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  • Author: Samuel Grier
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: There is an expectation that the West, and the United States in particular, faces catastrophe in Iraq and Afghanistan. Confronted with significant casualties arising from the employment of asymmetric warfare by determined adversaries, the United States and its NATO and Coalition partners have found decisive solutions to both conflicts elusive. Similarly, the challenges confronting Iraqis are daunting, and according to the recently released declassified Key Findings of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, dependence on Coalition forces as an essential stabilizing element in Iraq will continue.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Richard E. Hartwig
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: After the events of 9/11/01, the United States rallied around President George W. Bush. An administration that was initially weak and semi-legiti-mate came to directly control the executive and legislative branches of government and gradually strengthen its influence over the judiciary. Bush and the Republican majority in Congress attained hegemony domestically as well as internationally. Having acquired the power to ignore the rules, they often proceeded to do so. A semi-idealistic “winning is everything” approach to foreign policy led the United States into a quagmire in Iraq. An unempirical “winning is everything” approach to domestic policy, which often distorts the rules (law, science, and standard economics) and ignores the “referees” (the GAO, the CBO, the IMF), has created potentially disastrous medium and long-term problems for the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Michael Greenstone
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: There is a paucity of facts about the effects of the recent military “Surge” on conditions in Iraq and whether it is paving the way for a stable Iraq. Selective, anecdotal and incomplete analyses abound. Policy makers and defense planners must decide which measures of success or failure are most important, but until now few, if any, systematic analyses were available on which to base those decisions. This paper applies modern statistical techniques to a new da ta file derived from more than a dozen of the most reliable and widely-cited sources to assess the Surge's impact on three key dimensions: the functioning of the Iraqi state (including civilian casualties); military casualties; and financial markets' assessment of Iraq's future. The new and unusually rigorous findings presented here should help inform current evaluations of the Surge and provide a basis for better decision making about future strategy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Michael O'Hanlon, Kenneth Pollack
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: From July 17-25 we travelled extensively in central, western and nor thern Iraq. The trip was sponsored by the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) command and so afforded unparalleled access to U.S. and Iraqi military personnel. We spoke at length with the four principal American division commands in those sectors, as well as nearly half of the brigade commanders and their staffs, as well as several battalion and even company commanders. We also met with senior U.S. personnel from the Detainee Forces command, and from the training command known as MNSTCI, as well as a number of Iraqi police and army officers. Similarly, MNF-I saw to it that we were able to meet with key civilian personnel in a variety of PRTs/EPRTs, the U.S. Ambassador, the President's Special Envoy, the CIA station, the US AID mission, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq. Both through our own contacts and those of the military, we also were able to meet with a number of the senior most members of the current Iraqi government (including President Talabani, Vice President 'Abd al-Mahdi, Foreign Minister Zebari, Deputy Prime Minister Salih, and National Security Adviser ar-Rubaie).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Marten Zwanenburg
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: “Because the legal advice was we could do what we wanted to them there” (22). This is how a top-level Pentagon official, in David Rose's Guantánamo: The War on Human Rights explains why detainees held by the United States have been detained at Guantanamo Bay. It is just one illustration of the important role that lawyers have played in the “War on Terror”—a role, along with factors that have or that may have influenced it, that forms the topic of this essay.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: J. Peter Pham
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: In a report on the United Nations-supervised disarmament process in Sierra Leone, veteran Washington Post correspondent Douglas Farah described the pathos of the ragged Revolutionary United Front (RUF) fighters: many were barely into their teens, straggling into a processing center in the diamond-rich eastern district of Kono with little more than ill-fitting rags draped over their emaciated bodies (Farah 2001). There was little evidence that these broken youths had, just a short while earlier, been part of one of the most brutal and effective insurgencies in the world, one whose strategy was predicated on terror in its most primordial expression. Farah's piece was headlined, “They Fought for Nothing, and That's What They Got,” a succinct description of a conflict that struck many as senseless, despite its heavy toll in lives and property.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Stephen D. Sklenka
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on the interrelationship among national interests, stated ends, means to achieve those ends, and the strategies required to tie all of them together into a cohesive and effective vision for the commitment of U.S. forces. The introduction addresses the current U.S. debate regarding proposed actions in the Iraq War and postulates that the lack of true strategic discussion, particularly by our national leadership who instead prefer to focus on far less appropriate discussions such as tactics and techniques, inhibits the development of a comprehensive and effective overarching vision and ultimately is to blame for the setbacks that the U.S.-led coalition has experienced in Iraq. This lack of strategic foresight, however, is not surprising and has become endemic to American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. The fact that so much of U.S. post-Cold War foreign policy involves interventions merely exacerbates the difficulties a lack of strategic foresight engenders. The U.S. inability—or unwillingness—to connect strategic ends and appropriate means to accomplish clearly defined goals has occurred so often over the past 15 years that one could make a credible argument that it has become a disturbing and pervasive characteristic of the modern American way of war.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Mona Yacoubian
