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Reassuring the Reluctant WarriorsU.S. Civil-Military Relations and Multilateral Intervention$
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Stefano Recchia

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452918

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452918.001.0001

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Iraq, 2002–3: Silence from the Generals

Iraq, 2002–3: Silence from the Generals

(p.188) 6 Iraq, 2002–3: Silence from the Generals
Reassuring the Reluctant Warriors

Stefano Recchia

Cornell University Press

This chapter studies the 2003 Iraq case. In the run-up to the Iraq War, most senior military officers had significant reservations about using force, worrying that the invasion would result in a costly and open-ended U.S. commitment. However, America's top-ranking generals, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) chairman Richard Myers, his deputy Peter Pace, and Central Commander Tommy Franks, failed to highlight the invasion's likely costs and to challenge the optimistic expectations of civilian interventionist hawks. The civilian interventionists' insistence that the goal of regime change in Iraq was a central aspect of the administration's “war on terror” made it difficult for other senior military officers to speak out without appearing disloyal or unpatriotic. Consequently, the bureaucratic political dynamics that had made international organization approval all but necessary for other wars of choice aimed at internal political change were not activated.

Keywords:   2003 Iraq case, Iraq War, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, Peter Pace, Central Commander Tommy Franks, civilian interventionists, war on terror, international organization

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