Chapter

Iraq, the United States, and the “Coalition of the Willing”

Sarah E. Kreps

in Coalitions of Convenience

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199753796
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827152 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753796.003.0007
Iraq, the United States, and the “Coalition of the Willing”

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This chapter examines the case of the 2003 Iraq War. One of the most unilateral interventions in the post-Cold War period, this case challenges this book's argument. With long time horizons (absent a direct threat) and costly operational commitments, this theory would expect a highly multilateral intervention, the opposite of what was obtained. The chapter shows the importance of ex ante assumptions about the nature of security challenges in influencing cooperation strategies. Inadequate assessments of both time horizon and operational commitment led to a flawed cooperation strategy in which the United States took on almost the entire burden. The chapter details these inputs and examines how each contributed to the unilateral strategy the United States pursued in the Iraq War.

Keywords: United States; 2003 Iraq War; unilateralism; military interventions

Chapter.  16279 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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