In the wake of the September 11 attacks and the seeming relative success of
the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Bush administration felt that it had
sufficient military justification and public support in the United States for further
operations against perceived threats in the Middle East. The relations between
some coalition members and Iraq had never improved since 1991, and the
nations remained in a state of low-level conflict marked by American and British
air-strikes, sanctions, and threats against Iraq. Iraqi radar had also locked onto
and anti-aircraft guns and missiles were fired upon coalition airplanes enforcing
the northern and southern no-fly zones, which had been implemented after the
Gulf War in 1991.
Throughout 2002, the U.S. administration made it clear that removing Saddam
Hussein from power was a major goal, although it offered to accept major
changes in Iraqi military and foreign policy in lieu of this. Specifically, the stated
justification for the invasion included Iraqi production and use of weapons of
mass destruction, alleged links with terrorist organizations, and human rights
violations in Iraq under the Saddam Hussein government.

Opponents of the invasion of Iraq disagree with the arguments presented by
the Bush administration. Their reasons for opposing the invasion include the
following allegations:

•        That the Bush Administration had little or no tangible evidence of a threat,
which several investigations corroborated.
•        That Iraq never threatened to attack the United States and had no known
means of delivering a real attack against it.
•        That Iraq did not have a chemical weapons program - a position
reinforced by U.N. Inspector Hans Blix after the invasion.
•        That no evidence existed linking the government of Iraq to Al Qaida or
terrorist groups that had threatened the U.S. or NATO was presented - and to
date no credible evidence has been produced. A statement that subsequent
investigation has shown was correct.
•        That the war was pursued based on economic reasons: to secure Iraq's
oil reserves for U.S. and Western corporate interests, to create massive
contracts for defense contractors such as Halliburton, and to open a previously
closed market for U.S. investment.
•        That establishing long-term U.S. military bases in Iraq in order to project
American strength (credible threat of American military intervention) to the oil-
rich Gulf region was a principal aim of the invasion.
•        That invading Iraq was a gross violation of international law, including the
UN Charter and the Nuremberg Principles, to which the US had committed itself.