Talk:Iraq War

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Former good article nominee Iraq War was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 1, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
February 14, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee


Danish Politicians[edit]

On a smaller scale petty question, what is the purpose that Danish politicians are serving under the Commanders section? Not to undermine the work of the Danes, but surely, we should either replace them with commanders of bigger forces such as Italy and Poland and replace Rasmussen, who serves absolutely zero purpose there as he became NATO SecGen at the very end of the war and should be replaced with Jaap de Hoop Scheffer who was there for most of Iraq War or George Robertson who was there at the invasion. Besides the Leaders list is too long anyway. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.79.106.29 (talk) 23:34, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I removed the Danes from the infobox. Colipon+(Talk) 01:49, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Trimming the intro to manageable, professional size, part 2[edit]

For all those concerned, please see an updated draft for the consolidated lede section below. All of your comments are welcome; please do not simply "oppose" or criticize the revision. Constructive input would be highly appreciated. I have a copy incubating at my sandbox. You are welcome to edit there if you would like.

The Iraq War[nb 1] was a protracted armed conflict in Iraq that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States. It continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the newly formed Iraqi government.[1] The United States officially withdrew from the country in 2011, but the insurgency as well as various dimensions of the civil armed conflict continue.

The George W. Bush Administration offered a wide range of explanations for its decision to invade Iraq. The most notable was the assertion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that the government of Saddam Hussein posed an immediate threat to the United States and its coalition allies.[2][3] Select U.S. officials accused Saddam of harboring and supporting al-Qaeda,[4] while others cited the desire to end a repressive dictatorship and bring democracy to the people of Iraq.[5][6]

The invasion began on 16 March 2003. The U.S., joined by several coalition allies, launched a "shock and awe" surprise attack without declaring war. Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed as U.S. forces swept through the country. Saddam was captured in December 2003 and executed by a military court three years later. However, the power vacuum following Saddam's demise as well as the mismanagement of the occupation led to renewed sectarian violence between Shia and Sunnis as well as a lengthy insurgency against U.S. and coalition forces, resulting in thousands of American casualties. The Bush Administration responded with a troop surge in 2007. After the election of President Barack Obama, the U.S. began a gradual withdrawal of its military from Iraq, formally withdrawing all combat troops by December 2011.[7]

As a result of the war, Iraq held multi-party elections in 2005. Nouri Al-Maliki became Prime Minister in 2006 and formed Iraq's first stable post-Saddam government. However, due to decreased U.S. engagement and the sectarian-focused policies of Maliki's government, a divide emerged between Shia and Sunnis and led to further fighting. Grievances between various sectarian groups remain fundamentally unresolved, and general quality of life in Iraq remains poor. In the summer of 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured various major cities in northern Iraq and declared a worldwide Islamic caliphate, eliciting another military response from the United States and its allies.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's feedback. Colipon+(Talk) 01:53, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Looks good to me. However, I'm not sure if cutting the intro so drastically is a good idea. Supersaiyen312 (talk) 03:50, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the feedback. Let's talk specifics then; which part do you think we need to expand more on? civilian casualties? criticism of the rationale? Islamic State? User above says we need to cut the intro to a readable length of 400 or 500 words. This version is 384 words, so we a bit of room to expand. We should avoid anything too detailed, pedantic, or overly formal. Keep in mind our readers first principle. Colipon+(Talk) 22:19, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

I think the WMD allegation was more than the "most notable" rationale for the war. I'd say something closer to, "The George W. Bush Administration based its rationale for the war principally on the assertion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that the government of Saddam Hussein posed an immediate threat to the United States and its coalition allies." The intro also really has to mention that the WMD allegations were false, since this is one of the most notable aspects of the war. I would put this mention immediately after the sentence about the principle rationale for the war: "After the war, no evidence of the alleged Iraqi WMDs was found." It's also worth mentioning that the WMD rationale and misrepresentation of intelligence faced heavy criticism internationally both before and after the war.

There are two important aspects of the war that are left out of the above intro. One is the casualties, (we should state both scientific estimates and body counts), while the other is the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war. We should mention the number of war refugees along with the number of casualties. -Thucydides411 (talk) 23:28, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Revision 3[edit]

Thanks for everyone's feedback; please see revisions below.

The Iraq War[nb 2] is a protracted armed conflict that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the United States. The invasion toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. The conflict, however, continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government.[1] The United States officially withdrew from the country in 2011, but the insurgency as well as various dimensions of the civil armed conflict continue.

The invasion began on 16 March 2003. The U.S., joined by the United Kingdom and several coalition allies, launched a "shock and awe" surprise attack without declaring war. Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed as U.S. forces swept through the country. The invasion led to the collapse of the Ba'athist government; Saddam was captured in December 2003 and executed by a military court three years later. However, the power vacuum following Saddam's demise as well as the mismanagement of the occupation led to widespread sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis as well as a lengthy insurgency against U.S. and coalition forces. The Bush Administration responded with a troop surge in 2007. After the election of President Barack Obama, the U.S. began a gradual winding down of its involvement in Iraq, formally withdrawing all combat troops by December 2011.[8]

The George W. Bush Administration based its rationale for war principally on the assertion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that Saddam's government posed an immediate threat to the United States and its coalition allies.[9][3] Select U.S. officials accused Saddam of harboring and supporting al-Qaeda,[10] while others cited the desire to end a repressive dictatorship and bring democracy to the people of Iraq.[11][12] After the invasion, no substantial evidence was found to verify the initial claims about WMDs. The rationale and misrepresentation of pre-war intelligence faced heavy criticism within the U.S. and internationally.

As a result of the war, Iraq held multi-party elections in 2005. Nouri al-Maliki became Prime Minister in 2006 and formed Iraq's first stable post-Saddam government. However, by 2009, due to decreased U.S. engagement from the Obama Administration and the sectarian-focused policies of Maliki's government, tensions worsened between Shias and Sunnis, which led to further fighting. Grievances between various sectarian groups remain fundamentally unresolved, and general quality of life in Iraq remains poor. The war caused significant civilian and military casualties (see estimates below). In the summer of 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched a military offensive in Northern Iraq and declared a worldwide Islamic caliphate, eliciting another military response from the United States and its allies.

I incorporated the criticism fo the rationale. I incorporated a mention of "casualties", but I didn't want to get into the numbers game; in my experience that usually causes a he-said, she-said back-and-forth that pollutes the intro with too much information. There are too many varied estimates, it's better to just direct the reader to the entire section dedicated to this issue (or they can read the infobox). I also did not 'cite' the criticism segment; I am of the view that the war is so widely criticized that no one will actually dispute this as a fact, but I watered down the section a little so that this is not in breach of NPOV. Additionally, I moved "rationale" to the third paragraph, rather than the second, because that could also be seen as too critical of the U.S. government.
Additional feedback is welcome. I hope we're getting closer! Colipon+(Talk) 15:54, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

I'd like to focus now on the last paragraph. Let's begin with this sentence: "As a result of the war, Iraq held multi-party elections in 2005. Nouri al-Maliki became Prime Minister in 2006 and formed Iraq's first stable post-Saddam government." It's a stretch to call Nouri al-Maliki's government "stable," especially in 2006. Iraq was essentially in a state of civil war from 2004 onwards, with violence peaking in 2006. Deals with Sunni tribes and increased American military presence reduced the violence afterwards, but fighting has continued up to the present day. The sentence should reflect these facts (it may take two sentences to say this).
The next sentence reads, "However, by 2009, due to decreased U.S. engagement from the Obama Administration and the sectarian-focused policies of Maliki's government, tensions worsened between Shias and Sunnis, which led to further fighting." I don't know if the increase in violence can really be attributed to decreased U.S. engagement. At least, that's a fairly controversial statement. This wording also makes it sound like the worst violence came from 2009 onwards, when it was in the period 2004-2007, when estimates indicate hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. We should say that sectarian violence continued on a lower level after the Sunni Awakening and Surge, drastically increasing in 2014.
Finally, I do think some statement of the range of casualty estimates is appropriate in the intro. Most statistical estimates of the death toll have been in the range of half a million to a million casualties. I think the phrase "hundreds of thousands" is appropriate, with a citation to the most recent significant paper on the subject, Hagopian et al. (2013) in PLoS Medicine. -Thucydides411 (talk) 21:02, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. The "decreased engagement" and "sectarian policies" line was mostly to tie the war to the on-going strife with ISIS, but I get where you are coming from. Perhaps you should suggest the full sentence of alternate wording that you'd like to see? For Maliki I can simply change to "Nouri al-Maliki became Prime Minister in 2006 and stayed in power until 2014." Probably worth mentioning is also that the worst violence occurred between 2004-7 and that the violence dropped significantly due to the U.S. signing up Sunni militias and the troop surge. Colipon+(Talk) 22:10, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Fourth Revision[edit]

