Since the establishment of the United States, American security has often been threatened and in a majority of these instances, the country responded to these threats in order to secure its liberty and welfare. Although America won its independence from Britain in 1776, the cruelty of the British toward America had not ceased, as can be seen in the Chesapeake Affair of 1807 in which a US naval ship was cornered by British ships . This Chesapeake Affair created hostilities between the United States and Britain and eventually led to the War of 1812.
In a similar context, the Iraq War was also a direct response to the evidence supporting the fact that Iraq was connected to terrorist activities and the assumption that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction. The US response to Russia in the Cold War is similar to the US response today and set the precedent for the Iraq War. Conclusively, both the War of 1812 and the current war in Iraq can be justified considering that the country was provoked in both instances and had every right to defend itself and its people from all foreign dangers.
The Chesapeake Affair is the perfect example of British infringement on American sovereignty. It was significant as it was the beginning of all British impressments toward the United States Navy. The British had cornered and then attacked the USS Chesapeake, an American naval ship, on the grounds that British sailors had fled onto American ships in order to rid themselves of all connections with the British .
This action may have been proper from the perspective of the British but as the Americans see it, valuable sailors and therefore, citizens, had been lost to a country that had granted them independence half a century before. Condemnation of the British echoed all over the country in response to the unfair affair and the Britain was soon unpopular in the country, similar to the Revolutionary War . America made it clear that these impressments were not acceptable. Nevertheless, Britain chose to continue its actions. The war of 1812 was a direct response to the stated impressments.
With President James Madison’s Macon’s Bill No. 2 of 1810 stating that the US would trade with the nation that stopped the impressments first, the Non-Intercourse Act was repealed and both Britain and France were given the opportunity to take back their policies of interfering in American commerce . Although Madison thought the bill was “submissive and degrading in spirit” , he knew that this was the only way to secure a stable economy independent of outside interferences. Upon signing the Act, France agreed to stop impressing.
This was more than enough incentive for the United States to immediately declare war on Britain, especially because Britain did not even consider taking back their past actions . America had been tolerating more than any country could handle and with all this in consideration, the war of 1812 was nothing but appropriate. These same ideas were used in the 20th and 21st centuries, beginning with the Cold War. The United States and Russia were the two leading forces in the Cold War and many of the complications had to do with the nuclear arms race .
Russia was suspected of creating nuclear weapons and because of this, the United States and Russia agreed to sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which stated that monitoring operations would be enforced to ensure that neither nation was creating missiles or any other military equipment meant to hurt the opposing nation . The Treaty can be seen as the US response to the assumption that Russia had been planning against them. The INF treaty, because of its circumstances, serves as a precedent for the United States’ involvement in the Iraq War.
The primary reason for the United States being in the Iraq War is the evidence from the FBI that showed Iraq’s increased involvement with the terrorist groups who were directly related to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center . The September 11 attacks in 2001 were especially devastating because innocent American civilians had been hurt by the terrorists, not the army. Not only did it cause 3,000 civilian deaths but it also caused major destruction in the heart of New York City . No country can attack the United States in this manner and not expect an immediate response.
Initially, connections had not been made to the al-Qaeda hijackers had been made initially but eventually, government officials and FBI uncovered that Iraq was in fact connected to these attacks. Iyad Allawi, a former Interim Prime Minister of Iraq stated, “We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam’s involvement with al-Qaeda… But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks. ” As can be observed, terrorism was one of the leading causes of US invasion into Iraq.
However, there are also many other reasons. There is significant evidence showing that Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq, had acquired minerals and other nuclear material needed to create weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), similar to when Russia had acquired nuclear weapons in the Cold War. President George W. Bush, the president during this time, said in his State of the Union Address in 2003, “The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb.
The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide. ” It is not sure whether or not the creation of the WMD’s were meant to harm the United States but it is sure that the production of the WMD’s are most certainly related to some terrorist activity.
With all this taken into consideration, there is more than enough evidence and reasoning supporting the presence of US troops in Iraq. Similar to previous foreign issues, the United States is a powerful nation in world issues and politics and is usually very tolerant of many atrocities, unless situations begin to get out of hand. The casualties of US citizens are enough reason to invade and remain in Iraq. Despite the fact that American security was seriously threatened, some may argue that the United States responded inappropriately in both of these instances.
In 1807, Britain had issued the Orders in Council which restricted any countries from trading with France and supplying them with commerce and resources . This was, of course, very unpopular in both the US and in France and it gave the United States more reason to declare war on Britain, along with the numerous policies of impressments. However, Britain was about to repeal the Orders in Council but it was too late; the US had already declared war on Britain. The United States could have given Britain a little more time and leniency and therefore, would have avoided the war.
Referring to the Iraq War and the war on terrorism, there was not specific evidence stating that the uranium acquired from Africa was meant for the creation of WMD’s; much military equipment, like rockets for example require such rare minerals and resources . Regardless, the United States cannot be blamed for wanting to protect its own citizens. Any other nation would have acted similarly especially after the 9/11 attacks. Both Britain and Iraq, along with terrorist groups, inflicted unnecessary actions upon American citizens and therefore caused United States to act accordingly.
United States has been observed to follow one simple idea; no outside force can act harmfully toward the United States and leave without facing the resulting consequences.