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  • Author: Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., Elizabeth C. Packard
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: During the past decade, the most visible military activities in the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR) have been decidedly kinetic, showcased primarily through operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This year marks important transitions in both of these campaigns as Afghan National Security Forces begin to take the lead on security operations and the United States shifts to a more traditional security relationship with Baghdad. Building partner capacity in Afghan and Iraqi forces—one of USCENTCOM's key nonkinetic activities—is a central component to success in both of these missions.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Bradford Baylor, Jeanne Burrington, Bradford Davis, Russell Goehring
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Low per capita income is linked to economic instability and state insecurity in postconflict societies. While domestic state capacity is the long-term goal, low-income societies emerging from conflict do not have the luxury to wait. Thus, given the current limitations of state performance, the immediate security solutions for low per capita income countries need to focus on host-government reform policies and alternatives for delivering basic services, rather than long-term state capacity-building. Even with low government capacity, certain economic policies can be put in place to improve per capita income and stimulate employment creation and other public goods. Establishing incentives for practical local economic reform policies, creating an environment that supports private economic investment, and enhancing the delivery of basic social services by the host government contribute to security and stability as they also ultimately contribute to building state capacity.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: James N. Soligan
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Ongoing engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq have resurrected one of the most important and challenging questions facing political and military leaders in the United States and other nations: how to set objectives, conduct operations, and terminate wars in a manner that achieves intended political outcomes. The collective track record leaves much to be desired, and results of even the most recent conflicts would argue that we have not yet learned the necessary lessons from wars in the 20 th century to prevent making many of the same mistakes and suffering similar consequences in the 21 st century.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Gary C. Jacobson
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: GARY C. JACOBSON analyzes four surveys designed to investigate partisan polarization on the Iraq war. He finds that modes of motivated reasoning, including motivated skepticism and selective perception, selective memory, and selective exposure, contributed strongly to the emergence of the unusually wide differences of opinion on the war.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Christopher Paul
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Colin Powell had a remarkable career of public service, serving ten Presidents, beginning with his commission into the Army in 1958 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. His career as a senior official is most noteworthy: “ Of the seven seats on the National Security Council (NSC) he has held three ” (p. 2). This career provided him with an unparalleled level of intimacy with the recent history of U.S. military intervention. “ In one capacity or another, Powell was involved in almost all major American military engagements over the past four decades ” (p. 197).
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Kelly McHugh
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: KELLY McHUGH describes Tony Blair's failed attempts to use his friendship with George W. Bush to influence U.S. foreign policy in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war. She finds that although Blair was often successful in persuading Bush in private meetings, he was outmaneuvered by Vice President Dick Cheney, who opposed Blair's advocacy of multilateralism and diplomacy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: John W. Lango
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: What were the primary justifications for the Iraq War, and how do they relate to classical and contemporary just war thought? Identifying three such justifications—anticipatory, punitive, and humanitarian—Cian O'Driscoll clarifies the debate within the just war community about the invasion.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: World Policy Journal
  • Institution: World Policy Institute
  • Abstract: As a fragile democracy grows in Iraq, as U.S. forces in Afghanistan try to reform governance in Kabul, and as Mexico threatens to devolve into a narco-state, we hear a strident, intensifying refrain: crime and corruption must be stamped out. But if the chorus is in harmony on the pernicious effects of these plagues— poverty, war, lack of development, poor governance—it has offered little in the way of remedy. Moreover, given how interwoven and insidious these problems often are, just which should be tackled first?
  • Topic: Crime
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Mexico
  • Author: Missy Ryan
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: World Policy Journal
  • Institution: World Policy Institute
  • Abstract: BAGHDAD, Iraq—In a neglected graveyard, headstones of British soldiers lie discarded in the sand, sheared off by nearby bomb blasts, toppled by vandals, and crumbled by the passage of 90 years since these young men died in an unfamiliar desert land while their generals and statesmen conjured up a country called Iraq. The British war cemetery, which sits on the edge of a Baghdad thruway, is one of the visible reminders of the first Western occupation of modern Iraq, when European powers divvied up the spoils of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I and British administrators endowed Iraq with the foundations of a modern state.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe
  • Author: Geoffrey P. Macdonald
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Andrew Bacevich is angry. He has tirelessly criticized a war that has raged on longer than World War II. As a self-proclaimed conservative and Vietnam veteran, his anti-Iraq War activism is uniquely cogent. On the campus of Boston University, where he teaches International Relations, Bacevich is a folk hero, lending his unimpeachable credentials to the left-leaning inclinations of his students. But his activism has not stopped the war. It didn't stop his son, Army First Lieutenant Andrew Bacevich, Jr., from being deployed to Iraq. And it didn't stop 27-year-old Andrew from being killed-in-action in May of 2007. Andrew Bacevich is angry. As he well should be.
