IR theories you may encounter in the paper. You vaguely remember the book from your graduate school days with Webster University, but you think you must have sold it back to the bookstore. Your section chief told you the Secretary thinks very highly of the book Guidelines for the Peer Review Paper
Consider yourself a mid-level analyst within the US State Department. Another analyst in your section has been working on a theoretically based, Conflict Analysis Paper. Your section chief tasked you to review this paper for him. He called this a Peer Review Paper. Although you are very busy with other requirements, you drop everything to respond to this new tasking.
As you prepare to conduct the Peer Review you notice its author is someone you know in your section. In fact, you consider them a friend. This makes you uncomfortable and uncertain how to proceed. On the one hand you do not want to make them ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œlook badÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â with the section chief. On the other hand, you do not want to look weak and foolish with the section chief either. If you submit an overly favorable review on a paper that is obviously flawed, that will not reflect highly on you. So, you commit yourself to perform an honest and professional Peer Review.
Within a government agency, a Peer Review may have one or more uses. First, it may lighten the workload of a supervisor. Second, it could give a colleague helpful feedback and improve the quality of their product. And third, it should help to keep people informed about issues other than those on which they are working.
Remember, high-quality government papers use a distinctive writing style. The writing is clear and straightforward, using only as many words as necessary. This style avoids obscure words, inflated vocabulary, passive voice, and confusing sentence construction. It is simple, direct, and well organized. It tells the reader the purpose and the structure of the paper. These papers should not be written like mystery novels, inspirational testimonials, or creative short stories. The main goal of official writing is to put the content across clearly and concisely.
A Peer Review evaluates a paper written by someone of about the same rank or position. A good review identifies the main points of a paper and assesses the quality and sufficiency of the evidence presented in support of the main points. The review should also comment on how well the paper is organized and written, and how well it follows any formatting requirements.
In organizing your Peer Review, consider the following outline:
II. Main Point(s)
The introduction should accomplish at least three things. One is to identify some basic information, such as: the title of the paper under review, the name of the author and agency (if provided), the date of the paper, and the date of your review. The second element in the introduction is to state the purpose of your paper: Who is the reader? What will the reader gain from your paper? Why should they read it? Finally, briefly list how your paper is organized.
The second section is to clearly state the purpose and main point(s) of the original paper. The main points are major conclusions of the original. One way to do this is to use quotations from the original. However, some writers do not present their purpose or main point very clearly. Do you have to hunt for them? Are they stated clearly? Do they make sense? Do the conclusions fit with the purpose? Was the purpose achieved? Since your section routinely deals with US policy, the main points should be concerned with implications for US policy. Is it realistic? Is it based on sound IR theory?
Next, you need to describe and evaluate the evidence in the paper. This section is the most important and extensive part of your paper. In your review, consider the following questions: What evidence did the author present in support of the conclusions? Are the sources legitimate, scholarly books and journals (good)? Or are they advocacy web sites, common news magazines, and blogs (bad)? Since the Conflict Analysis was supposed to be theoretically based, did it describe major authors, concepts, principles, axioms, and variables of a theory appropriate to the particular conflict? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence? What is missing?
Fourth, evaluate the writing in the paper. Consider the following: Is the paper well organized? Are headings used to guide the reader? Are the paragraphs structured clearly? Is it grammatically correct? Does it follow the guidelines of the department or agency for style and format? Are sources cited properly in the text and in the bibliography?
Finally, in your conclusion, clearly state your overall evaluation of the article. Do you concur with its conclusions and the theoretical analysis that produced the conclusions? Include your recommendation about who should or should not read the paper and why. Should your section chief see it? Do you recommend he forward it to the Secretary of State? Or should it first be revised or rewritten?
