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  • Author: Colin Kahl
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In "Time to Attack Iran" (January/February 2012), Matthew Kroenig takes a page out of the decade-old playbook used by advocates of the Iraq war. He portrays the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran as both grave and imminent, arguing that the United States has little choice but to attack Iran now before it is too late. Then, after offering the caveat that "attacking Iran is hardly an attractive prospect," he goes on to portray military action as preferable to other available alternatives and concludes that the United States can manage all the associated risks. Preventive war, according to Kroenig, is "the least bad option."
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Iran
  • Author: 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: Stuart Bowen
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • 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
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Gregory Johnson, Julie Walz
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Carl Schramm, president and chief executive officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, published a paper in Foreign Affairs in 2010 entitled “Expeditionary Economics,” arguing that the economies of Iraq and Afghanistan have shown few signs of progress. Schramm makes the case for the military to engage broadly in midconflict and postconflict reconstruction using a variety of tools. Economic reconstruction must be a part of a three-legged strategy, following invasion and stabilization. To do reconstruction, the military needs to expand its areas of competence, rid itself of its central planning mentality, and become a more flexible force that can facilitate economic growth while trying to stabilize the regions in which it is engaged.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Farhad Atai
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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