Diablo Valley College – International Relations (POLSC 250 – 1293 and 9064)
Research Paper – Summer 2020
The 2003 War in Iraq: Theory and Aftermath
Question: The recent protests in Iraq demanding the unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops
and contractors has renewed debate over the ultimate rationale and objective of the American
invasion and occupation of the country in 2003. Using the 9 theories we have examined as
models for analyzing interstate conflict, describe the ultimate reasons for the war between the
United States and Iraq; the historical and theoretical background for the tension between these
countries, and the possible outcomes of the recent instability and violence.
(But feel free to design your outline any way you wish)
I. Introduction / Thesis Statement – a brief statement outlining your position or something
relevant about this issue.
II. Body – the bulk of the paper is here, in data taken from the readings and other evidence you
have found in support of your position.
A. Historical background to the conflict
- Rise of Saddam Hussein
- Iran – Iraq War (1980-88)
- US relations with Iraq Theoretical Perspective?
B. The first Persian Gulf War (January 1991 – “Operation Desert Storm”)
- Critical outcomes Theoretical Perspective? C. The 1990’s
- The sanctions
- UN Resolutions Theoretical Perspective?
D. The second Gulf War (March 2003 – “Operation Iraqi Freedom”)
- Critical outcomes (is the war really over?)
- War on Terror (September 11th?) Theoretical Perspective?
III. Conclusion – based on the evidence you have gathered, your opinion on which of the 9
theories is probably the most accurate for describing why this war occurred and continues.
- Make sure to include an in-text citation every time you use a statement or an idea from
the readings that I have provided, or that you found in your own independent research. Your
grade will be dramatically reduced if you plagiarize.
- “A” papers will be:
a. fully documented and cited in APA citation format (please include 2-3 books)
b. a minimum of 13 pages (including title, abstract, and reference page, meaning 10 full pages of
c. research beyond authors provided
d. turned in on time (July 16, 2020)