early Cold War

Friday, June 11, 2010 - 0 Comments

Early Cold War

The unity of NATO was breached early on in its history, with a crisis occurring during Charles de Gaulle’s presidency of France from 1958 onward. De Gaulle protested the United States’ hegemonic role in the organisation and what he perceived as a special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. In a memorandum sent to President Dwight. D. Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on 17 September 1958, he argued for the creation of a tripartite directorate that would put France on an equal footing with the United States and the United Kingdom, and also for the expansion of NATO’s coverage to include geographical areas of interest to France, most notably Algeria, where France was waging a counter-insurgency and sought NATO assistance.

Considering the response given to be unsatisfactory, de Gaulle began to build an independent defence for his country. On 11 March 1959, France withdrew its Mediterranean fleet from NATO command; three months later, in June 1959, de Gaulle banned the stationing of foreign nuclear weapons on French soil. This caused the United States to transfer two hundred military aircraft out of France and return control of the ten major air force bases it had operated in France since 1950 to the French by 1967. The last of these was the Toul-Rosieres Air Base, home of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, which was relocated to Ramstein Air Base in West Germany.

In the meantime, France had initiated an independent nuclear deterrence program, spearheaded by the “(Striking Force”). France tested its first nuclear weapon, Gerboise Bleue, on 13 February 1960.

Though France showed solidarity with the rest of NATO during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, de Gaulle continued his pursuit of an independent defence by removing France’s Atlantic and Channel fleets from NATO command. In 1966, all French armed forces were removed from NATO’s integrated military command, an all non-French NATO troops were asked to leave France. This withdrawal precipitated the relocation of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) from Paris to Casteau, north of Mons, Belgium, by 16 October 1967. France remained a member of the alliance throughout this period and subsequently rejoined NATO’s Military Committee in 1995, and intensified working relations with the military structure. However, France has not yet rejoined the integrated military command and no non-French NATO troops are allowed to be based on its land.

The creation of NATO necessitated the standardisation of military technology and unified strategy, through Command, Control and Communications centers (aka C4ISTAR)> The STANAG (Standardisation Agreement) insured such coherence. Hence the 7.62 × 51 NATO rifle cartridge was introduced in the 1950s as a standard firearm cartridge among many NATO countries. Fabrique Nationale’s FALI became the most popular 7.62 NATO rifle in Europe and served into the early 1980s. Also, aircraft marshalling signals were standardised, so that any NATO aircraft could land at any NATO base.

Organization and Objectives of NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO (also called the North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance, or the Western Alliance) is a military alliance, established by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. With headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, the organization established a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.

History

Beginnings

The Treaty of Brussels, signed on 17 March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. This treaty established a military alliance, later to become the Western European Union. However, American participation was thought necessary in order to counter the military power of the Soviet Union, and therefore talks for a new military alliance began almost immediately.

These talks resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, D. C. on 4 April 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states, as well as the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Three years later, on 18 February 1952, Greee and Turkey also joined.

In 1954, the Soviet Union suggested that it should join NATO to preserve peace in Europe. The NATO countries ultimately rejected this proposal.

The incorporation of West Germany into the organisation on 9 May 1955 was described as “a decisive turning point in the history of our continent” by Halvard Lange, Foreign Minister of Norway at the time. Indeed, one of its immediate results was the creation of the Warsaw Pact, signed on 14 May 1955 by the Soviet Union and its satellite states, as a formal response to this event, thereby delineating the two opposing sides of the Cold War.

Ninth Meeting of PUOICM

Ninth Meeting of PUOICM

The Ninth Meeting of the Council of PUOICM was held on 15 and 16 Feb 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Speaker of Malaysia’s House of Representatives, Ramli bin Ngah Talib, delivered a speech at the beginning of the inaugural ceremony. OIC secretary-general Prof Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said prior to the meeting that one main agenda item is stopping Israel from continuing its excavation at the Western Wall near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine. OIC is also discussing how it might send peacekeeping troops to Muslim nations, and the possibility of a change in the name of the body as well as its charter Additionally, return of the sovereignty right to the Iraqi people along with withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq is another main issues on the agenda. Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri told reporters on 14 February 2007 that the Secretary General of OIC and foreign ministers of seven “like-minded Muslim countries” will meet in Islamabad on 25 February 2007 following meetings of President Musharaf with heads of key Muslim countires to discuss “a new initiative” for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kasuri said this will be a meeting of foreign ministers of key Muslim countries to discuss and prepare for a summit in Mecca to seek the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict

Structure and Organization

The Islamic Summit

The largest organ, attended by the Kings and the Heads of State and Government of the member states, convened every three years.

The Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers

It meets once a year to examine a progress report on the implementation of its decisions taken within the framework of the policy defined by the Islamic Summit.

