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  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With the northern front in Iraq being officially launched today, coalition forces may soon move toward the city of Kirkuk, which they began bombing on March 21. Kirkuk, claimed by Kurds as the prospective capital of a Kurdish region in postwar Iraq, is the bastion of the Turkmens, a Turkish-speaking community that shares close historical, social, and cultural ties with the Anatolian Turks in neighboring Turkey. Their fortunes will be closely scrutinized in Turkey during and after Operation Iraqi Freedom. If Turks feel that the Turkmen community is being discriminated against or threatened, they could force Ankara to take action, perhaps undermining what remains of U.S.-Turkish cooperation in Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ilter Turkmen, Emre Gonensay
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On March 17, 2003, Ambassador Ilter Turkmen and Emre Gonensay addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Turkmen has served as the Turkish minister of foreign affairs (1980-1983), as the undersecretary-general of the United Nations, and as the commissioner-general of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Professor Gonensay served as the Turkish minister of foreign affairs in 1996.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Over the past two days, U.S. forces have battled elements of the four Republican Guard (RG) divisions that form the outer ring of Baghdad's defenses, initiating what may be the decisive phase of the coalition's invasion of Iraq. The possibility of urban combat in Baghdad is a daunting one, entailing risks not only for coalition forces, but for the Iraqi regime as well. Although the battle for Baghdad is likely to be the decisive phase of the current campaign, it is unlikely to be the final stage of this conflict. Rather, it will mark the transition to a new phase of what is likely to become a protracted struggle, one that could last as long as U.S. troops remain in Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As demonstrated by President George W. Bush's request to Congress yesterday to provide Turkey with $1 billion in aid -- money that can be leveraged into $8 billion in loan guarantees -- Turkey will remain a key country for Washington. But the Iraq war is a watershed in U.S.-Turkish relations, and the partnership will inevitably involve a new agenda based on postwar realities.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Iraqi forces have been countering the U.S.-led Operation Iraqi Freedom with a form of "outside-in" strategy, defending their country from the periphery to the center. Although the coalition is winning every significant engagement and has penetrated to the heart of the country, Saddam Husayn's regime is not giving ground easily, and the costs of bringing it down will rise. The regime is demonstrating once again that it is a dynamic opponent, capable of understanding what it faces and coming up with surprises.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Coalition ground forces entered Iraq on the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in contrast to Operation Desert Storm in 1991, when the ground assault followed forty-three days of air strikes involving an average of 2,500 sorties per day. This difference was due in large part to the fact that much of the work of preparing the battlefield had been completed well before the current operation began. Specifically, coalition air forces have long engaged in large-scale activities in Iraq's no-fly and no-augmentation zones, flying as many as 1,000 sorties per day -- substantially more than the 700 sorties flown during the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: An apparently spontaneous protest stopped traffic in Cairo's Tahrir Square Thursday. Protesting the allied attack on Iraq, some of the participants turned violent, overturning police blockades. In Damascus, riot police fired tear gas on hundreds of protesters who threw rocks and tried to rush the U.S. embassy. Several smaller demonstrations were also reported in Lebanon, Jordan, and the Gaza Strip. Today, more protests occurred in Cairo, Jerusalem, Beirut, Damascus, Amman, and Manama. In Yemen, a shootout was reported between police and antiwar protesters marching on the U.S. embassy in Sanaa. These incidents support the idea of a dangerous "Arab street," reflecting a disaffected Arab public incensed at U.S. policy. What is the impact of Arab antiwar opinion on regional stability?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt, Judith Yaphe, Eric Mathewson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: It is day one of the Iraqi war. The Iraqi nation is in chaos. In the mosques, fatwas (religious decrees) are issued against the invading Westerners. The Kurds revolt. At home, antiwar protesters are demonstrating in the streets: is the objective of this war regional stability, political change, or oil?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: There has been much speculation that under certain circumstances -- either just before a war or in the early stages of a coalition operation -- some elements of the Iraqi military would move against Saddam Husayn and his regime. A coup against Saddam would in fact be a highly complex event with uncertain benefits for the coalition. Whether or not such an action were to begin before or after the onset of war, specific requirements would have to be met and serious obstacles overcome in order to achieve a successful end result. The history of failed coups against Saddam suggests just how uncertain the prospects would be for such a result.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: According to a classified report drafted by the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) and leaked to the Los Angeles Times on March 14, overthrowing Saddam Husayn will not lead to a wave of successful democratic revolutions against Middle Eastern autocracies. Numerous press accounts describe the report -- titled "Iraq, the Middle East, and Change: No Dominoes" -- as "pouring scorn" on Bush administration policy. In fact, the INR report meshes with administration policy, which is to seek political liberalization of existing regimes first, avoiding the radicalism of "overnight democracy" schemes.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries