What Iraq Shows Us: The Breakdown of the System Leads to Chaos

Picture what would happen if the police and the military were disbanded.

How long would it take for looting to break out?

How long would it take before people would start killing without any fear of consequence?

Would gangs start to grow? Would society start to fragment into feuding militias?

How long would it take before chaos took hold and the entire system collapsed?

We can answer all of these questions by looking at what Iraq has now become. But let’s first go back and analyze how the system was dismantled.

Within months of the U.S. invasion, we had successfully removed the entire governmental system of Iraq. The mission was accomplished with a finality and excellence that no other nation could ever even dream of doing. We took out their power stations, their communication networks, and their government buildings. Then once we had Baghdad, we disbanded all of the government officials and the entire Iraqi military and police force. We called it De-Baathification, as we were taking Saddam’s Baath party out of power.

We had dismantled the system that the nation of Iraq was built upon with surgical precision… and was in that moment that we ensured the chaos that we are seeing there today.

The goal of transforming the nation of Iraq into a pro-western democracy is a commendable one. As much as the left is known to empathize with other cultures, I don’t know anyone who would gladly give up the freedoms that America offers in exchange for a life under one of these oppressive regimes. But in hindsight, it has become clear that the strategy we took was shortsighted and incomplete at best.

The U.S. has equaled military power. The U.S. could probably tear apart the governments of all oppressive regimes throughout the world. But what would result would be worldwide conflict. A system of government cannot evolve into a democracy by completely tearing it down. If Iraq has taught us anything, it is this: The breakdown of the system leads to chaos.