Search

Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Linda J. Skitka, Peter Liberman
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: In January 2002 national survey data, we find a strong relationship between Americans' desire to avenge 9/11 and their bellicosity toward Iraq, even after controlling for the perceived terrorist threat, left right ideology, and approval of U.S. political leaders. This effect could have been due to suspicions of Iraqi complicity in 9/11 stemming from prior enemy images of Iraq, or to the effects of anger and desires for revenge on out-group antipathy, displaced blame, and optimistic assessment of war risks. We test the out group antipathy hypothesis and find evidence that anti-Arab and anti-Muslim antipathy partially mediated vengefulness's effect on bellicosity. Vengeance, in turn, was boosted by retributiveness (proxied by rightwing authoritarianism) and patriotism. While perceptions of the Iraqi threat probably assumed greater importance over the course of the following year, additional survey data shows that even as war approached, most supporters acknowledged it would satisfy a desire for revenge.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Christopher M. Schnaubelt
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: What a difference 30,000 additional troops and a new strategy make. A few years ago, Afghanistan was commonly viewed as the model of a successful intervention while many politicians, military analysts, and pundits believed that the war in Iraq was being irretrievably lost. Yet today— although conditions still have a long way to go before normalcy has been achieved—the progress in Iraq following “the surge” directed by President Bush in January 2007 is widely recognized. All the indicators of violence: attacks against Iraqi infrastructure and government organizations; small arms, mortar and rocket attacks, and casualties among Iraqi civilians, Iraqi Security Forces, and Coalition Forces have sharply declined since July 2007. The situation has gone from being generally perceived as on the brink of disaster to being a success story (albeit belated and costly).
  • Topic: NATO, Terrorism, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Mark G. Czelusta
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Donald Rumsfeld's vision of a transformed United States military has been discussed by many and understood by few. It is no surprise that this lack of understanding has resulted in both significant simplifications and sweeping generalizations, to include the Reuters headline noted above. Even the term, “Rumsfeld's Transformation,” accounts for neither the historical influences that led to his vision, nor the multiple components of this transformational effort.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Joseph Felter, Brian Fishman
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Iran has a robust program to exert influence in Iraq in order to limit American power-projection capability in the Middle East, ensure the Iraqi government does not pose a threat to Iran, and build a reliable platform for projecting influence further abroad. Iran has two primary modes of influence. First, and most importantly, it projects political influence by leveraging close historical relationships with several Shi'a organizations in Iraq: the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), the Badr organization, and the Dawah political party. Second, Iran uses the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Qods Force (QF) to provide aid in the form of paramilitary training, weapons, and equipment to various Iraqi militant groups, including Moqtada al-Sadr's Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) and the Special Group Criminals (SGCs). Iran also projects influence through economic initiatives and various religious programs. Iranian influence in Iraq is inevitable, and some of it is legal and constructive. Nonetheless, Iranian policy in Iraq is also duplicitous. Iran publicly calls for stability while subverting Iraq's government and illegally sponsoring anti‐government militias.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Shai Feldman, Shahram Chubin, Abdulaziz Sager, David L. Aaron
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The Middle East and its security remains a vital ingredient in international security. The region's tensions, conflicts and stability are of fundamental concern to a wide range of actors, whose interests or proximity make it a priority. The novelty today is the increasing inter-relations of these conflicts and instability and the limitations of outside power influence. This, together with the appearance of new actors in the region, namely India and China, seems likely to transform diplomacy in the future. Regional dynamics, which are increasingly resistant to outside power influence or control, continue to shape the strategic environment. These dynamic forces, ranging from terrorism, sectarianism, and on-going conflicts, intersect and add to the region's instability and fragmentation. The conflict zone (from the Levant to Iran) overlaps the “energy ellipse” (in the Gulf), that is, the dependence of much of the world on this region for energy supplies. Superimposed on this is the related feature of the region, namely the emergence in the GCC of the 'super rich' states, carving out a new niche and economic identity with their newfound wealth. The region is thus complex: unstable, vulnerable, and wealthy in parts. Weak, shattered, or embryonic states (Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine) co-exist with strong states like Egypt, cautious ones like Saudi Arabia, and ambitious ones, notably Iran. What seems clear from the perspective of 2008 is the continuing need for international engagement, combined with a recognition that this engagement must be constructive and cannot substitute for local initiatives or substitute for local forces, which at best, can only be harnessed, not controlled.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Oil, War
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, Middle East, India, Palestine, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt
  • Author: L.H.M. Ling, Ching-Chane Hwang
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: Sun Tzu seems more popular than ever. The Bush Administration attributes its successful invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq to tactics in The Art of War such as “shock and awe” and “decapitation.” However, neither exists in Sun Tzu's manual. More seriously, this misappropriation reinforces an imperial hypermasculinity in US foreign policy given its neoliberal logic of “conversion or discipline” for Self/Other relations. Rival camps of imperial hypermasculinity arise in reaction, thereby rationalizing the US Self's resort to such in the first place. Locking the world into ceaseless rounds of hostility between opposed enemies, we argue, contradicts Sun Tzu's purpose. The Art of War sought to transform, not annihilate, the enemy as mandated by the cosmo-moral, dialectical world order that governed Sun Tzu's time. In misappropriating Sun Tzu, then, the Bush Administration turns The Art of War into mere kitsch.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Marcin Terlikowski
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the last two decades, the issue of private military companies and the privatization of the sphere of international security, have been addressed by political decision-makers in many countries, military experts, as well by the media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It seems that the controversies and sometimes very categorical opinions which have emerged concerning these issues have several sources. Firstly, the relatively sudden appearance of a new type of non-public actor in the military sphere, which traditionally was the exclusive activity of the state, was associated with consternation caused by negative connotations with historic, still pre-Westphalian international order where significant roles were played by private armies and other mercenary forces (e.g. condottieres, corsairs). Secondly, the activities of these types of firm have caused a number of problems. For example, to this day, not all the circumstances have been explained regarding the participation by several firms in conflicts in Africa and the Balkans in the 1990s, while the media are still reporting various irregularities and incidents involving such enterprises. Thirdly, this specific business has developed with enormous dynamism, continuously generating profits and extending both the geographical scope of activities and the profile of the services provided.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Steven Simon
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: When this Council Special Report (CSR) was first issued in February 2007, the debate over the surge was raging. President George W. Bush had only announced his intention to deploy additional troops. Democrats and Republicans rushed to the barricades either to deplore or to defend it. This report, however, saw the surge as inevitable—since its opponents were powerless to stop it—and, more importantly, as beside the point.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Amid the media and military focus on Baghdad, another major Iraqi city – Basra – is being overlooked. Yet Basra's experience carries important lessons for the capital and nation as a whole. Coalition forces have already implemented a security plan there, Operation Sinbad, which was in many ways similar to Baghdad's current military surge. What U.S. commanders call “clear, hold and build”, their British counterparts earlier had dubbed “clear, hold and civil reconstruction”. And, as in the capital, the putative goal was to pave the way for a takeover by Iraqi forces. Far from being a model to be replicated, however, Basra is an example of what to avoid. With renewed violence and instability, Basra illustrates the pitfalls of a transitional process that has led to collapse of the state apparatus and failed to build legitimate institutions. Fierce intra-Shiite fighting also disproves the simplistic view of Iraq neatly divided between three homogenous communities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Civil War, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • 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