Why did the USA invade Iraq?
The Bush administration, without explicitly blaming Iraq for September 11th, created a public impression that Iraq was somehow involved. And this helped to legitimise the invasion in the eyes of the US public.
As a matter of fact, the USA had a long term hostility to Iraq, and had wanted to get rid of the regime for many years. September 11th [and The War on Terror] were an excuse. They had previously funded Iraqi opposition groups, and had imposed sanctions.
Possibly the change in administration from Clinton to Bush heightened the tenstion and made war more likely.
The basis for the hostility towards Iraq was its aggressive [and exapansionist?] policy.
There are conflicting opinions amongst scholars on the Iraq war. Some take the pronouncements on democratic regime change at face value, others look to US strategic interests in the region, and to US hegemony in the quest for oreemeinance after the collapse of the USSR
To understand the US position we need to examine the history of the relationship over the preceding dozen years
The First Gulf War 1991
The Sanctions Regime
The US development of the Case for War
The British support for the Invasion
International Diplomacy to prevent the Invasion
Final Events leading up to the invasion in 2003.
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