The fact that matters have come to thisthat the U.S. is capable of using its military forces and is ready to trigger a pre-emptive attack with or without international supportis perhaps no longer a surprise. Acknowledging U.S."s role but not satisfied with its actions as a superpower, many international groups and individuals have continuously voiced their dissent on a unilateral war, as have certain nations, such as Germany, France, and Russia. The problem is, this divide of opinion is no longer about Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, or even terrorism. It is about a new international order that will eventually settle in.
Two main factors are in conflict: national security versus. international stability. National security has been the main priority of the U.S., especially after September 11, and will continue to be the excuse the nation"s leaders lean on. The U.S. is gaining in unpopularity, perhaps more than it bargained for, but to back down now would not only injure its pride, but also send out a negative image of a lenient nation without backbone. Those against war, however, especially from the European region, assert that international conflicts must be worked out through the organizations that have been set up for that exact purpose.
It is almost certain that the U.S. will win if it does go to war. The following consequences, however, will not be that simple. The war on Iraq will not only remove any alleged weapons and possibly Saddam Hussein from power as well, but it will also affect foreign policy later, possibly creating conflict among the nations that disagree now. There is already an anti-French sentiment growing in the U.S. that could lead to other conflicts that could injure public relations.
Problems will also arise on the individual level. Immediate danger to civilians near the two fronts will undoubtedly result in casualties. The increasing conflict between protesting individuals and nations will also prove harmful. Global protests against the imminent war and U.S. policy have expanded, and never has there been stronger outbursts of demonstration, exceeding even those of the Vietnam War.
The world is on the brink of war. Not necessarily will everyone be on the battlefield, but the war with Iraq will certainly give birth to an underlying international war in politics, economy, and social affairs among nations. Besides constructing military strategies and training troops, it? time to look beyond and think about foreign relations and security on both the domestic and international level.