What if the 2003 American invasion of Iraq doesn't occur?

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
8,945
here
#1
What happens to Iraq and the greater Middle East if Saddam Hussein's regime isn't toppled in 2003? Does this affect Syria dramatically? Does the revolt against Assad still take place? What about the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, do they still occur? Would Iraq eventually fall anyway? To whom? A foreign power, or internal forces?
 
Aug 2014
1,832
Huntington Beach CA
#2
The sanctions regime against Iraq would have failed. Because the sanctions regime WAS failing in 2003 and that was one of the proximate causes of the US invasion of Iraq.
The other cause was that after 9/11, Saudi Arabia expelled American troops from it's soil. Iraq was designed to be an alternative to Saudi Arabia and a way of keeping the Saudis in line when it came to oil prices and the pricing of oil in US dollars.
People do not realize just how important the petrodollar has been to the US since the Vietnam War. It is the fact that oil is priced in US dollars (whatever the price oil happens to be) that has kept the US dollar as the world's reserve currency --and therefore enabled the US government to run huge deficits and for the US to run a serious balance of payments deficit without increasing taxes or insisting on major austerity.
What American policymakers did not realize at the time was that maintaining this status quo required maintaining Saddam Hussein in power and keeping him "on side" with the US. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein can probably best be described as a case of "victory disease". The United States found chasing Saddam out of Kuwait so easy that overthrowing Saddam and restructuring Iraq as a democratic nation appeared feasible. Unfortunately, Saddam's last words "Without me there is no Iraq" which he spoke at his hanging proved prophetic.
How long could the status quo have endured if Saddam had been left in place?
I suppose that depends on how long it would have taken for other OPEC nations to abandon the US dollar for a "basket of currencies" including the Euro, the British Pound, the Yen and the Chinese Yuan. I suppose that an abandonment of the dollar (which could have easily happened if Saddam's actions had remained unchallenged) could have been fairly traumatic for the US, economically, had it occurred before the "frakking revolution" reduced US dependence on Mideast oil dramatically. The real estate and credit bubble might have burst a few years sooner, perhaps before 2004 leading to Kerry's election but most likely somewhere around 2005-2006, leading to a longer and more severe recession with less stimulus and quite possibly more radical remedies ala FDR after 2008. Whether that would have been for the best depends on one's political persuasion, I guess.
Saddam could have remained in power and kept Iraq together for another few years, I suppose. Would Saddam in power prevented or delayed the Arab Spring? Was the Arab Spring a reaction to Saddam's ouster? Hard to say. If the Arab Spring did arrive on schedule, Saddam would have had his hands full with revolt just as Assad has in Syria. But would probably still be able to rule a rump Iraq in the north and west until the present. The big challenge to the Baathist regime would come when Saddam attempted to pass power on to Qusay.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#4
What happens to Iraq and the greater Middle East if Saddam Hussein's regime isn't toppled in 2003? Does this affect Syria dramatically? Does the revolt against Assad still take place? What about the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, do they still occur? Would Iraq eventually fall anyway? To whom? A foreign power, or internal forces?
In order for this to occur, the "point of departure" probably needs to be either Al Gore winning in 2000 or something even earlier.

Exactly which "point of departure" are you using for this scenario?
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
8,945
here
#5
In order for this to occur, the "point of departure" probably needs to be either Al Gore winning in 2000 or something even earlier.
Why? Not to get into contemporary politics, but Bush's election alone didn't guarantee that Iraq was going to be invaded. Even had Bush been planning to invade Iraq, he still needed congress to go along with it. Or, he could've changed his mind, been assassinated, been impeached, etc.

I don't see why the point of departure needs to be Gore winning the 2000 election.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
8,945
here
#6
Isn't it against the rules of this forum to talk about post-1991 events?

If not, then someone should please tell me.
The rules are sometimes vague, loosely applied and arbitrary, imo. Having said that, there's the current events forum, where we talk about all sorts of things, including post-1991 events. I realize I might be pointing out the obvious here, sorry if that's the case.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#7
Why? Not to get into contemporary politics, but Bush's election alone didn't guarantee that Iraq was going to be invaded. Even had Bush been planning to invade Iraq, he still needed congress to go along with it. Or, he could've changed his mind, been assassinated, been impeached, etc.

I don't see why the point of departure needs to be Gore winning the 2000 election.
Unless you are going to butterfly away 9/11 and/or a similar terrorist attack, I consider it likely that an Iraq invasion would have still occurred. Why? Because Bush could have given misleading information to Congress and/or intimidated Congress into voting in favor of the Iraq War (by implying that they would be portrayed as being "weak on terror" if they will vote against this war); in fact, one or both of these things might have occurred in real life as well. Changing his mind in regards to this might have been unlikely for Bush due to the fact that Saddam was the guy who previously tried to kill his dad and due to the fact that Bush was surrounded by neoconservatives. In addition, it is worth noting that most Democrats in Congress opposed U.S. entry into the Gulf War of 1990-1991; due to that war being a success, some Democrats in Congress might have been afraid to end up on the wrong side of history once again. As for Bush being assassinated or impeached, I don't see Bush being impeached, and as for Bush being assassinated, then in such a scenario new U.S. President Dick Cheney would have still likely invaded Iraq due to the large neoconservative influence within his administration.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#8
And as for butterflying away 9/11 and/or another large-scale terrorist attack on U.S. soil, I think that this might be at least somewhat unlikely if Bush still wins in 2000 due to the fact that Bush's administration didn't appear to have paid much attention to pre-9/11 warnings and due to the fact that, if I remember correctly, the various national security agencies didn't completely cooperate and collaborate with each other in the months and years before 9/11.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#10
The rules are sometimes vague, loosely applied and arbitrary, imo. Having said that, there's the current events forum, where we talk about all sorts of things, including post-1991 events. I realize I might be pointing out the obvious here, sorry if that's the case.
Thanks for this info; it is just that I think that I previously saw some threads about Gore winning in 2000 in this section as well as the fact that all of these threads were closed by the moderators shortly afterwards.