In this paper, Ramesh Thakur examines the implications of the Iraq War for the UN, shows how the goals being pursued in Iraq have been undermined by the means, and argues that the liberation of the people from Saddam Hussein's brutal regime was a collateral benefit amidst much damage to principles, institutions and relations. His thesis is that the Iraq War has complicated the international community's efforts to fashion a robust collective response to the nuclear challenge posed by Iran. The war's legacies include diminished Western credibility in highlighting an Iranian threat, narrower policy options in responding to the nuclear challenge, and an Iran that is simultaneously politically stronger in Iraq, richer due to rising oil prices and more emboldened and motivated on national security.
Fast Forward to the Past? The Line in the Sand from Iraq to Iran
Working Paper #7