US-IRAQ RESEARCH PAPER
Outline for United States - Iraqi relations with reference to deterrence theory. I. Introduction A. Saddam Hussein 1. History 2. Agenda B. Iraqi Military 1. Size and Strength C. US interests in Iraq 1. Maintenance of the free world a. Free World Leader 2. US Policy with reference to Iraq a. Iran-Iraq War b. Desert Storm c. State Sponsored Terrorism D. Sanctions 1. Purpose a. Prevention of war b. Sovereignty of Middle Eastern States c. Maintenance of US Allies 2. Compliance a. Sanctions violations b. Iraqi violations II. Threat Perception A. Iraq as a threat 1. Military a. Chemical Weapons b. Possible nuclear threat c. Israeli sovereignty d. World Sovereignty 1. US allies' perception of threat from terrorism a. US military and economic aide B. US threat perception 1. Iraqi Aggression 2. State sponsored terrorism 3. Intra-State Conflict 4. Non-Democratic Regimes C. Human Rights Violations 1. Kurds 2. Iraqi occupation in Kuwait. III. Deterrence A. Defending the Status quo 1. Threat a. Threat by denial B. Fourth Wave theory with reference to Iraq 1. Controllability and Calculability of Risk 2. Capabilities 3. Resolve C. Critical Risk of Iraq and the US D. Bargaining 1. Search 2. Persuasion 3. Strategy IV. Coercion A. Sanctions B. US Military presence in Saudi Arabia C. Fourth Wave theory with reference to the US 1. Controllability and Calculability of Risk 2. Capabilities 3. Resolve V. Conclusion A. Suggestions for future US policy towards Iraq 1. New methods of Deterrence 2. New methods of Coercion B. Iraq's status quo C. Communication 1. Negotiations a. Bargaining 2. Basement of Fear a. Saddam Hussein INTRODUCTION On July 23, 1998 Iraq reinvaded Kuwait, citing that Kuwait belongs to them. In the same day, they issued a nuclear threat to Israel and any country that dared to challenge them. Saddam announced that Iraq was now in possession of nuclear weapons created by his own scientists in Iraq. Sanctions and resolutions were placed on Iraq after they were compelled from Kuwait, which were not to be lifted until they destroyed their weapons of mass destruction (WMD), paid war reparations, and accounted for 600 Kuwaitis missing since the Gulf War crisis . This means that Iraq was supposed to be drawing its weapons down, however they some how managed to create new WMDUs even though they were prohibited from doing so. Why has the US allowed this? On what historical and theoretical basis could this event have taken place? This is a major theme that will be dealt with in this research paper on US-Iraqi relations. Sanctions are meant to deter the challenger from challenging the defender. In this case, the sanctions were meant to deter Iraq from any further aggression in the middle east. They however have reinvaded Kuwait, how did they accomplish this in spite of the sanctions? This question is in conjunction with my first question, because the main issue is how did Iraq get to the point where US led sanctions did not deter them from aggressive actions? A conclusion to the questions in which I have presented, can only be reached through a thorough analysis of IraqUs military actions in the past. For example, why did Iraq go to war with Iran in the early 80Us? Or what were the reasons for IraqUs first invasion of Kuwait? Analyzing these questions will allow me to conclude as to what would deter Iraq from aggressive actions and why they would be aggressive in the first place. Although the US placed sanctions on Iraq which would force them to participate in the down sizing of their military, their WMDUs and being accountable for missing KuwaitiUs, Iraq was not deterred and disobeyed these sanctions in order to reach their own personal goal. Before I get into why Iraq did certain things, there must first be an understanding of the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein. IraqUs stance on issueUs relies heavily on his position on an issue. It is therefore his ideology running the country. So to understand the country we must understand his ideology. Saddam Hussein is a well-educated individual, he attended Cairo University in Egypt . In 1956, he joined the Baath Party, a political party in Iraq . He was later sentenced to death for the attempted assassination of General Kassem and to escape this fate, he fled to Syria and then Egypt . Eventually he made it back into Iraq planning to overthrow the government and seize control. He was arrested again in 1964, for plotting to overthrow the then president Abdul Salem Aref . He became the vice-president of the Revolutionary Command Council in 1969, and 10 years later he became the president of Iraq . Saddam had a history of violence prior to his presidency. This is seen through his many coupe campaigns and the violent strategy used to put himself in power. Once he became the president, the bloodshed did not stop, but spread, to new countries like Iran. Hussein had his Iraqi forces invade Iran, soon after he became the president. What would then, explain HusseinUs mentality? Is Saddam Hussein a rational or irrational person? To answer this question, an understanding of the concepts of rationality vs. irrationality must be gained. First of all, a rational choice is the maximization of subjective expected absolute gain or loss . What does this mean? It means that the person making the choice first examines what his expected absolute gain