Long term effects of war with Iraq?

I’m not a foreign policy expert by any means, but it concerns me that we’re hearing so little about the possible long term effects of war with Iraq. Even if the U.S. does overthrow Hussein quickly, then what?

One of my biggest concerns is that war with Iraq will further enflame militant Islamic factions around the world, leading to a rise in terrorist attacks within the U.S. This seems like an obvious possibility, but I haven’t heard any discussion of this from the Bush administration.

Since I’m not hearing it from the official experts, I want to hear it from you, Dopers. What do you think war with Iraq now will mean a year down the line? 5 years? 20 years? (I realize it may be meaningless to speculate so far into the future, but it seems better than not speculating at all.)

Remember what happened last time Saddam lost? He lit oil fields a-flame, shot missiles into Israel and gave us the finger (didn’t he pour oil in to the sea or something of this nature? i can’t remember all the details). Anyways, if Saddam was going to be taken out, I think he’d be an even bigger sore loser. I wouldn’t be suprised if he let lose all the damage he could, whether on his own people, the US, or our allies. That’s probably what I’m most concerned about, cleaning up after Saddam.

I really think this will be an incredibly hard war for us to fight. Not necessarily the actual battle but politically. If the fighting is forced in to the city of Baghdad and the civilian casaulties soar, we’re in for some trouble.

Destabilization of the region would be good. Those people want to be free but are living under tyrannous governments.

As far as Iraq goes, I don’t think Saddam’s troops are that loyal, look at how they surrendered in the first war. And if they weren’t already shaky, we just sent a whole barrage of Psychological Ops troops over there to aide the revolution.

If the Middle East were destabilized, radical Islamist factions would almost certainly fill the power vacuum in many places. Picture a radical Imam in charge in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq… This kind of stuff has to be considered.

Don’t forget the consequences for our economy. Forget about the stock market coming back anytime soon if we invade Iraq.

Bush hopes to accomplish a few things in the long term. He wants to establish a more “badass” reputation for America, so other powers will think twice before challenging her. He wants to free up resources that are currently being used to contain Saddam Hussein (we can fight a war on two fronts, but I’m sure we’d rather not). He wants to keep Saddam Hussein from joining the “Nuclear Player’s Club” and throwing his weight around the Middle East. And let’s be honest, Saddam doesn’t want nuclear weapons to use or to give to terrorists, he wants them so he can get the “respect” he thinks he deserves.

But I don’t think they’ve made their case that it’s worth a war. I also don’t think they’ve made their case that inspections with a new U.N. resolution are doomed to failure. They’d be more convincing if they were honest about the situation, rather than intentionally confusing Saddam Hussein with suicidal religious fanatics.

You forgot the end of the last sentence, which should read “propped up and supported by the U.S.”

Yes, that has worked so well in the past… But, in the first Gulf “War” (it wasn’t a war in the traditional sense of two armies battling, it was a slaughter), none of Iraq’s elite troops were in Kuwait. Saddam withdrew the one regiment of Republican Guards from Kuwait before the fighting started. Those that remained were mostly poor, and poorly-trained and -equipped conscripts.

If you think this war will be like the last one, you may be in for a HUGE surprise. This time it will not be just the poor conscripts out in the desert getting slaughtered by U.S. attack helicopters and jets. This time it will be in the cities, against the best Iraqi troops. For all of the rosy scenarios involving a mass revolt, I just don’t think that is very likely. When has it ever happened in history? Has there ever been an example of an army just giving up when an invading force entered their country? I can’t think of one, and I don’t see why this should be any different.

That is a good point, that is never discussed. The invasion and subsequent occupation is estimated to cost between $100 and $200 billion. Who is going to pay for all that? What it amounts to is a gift from the U.S. taxpayer to Big Oil.

Since so many are challenging her now? I don’t think this has so much to do with establishing a more fearsome reputation. Most of the world already lives in fear of a U.S. attack. This part has more to do with eliminating the last shreds of international law. This move essentially says that there is no more law.

That just doesn’t make sense. It will cost much, much more to invade and occupy Iraq than it would to contain Saddam, the cost of which would be negligible if the U.S. did it correctly.

I don’t think he cares that much about the WMD. If the U.S. really did care about that, it wouldn’t have acted to destroy the inspection process. Indeed, the prospect of Saddam obtaining WMD is a positive benefit, in terms of scaring the populace.

Another possible motivation would be for defense. Since the U.S. is basically announcing that it spits on international law, the only way for countries to deter a U.S. attack is to obtain nuclear weapons. This is another reason why the U.S. invasion will make the world a much more dangerous place.

The Allies and the Sicily Campaign, World War II?



Or is that just a foul slander on Italians?

Yeah, I guess you could make that case. It was 1943, though, and the war had already been going on for some time. Furthermore, there was a significant internal resistance that succeeded in liberating portions of Italy before the Allies arrived. But, yeah, this is an example, you are right.

DDG mentioned one of my examples but there are several more and they did not fit into this

[ul][li]Poland[/li][li]France[/li][li]Austria[/li][li]Northern Africa[/li][li]Misc. smaller countries[/ul][/li]:wink: [sup]This is in response to the specific question, nothing to do with taking sides[/sup]