The dissertation aims to explore the declared and the alleged undeclared reasons for the Second Gulf War (2003), against the background of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US. To achieve the aim of the study, the research commenced with a conceptual framework of the causes, reasons and motives for war. The framework not only identifies the various type of wars, but also distinguishes between the general causes of, and specific reasons for war within the context of realist, liberal and conservative theories. To analyse the context of the 2003 US-led war with Iraq, the study explores the reasons why Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, and how this invasion ultimately resulted in the US participation in the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. Following from this, the study identifies certain reasons/factors emanating from the 1991 Gulf War that may have influenced the US decision-making process in the lead up to the 2003 war against Iraq. Mainly, the study explores the three declared reasons for the war as well as the intelligence failures by the US and the UK intelligence agencies, especially the incorrect assessments of Iraq WMD capabilities and related programmes, which consequently resulted in the US-led campaign against Iraq. Although most of the declared US reasons of Iraq’s alleged WMD and its alleged links to Al Qaeda could not be substantiated, the study argues that these were important factors in building a case for the war. Lastly, the study explores the alleged undeclared reasons for the Iraq war, and suggests that oil seems to have been an important factor which led the US to war. Copyright
Dissertation (MSecurity Studies)--University of Pretoria, 2012.