8.1 Structure of the Iraq Analysis

The structure of the Iraq analysis provides an example of how the PatternsofPower methodology can be applied to a complex problem.

The governance failings that allowed the invasion of Iraq in 2003 were the impulse for writing this book, as described in its preface.  It was therefore appropriate to analyse that decision to invade as an example of the book’s methodology.  It involved all five dimensions of power and it had both local and global consequences.  The Edition 2 version of this chapter (which was published in 2014) has been archived on the PatternsofPower website and is linked to from the current text.  An additional segment has been added (8.8), to review the quality of that analysis in the light of the 20 years that have passed since the decision to invade.

The following subsections describe the structure of the Iraq analysis in this chapter, beginning with what was published in 2014:

●  The analysis started with a review of the perspectives of the countries affected by the invasion (8.2 – 8.6). It drew upon public-domain information to explore factors that were relevant to the decision to invade.  The material is all archived under Edition 2 on the website, but it is only listed here as a series of links for the sake of brevity.

●  The original conclusion from that analysis, that there were serious governance failings in allowing the invasion of Iraq at that time, is repeated (8.7). It is republished here – unchanged, apart from minor formatting, refreshed URLs where necessary, and pulling some endnotes into the main text.

●  The chapter concludes with a retrospective review of this book’s analysis of the decision to invade Iraq (8.8). It includes a comparison with Sir John Chilcot’s Report of the Iraq Inquiry, which was published in July 2016; that broadly endorsed this book’s conclusions.  It also gives some additional hindsight on the impact of the invasion decision, which has factors in common with the occupation of Afghanistan.



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/81.htm.