The U.S. War in Iraq launched in 2003 gives us much to think about. Richard Haass, an experienced State Department, Defense Department and National Security Council policymaker called it a war of “choice,” as opposed to a war of “necessity.” According to Haass, Afghanistan was a necessary war, needed to defeat the regime that supported the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Iraq on the other hand was a war of choice, chosen for less than vital national interests to eliminate an evil dictator and his weapons of mass destruction programs, and redirect the Middle East towards democratic governance and capitalism.
The George W. Bush administration also highlighted the ethical arguments, with the war justified as a moral obligation — for a great power to bring regime change to a hostile and bloody Iraq suffering under a dictator who had murdered, tortured and even gassed his own people.
The story you’re reading is premium content from the Austin American-Statesman. Subscribers get total access to all our in-depth news, digital editions and exclusive premium content. You can also buy a 24-hour digital pass or 7-day digital pass.
Read MyStatesman.com now — 24-hour digital pass99¢ for 24-hours
Read MyStatesman.com all week — 7-day digital pass$3.99 for 7-days
Subscribe to the Statesman for as little as 33¢ per dayView Offers
For Subscribers: Register your account for digital access.Access Digital
For Subscribers: Sign in here if you have already registered your account.Sign In
Joseph Cerami is a senior lecturer in national security and director of the Public Service Leadership Program at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He joined the Bush School in 2001 after a 30-year Army career. He has a doctorate from the Penn State School of Public Affairs and a master’s in government from the University of Texas. Cerami is the author of the book ‘Leadership and Policy Innovation — From Clinton to Bush Countering the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.’
More views on Iraq War
This article is part of an occasional series linked to the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Find previous articles online at bit.ly/108UbR2, bit.ly/YCFtxa and bit.ly/YxQHY0