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Was the iraq war worth the human and material costs suffered by the allied coalition and iraqi people

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Was the Iraq War Worth the Human and Material Costs Suffered by the Allied Coalition and Iraqi People Introduction The Iraq War, also called Operation Iraqi Freedom or the Second Gulf War was a military campaign that commenced on March 20, 2003, with the invasion of a multinational force to Iraq. The troops from the United States and from United Kingdom led this invasion. This paper tries to establish whether the Iraq War was worth the human and material costs suffered by the Allied coalition as well as the Iraqi people. The Iraq war was too costly to the United States, British forces, Iraq and the world as a whole. The aforementioned suffered high costs various ways including social cost, economic cost, security cost and human cost, the most devastating of all being the human cost – it is literally breathtaking (Wallis, 2010). According to a 2004 study by the ‘ Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus’, between the commencement of war in March 2003 and September 22 the following year, 1, 175 coalition forces lost their lives, comprising 1, 040 United States’ military. Other deaths include those of contractors, civilian workers as well as missionaries, with their total estimates ranging from 50 to 90 lost lives, thirty-six of which were identified as Americans. This is in addition to uncalled for life termination of thirty innocent international Journalists, with eight of them being U. S. media companies’ workers (Antiwar. com, 2004). The study also revealed that following the U. S. invasion and subsequent occupation in Iraq, by June 16, 2004, deaths of Iraqi civilians ranged between 9, 436 and 11, 317, with an estimate of 40, 000 Iraqis sustaining severe injuries. This is in addition to approximately 4, 895 Iraqi insurgents and soldiers who were killed during ‘ major combat’ operations. There has also been a great health concern on the effects of using depleted uranium weaponry in Iraq. According to the Pentagon’s estimates, during their March 2003 bombing campaign, the allied coalition utilized between 1, 100 to 2, 200 tons of artillery made from radioactive and toxic metal. In fact, several scientists attribute the ailments among U. S. soldiers, as well as a great upsurge in childbirth defects in Basra, Southern Iraq to the far smaller quantity of DU weapons utilized in the Persian Gulf War. The great health concern is therefore reasonable. Worse still is the diversion of international attention as well as resources to the Iraq war at the expense of humanitarian emergencies such as in Sudan (Antiwar. com, 2004). The Iraq war has also a high security costs to the aforementioned parties. There has been a rise in terrorist recruitment and action as well as crime. In Iraq for instance, kidnapping, murder, rape and violent deaths skyrocketed from March 2003, obliging Iraqi minors to stay at home from school as well as forcing women to keep off from the streets at night. In fact, Iraqi population has suffered devastation from living under occupation devoid of the most basic security – majority had no confidence either in the coalition forces or in the U. S. civilian authorities. Terrorist attacks as well as suicide attacks increased tremendously all over the world in the year 2003. In addition, following the Iraq war, the U. S. government damaged its standing and credibility in the world as surveys across the world demonstrate extensive public agreement that instead of helping the war on terrorism, the Iraq war hurt it. Others argue that the war has left the US less secure (National Security Network, 2008). The economic costs of the Iraq war were far reaching. The allied coalition focused their resources on the war leading to economic problems, including a stretched trade deficit as well as high inflation. Moreover, high oil prices owing to the worsening situation in Iraq affected the entire world oil prices, which negatively affected the gross domestic product of various countries. What is more excruciating from the economic perspective is the fact that the expenditure on war was at the expense of the tax-payer’s social spending – these funds would have been diverted to housing vouchers, health care for uninsured Americans, salaries for elementary school teachers, among others. The war also had high social cost to the military, high costs to veteran health care and mental health (Baker, 2007). Additionally, the war deterred Iraq from capitalizing on its oil deposits. Her infrastructure that supported health, education as well as her economy was destroyed during the war. Damages were caused to water and sewage systems while oil well fires polluted the air with smoke all over the country – in fact, the environment are a hazard to Iraqi people. Her hospitals relentlessly suffer from lack of supplies over and above an overwhelming number of patients. Unemployment in Iraq also doubled leading to increased poverty and crime rate and hence undesirable living standards (Antiwar. com, 2004). Conclusion There is no gainsaying that the Iraq war, which was ‘ war against terrorism’, did more harm than good. The War was not worth the human and material costs suffered by the Allied coalition as well as the Iraqi people. In short, the outcomes were undeniably not worth the cost. References Antiwar. com, (2004). The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War. Retrieved from http://www. antiwar. com/news/? articleid= 2939 Baker, D. (2007). The Economic Impact of the Iraq War and Higher Military Spending. Retrieved from http://www. cepr. net/documents/publications/military_spending_2007_05. pdf National Security Network, (2008). Seven Years After 9/11 Bush Administration’s Counter-Terrorism Policy Leaves Us Less Secure. Retrieved from http://www. nsnetwork. org/node/974 Wallis, J. (2010). The War in Iraq: At What Cost? Retrieved from http://www. huffingtonpost. com/jim-wallis/the-war-in-iraq-at-what-c_b_702448. html

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