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  • Author: Eric Herring, Piers Robinson
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT PUBLISHED A DOSSIER on 24 September 2002 setting out its claims regarding Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Parliament was recalled for an emergency session on the same day to hear Prime Minister Tony Blair's presentation of it. The dossier stated that Iraq had WMD and was producing more. After the invasion in March 2003, no WMD were found. Ever since, there has been controversy as to whether the dossier reported accurately intelligence which turned out to be wrong, as Blair has claimed consistently, or whether the dossier deliberately deceived by intentionally giving the impression of greater Iraqi WMD capability and threat than the intelligence suggested.
  • Topic: Government, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Andrew Radin
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In developing U.S. intervention policy in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, and most recently Syria, the 1992 to 1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina has repeatedly been used as an analogy. For example, John Shattuck, a member of the negotiating team at the Dayton peace talks that ended the war, wrote in September 2013 that for Syria “the best analogy is Bosnia…Dayton was a major achievement of diplomacy backed by force…A negotiated solution to the Syria crisis is possible, but only if diplomacy is backed by force.” Many other analysts and policymakers with experience in the Bosnian conflict—such as Nicholas Burns, the State Department spokesman at the time; Christopher Hill, a member of Richard Holbrooke's negotiating team; and Samantha Power, who began her career as a journalist in Bosnia—also invoked the Bosnian war to urge greater U.S. involvement in Syria. Although the rise of ISIS has significantly altered the conflict over the last year, echoes of the Bosnian conflict remain in Syria: the conflict is a multiparty ethnic civil war, fueled by outside powers, in a region of critical interest to the United States.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Libya, Kosovo, Syria
  • Author: Stephanie J. Nawyn, Nur Banu Kavakli Birdal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This analysis offers an evaluation of the last three elections of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. These three elections included the regional parliamentary elections in September 2013, and the local and federal elections held simultaneously in April 2014. The KRG, as a federal region, exists in the north of Iraq where Kurds have managed their own affairs through a regional government since 1992. The KRG elections have very little in common with elections in the rest of Iraq. Compared to the rest of Iraq, the “region” has experienced a very different trajectory during the last two decades. As a postwar region, the KRG strives to solidify a stable democracy in a landlocked region, which suffers from minimal economic capital and weak democratic culture.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Buddhika Jayamaha
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has created an area where Turkish and Kurdish interests overlap: both parties are thoroughly alarmed at ISIL\'s expansion. However, delicate and sensitive cooperation against ISIL has to take place in the broader context of the complicated and evolving Kurdish-Turkish relationship. While Turkey develops its response to the ISIL threat and the Syrian crisis, it is also managing Kurdish relations as part of its effort to redefine the Turkish state and Turkish national identity. On their side, the Kurdish leaders — especially the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq — are compelled to deal with a complex and sometimes competing array of Kurdish organizational alliances and interests that cross international borders, while trying to deepen their relations with Ankara. Despite the complicated nature of the situation, there are reasons to be hopeful.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Relationships between entities form an important element of warfare. In the current conflict in Iraq and Syria, the military alignment (or lack thereof) of states will likely be a key determinant in the eventual outcome. However, states are not the only actors within Iraq-Syria that are forming and evolving in their relationships with others. Over the past several months, one interesting facet in regards to relationships between actors involved in the conflict has been how the Islamic State has received and accepted a number of pledges from other organizations and groups in its quest to establish and expand its caliphate.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: We are happy to publish Volume 7, Issue 1 (January/ February 2015) of the Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis (CTTA) by the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. From a terrorism and counterterrorism perspective, the year 2014 was particularly significant. This was due as much to the potential impact of drawdown of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) from Afghanistan as to the declaration of the establishment of a so-called Islamic Caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). While the former has emboldened old and established groups like Al Qaeda Central, the Afghan Taliban, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, among others, the claim of the establishment of the “so called Islamic State” by ISIS seem to have galvanized disparate elements within the Muslim world, drawing fighters in thousands to Iraq and Syria and spurring radicalization and extremism in many countries in an unprecedented scale.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria, Singapore
  • Author: Danny Garrett-Rempel
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In his book, It Takes More than a Network: The Iraqi Insurgency and Organizational Adaptation, Chad C. Serena attempts to analyze the organizational inputs and outputs of the Iraqi insurgency in an effort to arrive at a better understanding of what part these features played in both its initial success and eventual failure. The thesis of Serena's book is that the Iraqi insurgency failed to achieve longer-term organizational goals due to the fact that many of the insurgency's early organizational strengths later became weaknesses that degraded the insurgency's ability to adapt (4). Serena employs a blend of technical analysis, in his assessment of the inner workings of complex covert networks, and empirical examples, which he draws from the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. This approach is successful in providing insight into the nature of the organizational adaptation of the Iraqi insurgency as well as in laying a framework for the future study of similarly organized martial groups.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Nigel Biggar
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The contemporary West is biased in favor of rebellion. This is attributable in the first place to the dominance of liberal political philosophy, according to which it is the power of the state that always poses the greatest threat to human well-being. But it is also because of consequent anti-imperialism, according to which any nationalist rebellion against imperial power is assumed to be its own justification. Autonomy, whether of the individual or of the nation, is reckoned to be the value that trumps all others. I surmise that it is because in liberal consciousness the word “rebel” connotes a morally heroic stance—because it means the opposite of “tyrant”—that Western media in recent years have preferred to refer to Iraqi opponents of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and Taliban opponents of the ISAF in Afghanistan not as “rebels,” but as “insurgents.”
