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  • 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
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In recent years, many (non-American as well as American) analysts have put in question the wisdom and rationale of the US doctrine of the “dual containment” towards Iraq and Iran. Rather than being a strategic doctrine, the “dual containment” is a state of affairs reflecting the fact that the US was left without viable political options in the region by a set of mistakes whose cost it will be able to recover only in a more or less distant time: in particular, the full and blind support to the Shah's regime against any nationalist, liberal and religious groups in the country and the support to Iraq in the war against Iran, which convinced the Iraqi ruling regime of being entitled to exercise in the region a kind of proconsular power and prepared the country politically and militarily to its unfortunate attempt at swallowing Kuwait.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Iran, Kuwait, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ephraim Sneh
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Recently, four factors have combined to make the situation in the Middle East far more combustible than it is has been for a long time. These elements are: Iraq has managed to break out of the boundaries imposed by the UN sanctions regime and to evade weapons inspections. Saddam Husayn is now stronger than ever and ready to play a role in the region. He has signaled this intention by his deployment of troops on the western borders of Iraq just before the Arab summit in Egypt. Although he has since pulled them back, this maneuver was intended to send the message that Saddam Husayn is a force to be reckoned with from now on. Iran has enhanced its efforts to use a consortium of terrorist groups against the remnants of the peace process. Intelligence information shows that Iran has deployed long-range Katyusha missiles in Lebanon and that it is encouraging Hizballah activities against Israel. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has disappointed most analysts, who hoped that he would focus on addressing Syria's economy and other domestic concerns. Instead, his speeches both at the Arab summit in Egypt and at the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Qatar have been extremely bellicose. In addition, it is clear that the recent kidnappings by Hizballah and a Palestinian group's attempt to infiltrate Israel through Lebanon could not have taken place without at the least a green light from Damascus, even if Bashar himself did not authorize them specifically. Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasir Arafat has evidently changed course from negotiation to confrontation. So far, the Palestinian cause has proven to be uniting force in the Arab world; under certain circumstances, it might also serve as a good pretext for resumption of full-scale hostilities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Alan Makovsky, Cengiz Candar, Efraim Inbar
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The emergence of close Israeli-Turkish relations is one of the significant strategic developments in the post-Cold War Middle East. These ties are likely to flourish as long as Israel and Turkey remain pro-Western, anti-Islamic fundamentalist, and compatible in military inventory. Turkish-Israeli ties should be described as a "strategic relationship," not as an alliance. Turkey and Israel are not obligated or likely to go to war if the other is attacked. They also have somewhat differing threat perceptions regarding Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Richard Butler
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Ten years ago the UN Security Council imposed upon Iraq some very specific requirements for disarmament. After Iraq had been expelled from Kuwait, the Council decided unanimously that Iraq may not have nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons; or missiles which could fly beyond 150 km. The Security Council's decisions were taken with the full authority of international law.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Kuwait, Arabia
  • Author: Richard Butler
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After two years as the United Nations' chief arms inspector in Iraq, Ambassador Richard Butler resigned June 30 executive chairman of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM). Butler's departure from UNSCOM, whose operations in Iraq have been suspended since the U.S.-British air and missile attacks in December 1998, coincides with the apparent demise of UNSCOM due to Baghdad's continuing refusal to fulfill its disarmament obligations and the widening rift within the UN Security Council as to how to deal with the government of Saddam Hussein.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad
  • Author: Martin Indyk, Leslie H. Gelb
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Dr. Leslie H. Gelb (President, Council on Foreign Relations): Thank you very much, Martin, for that very well formed and important statement, and for giving it here. Let me ask you the first question on Iran-Iraq, and we'll do that for about 15 minutes or so. Do you have to break promptly at two? Why don't we agree that we'll go on to ten past or maybe a quarter past two? Those who have to leave at two, we will understand. Please do so, but we'll continue until about 2:15 p.m.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The situation in Iraq is more precarious than at any time since the April 2003 ouster of the Baathist regime, largely reflecting the Coalition's inability to establish a legitimate and representative political transition process. The broad plan sketched out by UN Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi, the apparent willingness of the U.S. to delegate at least some political responsibility to the UN and the decision to loosen the de-Baathification decree are all steps in the right direction. But critical questions remain both unanswered and, in some cases, unasked.
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Eastern Europe, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past decade the South Caucasus region has faced bloody internal conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and to a lesser extent South Ossetia. It continues to display potential for instability as Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia exhibit the combined characteristics of war-torn societies and countries in transition. Given the geostrategic importance of the Caucasus and the strong interests of regional and international powers—particularly in the potential energy output—renewed armed confrontations would have serious economic, political and security implications across national borders. Moreover, spill-over into other volatile zones could bring about the open intervention of powerful neighbors, such as Iran, Iraq, Russia and Turkey, and could threaten larger peace and security arrangements.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Asia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Shahram Chubin
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: In the past fifty years five US President's from Truman to Clinton have directly or indirectly, affirmed US interests in the Middle East. The 'doctrines' in the case of Carter (1979) and Reagan (1981) specifically addressed the security of the Persian Gulf. The same period has seen the withdrawal of imperial powers. Three decades ago Britain managed the security of the Persian Gulf. Two decades ago France had the largest naval force in the Indian Ocean. The contraction of these commitments was encouraged by the US, which was unwilling to be associated with colonialism and its evils. Yet since Britain's withdrawal from the Gulf which occasioned the Nixon doctrine, the US has been grappling with how best to assure security. Reliance on regional states ("twin pillars") was upset by the Iranian revolution. In the 1980's the long Iran-Iraq war underscored the need for a Western role, but neither its shape nor its duration were clear. Local forces were reluctant to envisage any thing beyond an "over the horizon presence."
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran, Middle East, France