On the eve of the US invasion of Iraq the “Coalition of the Willing” leaves much to be desired, as does the case for war on the basis of an imminent threat. This is the last post in the “Between 9/11 and the Iraq War” Historical Mullet series. Original discussion is included in the first comment.
I was worried yesterday that the Azores summit might reveal the Coalition of the Willing(tm) might not have enough international support. Fortunately Portugal, that colonial powerhouse of the 15th-18th Centuries is solidly behind us.
Of course all we need from a military standpoint for our coallition is a series of numbers and letters: 82nd, 101st, 3rd, and the strategic air wing.
For the record, and more seriously, I am for disarming Iraq and a regime change but not in this manner. The threat presented by Saddam (in my opinion) does not meet a threshold of utility which compensates for the harm done to international relations and world opinion of the United States. In other words the dangers Saddam might represent are not equal to the actual damage being done to the United States internationally.
My main fear right now are along a few variables: Turkey occupies norther Iraq, Israeli retaliates against a SCUD attack, Iran provokes the Shiite majority in an ethnic uprising. All of these variables can be handled diplomatically but the failure of the Bush administration to understand and utilize actual diplomacy doesn’t give me hope.
Finally although I am against invading Iraq at this time, I firmly believe that once we go in we need to stay to see the job through successfully, be that 2,3, or 5 years, whatever it takes. It’s one of the reasons I started exploring down the path of the military and OCS: becuase of our actions now, our country will be more at risk and need qualified individuals to serve to protect it from that risk over the next few years. No final decision yet on that front though.