Main Article Content


Twenty years have passed since the US occupation of Iraq, yet the deployment of the US military in the Middle Eastern country remains today. Initially, the US argued that the primary aim for invasion was the disarmament of the mass weapons (WMD). Further on, they claimed that the intervention was to help establish the Iraq democracy. The final justification for the troops to stay was to combat ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). This raises the question, what are the true motives of the US foreign policy in Iraq? This research was conducted using a qualitative method by analyzing textual data from the previous studies, official documents, and media reports. The data are analyzed using foreign policy theory related to national interests. The findings of this study indicate that the main motive why the US military continue to exist in Iraq is to maintain its power and hegemony in the region. In line with that, the US also has economic motives, such as oil and arms business.


Foreign Policy National Interest Power Hegemony US Iraq

Article Details

How to Cite
Yulianti, D., Sudirman, A., & Angela, F. K. (2023). Analyzing the Motives of US Foreign Policy in Iraq. Ilomata International Journal of Social Science, 4(3), 419-428.


  1. Al Jazeera. (2023). Pentagon Chief, on Surprise Trip, Says US Troops to Stay in Iraq. Al Jazeera.
  2. Ali, H. (2020). The Rise and Fall of Islamic State: Current Challenges and Future Prospects. Asian Affairs.
  3. Allawi, A. H., & Al-Jazaeri, H. M. J. (2023). A new approach towards the sustainability of urban-rural integration: The development strategy for central villages in the Abbasiya District of Iraq using GIS techniques. Regional Sustainability, 4(1), 28–43.
  4. Altwaiji, M. (2014). Neo-Orientalism and the Neo-Imperialism Thesis: Post-9/11 US and Arab World Relationship. Pluto Journals, 36(4), 313–323.
  5. Ateş, A. (2022). Understanding US Foreign Policy: A Theoretical Analysis. Novus Orbis: Siyaset Bilimi ve Uluslararası İlişkiler Dergisi, 4(1), 4–27.
  6. BBC. (2023). Why did the US and Allies Invade Iraq, 20 Years Ago? BBC News.
  7. Bonds, E. (2013). Assessing the Oil Motive After the U.S. War in Iraq. Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 25(2), 291–298.
  8. Bouchet, M. (2022). Strengthening Foreign Policy through Subnational Diplomacy. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 17(1), 96–108.
  9. Bromley, S. (1998). Oil and the Middle East: The End of US Hegemony? Middle East Report, 208, 19–22.
  10. Brookings. (2003). How Much Oil Does Iraq Have? Brookings.
  11. Butt, A. I. (2019). Why did the United States Invade Iraq in 2003? Security Studies.
  12. CFR. (2022). 2003 - 2011 The Iraq War. Council on Foreign Relations. March 2003%2C U.S. forces,and democratic elections were held
  13. Chwastiak, M. (2013). Profiting from Destruction: The Iraq Reconstruction, Auditing and the Management of Fraud. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 24(1), 32–43.
  14. Cordesman, A. H. (2020). America’s Failed Strategy in the Middle East: Losing Iraq and the Gulf. Center for Strategic & International Studies.
  15. Feith, D. J. (2008). War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism. Harper.
  16. Fisher, M. (2023). 20 Years On, a Question Lingers About Iraq: Why Did the U.S. Invade? The New York Times.
  17. Flibbert, A. (2013). The Consequences of Forced State Failure in Iraq. Political Science Quarterly, 128(1), 67–95.
  18. Gilpin, R. (2005). War is Too Important to Be Left to Ideological Amateurs. International Relations, 19(1), 5–18.
  19. Hasan, S. A., Ebraheem, A. K., & Ibraheem, M. A. (2021). Adopting spatial analysis to choose suitable villages for rural development: Iraq / babylon governorate case study. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 16(1), 165–173.
  20. Holsti, K. (1992). International Politics: A Framework for Analysis. Prentice Hall International.
  21. Ibrahim, A. (2020). Iraqi Parliament Calls for Expulsion of Foreign Troops. Al Jazeera.
  22. Jackson, R., & Sørensen, G. (2009). Pengantar Studi Hubungan Internasional. Balai Pelajar.
  23. Jaganathan, M. M. (2019). Can constituent states influence foreign and security policy? Coalitional dynamics in India. Third World Quarterly, 40(8), 1516–1534.
  24. Johnson, D. A., Mora, A., & Schmidt, A. (2016). The Strategic Costs of Torture: How “Enhanced Interrogation” Hurt America. Foreign Affairs, 95(15), 121–132.
  25. King, M. D. (2015). The Weaponization of Water in Syria and Iraq. The Washington Quarterly, 38(4), 153–169.
  26. Lamont, C. K. (2015). Research Methods in International Relations. Sage.
  27. Lyall, L. (2022). Diverse neighbors and post-conflict recovery at the village level: Evidence from Iraq after ISIL. Journal of Peace Research, 59(4), 543–561.
  28. Mahfud, F., & Rezasyah, T. (2023). Analisis Kebijakan Luar Negeri Amerika Serikat Pada Demokratisasi Irak Melalui Program USAID 2021. Jurnal ICMES, 7(1), 23–40.
  29. Mohammed, A. A. (2021). Assessing the Success of the Perceived Usefulness for Knowledge Management Systems: A Case Study of Iraqi Higher Education. International Journal of Knowledge Management, 18(1).
  30. O’Hanlon, M. E., & Allawi, S. (2020). The Relationship between Iraq and the US is in Danger of Collapse. That Can’t Happen. Brookings.
  31. Regular, A. (2003). Road Map Is a Life Saver for Us,’ PM Abbas Tells Hamas. Haaretz.
  32. Ricks, T. (2006). Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. Penguin.
  33. Salloukh, B. F. (2013). The Arab Uprisings and the Geopolitics of the Middle East. The International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs, 48(2), 32–46.
  34. Simon, S., & Stevenson, J. (2015). The End of Pax Americana: Why Washington’s Middle East Pullback Makes Sense. Foreign Affairs, 94(6), 2–10.
  35. Smith, C. (2022). Still at War: The United States in Iraq. Just Security.
  36. Sulaeman, D. Y. (2013). Prahara Suriah: Membongkar Persekongkolan Multinasional. Pustaka IIMaN.
  37. Suskind, R. (2004). The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill. Simon & Schuster.
  38. Wolfowitz. (2003). Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Interview with Karen DeYoung, Washington Post. U.S. Department of Defense.
  39. Woodwar, B. (2002). Bush at War. Simon & Schuster.
  40. Zunes, S. (2014). The United States: A Hegemon Challenged. In T. Y. Ismael & G. E. Perry (Eds.), The International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East: Subordination and Beyond. Routledge.