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  • Author: Robert Sedgwick
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • 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: Robert Sedgwick
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: RS: Let's start at the beginning. In 2003 Colin Powell went to the UN and declared Iraq to be in violation of Resolution 1441 (passed Nov. 2002). A subsequent resolution was drawn up authorizing the use of force but was withdrawn when it became evident that three of the permanent members of the Security Council were going to veto it. The United States then went to war without the support of the Security Council in what many have condemned as a flagrant violation of international law. Were you at the time and are you now at all concerned about the legal consequences of the invasion and what kind of precedent it may have set?
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Mark E. Clark
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: CIAO: There has been considerable discussion lately among analysts of U.S. foreign policy on the insurgency in Iraq. Although you have not dealt with the local insurgents or foreign fighters operating in Iraq, previously you managed to observe up close the preparations made by Serbian nationalist groups in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and by Yugoslav military, security services, and Serbian nationalist paramilitary groups in the Kosovo-Metohija province of Serbia for long-term insurgencies against the U.S. and NATO. Using that expertise, and your knowledge of events in Iraq, could you share some thoughts on the insurgency in Iraq?
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Middle East, Arabia, Kosovo, Serbia
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: Neoconservative supporters of President Bush are supposedly fond of the notion that, while Baghdad is for "men," "real men" go to Tehran. But are there larger implications of this notion beyond the swagger implied? What is the link between the war in Iraq and future US policy toward Iran? Is the war in Iraq perceived in neoconservative -- or "Vulcan" -- circles as a mere stepping stone to a confrontation with Iran? Where do Iraq and Iran fit into the larger historical framework of US interests in the Persian Gulf?
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Tehran
  • Author: Michaela C. Hertkorn
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: A declaration on NATO transformation of October 6, 2002 stated the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) needed to be “capable of taking action whenever the security of its members was threatened, upon the basis of the United Nations Charter. By making it clear that there is no safe haven for those who would threaten our societies or for those who would harbor such people” the deterrent element of Alliance strategy was strengthened. The North Atlantic Council should decide actions on a case-by-case basis. Where NATO as a whole was not engaged, allies willing to take action should be able to make use of NATO assets, procedures and practices. The declaration stressed high priority goals essential to the full range of Alliance missions including the defense against terrorism. This new initiative was to be based on firm national commitments with specific target dates. National commitments should be made transparent for parliamentary monitoring and oversight. Priority should be given to projects maximizing multi-nationality, and which had the potential to become common NATO assets. NATO and European Union capabilities initiatives needed to be mutually reinforced and thoroughly harmonized through permanent co-ordination mechanisms and procedures in a spirit of openness. NATO should redouble its efforts to reduce the fragmentation of defense procurement efforts through the pooling of military capabilities, co-operative acquisition of equipment and common funding. It should reduce to a minimum the obstacles for the sharing of technology. The alliance had to be able to act wherever NATO' s interests were threatened, creating coalitions under NATO' s own mandate, as well as contributing to mission-based coalitions, concerning both, old and new threats. NATO General Secretary, Lord Robertson referred to the experience NATO had with post-conflict stabilization, as in Kosovo and Macedonia. On October 8, 2002 Robertson declared, an enormous number of security issues on the Euro-Atlantic agenda required the greatest possible communication and coordination among Europeans and North Americans. The November 2002 Prague Summit would be a transforming event for the Alliance. It covered a wide range from terrorism, NATO' s military command arrangements and headquarters structure, to a further development of Partnership. The most visible issues referred to enlargement and improvements to NATO' s military capabilities. The question of capabilities concerned the member countries of NATO and of the European Union (EU). Because each nation had only one set of forces, it was necessary to make the best use possible of the scarce resources, avoiding duplication and overlaps. The message was very clear: the European Capabilities Action Plan and NATO' s Prague Capabilities Commitment needed to be coherent. Work in full transparency on capabilities issues was imperative, if EUNATO impasse was to be avoided or ended.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Kosovo, Germany, United Nations, Macedonia
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: The conclusion of the Cold War between 1989-1991 opened new horizons for the United Nations and created expectations that the UN would emerge from the margins of world events to the focus of world politics. But many events since then -- in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Iraq -- have undermined confidence in international institutions. A history of the UN's activities since the end of the East-West conflict conjures up names of recent infamy, such as Sarajevo, Mogadishu, Kigali, and Srebrenica, and revisits images of failure and impotence in the face of violence. These crises undermined much of the optimism that greeted the end of the Cold War at the United Nations. The founding dream in 1945 of a community of nations defending human rights and promoting collective security still seems as far from being realized as it did during the height of the Cold War.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Cold War, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Sean Costigan, Adam Mausner, Siheun Song
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: One year into the occupation of Iraq the United States and its Coalition partners remain in discussions over the country's fate. The deliberations have generally focused on the involvement of the United Nations, the schedule for handing over sovereignty to a democratic Iraqi government, and ultimately what the Iraqi government should resemble. The terms of the debate have regularly been sidelined by unforeseen events, including the recent rebellion in Fallujah, Shiite opposition in the south, grandstanding by local politicians, demagoguery, defection of Iraqi police and security forces and the wavering of Coalition partners, to name but a few. While progress is clearly being made in some areas, there are numerous signs that Iraq may not be ready for the June 30 transition of power. The top U.S. administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, has suggested that by June 30 Iraqi security forces simply will not be up to the task of defending against insurgents. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is more optimistic and remains committed to the June 30 deadline.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, United Nations
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan, M. James Wilkinson
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council has, in the words of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, “come to a fork in the road . . . (that) may be a moment no less decisive than 1945.”i The US Administration precipitated the crisis when, unable to secure Council approval for using armed force against Iraq, it fashioned its own “coalition of the willing” and drove Saddam Hussein from power. The events surrounding the US action and its aftermath have spawned a vigorous debate over President Bush's policies and whether the Security Council in its present -- or any other -- form can play a serious role henceforth in the quest to ensure international peace and security.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia