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  • Author: Patrick Martin
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: ISIS is waging a renewed offensive campaign in recaptured areas that could exploit vulnerabilities in the Iraqi Government’s ability to respond amidst accelerating political competition before upcoming elections.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Jessa Rose Dury-Agri, Omer Kassim, Patrick Martin
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The liberation of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sh­am’s (ISIS) urban holdings in Iraq was necessary but not sufficient to secure America’s vital national interests. ISIS has lost neither the will nor the capability to fight, even as it withdraws into desert hideouts and sleeper cell formations in November 2017. Rather, dispersed ISIS militants have begun an insurgent campaign in northern and western Iraq as some of its foreign fighters have returned to their home countries to serve in ISIS’s external operations network.
  • Topic: Islam, War, International Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Liam P. Walsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Beginning in 2013, the U.S. Army began an effort to “engage regionally and respond globally.” A central tenant of this strategy, building upon National strategic guidance, is the necessity to build partner capacity. Army units, through the regionally aligned forces concept, may find themselves conducting security force assistance (SFA) missions across the globe as a means to achieve these ways. However, after examining the Army’s SFA mission in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 2003-10, it becomes apparent that institutional and organizational shortcomings plagued the Army’s initial efforts in this critical aspect of the campaign. Many of these shortcomings remain in the Army today, particularly within the Army’s core formation—the brigade combat team (BCT). This monograph examines the Army’s role in conducting SFA in Iraq, drawing key lessons for the Army’s experience there, and then provides recommendations as to how the Army can better optimize the BCT to conduct SFA, while still retaining its core mission to fight and win America’s wars.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, United States of America
  • 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: Andrew Radin
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In developing U.S. intervention policy in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, and most recently Syria, the 1992 to 1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina has repeatedly been used as an analogy. For example, John Shattuck, a member of the negotiating team at the Dayton peace talks that ended the war, wrote in September 2013 that for Syria “the best analogy is Bosnia…Dayton was a major achievement of diplomacy backed by force…A negotiated solution to the Syria crisis is possible, but only if diplomacy is backed by force.” Many other analysts and policymakers with experience in the Bosnian conflict—such as Nicholas Burns, the State Department spokesman at the time; Christopher Hill, a member of Richard Holbrooke's negotiating team; and Samantha Power, who began her career as a journalist in Bosnia—also invoked the Bosnian war to urge greater U.S. involvement in Syria. Although the rise of ISIS has significantly altered the conflict over the last year, echoes of the Bosnian conflict remain in Syria: the conflict is a multiparty ethnic civil war, fueled by outside powers, in a region of critical interest to the United States.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Libya, Kosovo, Syria
  • Author: Robert Sedgwick
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: CIAO Focus
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: A brief overview and timeline examining the origins and trajectory of the little known terror group that was initially shunned and finally disowned by al-Qaeda as it developed into the world's most feared militant Muslim organization.
  • Topic: Islam, Post Colonialism, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency, ISIS, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Margaret MacMillan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A century ago this autumn the first battle of the Marne ended Germany's attempt to crush France and its ally Britain quickly. In that one battle alone the French lost 80,000 dead and the Germans approximately the same. By comparison, 47,000 Americans died in the whole of the Vietnam War and 4,800 coalition troops in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In August and September 1914 Europe, the most powerful and prosperous part of the world, had begun the process of destroying itself. A minor crisis in its troubled backyard of the Balkans had escalated with terrifying speed to create an all-out war between the powers. 1 'Again and ever I thank God for the Atlantic Ocean,' wrote Walter Page, the American ambassador in London; and in Washington his president, Woodrow Wilson, agreed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iraq, America, Europe, Washington, France, London, Vietnam, Germany, Balkans, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Mordechai Chaziza
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: Many news sources have announced that the answer to the question of who won the Iraq war issimple: the People's Republic of China. Was China the real winner? If so, in what ways? This study analyzes the question of who won the Iraq War in broader terms, both in retrospect and looking forward. It separates myth from reality and takes a long, hard look at the war's impact, both short andlong-term, on the economic and strategic interests of China and the U.S.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq
  • Author: V. Surguladze
