20 years later, the invasion of Iraq is still just as unjustifiable

20 years later, the invasion of Iraq is still just as unjustifiable


Twenty years ago, on Monday, the United States invaded Iraq, while they were still hunting down those responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001 in Afghanistan.&nbsp ;

A military campaign under false pretences that left tens of thousands dead and squandered hundreds of billions of dollars. What did the Americans get out of it? A loss of influence in the region! Forever, one of the biggest blunders in foreign policy.

Let's admit that the Afghan campaign was justified: the terror sown by kamikaze planes coupled with the 3,000 deaths at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, legitimized the desire for revenge against Osama bin Laden's Islamists. Not sure we had to stay there for twenty years, but that's another story. 

On March 20, 2003, when the first American bombers dropped their load on Iraq, they were paving the way for years of chaos that gradually eroded US credibility in the Middle East.

Starting with the justifications for this invasion, allegations of imminent danger linked to non-existent – ​​we quickly learned – “weapons of mass destruction” in the arsenal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. 


The hawks around then-President George W. Bush still claim today that ridding the world of executioner that was Saddam Hussein was worth the cost. If he did not have weapons of mass destruction in 2003, “he could have had them five years later”, still maintains John Bolton, one of the architects of this invasion.

Fortunately, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, the presidents who followed, did not adhere to this preventive vision of war: “We invade first; we find reasons later. ” But the damage was done. The United States, in its tracks, has awakened murderous impulses of revanchism between Shiite and Sunni communities.

The disbandment of the Iraqi army has freed tens of thousands of men, suddenly unemployed, armed and angry. Many of them have joined groups more extremist than each other, such as the Islamic State, which a thousand American soldiers, in Syria in particular, are still fighting.

Not only did the Americans not earn respect with this offensive, but by ousting Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim, from power, they allowed Shiite Muslims – who form the majority of the population in Iraq – to take control of the country.

These Iraqi Shiites naturally feel close to the great Shiite nation of Iran. In other words, by toppling Saddam Hussein and his statues, the United States pushed Iraq into the arms of Iran, its regional enemy. Not very glorious, thank you!

Experts believe that even subsequent appeasement efforts backfired on the United States. The withdrawal of American soldiers at the end of 2011 by President Obama was understood by the Arab countries around it as a signal that Washington had had enough of the region and its endless tussles.

The recent agreement between Saudis and Iranians, under the sponsorship of China, would be a distant consequence. Truly a disaster, this invasion, which continues, twenty years later, to haunt the Americans! 

The Iraq War (2003-2011) 

  • 4431 US soldiers, killed
  • 31,994 wounded
  • 1790 billion $, cost of military operations in Iraq, then in Syria, including care for veterans and interest on the debt financing these conflicts.
  • Including expected care for veterans through 2050, the total cost will be $2.89 trillion

20 years later, the invasion of Iraq is still just as unjustifiable