would be from a decision. If this gain is then higher than the loss, then the choice can then be considered rational. But if the losses are greater than the gains, then the choice can be considered to be irrational. In Saddam HusseinUs situation, we can understand if the invasion of Iran was rational or not by examining what Saddam had to lose and gain through this invasion. The present day borders between Iran, Iraq and Kuwait were drawn by the British upon their withdrawal of forces from the area . The British wanted to limit the power of the IraqiUs, so they limited their coastal access, by creating Kuwait . They also placed some historical Iraqi lands in the control of the IranianUs . The Shah was overthrown in 1979 and Saddam Hussein came into power during that same year . The IraqiUs decided that 1980 was a good time to regain their historical lands back from the IranianUs and Saddam called for the invasion of Iran . This means that Iraq invaded Iran in order to gain lands lost when the British pulled out of the area. Now, in order to test whether or not this invasion of Iran was a rational choice the question of what were the possible losses of the war must be asked? The answer would obviously be that many people would die and Iraq would not regain access to their historical lands. Since the British gave the land away that they were in control of prior to the end of World War 2, the land was rightfully in the hands of the Iranians. However Saddam may have seen that the British acted in an irrational manner in giving their land away. That is the British did something they were not supposed to do. Does that mean that the British were wrong? Saddam could have asked them to step in and negotiate on IraqUs behalf for the land to be returned to them. This would have constituted a rational decision, because the only loss would be that the IraqiUs would have had to find a new avenue for reclaiming their land. The gain in this situation would outweigh the loss, because the Iranians could have agreed to give their land back. If Iraq were to invade Iran, as they really did, the choice then was an irrational one. The loss of many lives due to a prolonged war does not outweigh the gain of historical land that Iraq had learned to live without for over 40 years. It had been proven that the IraqiUs could live without this land, therefore the loss of gaining this land was less important than loss of not regaining this land. Saddam therefore made an irrational choice when he invaded Iran. Though to Saddam, the choice may have been rational. Saddam could have viewed regaining Iraqi historical land as the most important thing on his agenda. The possible loss of not regaining the land could have been much less important than the possible gain of the land. However we on the outside are the ones that would determine, whether or not Saddam was rational in his actions and it has already been concluded that he was irrational. The US saw the war with Iran as a rational choice however, only because they had a motivated bias. The US assumed that Iraqi survival in its ongoing war with Iran, was essential to US security . To help the IraqiUs out, the Reagan and Bush administration had provided HusseinUs regime with economic credits, secret intelligence data, and military-related technology . By the US helping Iraq to succeed in their war with Iran, the US gained a motivated bias, with regard to Iraq. The US felt that by helping Iraq win the war against Iran, they were making a rational choice, because it would be beneficial to the US to gain a long time Soviet ally . The US saw no real losses, because the White House did not see any real losses as a result of aiding the IraqiUs. At least they saw that there was more to gain by helping the IraqiUs than there was to lose. Therefore the decision to help Iraq was a rational choice. After the Iran-Iraq war, there was about two years of peace, as far as Iraq is concerned. But on August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait . The purpose of this invasion was a result of the disputes that Iraq had with Kuwait . A disagreement over oil, then was the spark of another war which would involve Iraq. Was it a rational decision for Saddam to do this? What first did he have to gain? He would have been in complete control of a major oil producing country. This would grant Iraq substantial power in the middle east. Theoretically, at this point the loses were hardly any, if the IraqiUs were not aware that the US would intervene. The conclusion is then, that it is rational to attack Kuwait, if Iraq knows that there will be no army stronger than his own retaliating against him. However the US and Kuwait had agreed to a 10 year security agreement prior to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq . This means that the US was engaging in marginal deterrence with regard to Kuwait. If Saddam knew of this agreement, then he was acting under a unmotivated bias and thus engaging in irrational behavior. Saddam Hussein can then be viewed as an irrational person, because in two instances, he proved to engage in irrational activity. Even after the war was over and the US and allied forces had compelled Saddam out of Kuwait, we see him violating the sanctions that were put on his country. He did not outright disobey these sanctions, but used Salami Tactics. Salami Tactics are