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Parliamentary elections across the Middle East have led to a wave of Islamist victories. Islamist parties typically boast leaders who are young and dynamic, with strong ties to the community; their party organizations brim with energy and ideas, attracting those who seek change. The U.S. government has quietly engaged moderate Islamist parties for several years. U.S. engagement has been most successful where democratic reform is already underway and where the government is genuinely committed to political opening. Other factors include the Islamist parties' political sophistication, popular credibility, and openness to working with U.S. organizations. A successful Islamist engagement strategy both empowers individuals and strengthens institutions to yield greater transparency, more accountability, and shifts toward greater moderation. Of the three cases addressed in this paper—Morocco, Jordan, and Yemen—Morocco appears to hold the greatest promise for U.S. engagement with moderate Islamists. Meanwhile, Jordan and Yemen offer important though limited instances of success. U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East affects the ability of U.S. organizations to promote democracy there. At times, Islamist parties have cut off contact with U.S. democracy promoters to protest specific aspects of U.S. foreign policy, such as the war in Iraq. Ultimately, U.S. engagement of moderate Islamists must be understood within the broader political context of the ideological battle in the Muslim world over the place of Islam in public life. Moderate Islamist parties that reject violence and practice democratic ideals are an important counterweight to Islamist extremism, and their work should be encouraged.
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Jordan, Morocco
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Iraq's Persian Gulf neighbors supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq in order to preserve the status quo—a weak and self-absorbed Iraq—rather than to impose a new one. However, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and its aftermath have not brought stability to the Gulf States as much as they have shifted the most serious challenges from external threats (of a hostile Baghdad) to internal threats (the threat of conflict spillover from Iraq). Kuwait fears the growth of Iranian influence in Iraq and the possibility that Iraqi Shia unrest will spill across its own borders. Although many Kuwaitis question the wisdom and capacity of the United States in managing Iraq's internal problems, Kuwait has provided significant support to U.S. military action in Iraq and the country's reconstruction efforts. Qatar has supported U.S. military actions in Iraq by hosting the U.S. Central Command but still maintains the perception of nonalignment. For example, Doha hosts prominent former Iraqi Baathists, not to mention Saddam's own family members. The interest of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Iraq is secondary to its concern over Iran, with which it has a long-standing dispute over ownership of three islands in the Gulf. The unresolved dispute with Tehran over the islands heightens the UAE's concerns about the rising Iranian influence in Iraq. To bolster its relationship with the United States, the UAE offered training to hundreds of Iraqi troops and police recruits in 2004–2005, hosted the first Preparatory Group Meeting for the International Compact with Iraq in September 2006, and funded reconstruction efforts in Iraq through the United Nations and the World Bank. On post-Saddam regional security issues, member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) seem to be more “market takers” than “market makers,” showing little inclination to shape the nature of a larger and potentially more powerful neighbor. Instead, they are focused on immediate choices for calibrating a proper relationship with Washington in a way that accommodates many other important relationships.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Kuwait, Tehran, Baghdad, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Persia
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Manouchehr Mottaki is the Foreign Minister of Iran. In this interview with Nermeen Shaikh, he argues that the US must propose a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, while maintaining that an immediate withdrawal might "create problems". Foreign Minister Mottaki rules out the possibility of any kind of military confrontation between Iran and the US, saying the latter cannot afford to undertake another conflict in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. At the outset, I would like to thank Dr. Desai, President of Asia Society and her colleagues for holding this event. It is my pleasure to be among the distinguished members and guests of Asia Society. Your Society within 50 years of its life has done a pioneer job in expanding knowledge of Americans about the rich civilizations, cultures and art of the Asian ancient continent. This is an important task and further strengthens understanding of nations toward each other. Today, world needs more than ever that cultural and ideational concepts take the lead in building new paradigms of international relations.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Iran, Asia
  • Author: Carl Conetta
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: Few outside the administration would contest that the mission's “measurables” are miserable. The progress in Iraq reconstruction has been glacial and the security situation has steadily deteriorated, despite a great expenditure of time, money, and lives. But why? Critics have variously targeted the administration's strategy, planning, priorities, and level of effort – which suggest that there might be a better way. And, indeed, the administration now claims to have discovered one.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Carl Conetta
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: President Bush's request to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 personnel follows on the heels of similar proposals by Congress members of both parties. Despite the bipartisan appeal of this idea, it is not at all clear what problem it is intended to solve or how it is supposed to solve it. Advocates may believe that America's troubles in Iraq provide reason enough to “grow” the Army and Marine Corps. But this view misconstrues both the lessons of that war and America's true security needs.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Media Tenor International
  • Abstract: Coverage on the Middle East continues to be very prominent in many countries, particularly the United States, where close to 80% of all its international coverage is devoted to the region. In German television, other European countries together received the same volumes as the Middle East. This is a very high ratio, considering that German troops are only involved in Afghanistan, and not in other Arab countries. Coverage on the Middle East is considerably subdued in South African television when compared to other measured countries, perhaps because events in Europe received considerably more attention. German television committed the largest share of its coverage to international news (44%), followed by the United States and Britain (37%), while Arab television dedicated 29% of its coverage to the international arena. The lowest share of international focus was in South African television news (24%).
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, War, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jochen Hippler
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: With US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting rather ruthless counter- insurgency campaigns, the topic of in surgency and counterinsurgency is of pressing relevance. At the same time, questions of internal violence in developing countries have generally been high on the political and academic agenda in the context of “failed” and “failing states”.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Kurt M. Campbell, Willow Darsie
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously bemoaned the challenges of measuring success in a long twilight struggle with Islamic fundamentalists. There are the “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” that confront the United States in the most unfamiliar set of foreign policy challenges in the country's history. In addition to the difficulties of establishing “metrics” – as Rumsfeld would put it – in our war on terror, there is also the intrinsically related and perhaps more vexing question of how the global ideological virus of Islamic fundamentalism is morphing and evolving. An influential and well-funded cohort of radicalized Islamists, seizing upon an unyielding interpretation of religious text (a kind of Koranic original intent), has been at war with the West for nearly a generation, and the pace of operations globally is accelerating. According to recently released U.S. government reports, there has been a sharp surge in the number of global terrorist attacks in recent years, a tally substantially comprised of incidents initiated by Islamist instigators. Taken in its totality with all its many manifestations, the jihadist challenge stretches from the Taliban strongholds in the rugged Afghan mountains and the dense jungle hideouts of the Philippines, to the ornate mosques of Saudi Arabia, from a quiet neighborhood in Leeds, England to, just possibly, a place near you.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Ramesh Thakur
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In this paper, Ramesh Thakur examines the implications of the Iraq War for the UN, shows how the goals being pursued in Iraq have been undermined by the means, and argues that the liberation of the people from Saddam Hussein's brutal regime was a collateral benefit amidst much damage to principles, institutions and relations. His thesis is that the Iraq War has complicated the international community's efforts to fashion a robust collective response to the nuclear challenge posed by Iran. The war's legacies include diminished Western credibility in highlighting an Iran threat, narrower policy options in responding to the nuclear challenge, and an Iran that is simultaneously politically stronger in Iraq, richer due to rising oil prices, and more emboldened and motivated on national security.
  • Topic: United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nearly four years after 9/11 , hardly a day passes without the "war on terrorism" making headlines, with Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia and now London holding centre stage. But away from the spot light, a quiet, dirty conflict is being waged in Somalia: in the rubble-strewn streets of the ruined capital of this state without a government, Mogadishu, al-Qaeda operatives, jihadi extremists, Ethiopian security services and Western-backed counter-terrorism networks are engaged in a shadowy and complex contest waged by intimidation, abduction and assassination. The U.S. has had some success but now risks evoking a backlash. Ultimately a successful counter-terrorism strategy requires more attention to helping Somalia with the twin tasks of reconciliation and state building.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Iraq, Indonesia, Middle East, London, Somalia
  • Author: Anja H. Ebnöther, Philipp H. Fluri
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Austrian National Defence Academy
  • Abstract: The transition from interventionist (military) peace-keeping to local (civilian) ownership of public security management has proved not only to be a severe challenge for most peace-keeping operations and their civilian administrators, but also a reason for such operations being prolonged at tremendous cost. In many cases, peace-keeping operations and/or other international agents rapidly became part of the local economy, and thus contributed to the preservation of the status quo rather than to a sustainable process leading toward local governance; meanwhile local police organs - often remnants of the winning force in the antecedent conflict - remained tribal or clannish in their approaches and interests. They could thus hardly be seen as enforcement agencies of a law which remains equally applied to all citizens.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, International Organization, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Balkans
  • Author: Katrina Kosec, Scott Wallsten
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Government policies are routinely subjected to rigorous cost analyses. Yet one of today's most controversial and expensive policies—the ongoing war in Iraq—has not been. The $212 billion allocated by the U.S. Treasury has been widely reported. But the real, direct economic costs include more than budgetary allocations. Other costs include lives lost, injuries, and lost civilian productivity of National Guard and Reserve troops mobilized for the conflict. The conflict, however, also has gene rated cost savings, especially in terms of resources no longer being used to enforce UN sanctions and people no longer being killed by Saddam Hussein's regime.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Palestine