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  • Author: Michael Wackenreuter
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: On March 12, 2003, a week before the invasion of Iraq, a Principals Committee meeting of the National Security Council was held at the White House to formally decide the fate of the Iraqi Army.[1] The participants, having all received extensive briefings on the subject prior to meeting, voted unanimously and with little discussion that after disbanding the Republican Guard, the “regular soldiers” of the Iraqi Army would be called “back to duty.”[2] In spite of this decision, on May 23, 2003, L. Paul Bremer III—President Bush’s “special envoy” in Iraq—announced Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 2, “Dissolution of Entities.” Among the relevant entities to be dissolved by the decree was the Iraqi Army.[3] In an interview with the journalist Robert Draper at the end of his presidency, President Bush commented on this apparent dissonance when he remarked, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.” When asked further of his reaction when he found out about the decree, Bush replied, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’”[4] Having endured significant criticism over CPA Order No. 2, Mr. Bremer was quick to defend himself, providing letters to The New York Times to and from the president “in order to refute the suggestion in Mr. Bush’s comment that Mr. Bremer had acted to disband the army without the knowledge and concurrence of the White House.”[5] Such a puzzling exchange over such an important topic serves to illustrate a larger point. That is, despite its centrality to America’s involvement in Iraq, from the emergence of the insurgency onward to its current conflict with ISIS, it still remains unclear how and why the decision to disband the Iraqi Army was made. In this paper, I demonstrate that the impetus for CPA Order No. 2 came from the prominent Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi, and was carried out under the authority of Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney by a small group of Chalabi’s supporters in the Office of the Vice President and the Pentagon. I do so first by establishing the lengths to which those in the vice president’s office, in concert with like-minded officials at the Defense Department, were willing to go in order to support Chalabi, who favored disbanding the army. Secondly, I identify the striking similarities between the events surrounding the order and other instances involving the vice president that involved a bypass of the normal interagency policy-making process...
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, History, Army, Baath Party, Iraq War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Charles Simpson
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In 2003, Dr. Richard Norton presented a gloomy picture of urbanization: “Imagine a great metropolis covering hundreds of square miles… a territory where the rule of law has long been replaced by near anarchy in which the only security available is that which is attained through brute power.” Norton is describing his vision of the “feral city,” a space where political, economic, and military stressors bring about a city’s decline, a concept that became a major concern of security thinkers over the next decade. Reading Norton’s descriptions, large urbanized refugee communities of the Syrian crisis appear especially vulnerable to feral relapse. However, despite superficial parallels to Norton’s description, field research presented in this article will argue that the 82,000-resident Za’atari Syrian refugee camp—perhaps the most grimly reported refugee camp in the region—stands significantly in contrast to the “feral city” model: rather than declining to a “feral” state, Za’atari’s residents and authorities have demonstrated incredible resilience while maintaining, strengthening, and innovating new governance mechanisms for achieving human security. A wider search for feral cities in Mogadishu and Syria suggests that this resilience to feral decline is more the rule than the exception for modern cities.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Urbanization, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Jordan, Somalia
  • Author: Colin P. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: On November 5, 2015, authorities in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels, Belgium shut down Café del Beguines. The bar was frequently host to drug deals and other illicit activities, known to “[compromise] public security and tranquillity.”[1] The bar manager, Ibrahim Abdesalam, was one of the attackers involved in the Paris terror events in mid-November 2015. The attacks shook France and shocked the world, and at the year end, investigation of the events still posed many unanswered questions. French and international investigators have focused their efforts on exposing the source of funding for the attacks. Although an important part of any investigation, it must be understood that the funds necessary to plan and conduct attacks like these are minimal, often requiring less than $10,000[2] Unfortunately, terrorists have learned that small sums of money collected over time through the use of somewhat banal criminal activities can be effective, and even reliable, sources of funding.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Spain