American Support of the Iran-Iraq War: A Pyrrhic Victory
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The Iran-Iraq War lasted from 22 September 1980 until 20 July 1988, cost over $1 trillion, and resulted in anywhere from five hundred thousand to one million deaths. This conflict caused irreparable damage to both countries and the aftershocks are still felt today. But this devastating war is often overlooked; overshadowed by the 1991 Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless this war is worth reexamining. This paper seeks to answer how heavily the United States supported both parties of the war, and whether its’ long-term goals were achieved. Evidence suggests that while America publicly touted a neutral stance, it instead very clearly tilted to each country throughout the conflict. Furthermore, given over twenty years of distance and perspective, the United States’ intended strategic outcomes in tampering with the war were never realized. If anything American involvement catalyzed long-term repercussions that are still grappled with today. A careful examination will support the above reasoning and draw out a cautionary lesson for future American foreign policy.