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  • 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
102. 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: Dr. Magnus Ranstorp
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: For decades, sweden has been regarded as the relative backwater of international terrorism. Even Usama bin Ladin had mentioned Sweden as immune from terrorism in an al-Jazira broadcast in October 2004. This sense of immunity was shattered twice in December 2010. First, a suicide bomber struck in the Nordic countries for the first time ever on December 11. The Swedish security service, Säkerhetspolisen (SÄPO), had no record of the bomber before the attack, as he had studied and lived for a decade in the United Kingdom. At the same time, he admitted he had traveled to Iraq to perform jihad. Second, four Swedes were arrested later that month for planning to conduct a protracted Mumbai-style attack on the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Copenhagen, Denmark. The men were arrested after driving from Sweden to Copenhagen to execute the attack. Third, SÄPO produced a report on violent.Islamist extremism which outlined that it had identified about 200 extremists in Sweden; more than 80% were socially connected, and most lived inside the three major cities of Sweden, with more than half residing in Stockholm.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Mumbai
  • Author: Peter R. Mansoor
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The surge in Iraq demonstrated the importance of understanding the influence of culture on warfare. As new books by Dima Adamsky and Gal Luft argue, military and political leaders ignore such issues at their peril.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Emma Sky
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The surge of U.S. troops into Iraq helped decrease violence and set the stage for the eventual U.S. withdrawal. But the country still has a long way to go before it becomes sovereign and self-reliant. To stabilize itself and realize its democratic aspirations, Iraq needs Washington's continued support.
  • Topic: Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: In 2003, HarperCollins published Terrorist Hunter: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman Who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America. The book is as relevant today, if not more. At the beginning of Terrorist Hunter the anonymous author, since outed as Rita Katz, has infiltrated a conference for radical Muslims. She asks herself why she is in a place where she (and her unborn baby) will probably die if anyone finds her recording equipment. Recalling her past, she goes on to answer that question. Katz was born into a wealthy family of Jews living in the then-prosperous Iraqi city of al-Basrah. Her happy childhood changed dramatically after Israel soundly defeated the Arab nations that attacked it in the Six-Day War of 1967. Unable to match Israel\'s military power, many Arabs began to take revenge on the Jews within their own borders. After the Ba\'ath Party of Saddam Hussein and his cousin Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr seized power the year following the war, they came for Katz\'s father, falsely accused him of being a traitor and a spy for Israel, and began torturing him to extract a confession. Meanwhile, Katz\'s family was moved into a small, guard-surrounded stone hut from which her mother would leave each day to beg for her father\'s release—and to which she would return with fresh bruises bestowed by her husband\'s captors. Sadly, her valiant effort was in vain. Katz\'s father was well known, and his trial was scheduled to be shown on television. The Iraqi tyrants were determined to quench their Arab citizens\' thirst for vengeance by reaching a guilty verdict. Because no amount of torture had hitherto pushed Katz\'s father to confess to the crimes he had not committed, Ba\'ath party agents invited his pregnant wife into a room he knew well—one in which, just the day before, another prisoner\'s wife was beaten and gang-raped by many guards. The agents told Katz\'s father that, if he refused to confess, they would immediately walk into that room, cut open her belly, and bring his unborn child to him on a tray. Later that evening he walked to the stand and “in a clear, unwavering voice, confessed his crimes as an Israeli spy and a traitor to the Iraqi nation” (p. 25). He was hanged soon thereafter in Baghdad\'s central square—to the cheers of a half million Iraqis. Katz goes on to tell the story of her family\'s daring escape from Iraq, which required her mother to drug the guards with Valium bought surreptitiously and then pretend to be the wife of a general in order to get a car ride to a town where they could be smuggled to safety. The remainder of their trek to safety involved hiding in the secret compartment of a chicken truck and walking across mountains with duct tape on their mouths to ensure that nobody made a sound. All this is told with the drama of a good novel. In fact, when Katz and her family are on the plane to Israel, and her little brother musters the courage to ask if it is finally OK to tell people they are Jews, you are likely to cry—just as everyone on that plane did. . . .