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Write a Peer Review Paper about the attached paper
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Use a title page
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ A bibliography is optional; use one if you quote or cite other authors, such as our text
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ 1000 to 2000 words of text, single-spaced, with double spacing between paragraphs
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ MS Word document, Times New Roman, font size 12, one-inch margins, use page numbers
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Use the document in Course Information titled ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œGuidelines for Citing SourcesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â to evaluate the paper and to format your parenthetical references within the text and entries in a bibliography at the end of your paper, if needed.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Submit no later than midnight Sunday of Week 9.
Your section chief also loaned you a book titled, Contending Theories of International Relations, by Dougherty and Pfaltzgraff. He said it might be helpful for understanding the, and that she keeps a copy on her desk at all times.
As he sent you back to your cubicle, the chief wished you ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œgood luck,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and encouraged you to contact him by email or by phone if you had any questions.
Below is the paper :
Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War (1980-1989)
Instructor: Dr. Andrew Ziegler
October 5, 2008
In the words of Carl Von Clausewitz, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWar is an instrument of policy: it must necessarily bear its character, it must measure with its scale; the conduct of War, in its great features, is therefore policy itself, which takes up the sword in place of the pen, but does not on that account cease to think according to its own laws (Williams et al. 2006, 465).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War represented a plethora of interrelated and conflicting foreign policies involving not only Middle Eastern countries, but many other influential international entities as well. In the end, the war did not result in any major political changes for either Iraq or Iran. However, the war did reveal significant characteristics about the international system, such as motivations of behavior, causes or justifications for war, and principles of cooperation.
The purpose of this conflict analysis will be to discuss some of those significant characteristics by providing a theoretical explanation for the origin of the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War, and suggesting implications for current or future United States (US) policies. The thoughts and ideas that will be presented throughout the analysis have their foundation in the tenets of the realist theory, whose primary assumptions suggest that the key actors in the international system are states, and that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œworld politics is a ceaseless, repetitive struggle for power where the strong dominate the weak (Kegley 2008, 27).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The analysis will begin with a more detailed presentation of the theoretical framework that shapes the ideology of this paper. It will then be followed by an application of that framework to the context of the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War. Next, the analysis will refocus on the implications for US policy, and finally, the conclusion will show the significance of the analysis.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTheory provides a mental picture of a part of the world, and that picture helps to identify major causal factors at work and the relations among those causal factors (Waltz 2003).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â As stated earlier, the basis for the ideology that is presented in this analysis is found in the realist theory. In an effort to paint the picture that will be used to provide a better understanding of the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War, this section will focus on a brief history of the realist theory and some of the philosophies of its founding authors, followed by a presentation of a number of the principles that define and distinguish the realist theory.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œRealist theory has intellectual foundations in the ancient world, together with manifestations extending into, and perhaps beyond, the contemporary world (Dougherty & Pfaltzgraff 2001, 63).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In ancient Greece, the philosopher Thucydides postulated the root causes of the Peloponnesian War in his writings. He surmised that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œinsecurity as well as the quest for power might be the cause of war (Williams et al. 2006, 10).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In the sixteenth century, Italian-born NiccolÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â² Machiavelli wrote The Prince, which was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œa harbinger of modern realist analysis of power realities in the state system (Dougherty & Pfaltzgraff 2001, 9).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Thomas Hobbes, also a sixteenth century philosopher, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œviewed power as crucial in human behavior (Dougherty & Pfaltzgraff 2001, 69).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â On the eve of World War II, E.H. Carr wrote and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œcomplained that the assumption of a universal interest in peace had allowed too many people to evade the unpalatable fact of a fundamental divergence of interest between nations desirous of maintaining the status quo and nations desirous of changing it (Kegley 2008, 30).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In the later parts of the twentieth century Hans Morgenthau explained that the root causes of international conflict were the evils of human nature. Kenneth Waltz steered his writings on a bit of different course by stating that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œinternational anarchy explained why states were locked in fierce competition with one another (Kegley 2008, 30).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The analysis in this paper will be marked by assumptions and related propositions of the realist theory that are garnered from many of the aforementioned authors. It should be noted that the following summarization risks oversimplifying the realist message. However, since this paper is not meant to be an analysis of realism, but rather an analysis of the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War, the paper will only present the principles of the realist theory that will be later applied to various aspects of the war.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ Human nature ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œPolitical relationships are governed by objective rules deeply rooted in human nature (Dougherty & Pfaltzgraff 2001, 76).