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Taliban, Syria, Ireland
  • Author: Toni Erskine
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: "Coalition of the willing" is a phrase that we hear invoked with frequency-and often urgency-in world politics. Significantly, it is generally accompanied by claims to moral responsibility. (Such appeals recently bolstered calls to establish a coalition of the willing to intervene in Syria.) Yet the label commonly used to connote a temporary, purpose-driven, self-selected collection of states (and sometimes nonstate and intergovernmental actors) sits uneasily alongside these assertions of moral responsibility. This unease might be attributed to its association with a particular case. For some, the label was tainted when the United States led a "coalition of the willing" into Iraq in ostensible response to the threat of weapons of mass destruction: the actual willingness of all of those states initially announced as members is as contested as the legitimacy of the 2003 offensive, the ensuing protracted conflict, and the subsequent occupation. Nevertheless, the idea-and ideal-of a coalition of the willing has persisted beyond the infamy of that one iteration. The problem is, rather, that it is unclear how to speak coherently about assigning moral responsibilities-and apportioning blame-in relation to such ad hoc associations. Can coalitions of the willing be considered bearers of duties? Alternatively, should our calls to action-and our cries of condemnation in the wake of action that is stalled, ineffective, or deemed unjust-be directed toward their constituents? Or should our attention be redirected altogether, toward more formal, enduring and, arguably, legitimate organizations?
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Christian Enemark
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: How should we conceptualize the use of missile-equipped uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs or "drones") in the U.S. "war on terror"? If violence of this kind is to be effectively restrained it is necessary first to establish an understanding of its nature. To this end, it is useful to focus on those theatres of the war where drones are the dominant platform for violence (such as in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia), rather than where they support primarily ground-based efforts (such as in Afghanistan and Iraq). The analysis in this article is presented in two parts. The first part considers whether drone strikes are better conceptualized as acts of war or of law enforcement. If it is difficult to conceptualize drone-based violence as acts of war, then such violence may not be captured by the traditional jus ad bellum (just resort to war) framework within just war theory. And if drone strikes do not constitute a law enforcement practice, the peacetime ethics of criminal justice may not apply either. One possible solution is to develop and apply a legitimization framework of jus ad vim (just resort to force) in which vim is "force short of war," although this depends upon the sustainability of a vim/bellum distinction.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia
  • Author: Margaret MacMillan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A century ago this autumn the first battle of the Marne ended Germany's attempt to crush France and its ally Britain quickly. In that one battle alone the French lost 80,000 dead and the Germans approximately the same. By comparison, 47,000 Americans died in the whole of the Vietnam War and 4,800 coalition troops in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In August and September 1914 Europe, the most powerful and prosperous part of the world, had begun the process of destroying itself. A minor crisis in its troubled backyard of the Balkans had escalated with terrifying speed to create an all-out war between the powers. 1 'Again and ever I thank God for the Atlantic Ocean,' wrote Walter Page, the American ambassador in London; and in Washington his president, Woodrow Wilson, agreed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iraq, America, Europe, Washington, France, London, Vietnam, Germany, Balkans, Atlantic Ocean
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In the Middle East today there are armed groups that have no respect for the humanitarian imperative. What challenges does this present to the Red Cross? I see two key challenges. The first one is very basic. We want to maintain a very close relationship with people affected by conflict, and access these days is more complex because we are in a very polarized environment. Look at the Iraq front–the problem is not new but it is exacerbated. The second issue is to be able to engage governments and non-state armed groups on a very pragmatic basis on issues related to people under their control. That normally works rather well. What I have found more complex these days is to engage them on issues related to international humanitarian law and the Geneva conventions.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Islam
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Hayder al-Khoei
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani emerged as one of the most powerful men in Iraq. Sistani was already known to Shia Muslims worldwide as the somewhat reticent leader of the religious establishment in Najaf. The fall of the Ba'ath regime thrust him on to the national and international stage.
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Gerard Russell
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Iraq is being denuded of its ancient communities, and both it and the world are the poorer for it. As the jihadists of Islamic State try to entrench their rule, it is an open question whether Iraq's religious minorities will survive, and if so, how they can be protected. There is another, deeper question, however. How did Iraq come to have so much religious diversity in the first place, and what does this this say about the type of Islam that prevailed there until the 21st century?
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Mikael Oez
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: If you want to hear the language spoken by Christ, all you need to do is to take a short bus ride from Stockholm to the town of Södertälje. There you will find thousands of Syriac Christians speaking Aramaic as it was spoken in the time of Jesus.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Jomana Qaddour
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Images and videos emerging out of Syria since 2012, becoming increasingly violent and sectarian along the way, showcased extremist groups and even children chanting things like, "Assad we will bring you down, and then we will come next for the [Alawites]!" Since 1971, the Alawite community (roughly 12 percent of Syria's 22 million people) has sheltered Hafez al-Assad, and subsequently his son, Bashar al-Assad, by providing the family with both loyal foot soldiers who have aided the Assad regime throughout the many domestic, political uprisings it has faced (in 1964, 1980, 1982, and now 2011) and with a bureaucracy that has legitimized their theft of public funds. The number of Alawite casualties increased over the course of the crisis, either fighting to protect Assad or because they are accused of aiding his regime, while a growing number have faced the grim realization that the Assad family is motivated by self-interest alone. While researchers cannot pinpoint exactly how many Alewites have died, many have documented the number of Syrian soldiers instead to obtain an approximation, and have indicated that between 11,000 Alawites and 41,000 Syrian soldiers have been killed.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Sarah A. Emerson, Andrew C. Winner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. politicians often work the topic of oil import independence into their campaign rhetoric as an ideal that would help separate U.S. economic prosperity and military responsibility from the volatility of Middle Eastern politics. In theory, oil independence would mean that events such as the Iranian revolution or internal political unrest in key Arab oil producers would have much less direct impact on the flow of oil to the United States, and thus U.S. prosperity (even if, in a global market for oil, the price impact of any supply disruption is shared by all consuming countries). More importantly, intra-state conflicts such as the Iraq-Iran war or the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait would not necessarily require large-scale U.S. military involvement to ensure oil production and exports to the United States and its allies. This linkage between U.S. oil import dependence and military commitment to the Gulf region has given rise to a myth favored by policymakers, markets, and the public that if the United States could attain oil independence, we could also reduce our military responsibilities around the world. Recent and ongoing changes in both the oil sector and in political-military strategy are for the first time in forty years combining in a manner that is leading some to believe this story could come true.
  • Topic: Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait
  • Author: Seth Kaplan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: That the Arab Spring caught the world off guard is hardly surprising. Interpreting overt stability as a reflection of fundamental strength or resiliency has often set the international community up for surprise. Few forecast the dissolution of the Soviet Union, for example; far too few in Washington anticipated what would follow the invasion of Iraq. These are reminders that apparent stability can be little more than an illusion.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Arabia
  • Author: Christian Olsson
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: "Cada vez que los incidentes de guerra obligan a uno de nuestros oficiales a actuar contra una población [...], no debe olvidar que su primera preocupación, una vez que se haya obtenido la sumisión de sus habitantes, ha de ser la de reconstruir dicha población, crear un mercado, construir una escuela. La pacificación del país y, más tarde, la organización que se le ha de otorgar, han de resultar de la acción de la política y de la fuerza". General Gallieni, instrucciones fundamentales del 22 de mayo de 1898 en Madagascar.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Federico Rahola
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Un récit extraordinaire de l'écrivain palestinien Ghassan Kanafani, Rijal fil Sharns , datant de 1963 , décrit la tentative tragique de trois jeunes Palestiniens voulant rejoindre le Koweït. A Bassorah, en Irak, les exilés rencontrent un contrebandier qui transporte des « marchandises » dans le container de son camion-citerne. Ils lui demandent, moyennant argent, s'il peut les emmener jusqu'à la frontière. Lorsqu'ils sont presque arrivés à destination, le conducteur s'arrête sous un soleil de plomb pour discuter avec les gardiens. Il oublie son « chargement » (ou peut-être pas), et les Palestiniens meurent asphyxiés sans que personne ait pu entendre leurs cris.
  • Political Geography: Iraq