when you little by little do not comply with some rule, in order to reduce oneUs threat credibility. Iraq did this through various levels. These violations seem to be leading up to another showdown between the United Nations and Iraq. This is mainly where the scenario that I have spelled out gets its validity. Iraq could regain Kuwait, because it has weakened the threat perception of the US and the UN through Salami Tactics. Saddam could then gain a motivated bias and attack Kuwait, which would restart the gulf war. THREAT PERCEPTION Is Iraq a threat to the sovereignty of the middle east or to the world for that matter? Thus far the US and UN have offered threats of punishment and denial in order to deter Iraq from reinvading Kuwait. But are those threats valid? In my introduction I came to the conclusion that Salami Tactics were wearing US and UN threats down. That is, the threats that the US and UN have given to Iraq do not mean as much to Iraq, because they have gotten away with the violation of some sanctions. This is known as eroding the commitments of the defender, which happens to be in this case, the UN and US (I use UN and US separately because they both offer strong influences separately in this region of the world, even though they are one in the same entity). I would then like to offer the theory that Iraq becomes more of a threat as they erode the commitments of the US and UN through salami tactics. If both the US and the UN tell Iraq not to produce weapons of mass destruction or else there will be stiff penalties, then a threat by punishment has been issued. However if we do not follow through on our commitments, then our threat has less bearing. That is, the threat perception of the US and the UN is lowered as a result of this. Iraq has violated several Security council resolutions, and has yet to be punished for them. Threat by punishment should then be an abandoned mode of deterrence, since it is not being implemented. Threat by denial has also been a lost cause, because we have seen that Iraq is still bold enough to practice war games near the Iraqi-Kuwaiti boarder, even though Security Council resolutions prohibit this activity . With the Iraqi threat perception being lowered, with regards to the UN and US, Iraq has become more of a threat than before. Which supports my scenario that Iraq will reinvade Kuwait. Throughout Saddam HusseinUs reign as leader of Iraq, he has exhibited nothing but aggressive behavior, even when the odds are against him. His motivated biases allow him to be aggressive and in order to deter him from any more aggressive actions, he would have to be clearly shown all the repercussions of his actions, before he commits them. This will allow him to make a rational decision without a motivated bias. But there is one other problem with this, it has been shown earlier in this paper that Saddam is not a rational person. This poses a serious problem, how can he be made to think rationally? Security Council resolutions allegedly provided the Iraqi Kurds with refuge in northern Iraq. That is, they were protected by SaddamUs military. However on August 31, the Iraqi army sent thousands of troops into northern Iraq in order to capture the main city of Irbil . The reason that Saddam sent these troops, was because some Kurds were fighting amongst each other and Saddam wanted to see an end to it. However he violated a Security Council resolution in the process, which means that he had to make a rational or irrational choice regarding the situation in northern Iraq. This choice, I believe was rational, because Saddam gained land back and eroded even more UN commitments. The only loss that he could have sustained was a retaliation measure taken by the US or UN, which seemed highly unlikely at the time. This means that in some situations, Saddam can think rationally. To get him to think rationally for all of his decisions, the UN will have to make him see things as clearly as he saw them in northern Iraq. That is, everything must be spelled out for him one by one. If Saddam then follows this rational model of decision making, then there will be less human rights violations and the UN and US could gain an ally in the process. DETERRENCE What is the status quo with regards to the middle east, or the world for that matter? To answer this question, the definition of a status quo must be reviewed. A status quo, according to Raymond Tanter, is what you want to uphold . For example, if Mexico invaded the US, the US would protect its status quo by defending against the aggression. Protection of the sovereignty of the US, then is the status quo. The status quo in the middle east, seems to be in keeping the peace. Compelling countries that aggress upon others, such as was the case when Iraq first invaded Kuwait. How is the status quo to be maintained? The status quo can only be protected through deterrence. This deterrence includes, coercion, bargaining, persuasion, compellance, threat by punishment, denial etc. If an aggressive action can be deterred by any avenue of deterrence theory, then the status quo in that situation has been protected. To determine, whether or not the status quo needs to be protected involves the perception of the threat. This can be accomplished through the fourth wave theory of deterrence. This model is to be used, because it is the most up to date and most