Chapter

Chaos

Steven Kettell

in New Labour and the New World Order

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719081361
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702499 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719081361.003.0004
Chaos

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Following the overthrow of the Taliban, the war on terror moved rapidly towards its second phase. The principal theme in this was the pursuit of regime change in Iraq, ostensibly as a means of defusing the threat posed by its illegal weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but in reality it was a policy designed to enhance the global influence of the United States, not least by promoting the spread of free market democracy in the Middle East and by establishing its credible willingness to use force. For the New Labour leadership, the focus on WMD was adopted as a strategic means of overcoming the political and legal obstacles to Britain's participation in military action. Anticipating a rapid transition to democratic governance, U.S. plans for the post-war situation proved to be dangerously inadequate, leading to an outbreak of chaos, disorder, and insurgency. Compounding this, political pressures over the war also mounted as the hunt for WMD drew a blank, and as the diversion of resources from Afghanistan allowed the Taliban and al-Qaeda to regenerate their capabilities.

Keywords: war on terror; Britain; United States; Iraq; weapons of mass destruction; Taliban; free market democracy; insurgency; al-Qaeda; Middle East

Chapter.  12194 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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