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Arabia
  • Author: Naser Hadian, Shani Hormozi
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The Iran-US relations since 1979 Revolution have remained tension-ridden. Various efforts towards resolution of the sensitive and critical issues between them have failed to bear fruit. The present article looks into the state of these relations from the vantage of Iran's security environment and how the U.S. policies, particularly since the 2001 occupation of Afghanistan and 2003 war of choice in Iraq, have dramatically affected Iran's immediate security environment. The paper argues that as a result of the removal of the Taliban and Ba'athist regimes and the emergence of pro-Iran ruling coalitions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran's regional stature and influence was enhanced, which also coincided with simultaneous shrinking of US material and symbolic resources in the region. The article also tries to shed light on the parameters of Iran 's security environment, decision making processes, sources of security and defense policies, which would help towards a better understanding of the reasons and rationale for the still tumultuous relations with the US, including in particular on Iran's nuclear program. A review of the past U.S. strategies in dealing with Iran as well as of the alternative strategies currently on the table – Containment, Comprehensive and Selective Engagements, Military option – and Iran's Counter Containment strategy, indicates that given the actual situation in the region a mere continuation of the past might simply prove impossible. A full-scale confrontation or a major reconciliation appears to be the only possible scenarios for the future. The paper concludes that Comprehensive Engagement will instead present a way out of the decades-old conflict with tremendous benefits for the protagonists and the surrounding region.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran, Taliban
  • Author: Farideh Farhi
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq, the blame game regarding the problematic motives of the attack as well as the less than perfect outcome has been a growing industry in the United States. Of particular focus has been the performance of the U.S. (and British) intelligence in collecting and evaluating information about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs. The reliability of sources has been questioned with suggestions that human intelligence were purposefully made deceptive by the Iraqi intelligence and security services, while exiles and defectors provided other intelligence seeking to influence U.S. policy.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, United Kingdom
  • Author: Jacob Heilbrunn
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: The prophet armed, Samantha Power, has now drafted Obama into her crusade against mass slaughter. Liberal hawks and neocons, reunited. Make way for a profound foreign-policy transformation.
  • Topic: NATO, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Richard J. Evans
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: From Jason and the Golden Fleece to Napoleon and the Rosetta Stone it has been to the victor go the spoils. There may no longer be whole-scale pillaging of the Nazi era, but from Egypt to Iraq the...
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Egypt
  • Author: Rajan Menon
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: One fact is certain: foreign interventions end badly. Think the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan. Libya will be no different.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Libya, Balkans
  • Author: Loch K. Johnson
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Anything on intelligence written by Robert Jervis is worth reading. This volume is certainly no exception. In this instance, he takes on the difficult job of trying to understand why the United States, despite spending $80 billion on intelligence each year, still makes mistakes in predicting the trajectory of world affairs.
  • 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: Alice Gadler
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The fight against insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq has led the U.S. and its allies to devote growing attention and resources to counterinsurgency strategies, stability operations and civil-military operations. Humanitarian and development assistance have acquired an important role in military strategies. However, the activities carried out by armed forces in the field of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan and Iraq have been criticized for blurring the distinction between civilian and military actors and thus increasing the risk of being targeted for humanitarians and civilians. The article analyzes the conduct of U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and the challenges it has posed to humanitarian actors. It then examines U.S. military doctrines and manuals and argues that their most recent versions have increasingly taken into account the needs of humanitarian actors and the principles of humanitarian action, but reasons for concern remain. The engagement of the military in humanitarian assistance has not been definitely limited. In addition, humanitarians should be careful in their relationships with the armed forces in the field of information-sharing.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Peter D. Feaver
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On January 10, 2007, President George W. Bush announced in a televised prime-time address to the nation a bold, even risky, new strategy in the Iraq War. The United States' military and political fortunes in the war had eroded so sharply over the preceding year that President Bush had authorized a thorough internal review to deter - mine why the current strategy was not succeeding and what, if anything, could be done about it. The review had concluded that the United States was on a trajectory that would end in defeat unless the president authorized a new strategy and committed new resources to it. Bush used the televised address to describe in broad strokes the results of the review and the new strategy, which the media quickly dubbed the “surge strategy,” because its most controversial provision involved sending have new brigade combat teams (BCTs) to Iraq, a commitment that grew to a total of nearly 30,000 additional troops—this at a time when public support for the Iraq War was strained to the breaking point.
  • Topic: Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Mesut Ozcan
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's Middle East policy has witnessed revolutionary changes since 1999. The changes in the attitude of Turkey towards the region can be easily grasped by examining its policy towards Iraq. Today Ankara is an active player in the region using non-military means of diplomacy, such as economic tools and international conferences. This paper analyzes the changes in Turkish foreign policy towards Iraq through a framework of processes, means and outcomes. The article covers approximately the last ten years and looks at three turning points that triggered change. These turning points are the capture of the PKK leader Öcalan in 1999, Turkey's refusal to allow the transfer of US soldiers to Iraq in March 2003, and the Turkish responses to the PKK attack on the Aktütün military post on the Turkish-Iraqi border in October 2008. The article contends that as a result of the transformations in Turkey's foreign policy, it has become an indispensable actor in Middle Eastern politics.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Erzsébet N. Rózsa
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: It is widely held that the 21st century will be China's century on the global stage, while Iran, in the beginning of the 21st century, is becoming a regional power in the Middle East even if the limits to its power can be questioned. Both countries stand practically alone, without allies in a world that looks upon their expansion unfavourably, if not with outright hostility. The 21st century, however, will not be the period of gaining influence by military means, even if the use of military force cannot be excluded. One of the main characteristics of both the Chinese and the Iranian expansions is economic expansion. Chinese presence is booming in the Middle East. Iran has developed a significant economic activity in Western Afghanistan, then in Iraq. Both countries look back on ancient civilisations, to which they frequently refer to and which contributes to their perceptions of the surrounding world. China has traditionally perceived itself as the centre of the universe. Iran, by the right of its Islamic revolution of 1979, wishes to be the leading power of the Islamic world. Ayatollah Khomeini was speaking of Islam, in spite of the fact that the Islamic government put forward by him is rooted in Shiite Islam. This leading role seems to return under the presidency of Ahmadinejad – even if in a new form. 11 September 2001 has created the moving space for Iran in which it can become a regional power.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, West Asia
  • Author: Michele Brunelli
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Despite deep differences shown during 2003 Iraqi crisis, European Union expresses a joint policy towards the Persian Gulf. This is essentially based on the equation: “economy” = “development” and so “security and stability”. Economy is the tool which is really trans-European: it means that despite some different approaches on few geopolitical issues of its members, it remains fundamental pillar on which a real “European Foreign Policy”, can be built. During last years, this particular approach allowed EU: i) to start a fruitful discussion with GCC countries about a Persian Gulf currency union, ii) to include in its Agenda establishment of a free trade area with the GCC countries, iii) start negotiations for an EC-Iran Trade and Cooperation agreement, iv) to involve Iran, Iraq and Yemen in this process. All these actions will allow EU to create an area of dialogue, cooperation and exchange, which is one of the EU top priorities. A new wider space of cooperation composed of the countries belonging to the MENA region, GAFTA, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Yemen. While European Union has chosen a “more economic” approach, US policy towards the Persian Gulf is “more political”. US equation is: “freedom and democracy” – even coercively imposed = “security and stability for a specific area” = “security and stability for the US”. But in some parts of the world this strategy showed some imperfections (Afghanistan), demonstrating its fallacy (Iraq). In some cases US applied political model which doesn't reflect social, political realities and doesn't respect historical roots and heritages of the area.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran, Yemen, Persia
  • Author: Sandra Halperin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article relates the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq to fundamental aspects of Anglo-American political economy, including the increasing integration of the British and US economies, and the largely Anglo-American-led project of global economic restructuring currently taking place. Part I discusses the political economy of UK–US relations and the evolution of an Anglo-American military–industrial conglomerate. Part II links the Anglo-American relations and interests detailed in the first part of the article to an on-going project of global reconstruction. With this as a context, Part III reviews the history of British and US foreign policies towards Iraq and the culmination of these policies in the invasion of the country. The conclusions draw implications for the overall nature and direction of current trends of change.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Maria Ryan
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article examines the origins of the 'Global War on Terror' (GWoT) in peripheral locations; in other words, in countries and regions beyond Iraq and beyond Afghanistan. Although those two countries have remained the 'core' regions of the GWoT, the Bush administration also undertook many other military interventions in countries and regions in ostensibly peripheral locations under the auspices of the 'war on terror'; operations which it referred to in its 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review as 'war in countries we are not at war with'. These include operations in the Horn of Africa, Georgia and the Caspian region, the Philippines and the countries across the Sahara region including Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania. This article examines these peripheral theatres in the GWoT and argues that, by its second term, the Bush administration had moved beyond a state-based worldview vis-à-vis terrorism and had truly come to understand it as a transnational problem; a protean network that should be tackled through using Special Operations Forces and unconventional warfare to wage 'war in countries we are not at war with'. The article also considers the extent to which these operations on the 'periphery' were expedient in other ways that often transcended the war on terror because they coincided with the existence of long-standing or newly identified US strategic interests. Finally, the article considers the Obama administration's continuation – and in some cases escalation – of many of the Bush administration's operations in peripheral regions, even as Obama looks to wind down the war in Iraq.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Georgia
  • Author: Michael J. Boyle
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Why have two successive US administrations concluded that fighting terrorism must involve democracy promotion? This assumption became prevalent in US political discourse following the events of September 11 despite the fact that the empirical evidence linking democracy and terrorism is weak or ambiguous. More strikingly, it has persisted even after the missions to establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq have led to increasing violence, including a worldwide increase in terrorist attacks. This article argues that the link between democracy and terrorism was established by the combined effect of three factors: (a) the framing of the September 11 attacks in a way that increased the receptivity to this conceptual opposition between freedom and fear; (b) the ideological influence of the Wilsonian tradition, as manifested today in an unusual consensus between modern neo-conservatives and liberal internationalists on the desirability of democratic reform as a means of changing foreign policy behaviour; and (c) a powerful bipartisan domestic constituency in favour of democracy promotion. Owing to these three factors, the contraposition of democracy and terrorism in American political discourse is effectively over-determined because it mirrors the dominant ideological and political preferences of American elites. This fixed preference for democracy promotion explains why the Obama Administration has remained wedded to the binary distinction between freedom and fear in its public statements despite its efforts to break in style and substance with the policies of its predecessor.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • 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: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: The stabilization of iraq has become wedged on a plateau, beyond which further improvement will be a slow process. According to incident metrics compiled by Olive Group, the average monthly number of insurgent attacks between January and June 2011 was 380. The incident count in January was 376, indicating that incident levels remained roughly stable in the first half of 2011. One reason behind this stability is the ongoing virulence of northern and central Iraqi insurgents operating within Sunni Arab communities. Five predominately Sunni provinces and western Baghdad were responsible for an average of 68.5% of national incidents each month in 2011.
