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  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: President George Bush gave his 2007 State of the Union address on January 23. While the speech covered many domestic issues, Bush also laid out his foreign policy approach to Iraq, Iran, terrorism, and democracy promotion. Excerpts from the president's speech are in italics; my comments follow.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Jason Yossef Ben-Meir
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The new strategy of the United States in Iraq does not include an extensive overhaul of reconstruction efforts at this critical time. Very little money is now being appropriated for reconstruction. As the Iraq Study Group Report explains, of the $21 billion to date that has been appropriated for the “Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund” (IRRF), $16 billion has been spent and the remaining funds have been committed. The administration requested $750 million for 2007, and President Bush's new proposal is to add $1.2 billion to that.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Erik Leaver, Phyllis Bennis
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Despite the breathless hype, the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group (ISG) report did not include any dramatic new ideas for ending the war in Iraq. In fact, it did not include a call to end the war at all. Rather, the report's recommendations focus on transforming the U.S. occupation of Iraq into a long-term, sustainable, off-the-front-page occupation with a lower rate of U.S. casualties. Despite its title, it does not provide "A New Approach: A Way Forward."
  • Topic: Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Conn Hallinan
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: In the 5th century BC, the Greek tragic playwright Euripides coined a phrase that still captures the particular toxic combination of hubris and illusion that seizes many of those in power: Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad. What other line could better describe British Prime Minister Tony Blair's recent address to his nation's troops hunkered down at Camp Bastion, in southern Afghanistan's Helmand Province? Here, Blair said. In this extraordinary piece of desert is where the fate of world security in the early 21st century is going to be decided. While Blair was turning Afghanistan's arid south into the Armageddon of terrorism, the rest of the country was coming apart at the seams. Attacks by insurgents have reached 600 a month, more than double the number in March, and almost five times the number in November of last year. We do have a serious problem in the south, one diplomat told Rachel Morarjee of the Financial Times on November 22, but the north is a ticking time bomb. Suicide bombers have struck Kunduz in the north, where former U.S. protégé Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and his Hezb-e-Islami organization are hammering away at the old Northern Alliance. The latter, frozen out of the current government following the 2001 Bonn Conference, is busy stockpiling arms and forming alliances with drug warlords. According to the Associated Press, opium poppy production is up 59%. While Blair was bucking up the troops, their officers were growing increasingly desperate. Major Jon Swift, a company commander in the Royal Fusiliers told the Guardian that casualties were very significant and showing no signs of reducing, and Field Marshall Peter Inge, former chief of the British military, warned that the army in Afghanistan could risk operational failure, military speak for defeat. The Brits don't have a monopoly on madness, however. Speaking in Riga, Latvia on the eve of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting, President George Bush said, I am not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete. We can accept nothing less than victory for our children and our grandchildren. In the meantime, the Iraq War that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said would cost $50 billion at the most, was burning up more than twice that each year. The Pentagon just requested $160 billion in supplemental funds for the Iraq and Afghan wars for the remainder of fiscal 2007. Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz says the final costs may exceed $2 trillion.
  • Topic: NATO, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: It is doubtful that the Bush administration will be very successful advancing America's image in the Islamic world as long as its representatives have such trouble telling the truth. A case in point took place on October 21, when U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes was talking before a group of university students in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country. As she has found elsewhere in her visits in the Islamic world, there is enormous popular opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the ongoing U.S. counter-insurgency war.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Indonesia, Middle East, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Tom Hayden
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: In January 2005, a group of fifty peace activists from the Vietnam and Iraq eras issued a global appeal to end the war (online at http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/20996/). The appeal proposed undermining the pillars of war (public opinion, funding, troop recruitment, international allies) and building the pillars of peace and justice (an independent anti-war movement linked to justice issues, a progressive Democratic opposition, soldiers and families against the war, a global network to stop the US empire). This is an update on implementation of the strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Daniel Ellsberg
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: I'm often asked whether there aren't big differences between the Iraq War and Vietnam. And I'm always quick to say, of course, there are differences. In Iraq, it's a dry heat. And the language that none of our troops or diplomats speak is Arabic rather than Vietnamese.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Vietnam, Arabia
  • Author: Gareth Porter
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: For an anti-war activist of the Vietnam era, the current search for a political strategy for ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq brings to mind the very similar problems facing the movement to end the Vietnam War in 1968-69. In fact, a review of the strategy that the anti-war movement pursued at that juncture of the Vietnam War helps clarify the choices before the present movement and their likely consequences. It should serve as a warning against ignoring the possibility of embracing the negotiation of a compromise peace agreement with those resisting the U.S. occupation as an anti-war strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Vietnam
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Ten years after the Gulf War, U.S. policy toward Iraq continues to suffer from an overreliance on military solutions, an abuse of the United Nations and international law, and a disregard for the human suffering resulting from sanctions. Furthermore, Washington's actions have failed to dislodge Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East