05 December, 2020

Why We Should Say Yes

India, by sending a force to Iraq, will get a chance to become a global player

illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
Why We Should Say Yes
It would be appropriate at the very outset to clearly underscore one's total opposition to the unilateral military operations that the United States conducted against Iraq. And that remains my position even today. However, while expressing opposition to the proposed operations in the run-up to the war, many of us were in no doubt that the US would go ahead anyway—with or without a UN Security Council mandate. That it did so is now a matter of history. India's response to the American request for troops to stabilise Iraq needs to be free from rhetoric and moral posturing, and should be solely based on our national interests, ground realities and considerations of realpolitik.

The first ground reality is that the US-led operation has removed Saddam Hussein from power. And for all the anti-American activity in some pockets of Iraq, Saddam can't return. I do believe that most Iraqis would not want him to return, and in any case, the Americans certainly won't allow that.

Second, the international community has come to terms with the situation in Iraq. Whether under...


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