The Iraq War[nb 3] is a protracted armed conflict that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the United States. The invasion toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. The conflict, however, continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government.[1] The United States officially withdrew from the country in 2011, but the insurgency as well as various dimensions of the civil armed conflict continue.

The invasion began on 16 March 2003. The U.S., joined by the United Kingdom and several coalition allies, launched a "shock and awe" surprise attack without declaring war. Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed as U.S. forces swept through the country. The invasion led to the collapse of the Ba'athist government; Saddam was captured in December 2003 and executed by a military court three years later. However, the power vacuum following Saddam's demise as well as the mismanagement of the occupation led to widespread sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis as well as a lengthy insurgency against U.S. and coalition forces. The Bush Administration responded with a troop surge in 2007; the heavy U.S. security presence and deals made between the occupying forces and Sunni militias reduced the level of violence. After the election of President Barack Obama, the U.S. began a gradual winding down of its involvement in Iraq, formally withdrawing all combat troops by December 2011.[13]

The George W. Bush Administration based its rationale for war principally on the assertion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that Saddam's government posed an immediate threat to the United States and its coalition allies.[14][3] Select U.S. officials accused Saddam of harboring and supporting al-Qaeda,[15] while others cited the desire to end a repressive dictatorship and bring democracy to the people of Iraq.[16][17] After the invasion, no substantial evidence was found to verify the initial claims about WMDs. The rationale and misrepresentation of pre-war intelligence faced heavy criticism within the U.S. and internationally.

As a result of the war, Iraq held multi-party elections in 2005. Nouri al-Maliki became Prime Minister in 2006 and remained in office until 2014. The Maliki government enacted policies that was widely seen as having the effect of alienating the country's Sunni minority, which worsened sectarian tensions. In the summer of 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched a military offensive in Northern Iraq and declared a worldwide Islamic caliphate, eliciting another military response from the United States and its allies. The Iraq War caused hundreds of thousands of civilian and military casualties (see estimates below). The majority of casualties occurred as a result of the insurgency and civil conflicts between 2004 and 2007.

Please check again. Colipon+(Talk) 19:24, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

This is another call for responses on the above revision. If you no one else responds, I will go ahead and put it up. Colipon+(Talk) 02:28, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
I like your revision. One correction. Last sentence in para 2 is not quite correct. GW Bush announced the withdrawal of US troops in September 2007 and the withdrawals began in December of that year and continued throughout 2008. I would suggest a redraft to say, "The U.S. began a gradual withdrawal of its forces in December 2007 under President Bush, and after the election of President Obama, continued the withdrawal, etc. etc. Smallchief (talk 18:54, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Colipon, I guess that's okay. If anyone else thinks something is missing or if it can be improved, then they can edit themselves. Supersaiyen312 (talk) 14:30, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Iraq War". Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Center for American Progress (29 January 2004) "In Their Own Words: Iraq's 'Imminent' Threat" americanprogress.org
  3. ^ a b c Senator Bill Nelson (28 January 2004) "New Information on Iraq's Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction", Congressional Record
  4. ^ "The Weekly Standard, Saddam's al Qaeda Connection". 
  5. ^ "President Discusses the Future of Iraq" The White House, 26 February 2003
  6. ^ "Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq?" 60 Minutes
  7. ^ Feller, Ben (27 February 2009). "Obama sets firm withdrawal timetable for Iraq". Associated Press. [dead link]
  8. ^ Feller, Ben (27 February 2009). "Obama sets firm withdrawal timetable for Iraq". Associated Press. [dead link]
  9. ^ Center for American Progress (29 January 2004) "In Their Own Words: Iraq's 'Imminent' Threat" americanprogress.org
  10. ^ "The Weekly Standard, Saddam's al Qaeda Connection". 
  11. ^ "President Discusses the Future of Iraq" The White House, 26 February 2003
  12. ^ "Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq?" 60 Minutes
  13. ^ Feller, Ben (27 February 2009). "Obama sets firm withdrawal timetable for Iraq". Associated Press. [dead link]
  14. ^ Center for American Progress (29 January 2004) "In Their Own Words: Iraq's 'Imminent' Threat" americanprogress.org
  15. ^ "The Weekly Standard, Saddam's al Qaeda Connection". 
  16. ^ "President Discusses the Future of Iraq" The White House, 26 February 2003
  17. ^ "Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq?" 60 Minutes

Post-invasion views on WMD[edit]

Shouldn't this section remove the plural from the title? It's not post-invasion views on WMD, it's just one view on it and should it be called "Post-invasion view on WMD". And, speaking of which, that section is incredibly one-sided and is against wikipedia POV policy. I think the section should be removed until the POV pushing issues are fixed. Anyone else agree? Cowicide (talk) 20:03, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Major asymmetry in graphical presentation of war[edit]

This article has just over 50 images, the vast majority depicting either American/British politicians or soldiers in various ways. Two photographs of destroyed Iraqi army tanks appear, and one image is shown of insurgents. There are a number of photographs or graphs depicting American casualties, though most estimates put the number of Iraqi deaths from this conflict at around 100 times the number of American deaths.

An effort should be made to rebalance the article, if images can be found depicting more of the Iraqi perspective in this conflict. -Darouet (talk) 16:21, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Nonsense I removed[edit]

Prior to September 2002, the CIA was the Bush administration's main provider of intelligence on Iraq. In September, a Pentagon unit called Office of Special Plans (OSP), was created by Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, and headed by Feith, as charged by then-United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to supply senior George W. Bush administration officials with raw intelligence pertaining to Iraq.[1] Seymour Hersh writes that, according to a Pentagon adviser, "[OSP] was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, wanted to be true—that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons (WMD) that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States. [...] 'The agency [CIA] was out to disprove linkage between Iraq and terrorism,' the Pentagon adviser told me."[2]

Falsely implies that the intelligence agencies weren't reporting Iraq had WMDs, when they clearly did.

As part of its weapons inspection obligations, Iraq was required to supply a full declaration of its current weapons capabilities and manufacturing. On 3 November 2002, Iraq supplied an 11,800-page report to the UN Security Council and the IAEA, stating that it had no WMDs. Copies of the report were also unofficially supplied to several European journalists. Columbia, chair of the Security Council, allowed US officials to secretly remove 8,000 pages from the report before it was viewed by the full security council, and on the basis of this the report was declared incomplete and Iraq in breach of its obligations. The removed pages contained details of US and European companies and government agencies who had historically assisted Iraq in developing its chemical and biological weapons capabilities.[3]

Illiterate nonsense just links to more illiterate nonsense. The report was fully read by the weapons inspectors and it had nothing new in it--as acknowledged by Hans Blix on January 27. [1]

Shortly before the invasion, Hans Blix, the lead weapons inspector, advised the U.N. Security Council that Iraq was cooperating with inspections and the confirmation of disarmament through inspections could be achieved quickly if Iraq remained cooperative.[4]

A shameless rewrite of history. Blix actually said "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance – not even today – of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace." [2]

I also removed

During inspections in 1999, U.S. intelligence agents supplied the United States with a direct feed of conversations between Iraqi security agencies as well as other information. This was confirmed by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.[5]

because the article does not discuss these past inspections in any detail. Clearly it is just an unfair cheap shot, particularly when it ignores Iraq's own systematic violation of the resolutions.

CJK (talk) 20:46, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref group=nb> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=nb}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ Alexandrovna, Larisa. "Senate Intelligence Committee Stalling Prewar Intelligence," The Raw Story, 2 December 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2007.
  2. ^ Hersh, Seymour M. (5 May 2003). Selective Intelligence, New Yorker.
  3. ^ "US illegally removes pages from Iraq UN report". 
  4. ^ "U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix faults Bush Administration for lack of "critical thinking" in Iraq". Berkeley.edu. 2004-03-18. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  5. ^ "U.S. silence on new Iraq spying allegations". BBC News. 7 January 1999. Retrieved 23 October 2010.