CHAPTER 1- BACKGROUND INFORMATION
With the emergence of modern nation states, modern international relations emerged as these
nation-states device and followed certain principles, courses and standards that govern their
interactions in the international community. Basically, no nation is an island, so it becomes
imperative for nation states to interact with each other. These actions therefore formed the
foreign relations of such states. Traditionally, these actions are guided by national foreign
policies that are clearly in pursuit of national aspirations or interests. What then is/are foreign
Foreign policy is defined as the study of actions of a state toward the external environment
and conditions-usually domestic-under which these actions are formulated (Dawisha, 1976).
The domestic condition referred to in this definition may include such things as the form of
government of such state and the public opinion and other activities or establishment within
such state. However, this does not mean that actions of states are not influenced by external
conditions too. Foreign policy can also be said to mean a set of carefully articulated goals and
objectives interpreted in the decisions made and actions taken by a state in the pursuant of
those articulated goals and objectives when interacting with other states in the international
system (Ugwukah and Eteete, 2010).
Foreign policies do not just come about. There are certain factors that influence or determine
their formulation. It is impossible to lay down any general rule regarding the relative
importance of each of these factors or a scale of importance which decision-makers must
permanently adhere to in making their policy decisions. Nevertheless, certain basic
determinants can be identified which most of the states in the international system take in to
account while making their policy. F.S Northedge clearly states that the foreign policy of a
country is a product of environmental factors both internal and external to it (Ugwukah and
Eteete, 2010). Thus, foreign policy formulation is influenced by internal and external factors.
The internal factors comprise factors within a particular state. In the words of Henry
Kissinger, ‗foreign policy begins where domestic policy ends‘. The internal factors that
influence foreign policy formulation include: economic development/structure, social
structure, nature and character of political leadership, military capabilities, public opinion,
history and culture, geographic location of the state and demographic factor and so on. The
external factors (which comprise factors found in the global system) include international
organisations and regimes, world public opinion, policies and actions of other states, the
nature of the world economy and international law/norms (Ghosh, 2013).
The best formulated foreign policy in the world is rendered irrelevant without a clear sense of
tools available to decision makers and their respective utility. By tools we mean instrument
needed to implement foreign policy objectives and goals. Traditionally, states have had to
recourse to diplomacy, economic, subversion and military instruments to achieve their
respective aims and objectives. More recently, these instruments, which can be termed ‗hard
power‘ (the use of military and economic or coercion and payment to influence the behaviour
or interests of other states) have been supplemented by the recognition of the importance of
incorporating ‗soft power‘ (quasi-legal instruments which do not have any legally binding
force, or whose binding force is somewhat weaker than that of hard power) into a states range
of skills available to them in implementing or executing their foreign policy. The promotion
of values through governmental and non-governmental actors is one of the ‗soft power‘ tools
which can help states shape a target country‘s foreign policy aims. Each of these has
strengths and weaknesses in relation to a given foreign policy problem, and it is a
states‘ability to capitalise on these diverse sets of instruments that determine whether it has a
successful foreign policy or not (Alden, 2011).
Since the founding of Iraq in the aftermath of World War I, United States policy (towards
Iraq) has included cooperation, confrontation, and war. However, the purpose of this research
work is to focus on U.S foreign policy in Iraq from the year 1991 to 2003. The U.S 2003
military invasion of Iraq and the extended occupation that followed were certainly the most
dramatic and significant events in the long history of U.S relations with Iraq. This period
spanned through the administration of former president George W. Bush. Although the
invasion of Iraq is widely regarded as the continuation of the first gulf war, specific and
different factors however influence U.S foreign policy from 1991 -2003 (Hahn, 2012).
The United States have enduring interests in preserving regional stability in the Middle East,
countering transnational terrorism, and advancing responsible governance. These objectives
are advanced by a stable Iraq that can serve as a constructive power. An Iraq without the
capacity to govern effectively and mechanisms to resolve conflicts peacefully would be a
destabilising presence that would harm U.S interests in the Middle East. United States foreign
policy since 2003 have overtime emerged from the need to prevent the re-emergence of Al
Qaeda or its affiliates and keep the country from serving as a safe haven that could be used to
attack Americans and U.S allies (Nagl and Burton, 2009).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The United States have series of interests it wants to achieve in Iraq. These interests have
instigated the formulation (and execution) of different foreign policies towards the country
(Iraq). These policies have guided U.S relations with Iraq over the years. These relations have
been sources of huge concern for both the United States and Iraq as well as among various
countries of the world. Over the years, different administrations have formulated different
policies and committed considerable amount of resources in their execution, yet it seems the
U.S.A is not achieving its stated objectives in the country. For instance, the policy of invasion
adopted under the Bush administration which sought to capture ‗Iraq‘s Weapons of Mass
Destruction‘ and to free the people of Iraq from the dictatorial rule of Sadam Hussein, to
ensure stability in the country (and the region at large) and to curb transnational terrorism did
not prove effective from the view of the aftermath of events that occurred. Shortly after the
invasion and occupation of Iraq, the country combusted, leading to the proliferation of
Islamist fundamentalist groups, ethnic and religious militias and insurgents; and thus leading
to increase in the activities of terrorist groups. Thus, the study intends to examine the
underlying factors responsible for the ineffectiveness of United States foreign policies in Iraq
between 1991 – 2003 and also to look at ways in which future relations between the two
countries can be improved.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to:
(i). assess the major factor(s) responsible for the US war on terrorism and the
subsequent invasion of Iraq in 2003.
(ii). evaluate the effectiveness of the foreign policy decisions of the Bush
administration towards Iraq;
(iii). examine the prospects for better relations between the U.S and Iraq.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions include:
1. What are the major factor(s) responsible for the US war on terrorism and the subsequent
invasion of Iraq in 2003?
2. How effective were/are the foreign policy decisions of the Bush administration towards
3. What are the prospects for better relations between U.S and Iraq?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The purpose of this research work is to take a look at the effectiveness of the foreign policy
decisions of the United States towards Iraq from 1991 to 2003. In doing so, the major foreign
policy decisions towards Iraq under the administration of George Bush, this will give us a
better understanding on the reasons behind the effectiveness (or as the case maybe,
ineffectiveness) of the policies under the administration. Also, analysis of the policies would
in the future assist U.S decision makers to formulate more comprehensive and better policies
towards Iraq. Another major significance of this study is that the prospect of better relations
that would be examined in the course of this study would serve as a cornerstone for
international relations students and analysts in analysing and making near-accurate
postulations in the future relations between the two countries.
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
The project work will be limited to United States foreign policy in Iraq from 1991 – 2003.
There are a number of reasons for the choice of this scope. First of all, it was during this
period that the policy of invasion was adopted under the Bush administration, an event that
marked a significant upshot in the relations between the two countries. Secondly, this period
also coincided with United States declaration of war on terrorism (in 2001). Finally, a lot of
scholars have written a lot of works on the relations between the two countries since 2001,
this scope thus allows the researcher access lots of approved and published materials.
1.7 ORGANIZATION OF STUDY
This project work will be divided into five chapters. The first chapter will contain the
background to the study, statement of problem, object of study, research questions,
significance, scope and limitation of study, methodology and definition of terms. The second
chapter is the literature review which is divided into conceptual clarification and theoretical
framework. The third chapter will contain the methodology of the research work. Chapter
four will involve a discussion on the effectiveness of U.S foreign policy decisions under the
Bush administration and the prospects of better relations between the two countries. Some
sections of this chapter will also be dedicated to examine the major reasons behind U.S
declaration of war on terrorism. And then, the fifth chapter will contain the conclusion,
summary of findings, discussion and recommendation.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. State: a large social system with a set of rules that are enforced by a permanent
administrative body (government). That body claims and tries to enforce sovereignty
(ultimate power to control people and events within the area of states).
2. Foreign policy: set of policies that states formulate in order to relate with one another
in the international system. Foreign policy of a state entails the ideas or actions
designed by policy makers to solve a problem or promote some change in the policies,
attitudes or actions of another state or non-state actors in the international economy or
in the physical environment of the world. It is a set of rules or principles which
govern how a state decides to interact with another state. It involves strategies and
tactics a state uses in achieving its national objectives in the international system. No
state is an island, therefore, states need to interact with each other and foreign policy
is the method in which a state chooses to do so.
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