George Wolfowitz 's Decision Points Essay

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What motivated the Bush administration to invade Iraq in 2003 despite strong opposition from the international community? On one side, the administration maintains that the invasion was necessary to prevent Iraq from developing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). In his memoir “Decision Points”, Bush argued that Saddam posed too much of a threat–he brutalized his own people, violated international demands, and sponsored terrorist groups like al-Qaeda. On the opposing side, critics of the war argue that the Bush administration used the 9/11 terrorist attack and the threat of WMDs to justify waging an illegal war against Iraq in order to extract Iraqi oil to fund the military-industrial complex, to secure Israel, and to “finish the job” of deposing Saddam. While these explanations for the invasion have some merit, they are problematic because they fail to capture the extent of the administration’s actual ambitions. An analysis of how individuals on Bush’s administration, such as Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleezza Rice, viewed the world reveals that the invasion of Iraq was intended to demonstrate the effectiveness of and necessity for preemptive action, overthrow Saddam, and transform the Middle East. However, what was perceived to be a quick and easy operation to stabilize the Middle East and secure America’s interest backfired and turned Iraq into a safe haven for terrorists.
One reason the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq was to set a precedent for the US to

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