The Iraq War

1487 Words Jul 11th, 2018 6 Pages
In his 1988 Republican National Convention acceptance speech former U.S. President George H.W. Bush proclaimed that, “Weakness and ambivalence lead to war.”. For better or worse a state's ability to influence world politics is primarily based on much power they have. In purely academic terms, power is the ability of Actor A to get Actor B to do something that B would otherwise not do; the ability to get the other side to make concessions and to avoid having to make concessions oneself (Frieden P. A-6). Power is usually represented by the capability of a state to preserve or tip the balance of power towards their own national interests. Balance of power refers to a situation in which the military capabilities of two states or groups of …show more content…
With the 20/20 hindsight that is history, we can see three main areas of missteps that occurred during the bargaining process, which if recognized could have prevented this war from occurring or led to a better conclusion than at present. First it is easy to see there was incomplete information, a situation in which parties in a strategic interaction lack information about other parties' interests and/or capabilities (Frieden P. 96). The U.S. clearly lacked information on Iraq's non-existent weapons program and thus overestimated their threat to the U.S. security. It could also be argued that Iraq didn't think the U.S. and its allies would invade after the UN Security Council didn't give its seal of approval. This lack of information was critical in the subsequent occupation of Iraq following the invasion. Secondly, Vice President Dick Chaney felt that the U.S.-led forces would be “greeted as liberators”, but the war soon dragged into extended insurgency because the resolve of the insurgents was underestimated. Resolve is the willingness of an actor to endure costs in order to acquire some good. In the case of the Iraq War, insurgents were willing to resort to intense guerrilla warfare and terrorism tactics to further their cause. Finally, the threats the U.S. made created what Fearon would call audience costs; that is negative repercussions that arise in the

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