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Chapter 3: Interstate War with Iraq
The case study in this chapter explores the 2003 Iraq War, an interstate war. An interstate war is traditionally defined by political scientists as the organized violence by two or more national armed forces resulting in 1,000 or more battle-related combatant fatalities.1 The Iraq War also has been called by some a “war of choice,” making it an excellent case study to explore pathways to conflict. If war is not inevitable, what pathways make it more or less likely? Our analysis of this case starts long before Operation Iraqi Freedom, which was launched in March 2003. This study examines the conflict and cooperation that led up to the war and discusses how the hostilities came about.
Our focus will ...