Theoretical Perspectives on Iraq War 2003

2293 Words Jun 24th, 2018 10 Pages
INTRODUCTION
In this paper, I intend to analyze Iraq war of 2003 from Realist and Marxist/ Critical perspectives. I intend to draw a conclusion as to which theoretical framework, in my opinion, is more suitable and provides for a rational understanding of the Iraq War. While drawing comparative analysis of two competing approaches, I do not intend to dismiss one theory in entirety in favour of another. However, I do intend to weigh on a golden balance, lacunas of both theories in order to conclude as to which theory in the end provides or intends to provide a watertight analysis of the Iraq war.
REALIST PERSPECTIVE
Followers of Realist school of thought argue the case of 2003 Iraq war from the standpoint of power and Security. The Bush
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Thus, in this context of a unipolar system dominated by U.S., it is highly unlikely that a great power like U.S., motivated by its relentless pursuit of power and security, would allow itself to be deterred by U.N. resolutions that do not comply with its own interests. This also reflects the realist interpretation of international system which is characterized by anarchy and therefore, it is not considered prudent for a State to entrust its safety and survival on another actor or international institutions such as United Nations.
CRITICAL THEORY / MARXIST PERSPECTIVE
Critical theory, on the other hand, as propounded by Robert Cox is a rejoinder to Neo-realism. According to Mark Rupert, Neo-Realism “only describes patterns in the operation of power among States without inquiring as to the social relations through which that power is produced.” Critical theory assumes that power is not given in the form of accumulated material capabilities; in fact, it is a product of social processes. Robert Cox adopted a method of “historical structures” in which “state power ceases to be sole explanatory factor and becomes part of what is to be explained”.
Critical approach provides a historical background to Iraq war of 2003 which, according to historical materialists, has its roots in U.S. sponsored Fordist Industrial Capitalism linked with geopolitics of petroleum. According to Andrew Basevich (2005 a, 2008, 2010) the very nature of U.S. State policy is characterized by