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: In Ukraine, the West demonstrated once more the efficiency of its organizational weapon and its skill in pushing states into military operations of low intensity. there is still hope that unlike Serbia, Iraq, Libya, etc. Ukraine will not degenerate into another textbook study-case and a tick in the appropriate box in the list of successes of Western political technologists and experts in political coups and “protection of democracy.” While watching what is going on in Ukraine we should demonstrate the strength of spirit and a morally healthy social atmosphere so that to stand opposed to Western ideological attacks and to develop our state, rationally and consistently. Without this, it is impossible to survive in the world where certain countries have mastered the skills of disguising their destructive foreign policy aims with high-sounding phrases about common good and “human values and freedoms” which they distort beyond recognition.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, War, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, Serbia
  • Author: Jon Kyl, Jim Talent
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: When President Obama took office, the armed services of the United States had already reached a fragile state. The Navy had shrunk to its smallest size since before World War I; the Air Force was smaller, and its aircraft older, than at any time since the inception of the service. The Army was stressed by years of war; according to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, it had been underfunded before the invasion of Iraq and was desperately in need of resources to replace its capital inventory.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Rein Müllerson
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Although the sub-title of the book indicates that the authors are not going to deal with all the legal issues arising in the context of a 'privatization' of warfare, the book, and not only the first chapter by Eugenio Cusumano on the policy prospects of regulating private military and security companies (PMSCs), throws its net wider than the title suggests. And rightly so. The privatization of warfare is a consequence and an element of the post-Cold War triumph of capitalism, and especially its neo-liberal advocates' tendency to privatize and deregulate all and everything. It is not by chance that PMSCs have mushroomed in the heartland of neoliberalism – the USA – faithfully followed by its Anglo-Saxon brethren on this side of the Atlantic. As the book specifies, in 2009 there were approximately 119,706 Department of Defense contractors in Iraq, compared with about 134,571 uniformed personnel. The authors accept the privatization of various functions of the state, including its 'monopoly of violence', to be almost inevitable. Nevertheless, they call for stronger and tighter regulation of the status and functions of PMSCs and control over their activities. They also show that though often new norms may be needed, in many cases existing laws, and their stricter and sometimes more creative application, may serve the purpose. The book concludes that 'many private military and security companies are operating in a “gray zone”, which is not defined at all, or at the very least not clearly defined, by international legal norms'.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Gregory L. Schulte
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: After a decade of war in afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration has adopted a new defense strategy that recognizes the need to limit our strategic ends in an era of increasing limits on our military means.1 the strategy calls for armed forces capable of conducting a broad range of missions, in a full range of contingencies, and in a global context that is increasingly complex. It calls for doing so with a smaller defense budget. Opportunities for savings come from reducing the ability to fight two regional conflicts simultaneously and from not sizing the force to conduct prolonged, large-scale stability operations. Seemingly missing from the new defense strategy are the types of wars we fought in afghanistan and Iraq. Both started with forcible changes in regime – the armed ouster of the taliban and Saddam Hussein from their positions of power. In each case, the rapid removal of leadership was followed by lengthy counterinsurgency operations to bring security to the population and build up a new government. the duration and difficulty of these operations and their cost in deaths, destruction, and debt were not understood at their outset.
  • Topic: NATO, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Malkanthi Hettiarachchi
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The liberation tigers of tamil ealam (ltte), sometimes referred to as the tamil tigers, or simply the tigers, was a separatist militant organization based in northern Sri lanka. It was founded in May 1976 by Prabhakaran and waged a violent secessionist and nationalist campaign to create an independent state in the north and east of Sri lanka for the tamil people. this campaign evolved into the Sri lankan Civil War.1 the tigers were considered one of the most ruthless insurgent and terrorist organisations in the world.2 they were vanquished by the Sri lankan armed forces in May 2009. 3 In order to rehabilitate the 11,6644 tigers who had surrendered or been taken captive, Sri lanka developed a multifaceted program to engage and transform the violent attitudes and behaviours of the tiger leaders, members and collaborators. 5 Since the end of the ltte's three-decade campaign of insurgency and terrorism, there has not been a single act of terrorism in the country. Many attribute Sri lanka's post-conflict stability to the success of the insurgent and terrorist rehabilitation program.
  • Topic: War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka
  • Author: James Dobbins
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Last summer, in response to a directive from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey, the Joint Staff issued a short summary of lessons learned from the past decade of military operations. The document, entitled Decade of War, Volume 1 frankly and cogently acknowledges mistakes made over this period, and particularly during the first half of the decade, that is to say between the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 and the surge of troops into Iraq in early 2007. Among the admitted deficiencies were the failure to adequately grasp the operating environment, a reliance on conventional tactics to fight unconventional enemies, an inability to articulate a convincing public narrative, and poor interagency coordination. The document is testimony to the capacity of the American military for self-criticism and eventual correction, albeit not always in time to avoid costly setbacks.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: Jeff Rice
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Fred Kaplan's The Insurgents is a highly successful and compelling intermingling of three stories: the rise and eventual fall of General David Petraeus; the intellectual history of counterinsurgency; and the broadening of the learning culture within the United States Military during the Iraq war. Indeed, the heroes of the book are the “insurgents” within the U.S. Army who all but overthrew the dominant paradigm of kinetic warfare in favor of ideas derived from England and France during the end of the colonial era.1 Kaplan's book picks up on the story told by Tom Ricks in The Gamble2 about how this intellectual insurgency transformed the way the U.S. fought the war in Iraq, preferring the counterinsurgency (COIN) approach to protecting civilians from insurgents and lowering their casualty rate, and building alliances in order to reduce the number of insurgents. For Kaplan this is nothing short of a profound alteration of the American way of war, one that caused enormous consternation amongst certain sectors of the military who were wedded to a more conventional approach to war.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • 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, Sam Khazai
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • 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'ite s and Sunnis and the ethnic division s between its Arabs and its Kurds and other minorities. At the same time, it must build a new structure of governance, economic, and social order after a period of dictatorship, war, sanctions, occupation and civil conflict that began in 1979 and has continued ever since. It must cope with a steadily growing population, and diversify an economy that is so dependent on petroleum exports that they provide some 95% of its government revenues. This struggle can still end in a new round of serious civil conflict and even in the division of the country. At the same time, Iraq does have great potential and its political divisions and ongoing low - level violence do not mean it cannot succeed in establishing stability, security, and a better life for its people.
  • Topic: Democratization, Peace Studies, War, Counterinsurgency, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick A. Mello
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to explain democracies' military participation in the Iraq War. Prior studies have identified institutional and partisan differences as potential explanatory factors for the observed variance. The interaction of institutions and partisanship, however, has gone largely unobserved. I argue that these factors must be analysed in conjunction: institutional constraints presume actors that fulfil their role as veto players to the executive. Likewise, partisan politics is embedded in institutional frames that enable or constrain decision-making. Hence I suggest a comparative approach that combines these factors to explain why some democracies joined the ad hoc coalition against Iraq and others did not. To investigate the interaction between institutions, partisanship and war participation I apply fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis. The analysis reveals that the conjunction of right-of-centre governments with an absence of both parliamentary veto rights and constitutional restrictions was sufficient for participation in the Iraq War. In turn, for countries where the constitution requires parliamentary approval of military deployments, the distribution of preferences within the legislature proved to be decisive for military participation or non-participation.
  • Topic: Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: James Franklin Jeffrey
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The 2011 transition from a US military-centric American presence in Iraq to a diplomatic lead, requiring the build out of already the largest US embassy since Vietnam, was an extraordinary political and logistic al effort, all but unparalleled in State Department history. The transition's success and its many challenges provide lessons for both the upcoming Afghanistan transition and 'expeditionary diplomacy' generally. It provides a model for diploma tic primacy in a conflict environment, but also cautionary lessons on the limits of diplomatic engagement in a war zone.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Vietnam
  • Author: Benjamin S. Lambeth
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Assessing major combat experiences to help rectify errors made in the planning and conduct of operations has enjoyed a long and well-established tradition in the fields of military history and security studies. In particular, since Operation Desert Storm against Saddam Hussein's Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces in 1991, the pursuit of "lessons learned" from major combat has been a virtual cottage industry within the defense establishments of the United States and its principal allies around the world.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Israel
  • Author: Stephen Biddle, Jacob N. Shapiro, Jeffrey A. Friedman
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Why did violence decline in Iraq in 2007? Many credit the "surge," or the program of U.S. reinforcements and doctrinal changes that began in January 2007. Others cite the voluntary insurgent stand-downs of the Sunni Awakening or say that the violence had simply run its course after a wave of sectarian cleansing. Evidence drawn from recently declassified data on violence at local levels and a series of seventy structured interviews with coalition participants finds little support for the cleansing or Awakening theses. This analysis constitutes the first attempt to gather systematic evidence across space and time to help resolve this debate, and it shows that a synergistic interaction between the surge and the Awakening was required for violence to drop as quickly and widely as it did.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Sean Kane
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The two rising powers in the Middle East—Turkey and Iran—are neighbors to Iraq, its leading trading partners, and rapidly becoming the most influential external actors inside the country as the U.S. troop withdrawal proceeds. Although there is concern in Washington about bilateral cooperation between Turkey and Iran, their differing visions for the broader Middle East region are particularly evident in Iraq, where a renewal of the historical Ottoman-Persian rivalry in Mesopotamia is likely as the dominant American presence fades. Turkey aims for a robust Iraqi political process in which no single group dominates, sees a strong Iraq as contributing to both its own security and regional stability, and is actively investing in efforts to expand Iraqi oil and gas production to help meet its own energy needs and fulfill its goal of becoming the energy conduit from the Middle East to Europe. Iran prefers a passive neighbor with an explicitly sectarian political architecture that ensures friendly Shiite-led governments; sees a strong Iraq as an inherent obstacle to its own broader influence in the region and, in the nightmare scenario, once again possibly a direct conventional military threat; and looks askance at increased Iraqi hydrocarbon production as possible competition for its own oil exports. Baghdad meanwhile believes that it can become a leader in the Middle East but is still struggling to define an inclusive national identity and develop a foreign policy based on consensus. In its current fractured state, Iraq tends to invites external interference and is subsumed into the wider regional confrontation between the Sunni Arab defenders of the status quo and the “resistance axis” led by Shiite Iran. Turkey has an opening in Iraq because it is somewhat removed from this toxic Arab-Persian divide, welcomes a strong Iraq, and offers the Iraqi economy integration with international markets. Ankara could now allay Iraqi Shiite suspicions that it intends to act as a Sunni power in the country and not allow issues on which Turkish and Iraqi interests deviate to set the tone for their relationship. The U.S. conceptualization of an increased Turkish influence in Iraq as a balance to Iran's is limited and could undermine Turkey's core advantages by steering it towards a counterproductive sectarian approach. A more productive U.S. understanding is of Turkey as a regional power with the greatest alignment of interests in a strong, stable, and selfsufficient country that the Iraqis want and that the Obama administration has articulated as the goal of its Iraq policy. On the regional level, a strong and stable Iraq is a possible pivot for Turkish and Iranian ambitions, enabling Ankara and hindering Tehran. Washington may well have its differences with Turkey's new foreign policy of zero problems with its neighbors, but the Turkish blend of Islam, democracy, and soft power is a far more attractive regional template than the Iranian narrative of Islamic theocracy and hard power resistance. The United States should therefore continue to welcome increased Turkish-Iraqi economic, trade, and energy ties and where possible support their development as a key part of its post-2011 strategy for Iraq and the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Imperialism, War
  • 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: Peter R. Mansoor
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The surge in Iraq demonstrated the importance of understanding the influence of culture on warfare. As new books by Dima Adamsky and Gal Luft argue, military and political leaders ignore such issues at their peril.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Richard J. Evans
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: From Jason and the Golden Fleece to Napoleon and the Rosetta Stone it has been to the victor go the spoils. There may no longer be whole-scale pillaging of the Nazi era, but from Egypt to Iraq the...
