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  • Author: Dr. Christopher Sims
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Human Terrain System embedded civilians primarily in brigade combat teams (BCTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014 to act as a collection and dispersal mechanism for sociocultural comprehension. Set against the backdrop of the program’s evolution, the experiences of these social scientists clarifies the U.S. Army’s decision to integrate social scientists at the tactical level in conflict. Based on interviews, program documents, material from Freedom of Information Act requests, and secondary sources, this book finds a series of limiting factors inhibiting social science research at the tactical level, common to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Complexity in integrating civilians into the military decision-making cycle, creating timely research with a high level of fidelity, and making granular research resonate with brigade staff all contributed to inhibiting the overall effect of the Human Terrain System. Yet, while high operational tempo in contested spaces complicates social science research at the tactical level, the author argues that there is a continued requirement for a residual capability to be maintained by the U.S. Army.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Emmanuel Comolet
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Jordan is in the eye of the Arab cyclone. It remains stable while surrounded by chaotic political situations in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan has not experienced the massive demonstrations aimed at regime change that have been seen elsewhere in the region, and its relative stability has enabled it to cash in on the geo-political services it provides. These services include: hosting refugees from Palestine, Iraq or Syria; remaining a reliable ally for many international powers; featuring a strong army that plays a stabilizing role in the region; serving as an intermediary when neighboring countries need a host or a dealmaker; and providing qualified Jordanian workers to fill open vacancies for companies and countries, especially in the Gulf. The current stability in Jordan matches well its historic capacity to resist and adapt to shocks. However, the contemporary situation of the labor market reveals that the weaknesses observed in the countries having experienced revolutions (e.g., Tunisia and Egypt) are also present in Jordan; labor market participation is low with very few women active, and the unemployment rate of educated young people is worrisome. Both the number of Jordanians working abroad and the number of migrant workers in Jordan show the discrepancy between demand and supply of labor in Jordan. This could become problematic, since the economic situation has been worsening, notably with fewer public jobs available. Hence there is a need for international donors to keep supporting Jordan in a difficult regional environment, for the government of Jordan to wittily manage the balance between Transjordanians and West Bankers in the near future and for new workers to alter their expectations in searching for opportunities outside the public sector.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Democratization, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Tunisia
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: A decade after Saddam Hussein's fall, Iraq still lacks a centralized foreign policy that advances its national interests. Internal divisions, such as those between the Shia-dominated regime in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil, have given rise to alternative power centers with their own policy priorities. Iraqi foreign policy will remain disjointed and incoherent until Baghdad resolves the issues polarizing the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Oil, Governance
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The question of Sunni Arab participation in Iraq's political order that has plagued the transition since its inception is as acute and explosive as ever. Quickly marginalised by an ethno-sectarian apportionment that confined them to minority status in a system dominated by Shiites and Kurds, most community members first shunned the new dispensation then fought it. Having gradually turned from insurgency to tentative political involvement, their wager produced only nominal representation, while reinforcing feelings of injustice and discrimination. Today, with frustration at a boil, unprecedented Sunni-Shiite polarisation in the region and deadly car bombings surging across the country since the start of Ramadan in July, a revived sectarian civil war is a serious risk. To avoid it, the government should negotiate local ceasefires with Sunni officials, find ways to more fairly integrate Sunni Arabs in the political process and cooperate with local actors to build an effective security regime along the Syrian border.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Political Economy, Terrorism, Fragile/Failed State, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Christina Bennett
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Though the violent conflict in Syria shows few signs of abating and scenarios for any post conflict solution are numerous and vague, renewed interest in peace talks presents an important opportunity to discuss the parameters of peace and reconstruction in Syria.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Arabia, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Sam Khazai
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iraq is in an ongoing struggle to establish a new national identity, and one that can bridge across the deep sectarian divisions between its Shi'ites and Sunnis as well as the ethnic divisions between its Arabs and its Kurds and other minorities. At the same time, Iraq's leaders must try to build a new structure of governance, economics, and social order after a mix of dictatorship, war, sanctions, occupation, and civil conflict that began in the 1970s and have continued ever since.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Post Colonialism, Regime Change, Counterinsurgency, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A simmering conflict over territories and resources in north-ern Iraq is slowly coming to a boil. In early April 2012, the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) suspended its supply of oil for export through the national Iraqi pipeline, claiming Baghdad had not fully repaid operating costs to producing companies. The federal government responded by threatening to deduct what the oil would have generated in sales from the KRG's annual budget allocation, poten-tially halving it. This latest flare-up in perennially tense Erbil-Baghdad relations has highlighted the troubling fact that not only have the two sides failed to resolve their dif-ferences but also that, by striking out on unilateral courses, they have deepened them to the point that a solution appears more remote than ever. It is late already, but the best way forward is a deal between Baghdad and Erbil, centred on a federal hydrocarbons law and a compromise on dis-puted territories. International actors – the UN with its tech-nical expertise, the U.S. given its unique responsibility as well as strategic interest in keeping things on an even keel – should launch a new initiative to bring the two back to the table.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Ethnic Conflict, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Austin Long
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: War is fundamentally a clash of organizations. Organizations provide the vital mechanisms that mobilize and convert resources into combat power as well as applying that combat power against the enemy. This is true not only of conventional militaries, but also of insurgent and terrorist groups. Organizational capacity is thus a crucial determinant of success in conflict. Stephen Biddle, for example, attributes heavy causal weight for success in modern conventional military conflict to the relative capacity of military organizations to employ a set of techniques he terms “the modern system.” Philip Selznick argues that organization is equally crucial for success in political combat, where subversion of other organizations is as important as brute force.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Kathleen Kuehnast, Hodei Sultan, Manal Omar, Steven E. Steiner
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In transitioning countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, women are increasingly finding their rights limited by state and religious leaders. Cultural and national stereotypes can be quickly overcome by the shared backgrounds, accomplishments, obstacles, and aspirations of women in transitioning countries. Women living in countries in transition value opportunities to network with women from other countries in similar situations. Women leaders from Afghanistan and Iraq have genuine concerns about the challenges facing women in the Arab Spring. Their valuable opinions are based on their own experiences of overcoming those challenges. It is essential that women work together and with men to further women's rights. Women must plan for a transition before it happens and have a strategy of work going into the transition process. Laws empowering and protecting women do not work if they are not enforced. International donors need a long-term view of women's programming, as much of the required work will take time. Donors should consider nonurban areas when working with women, and when possible nonelite partners, as these leaders understand the limitations of local conditions. It is possible for women's groups to find common ground with religious leaders.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Gender Issues, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert M. Perito
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In 2004, the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi security forces faced a growing challenge from insurgents and militia groups as the country drifted toward civil war. In street battles with heavily armed insurgent and militia groups, Iraq's fledgling police units mutinied under fire and resigned en masse, pointing out shortfalls in the U.S. police training program. In response, the U.S. government transferred leadership of the U.S. police assistance program from the State Department to the Defense Department, which created heavy police tactical units capable of dealing with armed groups. At the same time, the Iraqi interior ministry independently organized police commando units composed of former Iraqi soldiers that successfully fought alongside U.S. military forces. In 2005, the installation of a new Iraqi government and the escalation of sectarian violence brought a change in the composition of the Iraqi police commando units. The new interior minister, a senior Shiite party official, enabled members of Shiite militia groups to take over the police commando units and engage in the kidnap, torture, and murder of Sunnis. To control police death squads, the U.S. military combined all of Iraq's heavy police and police commando units into a new entity, the Iraq National Police (INP). In October 2006, the U.S. military began a program to retrain police commando units that were engaged in sectarian violence. Over the following year, Iraq's new interior minister, Jawad al-Bolani, undertook a program to reform the INP, appointing a new commanding general, purging the officer corps, and inviting a training team from the Italian Carabinieri to provide advanced instruction for INP units. In 2007, INP units successfully partnered with U.S. combat brigade teams that were deployed to Baghdad as part of President Bush's surge of U.S. military force into Iraq. Over the next two years, the valor of Iraqi constabulary units and their acceptance in both Sunni and Shiite areas brought a new name, the Iraq Federal Police (IFP), and the deployment of an IFP unit to every province in the country. Lessons learned in the development of an indigenous police constabulary in Iraq should be applied to current and future stability operation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Law Enforcement, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: John K. Naland
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Embedded provincial reconstruction teams (ePRTs) were small State Department- led units inserted into U.S. combat brigades in Iraq from 2007 to 2010 to support military counterinsurgency efforts at the local level. During major combat operations in 2007 and into 2008, ePRTs provided important support to military counterinsurgency efforts. As U.S. combat units wound down these efforts and withdrew from towns and cities, ePRTs did useful-but harder to quantify-work in mentoring local officials. Combat brigades and ePRTs generally worked well together. However, some units were unsure of how best to employ civilians. The military and civilians also sometimes had differing views on issues of short-term versus long-term goals. Despite problems, ePRT veterans believe that they had a positive effect in both supporting military counterinsurgency efforts and helping local Iraqi officials prepare for self-reliance. Interviewees identified a variety of operational problems that detracted from ePRT mission accomplishment. The Iraq ePRTs are now history, but as the United States continues to use civil-military teams in Afghanistan, these observed lessons need to be learned and acted upon.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As a long-standing order breaks down, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab states of the Levant and the Gulf face both new competition and fresh opportunities for cooperation. The implosion of Iraq in the wake of the 2003 invasion removed an important buffer state, drawing Turkey, Iran, and the Arab states closer, creating friction between them, but also new common interests. The planned U.S. withdrawal from Iraq will force Iraq's neighbors to find new ways of managing those interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Paralysis by democracy : lack of national unity government Lack of government effectiveness and capacity at every level Remnants of insurgency and possible revival Sectarian and ethnic challenges Budget crisis, crippled economy, loss of foreign aid Halt in progress in developing Iraqi security forces Coming US withdrawal Uncertain neighbors
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As a rule, Iraq's post-Saddam elections have tended to magnify pre-existing negative trends. The parliamentary polls to be held on 7 March are no exception. The focus on electoral politics is good, no doubt, but the run-up has highlighted deep-seated problems that threaten the fragile recovery: recurring election-related violence; ethnic tensions over Kirkuk; the re-emergence of sectarianism; and blatant political manipulation of state institutions. The most egregious development was the decision to disqualify over 500 candidates, a dangerous, arbitrary step lacking due process, yet endorsed by the Shiite ruling parties. Under normal circumstances, that alone might have sufficed to discredit the elections. But these are not normal circumstances, and for the sake of Iraq's stability, the elections must go on. At a minimum, however, the international community should ramp up its electoral monitoring and define clear red lines that need to be respected if the results are to be considered legitimate. And it should press the next government to seriously tackle the issue – long-neglected yet never more critical – of national reconciliation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Nicholas J. Armstrong, Jacqueline Chura-Beaver.
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, members of the international community have undertaken more than 20 major operations to stabilize post-conflict societies, yielding mixed results. Stability operations are tremendously complex and demand successful direction of multiple, simultaneous transitions that range from transforming violent conflict to a sustainable, peaceful environment, to the process of forging sustainable governing institutions from fragile or nonexistent infrastructure. Yet, the very notion of transition eludes policymakers, professionals, and scholars because the concept lacks precise meaning, and its application varies according to context and conditions. At no other time has understanding transition been more critical, especially as “clear, hold, build, transition” becomes the dominant theme for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Together, professionals and academics share the challenge and opportunity to improve how the international community conducts stability operations—through the comprehensive understanding and implementation of transition.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Theory, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Andrew Bennet, Andrew Loomis
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
  • Abstract: Focusing on the evolving views of the 77 U.S. Senators who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002, we seek to explain why some political leaders changed their views markedly from 2002 to 2008 and others did not. We argue that in view of the great preponderance of evidence that the initial premises of U.S. intervention in Iraq were not fulfilled, Bayesian updating cannot by itself explain the persistence of divergent views on Iraq. It is also puzzling that a half-dozen senators persisted in their support of Bush's position on Iraq even though this may have contributed to their electoral defeat. We use a combination of political and psychological variables, including ideology, party affiliation, safety of the senator's seat, military service, cognitive style, and presidential aspirations to explain why some senators changed their public positions on Iraq within a year, others did so by 2006, still others in 2007, and some changed very little in more than five years. We combine these variables into a typological theory and test it against a qualitative analysis of 20 senators' views on Iraq. We conclude that our model is relatively successful in predicting not only when senators' views changed but what rationales they gave for why their initial expectations were not borne out. We also note several senators who prove important anomalies for our model, including Senators Lieberman, who was the only Democrat who did not move toward opposing Bush's policies, and McCain, who thus far has not moved toward the political center on Iraq despite having effectively secured his party's nomination.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Candidate Obama pledged that his Middle East policy would include re-engagement with Syria; President Obama will find that the past is not easily overcome. The reasons behind his vow remain pertinent. Syria holds important cards in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine, is Iran's most important Arab ally and has substantial influence over Hamas and Hizbollah. There are indications of potential common ground on which to build, from resuming Israeli-Syrian negotiations, to consolidating progress in Iraq to blunting the rise of jihadi militancy and sectarianism. But significant obstacles to healthy, mutually beneficial relations remain, along with a legacy of estrangement and distrust. They dictate the need for a prudent approach that seeks first to rebuild ties and restore confidence. It will be critical to reassure Damascus that the U.S. is interested in improving relations and resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict, not in regime change. It is also equally critical not to compromise on core principles such as Lebanon's sovereignty or the integrity of the international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Manuel R. Torres Soriano, Javier García Marín
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: Existe un acuerdo casi unánime entre aquellos estudiosos que han investigado la compleja realidad de la guerra: el creciente papel que tiene la gestión de la información pública en el desarrollo de los conflictos bélicos (Libicki, 1995; Alberts et al., 2001, Armistead, 2004). Esta preponderancia se manifestó en algunos de los conflictos de la década de los noventa, como la llamada Guerra del Golfo, y en los de la antigua Yugoslavia y Kosovo. A pesar de que en ellos la gestión de la información jugó un papel destacado en la estrategia de los contendientes, el desenlace de estos conflictos estuvo vinculado a los tradicionales elementos del “poder duro”, según la distinción de Josehp Nye (1990). Sin embargo, en los últimos años, hemos podido asistir a un acelerado incremento de la importancia del componente “inmaterial” de la guerra. La generalización y sofisticación de las nuevas tecnologías de la información, junto con la aparición de una nueva tipología de conflicto caracterizado por la asimetría en la naturaleza y fines de los contendientes, han situado a la dimensión informativa de los conflictos en el lugar central de toda reflexión sobre la naturaleza de las guerras del presente y el futuro.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Maryland
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The top concern for both Riyadh and Damascus remains blowback from Iraq: the ascendance of ethnic and sectarian identity and the spread of Islamist militancy. The need to contain this threat is the dominant force that shapes their relations with Iraq. Both Syria and Saudi Arabia have a vital interest in ensuring that Iraq's emerging political order is inclusive of Sunni Arab Iraqis, who have not yet been fully incorporated into Iraqi institutions. Syria and Saudi Arabia do not look at Iraq in isolation, nor do they assign it top priority among their foreign policy concerns. For them, Iraq is merely one element in a comprehensive view encompassing other regional players (including the U.S. and Iran) and other regional crises, particularly the Arab-Israeli conflict. Lingering resentment and bitterness toward Washington is now mixed with intense curiosity and modest optimism about President Barack Obama. Saudis still bristle when recalling how the Bush Administration sidelined Riyadh on Iraqi matters; as do Syrians, who believe the previous administration was intent on isolating and undermining Damascus. Iraq remains very much isolated in its neighborhood. Recent Progress on regional cooperation notwithstanding, these two neighbors are still focused more on containment than engagement.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: David Waldner
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Post-conflict, post-totalitarian societies like Iraq possess many economic, political, social, and cultural characteristics that are not conducive to democratic governance. A central pillar of democracy promotion is that judicious institutional engineering—crafting new institutions and other elements outlining the democratic rules of the game—can overcome these obstacles and engender stable democracies.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Regime Change, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Brian Fishman
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Al-Qa`ida in Iraq (AQI) is a shadow of its former self, primarily because broad sectors of Iraq's Sunni population rejected it after more than three years of active and tacit cooperation. Anger over AQI's brutal radicalism infused the Sunni backlash against jihadists, but AQI also made two fundamental strategic overreaches that exacerbated its alienation from Sunnis in Iraq. First, it incited a sectarian backlash from Iraqi Shi'a without the means to defend Iraq's Sunnis from the onslaught it provoked. Second, AQI created a formal political entity, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), to dominate Iraq after a U.S. withdrawal without adequate support from Iraq's Sunni population.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Bryan Groves
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: As President George W. Bush relinquishes the reigns as Commander-in-Chief to President Barak Obama, it is fitting to reflect on how the country will remember President Bush in years to come. Whether or not one agrees with his decision to commit U.S. forces to military action against Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath Party regime in Iraq, it is clear that Bush's legacy will largly be determined by how Iraq turns out--whether as a stable, free, and peace-loving democracy or something short of that. There is certainly plenty of room for continued improvement in the conditions on the ground and ample time for the political, security, and economic situation to yet deteriorate. Yet, since "The Surge" and the change in U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, developments in Iraq have taken a fundamentally and undeniably positive turn.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Democratization, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Against the odds, the U.S. military surge contributed to a significant reduction in violence. Its achievements should not be understated. But in the absence of the fundamental political changes in Iraq the surge was meant to facilitate, its successes will remain insufficient, fragile and reversible. The ever-more relative lull is an opportunity for the U.S. to focus on two missing ingredients: pressuring the Iraqi government to take long overdue steps toward political compromise and altering the regional climate so that Iraq's neighbours use their leverage to encourage that compromise and make it stick. As shown in these two companion reports, this entails ceasing to provide the Iraqi government with unconditional military support; reaching out to what remains of the insurgency; using its leverage to encourage free and fair provincial elections and progress toward a broad national dialogue and compact; and engaging in real diplomacy with all Iraq's neighbours, Iran and Syria included.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Against the odds, the U.S. military surge contributed to a significant reduction in violence. Its achievements should not be understated. But in the absence of the fundamental political changes in Iraq the surge was meant to facilitate, its successes will remain insufficient, fragile and reversible. The ever-more relative lull is an opportunity for the U.S. to focus on two missing ingredients: pressuring the Iraqi government to take long overdue steps toward political compromise and altering the regional climate so that Iraq's neighbours use their leverage to encourage that compromise and make it stick. As shown in these two companion reports, this entails ceasing to provide the Iraqi government with unconditional military support; reaching out to what remains of the insurgency; using its leverage to encourage free and fair provincial elections and progress toward a broad national dialogue and compact; and engaging in real diplomacy with all Iraq's neighbours, Iran and Syria included.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: David Steele
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: A Window of opportunity now exists for post-conflict reconstruction in Iraq despite the resurgence of violence in the spring of 2008. The creation of Sunni Awakening Councils, the ongoing presence of sufficient U.S. troops, and the decrease in combat activity by the Mahdi Army provide a real, though tenuous, opportunity to continue building on the gains of the past year. In all societies emerging from conflict, reconciliation efforts are the glue that holds the post-conflict reconstruction process together. Reconciliation must be pursued not only on national but also on local levels and not only in the political but also in the social domain. At all points within a society, people and groups must be encouraged to work together constructively for the common good. Reconciliation in Iraq must be approached with sensitivity to its shame-oriented culture, which emphasizes community, authority, honor, and hospitality. Reconciliation must also be approached with an awareness of the importance of primary identity markers—religion, ethnicity, tribe, and family—and the possibilities for creating bonds based on secondary markers—class, profession, internally displaced persons (IDP) status, and so forth. Moving toward reconciliation in the context of slevere and widespread violence requires that special attention be given to steps one can take to break the pattern of revenge and transform relationships. These steps include mourning, confronting fears, identifying needs, acknowledging responsibility, envisioning restorative and operational justice, and choosing to forgive. When good groundwork has been laid in relationship building, then groups in conflict are better able to engage in constructive dispute resolution. Seven elements form the basis for this process of negotiation or problem solving: identifying interests, alternatives, options, and criteria, and working on relationships, communication, and commitments. Internationals need to develop programming that focuses on process, rather than substance, to train and equip local Iraqis to be more effective mediators and facilitators. This programming should include conflict assessment, psychosocial and spiritual healing, conflict resolution training, facilitated dialogue, and problem solving.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Samuel Grier
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: There is an expectation that the West, and the United States in particular, faces catastrophe in Iraq and Afghanistan. Confronted with significant casualties arising from the employment of asymmetric warfare by determined adversaries, the United States and its NATO and Coalition partners have found decisive solutions to both conflicts elusive. Similarly, the challenges confronting Iraqis are daunting, and according to the recently released declassified Key Findings of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, dependence on Coalition forces as an essential stabilizing element in Iraq will continue.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Michael O'Hanlon, Kenneth Pollack
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: From July 17-25 we travelled extensively in central, western and nor thern Iraq. The trip was sponsored by the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) command and so afforded unparalleled access to U.S. and Iraqi military personnel. We spoke at length with the four principal American division commands in those sectors, as well as nearly half of the brigade commanders and their staffs, as well as several battalion and even company commanders. We also met with senior U.S. personnel from the Detainee Forces command, and from the training command known as MNSTCI, as well as a number of Iraqi police and army officers. Similarly, MNF-I saw to it that we were able to meet with key civilian personnel in a variety of PRTs/EPRTs, the U.S. Ambassador, the President's Special Envoy, the CIA station, the US AID mission, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq. Both through our own contacts and those of the military, we also were able to meet with a number of the senior most members of the current Iraqi government (including President Talabani, Vice President 'Abd al-Mahdi, Foreign Minister Zebari, Deputy Prime Minister Salih, and National Security Adviser ar-Rubaie).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: J. Peter Pham
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: In a report on the United Nations-supervised disarmament process in Sierra Leone, veteran Washington Post correspondent Douglas Farah described the pathos of the ragged Revolutionary United Front (RUF) fighters: many were barely into their teens, straggling into a processing center in the diamond-rich eastern district of Kono with little more than ill-fitting rags draped over their emaciated bodies (Farah 2001). There was little evidence that these broken youths had, just a short while earlier, been part of one of the most brutal and effective insurgencies in the world, one whose strategy was predicated on terror in its most primordial expression. Farah's piece was headlined, “They Fought for Nothing, and That's What They Got,” a succinct description of a conflict that struck many as senseless, despite its heavy toll in lives and property.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Rend Al-Rahim Francke
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: People who live in the red zone have mixed experiences of the security situation. Residents of some “hot” neighborhoods of Baghdad say that the presence of Americans has a deterrent effect on militias, gangs and snipers—and thus gives comfort to citizens- - whereas Iraqi forces, including the police, army units, or pesh merga sent down from Kurdistan, do little to confront trouble-makers. For example, some neighborhoods within the larger Amiriya district have benefited from U.S. intervention, while others, such as Furat and Jihad, are still in conflict because U.S. forces have not intervened and Iraqi police and army do a poor job of stopping violence and intimidation. The higher U.S. profile is also credited for a decline in the number of suicide bombings and a decrease in mass sectarian killings and kidnappings in the city. Another factor contributing to a sense of greater safety in Baghdad is the success of U.S.-Iraqi force in the area south of Baghdad (the so-called Triangle of Death), where Sunni tribes have recently cooperated with U.S. forces. Residents of some neighborhoods said that for the first time in over a year they have been able to shop in their area in relative peace and stay out after dark.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East, Baghdad
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Iraq's Persian Gulf neighbors supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq in order to preserve the status quo—a weak and self-absorbed Iraq—rather than to impose a new one. However, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and its aftermath have not brought stability to the Gulf States as much as they have shifted the most serious challenges from external threats (of a hostile Baghdad) to internal threats (the threat of conflict spillover from Iraq). Kuwait fears the growth of Iranian influence in Iraq and the possibility that Iraqi Shia unrest will spill across its own borders. Although many Kuwaitis question the wisdom and capacity of the United States in managing Iraq's internal problems, Kuwait has provided significant support to U.S. military action in Iraq and the country's reconstruction efforts. Qatar has supported U.S. military actions in Iraq by hosting the U.S. Central Command but still maintains the perception of nonalignment. For example, Doha hosts prominent former Iraqi Baathists, not to mention Saddam's own family members. The interest of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Iraq is secondary to its concern over Iran, with which it has a long-standing dispute over ownership of three islands in the Gulf. The unresolved dispute with Tehran over the islands heightens the UAE's concerns about the rising Iranian influence in Iraq. To bolster its relationship with the United States, the UAE offered training to hundreds of Iraqi troops and police recruits in 2004–2005, hosted the first Preparatory Group Meeting for the International Compact with Iraq in September 2006, and funded reconstruction efforts in Iraq through the United Nations and the World Bank. On post-Saddam regional security issues, member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) seem to be more “market takers” than “market makers,” showing little inclination to shape the nature of a larger and potentially more powerful neighbor. Instead, they are focused on immediate choices for calibrating a proper relationship with Washington in a way that accommodates many other important relationships.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Kuwait, Tehran, Baghdad, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Persia
  • Author: Babak Rahimi
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since spring 2003, Sistani has become the preeminent and best financed of the grand ayatollahs remaining in the city of Najaf—and by extension, in Iraq. He remains one of the most powerful figures in Iraq and he brings the Shi'is closer together across the greater Middle East. Since 1997, the Internet has increased the size and the prestige of Sistani's social organization to an astonishing degree on a global basis. Like his father, Sistani is an adherent of a democratic Shi'i tradition that dates back to the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906 to 1911 and continued with the Khatami reformist movement (1997–2005). As the general representative of the Hidden Imam, quietist Sistani can remain totally aloof from all political matters, while at times of perceived moral decadence, political corruption, great injustice, or foreign occupation, he can become more active in political affairs by engaging in activities such as consultation, guidance, and even the promotion of sacred norms in public life. Sistani's religious network is increasingly becoming an important source of local governance in southern Iraq, where many Iraqis are hired and at times agree to conduct duties that are usually carried out by the state. Sistani's insistence on recognizing Islam as a fundamental component of the Iraqi constitution is not intended to make Iraq an Islamist state based on juridical sharia strictures, but rather to limit the total secularization of the constitution, which would deprive a Muslim country of an “authentic” national identity based on its Islamic heritage. Sistani could contribute to reducing sectarian tensions by working with other Sunni and Shi'i religious leaders (including tribal leaders) to organize a National Reconciliation Initiative in order to display a united, powerful Sunni-Shi'i front with an emphasis on common Islamic ideals; to express condemnation of anti-Shi'i Wahabi extremism and anti-Sunni Shi'i radicalism; and to form communal solidarity through the ceremonial process of intersectarian group gatherings. Sistani remains a key religious figure who has influence as a peacemaker and mediator among various Shi'i factions and ethnic groups in Basra and Kirkuk that are competing for economic and territorial dominance in the northern and southern regions of the country. As long as the state army is unable to independently fight off the Sunni insurgency and Shi'i militias, it is highly unlikely that Sistani will call for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Sistani is mainly concerned with maintaining stability in the region while rejecting any form of U.S. military adventurism that could seriously endanger the integrity and autonomy of Muslim countries in the greater Middle East. Although Sistani is still a powerful figure within Iraq, his influence has diminished since the bombing of the Shi'i shrine in Samarra in February 2006 and the ensuing increase in Sunni–Shi'i violence. Washington should recognize that until the sectarian warfare subsides, there is no effective way for Sistani to become involved in the Iraqi political process. However, Washington should engage Sistani now, because of the positive role he would have in the democratization of Iraq if the sectarian tensions subside.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Kirkuk, Basra
  • Author: Timothy Carney
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The military surge that was launched in February 2007 has improved the security situation in Baghdad and adjacent regions. It has curbed sectarian violence in the capital and reduced the freedom of action and the support base of insurgents and terrorists in the central governorates. The rationale for the surge was to provide an opportunity for political agreements to be negotiated among Iraqis, but political progress has been stalled and has not matched the security improvements. A political settlement is essential for sustaining the security gains and for longer- term stability. Despite the declaration of a national reconciliation plan by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki in June 2006, by the fall of 2007 only limited progress had been made toward reconciling the differences between the political groups and forging a national agenda. The dominance of sectarian political groups has fueled polarization, and the inability of the government and Parliament to adopt crucial legislation is a measure of continuing distrust between the groups. Serious political dialogue between the sect- based parties has proved difficult and the results are limited. At the same time intra-sectarian rivalries are increasing, particularly in the southern governorates, where the Sadris and the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq vie for political and economic control of the region. Iraqi institutions have lost ground in the past year. Iraqi ministers from Sunni, Shia, and secular groups have withdrawn from the cabinet, adversely affecting the performance of the government. The sectarian blocs that entered Parliament in December 2005 have lost their cohesiveness. The Shia United Iraqi Alliance has unraveled, and the Sunni Tawafuq coalition is strained. The emergence of tribal forces in Anbar governorate presents opportunities and challenges to the Sunnis and the Shia alike. As the sectarian blocs weaken and the Anbar tribes seek a political role, new alliances are beginning to emerge, and some may succeed in crossing sectarian and regional divides. The debate in Washington has been restricted to the level and duration of U.S. troop presence in Iraq. In the coming months, the debate should turn to means of supporting the political process and strengthening governance in Iraq as a path to stability. Bottom-up approaches to reconciliation and accommodation do not obviate the need for a broader political settlement. The United States should support a sustained international mediation effort led by the UN Security Council resulting in an Iraqi compact endorsed by Iraq's neighbors and the international comm unity. Iraqi efforts to develop cross-sectarian political alliances and national platforms need to be encouraged. The incorporation of the Anbar tribes into national politics is important to sustaining security gains. A competent national government in Baghdad is essential to the long-term stability of Iraq. A weak government will be unable to ensure the internal and external security of the country or manage revenues. More effort and resources are needed to strengthen the competence and effectiveness of the Iraqi government.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Robert M. Perito
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The first obligation of an international intervention force in a peace or stability operation is to provide security for the civilian population. Inevitably the arrival of foreign military forces is followed by a breakdown of public order. Historically U.S. military forces have been unable or unwilling to perform police functions to control large-scale civil unrest. This was true in Iraq, where looters destroyed government buildings, cultural centers, and commercial areas. The United States lacks civilian constabulary (gendarmes) or other national police forces specially trained for crowd and riot control. Instead the U.S. relies on civil police provided by commercial contractors that do not perform this function. Fortunately the U.S. government is taking steps to address this deficiency. Current State Department plans call for creation of a Civilian Reserve Corps that would have a police component. There is no agreement on the ultimate size and character of this police capacity. However, the history of U.S. interventions from Panama to Iraq argues for a robust capability. A review of U.S. interventions in post-conflict environments demonstrates that the United States has repeatedly needed highly capable police forces but has lacked the capacity to respond effectively. The case studies in this report provide lessons applicable to future operations. The State Department's current efforts are a useful first step that will give an opportunity to create the basic infrastructure for expansion of U.S. capabilities in peace and stability operations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Security, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Bill Elliot, Anna R. Wittman
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In early 2005, Kurt M. Campbell, Director of CSIS' International Security Program, accompanied Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on a trip to Asia. Enroute, the Secretary and several of his close aides expressed an interest in learning more about the future of missile defenses in East Asia and the Subcontinent. Although familiar with the missile defense policies of countries in the region, they were concerned about how those policies were being implemented, whether the various national efforts were complementary or counterproductive, and how those efforts might affect the US approach to missile defense architecture.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Sara B. Moller, Eric M. Brewer
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: May 1, 2003 President George W. Bush declares an end to major combat operations in Iraq. The U.S. lost 138 soldiers during the war. Seven U.S. soldiers are wounded when grenades are thrown at an American base in Fallujah, a stronghold for Saddam Hussein loyalists. Earlier, U.S. troops killed 15 civilians at a protest in the city.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Maryland
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The bomb attack on a sacred Shiite shrine in Samarra on 22 February 2006 and subsequent reprisals against Sunni mosques and killings of Sunni Arabs is only the latest and bloodiest indication that Iraq is teetering on the threshold of wholesale disaster. Over the past year, social and political tensions evident since the removal of the Baathist regime have turned into deep rifts. Iraq's mosaic of communities has begun to fragment along ethnic, confessional and tribal lines, bringing in stability and violence to many areas, especially those with mixed populations. The most urgent of these incipient conflicts is a Sunni-Shiite schism that threatens to tear the country apart. Its most visible manifestation is a dirty war being fought between a small group of insurgents bent on fomenting sectarian strife by killing Shiites and certain government commando units carrying out reprisals against the Sunni Arab community in whose midst the insurgency continues to thrive. Iraqi political actors and the international community must act urgently to prevent a low-intensity conflict from escalating into an all-out civil war that could lead to Iraq's disintegration and destabilise the entire region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Alan Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Three workshops explored hundreds of forces and factors relevant to insurgency outcomes and focused on key drivers to develop five alternative scenarios. These scenarios reflected the participants' perception that positive outcomes would be hard to achieve, and negative outcomes could be foreseen much more easily. The workshops' principal finding is that U.S. goals for Iraq and the region should be reexamined and scaled back. The administration's expressed goal of “an Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country” is possible only in the very long term. Avoidance of disaster and maintenance of some modicum of political stability in Iraq are more realistic goals—but even these will be hard to achieve without new strategies and actions. The scenarios include recommended adjustments to U.S. goals and strategies to achieve reduced expectations. Unfortunately, the United States is now in a position to influence but not to control outcomes; it will have to engage and enlist the cooperation of Iraq's neighbors to attain success. This report broadly outlines the strategies that appear best suited to the current situation and the unfolding futures the participants envisioned.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: A. Rashied Omar
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: In the Spring of 2006 an Afghan citizen, Abdul Rahman, who had converted from Islam to Christianity was arrested under local shari`ah law which mandates the death penalty for apostasy. As a result of international pressure Abdul Rahman was released and given asylum in Italy. This widely publicized incident highlighted the urgent need for Muslims to seriously reexamine the restrictive shari`ah laws on apostasy. It is unfortunate, however, that this case took place in the war ravaged context of Afghanistan, where relief aid for the victims of war is dispensed by Christian agencies some with a primarily evangelistic agenda. A similar program of aid evangelism has been undertaken in wartorn Iraq. The activities of such groups have reinvigorated the debate over whether it is ethical for philanthropical activities and humanitarian service to be undertaken with the primary intent to proselytize. The legitimacy of religious conversion and the ethics of mission are challenging issues. But they are also pertinent issues that should form part of an honest dialogical encounter between Christians and Muslims, since they have important implications for conflict transformation and interreligious peacebuilding.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Crime, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: David L. Phillips
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Iraq's elections on January 30, 2005, were a watershed in the country's history. Still, democracy involves much more than voting. It is about the distribution of political power through institutions and laws that guarantee accountable rule. The real fight for power will be over Iraq's permanent constitution.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: From Saudi Arabia's establishment in 1932, its minority Shiite population has been subject to discrimination and sectarian incitement. Beginning in the early 1990s, with then Crown Prince Abdullah's active support, the government took steps to improve inter-sectarian relations. But the measures were modest, and tensions are rising. The war in Iraq has had a notable effect, strengthening Shiite aspirations and Sunni suspicions and generally deepening confessional divisions throughout the region. King Abdullah needs to act resolutely to improve the lot of the two-million strong Shiite community and rein in domestic expressions of anti-Shiite hostility.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Anja H. Ebnöther, Philipp H. Fluri
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Austrian National Defence Academy
  • Abstract: The transition from interventionist (military) peace-keeping to local (civilian) ownership of public security management has proved not only to be a severe challenge for most peace-keeping operations and their civilian administrators, but also a reason for such operations being prolonged at tremendous cost. In many cases, peace-keeping operations and/or other international agents rapidly became part of the local economy, and thus contributed to the preservation of the status quo rather than to a sustainable process leading toward local governance; meanwhile local police organs - often remnants of the winning force in the antecedent conflict - remained tribal or clannish in their approaches and interests. They could thus hardly be seen as enforcement agencies of a law which remains equally applied to all citizens.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, International Organization, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Balkans
  • Author: Reidar Visser
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This paper deals with non-conformist ideas among Iraqi Shi'is about the territorial integrity of the modern state of Iraq. Two findings are presented. First, new Internet communications technology has enabled radical Shi'is outside the main clerical, intellectual and political establishments to propagate visions of an independent Shi'i state for the areas south of Baghdad, a scheme that runs counter to a robust and long-standing anti-separatist tradition among wider sections of the Shi'i community. Secondly, by choosing the Internet as their primary modus operandi, the Shi'i separatists also expose their relative weakness vis-à-vis other and less radical trends in Iraqi Shi'i society.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas R. Pickering, James R. Schlesinger, Eric P. Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On March 20, 2003, the United States launched Operation Iraqi Freedom, designed to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein. By mid-April, major fighting was essentially over, and on May 1, the United States declared an end to major combat operations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Paul X. Kelley, Richard L. Garwin, Graham T. Allison
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In the four weeks of “major conflict” in Iraq that began on March 19, 2003, U.S. forces demonstrated the power of training, transformation, and joint operations. However, the ensuing support and stability phase has been plagued by looting, sabotage, and insurgency. Wider integration of existing types of nonlethal weapons (NLW) into the U.S. Army and Marine Corps could have helped to reduce the damage done by widespread looting and sabotage after the cessation of major conflict in Iraq. Incorporating these and additional forms of nonlethal capabilities more broadly into the equipment, training, and doctrine of the armed services could substantially improve U.S. effectiveness in achieving the goals of modern war. Nonlethal weapons and capabilities have much to offer also in the conduct of war, in the prevention of hostilities, and in support of homeland defense. Indeed, a force using nonlethal weapons and capabilities has the potential of achieving combat and support goals more effectively than would a force employing only lethal means. How to achieve these benefits is the subject of this report.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Iraq war, Washington and Damascus have been locked in a dialogue of the deaf. U.S. policy has been reduced to a series of demands and threats. Syrian policy, with President Bashar still struggling to formulate and implement a coherent strategy, has been mainly wait-and-see – offering a few concessions and hoping to weather the storm while refusing to relinquish what it sees as trump cards (support for Hizbollah and radical Palestinian groups) so long as the conflict with Israel continues. Despite the current deadlock, however, the current regional situation presents an opportunity for an intensive, U.S.-led diplomatic effort to revive the Israeli-Syrian peace process and thereby achieve significant changes in Syrian policy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Israel, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The paper, written for a joint project of the Gulf Research Center in Dubai and the Bertelsmann Foundation, explores whether the lessons from the transformation of Europe from a conflict formation into a security community could be transferred to the Persian Gulf region. It records and analyses the European experience with "security models" actually applied such as balance-ofpower, nuclear deterrence, arms control and confidence-building, democratic peace, regional integration etc. as well as various alternative models such as common security and defensive restructuring of the armed forces. It further analyses the structure and dynamics of the Persian Gulf region, finding few of the European models to be really applicable. It concludes with outlining two different scenarios for the development of the region after the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: The conclusion of the Cold War between 1989-1991 opened new horizons for the United Nations and created expectations that the UN would emerge from the margins of world events to the focus of world politics. But many events since then -- in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Iraq -- have undermined confidence in international institutions. A history of the UN's activities since the end of the East-West conflict conjures up names of recent infamy, such as Sarajevo, Mogadishu, Kigali, and Srebrenica, and revisits images of failure and impotence in the face of violence. These crises undermined much of the optimism that greeted the end of the Cold War at the United Nations. The founding dream in 1945 of a community of nations defending human rights and promoting collective security still seems as far from being realized as it did during the height of the Cold War.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Cold War, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Sean Costigan, Adam Mausner, Siheun Song
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: One year into the occupation of Iraq the United States and its Coalition partners remain in discussions over the country's fate. The deliberations have generally focused on the involvement of the United Nations, the schedule for handing over sovereignty to a democratic Iraqi government, and ultimately what the Iraqi government should resemble. The terms of the debate have regularly been sidelined by unforeseen events, including the recent rebellion in Fallujah, Shiite opposition in the south, grandstanding by local politicians, demagoguery, defection of Iraqi police and security forces and the wavering of Coalition partners, to name but a few. While progress is clearly being made in some areas, there are numerous signs that Iraq may not be ready for the June 30 transition of power. The top U.S. administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, has suggested that by June 30 Iraqi security forces simply will not be up to the task of defending against insurgents. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is more optimistic and remains committed to the June 30 deadline.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, United Nations
  • Author: Carl Conetta
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: Progress toward a stable peace in Iraq and the withdrawal of US troops begins with the painful recognition that America's recent troubles are largely self-inflicted. This is due principally to the adoption of mission objectives that far exceed what is necessary or pragmatic.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Carl Conetta
