• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Students love good stories. That is why case studies are such a powerful way to engage students while teaching them about concepts fundamental to the study of international relations. Cases in International Relations helps students understand the context of headline events in the international arena. Organized into three main parts—military, economic, and human security—the book's fifteen cases examine enduring and emerging issues from the longstanding Arab-Israeli conflict to the rapidly changing field of cyber-security. Compatible with a variety of theoretical perspectives, the cases consider a dispute's origins, issue development, and resolution so that readers see the underlying dynamics of state behavior and can try their hand at applying theory.

Interstate War with Iraq
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 ...

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