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The purpose of this study is to investigate Humanitarian Intervention in Iraq in terms of the legitimacy of the intervention and the choice of military forces to be used in the intervention. From basic understanding, humanitarian intervention refers to the use of the military by one sovereign state to carry out armed intervention in another sovereign state with the intention of alleviating or putting an halt to the suffering of the population in the second state (Hehir 2010). This suffering could be caused by factors such as civil war, humanitarian crisis as well as other crimes such as genocide. Carrying out humanitarian intervention in many countries in need of one has been harbored by lack of a unanimous agreement by the countries which make up the global organizations which are supposed to authorize the intervention (Hehir 2010). There is also the issue of the choice of the military forces to carry out the intervention. Controversies and accusations of selfish interests of achieving certain military goals by the country which supplies the forces have come up in several interventions (Seybolt 2007). This area of research is therefore quite important to the international community since it has several legal, humanitarian and many other implications which affect the globe. Previous research has not addressed adequately several issues in this area and this is of great concern.
The following questions are intended to be solved in the study:
1. The justification for humanitarian intervention in Iraq.
2. The legitimacy of the intervention.
3. The choice of the military forces and other military realities.
Review of related literature.
To a large extend, the humanitarian intervention in Iraq was justified. This is because the regime had waged several wars against its neighbors such as Iran and Kuwait which were not justified and which resulted to the deaths of many of its civilians. Additionally, the regime sponsored and sheltered several terrorist networks. The regime also ordered the decapacitation of its opponents and their subsequent beheading with their heads being placed outside their homes. There were also accusations of the possession of weapons of mass destruction by the Iraq regime (Hehir 2010). If these accusations are true, then they form a sound base for an intervention.
Interventions by the United States have always suffered legitimacy problems largely because of the controversial record of previous U.S. interventions. The fear of a U.S. imperial future has also been a problem (Hehir 2010). The intervention was though not legitimate since it was approved by only four out of the fifteen members of the UN security council. Eleven member states were of the opinion that weapons inspection should be allowed to continue (Hehir 2010). It was wise for the intervening state to obey the decision of the majority members of the security council.
Its widely believed that, humanitarian operations can only be successful if carried out by a military force capable of carrying out land operations. The U.S. army though successful in defeating the regular Iraq army has now suffered numerous challenges. The army has been very unsuccessful in dealing with the irregular Iraqi insurgents as well as maintaining the military occupation (Hehir 2010). The presence of such extremist groups which carry out suicide bombings against the U.S. forces may change this perception of using the army for a successful intervention. The insurgents have been so hard to deal with such that the U.S. army may be reluctant in carrying out such unconventional operations including humanitarian interventions in the future (Hehir 2010).
In the proposed research, data collection will be majorly based on library research as secondary information while primary information will be from interviews carried out on the civilians of the country as well as U.S. military personnel. Surveys will also be used to collect data.
Information collected will be analyzed through use of content analysis. Content analysis is the art of describing behavior through asking questions like who, what, where within specific rules so as to reduce biasness. Narrative summary analysis will also be used to give explanations of participant's views to avoid reliance on raw data only.
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