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Egypt
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: I recently spoke with Dr. John David Lewis about American foreign policy, the uprisings in the Muslim world, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the light that history can shed on such matters. Dr. Lewis is visiting associate professor in the philosophy, politics, and economics program at Duke University and he's the author, most recently, of Nothing Less Than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History. —Craig Biddle Craig Biddle: Thank you for joining me, John. John David Lewis: I'm glad to be here. Thank you for having me. CB: Before we dive into some questions about U.S. foreign policy and the situation in the Middle East, would you say a few words about your work at Duke? What courses do you teach and how do they relate to foreign policy and the history of war? JL: The courses I teach all bring the thought of the ancients into the modern day and always dive to the moral level. For example, I teach freshman seminars on ancient political thought. I also teach a course on the justice of market exchange in which I draw upon the thought of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, etcetera, and approach the question from a moral perspective. In regard to foreign policy and the history of war, I just finished a graduate course at Duke University on Thucydides and the Realist tradition in international relations. International relations studies have been dominated by a school of thought called Realism. This course explores the ideas of Thucydides and how they've translated through history into modern international relations studies and ultimately into the formulation of foreign policy in the modern day. I also teach courses at the University of North Carolina on the moral foundations of capitalism, which use Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged as its core text. I've been involved in speaking to Duke University medical students on health care where, again, I approach the issue from a moral perspective, namely, from the principle of individual rights. CB: That's quite an array of courses, and I know you speak at various conferences and events across the country as well, not to mention your book projects. Your productivity is inspiring. Let's turn your historical lights to some recent events. On the second of May, U.S. SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. This is certainly worthy of celebration, but it's also almost ten years after he and his Islamist cohorts murdered nearly three thousand Americans on American soil. In the meantime, America has gone to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, where more than five thousand additional American soldiers have been killed, and now we're at war in Libya as well. In all of this, neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration has so much as touched the regimes that everyone knows are the main sponsors of terrorism, those in Iran and Saudi Arabia. What's more, neither administration has identified the enemy as Islamists and the states that sponsor them. Bush called the enemy “terror” and “evildoers,” and Obama, uncomfortable with such “clarity,” speaks instead of “man-caused disasters” and calls for “overseas contingency operations.” Are there historical precedents for such massive evasions, and whether there are or aren't, what has led America to this level of lunacy? JL: That's a very interesting question, with many levels of answers. . . .
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Colleen Bell
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This article examines the emergence of counterinsurgency doctrine in Coalition interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. While counterinsurgency is complimentary to the tenets forwarded by its classical military predecessors in several respects, the article shows that it is also more than a refashioning of conventional military practice. Counterinsurgency is intimately tied to institutional practices that shape global liberal governance. It can be traced to dominant trends in international humanitarian, development and peace interventionism since the end of the Cold War and it deepens the links between the social development of war-affected populations and the politics of international security. Rather than simply a shift in military practice, counterinsurgency is distinguished by its investment in civilian modes of warfare. Counterinsurgency retells the narrative of intervention as part of the evolution of political and economic liberalisation, marking a passage from interventionary force to post-interventionary governance. Modern counterinsurgency, it is concluded, exposes the widening indistinction between contemporary modes of peace and those of war in international relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Economics, War, Counterinsurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Robert Foley, Stuart Griffin, Helen McCartney
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: While the US and British armies have proved adept at fighting high-intensity conflict, their initial performance against asymmetric threats and diffuse insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrated how much each army had to learn about conducting counterinsurgency operations. This article examines one important means by which the US and British armies have transformed themselves into more flexible and responsive organizations that are able to harness innovation at the front effectively. It traces the development of the lessons-learned systems in both armies from the start of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq to today. Reform of US and British army learning capabilities offers an important insight into the drivers of military change.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: David Fisher, Nigel Biggar
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article is based on a debate held on 22 March 2011 at Chatham House on 'Was Iraq an unjust war?' David Fisher argues that the war fully failed to meet any of the just war criteria. By contrast, current coalition operations in Libya are, so far, just. This is a humanitarian operation undertaken to halt a humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place, with wide international support, including authorization by the UN Security Council. Nigel Biggar argues that the fact that the invasion and occupation of Iraq suffered from grave errors, some of them morally culpable, does not yet establish its overall injustice. All wars are morally flawed, even just ones. Further, even if the invasion were illegal, that need not make it immoral. Regarding Libya, Biggar notes the recurrence of conflict over the interpretation of international law. He wonders how those who distinguish sharply between protecting civilians and regime change imagine that dissident civilians are to be 'kept' safe while Qadhafi remains in power. Against those who clamour for a clear exitstrategy, he counsels agility, while urging sensitivity to the limits of our power. What was right to begin may become imprudent to continue.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Libya
  • Author: James N. Soligan
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Ongoing engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq have resurrected one of the most important and challenging questions facing political and military leaders in the United States and other nations: how to set objectives, conduct operations, and terminate wars in a manner that achieves intended political outcomes. The collective track record leaves much to be desired, and results of even the most recent conflicts would argue that we have not yet learned the necessary lessons from wars in the 20 th century to prevent making many of the same mistakes and suffering similar consequences in the 21 st century.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: İhsan Şerif Kaymaz
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the First World War, Britain aimed to create an autonomous Kurdish state – or states – in northern Mesopotamia to be governed under its protection. It therefore experimented with various different methods between the years 1918 and 1920. All those attempts were proven futile. Using mainly the British and Ottoman archival material it has been inquired how the British authorities had developed the plan for Kurdistan, how they tried to implement it in the northern Iraq (then the Mosul vilayet) and the southeastern Anatolia respectively, and how they failed. The reasons for Britain's failure had been discussed. After the failure new policy options had been given consideration among which, the debates on retreat came into prominence. The diplomatic negotiation process between the allies and the legal arrangements on Kurdistan that took pace in the Treaty of Sevres was of a nature of keeping up appearances. Kurdistan plan, though failed in 1920's, gained ground in the following years as the international conditions became more convenient. As the Kurdish problem has once again become an issue of worldwide concern, it will be interesting to see how the British government dealt with this complicated problem when it first emerged, some ninety years ago.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iraq, Turkey, Kurdistan
  • Author: Samuel Musa, John Morgan, Matt Keegan
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: At the time of this writing, the United States and the other members of the International Security Assistance Forces are completing nearly a decade of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. What started as more conventional or traditional fights has degenerated over time into insurgency warfare, something U.S. Forces have had to re-learn and re-build to fight. Re-learn and re-build are key elements as U.S. Forces have fought insurgencies in the past, but consistently maintained forces to fight more conventional warfare. Counterinsurgency (COIN) is very different from armored vehicles rolling through the Fulda Gap, or the race to Baghdad. It is a fight not against a Government as much as it is a fight for control of the mind-set of the population by non-state actors in a race to gain popular support. It is a grassroots battle that not only requires military force, but security established at the local level through everyday police presence that represents the Rule of Law, the national Government, and safety and stability locally. It is against this backdrop that the Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP) and the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) came together to look at Policing and COIN and the ways, methods, and techniques that could be shared to help overcome the insurgencies Coalition forces face. The efforts of the CTNSP at the National Defense University (NDU) and the CTTSO culminated in a one-day workshop held on September 29, 2010, on Policing and COIN Operations: Lessons Learned, Strategies, and Future Directions.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Mark Kukis
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Featuring the testimony of close to seventy Iraqis from all walks of life, Voices from Iraq builds a riveting chronological history unmatched for its insight and revelations. Here is a history of the war in Iraq as told entirely by Iraqis living through the U.S. invasion and occupation. Beginning in 2003, this intimate narrative includes the experiential accounts of civilians, politicians, former dissidents, insurgents, and militiamen. Iraqis offering firsthand stories range from onetime Prime Minister Ayad Allawi to resistance fighters speaking on the condition of anonymity. Divided into five parts, these interviews recount the 2003 invasion; Iraq's gradual slide into chaos from 2004 to 2005; the start of a new order in 2006; the rise of open sectarian violence over the next two years; and the effort since 2008 to reconstruct a society from relative calm. Each section includes interviews grouped into themes, with brief epilogues for the participants. Not since Studs Terkel's The Good War has a book captured so acutely the human consequences of a conflict we are still struggling to understand. Voices from Iraq makes utterly vivid the meaning and legacy of America's campaign in Iraq.
  • Topic: War, Reconstruction, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231527569
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Dominic Tierney, Dominic D.P. Johnson
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River in 49 B.C., he broke an ancient law forbidding any general to enter Italy with an army-thus making war with Rome inevitable. Ever since, "crossing the Rubicon" has come to symbolize a point of no return, when the time for deliberation is over and action is at hand. When decisionmakers cross the Rubicon, or stop debating which of several options to pursue and start implementing a chosen policy, the psychological effects can shape the political world in powerful ways-including the outbreak of war.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Annie Tracy Samuel
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This policy brief seeks to contribute to and inform the debate concerning a possible attack by the United States and/or Israel on Iranian nuclear and military facilities. The presumed aim of such an attack would be to weaken the Islamic Republic, particularly by hindering its ability to build a nuclear weapon. However, the history of the Iraqi invasion of Iran in September 1980 calls into question the contention that an attack will weaken the regime in Tehran. This policy brief examines Iran's reactions to the Iraqi invasion in order to shed light on Iran's possible reactions to a U.S. or Israeli attack. It will assess how the Iranian people responded to the invasion and its effects on Iranian politics and the position of the new regime. It will also explore the nature of the policies adopted by the Islamic Republic in waging the Iran-Iraq War that carried on for eight years after the Iraqi invasion.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Adam Mausner
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The security arena will face the most drastic changes in U.S.-Iraqi strategic relations over the next two years. Iraq must assume all responsibility for its internal and external security once the United States withdraws by December 31, 2011, unless it invokes the terms of the Strategic Agreement to seek additional US aid. Iraq must both deal with its own insurgents and with problems in its relations with neighboring countries like Iran, Syria, and the Gulf states. This makes the continued improvement of all elements of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) vital both to Iraq and to the stability of the region, during the period of US withdrawal in 2010-2011 and in the years that follow.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: T.X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In Iraq and Afghanistan, the use of contractors reached a level unprecedented in U.S. military operations. As of March 31, 2010, the United States deployed 175,000 troops and 207,000 contractors in the war zones. Contractors represented 50 percent of the Department of Defense (DOD) workforce in Iraq and 59 percent in Afghanistan. These numbers include both armed and unarmed contractors. Thus, for the purposes of this paper, the term contractor includes both armed and unarmed personnel unless otherwise specified. The presence of contractors on the battlefield is obviously not a new phenomenon but has dramatically increased from the ratio of 1 contractor to 55 military personnel in Vietnam to 1:1 in the Iraq and 1.43:1 in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Privatization, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • 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
  • 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
  • Author: Jessica Stern
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Is it possible to deradicalize terrorists? The success of a rehabilitation program for extremists in Saudi Arabia suggests that it is -- so long as the motivations that drive terrorists to violence are clearly understood and squarely addressed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Grant W. Jones
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: In Winning the Unwinnable War, editor Elan Journo and fellow contributors Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein consider the ideas and events that led to 9/11 and analyze America's response. Arguing that our nation has been made progressively less secure by policies based on "subordinating military victory to perverse, allegedly moral constraints" (p. ix), they offer an alternative: grounding American foreign policy on "the moral ideal of rational self-interest" (p. 188). This they accomplish in the space of seven chapters, divided into three sections: "Part One. The Enemy," "Part Two. America's Self-Crippled Response to 9/11," and "Part Three. From Here, Where Do We Go?" In Part One, in a chapter titled "What Motivates the Jihad on America," Journo considers the nature of the enemy that attacked America on 9/11. With refreshing honesty, Journo dispenses with the whitewashing that often accompanies discussions of Islam and Jihad, pointing out that the meaning of "Islam" is "submission to Allah" and that its nature "demands the sacrifice of not only the mind, but also of self" (p. 33). Says Journo, the Jihadists seek to impose Allah's will-Islamic Law-just as Islamic teaching would have it: by means of the sword. "Islamic totalitarians consciously try to model themselves on the religion's founder and the figure who is held to exemplify its virtues, Muhammad. He waged wars to impose, and expand, the dominion of Islam" (p. 35). In "The Road to 9/11," Journo summarizes thirty years of unanswered Jihadist aggression, beginning with the Iranian takeover of the American embassy in Tehran in 1979. Throughout, Journo criticizes the idea that influenced the actions of America's leaders during this time-"realism"-which he describes as eschewing "[m]oral ideals and other broad principles" in favor of achieving narrow, short-range goals by sheer expediency (p. 20). Because of the nature of their own ideas, says Journo, realists are incapable of understanding the Jihadists and thus incapable of understanding how to act with respect to them. "The operating assumption for realist policymakers is that (like them) no one would put an abstract, far off ideal ahead of collecting some concrete, immediate advantage (money, honor, influence). So for realists, an enemy that is dedicated to a long-term goal-and thus cannot be bought off with bribes-is an enemy that must remain incomprehensible" (p. 21). Journo indicates how realism was applied to the Islamist threat in the years leading up to 9/11: Facing the Islamist onslaught, our policymakers aimed, at most, to manage crises with range-of-the-moment remedies-heedless of the genesis of a given crisis and the future consequences of today's solution. Running through the varying policy responses of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton there is an unvarying motif. . . . Our leaders failed to recognize that war had been launched against us and that the enemy is Islamic totalitarianism. This cognitive failure rendered Washington impotent to defeat the enemy. Owing to myopic policy responses, our leaders managed only to appease and encourage the enemy's aggression (p. 6). After 9/11, President George W. Bush shied away from the realist policy of passively reacting to the ever-escalating Islamist threat-and instead adopted the foreign policy favored by neoconservatives. "In place of 'realism,' neoconservatives advocated a policy often called 'interventionism,' one component of which calls for America to work assertively to overthrow threatening regimes and to replace them with peaceful 'democracies'" (p. 118). Two chapters of Winning the Unwinnable War are devoted to dissecting this policy, "The 'Forward Strategy' of Failure" by Brook and Journo (first published in TOS, Spring 2007) and "Neoconservative Foreign Policy: An Autopsy" by Brook and Epstein (first published in TOS, Summer 2007). In the first of these chapters, Brook and Journo consider Bush's interventionist plan, the "forward strategy of freedom." On the premise that democracies do not wage wars of aggression, Bush launched two campaigns of democratic state building in the Middle East-in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2003, Bush exclaimed, "Iraqi democracy will succeed-and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Tehran-that freedom can be the future of every nation" (p. 54). But neither Iraqi freedom nor American security was achieved by Bush's "forward strategy" of enabling Iraqis and Afghanis to vote. Because of democratic elections, Iraq "is [now] dominated by a Shiite alliance led by the Islamic Dawa Party and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)" (p. 54), and a "further effect of the elections in the region has been the invigoration of Islamists in Afghanistan" (p. 57). . . .
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, America
  • Author: Gary C. Jacobson
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: GARY C. JACOBSON analyzes four surveys designed to investigate partisan polarization on the Iraq war. He finds that modes of motivated reasoning, including motivated skepticism and selective perception, selective memory, and selective exposure, contributed strongly to the emergence of the unusually wide differences of opinion on the war.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Kelly McHugh
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: KELLY McHUGH describes Tony Blair's failed attempts to use his friendship with George W. Bush to influence U.S. foreign policy in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war. She finds that although Blair was often successful in persuading Bush in private meetings, he was outmaneuvered by Vice President Dick Cheney, who opposed Blair's advocacy of multilateralism and diplomacy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: John W. Lango
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: What were the primary justifications for the Iraq War, and how do they relate to classical and contemporary just war thought? Identifying three such justifications—anticipatory, punitive, and humanitarian—Cian O'Driscoll clarifies the debate within the just war community about the invasion.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Geoffrey P. Macdonald
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Andrew Bacevich is angry. He has tirelessly criticized a war that has raged on longer than World War II. As a self-proclaimed conservative and Vietnam veteran, his anti-Iraq War activism is uniquely cogent. On the campus of Boston University, where he teaches International Relations, Bacevich is a folk hero, lending his unimpeachable credentials to the left-leaning inclinations of his students. But his activism has not stopped the war. It didn't stop his son, Army First Lieutenant Andrew Bacevich, Jr., from being deployed to Iraq. And it didn't stop 27-year-old Andrew from being killed-in-action in May of 2007. Andrew Bacevich is angry. As he well should be.
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Vietnam
  • Author: Richard N. Haass, Roger C. Altman
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The U.S. government is incurring debt at an unprecedented rate. If U.S. leaders do not act to curb their debt addiction, then the global capital markets will do so for them, forcing a sharp and punitive adjustment in fiscal policy. The result will be an age of American austerity.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Matthew W. Parin
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Against the backdrop of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a changing strategic environment in the broader Middle East, political leaders now are confronting the difficult question of how to achieve long-term stability. The toppling of the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan and removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq displayed the capability of America's military to marshal overwhelming conventional force against its enemies. However, this overwhelming capability soon was eclipsed when this same force struggled to secure durable peace either in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Middle East, Taliban
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: After almost a decade of war, our Soldiers and leaders continue to perform magnificently in the harshest conditions and within the incredibly complex operating environments of Iraq and Afghanistan. They operate as part of increasingly decentralized organizations, and their tasks are made even more challenging by the unprecedented degree of transparency and near-instantaneous transmission of information. These trends are not an aberration. The future operating environment promises to grow even more complex. Because of that, we believe it is important to reflect on what it means to be a part of a profession. We are asking ourselves how 9 years of war and an era of persistent transparency have affected our understanding of what it means to be a professional Soldier.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Yalım Eralp
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: The Lisbon Summit was important for two reasons. Firstly, the acceptance of a new strategic concept, the seventh since NATO was founded. The new concept comes after the Al Kaide attacks, the Afghan and Iraq wars and a greater threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons. In addition, relations with Russia were reset, making them of strategic importance. The second important aspect is the acceptance of a missile defence system whereby all populations, territory and forces will be protected.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq
  • Author: Bryan Groves
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Military Academy, Department of Social Science
  • 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