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War On Terror

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The War on Terror

Foreign Policy is defined as a policy pursued by a nation in its dealings with other nations, designed to achieve national objectives. Foreign policies generally are designed to help protect a country's national interests, national security, ideological goals, and economic prosperity. My subject, obviously dealing with national security, I chose not only because of the myriad of sources on the issue but also in part due to its origin. Not to mention that I am somewhat ignorant on the beginning of the war in Iraq and the only salve for ignorance is information. I will explain throughout this paper our relations with the Middle East, past to present, what's been done, and my very valued opinion on the subject.

The War on Terror is an umbrella term used by the Bush administration to refer to the various military, political, and legal actions taken to stop the spread of terrorism. However it is vast religious, cultural, and economic differences that have led us to our current policies in the Middle East. For the most part conflict arose around 1967 towards the end of the Vietnam War. These stemmed from the U.S. and it's determination to annex much or all of the territories it captured, obviously cause problems with the surrounding Middle Eastern areas. Although the situation remained unfriendly it also remained quite stagnant. Fast forward to 1983, Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Iraq as special diplomatic envoy for the Reagan administration. He went to restore diplomatic contacts severed in 1967 and to propose a business deal on behalf of America to build an oil pipeline from Iraq through Jordan. The Reagan administration saw Hussein as a crucial ally in the battle against radical Islam. Despite maintaining official neutrality in the bloody Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. had recently removed Iraq from its list of states sponsoring terrorism, loosened trade restrictions, and begun supplying Hussein with military intelligence in hopes of halting the spread of Iran's Islamic revolution. Rumsfeld traveled to Iraq fully aware that Hussein was using banned chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and even his own people. Rumsfeld's second visit to Baghdad was followed with a U.N. report that Iraqi poison gas had killed 600 Iranians just days before. He assured Iraq that U.S. support remained strong despite America's recent public condemnation of chemical weapons use, and promised disruption of Iranian arms imports. It is at this point U.S. officials began worrying that public outrage over Hussein's use of chemical weapons would undermine their bilateral relationship. Iraq asked America to forestall any U.N. Security Council resolutions criticizing its use of chemical weapons. And although U.N. investigators confirmed Iraqi chemical weapons use by 1984, Security Council resolutions did not hold Iraq directly responsible until 1990, when the first Gulf War shattered U.S.-Iraqi ties.

This leads us to the gulf war. Although it lasted a mere 44 days in the aspects leading up to the current Middle Eastern policy it has significant relevance. The previous mutual beneficial and friendly Iraqi-U.S. relations were shattered in August of 1990 when Iraq launched and invasion of Kuwait and very quickly occupied the country. Cries of outrage and demands of Iraq's withdrawals were issued by many nations of the international community. The UN Security Council cut off economic sanctions to Iraq, and debate raged whether or not force would be necessary to remove Iraq from Kuwait.

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