  • Topic: Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Paul J. Beard II
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Matt Sissel is a young entrepreneur who is pursuing the American dream. After returning from military service in Iraq and paying his way through art school, he opened a studio in Iowa City, where he sells his fine art and offers art lessons. Until recently, Matt's entire focus had been on furthering his education and art business. So he made the considered judgment to forgo some luxuries-such as health insurance. In his twenties, Matt is healthy and has no preexisting medical conditions. He is self-insured-paying out of pocket any medical expenses that might arise-and wants to continue to self-insure because he believes the cost of health insurance premiums is excessive and that his money is better devoted to his business. But the federal government couldn't care less about Matt's priorities and choices. Beginning in 2014, it will force Matt, along with almost every other American, to buy a comprehensive, government-approved health-insurance plan from a private insurance company, on pain of stiff civil penalties. This "Individual Mandate" is at the heart of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-also known as "ObamaCare"-which Congress enacted and the president signed into law in 2010. As a consequence of the Individual Mandate, Matt must act now to make financial plans: either purchase health insurance or pay a hefty annual penalty. Given the financial burden it will impose, he can no longer afford to hone his craft by furthering his education in art. Matt must focus exclusively on the creation and sale of his artwork in order to brace himself for the impending obligations the Individual Mandate imposes. Outraged that he is being forced to divert his hard-earned resources away from his education and career in order to buy a service he neither needs nor wants, Matt has decided to sue the federal government, asking the federal district court in Washington, D.C., to enjoin enforcement of the Individual Mandate on the grounds that it violates the United States Constitution. Other legal challenges to the Individual Mandate are pending in courts across the country, such as the well-known lawsuits brought by various state governments and officials whose purpose is to protect their sovereignty against federal encroachment. But few challenges take up the cause as championed by Matt, who is driven by the explicit desire to have the government recognize his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, exercised in accordance with his own values and goals.1 Let us consider the prospects for Matt's constitutional challenge to the Individual Mandate. ObamaCare's Individual Mandate In brief, here is how the Individual Mandate will work: Beginning in 2014, with few exceptions, all individuals with legal residence in the United States will be forced to purchase a health-insurance plan with "minimum essential coverage," as defined by the government. Exempt individuals include Native Americans, religious objectors, Americans living abroad, and the poor (whose health care will be subsidized). And what the law defines as "minimum essential coverage" is far more than is necessary for young and healthy individuals such as Matt. Thus, a catastrophic health-insurance plan covering only expenses related to medical emergencies-which would make sense for many Americans-would not satisfy the mandate's requirements. Moreover, individuals subject to the Individual Mandate cannot satisfy the "minimum essential coverage" requirement by self-insuring: Under the act, they are prohibited from paying for their medical expenses out of pocket.2 Thus, if Matt fails to buy "minimum essential coverage" by January 1, 2014, the government will assess a financial penalty against him for every month he remains without such coverage. The penalty for failing to purchase approved health insurance is the greater of 2.5 percent of the taxpayer's annual income, or $695 for each uninsured family member per year, up to a maximum of $2,085 per family per year-not an insignificant sum.3 Does the federal government-specifically, Congress-really have the legal power to force Matt and other Americans to buy a product or service, such as health insurance, from a private company? . . .
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: I recently spoke with Dr. John David Lewis about American foreign policy, the uprisings in the Muslim world, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the light that history can shed on such matters. Dr. Lewis is visiting associate professor in the philosophy, politics, and economics program at Duke University and he's the author, most recently, of Nothing Less Than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History. —Craig Biddle Craig Biddle: Thank you for joining me, John. John David Lewis: I'm glad to be here. Thank you for having me. CB: Before we dive into some questions about U.S. foreign policy and the situation in the Middle East, would you say a few words about your work at Duke? What courses do you teach and how do they relate to foreign policy and the history of war? JL: The courses I teach all bring the thought of the ancients into the modern day and always dive to the moral level. For example, I teach freshman seminars on ancient political thought. I also teach a course on the justice of market exchange in which I draw upon the thought of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, etcetera, and approach the question from a moral perspective. In regard to foreign policy and the history of war, I just finished a graduate course at Duke University on Thucydides and the Realist tradition in international relations. International relations studies have been dominated by a school of thought called Realism. This course explores the ideas of Thucydides and how they've translated through history into modern international relations studies and ultimately into the formulation of foreign policy in the modern day. I also teach courses at the University of North Carolina on the moral foundations of capitalism, which use Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged as its core text. I've been involved in speaking to Duke University medical students on health care where, again, I approach the issue from a moral perspective, namely, from the principle of individual rights. CB: That's quite an array of courses, and I know you speak at various conferences and events across the country as well, not to mention your book projects. Your productivity is inspiring. Let's turn your historical lights to some recent events. On the second of May, U.S. SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. This is certainly worthy of celebration, but it's also almost ten years after he and his Islamist cohorts murdered nearly three thousand Americans on American soil. In the meantime, America has gone to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, where more than five thousand additional American soldiers have been killed, and now we're at war in Libya as well. In all of this, neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration has so much as touched the regimes that everyone knows are the main sponsors of terrorism, those in Iran and Saudi Arabia. What's more, neither administration has identified the enemy as Islamists and the states that sponsor them. Bush called the enemy “terror” and “evildoers,” and Obama, uncomfortable with such “clarity,” speaks instead of “man-caused disasters” and calls for “overseas contingency operations.” Are there historical precedents for such massive evasions, and whether there are or aren't, what has led America to this level of lunacy? JL: That's a very interesting question, with many levels of answers. . . .
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Colleen Bell
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This article examines the emergence of counterinsurgency doctrine in Coalition interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. While counterinsurgency is complimentary to the tenets forwarded by its classical military predecessors in several respects, the article shows that it is also more than a refashioning of conventional military practice. Counterinsurgency is intimately tied to institutional practices that shape global liberal governance. It can be traced to dominant trends in international humanitarian, development and peace interventionism since the end of the Cold War and it deepens the links between the social development of war-affected populations and the politics of international security. Rather than simply a shift in military practice, counterinsurgency is distinguished by its investment in civilian modes of warfare. Counterinsurgency retells the narrative of intervention as part of the evolution of political and economic liberalisation, marking a passage from interventionary force to post-interventionary governance. Modern counterinsurgency, it is concluded, exposes the widening indistinction between contemporary modes of peace and those of war in international relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Economics, War, Counterinsurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Nigel Biggar
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: It is uncontroversial that the invasion and occupation of Iraq involved the following errors: the misinterpretation of intelligence; the underestimation of the number of troops requisite for law and order; the disbanding of the Iraqi army; and indiscriminate debaathification of the civil service. The first error was one of imagination rather than virtue; the others were caused by 'callousness', impatience, and consequent imprudence. These vices were partly responsible for massive civilian casualties, which many wrongly assume to teach the fundamentally erroneous character of the invasion. Nonetheless, we should beware such moral flaws in tomorrow's policy-makers and renounce the managerial mentality that fosters them. Another lesson is that, in so far as nation-rebuilding requires substantial and long-term commitments, it must command the support of the nation-builder's domestic electorate; and to do that, it must be able to justify itself in terms of the national interest. From this we should not infer the further lesson that morality's reach into foreign policy is limited, since, according to Thomist ethics, the pursuit of the national interest can itself be moral. Finally, one lesson that we should not learn from Iraq is never again to violate the letter of international law and intervene militarily in a sovereign state without Security Council authorization. The law's authority can be undermined as much by the UN's failure to enforce it, as by states taking it into their own hands. It is seriously problematic that the current international legal system denies the right of individual states to use military force unilaterally except in self-defence, while reserving the enforcement of international law to a body, whose capacity to act is hamstrung by the right of veto. Given this situation, military intervention without Security Council authorization could be morally justified on certain conditions.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Robert Foley, Stuart Griffin, Helen McCartney
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: While the US and British armies have proved adept at fighting high-intensity conflict, their initial performance against asymmetric threats and diffuse insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrated how much each army had to learn about conducting counterinsurgency operations. This article examines one important means by which the US and British armies have transformed themselves into more flexible and responsive organizations that are able to harness innovation at the front effectively. It traces the development of the lessons-learned systems in both armies from the start of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq to today. Reform of US and British army learning capabilities offers an important insight into the drivers of military change.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Robert Egnell
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article analyses the conduct of British operations in Helmand between 2006 and 2010 and discusses the implications for the legacy and future of British counterinsurgency. A number of lessons stand out: first, competence in the field of counterinsurgency is neither natural nor innate through regimental tradition or historical experience. The slow adaptation in Helmand—despite the opportunity to allow the Basra experience to be a leading example of the need for serious changes in training and mindset—is an indication that the expertise British forces developed in past operations is but a distant folktale within the British Armed Forces. Substantially changed training, painful relearning of counterinsurgency principles and changed mindsets are therefore necessary to avoid repeated early failures in the future. Moreover, despite eventually adapting tactically to the situation and task in Helmand, the British Armed Forces proved inadequate in dealing with the task assigned to them for two key reasons. First, the resources of the British military are simply too small for dealing with large-scale complex engagements such as those in Helmand or southern Iraq. Second, the over-arching comprehensive approach, and especially the civilian lines of operations that underpinned Britain's historical successes with counterinsurgency, are today missing.
