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  • Author: Jesse Driscoll
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Some countries do not have effective domestic sovereignty. In these "weak states," the central government lacks the will or capacity to enforce contracts, punish criminals, or deter terrorists in all parts of the internationally recognized territory. Kimberly Marten's new book, Warlords: Strongâ?Arm Brokers in Weak States, chronicles how order is subcontracted. Marten defines warlords as "individuals who control small pieces of territory using a combination of force and patronage" and who "rule in defiance of genuine state sovereignty but through the complicity of state leaders" (p. 3). What exactly is meant by "complicity of state leaders" varies substantially by context, but at base, Marten employs an extended delegation metaphor: "the principal actor (the state) relies on an agent (the warlord) to fulfill assigned tasks" (p. 30). The empirical chapters then take the reader on a sweeping tour of the peripheries of Iraq, Russia, Georgia, and Pakistan. Warlords demonstrates that in all of these places, state officials can be either hoodwinked or coerced into letting charismatic local authorities build their own invisible patronage networks. Though the theoretical insights are neither new nor controversial to students of comparative politics, the particulars of why resources are funneled to local violence entrepreneurs at the periphery of empire make for a compelling read.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, Iraq, Georgia
  • Author: Laura Sjoberg
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The war in Iraq is over. U.S. troops have withdrawn. Saddam Hussein has been overthrown and replaced with a government perceived to be more democratic and more just to the Iraqi people. In late 2011, concurrent with the U.S. withdrawal, strategists suggested that there was "peace at last" in Iraq, a cause for celebration.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Martin Chulov
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Lines in the sand are blown away
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Syria
  • Author: Jane Kinninmont
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Syria's civil war is exacerbating tension between Iraqi factions
  • Topic: Security, Government, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Daniel W. Dresner
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The 2008 financial crisis dramatically worsened the fiscal future of the United States. In the first five years of the Great Recession, the debt-to-gross domestic product ratio of the United States more than doubled, and multiple bond-ratings agencies downgraded U.S. federal government debt. The inevitable debate in Washington is where and how much to cut federal spending. The national security budget is a natural target for fiscal conservatives. Their logic is clear-cut: defense and war expenditures are not the primary culprits for the parlous fiscal state of the United States, but they acted as accessories. For the 2013 fiscal year, the U.S. federal government has budgeted more than $685 billion in defense expenditures. Tacking on budgeting for intelligence and nuclear forces raises that figure to more than $725 billion. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down and al-Qaida's top leadership decimated, the security threats to the United States have also declined. At the same time, the country possesses an unparalleled lead in defense assets and expenditures. Given its unchallenged military supremacy, targeting cuts toward defense spending after a decade of dramatic budgetary increases is a natural ambition.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Washington
  • Author: Keir A. Lieber, Daryl G. Press
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: For the last two decades, U.S. leaders have focused on the possibility of nuclear terrorism as a serious threat to the United States. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, those fears grew even more acute. In his State of the Union Address four months after the attacks, President George W. Bush warned a worried nation that rogue states “could provide [weapons of mass destruction] to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred.” Both Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice amplified the president's warning in order to justify the war against Iraq. According to Rice, “Terrorists might acquire such weapons from [Saddam Hussein's] regime, to mount a future attack far beyond the scale of 9/11. This terrible prospect could not be ignored or wished away.” Such fears continue to shape policy debates today: in particular, advocates of bombing Iran's nuclear facilities often justify a strike based on the idea that Iran might give nu-clear weapons to terrorist groups. Even President Barack Obama, who as a senator opposed the war against Iraq, declared, “The American people face no greater or more urgent danger than a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon.” For U.S. leaders, the sum of all fears is that an enemy might give nuclear weapons to terrorists. But are those fears well founded?
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Iran
  • Author: Jeff D. Colgan
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: What roles do oil and energy play in international conflict? In public debates, the issue often provokes significant controversy. Critics of the two U.S.-led wars against Iraq (in 1991 and 2003) charged that they traded "blood for oil," and that they formed a part of an American neo-imperialist agenda to control oil in the Middle East. The U.S. government, on the other hand, explicitly denied that the wars were about oil, especially in 2003. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld argued that the war "has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil," a theme echoed by White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Denise Natali
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite the contentious Iraqi political arena, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is pressing ahead with its ambitious agenda for economic development and greater autonomy. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) continues to negotiate large-scale energy deals with foreign governments and international oil companies (IOCs), expand its commercial and investment interests, and assure internal stability by controlling the use of force within its borders. Economic opportunities have encouraged political cooperation with regional states, especially Turkey, while reaffirming shared border security commitments. The KRG not only has become Ankara's key—if not only—regional ally, but its partner in checking the Kurdistan Worker's Party (Partiye Karkaren Kurdistane-PKK) and its expanding trans-border affiliates. Yet, the Kurdistan Region's particular condition as a quasi-state also makes it a political spoiler, or a potential one. In the absence of external sovereignty, the region thrives on international recognition, external patronage, and a weak central Iraqi government to advance its nationalist ambitions. While these features of quasi-statehood help affirm the KRG's autonomy, they challenge the Iraqi government's own state-rebuilding efforts that seek to consolidate its authority and territorial integrity. Additionally, the region's landlocked position and absence of an independent revenue source leave it highly dependent upon Baghdad and regional states for its economic and political survival. These geopolitical and financial realities may encourage deal-making to secure Kurdish interests or the status quo in Iraq; however, they can also source conflict within and across Kurdish nationalist communities beyond Iraq's borders
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Baghdad, Kurdistan
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Relations between Turkey and Northern Iraq have evolved at a breathtaking pace, with Turkish policies currently bolstering the KRG's drift towards independence, a prospect considered unthinkable in Ankara only a few years ago. Energy politics is an important component of this puzzle, but Ankara's strategic choice can only be understood against the backdrop of Iraq's deepening sectarianisation, the unfolding civil war in Syria and the dynamics in Turkey's own Kurdish question. The Turkish government is pursuing a high risk/high gain strategy. A more democratic Turkey, in partnership with the KRG, would be best placed to hedge against the centrifugal sectarian trends afflicting its southern neighbours. It is far more likely that Turkey will win its gamble with the support of the European Union.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Kurdistan
  • Author: Brian Fishman
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Al-qa`ida's operation in Syria is both its most dangerous and dysfunctional. Al-Qa`ida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri's rebuke of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in which he ordered it to focus solely on Iraq and defer authority in Syria to Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), is evidence that terrorist groups can still pose a significant threat even when plagued by internal divisions.1 Moreover, despite al-Qa`ida's internal strife in Syria, the context in which it operates is deeply advantageous compared to other environments, including Iraq.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Elizabeth Bishop
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: Citizens of the Arab Middle East have taken part in a wave of democracy movements; in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia at least, their protests have resulted in regime change. Drawing on Michel Foucault's personal experiences in one of these countries, and informed by his concept of “biopolitics,” this essay connects Egyptians' current liberation struggle with their earlier revolution in 1952, in order to compare these experiences with Iraqis' 1958 Tammuz revolution. Were new social media as important, as the level of funding dedicated to the military? And what is the role of diplomacy in a revolutionary moment?
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Libya, Egypt
  • Author: James I. Matray
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This article describes the events surrounding the Second North Korean nuclear crisis that began in October 2002. It focuses attention particularly on identifying the reasons President George W. Bush decided to abandon the Agreed Framework of October 1994, as well as questioning the validity of his claim that Pyongyang's development of a Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) program justified the initiation of this confrontation. The article begins with a description of the factors that explain the Bush administration's adoption of "Hawk Engagement" as a strategy to achieve regime change in North Korea. It then covers the ongoing efforts to end the crisis, tracing negotiations at the Six-Party Talks beginning in August 2003 in Beijing. The article presents evidence to substantiate the judgment that Bush's hardline advisors were responsible for implementing a militant and aggressive policy that, rather than toppling Kim Jong Il's government, strained relations with South Korea, elevated the status of China in East Asia, and forced North Korea to expand its nuclear weapons program as an act of self-defense.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Korea
  • Author: Megan Johnson
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: From Kabul to Baghdad and Back, written by John R. Ballard, David W. Lamm, and John K. Wood, chronicles the conflicts that the United States undertook in Afghanistan and Iraq following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This book sets out to discuss the strategic and operational actions the United States took in its efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, paying close attention to the critical decisions that wentinto planning each of the combat operations and how those decisions affected the outcomes in each of the respective campaigns. Methodically researched and well written, the authors provide in-depth analysis and valuable insight into the complex nature of fighting a two-front war. While the book is not a complete or all-inclusive study of the successes and failures of America’s decade-long war, the authors present a clear analysis of how conducting a two-front war affected the outcomes in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Their premise is that much would have been different in America’s war in Afghanistan had the choice not been made to simultaneously go to war with Iraq. This book is full of great detail and covers a topic that is massive in scope and complexity, giving the reader much to absorb and ponder. The layout of the book, however, makes it more manageable with each chapter broken down further by subtitles. The selected bibliography and extensive footnoting of the book are valuable assets and ensure the reader access to a plethora of additional resources.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Bradley Martin
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In Hybrid Warfare, military historians Williamson Murray and Peter Mansoor edit a volume that seeks to define and discuss the history of hybrid warfare, the idea that conflict includes combinations of conventional and irregular forces. Williamson Murray is a well-regarded military historian who serves as Professor Emeritus at Ohio State University and has completed voluminous works involving military transformation, military adaptation, and grand strategy. Peter Mansoor is a highly respected scholar who currently serves as the Raymond E. Mason Chair in Military History at Ohio State University and also a retired Army Colonel who served as the Executive Officer to General David Petraeus in Iraq. The book presents in depth cases studies, while also providing lessons learned that should be applied to future conflict. The contributors to the volume come from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities and include retired military officers, independent researchers, and academics.
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Bruce E. Stanley
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Spencer C. Tucker is currently a senior fellow in military history at ABC-CLIO Publishing in Santa Barbara, California. Dr. Tucker has written or edited over 30 books and encyclopedias focusing on military and naval history and is the senior editor for the two-volume encyclopedia US Leadership in Wartime: Clashes, Controversy, and Compromise. Tucker, along with ten assistant editors and a vast array of scholars, presents a comprehensive account of United States leadership in war from the American Revolution to the latest conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Rodi Hevian
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: As Kurdistan is divided and the Kurdish people are not united geographically, they are split among numerous political parties and institutions in several different countries. They follow different leaders in each region of Kurdistan. After World War I, the Kurds created national organizations and institutions to further their cause. These included the Society for the Rise of Kurdistan (Kurt Teali Cemiyeti), established in 1918 in Istanbul; the Free Kurdistan Movement in 1923 in Diyarbekir; and Xoybun in 1927 in Lebanon. The goal of these organizations was to lead Kurdish rebellions against the Ottoman Empire and later, against Turkish state. Yet all of these organizations failed to achieve their goals and vanished from the public sphere in the following years.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article discusses general trends as regards violence in Iraq as well as the important question of the total number of violent civilian deaths since 2003. In addition, the operations of active militant groups and exacerbating factors for violence are examined.
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article provides an overview of Iraq's oil and gas industry, focusing in particular on its history since 2003 under the Coalition Provisional Authority and the sovereign Iraqi government. It also examines the relationship between the development of natural gas reserves and local autonomy, as well as the controversy surrounding ExxonMobil's dealings with the Kurdistan Regional Government. Finally, the article considers how the oil and gas industry relates to the wider economy both now and for the future.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Kurdistan
  • Author: Aylin Ünver Noi
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article addresses the approaches of Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq in dealing with the Kurdish issue, with a special focus on historical background. In addition, the article discusses how this issue affects relations among the aforementioned countries and whether cooperation on this issue is possible. The article also examines how the Arab Spring has impacted the Kurds and the attitudes of these countries toward the Kurdish issue.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: In the spring of 2011, Iraq witnessed major protests across the country. This article will address the causes of these demonstrations. It will also discuss the obstacles toward forming a stable government and the nature of sectarianism and corruption in the government. Last, it considers the implications for U.S. policy, particularly concerning the December 2011 withdrawal deadline.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: James Clad
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: IN LATE April 2003, I rode in an open car down Baghdad's wide-open airport highway. U.S. Army and Marine units had seized the city just two weeks before, at the end of a short invasion. I had come to Iraq for a few months, detailed to the White House from another agency, and I was heading that morning to Basra, the southern city occupied by the British Army. At the airport, I climbed into a C-130, an old model of the transport workhorse with just a few tiny windows. We were heading for a first official visit to the British zone, traveling with the retired U.S. Army general Jay Garner, the three-star commanding the occupation authority called the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA). When taking the job, Garner expected that his ad hoc occupation entity, and its anodyne acronym, would disappear in three months or less, leaving the Iraqis to rule themselves. It was not to be. As a dazzling dawn broke over Mesopotamia, Garner already had become the invasion's first political casualty, the terms of his engagement rewritten back in Washington, changed from “rapid departure” to “indefinite stay.” From my marginal place, I saw Garner working hard at what needed doing, predicated on our need to get out of Iraq almost as quickly as we had arrived.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Mesopotamia
  • Author: Gregory L. Schulte
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: After a decade of war in afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration has adopted a new defense strategy that recognizes the need to limit our strategic ends in an era of increasing limits on our military means.1 the strategy calls for armed forces capable of conducting a broad range of missions, in a full range of contingencies, and in a global context that is increasingly complex. It calls for doing so with a smaller defense budget. Opportunities for savings come from reducing the ability to fight two regional conflicts simultaneously and from not sizing the force to conduct prolonged, large-scale stability operations. Seemingly missing from the new defense strategy are the types of wars we fought in afghanistan and Iraq. Both started with forcible changes in regime – the armed ouster of the taliban and Saddam Hussein from their positions of power. In each case, the rapid removal of leadership was followed by lengthy counterinsurgency operations to bring security to the population and build up a new government. the duration and difficulty of these operations and their cost in deaths, destruction, and debt were not understood at their outset.
  • Topic: NATO, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Malkanthi Hettiarachchi
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: The liberation tigers of tamil ealam (ltte), sometimes referred to as the tamil tigers, or simply the tigers, was a separatist militant organization based in northern Sri lanka. It was founded in May 1976 by Prabhakaran and waged a violent secessionist and nationalist campaign to create an independent state in the north and east of Sri lanka for the tamil people. this campaign evolved into the Sri lankan Civil War.1 the tigers were considered one of the most ruthless insurgent and terrorist organisations in the world.2 they were vanquished by the Sri lankan armed forces in May 2009. 3 In order to rehabilitate the 11,6644 tigers who had surrendered or been taken captive, Sri lanka developed a multifaceted program to engage and transform the violent attitudes and behaviours of the tiger leaders, members and collaborators. 5 Since the end of the ltte's three-decade campaign of insurgency and terrorism, there has not been a single act of terrorism in the country. Many attribute Sri lanka's post-conflict stability to the success of the insurgent and terrorist rehabilitation program.
  • Topic: War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Stuart W. Bowen, JR., Craig Collier
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: From 2004-2012, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) conducted 387 inspections and audits of U.S.-funded projects and programs that supported stabilization and reconstruction operations in Iraq. Most of SIGIR's reviews focused on large-scale projects or programs. In a recent special report, SIGIR accomplished a novel study examining a particular part of the rebuilding effort. That report reviewed the remarkably diverse spectrum of programs and projects executed in a crucial geographic area in Iraq, the Rusafa Political district, delving into who built what and at what cost. The nature of this new report opens the door to deeper perspectives on what was actually achieved – and how it was achieved–by various U.S. government agencies operating during operation Iraqi Freedom (oIF). SIGIR elicited seven lessons-learned from the study, which conclude this article.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Kirk Talbott, John Waugh, Douglas Batson
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: Burma wavers on the cusp of a transition from conflict, plunder, and risk towards peace and a more open, stable society. A half-century of armed warfare, largely financed by the rapid exploitation of high-value natural resources, may be coming to an end in mainland Southeast Asia's largest nation. The use and extraction of environmental assets will continue, however, to determine Burma's political and economic future. Unfortunately, natural resources too often play a perverse role in preventing needed reforms in countries emerging from protracted conflict. In an era of fiscal constraint, "sequestration," and a decade of Iraq and Afghanistan nation-building fatigue, how can the U.S. best aid Burma's transformation? The on-the-ground situations in Burma, namely, ethnic conflicts, land grabs, internally displaced persons, each undergirded by a deep distrust of the central government, are as varied as they are fluid. U.S. foreign policy issues regarding the nation also known as Myanmar, beginning with that nation's toponym,2 are so complex as to defy the Interagency and Tactical Conflict Assessment Frameworks, respectively vaunted by U.S. government civilian agencies and military services.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma
  • Author: James Dobbins
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: Last summer, in response to a directive from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey, the Joint Staff issued a short summary of lessons learned from the past decade of military operations. The document, entitled Decade of War, Volume 1 frankly and cogently acknowledges mistakes made over this period, and particularly during the first half of the decade, that is to say between the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 and the surge of troops into Iraq in early 2007. Among the admitted deficiencies were the failure to adequately grasp the operating environment, a reliance on conventional tactics to fight unconventional enemies, an inability to articulate a convincing public narrative, and poor interagency coordination. The document is testimony to the capacity of the American military for self-criticism and eventual correction, albeit not always in time to avoid costly setbacks.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: What lessons have you personally drawn from the decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan? Blair: The decade of war is really two decades of war–from the time the Cold War ended in about 1989 through the disappearance of the Soviet threat and the involvement of the United States in a series of individual military actions. What I've learned is that we need to do a better job thinking these conflicts all the way through before we engage in them. Because it turns out that we are relearning an old lesson, which is the use of military force is only a part of improving a situation and protecting American interests in a particular country or region. Too often, we think that a military victory itself will cause the desired result. In fact many other factors come in to play; economic development, social development, government improvement. These are not accomplished by the U.S. alone, and certainly not by American military force alone, but often with allies and other partners, and with other civilian capabilities. I think we have not thought them through carefully as to the end state that we are trying to achieve. Next we need to be realistic about the resources that are required; military, civil, and other. I'm afraid these are old lessons that need to be relearned, not new lessons, but they certainly have been borne out as some of the shortcomings of the interventions we have made in recent years. I would add, by the way, that I am not one who says our military interventions since 1989 have all been disasters. I think on the whole they have made the world a better place; bad people who were around then aren't around now, from Manuel Noriega to Saddam Hussein through Slobodan Milosevic and others; so it is not that our military interventions have been wasted. On the contrary–but we need to make sure that we get the maximum possible benefit from them and intervene in a smart way.
  • Topic: Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Jeff Rice
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: Fred Kaplan's The Insurgents is a highly successful and compelling intermingling of three stories: the rise and eventual fall of General David Petraeus; the intellectual history of counterinsurgency; and the broadening of the learning culture within the United States Military during the Iraq war. Indeed, the heroes of the book are the “insurgents” within the U.S. Army who all but overthrew the dominant paradigm of kinetic warfare in favor of ideas derived from England and France during the end of the colonial era.1 Kaplan's book picks up on the story told by Tom Ricks in The Gamble2 about how this intellectual insurgency transformed the way the U.S. fought the war in Iraq, preferring the counterinsurgency (COIN) approach to protecting civilians from insurgents and lowering their casualty rate, and building alliances in order to reduce the number of insurgents. For Kaplan this is nothing short of a profound alteration of the American way of war, one that caused enormous consternation amongst certain sectors of the military who were wedded to a more conventional approach to war.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: Lee Marsden
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: US foreign policy in the first decade of the twenty-first century has been dominated by religion in a way that would not have seemed possible for most of the second half of the twentieth. Al-Qaeda's attack on the United States in September 2001, the subsequent US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the upsurge in Islamist militancy and the populist overthrow of despotic US allies in the Middle East all focus attention on the importance of religious actors. For much of this period academic interest has centred on radical Islam and the attempts by western governments, and the United States in particular, to contain Islamism through embarking on the global 'war on terror' in its various manifestations, and supporting pro-western despots in the Middle East. While there has also been much interest in the emergence of elements of the Christian right as foreign policy actors, until recently insufficient attention has been paid to the increasing role played by religious organizations in the delivery of US foreign policy objectives. American faith-based International Relations (IR) scholars and political scientists have successfully agitated for an increased religious dimension to foreign policy, in particular in the areas of diplomacy and overseas assistance and development. While such an emphasis is designed to further US foreign policy interests, this article argues that such a policy can be counter productive where these religious actors pursue sectarian rather than secular objectives. Using faith-based initiatives supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a case-study, the article highlights the potential dangers of faith-based foreign policy approaches.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Travis Sharp
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The United States has entered a period of strategic change. After spending more than a decade fighting a global counterterrorism campaign and two ground wars, it now faces shifting security challenges. The United States has killed Osama bin Laden and decimated the core leadership of Al-Qaeda and like-minded groups in Pakistan, but regional Al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and the Horn of Africa have taken the lead in planning and attempting terrorist attacks. American troops have left Iraq and are leaving Afghanistan, but 15,000–30,000 may remain in Afghanistan after 2014 to train Afghan forces and strike terrorist cells. Iran continues to pursue the ability to produce nuclear weapons rapidly should its supreme leader decide to do so, further destabilizing a Middle East region shaken by the Arab Spring. China continues to invest heavily in military modernization, raising sharp concerns among its neighbours. North Korea may continue to lash out militarily as its new leader Kim Jong Un seeks to demonstrate control. Last but certainly not least, the global economy remains fragile, the American economic recovery has stagnated, and US policy-makers have responded to rapidly growing American debt by reducing government spending in numerous areas, including defence. The size of these budget cuts may increase substantially in the months ahead.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, China, Iraq, Middle East, North Korea, Yemen
  • Author: Trevor Mccrisken
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Just a month after entering office, US President Barack Obama spoke at the US Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. His remarks focused on his plans to 'responsibly' end the war in Iraq and to deepen the commitment of the United States to the fight against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. One of the key motifs that Obama used in his speech was that of 'sacrifice'—the need for all Americans to continue the age-old tradition of paying a price for the freedoms they enjoy. As he told the audience of US Marines: 'The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. You know because you have seen those sacrifices. You have lived them. And we all honor them.' He then characterized this notion of sacrifice for one's country as being part of a long tradition that was responsible for the very existence of the United States and an essential guarantor of its domestic freedom:
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Taliban, North Carolina
  • Author: Abir Awad
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The vibrant media scene in two war-torn countries faces challenges
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Babak Rahimi
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: ''Three Whom God Should Not Have Created: Persians, Jews, and Flies,'' was the provocative title of a pamphlet published in 1940 by Saddam Hussein's uncle, Khairallah Talfah. Saddam himself incorporated suchanti-Iranian sentiment into Ba'athist state ideology after his rise to power in 1979 and into the bloody 1980—1988 Iran—Iraq war. Such hostility is still visible today under the Victory Arch, popularly known as the Crossed Swords, in central Baghdad where thousands of the helmets of Iranian soldiers are held in nets, with some half buried in the ground. Before 2003, every year Saddam and his soldiers would proudly march over the helmets, as the symbol of Iraq's triumph over Persia.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Tehran
  • Author: Ömer Taşpınar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For most of the 20th century, Turkey chose not to get involved in Middle Eastern affairs. During the past decade, however, in a remarkable departure from this Kemalist tradition (based on the ideology of the republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatu¨rk), Ankara has become a very active and important player in the region. Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since 2002, Turkey has established closer ties with Syria, Iran, and Iraq, assumed a leadership position in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), attended Arab League conferences, and contributed to UN forces in Lebanon. It has also mediated in the Syrian—Israeli conflict as well as the nuclear standoff with Iran. Ankara's diplomatic engagements with Iran and Hamas have led to differences with the United States and Israel, leaving many wondering if Turkey has been turning away from itsWestern orientation or if it was just a long overdue shift East to complete Turkey's full circle of relations.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, United Nations, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Michael Beckley
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: According to the Global Language Monitor, which tracks the top 50,000 media sources throughout the world, the "rise of China" has been the most read-about news story of the twenty-first century, surpassing the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq War, the election of Barack Obama, and the British royal wedding. One reason for the story's popularity, presumably, is that the rise of China entails the decline of the United States. While China's economy grows at 9 percent annually, the United States reels from economic recession, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and massive budget deficits. This divergence in fortunes has produced two pieces of conventional wisdom in U.S. and Chinese foreign policy debates. First, the United States is in decline relative to China. Second, much of this decline is the result of globalization-the integration of national economies and resultant diffusion of technology from developed to developing countries-and the hegemonic burdens the United States bears to sustain globalization.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America
  • Author: Stephen Biddle, Jacob N. Shapiro, Jeffrey A. Friedman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: From 2004 to mid- 2007, Iraq was extremely violent: civilian fatalities averaged more than 1,500 a month by August 2006, and by late fall, the U.S. military was suffering a monthly toll of almost 100 dead and 700 wounded. Then something changed. By the end of 2007, U.S. military fatalities had declined from their wartime monthly peak of 126 in May of that year to just 23 by December. From June 2008 to June 2011, monthly U.S. military fatalities averaged fewer than 11, a rate less than 15 percent of the 2004 through mid-2007 average and an order of magnitude smaller than their maximum. Monthly civilian fatalities fell from more than 1,700 in May 2007 to around 500 by December; from June 2008 to June 2011, these averaged around 200, or about one-tenth of the rate for the last half of 2006.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Benjamin S. Lambeth
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Assessing major combat experiences to help rectify errors made in the planning and conduct of operations has enjoyed a long and well-established tradition in the fields of military history and security studies. In particular, since Operation Desert Storm against Saddam Hussein's Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces in 1991, the pursuit of "lessons learned" from major combat has been a virtual cottage industry within the defense establishments of the United States and its principal allies around the world.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Israel
  • Author: Aaron Rapport
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Why did the administration of George W. Bush hold so many mistaken beliefs about the costs of establishing a transformed Iraqi state after the removal of Saddam Hussein? Relatedly, why did the president and senior officials devote so little attention to plans for the postconflict phase of the war, referred to as Phase IV? According to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), the administration had "no established plans to manage the increasing chaos" in Iraq, adding "when Iraq's withering post-invasion reality superseded [officials'] expectations, there was no well-defined 'Plan B' as a fallback and no existing government structures or resources to support a quick response." Numerous analyses of the administration's assumptions and preparations for the postwar phase of the conflict have argued that leadership in the White House and the Department of Defense grossly underestimated the cost of securing peace in Iraq. President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and other key administration figures failed to foresee the rise of sectarian violence and ignored officials working on potential postwar problems or left them under - resourced, without the necessary time or guidance necessary to plan effectively.
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Ned Parker
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Nine years after U.S. troops toppled Saddam Hussein and just a few months after the last U.S. soldier left Iraq, the country has become something close to a failed state. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki presides over a system rife with corruption and brutality, in which political leaders use security forces and militias to repress enemies and intimidate the general population. The law exists as a weapon to be wielded against rivals and to hide the misdeeds of allies. The dream of an Iraq governed by elected leaders answerable to the people is rapidly fading away.
  • Topic: Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington
  • Author: Colin Kahl
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In "Time to Attack Iran" (January/February 2012), Matthew Kroenig takes a page out of the decade-old playbook used by advocates of the Iraq war. He portrays the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran as both grave and imminent, arguing that the United States has little choice but to attack Iran now before it is too late. Then, after offering the caveat that "attacking Iran is hardly an attractive prospect," he goes on to portray military action as preferable to other available alternatives and concludes that the United States can manage all the associated risks. Preventive war, according to Kroenig, is "the least bad option."
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Iran
  • Author: Masaki Kakizaki
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The US-Turkish relationship has faced trouble since the Iraq War. On the one hand, the current Justice and Development Party government has pursued new foreign policy initiatives toward its neighbors in the Middle East. Turkey's approach toward Iran, for instance, has caused policy makers and commentators in Washington to wonder "did the United States lose Turkey?" On the other hand, we have observed a rise of anti-Americanism in Turkey. During the Cold War era, anti-Americanism in Turkey was not so widespread; it was contained to leftist circles. Since 2003, in contrast, anti-American attitudes have become widespread among citizens regardless of their political and ideological positions. What accounts for this rise of Turkish public opinion unfavorable to the United States? Under what conditions could the image of America in Turkey improve? Giray Sadik's American Image in Turkey addresses these interesting and important questions. He considers how American foreign policy has affected Turkish public opinion toward the United States between 2000 and 2006.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Washington, Turkey
  • Author: Burak Bilgehan Özpek
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kurdish politicians were involved in Baghdad governments, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) became a federal unit with increased autonomy. Nevertheless, the KRG's quest for keeping its autonomy was challenged after the withdrawal of US forces at the end of 2011. When US forces left Iraq, the Baghdad government, headed by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, the leader of the Shiite State of Law Coalition, tried to centralize power. Unsurprisingly, Maliki's centralization efforts have generated criticism and secessionist repercussions among Kurdish political circles. Furthermore, the Maliki government has violated the basic principles of power sharing, which is sine qua non to strengthen the confidence building processes in divided societies. Increasingly, the Kurds' willingness to remain as part of Iraq considerably decreases as the Baghdad government consolidates its power and excludes the ethnic and religious groups from the political system.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Matthias Matthijs
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since the turn of the millennium, scholars and pundits have been musing over the decline of the West. The disappointing US military invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq, together with the subprime mortgage crisis, seem to be evidence of an abrupt end to America's 'unipolar' moment. In Europe, the sovereign debt crisis has amplified Europe's long-term structural economic problems and laid bare the fragile institutional foundation on which the Economic and Monetary Union was built. At the same time, the BRICs and other emerging economies have been growing at unprecedented rates. Those same analysts see a 'decoupling' in the world economy: the developing economies pulling the world out of recession, while the advanced industrial economies are unable to solve their domestic difficulties. So to them, the events of the past five years signify the beginning of the end of Western influence, eventually leading to a more complete rebalancing of the world economy's current 'Western' system of governance. This article argues instead that the West still has a significant edge when it comes to most critical factors that determine long-term economic growth potential, including technology, innovative capacity, research and development, investment climate and education. Furthermore, the transatlantic economy is less vulnerable than the rest of the world to outside economic shocks and might eventually prove more capable of reform than many expect. The current malaise in the transatlantic community might therefore prove once again to be more cyclical than structural. Relying on linear projections, many are 'crying wolf' again, too loud and too soon.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Europe
  • Author: James Franklin Jeffrey
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The 2011 transition from a US military-centric American presence in Iraq to a diplomatic lead, requiring the build out of already the largest US embassy since Vietnam, was an extraordinary political and logistic al effort, all but unparalleled in State Department history. The transition's success and its many challenges provide lessons for both the upcoming Afghanistan transition and 'expeditionary diplomacy' generally. It provides a model for diploma tic primacy in a conflict environment, but also cautionary lessons on the limits of diplomatic engagement in a war zone.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Vietnam
  • Author: Erica Chenoweth
