LarryDiamond’s “WhatWent Wrong in Iraq"
Themajor problems that faced Iraq during the U.S-led mission in the gulfcountry were economic, social and political instabilities. Despitethe mission of the U.S, the country still continued to experience thesame economic and political problems. These issues were compounded bythe miscalculations and the blunders that America made in the missionto the country. This paper seeks to explore the problems that Iraqfaced and the blunders that America made in her mission to thedestabilized gulf country. By analyzing the article by Larry Diamond,this paper will explore ways how these blunders could be avoided.Moreover, this article will examine the democratic prospects in thecountry had main assertions that Larry Diamond explores about thecountry.
Oneof the main problems the country faced is violence. According toDiamond (1), Iraq faced endemic violence during the time of theAmerican mission in the country. The violence was endemic because itwas based on the in-fighting between the ethnic tribes of Iraq. Thecountry had internal violence, in addition to the undemocratic natureof the governance system in the country at the time. The problem ofviolence was compounded by the second problem of existence of ashattered state. According to Diamond (1), Iraq was a shattered stateduring the time America had made entry into its mission. This wasbecause of the undemocratic rule of the dictatorial Sadam Hussein.
Theother problem cited by Diamond (1) is that of a nonfunctioningeconomy. As a result of the violence and a shattered state, theeconomy of the country was not stable and could not support thepopulation. This is because all the economic fundamentals weregreatly affected by the political instability that the country hadexperienced for years. Moreover, the other major problem was having adecimated society. The people in Iraq had no unity or cohesivenessthat a stable state enjoys. The society was socially decimatedbecause the tribes had lost the unity that kept them as a nation dueto the endemic violence.
Apartfrom the problems that the country faced, the mission of the UnitedStates in Iraq was marked by serious blunders. While the U.S mademany blunders, some of the early ones were more conspicuous and hadprofound consequences. One of the main blunders was a lack ofwillingness by the bush administration to commit the forces needed tocreate order in the country after the war. According to Diamond (1),the U.S military officials did not heed to the calls for thepolitical order of the post-war Iraq despite the warnings by militaryexperts in America. The consequence of this blunder was a politicallyunstable Iraq after the war. According to Diamond (1), the UnitedStates army left Iraq a more devastated country than they had desiredto leave it when the mission started.
Thesecond blunder was to take a light military force in Iraq on amission that required a large army. To solve the solution in Iraq,the solution did not only require toppling of Sadam Hussein but alsoforces to help establish a politically stable and democraticgovernment after the war. The U.S was not committed to send a largemilitary that would complete the mission and put foundation t a newIraq. The consequence for this blunder was an inadequacy of the U.Sforces in Iraq to win the war and set up a new nation as per the“Future of Iraq” project by the security officials in thepentagon. According to Diamond (1), American troops were helpless asthey were outnumbered and unprepared to handle the aftermath of thewar. As a result, the Iraqi economy was looted and sabotaged insteadof building of a new nation.
Thethird blunder was entering Iraq with the wrong mindset by the U.Sabout the reception and response of the Iraqis towards theoccupation. The Americans thought that they would be appreciated andseen as the liberators to topple the dictatorial rule. Americansfurther blundered by ignoring the grievances of the Iraqis thatfought along the American forces and the Iraqis who collaborated withthe U.S. The consequence for this blunder was a higher number ofcasualties in the war and loss of both American troops and the Iraqicollaborators. According to Diamond (1), Iraqi politicians, workers,government leaders and civic leaders were killed for supportingAmericans. They became the target along with the Americans, whichcompounded the conflict.
Theseblunders could have been avoided with proper planning for the war andthe aftermath. America should have recognized the level of resourcesand military personnel needed to topple a regime and install anotherone, all in one mission. While this was anticipated by securityofficials in pentagon, they ignored the expected outcome andoverlooked a need for forces to install an orderly government. Theaftermath of the Iraqi occupation was marked by political instabilityin the country as per the ethnic divisions that relates to thefundamental problem of endemic violence. If America had planned forthis, the political state of Iraq could have been better now than itis.
Theblunders could also have been avoided is America had taken the timeto integrate its mission in Iraq and the goals of the oppositionIraqis. This could have avoided grievances by the Iraqis and promotedunity between the Iraqi collaborators and the American forces. Thiscan be illustrated in the way the Iraqis responded to theestablishment of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Throughsuch collaboration, the Americans could have acted in unity toincrease the forces to a number that could have completed the missionand secured the country into a stable democratic government.
Themention of democracy introduces Diamond’s assertion that there aredemocratic prospects that the country had gained during the mission.One of the prospects is the introduction of pluralist inclusion inthe formation of the CPA and the support of the transitionauthorities. At the same time, the contribution by the Americanagencies to the country’s democratic institutions and agencies suchas the Iraqi Higher Women`s Council helped the country attain somedemocracy. As a result, the country has built some democraticinstitutions to promote democracy which gives hope that the countrymay become a democracy.
Inagreement with the argument by Diamond, Iraqi has made prospectstowards democracy and can grow with the right environment andinternational assistance. This is because the transition leaders anda large number of Iraqis are ambitious to live in democratic anddecent societies that enjoy basic freedoms (Diamond 1). Despite thefailures and the limitations of the U.S occupation in the country,the country has a sight of hope for democracy. At the same time, theIraqis have hope that the country can develop and sustain a stabledemocracy.
Diamond,Larry. "WhatWent Wrong in Iraq," Web,Accessed, April 19, 2015,<http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/iraq/diamond.htm>