The Permanent Secretariat

It is the executive organ of the Organization, entrusted with the implementation of the decision of the two preceding bodies, and is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Current Secretary General of this international organization is Ekmeheddin Ihsanogin from Turkey since January 1, 2005.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

OIC its Present Structure and its Historical Goals

Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 0 Comments

The Organization of the Islamic Conference located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is an inter-governmental organization with a Permanent Delegation to the United Nations. It groups 57 nations, most of which are Islamic, in the Middle East, North, West and Southern Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Southeast, Asia, the Indian subcontinent and South America. It is the second largest international organization after the United Nations. The official languages of the organization are Arabic, English and French.

History and Goals

The primary goals of the OIC are, according to its Status, “to promote solidarity among all Islamic member states. The OIC was set up in rabat, Morocco, on September 25, 1969 in reaction to an arson attack against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on August 21, 1969. It is the second largest international organization after the United Nations. The flag of the OIC (shown above) has an overall green background (symbolic of Islam). In the center, there is an upward-facing red crescent enveloped in a white disc. On the disc the words “Allahu Akbar” are written in modern Arabic calligraphy. In 1982, the foreign ministers of the OIC adopted the controversial plan to Immigrate, Populate, Dominate to serve as a guidance for the member states in the matters of world domination and the Islamic presence in other non-Muslim countries. On August 5, 1990, 45 foreign ministers of the OIC adopted the controversial Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam to serve as a guidance for the member states in the maters of human rights.

Recent Issues

The Parliamentary Union of the OIC member states (PUOIC) was established in Iran in 1999 and its head office is situated in Tehran. Only OIC members are entitled to membership in the union. President Bush announced on June 27 2007 that the United States will establish an envoy to the OIC. Bush said of the envoy. Our special envoy will listen to and learn from representatives from Muslim states, and will share with them America’s views and values.

Basic Cause of Attack on Iraq

The issue of Iraq’s disarmament reached a crisis in 2002-2003, when President of the United States George W. Bush demanded a complete end to alleged Iraqi production and use of weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq comply with UN Resolutions requiring UN inspectors unfettered access to areas those inspectors thought might have weapons, production facilities. Iraq had been banned by the United Nations from developing or possessing such weapons since the 1991 Gulf War. It was also required to permit inspections to confirm Iraqi compliance. Bush repeatedly backed demands for unfettered inspection and disarmament with threats of invasion. In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1284 (enacted 17 December 1999), Iraq reluctantly agreed to new inspections in late 2002. The inspectors didn’t find any WMD stockpiles, but they did not view Iraqi declarations as credible either.

In the initial stages of the war on terror, the Central Intelligence Agency, under George Tenet, was rising to prominence as the lead agency in the Afghanistan war. But when Tenet insisted in his personal meetings with President Bush that there was no connection between Al-Qaeda and Iraq VP Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld initated a secret program to re-examine the evidence and marginalize the CIA and Tenet. The questionable intelligence acquired by this secret program was “stovepiped” to the Vice President and presented to the public. In some cases, Cheney’s office would leak the intelligence to reporters, where it would be reported by outlets such as The New York Times.

Justification of US Intervention in Iraq against Saddam Hussein.

The Iraq War, also known as the Occupation of Iraq, the Second Gulf War, or in the US Operation Iraqi Freedom, is an ongoing conflict which began on March 20, 2003 with the United States-led invasion of Iraq.

The main rationale for the Iraq War offered by US President George W. Bush, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, and their domestic and foreign supporters was that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction. These weapons, it was argued, posed a threat to the United States, its allies and interests. In the 2003 State of the Union Address, Bush claimed that the US could not wait until the threat from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein became imminent. After the invasion, however, no evidence was found of such weapons. Some US officials cited claims of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. No evidence of any substantial al-Qaeda connection has been found.

The war began on March 20, 2003, when a largely British and American force supported by small contingents from Australia, Denmark and Poland invaded Iraq. The invasion soon led to the defeat and flight of Saddam Hussein. The US led coalition occupied Iraq and attempted to establish a new democratic government; however it failed to restore order in Iraq. The unrest led to asymmetric warfare with the Iraqi insurgency, civil war between many Sunni and Shia Iraqis and al-Qaeda operations in Iraq. As a result of this failure to restore order, a growing number of coalition nations have withdrawn troops from Iraq. The causes and consequences of the war remain controversial.

Approximately nine months after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States initiated Operation Southern Focus as a change to its response strategy, by increasing the overall number of missions and selecting targets throughout the no-fly zones in order to disrupt the military command structure in Iraq. The weight of bombs dropped increased from none in March 2002 and 0.3 in April 2002 to between 8 and 14 tons per month in May-August, reaching a pre-war peak of 54.6 tons in September 2002.

The Original US justification for the Iraq War was the Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, and later that Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was collaborating with the Al-Qaeda terrorist group. However, the intelligence on which both these claims were has been subject to criticism and to some extent discredited post-invasion, and the administration has also been accused of falsely representing the available intelligence to the republic. This has led many war opponents to consider the Iraq War as based on lies.

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