The Iran Iraq War Of Iran Essay

The Iran Iraq War Of Iran Essay

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Countries engage in war for reasons that may often seem to have simple solutions. At first glance, reasons for war can seem petty or pompous. In fact however, the steps to war often are complex and deep, shrouded in history, cultural clashes and religious disputes. The Iran-Iraq war of the 1980’s for instance locked the two nations in conflict for nearly eight years, costing nearly half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers, and an equivalent number of civilians their lives, with no real resolution to the dispute. This militarized interstate dispute set the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Baathist Republic of Iraq against one another in armed conflict in what was referred to as the ‘Gulf War’. Iran, previously known as Persia became an Islamic Republic in 1979 when the Shi’a religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini established a theocratic system of government usurping political leadership from the United States backed Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. This was the same year a group of students in seized the US embassy in Tehran holding embassy personnel hostage for over a year, marking a decided and uncomfortable relationship with the United States. Iraq, previously known as the Ottoman Empire was ruled by the Sunni dictator and fifth president of Iraq Saddam Hussain Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party during the Iran-Iraq war. This conflict decimated the economy in the Middle East proving to be one of the longest conflicts the region has ever seen.

John Vasquez and Paul D. Senese in the 2008 Book “The Steps to War: An Empirical Study” outline a specific set of steps which as they say, outline ‘the steps to war’. These steps address the progression to conflict by determining the underlying cause of war. ...


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...rritory dispute. We can see from analyzing the Iraq – Iran conflict that the dispute regarding the Shatt al-Arab region that borders the Persian Gulf is without question the underlying cause or determinate of the eventual war between the two states. Each of the other five steps however increase the likelihood of the escalation from conflict to war. Similarly with Fearon’s Bargaining Model, we can see that without a credible commitment to peace and a means to ensure it, along with accurate information the steps to lasting peace is unlikely. However, I think that using one model, or the other only provides a portion of the information needed to derive an accurate and well thought out conclusion. While each theory has its strength, using both together bring about the most detailed and accurate conclusions in the determinants and likelihood of the escalation to war.

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