  • Topic: Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Britain, Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Stuart Griffin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have had profound effects on both the British and US militaries. Among the most important is the way in which they have challenged traditional assumptions about the character of unconventional conflict and the role of the military within comprehensive strategies for encouraging sustainable peace. In the UK, the most important doctrinal response has been JDP 3-40 Security and Stabilisation: the military contribution. Security and Stabilisation is an ambitious attempt to synthesize elements of counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, peace support and state-building within a single doctrine that reflects the lessons learned from recent British operational experience. This article examines the purpose, impact and potential value of this important innovation in British doctrine. To do so, the article explores the genesis of Stabilization; analyses its impact upon extant British doctrine for counterinsurgency and peace support; discusses its relationship with the most important related US doctrines, FM 3-24: the counterinsurgency field manual and FM 3-07: the stability operations field manual; and debates the function of doctrine more broadly. It concludes by summarizing the primary challenges Security and Stabilisation must overcome if it is to make a serious contribution to the theory and practice of such complex interventions.
  • Topic: Security, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, United Kingdom
  • Author: Trevor Taylor
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The numerical and functional prominence of armed and unarmed contractors on deployed operations has attracted analysis from a range of perspectives, as this collection of works illustrates. In addition to studies which seek to explain the growth in private security contractors' activities in terms of governmental needs, the books examined here consider the possible regulation of this sector and implications for the fundamentals of both national and international political systems. There are also works that throw light on the supply side, looking at the driving personalities behind the growth of Blackwater and the backgrounds of individual contractors. The review also includes an analytical framework for classifying different areas of contractor activities. The books include a range of research approaches and it is clear that the evolving political and managerial reasoning behind the outsourcing of security functions in general means that debate in this area will continue.
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: David Fisher, Nigel Biggar
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article is based on a debate held on 22 March 2011 at Chatham House on 'Was Iraq an unjust war?' David Fisher argues that the war fully failed to meet any of the just war criteria. By contrast, current coalition operations in Libya are, so far, just. This is a humanitarian operation undertaken to halt a humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place, with wide international support, including authorization by the UN Security Council. Nigel Biggar argues that the fact that the invasion and occupation of Iraq suffered from grave errors, some of them morally culpable, does not yet establish its overall injustice. All wars are morally flawed, even just ones. Further, even if the invasion were illegal, that need not make it immoral. Regarding Libya, Biggar notes the recurrence of conflict over the interpretation of international law. He wonders how those who distinguish sharply between protecting civilians and regime change imagine that dissident civilians are to be 'kept' safe while Qadhafi remains in power. Against those who clamour for a clear exitstrategy, he counsels agility, while urging sensitivity to the limits of our power. What was right to begin may become imprudent to continue.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Libya
  • Author: Charles A. Duelfer, Stephen Benedict Dyson
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Why did the United States and Iraq and themselves in full-scale conflict with each other in 1990–91 and 2003, and in almost constant low-level hostilities during the years in- between? We suggest that the situation was neither inevitable nor one that either side, in full possession of all the relevant information about the other, would have purposely engineered: in short, a classic instance of chronic misperception. Combining the psychological literature on perception and its pathologies with the almost unique firsthand access of one of the authors— Charles Duelfer—to the decisionmakers on both sides, we isolate the perceptions that the United States and Iraq held of each other, as well as the biases, mistakes, and intelligence failures of which these images were, at different points in time, both cause and effect.
