Covert Relationship: American Foreign Policy, Intelligence, and the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988

Covert Relationship: American Foreign Policy, Intelligence, and the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988

Covert Relationship: American Foreign Policy, Intelligence, and the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988

Covert Relationship: American Foreign Policy, Intelligence, and the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988

Synopsis

The Iran-Iraq War was one of the deadliest and most costly conflicts in the modern era; well over one million lives were lost, and America alone spent billions of dollars backing both Iran and Iraq's efforts. But evidence suggests that the United States was not as neutral a party as it claimed-despite funding and providing intelligence to both countries. This new work analyzes the United States's policy towards this vicious and extremely costly war, and questions the veracity of America's claims of strict neutrality.

Excerpt

Neutrality is perhaps one of the most ambiguous concepts in international relations. In layman’s terms, neutrality means that the neutral third party does not take sides during a conflict. But in practice, this concept is far more complicated. For instance, from 1914 to 1917, during the First World War, the United States was officially neutral, but in practice, the Wilson administration tilted heavily toward Great Britain and France by directly providing economic assistance and indirectly offering military aid through British colonies, like Canada. But after slowly whittling down resistance to the war, the United States dropped any pretext of neutrality and entered the war in 1917 on the side of its allies. During the lead-up to the Second World War, the United States adopted a policy of isolationism, and Congress passed a series of neutrality acts that barred the Roosevelt administration from officially taking sides during the war. The Neutrality Act of 1935 prevented the United States from providing arms or war-related material to all parties engaged in a war. The following year, a second Neutrality Act was passed that included the banning of providing financial credits to either belligerent in a military conflict. As the world edged closer towards a second world war, Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1937 that affirmed the views of the earlier acts and extended neutrality to cover civil wars. Of greater importance, there was no expiration date for the act, meaning that Congress would not have to continuously readdress the issue. When Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939, Roosevelt successfully lobbied Congress to remove these restrictions, allowing the United States to once again provide support for its close ally, Great Britain, while officially staying neutral in the war.

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