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Krause M and Taylor D, 17-Oct-2000. Hussein and the Iran-Iraq War: Miscalculation, Escalation, and Megalomania, National War College

Krause M and Taylor D, 17-Oct-2000. Hussein and the Iran-Iraq War: Miscalculation, Escalation, and Megalomania, National War College

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Published by: Foro Militar General on May 13, 2013
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 NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY NATIONAL WAR COLLEGEHUSSEIN AND THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR:MISCALCULATION, ESCALATION, AND MEGALOMANIALt Col Merrick Krause/LTC Debra Taylor COURSE 5601/5602Fundamentals of Statecraft/Military Thought and StrategySEMINARS J/K PROFESSORSDr. Peter Roman/Col Eugene PowellADVISORSCol Eugene Powell/LTC Robert Toguchi17 October 2000
 
Report Documentation Page
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1. REPORT DATE
 
17 OCT 2000
 
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17-10-2000 to 17-10-2000
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Hussein and the Iran-iraq War: Miscalculation, Escalation, andMegalomania
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National War College,300 5th Avenue,Fort Lesley J.McNair,Washington,DC,20319-6000
 
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Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98)
 Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18
 
 
Strategic Analysis: Hussein and the Iran-Iraq WarMiscalculation, Escalation, and Megalomania
The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish…the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it  for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature. This is the first of all strategicquestions and the most comprehensive.
 —Carl von Clausewitz
On War 
, Chapter 1Saddam Hussein miscalculated when he invaded Iran on September 22, 1980. Expecting arapid victory that would consolidate his power and position, Hussein instead found himself drawn into a costly war of attrition with a fanatical if not overly competent enemy. As theconflict progressed over eight years, Hussein escalated from his planned limited strike to seizeterritory, to a war of attrition, then to a war of terror directed against the will of the Iranian people. Because Hussein did not accurately assess his adversary, and due to diplomatic, strategic,and tactical blunders, Hussein allowed his war to out-strip his initial objectives. His changes in political and military strategy, though rational by his calculus, allowed the war to becomesomething alien to his original intention. As a result, a nearly decade long war arose from a poorly conceived land-grab with the Iraqi and Iranian people paying a heavy price.This paper examines Hussein’s conduct during the Iran-Iraq war with respect to hisstatecraft and military strategy. First presented are Hussein’s security strategy and severalcontextual factors, including the international environment, assumptions, perceivedopportunities, objectives, tools, and plans of action. The statecraft section culminates with anassessment of Hussein’s evolving political strategy. Next introduced is classical theory, to tie the1

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