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  • Author: Colin Kahl
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In "Time to Attack Iran" (January/February 2012), Matthew Kroenig takes a page out of the decade-old playbook used by advocates of the Iraq war. He portrays the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran as both grave and imminent, arguing that the United States has little choice but to attack Iran now before it is too late. Then, after offering the caveat that "attacking Iran is hardly an attractive prospect," he goes on to portray military action as preferable to other available alternatives and concludes that the United States can manage all the associated risks. Preventive war, according to Kroenig, is "the least bad option."
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Iran
  • Author: Burak Bilgehan Özpek
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kurdish politicians were involved in Baghdad governments, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) became a federal unit with increased autonomy. Nevertheless, the KRG's quest for keeping its autonomy was challenged after the withdrawal of US forces at the end of 2011. When US forces left Iraq, the Baghdad government, headed by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, the leader of the Shiite State of Law Coalition, tried to centralize power. Unsurprisingly, Maliki's centralization efforts have generated criticism and secessionist repercussions among Kurdish political circles. Furthermore, the Maliki government has violated the basic principles of power sharing, which is sine qua non to strengthen the confidence building processes in divided societies. Increasingly, the Kurds' willingness to remain as part of Iraq considerably decreases as the Baghdad government consolidates its power and excludes the ethnic and religious groups from the political system.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Kemal İnat
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: Turkish foreign policy toward the Middle East has confronted with more and novel security challenges in 2012. The problematic issues related to Arab revolutions of 2011 have already had negative repercussions for Ankara. As a result of diverging policy choices toward the Arab revolutions, these conflicting issues caused more strained relations between Turkey and its neighbors in the region. Regional actors divided over how to respond to political deadlocks in the Middle East. While Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have sided together, Iran, Syria and the central government of Iraq have made their policies jointly. This very division between the regional actors has increased the security risks within the Middle East. These two camps have particularly conflicting policy agendas and as a result, they have become part of a “proxy war” in Syria which constitutes the biggest security threat to the whole region. Despite the deteriorating situation in Syria and its own tense political environment domestically, Turkey, has continued to strengthen its economic relations with the Middle Eastern capitals except Damascus. It was partly a result of this policy that Turkey's export toward the Middle East increased significantly.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Damascus, Ankara
14. Irak 2012
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: Termination of the US military presence in Iraq at the end of 2011, bring some problems for Iraq on military, domestic politics and economic area. Just a few months later US military withdrawal, escalating political tension began to delimitate coalition government built on a fragile structure and at the same time has led to emergence of some struggles with in the country. Discourses or expectations of many Iraqi leaders that Iraq will be saved from the problems which he faced and even new independent era will start with the year of 2012 have been turned upside down because of violence and political instability occurring at the beginning of this new independent era. Bombings, political and military strife between ethnic groups, struggle between national government and the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and particularly worsening of Iraq-Turkey relations forced Baghdad government to waste large part of its energy on these issues. In addition to this, natural resources having strategic importance for economic developments and Iraq's future stand out as a shaping factor of Iraq's foreign and domestic politics.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Kanan Makiya
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Igor Golomstock's encyclopedic tome on the art produced in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and communist China makes a good case that totalitarian art is a distinct cultural phenomenon. But a new postscript on art under Saddam Hussein is less compelling, writes a former Iraqi dissident.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, Soviet Union, Germany, Italy
  • Author: Ryan C. Crocker
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After concluding a 37 year Foreign Service career as Ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009, I accepted an appointment as Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A University. In a December 2010 convocation address, I tried to describe what brought me here. In an important way, my past with the State Department and my present and future here at A come down to a single word: Service.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Paolo Chiocchetti
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: The historical trajectory of the Iraqi nation-state has been profoundly marked by its role as a political-institutional laboratory of grand imperial projects. Its first master, United Kingdom, first forged Iraq from the three former Mesopotamian provinces of the Ottoman Empire (1918) and then experimented different forms of governance, from direct rule (1918-1920 and 1941-1945) to indirect rule as a Mandate power alongside of the Hashemite monarchy (1921-1932) to informal influence on an independent state (1932-1941 and 1945-1958). Its second master, the United States, treaded down the same path from direct rule through the CPA of Paul Bremer (2003-2004) to indirect rule alongside democratically elected governments (2004-2010) to Obama's envisioned informal rule after the alleged departure of all combat troops (from 2010). The commonality between the two cases cannot be limited to the attempt to exert a political/economic control over the Iraqi territory; in both cases the foreign powers endeavoured to create a self-sustainable nation-state which could serve as a model to all other countries in the region and in the global South: autonomous, yet pro-Western and liberal-democratic.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, United Kingdom
