Debate Club

Was The Iraq War Worth It?

Was The Iraq War Worth It?

On October 21, President Barack Obama announced that all American troops will leave Iraq by the end of 2011. The announcement signals the end of a war that has lasted almost nine years and claimed the lives of over 100,000 Iraqis and almost 5,000 Americans while dividing public opinion worldwide.

The seeds of the Iraq war began in the turbulent political wake left by the events of September 11. Citing intelligence that Saddam Hussein had and was trying to proliferate weapons of mass destruction, then-President George W. Bush and United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair escalated talks of military intervention to stop the dictator. The issue was debated around the country and the world, and in October 2002 Congress passed a resolution authorizing use of military force against Iraq.

The military invasion of Iraq began in March 2003 and officially lasted only until the end of April of that year. With the end of the invasion phase, the occupation--and the bloodiest days of the conflict--began. Insurgents, including al Qaeda operatives, began using guerrilla tactics to attack coalition forces, and persistent violence gripped the country even after the capture and hanging of Hussein in 2006.

Following the invasion, the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had discontinued its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons program in 1991. An infuriated American public, many of whom opposed the war even before these findings, have since argued that the war served only to destabilize the Middle East region and was thus a waste of American lives.

Was the Iraq war worth it? Here's the Debate Club's take:


The Arguments

#1
78 Pts
Iraq War a Failure on All Fronts

No – Iraq War a Failure on All Fronts

Phyllis Bennis Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies

#2
31 Pts
The Iraq War Unnecessarily Prolonged the Conflict in Afghanistan

No – The Iraq War Unnecessarily Prolonged the Conflict in Afghanistan

Lawrence J. Korb Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

#3
9 Pts
'Biden Plan' Is the Most Realistic Solution in Iraq

No – 'Biden Plan' Is the Most Realistic Solution in Iraq

Daniel J. Gallington Senior Policy and Program Adviser at the George C. Marshall Institute

#4
-27 Pts
This Was No War of Choice

Yes – This Was No War of Choice

Michael Rubin Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

#5
-54 Pts
Iraq May Become a Reliable U.S. Ally

Yes – Iraq May Become a Reliable U.S. Ally

James Phillips Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Heritage Foundation

#6
-70 Pts
Overthrowing Saddam Hussein Was Worth the Price

Yes – Overthrowing Saddam Hussein Was Worth the Price

Abraham Sofaer George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution


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