When the US invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, I believe that neighboring countries and one of their major arms suppliers- Russia- stood down, at best.

What actions did the USA take to dissuade any actions on the parts of those countries, either to assist Iraq (overtly or covertly) or to opportunistically make other moves deemed undesirable to American interests?

For example, were military assets moved into specific locations well outside of the theater?

I'm actually primarily interested in whether the US sent carrier groups to some place like the Pacific as a "show of force" as part of the preparations for war. Or beefed up troops or materiel in areas near the Russian or Chinese spheres of influence at the time. The preparations for the war itself (coalition building, grooming the populace, getting the media in lock-step and so on) are well-documented but I don't see much on any other preparations.

  • 4
    What makes you think the regional powers did not interfere covertly? Saddam was not a popular fellow among his neighbors but after his fall, regional powers played full role in Iraqi politics and the insurgency. Just check out the role of Iran alone. – NSNoob Feb 28 '18 at 6:17
  • 2
    ... one of their major arms suppliers Russia - erhm, what? Add a few references please (at least when it comes to times after 1991). And start with this wiki article to find out who was the "last best friend" of Iraq (counting after 1991 Saddam simply had none). – seven-phases-max Feb 28 '18 at 8:12
  • 2
    After diplomacy failed, the overwhelming superiority of US arms is by itself sufficient to deter other countries from the completely futile cause of aiding an unpopular tyrant. Assuming they even cares. – Semaphore Feb 28 '18 at 10:35
  • @seven-phases-max - Its not a totally untrue statement though. Russia had been his chief supplier since back in the day when the Shah was in power in Iran and the USA was supporting Iran instead of Iraq. The new government in Iran was nearly equally anti-Russia, and his new American friends made incompatible and much more expensive equipment. So almost all his heavy military hardware (tanks, aircraft) was still Russian-made. The conflict was in fact viewed in military circles as a great chance to test the relative capabilities of the two sides' hardware against each other in combat. – T.E.D. Feb 28 '18 at 11:27
  • @T.E.D. Sure (but that was SU and these were 1970...80) - so I just wondered what a distorted picture one could have in mind assuming Russia had any interest in supporting Saddam in 2003. Many countries (e.g. France, Germany if I recall correctly) were against the invasion itself but it's no way meaning they wanted to be involved in the conflict on either side. As for the "hardware test" - maybe, but I don't think that was initial op thoughts (after all ~1/3 of the world is armed with T-**s and AKs - shall we extrapolate further? :) – seven-phases-max Feb 28 '18 at 13:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.