in depth. It takes into account more factors of a country than any other form of deterrence theory i.e. first, second, and third wave theories. Is Iraq a threat to the status quo of the middle east? Fourth wave deterrence theory must be used in order to calculate whether or not Iraq is a threat. First IraqUs controllability and calculabilty of risk must be determined. Can Iraq be controlled? History tells us that Saddam cannot really be controlled. This can be concluded because when he came into power, he made a string of irrational decisions regarding Iraqi foreign policy. The invasion of Iran, Kuwait, etc. are evidence of irrational decision making, as I have described in my introduction. These actions could not be controlled. For example, the US and UN tried to use threat by punishment, in order to remove Iraq from Kuwait. SaddamUs forces then had to be compelled in order to restore Kuwaiti sovereignty. If force must be used, then there is evidence that the challenger will not be controlled through non-violent means. Therefore IraqUs controllability is low. The calculability of risk requires a different approach to the challenger. Calculating whether or not Iraq would reinvade Kuwait requires the defender (UN) to calculate what Iraq is capable of. In other words, what are IraqUs capabilities? It is widely believed that Iraq has great military strength (1 million troops) which can lead to the conclusion that Iraq can invade and conquer most countries in the middle east, which means that to protect the middle eastern sovereignty, the US and UN would have to become involved with middle eastern affairs. Resolve also plays a role in this calculation of threat by Iraq. Then it must be deduced whether or not Iraq is motivated by gain or need. If by gain then, fourth wave deterrence will be necessary, but if by need, then another form of deterrence, i.e. persuasion, coercion, etc. must be used. In this situation Iraq is motivated by gain obviously. Iraq needs nothing more, they are a sovereign state. Gaining access to Kuwait, will only increase their infrastructure. If they do not attain Kuwait, then their infrastructure can still be maintained. Therefore Iraq is motivated by gain and thus fourth wave deterrence seems to be the proper route in deterring Saddam Hussein. Or is it? So far deterrence of Iraq has not worked well at all. They had to be compelled from Kuwait, furthermore they have used salami tactics and broken security council resolutions. And, this recent invasion of Kuwait is proof furthermore that a new method of deterrence must be used in order to deter Iraq. therefore fourth wave theory is incorrect in assuming that it is in the best method of deterrence to use, when the challenger is motivated by gain. We need to calculate IraqUs critical risk, in order to understand why they have not been deterred. Critical risk (CR) is the ratio of your potential gains versus the probability that the defender will defend their status quo . The probability that Iraq will be compelled from a Kuwait is high, and their potential gains are low, therefore it would seem that deterrence can work. I am suggesting another mode of deterrence however. COERCION Coercion is the process by which the defender offers some reward for compliance . The Security council according to this mode of deterrence should offer Saddam some form of aide in exchange for compliance with resolutions. If Iraq behaves, they will be rewarded for doing so. They will become an ally, a friendly nation, which will allow Iraq to progress without them bothering any other countries. This mode may seem to allow Iraq to progress militarily, but remember they must comply with Security Council resolutions. They just will not be forced into it. The reason that this form of deterrence works better with regard to Iraq, is because Saddam seems to be in a basement of fear. Meaning that he is being cornered and that is making him reach irrational decisions. By allowing him to think clearly the objectives of the Security Council will have been reached. The goal is to make Saddam think rationally. CONCLUSION In conclusion let me close with the following remarks and suggestions to US foreign Policy. If we do not put Saddam into a basement of fear with threats, then he will be more able to comply with our wants. By making Iraq an ally we better protect the status quo. We want Saddam on our side, so that we can gain leverage with other rogue countries. Instead of fighting wars on two fronts as Klare suggests, why not keep the peace through coercion. This allows us to maintain control of these rogue countries. And in regards to professor TanterUs book, RRogue Regimes,S let me say that it will help in determining the status quoUs of these rogue states. By understanding what these countries want, we can better control them without the loss of lives. It will cost more monetarily, but the peace will be kept. Finally the reason that I believe Iraq will attack Kuwait again, is because they have no choice, in their own eyes. They are somewhat in the same situation as the German Weimar Republic was prior to World War II. War torn and without economic assistance. Furthermore they have to worry about sanctions, which also helps to put them into a basement of fear. If these worryUs are eliminated, then Saddam can think rationally and we will not have any problems with Iraq.