  • Topic: Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Soviet Union
  • Author: Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Thirty years after the Israeli attack on the Osirak reactor in June 1981 the consequences for Iraq's nuclear weapons program remain hotly debated. A new history of this program, based on several new Iraqi sources, yields a net assessment of the impact of the Israeli attack that differs from prevailing accounts. The attack had mixed effects: it triggered a covert nuclear weapons program that did not previously exist, while necessitating a more difficult and time consuming technical route to developing nuclear weapons. Notwithstanding gross inefficiencies in the ensuing program, a decade later Iraq stood on the threshold of a nuclear weapons capability. This case suggests that preventive attacks can increase the long-term proliferation risk posed by the targeted state.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Israel
  • Author: Hal Brands, David Palkki
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Efforts to understand Saddam Hussein's strategic thought have long been hampered by the opacity and secrecy of the Baathist regime. Newly available, high-level Iraqi archival documentation demonstrates that in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Saddam viewed nuclear weapons through a fundamentally coercive, revisionist lens. He had long hoped to wage a grinding war of attrition against the Israeli state, and he believed that Iraqi acquisition of the bomb would neutralize Israeli nuclear threats, force the Jewish state to fight at the conventional level, and thereby allow Iraq and its Arab allies (with their larger economic and population base) to prosecute a prolonged war that would displace Israel from the territories occupied in 1967. These findings have implications for the existing theoretical literature on the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation, as well as for the growing body of work on “nuclear alarmism.” The Iraqi case undermines the thesis that states proliferate primarily because of defensive concerns. Saddam certainly viewed possession of the bomb as a means of enhancing Iraq's security, but his attraction to nuclear weapons revolved around offensive objectives. Saddam hoped to exploit the deterrent balance with Israel to initiate a bloody conventional war that would have likely been immensely destructive and destabilizing for the Middle East as a whole. In other words, though Saddam never obtained nuclear weapons, his views on their potential utility give good cause for both pessimism and alarm.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Israel, Arabia
  • 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: Robert Springborg
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The dramatic thawing of the Cold War at the end of the 1980s accompanied by the rapid democratisation of Eastern Europe served as inspiration and model for political transitions in other settings. Now the Arab world, the securitisation of which has kept it frozen in what amounts to a regional cold war long after the global prototype ended, may be entering its springtime of political freedom. Tunisia's 'Jasmine' and Egypt's 'Midan al Tahrir' Revolutions chased established autocrats from power, thus making possible new domestic political orders and substantial reorientations of foreign policies. Imitative uprisings in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Syria have thus far resulted in widespread violence, regime retrenchments and even foreign interventions, although prospects do remain for more positive outcomes. Intermittent demonstrations in various other Arab countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Oman, Jordan and Iraq, have typically been met with limited political reforms and promises of more to come. So the region is definitely in political ferment, but whether that presages transitions to democracy à la Eastern Europe in 1989, or revanchist reconsolidations reminiscent of those that overwhelmed the 1848 liberal nationalist movements in Western Europe, remains to be seen.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Algeria, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman
  • Author: Myriam Benraad
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As the US prepares to pull out of Iraq, the 'national reconciliation' process that was launched in the Summer of 2006 remains stalled. The March 2010 legislative elections, which were expected to consecrate the rebuilding of a national pact between Iraqis, have led to even greater fragmentation of Iraq's socio-political landscape. The power sharing agreement ultimately presages more tensions to come. With the essence and reality of the Iraqi 'nation' long debated and subjected to continued deconstruction under the combined effects of authoritarianism, military conflagrations and economic sanctions, it will likely take decades before a genuine reconciliation can come about.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Kourosh Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The paper aims to critically consider the proposition maintaining that the contemporary state of affairs between Iran and the Arab world results from an endemic, deep-rooted enmity between these two peoples with roots in the annals of history. To elucidate its argument, the paper offers a brief review of the major ups and downs in the historical relationship between Iranians and Arabs to see whether animosity or good-neighbourliness has mainly prevailed. Then, seeking to pinpoint the causes of uneasiness in the Iranian-Arab relationship since the 1950s, the focus of the paper turns to the formation of pan-Arab ideology and its strong anti-Iranian elements. Major differences in outlooks, coupled with territorial and diplomatic disagreements, had Nasserite Egypt and especially Ba'athist Iraq embrace these elements and begin implementing them to their full and extreme extent at a time when a monarchical West-leaning regime was in power in Iran. The paper concludes that the uneasiness in Iran-Arab relations during the past five to six decades has been situational and a modern phenomenon, chiefly stemming from specific political circumstances with certain roots in nation-building activities in the concerned countries. Hence, historical and ethno-religious or civilizational roots of this strained relationship are either non-existent or insignificant.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • 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
  • Author: Lukáš HODER, Petr Suchý
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: The article is focused at the most important elements of the US foreign policy towards the Middle East during the administration of George W. Bush (2001 – 2009). The text has two parts. The first part shows three important influences on creation and formulation of the US foreign policy towards the region. At the first place it was an effort to preserve unipolar character of the international system, hegemonic possition of the USA and its dominance in all regions. The second source was specific decision-making process set up by president Bush and the third source of the Bush strategy was a partial transformation of the US longtime policy towards the Middle East. The second part of the article discuss results of the Bush doctrine in the region. The text is focused at five most important consequences of the US foreign policy, which are the fight against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the pursuit of the democratization throughout the region, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, regional “cold war” between Iran and Saudi Arabia and finally the struggle to stabilize the post-conflict Iraq.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Africa's multicultural tradition and its influence on the Arab Spring are challenging and singularly complex subjects, certain to frustrate those who seek neat, linear, cause-and-effect relationships. In many respects, Africa's multicultural tradition, when juxtaposed against the complex and largely externally imposed circumstances of Africa's turbulent history, and the realpolitik of today, is but a small—albeit critical—component in the dynamic, driving the people and institutions of modern Africa, and its regional neighbors, towards change. Washington's US policy establishment, for instance, contains more fractious 'tribes' than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, each with its own political agenda and pandering media-congressional constituency. How, one wonders, can objective truth divining the complexly-nuanced affairs of ancient nations half a world away possibly emerge from such a riot of contending institutional interests and agendas?
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Iraq, Washington
  • Author: H.A. Hellyer
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Middle East and North African region has been a focus of interest for a very long time. For many decades in the more recent past it has been the hub of key political issues, controversies and crises; much further back in history, the civilizations, states and empires recognized worldwide as the earliest known to humanity were established in this region. Where Iraq lies today, Mesopotamia, considered by many to be the cradle of human civilization, gave rise to the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians; elsewhere in the region the ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians rose to power and widespread influence.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Toby Dodge
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article examines Fred Halliday's research and writing on the politics of the Middle East. It classifies Halliday as a 'high modernist', who organized his work around a constant commitment to a universal rationality, historical progress and an opposition to relativism and a particularist reading of the Middle East. The article identifies the two dominant units of analysis that shaped Halliday's work on the region throughout his life. These were the transformative capacity of capitalism and the role of a comparatively autonomous state. The article then examines how the content of each unit was transformed as Halliday moved from an overt Marxism to a more diffuse liberalism. It then goes on to argue that Halliday's ideological affinities and his deployment of these units marginalized the role and importance of ideology, specifically both nationalism and Islamism. Finally, it traces the influence of this approach and the deployment of these units in Halliday's work on Iran, Iraq and the Arab–Israeli conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: George Packer
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Like an odorless gas, economic inequality pervades every corner of the United States and saps the strength of its democracy. Over the past three decades, Washington has consistently favored the rich -- and the more wealth accumulates in a few hands at the top, the more influence and favor the rich acquire, making it easier for them and their political allies to cast off restraint without paying a social price.
  • Topic: Economics, Education
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Baghdad
  • Author: Paul K. MacDonald, Joseph M. Parent
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States can no longer afford a world-spanning foreign policy. Retrenchment -- cutting military spending, redefining foreign priorities, and shifting more of the defense burden to allies -- is the only sensible course. Luckily, that does not have to spell instability abroad. History shows that pausing to recharge national batteries can renew a dominant power's international legitimacy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Washington
  • Author: Jon Western, Joshua S. Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No sooner had NATO launched its first air strike in Libya than the mission was thrown into controversy -- and with it, the more general notion of humanitarian intervention. Days after the UN Security Council authorized international forces to protect civilians and establish a no-fly zone, NATO seemed to go beyond its mandate as several of its members explicitly demanded that Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi step down. It soon became clear that the fighting would last longer than expected. Foreign policy realists and other critics likened the Libyan operation to the disastrous engagements of the early 1990s in Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia, arguing that humanitarian intervention is the wrong way to respond to intrastate violence and civil war, especially following the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq. To some extent, widespread skepticism is understandable: past failures have been more newsworthy than successes, and foreign interventions inevitably face steep challenges. Yet such skepticism is unwarranted. Despite the early setbacks in Libya, NATO's success in protecting civilians and helping rebel forces remove a corrupt leader there has become more the rule of humanitarian intervention than the exception. As Libya and the international community prepare for the post-Qaddafi transition, it is important to examine the big picture of humanitarian intervention -- and the big picture is decidedly positive. Over the last 20 years, the international community has grown increasingly adept at using military force to stop or prevent mass atrocities. Humanitarian intervention has also benefited from the evolution of international norms about violence, especially the emergence of “the responsibility to protect,” which holds that the international community has a special set of responsibilities to protect civilians -- by force, if necessary -- from war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide when national governments fail to do so. The doctrine has become integrated into a growing tool kit of conflict management strategies that includes today's more robust peacekeeping operations and increasingly effective international criminal justice mechanisms. Collectively, these strategies have helped foster an era of declining armed conflict, with wars occurring less frequently and producing far fewer civilian casualties than in previous periods.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Libya, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Rebecca Patterson, Jonathan Robinson
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Postinvasion Iraq and Afghanistan have compelled the United States to expand its focus on and capacity for conflict resolution and postwar reconstruction. Our strategic objective in both countries has become the transformation of dysfunctional and war-affected societies into stable, viable, and sustainable states. To this end, economic development and security are regarded as mutually reinforcing elements: without security, development cannot progress far, yet development is essential to attaining security. With civilian aid agencies impaired by prohibitive security conditions and burdensome bureaucratic requirements, the Department of Defense (DOD) has, for the first time in 60 years, become a dominant player in creating the conditions for economic growth in conflict areas
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq