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  • Author: Dr. M. Chris Mason
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were lost before they began, not on the battlefields, where the United States won every tactical engagement, but at the strategic level of war. In each case, the U.S. Government attempted to create a Western-style democracy in countries which were decades at least away from being nations with the sociopolitical capital necessary to sustain democracy and, most importantly, accept it as a legitimate source of governance. The expensive indigenous armies created in the image of the U.S. Army lacked both the motivation to fight for illegitimate governments in Saigon, Baghdad, and Kabul and a cause that they believed was worth dying for, while their enemies in the field clearly did not. This book examines the Afghan National Security Forces in historical and political contexts, explains why they will fail at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war, why they cannot and will not succeed in holding the southern half of the country, and what will happen in Afghanistan year-by-year from 2015 to 2019. Finally, it examines what the critical lessons unlearned of these conflicts are for U.S. military leaders, why these fundamental political lessons seem to remain unlearned, and how the strategic mistakes of the past can be avoided in the future.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Politics, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the years since the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Southern Gulf states and the US have developed a de facto strategic partnership based on a common need to deter and defend against any threat from Iran, deal with regional instability in countries like Iraq and Yemen, counter the threat of terrorism and extremism, and deal with the other threats to the flow of Gulf petroleum exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Yemen, Arabia, North America
  • Author: Jessica Lewis
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Anbar is not the only front in Iraq on which Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), now operating as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), is fighting in 2014. ISIS has also established a governorate in Diyala. Its spokesman has named the province the central front in the sectarian conflict he has urged. The security situation and sectarian tension in Diyala province are grave. ISIS has returned to fixed fighting positions within Muqdadiyah, Baqubah, and the Diyala River Valley. Shi'a militias are now active in these areas as well. Increasing instances of population displacement demonstrate the aggregate effect of targeted violence by both groups. It is important to estimate the effects of this displacement and the presence of armed groups within Diyala's major cities in order to understand how deteriorated security conditions in this province will interfere with Iraq's upcoming parliamentary elections. Furthermore, violence in Diyala has historically both driven and reflected inter-ethnic and inter-sectarian violence in other mixed areas of Iraq, including Baghdad. Diyala is therefore a significant bellwether for how quickly these types of violence will spread to other provinces.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Azeem Ibrahim
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Syrian civil war has allowed al-Qaeda to recover from its setbacks up to 2010. Its main affiliate in the region seems to be testing a new strategy of collaboration with other Salafist-Jihadist groups and a less brutal implementation of Sharia law in areas it controls. In combination, this might allow the Al Nusrah Front to carve out the sort of territorial control of a region (or state) that al-Qaeda has sought ever since its eviction from Afghanistan. On the other hand, Syria has also seen a civil war between two al-Qaeda inspired factions (Al Nusrah and the Iraq based Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIS]) and indicates there are limits to its ability to cooperate with other anti-Assad factions and gain popular appeal. The extent that the Syrian civil war offers the means for al-Qaeda to recover from its earlier defeats will determine whether the organization has a future, or if it will become simply an ideology and label adopted by various Islamist movements fighting their own separate struggles.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Charles C. Caris, Samuel Reynolds
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The Islamic State's June 2014 announcement of a “caliphate” is not empty rhetoric. In fact, the idea of the caliphate that rests within a controlled territory is a core part of ISIS's political vision. The ISIS grand strategy to realize this vision involves first establishing control of terrain through military conquest and then reinforcing this control through governance. This grand strategy proceeds in phases that have been laid out by ISIS itself in its publications, and elaborates a vision that it hopes will attract both fighters and citizens to its nascent state. The declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, however, raises the question: can ISIS govern?
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Jacqueline Page
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: As the complex global security environment faced by NATO members continues to evolve in the coming years, terrorism – waged by actors both in and outside of their borders – will remain a vexing challenge. For over a decade, NATO's counterterrorism strategy has been built on taking the fight abroad. Member nations have been intimately involved in this effort as contributors to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, to the Multi-National Force in Iraq and in a variety of smaller missions around the globe. In recent times, however, there has been growing attention to the threat posed by “homegrown” terrorism and foreign fighters returning from Syria and elsewhere to their home countries throughout the Euro-Atlantic area.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • 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, Daniel Dewit
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The last active US combat forces left Iraq in August 2010, marking the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the beginning of Operation New Dawn. Some 49,000 advisory troops, four advisor assistance brigades, and a limited number of special operations forces (SOF) remained to train, advise, and assist Iraq's security forces after that date, including the military, intelligence, and police. Until the end, these US troops continued to serve a number of other important security functions: carrying out kinetic operations against Iranian-backed and other militant groups; providing training to the ISF; taking part in joint patrols along the borders of the Kurdish provinces and helping integrate ISF and Kurdish forces; and acting as a deterrent to Iraq's neighbors–in particular Iran.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Stephen Wicken
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The political participation of the Sunni Arab minority in Iraq is critical to the security and stability of the state. At present, they are functionally excluded from government, with those that do participate coopted by the increasingly authoritarian Shi'a Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Without effective political representation, the Sunni in Iraq are left with few alternatives to address their grievances against the Maliki government. The important decisions lie ahead on whether to pursue their goals via political compromise, federalism, or insurgency.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Insurgency, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Guillaume Lasconjarias
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In a January 2012 publication, the NATO Military Committee revised its Framework Policy on Reserves: "As many nations increasingly make use of professional soldiers in their Regular Forces, whilst simultaneously reducing them in size, the need for Reservists will be even greater." This reflects a position shared across NATO, where most member states recognize the need for volunteer-part-time Defense Forces able to deliver significant capability when needed. In a challenging security environment, whilst the Regular Forces are largely reduced and professionalized Reserve Forces act as a pool to support, reinforce, enhance and improve their regular counterparts. They provide a surge of personnel that can be drawn upon.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: David M. Malone, Poorvi Chitalkar
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The UN Security Council, largely handicapped by the Cold War until the late 1980s, has become considerably more proactive over the last twenty-five years. The results are mixed. One constant for the Council since 1980 is that it has been at grips with conflicts involving Iraq — conflicts with Iraq's neighbours and also internal strife prior to and particularly since 2003. Every instrument at the Council's disposal, including all the coercive ones, have been invoked at one time or another against authorities in Iraq or to assist them. After a promising beginning in helping to end the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), and in mandating the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which Baghdad had sought to annex in 1990, the Council's silent tolerance of intrusive international humanitarian activities in Iraq's Kurdish provinces as of 1991 was ground-breaking. Nevertheless, the Council's post-war strategy for Iraq outlined in Resolution 687 of 1991 wound up over-reaching, involved serious unintended consequences arising from an overzealous sanctions regime (and a related humanitarian program the UN did not possess the administrative machinery to oversee effectively), and eventually sundered relations among the Permanent Five (P-5) members of the Council through a series of fractious episodes from 1988 to 2003. This working paper outlines a three-decade span of Security Council resolutions, actions and impasses on Iraq, investigating closely the period of diplomatic confrontation in 2002–2003 culminating in unilateral military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power by the US, the UK and a very few others without a mandate from the Council to do so. The UN was subsequently mostly side-lined in and on Iraq. The paper considers damage to perceptions of the Council legitimacy stemming from the events of 2002–2003 and assesses its evolving approach to international security in Iraq and beyond since then.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • 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: Anthony H. Cordesman, Robert Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US may not face peer threats in the near to mid term, but it faces a wide variety of lesser threats that make maintaining effective military forces, foreign aid, and other national security programs a vital national security interest. The US does need to reshape its national security planning and strategy to do a far better job of allocating resources to meet these threats. It needs to abandon theoretical and conceptual exercises in strategy that do not focus on detailed force plans, manpower plans, procurement plans, and budgets; and use its resources more wisely. The US still dominates world military spending, but it must recognize that maintaining the US economy is a vital national security interest in a world where the growth and development of other nations and regions means that the relative share the US has in the global economy will decline steadily over time, even under the best circumstances. At the same time, US dependence on the security and stability of the global economy will continue to grow indefinitely in the future. Talk of any form of “independence,” including freedom from energy imports, is a dangerous myth. The US cannot maintain and grow its economy without strong military forces and effective diplomatic and aid efforts. US military and national security spending already places a far lower burden on the US economy than during the peaceful periods of the Cold War, and existing spending plans will lower that burden in the future. National security spending is now averaging between 4% and 5% of the GDP – in spite of the fact the US has been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – versus 6-7% during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Asia
  • Author: Sam Wyer
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: This report examines the political, religious, and military resurgence of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) in Iraq since the withdrawal of U.S. Forces, identifying the group's key actors, their present disposition and strategy, and their regional expansion. AAH is an Iranian-backed Shi'a militant group that split from Moqtada al-Sadr's Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) in 2006. Since that time, AAH has conducted thousands of lethal explosively formed penetrator (EFP) attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces, targeted kidnappings of Westerners, rocket and mortar attacks on the U.S. Embassy, the murder of American soldiers, and the assassination of Iraqi officials.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Patricia Weiss Fagan
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Programs to return refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes after conflict, implemented by national authorities with international support, frequently leave far too many without viable futures. The measures are often inadequate for three reasons: a widely shared but flawed assumption that the need to create a future for returnees is satisfied by restoring them to their prior lives; a lack of long-term engagement by implementing authorities; and a focus on rural reintegration when many refugees and IDPs are returning to urban areas. These arguments are illustrated in four country cases—Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Burundi. In each case, the places that refugees and IDPs were forced to flee have been greatly reshaped. They often lack security and economic opportunities; governance is weak and services are inadequate. Returnees have made choices about their futures in large part on the basis of these factors. While reclaiming land or receiving compensation for losses is important, the challenge for many returnees is to settle where they can maintain sustainable livelihoods; find peaceful living conditions; have access to health care, education, and employment opportunities; and enjoy full rights of citizenship. This may mean a move from rural to urban areas and a change in the source of income generation that has to be accounted for in the design of reintegration programs. Returning refugees and IDPs should be assisted for a sufficient amount of time to determine which location and livelihood will suit them best. For international organizations, this may involve greater creativity and flexibility in supporting returnees in urban settings. To accommodate inflows of returnees and their general mobility, national and local governments should develop urban planning strategies to manage the growth of their cities, coupled with regional development plans in rural areas that may involve investment in commercial agriculture. Linking rural and urban areas by strengthening government institutions can also provide returnees with more livelihood options and promote development.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Refugee Issues, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Middle East, Balkans, Burundi
  • Author: Željko Branović
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Failing and collapsed states are a common marketplace for the private military industry, which has grown significantly in size and scope over the last decade. Today the private sector supplies a broad spectrum of military and security services to governments facing a lack of territorial control and law enforcement capacities. These services range from combat support to training for military and policing units, logistics and the protection of individuals and property. Yet a quantifiable picture of the extent to which these private security services are being used by failing or weak governments and the implications this use might have for the security environment has not been properly painted.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Cold War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, United Nations
  • 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: Dr. Ann M Fitz-Gerald, Christian Dennys
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the emergence of stabilisation as a concept out of peace-building, state- building and counter-insurgency theories has carried with it some of the key weaknesses of international intervention, in particular the idea that imposing western liberal systems on non- western societies will contribute towards stability. With reference to two case studies, the Wheat Seed project in Afghanistan and a gas cylinder distribution project in Iraq, the paper argues that stabilisation activities do not engage fully with the underlying premise that stabilisation must support and engender local political legitimacy, in part because of the conceptual baggage that stabilisation has adopted from other areas. The paper concludes by arguing that greater use should be made of the knowledge and histories of non-western state formation, characterized as being non- Weberian, as a counter to the overuse by interveners of the desire to support rational Weberian state structures in other countries.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Foreign Aid, Neoimperialism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Florence Gaub
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The military is the cradle of the state - simply because security precedes any social or economic development. In the 1990s, this consideration led to the advent of Security Sector Reform, essentially the consequence of the perception that building up strong and viable security institutions under civilian control is a precondition of state consolidation. The multiple defense reforms NATO assisted in many former Warsaw Pact member states, and the NATO Training Cooperation Initiative launched in 2006, are part of the consequent logic of military development aid, which is not entirely altruistic. Security is an intertwined construct, and the Alliance relies on stability and security in other states in order to ensure its own. In this context, NATO's Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) is just a logical step - although surprising to some, given that it was Iraq that caused the Alliance a "near-death experience." Four years later it was followed by a sister mission in Afghanistan, indicating a trend in security force assistance that is likely to grow.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Much is at stake in the never-ending negotiations to form Iraq's government, but perhaps nothing more important than the future of its security forces. In the seven years since the U.S.-led invasion, these have become more effective and professional and appear capable of taming what remains of the insurgency. But what they seem to possess in capacity they lack in cohesion. A symptom of Iraq's fractured polity and deep ethno-sectarian divides, the army and police remain overly fragmented, their loyalties uncertain, their capacity to withstand a prolonged and more intensive power struggle at the top unclear. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has taken worrying steps to assert authority over the security apparatus, notably by creating new bodies accountable to none but himself. A vital task confronting the nation's political leaders is to reach agreement on an accountable, non-political security apparatus subject to effective oversight. A priority for the new cabinet and parliament will be to implement the decision. And a core responsibility facing the international community is to use all its tools to encourage this to happen.
  • Topic: Security, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: On September 16, 2007, Black water Worldwide (now X e) private security contractors working for the U.S. Department of State killed 17 unarmed civilians and wounded 24 more in an unprovoked incident in Baghdad's Nisoor Square. A political firestorm immediately ensued in Iraq, the United States and around the world. The incident exposed what had been clear for several years: The United States lacked a coordinated, systematic policy for overseeing private contractors abroad and holding them accountable for serious violent crimes. Now, the United States' reliance on private security contractors in zones of armed conflict is increasing as is the urgent need for effective contractor oversight and accountability. Private contractors continue to outnumber U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and both the surge in Afghanistan and the drawdown in Iraq require additional support from private security and other contractors. It is estimated that up to 50,000 contractors will be required to support the Afghan surge and, with the military drawdown in Iraq, the Department of State plans to more than double the number of private security contractors it employs from 2,700 to 7,000. As Iraq and eventually Afghanistan move from military to civilian control and private contractors replace military forces there, the so-called jurisdictional gap over non-Defense contractors widens. If we learned anything from Nisoor Square it is that oversight and accountability gaps must be filled prior to increasing our private contractor force in conflict zones.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Human Rights, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Sandra Dieterich, Hartwig Hummel, Stefan Marschall
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: This paper presents a survey of parliamentary 'war powers' based on a comprehensive and detailed review of the degrees and institutional forms of parliamentary involvement in military security policy-making. As our original research project focused on the involvement of European Union (EU) states in the recent Iraq war, we present data for the then 25 member and accession states of the EU as of early 2003. This survey of parliamentary war powers covers the legislative, budgetary, control, communicationrelated and dismissal powers of the respective parliaments relating to the use of military force. Referring to this data, we distinguish five classes of democratic nation-states, ranging from those with 'very strong' to those with only 'very weak' war powers of the respective national parliament.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Democratization, Governance, Law
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe
  • Author: Bryan Groves
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: The lead up to the Iraq War and its conduct has highlighted significant differences in traditional perspectives, capabilities, and methods. While terrorism has been America's central fixation since 9/11, Europe still sees terrorism as one of several important threats today, with proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, failed states, regional conflicts, and organized crime among other top tier threats. The U.S. possesses a comparative advantage in intelligence gathering and kinetic strike cabability. This military strength has enabled the U.S. to favor it as its top tool in waging its global war on terrorism (GWOT). On the other hand, Europe's tendency toward employment of troops for nation-building and peacekeeping missions is in line with its strengths and its preferences. Europe countries also favour an extensive consensus building period of diplomatic maneuvering to establish a widely accepted multilateral response to threats, America under the current administration, however, has insisted on remaining.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: James Cockayne, Emily Speers Mears
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In late 2008, seventeen states, including the US, UK, China, Iraq, and Afghanistan, endorsed the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States Related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies During Armed Conflict. This provides important guidance to states in regulating Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs). But there is a need to do more, to provide increased guidance to industry and ensure standards are enforced.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, Privatization, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, United Kingdom
  • Author: Christopher J. Lamb, Matthew J. Schmidt, Berit G. Fitzsimmons
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles offer an excellent case study for investigating the current debate over the Pentagon's approach to developing and fielding irregular warfare capabilities. MRAPs first gained prominence for their ability to protect U.S. forces from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and because the Pentagon did not deploy them en masse to Iraq until almost 5 years of fighting had passed. More recently, following extraordinary efforts to field more than 10,000 MRAPs quickly, the program has been criticized as wasteful and unnecessary.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nationalism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: James Cockayne, Emily Speers Mears, Alison Gurin, Iveta Cherneva, Sheila Oviedo, Dylan Yaeger
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In late 2008, seventeen states, including the US, UK, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others, endorsed the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict (2008). This provides important guidance to states in regulating private military and security companies (PMSCs). However, there is a need to do more, to provide increased guidance to the industry and ensure standards are enforced.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, Markets, International Security, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, United Kingdom
  • Author: Justin Dargin
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article examines the legal and political impediments to the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) exploration and production contracts, which the central government in Baghdad has refused to recognize. The newly established Iraqi national constitution significantly opened as many petroleum-control questions as it resolved. Negotiated in 2005, the constitution not only separated branches of government, but established Federalism as its lodestar. When faced with unresolved issues over regional and national control over petroleum resources, however, International Oil Companies (IOCs) function in an ambiguous legal environment that fails to clearly distinguish between federal and regional powers.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Henri J. Barkey
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The consequences of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq will doubtless be debated for years to come. One result, however, is already clear: the long suppressed nationalist aspirations of the Kurdish people now dispersed across four states—Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria—have been aroused, perhaps irrevocably, by the war. Already in Iraq, Kurdish regions, which have benefited from Saddam Hussein's overthrow, have consolidated themselves into a federal region. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is a reality and a force for further Kurdish empowerment as it seeks to incorporate other Kurdish-majority areas and the oil-rich Kirkuk province in particular into its domain. The KRG's existence and demands have already alarmed all of Iraq's neighbors and the Baghdad government. The issues are far from being settled. If ignored or badly handled, Kurdish aspirations have the potential to cause considerable instability and violence in Iraq and beyond at a particularly delicate time.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Nationalism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Kurdistan
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Obama administration's “responsible redeployment” from Iraq is made even more urgent by the requirements resulting from worsening conditions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. For redeployment to occur on scale and on schedule, the United States seeks an end-state in Iraq that is stable and at peace with its neighbors. Simmering sectarian violence is inevitable, but it will not break Iraq. However, ethnic conflict between Arabs and Kurds could escalate into a major conflagration with regional implications.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Bilateral Relations, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ellinor Zeino-Mahmalat
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The remarkable stability of the cooperation among the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has generally been explained by these members' mutual dependency on high and stable oil revenues. Since the OPEC countries, however, face the double security dilemma of both domestic and external security threats, they are not simply eager to secure (absolute) oil revenues for the sake of domestic stability; they are also sensitive to the (relative) oil revenues of their competing or even conflicting partners. The existing approaches of rational egoism and defensive positionalism have proven to be rather inadequate in explaining this kind of gain-seeking behavior. This paper therefore develops the new theoretical approach of “gain-seeking mentalities,” with the objective of tracing variations in OPEC members' gain-seeking behaviors. Using this approach, the empirical assessment of Iran and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War and Iraq during the Gulf War of 1990/91 shows the extent to which Iran and Iraq altered their gain-seeking behavior as a result of a changing constellation of threats.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Intelligence, Oil
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A long-festering conflict over Kirkuk and other disputed territories is threatening to disrupt the current fragile relative peace in Iraq by blocking legislative progress and political accommodation. Two events in particular stand out: a two-month stalemate in July-September in negotiations over a provincial elections law in which Kirkuk's unresolved status was the principal obstacle and, during this period, a campaign by the Iraqi army in and around the Kurdish-controlled disputed district of Khanaqin. To avoid a breakdown over the issue of Kirkuk, the current piecemeal approach should be discarded in favour of a grand bargain involving all core issues: Kirkuk and other disputed territories, revenue sharing and the hydrocarbons law, as well as federalism and constitutional revisions. Despite some progress, Iraq's legislative agenda, promoted by the U.S. in order to capitalise on recent security gains, is bogged down. The main culprit is a dispute over territories claimed by the Kurds as historically belonging to Kurdistan - territories that contain as much as 13 per cent of Iraq's proven oil reserves. This conflict reflects a deep schism between Arabs and Kurds that began with the creation of modern Iraq after World War I; has simmered for decades, marked by intermittent conflict and accommodation; and was revitalised due to the vacuum and resulting opportunities generated by the Baath regime's demise in 2003. In its ethnically-driven intensity, ability to drag in regional players such as Turkey and Iran and potentially devastating impact on efforts to rebuild a fragmented state, it matches and arguably exceeds the Sunni-Shiite divide that spawned the 2005-2007 sectarian war. Stymied in their quest to incorporate disputed territories into the Kurdistan region by constitutional means, Kurdish leaders have signalled their intent to hold politics in Baghdad hostage to their demands. At the same time, the Iraqi government's growing military assertiveness is challenging the Kurds' de facto control over these territories. Rising acrimony and frustration are jeopardising the current relative peace, undermining prospects for national unity and, in the longer term, threatening Iraq's territorial integrity. Rather than items that can be individually and sequentially addressed, Iraq's principal conflicts - concerning oil, disputed territories, federalism and constitutional revisions - have become thoroughly interwoven. Federalism cannot be implemented without agreement on how the oil industry will be managed and revenues will be distributed. Progress on a federal hydrocarbons law and a companion revenue-sharing law is inconceivable without agreement on the disposition of disputed territories that boast major oil fields, such as Kirkuk. And the constitution review has faltered over failure to settle all those questions, the solutions to which will need to be reflected in amendments reached by consensus. How to move forward? If there is a way out, it lies in a comprehensive approach that takes into account the principal stakeholders' core requirements. A sober assessment of these requirements suggests a possible package deal revolving around a fundamental "oil-for-soil" trade-off: in exchange for at least deferring their exclusive claim on Kirkuk for ten years, the Kurds would obtain demarcation and security guarantees for their internal boundary with the rest of Iraq, as well as the right to manage and profit from their own mineral wealth. Such a deal would codify the significant gains the Kurds have made since they achieved limited autonomy in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War and especially after April 2003, while simultaneously respecting an Arab-Iraqi - as well as neighbouring states' - red line regarding Kirkuk. This package entails painful concessions from all sides, which they are unlikely to make without strong international involvement. The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has been providing technical support on a range of issues and, since late 2007, has devoted the bulk of its efforts to the question of disputed internal boundaries. It will need stronger backing from the U.S. and its allies, which have an abiding interest in Iraq's stabilisation yet have played a passive bystander role that has confused Iraqi stakeholders and encouraged them to press maximalist demands. The U.S. should make it a priority to steer Iraq's political actors toward a grand bargain they are unlikely to reach on their own and to secure its outcome through political, financial and diplomatic support. There is little time to waste. As U.S. forces are set to draw down in the next couple of years, Washington's leverage will diminish and, along with it, chances for a workable deal. This serves no one's interest. The most likely alternative to an agreement is a new outbreak of violent strife over unsettled claims in a fragmented polity governed by chaos and fear.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Oil
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Shai Feldman, Shahram Chubin, Abdulaziz Sager, David L. Aaron
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The Middle East and its security remains a vital ingredient in international security. The region's tensions, conflicts and stability are of fundamental concern to a wide range of actors, whose interests or proximity make it a priority. The novelty today is the increasing inter-relations of these conflicts and instability and the limitations of outside power influence. This, together with the appearance of new actors in the region, namely India and China, seems likely to transform diplomacy in the future. Regional dynamics, which are increasingly resistant to outside power influence or control, continue to shape the strategic environment. These dynamic forces, ranging from terrorism, sectarianism, and on-going conflicts, intersect and add to the region's instability and fragmentation. The conflict zone (from the Levant to Iran) overlaps the “energy ellipse” (in the Gulf), that is, the dependence of much of the world on this region for energy supplies. Superimposed on this is the related feature of the region, namely the emergence in the GCC of the 'super rich' states, carving out a new niche and economic identity with their newfound wealth. The region is thus complex: unstable, vulnerable, and wealthy in parts. Weak, shattered, or embryonic states (Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine) co-exist with strong states like Egypt, cautious ones like Saudi Arabia, and ambitious ones, notably Iran. What seems clear from the perspective of 2008 is the continuing need for international engagement, combined with a recognition that this engagement must be constructive and cannot substitute for local initiatives or substitute for local forces, which at best, can only be harnessed, not controlled.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Oil, War
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, Middle East, India, Palestine, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt
  • Author: Marcin Terlikowski
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the last two decades, the issue of private military companies and the privatization of the sphere of international security, have been addressed by political decision-makers in many countries, military experts, as well by the media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It seems that the controversies and sometimes very categorical opinions which have emerged concerning these issues have several sources. Firstly, the relatively sudden appearance of a new type of non-public actor in the military sphere, which traditionally was the exclusive activity of the state, was associated with consternation caused by negative connotations with historic, still pre-Westphalian international order where significant roles were played by private armies and other mercenary forces (e.g. condottieres, corsairs). Secondly, the activities of these types of firm have caused a number of problems. For example, to this day, not all the circumstances have been explained regarding the participation by several firms in conflicts in Africa and the Balkans in the 1990s, while the media are still reporting various irregularities and incidents involving such enterprises. Thirdly, this specific business has developed with enormous dynamism, continuously generating profits and extending both the geographical scope of activities and the profile of the services provided.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Farook Ahmed
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The United States' Joint Campaign Plan for Iraq has laid out a goal to achieve security in Baghdad and other critical parts of Iraq by the summer of 2008 and then extend a self-sustaining security environment to the rest of the country by the summer of 2009. To that end, the United States surged its combat troops and changed to a counter-insurgency strategy that focused on providing population security. This coincided with an opportunity provided by the discontent Iraq's Sunni Arab population felt towards al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) militants and their draconian rule. The United States took advantage of the situation by striking political deals with the disaffected local populations, most of whom are Sunni Arab.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Kimberly Kagan, Marisa Cochrane, Eric Hamilton, Farook Ahmed, Andrea So, Wesley Morgan
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Operations by Coalition and Iraqi Forces throughout 2007 have transformed the security situation in Iraq. Violence decreased dramatically in the second half of 2007. The number of enemy attacks in Iraq, the number of attacks against Iraqi civilians, and the number of murders in Baghdad, dropped to levels last seen in early 2006. The mission shift to an aggressive counterinsurgency strategy, with an emphasis on population security, which occurred in January 2007, solidified these gains more quickly than many had predicted. Unexpected developments, like the emergence of Awakening movements and the unilateral Sadrist ceasefire, further helped to accelerate the ground level improvements in security. By late 2007, Al-Qaeda in Iraq had been defeated in Anbar, and its network and safe havens in Baghdad and the belts were largely disrupted. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been steadily pushed north, into isolated pockets, often far from population centers. Coalition Forces have also aggressively targeted Shi'a militia extremists and Iranian-backed Special Groups, with encouraging results.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Eric Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: In the last year Coalition and Iraqi Forces and local Iraqi citizens made significant progress fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI was cleared from former areas of operation like Anbar and Baghdad and the organization became fragmented with its freedom of movement and ability to conduct operations reduced. Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-Iraq) recently released a series of maps illustrating these developments. These maps are presented and explained in this Backgrounder.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Amid the media and military focus on Baghdad, another major Iraqi city – Basra – is being overlooked. Yet Basra's experience carries important lessons for the capital and nation as a whole. Coalition forces have already implemented a security plan there, Operation Sinbad, which was in many ways similar to Baghdad's current military surge. What U.S. commanders call “clear, hold and build”, their British counterparts earlier had dubbed “clear, hold and civil reconstruction”. And, as in the capital, the putative goal was to pave the way for a takeover by Iraqi forces. Far from being a model to be replicated, however, Basra is an example of what to avoid. With renewed violence and instability, Basra illustrates the pitfalls of a transitional process that has led to collapse of the state apparatus and failed to build legitimate institutions. Fierce intra-Shiite fighting also disproves the simplistic view of Iraq neatly divided between three homogenous communities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Civil War, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • 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: 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: James Russell
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Like the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War of 1967, the U.S. invasion of Iraq is fundamentally reordering regional politics and security in ways that will be felt for a generation, if not longer.1 The Pandora's Box opened by the United States in Iraq adds a new level of unwelcome complexity to an already strained regional fabric. Threats to regional security stem from global, interstate, and intrastate sources. The complicated, multidimensional, and interrelated natures of these threats suggest that the United States must reassess strategy and policy if it is to protect and further its regional interests. The objective of this monograph is threefold: (1) deconstruct the threats to regional security and stability in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion; (2) determine whether U.S. strategy is tailored to the threat environment; and (3) suggest steps that can be taken to bring strategy and the environment into closer alignment.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Peter W. Rodman
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The theme of this conference is especially important. Iraq and Afghanistan, important as they are, do not exhaust the strategic landscape. There is a global strategic environment, which presents many challenges in many different regions of the world that bear close attention in their own right. In fact, that global environment forms the context in which we should be thinking about Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the reasons it is so important how well we do in Iraq and Afghanistan is its impact on American credibility—a precious commodity that will affect our success in these other theaters.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: W. Andrew Terrill
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The U.S.-Kuwait military relationship has been of considerable value to both countries since at least 1990. This alliance was formed in the aftermath of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's brutal invasion of Kuwait and the U.S. decision to free Kuwait with military force in 1991. Saddam's later defeat and removal from power in 2003 eliminated an important rationale for the alliance, but a close look at current strategic realities in the Gulf suggests that Kuwait remains an important U.S. ally. It is also an ally that faces a number of serious national security concerns in the turbulent post-Saddam era, some of which will require both Kuwaitis and Americans to rethink and revise previous security approaches, particularly to meet the shared goals of reducing terrorism and regional instability.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Kuwait, Arabia
  • Author: Marisa Cochrane
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The Rusafa security district provides an interesting look at a complex Baghdad neighborhood with strategic significance and changing demographics; it is an area in which U.S. and Iraqi forces have sought to revive and stabilize the political and economic life, while combating extreme violence caused by Jaysh al-Madhi (JAM) militias and al-Qaeda insurgents. Rusafa is a mix of large markets, government ministries, bus stations, educational institutions such as Mustansiriya University, hotels, hospitals, and the Rule of Law Green Zone. Yet, the district has also been plagued by sectarian violence and deadly car bombs, which often target Rusafa's markets and bus stations.
  • Topic: Security, Armed Struggle, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Patrick Gaughen
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Gen. Ray Odierno, the commander of Multi-National Corps - Iraq, has argued that even as security improves in Baghdad, neighborhoods on the fault lines between the Shia and Sunni communities will be among the "last to settle." The neighborhood of Saydiyah, located in southwestern Baghdad, is such a place. Over the last year, it has become one of the principal battlegrounds for the territorial war between Shia militias and Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in Baghdad. Located in the western end of the Rashid Security District, Saydiyah was formerly a mixed neighborhood, with a Sunni majority. Prior to the invasion in 2003, many officials in Saddam's government lived in the area, and following the outbreak of the war, it became a stronghold for the Sunni insurgency. Although Al-Qaeda and other Sunni insurgent factions initially cooperated in Saydiyah, it appears that Al-Qaeda slowly pushed out the other Sunni groups, while simultaneously intensifying violence against the Shia residents of the neighborhood. The reaction from Shia militias and Shia-dominated government security forces led to extraordinary violence during the summer of 2007. US forces have sponsored an Awakening group in the Sunni community to protect them from Shia predation and remove the need for Al-Qaeda's protection services. They have also worked to sponsor sectarian reconciliation through local notables and tribal elements, but it appears that these efforts have not yielded the kinds of success witnessed further to the south in Mahmudiyah, or the Abu Disheer - Hawr Rajab area.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns is the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the Department of State's third ranking official. Prior to his current assignment, Ambassador Burns was the United States Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. As Ambassador to NATO, he headed the combined State-Defense Department U.S. Mission to NATO at a time when the Alliance committed to new missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war against terrorism, and accepted seven new members.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: The Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT), or Iraqi Higher Criminal Court, previously known as the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST), announced Nov. 5, 2006, that it was sentencing former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein Al-Majeed to death by hanging. The verdict comes in the first prosecution Saddam has faced before the tribunal, for the 1982 mass killing of villagers in the Shia town of Dujayl and related atrocities. Bringing Saddam and his henchmen to justice has posed unique challenges to an Iraq that seeks to make a former totalitarian dictatorship subject to rule of law, and in the process respect rule of law by providing fair trials. Unclear is the extent to which efforts to establish an historical record of atrocities, and undertake national healing, would be thwarted by executing Saddam before he can be tried for additional incidents. Of added significance are concerns raised by some voices that the death penalty itself is immoral and inconsistent with rule of law.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Wartime is scarcely the easiest time for demanding self criticism, but the recent exchanges between the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense over the mistakes the US did or did not make in Iraq have highlighted the fact that the US must both admit its mistakes and learn from them to win in Iraq and successfully engage in the “long war.” The full chronology of what happened in US planning and operations before, during, and immediately after the fight to drive Saddam Hussein from power is still far from clear. It is now much easier to accuse given US leaders than it is to understand what really happened or assign responsibility with credibility.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: J.C. Mahncke
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: “I see that under the Prodi government Italy already now has and even more in future will be able to have a big role in Europe, and that as a result of this role will be able to take on an important function in relation to the United States and the Arab world […] I believe that in the course of one month Italy has succeeded to launch a strategic rearrangement of its foreign policy.”1 These are the words of Massimo D'Alema, Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs since May 2006. Indeed, the measures taken by the new Italian government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi indicate, if not a completely new orientation, a revised concept behind Italian foreign policy in contrast to that of his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi. Most striking is the withdrawal of Italian troops from Iraq, to be completed by autumn of this year. But Prodi wants to maintain Italian involvement in Afghanistan, and the government seems eager to uphold the traditionally good relations with the United States, despite the withdrawal from Iraq. While Prodi and D'Alema are in favour of a more important role of Italy in Europe and of the European Union in the world, close ties are to be kept with the United States. According to D'Alema: “The foreign policy of the government intends to favour the growth of an autonomous European actor but tied to the United States by solid and mature understanding within the alliance.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia, Italy
  • Author: Carl Conetta
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: The sympathy and support for the United States that surged worldwide in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks began to ebb as soon as US bombs began falling on Afghanistan. Supportive sentiments continued to recede through 2004, driven increasingly by the Iraq war and eventually settling at levels unseen since the early 1980s. The trend has temporarily reversed in some places at some times, either in response to hopeful news from Iraq (such as the December 2004 elections) or in reaction to local events (the November 2005 terrorist bombing in Jordan). Also, there are national exceptions to the trend (Israel) and partial exceptions (India). On balance, however, the United States today finds world opinion substantially at odds with its foreign policy and its leadership on most particulars.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Israel, Jordan