  • Author: Wilhelm M. Vosse
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Until the Japanese government's decision to participate in the so-called war on terror by first sending maritime self-defense force (SDF) ships to refueling missions in the Indian Ocean in 2001, and then by dispatching ground self-defense force troops to Southern Iraq, the overall view of Japanese security policy had been that it was constrained by article 9 as well as strong public support for perhaps pacifist attitudes. However, these developments and, so it seemed, fundamental changes in Japanese security posture after 9/11 have been taken as evidence that either antimilitarism was vanning, or that the Japanese government, particularly under Prime Minister Koizumi, had been successful in convincing the Japanese public that it was the time for a fundamental shift in Japan's security policy (Green, 2001; Hughes, 2009; Samuels, 2007). This book challenges this assumption and tries to prove that public opinion is not only stable, but also rational, and that it does continue to constrain Japanese government security policy decisions.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, Iraq, India
  • Author: Chris Madsen
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: If the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on New York City and Washington D.C. were a rude wake-up call for potential security threats to continental North America, the reaction on part of Canada has been measured and typically cautious. The acts were of course immediately condemned and temporary refuge given to thousands of travellers stranded by closure of airspace over the United States until declared safe. The federal government and most Canadians extended sympathy and offers of assistance to their closest neighbour and main trading partner. Close cultural and economic ties between the two countries ensured as much. Unease, however, set in about the tough talk and next progression characterized by President George Bush's now famous “You're either with us or against us” speech. Canada's then Liberal prime minister decided not to send the Canadian military wholeheartedly into the invasion of Iraq, though deployment of Canadian troops in Afghanistan duly became a major commitment. Reassuring the United States of Canada's reliability and loyalty as a partner was imperative. To this end, the federal government tightened up financial restrictions on potential fund-raising by identified terrorist groups, introduced new legislation and bureaucratic structures focused on security issues, and better coordinated intelligence gathering and information sharing activities across government agencies and with principal allies. Canadians convinced themselves that any possibility of a 9/11 scale terrorist attack on Canada was unlikely, and even if one was planned or happened, the effect would be minimized by the pro-active measures of authorities. Selected use of security certificates and arrest of home grown Islamic terrorists, the so-called Toronto 18, apparently showed that the police and intelligence agents were up to the task. The threat of terrorism, if not eliminated, could at least be managed and thwarted when required to provide a reasonable level of safety to the Canadian state and society. Ten years on, the course of events has shown the chosen policy decisions to have been mostly sound. Though the highest leadership of Al Qaeda remain at large and defiant as ever in their stated resolve to attack the West, Canada has not yet experienced a major terrorist incident since 9/11.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, New York, Washington, Canada, North America
  • Author: Michael L. Ross
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary: No state with serious oil wealth has ever transformed into a democracy. Oil lets dictators buy off citizens, keep their finances secret, and spend wildly on arms. To prevent the “resource curse” from dashing the hopes of the Arab Spring, Washington should push for more transparent oil markets -- and curb its own oil addiction. MICHAEL L. ROSS is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of the forthcoming book The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations. Even before this year's Arab uprisings, the Middle East was not an undifferentiated block of authoritarianism. The citizens of countries with little or no oil, such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia, generally had more freedom than those of countries with lots of it, such as Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. And once the tumult started, the oil-rich regimes were more effective at fending off attempts to unseat them. Indeed, the Arab Spring has seriously threatened just one oil-funded ruler -- Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi -- and only because NATO's intervention prevented the rebels' certain defeat. Worldwide, democracy has made impressive strides over the last three decades: just 30 percent of the world's governments were democratic in 1980; about 60 percent are today. Yet almost all the democratic governments that emerged during that period were in countries with little or no oil; in fact, countries that produced less than $100 per capita of oil per year (about what Ukraine and Vietnam produce) were three times as likely to democratize as countries that produced more than that. No country with more than a fraction of the per capita oil wealth of Bahrain, Iraq, or Libya has ever successfully gone from dictatorship to democracy. Scholars have called this the oil curse, arguing that oil wealth leads to authoritarianism, economic instability, corruption, and violent conflict. Skeptics claim that the correlation between oil and repression is a coincidence. As Dick Cheney, then the CEO of Haliburton, remarked at a 1996 energy conference, "The problem is that the good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas reserves where there are democratic governments." But divine intervention did not cause repression in the Middle East: hydrocarbons did. There is no getting around the fact that countries in the region are less free because they produce and sell oil.
  • Topic: NATO, Government, Oil
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Kuwait, Libya, Vietnam, California, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia