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US foreign policy, neo-conservatism and the Iraq war (2003-2011): Critical reviews of factors and rationales

Saidin, Mohd Irwan Syazli (2022) 'US foreign policy, neo-conservatism and the Iraq war (2003-2011): Critical reviews of factors and rationales.', Cogent Arts & Humanities, 9 (1).


The post-US invasion of Iraq in 2003 has witnessed a dramatic change in the Iraqi political landscape and became the main highlights of geopolitical and security issues in the Middle East. Critics of the war maintained that there were other motives behind the decision of the US government to invade Iraq. This article argues that the US administration’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was not entirely driven by the desire to introduce democracy and establish security, dubbed the “Operation Iraqi Freedom” in the country, as justified by President Bush, but instead motivated largely by oil-related benefits to the US including its interest to gain control of the oil reserves in Iraq as well as to preserve the US Dollars as the world reserve currency. This factor is supplemented by several other rationales, including the neoconservatives’ influence to bring a regime change in Iraq and the quest for US global hegemony. These three major factors—oil resources, the position of petrodollar’s status quo, and the quest for global hegemony make up a comprehensive and sophisticated motivation to justify why the US administration decided to invade Iraq in 2003, apart from the terrorism and weapon of mass destruction-related issues.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
Date accepted:05 August 2022
Date deposited:22 September 2022
Date of first online publication:17 August 2022
Date first made open access:22 September 2022

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