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Should the U.S. Have Invaded Iraq in 2003 for the Purpose of Democracy Promotion? (worksheet)

A U.S. Marine patrols the streets of Al Faw, Iraq, while units distribute water in the streets, October 2003. CREDIT: Ted Banks, United States Navy (CC)

On March 20, 2003, the United States military, under the command of President George W. Bush, invaded Iraq along with a "coalition of the willing." The invasion was widely debated, particularly after facing harsh criticism from foreign allies.

On March 5, 2003, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs hosted a talk by William Kristol of The Weekly Standard and Lawrence Kaplan of The New Republic, where they argued in favor of the invasion. In the attached worksheet, Kaplan lays out three cases as to why democracy should be brought to Iraq. Students can evaluate the arguments and analyze how history has judged the concept of democracy promotion by force.

The full talk entitled "The War Over Iraq: Why Saddam Must Go...and Why America Must Lead" can be read here.