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Vietnam
  • Author: Ruta Nimkar
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: On September 16, 2007, violent gunfire erupted in Nisoor Square, Baghdad. When the smoke cleared, officials confirmed that 28 innocent Iraqi civilians had died in the incident. Guns had been fired – not by coalition troops, nor by insurgents – but by employees of Blackwater, a private company selling military services.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Bosnia, Baghdad
  • Author: Seth McCormick Lynn
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Within the defense community, a debate is emerging over the wisdom of “balancing” the military by shifting focus toward irregular warfare. This paper argues that balance would only be prudent if the military is likely to continue primarily facing irregular conflicts, if current counterinsurgency doctrine can lead to success in future contingencies, and if increased focus on counterinsurgency will improve national security. Although the military will likely face future insurgencies, such contingencies threaten national security less than conventional wars, and there is little evidence that the military's counterinsurgency doctrine will lead to future success. Moreover, balancing the military would degrade its conventional deterrence capabilities, thereby increasing the likelihood of conventional warfare. Therefore, while Iraq and Afghanistan should be the military's immediate priority, reconstituting degraded conventional capabilities should be its next concern. The paper concludes by suggesting several measures that would improve the military's irregular warfare capabilities without sacrificing conventional deterrence.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Ismael Sheikh Hassan, Sari Hanafi
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines the intersection of the Lebanese state's post-conflict security policy in Nahr al-Barid refugee camp and the reconstruction of the camp, which was destroyed in a battle between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam. The significance of the government's security focus derives from its intention to make Nahr al-Barid a “model” for all the other camps in the country. After discussing the Lebanese security context, the characteristics of the pre-conflict camp, the arrival of Fatah al-Islam, and the ensuing battle, the authors focus on the urban planning process for a reconstructed Nahr al-Barid, highlighting both the state's militarization of the process and the local grassroots planning initiative which, in partnership with UNRWA, managed to secure some concessions. Also analyzed is the government plan submitted to donors, which conceives of “governance” as community policing without addressing the status of the Palestinians in Lebanon. IN THE SUMMER OF 2007, the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Barid, the second largest of the fourteen United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) camps in Lebanon, was totally demolished. This was a result of a battle between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam, an Islamist fundamentalist group, predominantly foreign, that had implanted itself in the camp only six months earlier. After its destruction, the camp remained a strict militarized zone, imposing additional hardship on a post-disaster community of refugees struggling to rebuild their lives. Various security-based projects and policies affecting the camp's urban form, governance structure, and legal status that were planned, negotiated, or approved by the Lebanese government signaled a new era in Lebanese-refugee relations. With the events of Nahr al-Barid, the Lebanese state entered the realm of the camp, and security concerns and practices assumed new forms that would potentially affect the future lives of Palestinian refugees in all Lebanon. The camp remains a military zone to this day. More importantly, the Lebanese government's plan to make Nahr al-Barid a security model for the other Palestinian refugee camps in the country brings the issue of security more urgently to the forefront of the debate about Palestinians in Lebanon. Nahr al-Barid also fits into a wider security discussion relating to Palestinians in the host countries in the context of the “war against terror,” with issues relating to the status of camps becoming intertwined with the correlative themes of good governance, refugee rights, human security, and integration for the benefit of international donors and development agencies, even as policies on the ground disregard and sometimes contradict these concepts. This article is based on two years of fieldwork and action research in Nahr al-Barid camp. Our involvement included participation in local community post-conflict initiatives, in-depth interviews with Nahr al-Barid residents and community leaders, and up-close observation of various Palestinian and Lebanese actors in the reconstruction planning process. Our aim is to contribute to the debate on the role of “security” in dictating state policy and actions during and after the battle. The fact that government policies are still in flux makes reflection and debate on these events all the more urgent. CONTEXTUALIZING SECURITY WITHIN PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMPS A variety of themes and discourses at the local, regional, and global level intertwine as a backdrop to a discussion of the heightened security measures for Palestinian refugee camps in general and Nahr al-Barid in particular. One of these is the state's traditional fear of refugees as a potentially threatening and disruptive political force. Ironically, this fear—and the security measures it engenders—is shared by those who produced the refugee problem and the host states that suffered its consequences; indeed, some disturbing parallels have been drawn, mutatis mutandi, between measures against Palestinians enacted by Israel and Arab states in the name of security. Thus, whereas historically the violent conflicts between the Palestinian movement and various Arab regimes were attributed to ideological differences and power struggles, the current situation seems to be heading in new directions. Today, what has become a seemingly universal obsession with security and fighting terror increasingly infiltrates Arab slogans to validate various practices against Palestinian camps and neighborhoods (not to mention against their own citizens). These practices affecting citizens/refugees and cities/camps alike are empowered by largely uncritical international military, financial, and political support for the “war on terror.” As a result, massive urban destruction has been wreaked on densely populated communities with scant consideration for civilian populations, with the suspension of civil liberties and imposition of siege now standard procedures validated by security-based arguments for Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Jenin/Nablus in the West Bank (2002), Lebanon (2006), Nahr al-Barid (2007), Gaza (2008), and Yemen (2009).
  • Topic: Islam, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon
  • Author: Deborah Welch Larson, Alexei Shevchenko
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, scholars and foreign policy analysts have debated the type of world order that the United States should strive to create—a hegemonic system, a multilateral institutional system, or a great power concert. Initially, a major issue was whether attempts to maintain U.S. primacy would stimulate counter - balancing from other states. But since the 2003 Iraq War, a new consideration has emerged—how to persuade other states to cooperate with U.S. global governance. States that do not oppose efforts by the United States to maintain stability may nonetheless decline to follow its leadership. This is a matter for concern because although the United States can act alone, it cannot succeed on such issues as controlling terrorism, curbing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), rebuilding failed states, or maintaining economic stability without help from other states.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iraq
  • Author: David A. Lake
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Iraq war has been one of the most significant events in world politics since the end of the Cold War. One of the first preventive wars in history, it cost trillions of dollars, resulted in more than 4,500 U.S. and coalition casualties (to date), caused enormous suffering in Iraq, and may have spurred greater anti-Americanism in the Middle East even while reducing potential threats to the United States and its allies. Yet, despite its profound importance, the causes of the war have received little sustained analysis from scholars of international relations. Al-though there have been many descriptions of the lead-up to the war, the fighting, and the occupation, these largely journalistic accounts explain how but not why the war occurred.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Thomas Hegghammer
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A salient feature of armed conflict in the Muslim world since 1980 is the involvement of so-called foreign fighters, that is, unpaid combatants with no apparent link to the conflict other than religious affinity with the Muslim side. Since 1980 between 10,000 and 30,000 such fighters have inserted themselves into conflicts from Bosnia in the west to the Philippines in the east. Foreign fighters matter because they can affect the conflicts they join, as they did in post-2003 Iraq by promoting sectarian violence and indiscriminate tactics. Perhaps more important, foreign fighter mobilizations empower transnational terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, because volunteering for war is the principal stepping-stone for individual involvement in more extreme forms of militancy. For example, when Muslims in the West radicalize, they usually do not plot attacks in their home country right away, but travel to a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan first. Indeed, a majority of al-Qaida operatives began their militant careers as war volunteers, and most transnational jihadi groups today are by-products of foreign fighter mobilizations. Foreign fighters are therefore key to understanding transnational Islamist militancy.
  • Topic: Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Christopher M. Kovach
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Mercenaries are dangerously unreliable. According to Machiavelli, employing mercenaries or foreign troops “limited freedom of action and created dependence on other powers.” Yet for the first time in its history, and despite cautionary words against condottieri, the United States is relying heavily on private firms to provide security services in an unstable environment. In fact, not since the seventeenth century has there been “such a reliance on private military actors to accomplish tasks directly affecting the success of military engagements.” But military excursions to foreign soil raise perennial issues related to the imposition of order, discipline, and training, the foundations upon which commanders traditionally build successful campaigns.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Jessica Stern
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Is it possible to deradicalize terrorists? The success of a rehabilitation program for extremists in Saudi Arabia suggests that it is -- so long as the motivations that drive terrorists to violence are clearly understood and squarely addressed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Robert M. Gates
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In the decades to come, the most lethal threats to the United States' safety and security -- a city poisoned or reduced to rubble by a terrorist attack -- are likely to emanate from states that cannot adequately govern themselves or secure their own territory. Dealing with such fractured or failing states is, in many ways, the main security challenge of our time.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Carl J. Schramm
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Jessica Stern, Marisa L. Porges
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Richard N. Haass, Roger C. Altman
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The U.S. government is incurring debt at an unprecedented rate. If U.S. leaders do not act to curb their debt addiction, then the global capital markets will do so for them, forcing a sharp and punitive adjustment in fiscal policy. The result will be an age of American austerity.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: William Pfaff
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States has built a worldwide system of more than 1,000 military bases, stations, and outposts -- a system designed to enhance U.S. national security. It has actually done the opposite, provoking conflict and creating insecurity.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Ufuk Ulutaş
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since the early 2000s, Turkish foreign policy has experienced a fundamental transformation. Turkey's regional and global position, its relations with the countries in surrounding regions, and its long-lasting disputes with its neighbors were reshaped through the adoption of the "zero-problem with-neighbors" policy. In line with this policy, Turkey has taken a pro-active stance and followed a multi-dimensional foreign policy approach to establish itself, first, as a conciliatory partner for peace with its neighbors, and second, as an agent of mediation between its clashing neighboring countries. 2009 was a year of foreign policy initiatives towards Syria, Armenia, and Iraq, including the Kurdish Regional Government. And it marked the beginning of more positive and constructive relations between Turkey and the United States. Turkey gained substantial ground in becoming a regional hub for energy by undersigning two critical energy deals. Yet, two major issues remain as challenges for Turkish foreign policy: a) the EU accession process, and b) the Cyprus dispute.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Syria
  • Author: Mert Bilgin
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper hypothesizes that analyzing the geo-economic and energy security characteristics of gas supplies to Europe may help in understanding the features of regional and international relations with regard to selected countries. The paper highlights the significance of natural gas in the New Energy Order, and points to the importance of supply security for the EU. It looks at Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Algeria as suppliers and Turkey as a transit country in an emerging gas corridor to Europe. It examines supply-side opportunities, which promote new fields of international cooperation based on gas trade, and addresses certain restraints that may reduce the likelihood of further regional cooperation. Economic and geographic factors create new opportunities for regional trade and international relations. This geoeconomic aspect, however, takes place with international security issues varying from case to case.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Libya, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Egypt
  • Author: Tuncay Babalı
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has become an important east-west and north-south gas and oil transit route and an energy hub, thanks to the Turkish straits, and the existing and proposed pipelines that run through its territory. Economic opportunities, however, can present diplomatic liabilities. In a tough and complicated region, Turkey finds itself caught between the interests of competing superpowers and regional players. As the world's 16th largest economy, Turkey's thirst for energy will only increase. Satisfying this thirst requires not only diversification of sources and routes, but also good relations with all neighbors, in addition to traditional partners. An analysis of Ankara's options and new foreign policy vision shows that Turkey has little choice but to use greater caution and engagement. Following its own national interests and security concerns will drive Turkey to new openings in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and other CIS countries. Energy will be one of the main pillars of Turkey's policy of engagement and integration in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia, Syria
  • Author: Richard Youngs, Ana Echague
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: European Union policy towards the Middle East and North Africa suffers from geographic fragmentation and an increasing functional imbalance which reflects a growing trend towards securitisation. While policy towards the Mediterranean is highly institutionalised, the Gulf Cooperation Council states receive much less attention and policies towards Iran, Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territories exist in isolation. A narrow focus on an exclusionist approach to security has taken over to the detriment of political and economic concerns. The shortcomings in European foreign policy towards the broader Middle East in terms of lack of breadth and coherence need to be addressed in order to forge a more cohesive and effective policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Iran, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Bruce Riedel
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: The relationship between al-Qa`ida and Iran is shrouded in mystery. Before and after the September 11 attacks on the United States, al-Qa`ida operatives transited Iran, and some found sanctuary in the country after fleeing Afghanistan in late 2001. Yet the hints of occasional operational cooperation between al-Qa`ida and Iran are outweighed by the considerable and public evidence of the deep animosity between Sunni extremist al-Qa`ida and Shi`a extremist Iran. Antipathy for each other is at the root of their ideologies and narratives, and it has been most visible in their competition for influence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran
  • Author: Adem Ogultarhan
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan cause people to think that the US can resort to military measures against Iran as well. However the US invasion of Iraq and the uncertainties prevailing because of the invasion make analysts to question the necessity of military operations, because it might bring further uncertainties to region and to world politics. In this paper, it is argued that the US priorities in the Middle East are not well-defined and its policies are contaminated with cultural misperceptions, as seen in the case of the Iran's nuclear program. Historical, technical and international law aspects of Iran's nuclear program would be surveyed and the US policies regarding Iran's nuclear program would be analyzed. The US interests in the region would be discussed and the most known clichés regarding Iran and US relations would be questioned. It is the argument that US policies in the Middle East are not well-calculated in terms of the US global realpolitik concerns; and current US policies in the region harm the US interests in global stage. Thus, the US confrontation with Iran makes the potential cooperation opportunities with the Middle Eastern countries missed.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran
  • Author: Zeynep Arikanli
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: This article aims to study the British modalities of managing Kurdish nationalism in the vilayet1 of Mosul in the 1918-1926 period, when both Kurdish nationalism and Iraqi state-building were in their formative (if not infancy) period. There are two inter-dependent arguments: First, the new British policies of the post-WWI period were also in their formative period, since they were being formed through the issue of a geo-political and frontier re-structuring necessitated by the new international order. Second, Kurdish nationalism in the Mosul province evolved in the prism of the British policies, constituting both a trump card for and a challenge to the Kurdish population. This duality, I will argue, became the main characteristic of Kurdish nationalism in the future configurations in Iraq in particular, and in the Middle East, in general. This duality was the direct outcome of the British policies in the post-WWI period, which were stamped with a considerable polyarchy and tergiversations, due both to the uncertainties generated by the post-WWI period, the necessity of adapting to the new principles of the international order and inter-departmental competition. These polyarchy and tergiversations became manifest in the Iraqi state-building process, especially before the settlement of the Mosul question, the old Ottoman province with a substantial Kurdish population. In other words, it was in the vilayet of Mosul during this period (1918-1926) that the re-structuring of the British policies in the post-WWI era was crystallized -with all their ups-and-downs.
  • Topic: Race
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Ahmet Sözen
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on the use of different forms of power by a (leader/patron/hegemonic) state to get the other (non-leader/client) states to cooperate with its policies. Most of the literature on cooperation operates on the level of bargaining power where the policy changes are directly visible. This article aims to show how the bargaining power model is not adequate in capturing the complete picture of the relationship between Turkey (a non-leader/client state) and the United States (leader/patron state) in their cooperation with regard to Iraq during the Gulf Crisis (1990) and the War against Iraq (2003). Hence, I attempt to show that the three levels of power as discussed by Krause is a better and more comprehensive framework for understanding and explaining the power relationship between Turkey and the US.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Earl Gammon, Julian Reid
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Years ago at a workshop one of our colleagues, whose name we shall keep anonymous, claimed — to the amusement of the participants — that International Relations (IR) is where theory goes to die. Given the vicissitudes of intellectual fads that sweep through IR, one could, perhaps, be forgiven for condemning what appears to be the superficiality of the theoretical engagements within the field. From another perspective, though, this judgement could be considered unfair, and that the convergence of so many disparate theoretical interventions in IR is actually a testament to its growing vitality. Though many scholars now label themselves constructivists, this is quite a polyglot category that seems to indicate a movement beyond the contrived inter-school debates rather than the rise of a new intellectual hegemony.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Samuel Lussac
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: From the Iraq war in 2003 to the Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008, both neoconservative and neo-Eurasianist politician s have been held responsible for the recent power politics of Russia and the United States. After analyzing this issue in French in 2007 at the end of the presidential mandates of George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin, the English translation of the book allows Didier Chaudet, Florent Parmentier and Benoît Pelopidas' work to reach a wider audience during the early days of Barack Obama's and Dmitri Medvedev's mandates.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Eurasia, Georgia
  • Author: Grant W. Jones
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: In Winning the Unwinnable War, editor Elan Journo and fellow contributors Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein consider the ideas and events that led to 9/11 and analyze America's response. Arguing that our nation has been made progressively less secure by policies based on "subordinating military victory to perverse, allegedly moral constraints" (p. ix), they offer an alternative: grounding American foreign policy on "the moral ideal of rational self-interest" (p. 188). This they accomplish in the space of seven chapters, divided into three sections: "Part One. The Enemy," "Part Two. America's Self-Crippled Response to 9/11," and "Part Three. From Here, Where Do We Go?" In Part One, in a chapter titled "What Motivates the Jihad on America," Journo considers the nature of the enemy that attacked America on 9/11. With refreshing honesty, Journo dispenses with the whitewashing that often accompanies discussions of Islam and Jihad, pointing out that the meaning of "Islam" is "submission to Allah" and that its nature "demands the sacrifice of not only the mind, but also of self" (p. 33). Says Journo, the Jihadists seek to impose Allah's will-Islamic Law-just as Islamic teaching would have it: by means of the sword. "Islamic totalitarians consciously try to model themselves on the religion's founder and the figure who is held to exemplify its virtues, Muhammad. He waged wars to impose, and expand, the dominion of Islam" (p. 35). In "The Road to 9/11," Journo summarizes thirty years of unanswered Jihadist aggression, beginning with the Iranian takeover of the American embassy in Tehran in 1979. Throughout, Journo criticizes the idea that influenced the actions of America's leaders during this time-"realism"-which he describes as eschewing "[m]oral ideals and other broad principles" in favor of achieving narrow, short-range goals by sheer expediency (p. 20). Because of the nature of their own ideas, says Journo, realists are incapable of understanding the Jihadists and thus incapable of understanding how to act with respect to them. "The operating assumption for realist policymakers is that (like them) no one would put an abstract, far off ideal ahead of collecting some concrete, immediate advantage (money, honor, influence). So for realists, an enemy that is dedicated to a long-term goal-and thus cannot be bought off with bribes-is an enemy that must remain incomprehensible" (p. 21). Journo indicates how realism was applied to the Islamist threat in the years leading up to 9/11: Facing the Islamist onslaught, our policymakers aimed, at most, to manage crises with range-of-the-moment remedies-heedless of the genesis of a given crisis and the future consequences of today's solution. Running through the varying policy responses of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton there is an unvarying motif. . . . Our leaders failed to recognize that war had been launched against us and that the enemy is Islamic totalitarianism. This cognitive failure rendered Washington impotent to defeat the enemy. Owing to myopic policy responses, our leaders managed only to appease and encourage the enemy's aggression (p. 6). After 9/11, President George W. Bush shied away from the realist policy of passively reacting to the ever-escalating Islamist threat-and instead adopted the foreign policy favored by neoconservatives. "In place of 'realism,' neoconservatives advocated a policy often called 'interventionism,' one component of which calls for America to work assertively to overthrow threatening regimes and to replace them with peaceful 'democracies'" (p. 118). Two chapters of Winning the Unwinnable War are devoted to dissecting this policy, "The 'Forward Strategy' of Failure" by Brook and Journo (first published in TOS, Spring 2007) and "Neoconservative Foreign Policy: An Autopsy" by Brook and Epstein (first published in TOS, Summer 2007). In the first of these chapters, Brook and Journo consider Bush's interventionist plan, the "forward strategy of freedom." On the premise that democracies do not wage wars of aggression, Bush launched two campaigns of democratic state building in the Middle East-in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2003, Bush exclaimed, "Iraqi democracy will succeed-and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Tehran-that freedom can be the future of every nation" (p. 54). But neither Iraqi freedom nor American security was achieved by Bush's "forward strategy" of enabling Iraqis and Afghanis to vote. Because of democratic elections, Iraq "is [now] dominated by a Shiite alliance led by the Islamic Dawa Party and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)" (p. 54), and a "further effect of the elections in the region has been the invigoration of Islamists in Afghanistan" (p. 57). . . .
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, America
  • Author: Mahmood Vaezi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Iraq, as a major country in the Persian Gulf region, has traditionally played an important role with regard to stability and security in the area. However, the Ba'athist Iraq, especially under Saddam Hussein, acted in large measure as a source of instability, tension and conflict in the area. That period came to an end in 2003 with the collapse of the Ba'athist regime and the emergence of a new governance system in that country. Considering Iraq's position in the region as well as its quite substantial potentials, this country can still play such an important role – perhaps more important than in the past – in the stability and security of the region. Characteristics of the “New Iraq”, particularly its unfolding democratic experience and governance, and a new collaborative approach to foreign policy, especially towards the neighboring countries, have raised hopes for Iraq's prospective positive contribution to regional stability, security, convergence, and ultimate integration, based on a new pattern of engagement and collaboration among regional states and actors. Having suffered for a long period from destructive rivalry, tension and conflict, the Persian Gulf region is acutely in need of a new collaborative, indigenous mechanism to foster and promote lasting stability and security in the area – needless to say, with the active participation of all countries in the region. The present article attempts to look into the Iraqi aggressive posture and policy during the past several decades as well as into the prospects for the future based on the mutual roles and responsibilities of the “New Iraq” and the neighboring states in the Persian Gulf, from the vantage point of peaceful intentions and conduct, interaction and collaboration towards the development of a collective regional system.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Persia
  • Author: Majid Takht Ravanchi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Between 1980 and 2003 Iraq was involved in three armed conflicts; namely, the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980's, the occupation of Kuwait in 1990- 1991, and the American-led war against Iraq in 2003. These are three different conflicts with their own distinct characteristics. A comparative study on the behavior of the United Nations Security Council with regard to each of these conflicts reveals that the Security Council has had three different and notably imbalanced reactions towards these conflicts. While At the beginning of the Iran-Iraq conflict, the Council was silent for a few days and later adopted a very ineffective resolution, the approach and conduct in the second conflict was quite different. A few hours after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Council adopted a very strong resolution, under Chapter VII of the Charter. In the case of the third Persian Gulf conflict – 2003 - the Security Council was in the middle of discussions as to how to deal with the Iraqi crisis when the American and British forces started the military attacks against Baghdad. Furthermore, international humanitarian law has been violated during these conflicts on numerous occasions, most notably the use of chemical weapons by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq conflict. The Security Council's lack of resolve to adopt necessary punitive measures against Iraq to prevent further use of chemical weapons was considered by Iraq as a green light to continue its resort and practice with a sense of impunity. As discussed in the paper, blatant lack of resolve on the part of the Security Council towards Iraq's repeated use of chemical weapons was, as a matter of fact, the most manifest expression of the strong pro-Iraq tilt in the Council's approach and conduct; the outward expression of alternating implicit-explicit consensus among the permanent members on how to punish the revolutionary Iran and reward a friendly Iraq. The present paper concludes that a different approach and conduct by the Council vis-à-vis Iraq 's aggression against Iran would have most probably created a different situation and dynamism in the Persian Gulf area with all its significant repercussions and implications.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Iran, Kuwait, Baghdad, Persia
  • Author: Kourosh Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: This paper is an account of the controversy between Iran and Iraq over the issue of the three Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs. It covers the time span from 1971 up to 1992 and focuses on the role of Iraq that hoisted the banner of opposition to Iran's title to these islands, following the British withdrawal, and sought to spur the reluctant Arab conservative camp along.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Persia
  • Author: Zahra Tavakkoli
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: The author's main hypothesis in the book Iran, the New Iraq, and the Political-Security System in the Persian Gulf is that the overthrow of the Ba'athist regime in Iraq and the subsequent emergence of a Shi'ite-dominated government has created a favorable situation for Iran and significantly increased its potential for a much stronger role in the Persian Gulf, and on a larger scale in the entire Middle East. In his analysis, such a potential is much facilitated by the enhanced possibility of a strategic cooperation between the New Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran, hence providing greater opportunities for a more activist regional and international foreign policy. The crux of the author's argument in the book revolves around the necessity of adoption of new approaches in the Iranian foreign policy towards the New Iraq and the Persian Gulf region.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Kayhan Barzegar
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: This article investigates the main roots of tension between Iran and the United States in the post-9/11 Middle East. Since 9/11 and especially after the 2003 Iraqi crisis, Iran's role has sharply risen in the region. The evolution of Iran's role and power in the regional system has led Iran to seek a bigger weight and role more in tune with its acquired stature and capabilities. The conflict between Iran and the United States has been generally attributed to either a political-ideological clash and mutual hatred, or to a simple aggregation of a number of distinct policy disputes including: Iran's nuclear program, Iran's state support for organizations that Washington regards as terrorist groups, human rights issues, and Iranian involvement in the new Iraq, the Levant, and Afghanistan. While accepting these explanations, the author takes a step further and argues that the conflict, especially since 2003, has been essentially focused on a dispute over the growth of the two sides' role in Middle Eastern politics which both regard against each other's national interests and security. The author concludes that complex and interdependent nature of regional security necessitates, on the one hand, Iran's cooperation in the wake of the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq in Summer 2010, and on the other, that the United States recognize and respect Iran's legitimate security concerns and accept the evolution of Iran's role in the region.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Ronald Neumann
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Security is only 20 percent of the solution; 80 percent is governance and development." "There is no military solution to insurgency." These and similar statements have rightly refocused counterinsurgency doctrine and popular thinking away from purely military solutions to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet these catchphrases have become substitutes for deeper consideration of the role of security in the current conflicts and in insurgency in general, hiding some important points and leading to assumptions that are an insufficient basis for policy.
  • Topic: Development, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Robert Hoekstra, Charles Tucker Jr.
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Drawing on the lessons learned from coalition interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, by mid-2004, a consensus developed within the executive branch, Congress, and among independent experts that the U.S. Government required a more robust capacity to prevent conflict (when possible) and (when necessary) to manage “Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations [SROs] in countries emerging from conflict or civil strife.”
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo
  • Author: Edward Burke
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: The militarization of aid in conflict zones is now a reality and is likely to increase exponentially in the future. Stability operations are critical to the success of any viable counterinsurgency strategy. Yet in much of Afghanistan and Iraq, civilian officials working alone have proven incapable of successfully distributing and monitoring stabilization funds or implementing associated operations; thus, they have required close cooperation with the military. Many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries have not adequately addressed deficiencies in models of civil-military cooperation, with severe repercussions for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and some government development agencies complain that the delivery of aid by the military can exacerbate the targeting of civilian aid workers. Highlighting the failure of civilian agencies to cooperate effectively with the military may provide temporary vindication to skeptics within the NGO community, but such criticism does not solve the critical dilemma of how to deliver reconstruction and humanitarian assistance to the most violent parts of Afghanistan and Iraq or other nonpermissive environments.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Phil Williams
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: After the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the United States encountered a series of strategic surprises, including the hostility to the occupation, the fragility of Iraq's infrastructure, and the fractious nature of Iraqi politics. One of the least spectacular but most significant of these surprises was the rise of organized crime and its emergence as a postconflict spoiler. This development was simply not anticipated. Organized crime in Iraq in the months and years after March 2003 emerged as a major destabilizing influence, increasing the sense of lawlessness and public insecurity, undermining the efforts to regenerate the economy, and financing the violent opposition to the occupation forces. In 2003, the theft of copper from downed electric pylons made the restoration of power to the national grid much more difficult. In 2008, the capacity to generate funds through criminal activities enabled al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) to continue resisting both the U.S. military and the Iraqi government. Moreover, with the planned U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, organized crime in the country will continue to flourish by maintaining well established crime-corruption networks. It might also expand by exploiting the continued weakness of the Iraqi state.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Bernard Carreau, Melanne Civic
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: In addition to the problems of building and maintaining an effective civilian presence in Afghanistan and Iraq is the matter of developing institutional knowledge in the civilian agencies—what works and what does not work in the field. The task is all the more daunting because civilian agencies do not have a core mission to maintain expertise in stabilizing war-torn countries, particularly those experiencing major counterinsurgency and counterterrorist operations. Yet the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Departments of Agriculture, Justice, Commerce, Treasury, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Energy, and other agencies have been sending personnel to Afghanistan, Iraq, and other fragile states for several years now. The agencies have relied on a combination of direct hires, temporary hires, and contractors, but nearly all of them have been plagued by relatively short tours and rapid turnarounds, making it difficult to establish enduring relationships on the ground and institutional knowledge in the agencies. The constant coming and going of personnel has led to the refrain heard more and more frequently that the United States has not been fighting the war in Afghanistan for 8 years, but rather for just 1 year, eight times in a row.
  • Topic: Development, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Bernard Carreau
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: In July 2009, the Center for Complex Operations (CCO) facilitated a workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to capture the experiences of USDA agricultural advisors deployed to ministries and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. The discussions yielded numerous individual observations, insights, and potential lessons from the work of these advisors on PRTs in these countries. This article presents a broad overview of the challenges identified by the conference participants and highlights key recommendations generated as a result of suggestions and comments made at the workshop.
  • Topic: Agriculture
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Matthew W. Parin
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Against the backdrop of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a changing strategic environment in the broader Middle East, political leaders now are confronting the difficult question of how to achieve long-term stability. The toppling of the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan and removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq displayed the capability of America's military to marshal overwhelming conventional force against its enemies. However, this overwhelming capability soon was eclipsed when this same force struggled to secure durable peace either in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Middle East, Taliban
  • Author: Blake Stone
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) and their much smaller and operationally leaner dependencies, embedded PRTs (ePRTs), have made meaningful and lasting contributions to U.S. postconflict reconstruction and stabilization efforts in Iraq since their inception in November 2005. This article presents the observations and experiences of one person on a single ePRT operating in the same expanse of Southern Baghdad Province over a period of 18 months from the tail end of the "Baghdad Surge" in late 2008 through the Council of Representatives election and transfer of power in March 2010. Toward that end, what follows is mostly anecdotal and does not necessarily reflect what surely were different experiences and operational realities on other PRTs and ePRTs in other parts of Iraq.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Sterling Jensen, Najim Abed Al-Jabouri
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: After the coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003, Sunnis revolted against the idea of de-Sunnifying Iraq. Partnering with the United States in 2006 was mainly an attempt to recoup Sunni losses once the United States had seemingly changed its position in their regard. This happened as the Sunni community increasingly saw al Qaeda and Iran as bigger threats than the U.S. occupation. The Sunni Awakening had two main parts: the Anbar Awakening and the Awakening councils, or the Sons of Iraq program. The Anbar Awakening was an Iraqi grassroots initiative supported by the United States and paid for by the Iraqi government. The Sons of Iraq program was a U.S.-led and -funded initiative to spread the success of the Anbar Awakening into other Sunni areas, particularly heterogeneous areas, and was not fully supported by the Iraqi government. If not for al Qaeda's murder and intimidation campaign on Sunnis, and its tactic of creating a sectarian war, the Anbar Awakening-a fundamental factor in the success of the 2007 surge-most probably would not have occurred, and it would have been difficult for the United States in 2006 to convince Sunnis to partner with them in a fight against al Qaeda.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Corri Zoli, Nicholas J. Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: It was only a matter of time before the elevated language of post-9/11 security discourse, and the phrase the global war on terrorism itself, was bound to reap both practical applications and studied reversals. Without the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan and each country's challenging reconstruction projects, one might expect idealist solutions to this historical juncture. Only 8 short years ago, the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States (NSS 2002) offered just that, the virtues of pressing for freedom and democracy against a new breed of post-Cold War threats. In now memorable language, the policy document linked "the great struggles" of the 20th century "between liberty and totalitarianism" to a "single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise." Displaying the "black and white" worldview of unchallenged power, NSS 2002 grouped 21st-century nations together that "share a commitment to protecting basic human rights and guaranteeing political and economic freedom," arguing that these values would "assure their future prosperity." Such values, it noted, are "right and true for every person" in "every society," and, in turn, "the duty of protecting" them "against their enemies" is the "common calling of freedom-loving people across the globe and across the ages"-a role spearheaded by the United States insofar as it enjoyed "unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence."
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: How would you characterize the threat to Iraq today? Does the potential for renewed violence or political divisions pose the greatest threat to Iraq succeeding as a viable state? With our Iraqi and coalition partners, we have made good progress in stabilizing Iraq's security situation, specifically over the last 3 years. Today, security incidents are down to levels last seen in 2003—and we continue to see slow progress toward normalcy across Iraq. From a purely security perspective, there are three primary threats from groups still seeking to destabilize Iraq, the most dangerous being al Qaeda in Iraq [AQI]. While AQI started as a broad-based insurgency capable of sustaining significant operations across Iraq, our consistent pressure has degraded AQI, and they have had to morph into a covert terrorist organization capable of conducting isolated high-profile attacks. The Iraqi people have rejected al Qaeda, and the organization is no longer able to control territory. However, AQI remains focused on delegitimizing the government of Iraq, disrupting the national election process and subsequent government formation, and ultimately causing the Iraqi state to collapse. AQI remains a strategic threat. In addition to AQI, there remain Sunni Ba'athist insurgents whose ultimate goal is regime change and a reinstitution of a Ba'athist regime. Shia extremists and Iranian surrogates also continue their lethal and nonlethal efforts to influence the development of the Iraqi state.
  • Topic: Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq