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  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The massive car bomb in Najaf on 29 August 2003, which took the lives of over 90 Iraqis, including the prominent cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, has put renewed focus on the fate of the country's Shiites. The attack comes in the wake of the attempted killing of other prominent clerics, including Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Saed Al-Tabatab'i al-Hakim, al-Hakim's uncle. Although it is too soon to assign blame, it is not too soon to assess potential consequences: a heightened sense of insecurity; anger, directed both at the former regime and at the current occupiers; intensified intra-Shiite rivalry; and a growing risk of sectarian conflict as militias loyal to different groups vie for control.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The horrific bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August 2003 has focused renewed attention on the question of who, if anyone, is capable of governing Iraq in the current highly volatile environment and, in particular, on what ought to be the respective roles, during the occupation period, of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the Interim Governing Council and the United Nations. This report proposes a new distribution of authority between the three - potentially acceptable to the United States, the wider international community and the majority of Iraqis - which would enable Iraq's transitional problems, including the critical issue of security, to be much more effectively addressed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda M. Gerber
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The United States, the United Kingdom, and other nations claim that Iraq poses an imminent threat to international security because it has weapons of mass destruction and operational connections to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell asserted in his presentation to the Security Council on 5 February that Iraq has made no effort to disarm and is concealing efforts to redevelop weapons of mass destruction. Powell restated old allegations that the United States had made prior to the 8 November passage of Resolution 1441. He presented new intelligence about Iraqi efforts to conceal its weapons capabilities, and he reiterated previous information about the likely existence of chemical and biological agents from the 1990s, but he did not prove that there is a grave new threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Nor did he show a link between Iraq and September 11, or an operational connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, United Kingdom, Middle East
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda M. Gerber, Karl Shelly
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The U.S. and other governments contend that the United Nations disarmament process in Iraq is not working, but an objective analysis shows that significant steps toward compliance have occurred. This report lists Iraqi efforts to cooperate with UN inspections while also identifying areas of inadequate compliance. The report also reviews the compliance mandates of Security Council Resolution 1441, notes whether Iraq has complied, and assesses Iraq's overall level of compliance.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: William D. Hartung
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The Bush administration's war on terrorism and its proposed military intervention in Iraq have sparked the steepest increases in military and security spending in two decades. Since September 11, 2001, the federal government has approved over $110 billion in increased military spending and military aid. Spending on national defense is slated to reach $399 billion in the Fiscal Year 2004 budget, and to rise to over $500 billion annually by the end of this decade. These vast sums do not include the costs of the ongoing war in Afghanistan or a war with Iraq. Steven Kosiak of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments estimates that only 5 to 10 percent of the Fiscal Year 2003 Pentagon budget is being set aside for anti-terror activities and homeland security.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Peter Van Ness, Hugh White, Stuart Harris, Amin Saikal, Peter C. Gration
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: What curious path has brought us to this point? Just over a year ago, terrorists from the amorphous transnational Al Qaeda network killed thousands of Americans and other nationals by flying planes into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon in Washington, and a field in Pennsylvania. Today, the United States is preparing to launch a war against the state of Iraq, emphasising the grave and imminent danger posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, but animated also by a long-standing goal of 'regime change'. What explains this 'statising' of the so-called 'war against terrorism'? What risks does it pose for regional and world order?
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the June 2000 summit meeting and meetings between high level U.S. and North Korean officials on the one hand, and economic turmoil and continued food shortages on the other, we believe North Korea remains committed to maintaining strong military forces. These forces continue to be deployed close to the border with South Korea in an offensively oriented posture, and North Korea's NBC and missile programs likely remain key components of its overall security strategy. The most likely large- scale regional war scenario over the near term, which would involve the United States, would be on the Korean peninsula. In recent years, North Korea has continued to pose a complex security challenge to the United States and its allies. Prior to the 1994 Agreed Framework, North Korea is believed to have produced and diverted sufficient plutonium for at least one, and possibly two, nuclear weapons. In addition, although North Korea froze the production of plutonium in 1994, there are concerns that North Korea is continuing with some elements of a nuclear weapons program. North Korea also possesses stockpiles of chemical weapons, which could be used in the event of renewed hostilities on the peninsula. Research and development into biological agents and toxins suggest North Korea may have a biological weapons capability. North Korea has hundreds of ballistic missiles available for use against targets on the peninsula, some of which are capable of reaching tar-gets in Japan. Its missile capabilities are increasing at a steady pace, and it has progressed to producing medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs). North Korea also has continued development of even longer-range missiles that would be able to threaten areas well beyond the region, including portions of the continental United States. As a result of U.S. diplomatic efforts, however, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has maintained a moratorium on launches of long-range missiles for over one year.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Korea
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Middle East is the scene of an ongoing process of proliferation. Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, and Syria all have significant capabilities to deliver weapons of mass destruction Israel, and Syria has made considerable progress in acquiring weapons of mass destruction since the mid-1970s. Syria has never shown a serious interest in nuclear weapons, although it did seek to buy two small research reactors from the PRC in 1992, including a 24-megawatt reactor, and purchased a small 30-kilowatt research reactor from the PRC in 1991. It allowed inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency for the first time in February 1992. Syria does, however, deploy sheltered missiles, armed with chemical warheads, as a means of both countering Israel's nuclear forces and maintaining its rivalry with Iraq. As the attached article Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Mustafa Tlas shows, Syria has a major interest in biological warfare, and the fact his article first appeared in public in an Iranian journal may not entirely be a coincidence.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Libya, Syria, Egypt