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  • Author: Lina Khatib
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The self-proclaimed Islamic State is a hybrid jihadist group with a declared goal of establishing a “lasting and expanding” caliphate. Its strategy for survival and growth blends military, political, social, and economic components. Yet the U.S.-led international intervention against it has largely been limited to air strikes. The gaps in the international coalition’s approach as well as deep sectarian divisions in Iraq and the shifting strategies of the Syrian regime and its allies are allowing the Islamic State to continue to exist and expand.
  • Topic: Civil War, Islam, Terrorism, Insurgency, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Marina Ottaway, Danial Kaysi
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Within days of the official ceremonies marking the end of the U.S. mission in Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki moved to indict Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi on terrorism charges and sought to remove Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq from his position, triggering a major political crisis that fully revealed Iraq as an unstable, undemocratic country governed by raw competition for power and barely affected by institutional arrangements. Large-scale violence immediately flared up again, with a series of terrorist attacks against mostly Shi'i targets reminiscent of the worst days of 2006.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, War, Fragile/Failed State, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Kurdistan
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Middle East is broken. The structures and power balances put in place in the late 1970s and amended after the end of the Cold War are no longer. These structures and balances included a number of key elements. Israel was at peace with Egypt and Jordan and in an informal truce with Syria—hence the Arab–Israeli conflict was no longer pursued by any major contiguous state opponents of Israel. A weakened Palestinian movement had been chased out of Lebanon in 1982 and co-opted in the Oslo Accords of 1993. Syria's role in the region was recognized and its influence in Lebanon legitimized—indeed, after 1990, it was promoted to suzerainty. Iraq was bolstered in the 1980s by the United States as a buffer and counterbalance to revolutionary Iran, and later, throughout the 1990s, it was preserved but contained. Saudi Arabia helped manage the finances of this scheme and helped maintain Arab consensus when possible. And the United States saw out the end of Soviet influence in the region, secured a military foothold in the Gulf, and gained in political influence: first as a broker of Israeli–Egyptian peace in the late 1970s, then as the architect of a pro-Iraqi containment policy against revolutionary Iran in the 1980s, as the leader of an Arab and international coalition to liberate Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion in the early 1990s, and as the patron of another major peace initiative launched in the Madrid peace conference.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: George Perkovich, Joseph Cirincione, Jessica T. Mathews, Alexis Orton
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: If history is any guide, the war and subsequent occupation and reconstruction of Iraq will shape U.S. relations with the Arab world—and perhaps with the whole Muslim world—for decades, just as prior military occupations altered U.S. relations with Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. What happens in Iraq is also likely to profoundly affect whether and with what degree of effort and success states choose to work together to constrain the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The war and its aftermath will affect U.S. foreign relations, influence U.S. policies regarding future armed interventions, and alter the international struggle against terrorism. It is a massive understatement, then, to say that a great deal is at stake, on the ground in Iraq, around the world, and in the lessons for the future that will be drawn here at home.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Arabia, Latin America, Caribbean