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: In recent years, multiple studies have confirmed that terrorism occurs in democracies more often than in nondemocratic regimes. There are five primary groups of explanations for this phenomenon, including the openness of democratic systems, organizational pressures resulting from democratic competition, the problem of underreporting in authoritarian regimes, gridlock resulting from multiparty institutions, and the coercive effectiveness of terrorism against democracies. Most of these studies, however, examine the relationship only through 1997. In this article, I explore whether terrorism has continued to occur more in democratic countries through 2010. I find that while terrorism is still prevalent in democracies, it has increased in “anocracies,” countries that policymakers would often describe as “weak” or “failed” states. I offer a potential reason for this increase: the American-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. I conclude by offering some insights into how the rise of terrorism in anocracies affects the typical explanations for terrorism and democracy, and I suggest a few ways to improve on our current understanding.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: Patrick A. Mello
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to explain democracies' military participation in the Iraq War. Prior studies have identified institutional and partisan differences as potential explanatory factors for the observed variance. The interaction of institutions and partisanship, however, has gone largely unobserved. I argue that these factors must be analysed in conjunction: institutional constraints presume actors that fulfil their role as veto players to the executive. Likewise, partisan politics is embedded in institutional frames that enable or constrain decision-making. Hence I suggest a comparative approach that combines these factors to explain why some democracies joined the ad hoc coalition against Iraq and others did not. To investigate the interaction between institutions, partisanship and war participation I apply fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis. The analysis reveals that the conjunction of right-of-centre governments with an absence of both parliamentary veto rights and constitutional restrictions was sufficient for participation in the Iraq War. In turn, for countries where the constitution requires parliamentary approval of military deployments, the distribution of preferences within the legislature proved to be decisive for military participation or non-participation.
  • Topic: Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Tonderai W. Chikuhwa
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: One may say that there is no clearer mirror on the soul of who we are than the reflection of how we treat our children. The horrors that are being visited on children in more than thirty conflicts around the world today are a shadow over our collective conscience. The most conservative estimates suggest that in the past decade more than two million children have been killed in armed conflict. Three times that number have been seriously injured or permanently disabled. Millions of others have been forced to witness and even partake in terrible acts of violence. Hundreds of thousands of children continue to be exploited as child soldiers, and tens of thousands of girls are being subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence. Abductions of children are a more common and widespread enterprise than ever before. And, since 2003, over fourteen million children have been forcibly displaced within and outside their home countries, and between 8,000 and 10,000 children are killed or maimed every year as a result of landmines.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, India
  • Author: Farhad Atai
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Developments in the Middle East in the past decades, and especially in the past few years, have drawn the world's attention to this region. Never since the break-up of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century has the region been so volatile and explosive. While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to have a deciding effect on the Middle East, other issues have appeared, further complicating the politics of the region. The stunning socio-political developments in the Arab world during the past year, which started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain are still unfolding and will permanently change the Arab World. Where does Iran fit into the political dynamics of the Middle East in these turbulent times? This paper attempts to answer that question. After a review of the recent developments in the Arab world, it examines the Islamic Republic's position in the region in the light of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, the breakup of the Soviet Union and subsequent developments in Central Asia, the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The paper suggests that the changing geopolitics of the region has positioned Iran in a relatively stronger position vis-à-vis the Sunni-Shi'a debate. It further suggests that three decades after its Islamic Revolution, Iran has matured. This is especially true in the wake of the rising extremist tendencies and groups such as al-Qa'ida in the region. Once the shorter term issues are resolved, Iran can have a moderating influence on the dynamics of the region.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, Middle East, Israel, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain
  • Author: Ali Omidi
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Security is the main concern or raison d'être of any state. The Islamic republic of Iran and the west have had common geopolitical concerns, with some convergence in Afghanistan. The first security priority of the U.S. in particular and Europe in general after the September 11 events has been coping with terrorism in its heartland, i.e. Afghanistan. This paper, after a short review of Iran's historical relations with Afghanistan as well as its geopolitical importance for Tehran, examines Iran's main security concerns stemming from Afghanistan and the consequent Iranian narration of those threats in the post-9/11 era. The article argues that Iranian policy and even ideals for Afghanistan's long-term security is similar to the Iraqi model: outright withdrawal of foreign troops and national self-reliance on security issues. Therefore, Iran welcomes NATO's drawback from Afghanistan in 2014 and implicitly cooperates with the west in Afghanistan for viable and indigenous security.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Stuart Bowen
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: There now exists a “golden hour” for repairing the U.S. approach to stabilization and reconstruction operations (SROs). The past 8 years of rebuilding efforts in Iraq, fraught as they were with painful and expensive challenges, yielded numerous hard lessons that provide a clear basis for comprehensive systemic reform.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq