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Mini Essay
Crimes Against Peace
Theme/Topic: U.S-led Invasion to Iraq in 2003 until 2011
Name: Devi Nur Safitri
Essay Title: The Impacts of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq 2003-2011
Email: [email protected]
No. WA: 081219357943
Department of International Relations
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Universitas Diponegoro2018
The Nuremberg Principles listed five categories of crime, one of them is Crime against Peace (CAP), defined as “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances,” or “participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under.” CITATION ICR18 l 1033 (ICRC, n.d.) An example for this category is United States of America-led invasion to Iraq in 2003 under President George W. Bush, this action also marked the beginning of Iraq War. The reason why this invasion categorized as CAP is the fact that U.S trespassed Iraq’s sovereignty with full preparation, including planning and resources, when Iraq at that time, despite having a dictator president named Saddam Hussein, also having a number of U.N sanctions for their president’s violation of peace and nuclear agreements CITATION Ala17 l 1033 (Alamiri, 2017). Yet, well before the sanctions and the 2003 invasion, Iraq was known for its devotion to education. In 1984, illiteracy rates among the 15 to 45-year age group in Iraq dropped below 10 percent and the student dropout and repetition rates in the country were the lowest in the Middle East and North Africa, according to UNESCO numbers CITATION Ala17 l 1033 (Alamiri, 2017). Sadly, after U.S-led invasion to Iraq, the country has not fared well.

U.S-led military operation to invade Iraq named Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) lasted from 19 March to 1 May 2003. This military action based on United Nations Security Council’s resolution in late 2002, stating that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), mostly nuclear weapons, clearly violating U.N resolutions prohibiting stockpiling and importing WMDs. U.N tried to communicate with Iraqi’s president, but The Saddam Hussein government carried on to be uncooperative with U.N investigators. On 19 March 2003, President Bush announced that the early stages of military operations against Iraq had begun. On 1 May 2003, President Bush declared that major military combat actions in Iraq have ended, yet U.S. troops remained stationed in Iraq CITATION Tor17 l 1033 (Torreon, 2017). U.S troops stayed in Iraq until 2008 when both U.S and Iraq signed an agreement regarding the withdrawal of U.S troops from Iraq and the recognition of Iraq’s sovereignty CITATION Off08 l 1033 (Office of the Press Secretary, 2008). The withdrawal of U.S troops completed in December 2011 under President Barack Obama. However, the diplomatic officers such as the embassy’s employees and consulates’ staffs in Basra, Mosul, and Kirkuk remained on their posts, obviously they would carry diplomatic immunity when doing their professions CITATION Den11 l 1033 (Denselow, 2011).

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After the arrival of U.S troops in Iraq as response to the-so-called statement saying Iraq was developing WMDs, the death toll in Iraq was rising to the level of worrying international world. As reported by Iraq Body Count, 30% of civilian deaths occurred during the invasion phase before 1 May 2003 with women and children accounted for almost 20% of all civilian deaths. Moreover, they also stated that the most lethal weaponry was explosive devices, air strikes, and unexploded ordnance CITATION Ira05 l 1033 (Iraq Body Count, 2005). Other reports from The Project on Defense Alternatives stated, approximately 11,000 to 15,000 Iraqi died during the invasion, whom among them was 3,200 to 4,300 civilian noncombatants CITATION Con03 l 1033 (Conetta, 2003). In total, the war in Iraq killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, 4,500 American troops, and cost over $2 trillion CITATION Bro18 l 1033 (Brown, 2018). Beside the rising of death toll, other crises that also took place in Iraq by the reason of U.S-led invasion was the lack of resources for medical treatment, both the medicines and staffs, the looting all around Iraq, the refugees problem, and inevitably, the rising of insurgency groups and provoked the birth of ISIS.

The needs for medicine and doctors in Iraq when U.S invaded was really high. Reports said that the medicines were stolen, being withhold by the authority, or misused, and the doctors along with nurses either killed or escaped the country, fled to another country to start their new lives far away from Iraq CITATION Rou06 l 1033 (Roug, 2006). No medicines nor doctors could help Iraq regaining their health was the reason why the healthcare in Iraq during U.S-led invasion was deteriorating slowly. Massive looting also occurred after U.S invaded Iraq in 2003, there were no exception for Iraqi National Museum, a museum that even a year after the invasion still tracking their lost artifact. Those artifacts scattered all around the world, some were found inside Iraq, others were found abroad, including 1,000 pieces in U.S, 700 in Jordan, 500 in France, and 250 in Switzerland, reports said CITATION The04 l 1033 (The University of Chicago Chronicle, 2004).

Meanwhile, about Iraqi refugees, they fled all around the world, seeking protection from foreign countries. UNHCR reported, continual violence across much of Iraq’s central and southern regions is forcing thousands of people to leave their homes every month. As a result, the international community is facing a much larger and more complex humanitarian crisis than the one aid agencies planned into the 2003 war CITATION UNH07 l 1033 (UNHCR, 2007). By April 2007, there were believed to be well over 4 million displaced Iraqis around the world, including some 1.9 million who were still inside Iraq, over 2 million in neighboring Middle Eastern countries, and around 200,000 further afield CITATION UNH07 l 1033 (UNHCR, 2007). All kinds of people, from university professors to bakers have been targeted by militias, insurgents, and criminals, that is also why it is hard for Iraq to recover, since the professionals has fled. An estimated 331 school teachers were slain in the first four months of 2006, according to Human Rights Watch, and at least 2,000 Iraqi doctors have been killed and 250 kidnapped since the 2003 U.S-led invasion CITATION Loc07 l 1033 (Lochhead, 2007). Even though the Iraq war was the war too far – the one that has changed the Middle East, it was the war that solidified and unified disparate young men from different countries into following the path of violent jihad CITATION Kha15 l 1033 (Khan, 2015). The Iraqi refugees most popular country to seek protection from was Syria, before the country itself fell upon a great-scale civil war in 2010. A report said, more than 2.6 million Iraqis have been forced from their homes but remain inside of the country, 220,000 are refugees in other countries, and there are also 300,000 refugees in Iraq from neighboring countries – the vast majority escaping violence and persecution in Syria CITATION UNH18 l 1033 (UNHCR, n.d.). The refugees used both legal and illegal way, in order to save their lives together with their loved ones. To flee, Iraqis sell their possessions, raid their savings, and borrow money from relatives. They ride buses or walk across terrain riddled with criminals and Sunni insurgents, preferring to risk death over remaining in Iraq CITATION Rag07 l 1033 (Raghavan, 2007).
The legal way of escaping their country is to admit themselves to UNHCR inside their own country or if there is no UNHCR office inside, they can admit themselves to UNHCR office in neighboring countries and naturally let UNHCR handle their refugee proposals. Commonly, the UNHCR would send them to a transit country while proceeding their documents of resettling. This procedure is normal and since going through the documents would take some time, the UNHCR would look through their records and other documents, in order to guarantee the host country that the refugees they are going to send is perfectly safe, and obviously the people cannot go back to their conflicted country, they would definitely need a place to stay while waiting, this is the purpose of the very existence of transit country. Since the process of refugees resettling is taking such a long time and the people would be under uncertainty for unknown time, whether the host country would accept their refugee proposals or they are forced to gone back to their conflicted country, the illegal way of escaping conflicted country was found. This way is a lot riskier, since the number of deaths refugees using this path is extremely high, but not fictional, this kind of way is really taken place. They would spend their last money to flew to a country far away from their conflicted country, usually with tourism visa, and from then, if the country they headed is their destination, they would live underground, looking for jobs and place to live, but, if their arrival country is not their destination, they would use boats or other vehicles to enter their destination country illegally and start looking for below pay-rates jobs in order to afford the living cost in the destination country.

The first phase of insurgency started rising right after U.S-led invasion in 2003 and lasted until 2006. Followed by the conflict between Sunni and Shiite around 2006 until 2008, and lastly after 2008 until 2011 were the years when small-scale insurgency actions were proceeded. The reason why they were small because comparing to the first phase of insurgency when the Battle of Najah and the Battle for Fallujah ensued and the conflict between Sunni and Shiite that being driven by increasing polarization within Iraqi society, compounded by a weak government and security force CITATION BBC07 l 1033 (BBC News, 2007), suicide bombings, poisoned food, opens fire, small raids, and demonstrations were smaller. Regarding the birth of rebels group named ISIS, there remains disagreement about who and what is responsible for ISIS gaining so much power in Iraq. There were two point of views, some blame President Bush’s initial invasion, other blame President Obama’s drawdown. While the two are not mutually exclusive, it cannot be denied that the Bush administration initiated the fighting CITATION Bro18 l 1033 (Brown, 2018), since U.S-led invasion in 2003 was under President Bush order. ISIS itself is an acronym for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, rapidly captured large territories in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate in 2014. ISIS’ rise and the world’s military response has created a devastating crisis for civilians and led to the displacement of more than 3.2 million people, according to the United Nations CITATION Lev17 l 1033 (Levenson & Karadsheh, 2017).
The U.S-led military operation in 2003 to Iraq was undeniably one of the illustration of CAP. As stated before, the reason why this act considered as CAP was because, this trespassing operation has a significant planning from the start when U.S first accused Iraq for having WMDs, relying this accusation to the U.N and later on help created a resolution, finalizing the accusation. The uncooperative decision by the Hussein government also simply added to the complexion of the allegation, making the U.N believe that Iraq was a hundred percent developing WMDs, mostly nuclear weapons beside chemical and biological weapons, despite having a number of sanctions upon them from years before the OIF launched. Nevertheless, the results of this operation are tremendous, seeing the total of victims, dead or injured, also the looting around Iraq, including the loss of artifacts, undoubtedly being sold on black market inside and outside the country, followed by massive refugee flows to all around the world, mostly in the neighboring countries such as Syria, and ended with the rising of insurgency actions, not to mention the two battles occurred in Iraq at the time when U.S-led invasion taken place that triggered the birth of ISIS in Iraq, and later in it’s neighboring countries. Further, this kind of group would certainly threaten international stability and security.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Alamiri, Y. S., 2017. Before the 2003 invasion, what did Iraq look like?. Online Available at: Accessed 29 May 2018.

BBC News, 2007. Elements of ‘civil war’ in Iraq. Online Available at: 30 May 2018.

Brown, D., 2018. 15 years ago, the US invaded Iraq — here’s how it changed the Middle East country. Online Available at: Accessed 30 May 2018.

Conetta, C., 2003. The Wages of War: Iraqi Combatant and Noncombatant. Research Monograph # 8, 20 October.

Denselow, J., 2011. The US departure from Iraq is an illusion. Online Available at: Accessed 29 May 2018.

ICRC, n.d. Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries. Online Available at: Accessed 29 May 2018.

Iraq Body Count, 2005. A Dossier of Civilian Casualties in Iraq 2003–2005. Online Available at: 29 May 2018.

Khan, I., 2015. The Iraq war: The root of Europe’s refugee crisis. Online Available at: Accessed 30 May 2018.

Levenson, E. ; Karadsheh, J., 2017. Iraq is ‘fully liberated’ from ISIS, its military says. Online Available at: Accessed 30 May 2018.

Lochhead, C., 2007. CONFLICT IN IRAQ / Iraq refugee crisis exploding / 40% of middle class believed to have fled crumbling nation. Online Available at:;;i10c.dv=14Accessed 30 May 2018.

Office of the Press Secretary, 2008. President Bush and Iraq Prime Minister Maliki Sign the Strategic Framework Agreement and Security Agreement. Online Available at: 29 May 2018.

Raghavan, S., 2007. War in Iraq Propelling A Massive Migration. Online Available at: Accessed 30 May 2018.

Roug, L., 2006. Decrepit healthcare adds to toll in Iraq. Online Available at: 30 May 2018.

The University of Chicago Chronicle, 2004. Archaeologists review loss of valuable artifacts one year after looting. Online Available at: Accessed 30 May 2018.

Torreon, B. S., 2017. U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Recent Conflicts. Congressional Research Service, 11 October.pp. 1-12.

UNHCR, 2007. Statistics on Displaced Iraqis around the World. Online Available at: Accessed 30 May 2018.

UNHCR, n.d. Iraq Refugee Crisis. Online Available at: Accessed 30 May 2018.

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