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In general, humans are naturally selfish, pursuing first and foremost the objects of their own interests. They are ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œdriven to watch out for themselves and to compete with others for self-advantage (Kegley 2008, 28).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Human interests are also often subject to an innate lust for power and a desire to lord that power over others. Since nations are led by people who display these ethical flaws, the behavior of nations is, by consequence, subject to these characteristics.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ The role of the state ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ The nation or state is the most important actor in the international system, and because the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œessential structural quality of the system is anarchy ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the absence of a central monopoly of legitimate force (Williams et al. 2006, 65),ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â nations or states are free to pursue their own self-interests. States are sovereign. They have ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsupreme power over their territory and populace, and no other actor stands above them wielding the legitimacy and coercive capability to govern the global system (Kegley 2008, 27).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ The struggle for power ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ The international system is characterized by a struggle for power. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe primary obligation of every state ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the goal to which all other national objectives should be subordinate ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ is to promote its national interest and to acquire power for that purpose (Kegley 2008, 28).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In the international arena, the acquisition of power correlates to the essence of national survival. Thus, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œall nations are compelled to protect their physical, political, and cultural identity against encroachments by other nations (Dougherty & Pfaltzgraff 2001, 76).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ The possibilities of cooperation ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ International cooperation is possible, but it must be done within the context of the pursuit of national self-interest. When the benefits of cooperation outweigh the potential negative consequences of the loss of sovereignty, nations will often collaborate. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAllies might be sought to increase a stateÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ability to defend itself, but their loyalty and reliability should not be assumed, and commitments to allies should be repudiated if it is no longer in a stateÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s national interests to honor them (Kegley 2008, 28).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢ The tension between moral principles and national interest objectives ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œUniversal moral principles cannot be applied to the actions of states in their abstract, universal formulation, but they must be filtered through the concrete circumstances of time and place (Dougherty & Pfaltzgraff 2001, 77).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The significance of this principle lies in the fact that there is an ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œineluctable tension between the moral command and the requirements of successful political action (Williams et al. 2006, 61).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Therefore, though nations might consider the moral consequences of their actions, the defining principle for action is the necessity of political success through the pursuit of national interests.
As with any political theory, there are shortcomings and facets of an international situation that cannot be explained adequately by the application of a particular theory. However, the realist theory, as a whole, appears to provide the best explanation and framework for the events that led to the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War. Thus, the following section will consist of an application of the realist theory to the events of the war.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œSaddam HusseinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s decision on 22 September 1980 to launch an invasion of Iran reflected sources of tension between the two countries that are both historical and of more recent origins. Among the former were Arab-Iranian cultural antipathies, longstanding border disputes, rivalry for influence in the Persian Gulf, and a legacy of suspicion by each side that the other was seeking to undermine its authority by stirring up trouble among its ethnic and religious minorities (Sterner 1984, 130).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Religious ideological differences also contributed to the stresses that culminated in conflict between the two countries. Secular Baathism was IraqÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s answer in a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsearch for political forms and intellectual direction that was responsive to the modern world but that did not offend religious and cultural traditions (Viorst 1986, 354).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â IranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Islamic Republic, which took hold following a revolution in 1979, was characterized by a political system that elevated religious interests above those of the state. IranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s fundamentalism was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œintolerant not only of faiths other than Islam but of forms of Islam less rigorous than its own (Viorst 1986, 353).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran, had made a resolve to take a firm stand on this religious principle, and thus, HusseinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s more secular government was consequentially threatened by this approach to politics. Beyond the religious differences, there was a deep rooted hatred between Khomeini and Hussein that was based on KhomeiniÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s expulsion from Iraq in 1975 following a fourteen year exile from Iran during the ShahÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s rule. As result of this expulsion, and prior to KhomeiniÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s successful revolution in Iran, in 1979, Khomeini ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œdisclosed to a journalist the names on his personal enemies list. First, he said, was the Shah. Next, for the support it had given the Shah, came the American Satan. In third place, there was Saddam Hussein and his infidel Baath Party (Viorst 1986, 357).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â All of these tensions, though not exhaustive in nature, formulated the predominant background for conflict between Iraq and Iran.
Though the tensions that existed between Iraq and Iran are many times blamed for the resulting eight year war, this would appear to be an inadequate explanation for the war and its outcomes as a whole. Personal vendettas between leaders, religious and political ideological differences between nations, and historical border disputes exist worldwide between numerous nations, and yet, many of these tensions do not result in full scale wars as in the case with Iraq and Iran. Therefore, a more likely conclusion is that the tensions that preceded the war provided necessary justifications for Hussein and Khomeini to engage in war, but that the underlying reasons and causes for the war can be better understood in the context of the realist theory.
Human nature ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œSaddam Hussein trusted only one person: himself. As a result, he concentrated more and more power in his own hands (Woods et al. 2006, 22).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Though HusseinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s leadership style was unconventional, he possessed a quality that is shared by almost all humans, the lust for power. He was driven by the pursuit of self-interests that reflected his desire to not only remain in power, but to also expand that power. Thus, with the potential threat to power by his hostile neighbor, Iran, as well as the possibility of expanding regional influence, Hussein seized an opportunity that he felt would alleviate the threat and increase IraqÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s power status in the Middle East. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHusseinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s decision to invade Iran must be ranked as one of this centuryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s worst strategic miscalculations ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ a decision that could only have been based on the assumption that the invasion would help bring about KhomeiniÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s fall, and that Iraq could use its occupation of Iranian territory to extract more favorable terms on a range of Iraqi-Iranian issues from any successor government (Sterner 1984, 130).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Ayatollah KhomeiniÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s pursuits may have differed from HusseinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s objectives, but they were still selfish and power-seeking in nature. Beyond the previously mentioned personal animosity that Khomeini held toward Hussein and the Baath Party, which certainly influenced his pursuit of war with Iraq, there was another factor. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œKhomeini needed the war badly. His revolution, which claimed to be mandated by God, contained a universalist imperative which only victory could satisfy. Khomeini could not contain his mission within the borders of one country. He saw frontiers, being man-made, as artificial barriers. His revolution needed to cleanse IranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s neighbors of false gods. He roused his soldiers against Iraq with a call to liberate the sacred Iraqi cities of An Najaf and Karballa from Baath corruption (Viorst 1986, 359).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â KhomeiniÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s personal pursuit in the war with Iraq was further confirmed, when, in 1984, Iraq sought a diplomatic solution to end the war and restore peace. Khomeini refused to end the war unless Hussein and the Baath Party were completely removed from power, and Iraq paid an enormous sum in war reparations. Thus, the war continued, as KhomeiniÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s decision to maintain his self-interested ambitions resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians alike.
The role of the state ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran and Iraq, as sovereign states, acted solely on the basis of their own national interests. There was no central-governing authority in place that could effectively influence them to put aside their own pursuits. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe policymakers of all the major powers whose interests are engaged in the Gulf ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the United States, our European allies, Japan, and the Soviet Union ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ have felt a similar sense of frustration in dealing with the conflict. They know that while interests of great importance to them are jeopardized by the Gulf crisis, their ability to influence the course of the struggle is limited (Sterner 1984, 128).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The international community, in the form of the United Nations (UN), did attempt to collectively pressure Iraq and Iran to end their fighting. Resolution 582, which was adopted on 24 February 1986, called on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œthe Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq to observe an immediate cease-fire, a cessation of all hostilities on land, at sea and in the air and withdrawal of all forces to the internationally recognized boundaries without delay (Resolution 582 1986).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â However, the international communityÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s pressure did little to bring about a solution to the ongoing war. Iraq had initially welcomed the international communityÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s bidding, not necessarily due to the UNÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s influence, but rather because the war had turned in favor of Iran, and Iraq was desperately trying to avoid further devastation to its own country. Iran, nevertheless, was unwilling to cooperate based on its determination to end the rule of Hussein and his Baath Party over Iraq. Thus, the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War did not end until the United States became actively involved militarily in the war. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œA turning point in IranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s thinking came with the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane in July 1988 by an American cruiser USS Vincennes. That incident apparently led Ayatollah Khomeini to conclude that Iran could not risk the possibility of US open combat operations against Iran and he decided it was time to end the conflict (Steinberg 2008).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The struggle for power ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ The Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War reinforced the notion that the world is engulfed in a never-ending struggle for power. Thomas Hobbes called it, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œa war of all against all (Kegley 2008, 28).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAbove all, Iraq launched the war in an effort to consolidate its rising power in the Arab world and to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state (Pike 2005).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Iran further maintained the war, even when Iraq was willing to end all hostilities, due to its desire to gain power and influence over Iraqi sacred territory. The US and other Western elites became interested in the outcome of the war when their strategic interests, which contribute to their power status, were jeopardized. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIran threatened to close the Persian Gulf for everybody if Iraqi attacks continuedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦sub sequentially, the United States announced it would not allow the Gulf to be closed, and emphasized the capabilities of the US carrier task force on station just outside the Gulf (Sterner 1984, 129).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The war had also generated another threat to the US regional power status with regards to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had stepped up its diplomatic negotiations in the region as a result of the war, and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAmerican diplomats in the Gulf agreed that further chaos in the region would only benefit the Soviet Union (Viorst 1986, 363).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Thus, the US sought to counter Soviet influence and generate power and influence for themselves.
The possibilities of cooperation ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe extent to which states pursue cooperative behavior or abide by rules in international relations will depend on their calculation of the long-term benefits of rule maintenance or continued cooperation as opposed to the short-term benefits of breaching the rules or defecting from cooperation (Williams et al. 2006, 255).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In 1984, Iraq realized that its pursuit of self-interests had engaged it in a war that was well beyond its ability to win. As a result, it became increasingly open to international involvement, in hopes that international support would deter further Iranian aggression. The war also fostered another previously unlikely cooperative engagement. This restored relation, though minimal in scale, occurred between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe now have something which we havenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t had for a very long time: a Soviet-American dialogue (Segal 1988, 962).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â It should be noted, however, that this notion of cooperation is not consistent with the liberalist theory that nations collaborate based on the common reward for all which reduces the desire to selfishly compete. This is evident by the fact that the US only cooperated with the Soviet Union to the extent that was necessary in order to attain its national interests. Once the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War ended the US/Soviet Union relations returned to their pre Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War stances. One liberal British newspaper lamented and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œblamed Washington for the missed opportunity. When it comes to minimal consensus building, the United States shows signs of schizophrenia (Robins 1988, 593).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The tension between moral principles and national interest objectives ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ The use of chemical weapons in the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War demonstrates this tenet of realism quite well. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIraqÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s decision to violate the 1925 Geneva protocols forbidding the use of chemical weapons was not a hasty oneÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦When the Iraqis finally did initiate chemical warfare in 1983, they had to choose between the possible effects of offending world opinion and the certain adverse effects of being overrun by Iranian soldiers (Segal 1988, 962).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Iran was on the offensive, and due to overwhelming numerical odds in their favor, Iraq was forced to adopt a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œhold-it-at-all-costs defensive policy.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â As a result, the pursuit of national interest objectives superseded any obligations or responsibilities with regards to universal moral principles.
IMPLICATIONS FOR US POLICY
When discussing the implications that the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War has for US policy, one has but to consider the fact that since the conclusion of that war in 1988, the US involvement in that region has not only increased, but resulted in two subsequent wars in which it was and is directly involved. US national interests, such as access to the regionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s oil fields, are undeniably interwoven in the political outcomes of this highly volatile region. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œBy current calculations the Middle East contains 60 percent of the worldÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s reserves. Long after Texas and Alaska, Mexico and the North Sea have run dry, the Gulf will still be pumping oil (Viorst 1986, 361).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Therefore, for reasons of its own national interests, the US involvement in the Middle East region will remain strong. So what can we learn from the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War that can be applied to future involvement in the Middle East?
First, with regards to the self-help tendency of states that results from human nature, conflicts are a likely occurrence. US policymakers should keep in mind that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œin an anarchic realm, peace is fragile. The prolongation of peace requires that potentially destabilizing developments elicit the interest and the calculated response of some or all of the systemÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s principal actors. In the anarchy of states, the price of inattention or miscalculation is often paid in blood (Williams et al. 2006, 67).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â At the onset of the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War, the US tried to pursue a policy of neutrality, but it soon became apparent that the possible outcomes that were ensuing, which were prolonged instability in the region or IranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s domination of the region, were not in the best interests of the US. As a result, the US was forced to intervene. Stability in the region is a vital interest to US foreign policy, and due to the potential for conflict in the region, the US must maintain an active role and be prepared to intervene to maintain the desired stability. The Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War also suggested that in order to maintain stability, the US must be prepared to use military force. The ability of international government organizations, such as the UN, to maintain stability in a volatile region like the Middle East is limited to the enforcement of its policies by powerful actors who support the organization.
Second, in consideration of the world wide struggle for power that was reinforced by the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War, US policy should consider that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œstates in an anarchic order must provide for their own security, and threats or seeming threats to their own security abound. Preoccupation with identifying dangers and counteracting them become a way of life. Relations remain tense; the actors are usually suspicious and often hostile even though by nature they may not be given to suspicion and hostility (Williams et al. 2006, 66).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â As long as there remains an imbalance of power in the world system, there will continue to be a struggle to increase oneÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s power status compared to other states. It is this struggle for superiority in power that will generate insecurity. If the US fails to anticipate possible threats and provide for its security, the likelihood of future occurrences similar to the one witnessed on 11 September 2001 will increase.
Finally, the Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War represented a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œpoor political judgment and miscalculation on the part of Saddam Hussein (Pike 2005).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â HusseinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s actions not only resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage, but it also plunged him into a situation where the future for him and his country were uncertain. Ironically, the US is currently engulfed in a war in Iraq that mirrors a similar notion of miscalculation. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œMiscalculation by some or all of the great powers is a source of dangerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦because it is more likely to permit an unfolding of events that finally threatens the status quo and brings powers to war (Williams et al. 2006, 69).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The US is witnessing the consequences of its poor judgment and miscalculation in Iraq. In the future, US foreign policy should reflect a more cautious tone with regards to engagement in wars.
The Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War was a vivid reminder of realities by which the international system is governed. The challenge for world leaders is not necessarily to change the way the world operates, but rather to anticipate or react effectively in ways that demonstrate an understanding of world behavior. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhen leaders face intellectual challenges, they benefit from various theories of world politics from which they can draw guidanceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ Theories provide a map, or frame of reference, that makes the complex, puzzling world around us intelligible (Kegley 2008, 26).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â It is on this notion that the significance of this conflict analysis rests. The Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Iran War was not a singular example of a worldwide occurrence that can be best explained by the realist theory. Rather, the intended result of the application of the realist theory to that war was to demonstrate the efficiency of this theory in explaining worldwide events, and consequentially, in generating useful policies for governing.
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