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: The key to enabling total US troop withdrawal from Iraq within 400 days is achieving a political accord with Sunni leaders at all levels and with Iraq's neighbors - especially Syria and Iran. The proximal aim would be to immediately lower the level of conflict inside Iraq by constricting both active and passive support for the insurgency, inside and outside the country. This would allow the United States to shift resources to the training mission and to adopt other de-escalatory measures - most importantly: a withdrawal time line. The strategic price of this diplomatic initiative would be a return to self-governance in Sunni areas, a guaranteed level of representation for these areas in the national assembly, an end to broad-brush measures of de-Baathification, an amnesty for most indigenous insurgents and for most former Baathists, and a de-escalation of the US confrontation with Syria and Iran regarding a range of issues. In conjunction with these diplomatic initiatives, the United States would announce a tentative time line for withdrawal of its troops from Iraq -- associated with training milestones. Also: US forces would end major offensive sweeps inside the country, adopt a defensive posture, and shift the emphasis of their activity to training Iraqi security forces. Finally: the Iraqi government would re-activate portions of the old army -- partly as a confidence-building measure, but also in order to (i) rob insurgent organizations of their recruiting base, (ii) augment the power of the new Iraqi security forces, and (iii) produce a better ethnic balance in the new forces (which are currently dominated by Kurds and Shiites). As new forces increase in capacity, US forces would be removed, further reducing a stimulus of insurgent action. Four hundred days - 57 weeks - is sufficient time to complete several Iraqi training cycles, including field exercises for many units at the battalion and brigade levels. Some division level training also can occur. Given sufficient resources (24,000 training personnel), 100,000 Iraqi security personnel can receive remedial training and another 80,000 new personnel can be trained and exercised during this period. Together with the full provision of all appropriate equipment, this development effort can yield Iraqi security forces that are several times more capable than those it controls in mid-2005. After thirteen months, the only foreign military assets remaining in Iraq would be a small monitoring and training mission with a security detail: less than 10,000 foreign civilian and military personnel in all. US troops should constitute no more than one-third of the military component -- that is, approximately 2,000 troops. This mission should be conducted under a three-year UN mandate and joint NATO-international command. In addition, the United States might maintain a 25,000-person rapid reaction task force in the region, but outside either Iraq or Saudi Arabia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas R. Pickering, James R. Schlesinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If the United States goes to war and removes the regime of Saddam Hussein, American interests will demand an extraordinary commitment of U.S. financial and personnel resources to postconflict transitional assistance and reconstruction. These interests include eliminating Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD); ending Iraqi contacts, whether limited or extensive, with international terrorist organizations; ensuring that a post-transition Iraqi government can maintain the country's territorial integrity and independence while contributing to regional stability; and offering the people of Iraq a future in which they have a meaningful voice in the vital decisions that impact their lives.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Assuming the U.S.-led military operation to topple Saddam Hussein proceeds, the threat is very great of large-scale violence, centred on Kirkuk, erupting in Northern Iraq between Kurds and Turks. If that is to be averted, the United States must urgently take three important steps: get its own forces to Kirkuk first, ensure that Turkey exercises restraint, and simultaneously persuade the Iraqi Kurds to take no action that will risk provoking Turkey.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Arabia, Kirkuk
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: For the foreseeable future, Iraq's security will be in the hands of Coalition forces. As a result, how the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) chose to deal with the country's former military and how it is now going about starting up a new army may not have immediate security implications. But both courses have decisive political implications, and both appear, at a minimum, to have been poorly thought out and recklessly implemented. They heighten the risk that the Sunni population will be further alienated, that the military will be perceived as a prolongation of, rather than a substitute for, the occupation and that, far from helping to forge a new collective national identity, it will become an arena for renewed internal political, sectarian and ethnic conflict. A significant course correction is required in order to lay the foundations for a stable, and stabilising, indigenous security structure.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Politics, Sovereignty, Population
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Tucked away in a handful of villages in a remote pocket of Iraqi Kurdistan, a small group of radical Islamist fighters has been accused of being the Kurdish offspring of the al-Qaeda network, and thus has become a fresh target in the international war on terrorism. To compensate for its limited reach and popularity, this group, called Ansar al-Islam (Partisans of Islam), has built on tenuous regional alliances to survive in the harsh mountainous environment above the town of Halabja in northwestern Iraq, just shy of the border with Iran. These alliances have enhanced its role as a minor spoiler in predominantly secular Kurdish politics in the Suleimaniyeh governorate.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Arabia, Kurdistan
  • Author: Ryan J. Watson
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The National Academy of Public Administration
  • Abstract: Global debate and media awareness of the complex issues involved with post-conflict governance are at an all-time high. With the reconstruction of the Balkans still leaving much left undone, the United States and much of the international community are seeking to balance continued intervention in Afghanistan with the emerging challenge of rebuilding Iraq.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Balkans
  • Author: William Maley, Greg Fry, Alan Dupont, Jean-Pierre Fonteyne, James Jupp, Thuy Do
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: Refugees are quintessentially victims of the states system. If the moral justification of the territorial state is to provide an authority accountable for the well-being of a designated citizenry, then the failure of individual states to discharge this task creates a responsibility on those who otherwise benefit from the system of states to aid those who suffer persecution in the territories in which they are nominally owed a primary duty of care. The number of refugees and other displaced persons in the world is extremely small—roughly 0.3 per cent of the world's population—but each is a precious being, and the way they are treated is a measure not of their worth, but of the moral capacity of those who are in a position to come to their assistance. Life chances in the present world order are to a significant degree arbitrarily determined by the accident of birthplace. Afghans and Iraqis, strongly represented in the world's present refugee population, are not refugees as punishment for their own failings. And ministers and bureaucrats in Western countries, typically enjoying lives of considerable luxury, are rarely well-off in recognition of their outstanding moral virtues; many simply had the good luck to be born in the right countries. If there is a global refugee crisis, it is not in terms of the number of refugees, but in terms of the willingness of wealthy and prosperous peoples to reach out to them. In the following paragraphs, I shall do three things. First, I offer brief overviews of the meaning of 'refugee' and of the current state of the world's refugees. Second, I outline the framework of institutions and measures which has evolved for the management of refugee protection and refugee needs. In conclusion, I offer some observations on the challenges which the refugee regime faces, and on the steps which need to be taken to improve the refugees' positions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Graham T. Allison, Emily Van Buskirk
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The date is July 1, 2001. Real world history and trends occurred as they did through March 19, 2001 — except for the hypothetical departures specified in the case below. Events after March 19 that are not specified in this case are assumed to be straight - line projections of events as they stand on March 19. Assume, for example, that sporadic violence continues in the Middle East at the current level of intensity; Britain and the U.S. are nearing the end of their review of UN sanctions against Iraq, and will soon make recommendations on refocusing the sanctions to make them “smarter”; as expected, Mohammad Khatami was reelected as President of Iran on June 8 with a mandate for continued reform; the price of oil is $25/barrel; events in Chechnya and Ukraine, and negotiations over Nagorno - Karabagh will continue as before.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, United States, Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia, United Nations