A second Iraq War would not have happened and simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would not have occurred in the same wayby Robert Fry / July 17, 2014 / Leave a comment
In 1991, coalition forces led by Norman Schwarzkopf liberated Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. What if his armies had rolled all the way to Baghdad and ousted the Iraqi dictator? The immediate aftermath would have been a coalition of 34 nations under a UN mandate calling the shots and not—as eventually happened in 2003—an alliance of the very few, isolated in international affairs. The naturally more emollient George HW Bush would have sought an outcome based on pragmatism rather than neo-conservative ideology; Schwarzkopf would have commanded a force sufficient for the post-conflict task; and the Saudis would have demanded the preservation of the rights of their Sunni co-religionists as the price of their bankrolling the operation.
Above all, a second Iraq War, with all its consequences, would not have happened and simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would not have occurred in the same way. A few years’ down the line, when confronted with the excesses of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, David Cameron would have drawn on the rich tradition of liberal intervention regarded as Tony Blair’s most significant legacy and led the international response.