Predicted effects of invading Iraq

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Many predicted effects of invading Iraq were well known and published in advance of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. As of 2005, failure to anticipate and prevent the worst of these, are cited as reasons to impeach the President of the United States George W. Bush, and to impeach the Vice-President of the United States, Dick Cheney. A reasonably neutral list of such predicted effects (of long standing at Wikipedia) has been compiled in and from many sources that are easy for anyone to verify from the public record. Actual effects of invading Iraq are also much discussed, but for impeachment purposes it is the effects known in advance that matter. Predicted effects of invading Iraq are those predicted prior to the actual invasion, not those that actually happened, nor new effects alleged after the fact with benefit of hindsight.

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Prior to the invasion, global news sources reported the following possible, alleged, reputed or expected effects of the U.S. plan to invade Iraq. The interest was triggered by the American announcement that the plan would be executed in early 2003. This was presumed to have either a strong positive or strong negative impact on world politics, depending on one's point of view and assumptions. This article presents a neutral list of the effects predicted by both supporters and detractors of the plan, prior to the event, as background to the main article on the Iraq crisis of 2003 - see its timeline for current events.

The predicted effects were often cited in United Nations actions regarding Iraq, popular opposition to war on Iraq and global protests against war on Iraq. As American popular opinion of war on Iraq has changed to reflect doubts about the outcomes of war, it forced the American government position on war on Iraq to change somewhat, and worldwide government positions on war on Iraq increasingly isolated the American push to war. In particular, the objections above caused significant rifts within the UK Labour Party, threatening a challenge to the leadership of Tony Blair. Public relations plans for war on Iraq also changed to address dire predictions in the above. The U.S. plan to invade Iraq itself changed somewhat, with a decreased role for Turkey due to Kurdish concerns [1].


List of effects predicted by those favoring the plan

List of effects predicted by the opponents of the plan

Opponents of the plan claimed to seek some of these same outcomes by means other than war. They often argued that some of the problems the U.S. plan seeks to overcome, such as high oil prices, challenges to the United Nations' authority, UN sanctions against Iraq of twelve years' standing, and high tensions between France, China, Russia and the US (these being three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council), were all a direct or indirect result of US policies that have been in effect from at least 1986 and especially since 1991. Changing some of these policies, including removing U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia (as Al Qaeda and more recently some Saudi officials have also demanded), ending or relaxing sanctions that have had no effect on Saddam Hussein's grip on power, and respecting both the authority and pace of the United Nations, they argued, was likely to lead to reduced tension. Attacking Iraq on a US timetable they claimed would lead to:

Increase of Islamic activity

an increase in Islamist activity leading to

  • a drop in world tourism, especially by air, as fears of Islamist retaliations rise
  • a general increase in the credibility of Islamist claims that the United States seeks hegemony in the oil-producing regions of the Gulf.
  • a resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan
  • increased Al Qaeda recruiting in all countries where they are active
  • attacks on UN forces in Afghanistan
  • one or more Islamist revolutions in Arabia: Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and especially Saudi Arabia and Egypt - possibly supported from Iran, maybe as a distraction to avoid being invaded themselves
  • threats to the political stability of Arabia especially the monarchies of Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as militant but not terrorist Islamists gain credibility, and especially if US, British, or Turkish forces remain anywhere in the region after the war
  • a deteriorating relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia especially if Wahhabist Saudi Princes gain control of the country, and US forces remain in the region
  • Islamist terrorism elsewhere, especially against American and British citizens
  • attacks on, and suppression of, moderate figures in modern Islamic philosophy who might otherwise successfully limit Islamist influence

Instability in Iraq after a war

possibly including

Changes to the balance of power in the oil industry

due to

  • lost public ownership of Iraq's oil reserves, fields, infrastructure and contracts
  • US, UK, and Turkish control of Iraq's oil supplies
  • higher oil prices long-term due to US de facto control of world supply on the markets
  • oil imperialism as Caspian Sea oil resources are developed under the control of the global military hegemony of the United States

Diplomatic power shifts


Economic effects

negative economic effects were predicted

  • Oil would rise to $100 a barrel, or higher [6]

Ecological effects

Negative ecological effects were predicted

See also Arabian Desert and East Sahero-Arabian xeric shrublands

Political impact in UK

  • European Union's unity, especially on matters of global military conflict and NATO
  • Labour Party of the UK - split between Cabinet (pro) and Commons (con)
  • UK House of Commons' confidence in UK Prime Minister Tony Blair - which could lead to his dismissal by the majority and his replacement by another Labour Prime Minister
  • US-UK relations especially if Blair loses power for supporting Bush's Iraq position
  • credibility of the UK government and its handling of evidence in international decisions
    • 'student paper' fiasco

Domestic US political impacts

on the

  • safety of American citizens travelling abroad
  • United States Democratic Party - which has not openly or severely criticized Bush's plan
  • Green Party - which is clearly against the war, and gaining support due to the Democratic Party's lack of condemnation of the Bush unilateral policies
  • role of Colin Powell within the G. W. Bush administration
  • credibility of the US government and its handling of evidence in international decisions
    • Office of Strategic Influence fiasco
    • acceptance of US wiretap and satellite evidence by the UN (see technology issues below)
  • prospects for re-election of Bush/Cheney in the U.S. presidential election, 2004
  • relationship with Canada especially if they split on Iraq badly
  • relationship with Mexico especially if they split on Iraq badly
  • attitude of the U.S. public towards aid to dictators friendly to the U.S.
  • world prestige of the US if things go badly or a large number of US troops are killed

destabilizing influence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict due to

increasing fear in other nations not known for political stability, including

negative impacts of the use of technology and public support for technology-focused wars, esp.

See also

External links

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