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Iraq

Our Research & Offerings on Iraq
  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Prez Sticks to His Global Mistakes

    Secretary of State John Kerry recently floated a mind-boggling idea: To help turn back ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group that has seized control of more than a third of Iraq, the U.S. could enter a cooperative arrangement with the mullahs of Iran.  Yes, the administration still clings to the notion that it can advance American interests by cutting a deal with Tehran. No…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Peter Brookes Terrorist Caliphate May Crumble

    The situation in Iraq is bad and it’s getting worse. This week, the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, announced the formation of an Islamic state — or caliphate — across the swath of territory it is currently holding. It’s a big deal — for a lot of reasons. First, while holding territory can be more difficult than taking it, just…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Jim Talent Over the Brink

    What is happening in Iraq now has a nightmarish quality. Three years ago, the United States had defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq and set up a fledgling democracy in Iraq. I understand those who believe that Prime Minister Maliki could never have been trusted and Iraq would never have become a real democracy. But the United States didn’t need a democracy in Iraq, or even a…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Cutting Off ISIS Foreign-Fighter Pipelines

    Foreign fighters—outsiders recruited or who volunteer to fight in another country for somebody else’s cause—are nothing new. What’s new is that they have become a staple of the Al Qaeda cohort. It’s called the “pipeline” problem. Ferrying warriors to the war and also returning them home to spread the war elsewhere has become part of the stock and trade of how…

  • Commentary posted June 16, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. When war-weariness leads to more war

    President Obama is fond of saying he was elected to “end” wars, not start them. He clearly is tapping into Americans’ well-known weariness of wars and sees himself as merely carrying out their will. But there’s a problem. Americans may indeed be war-weary (although how much may be exaggerated), but that only means they assume Mr. Obama’s policies will actually end the…

  • Commentary posted June 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Has Obama "Lost" Iraq?

    Forget about speeches—foreign-policy crises define a presidency. Memorable speeches resonate because they are built on acts of real leadership. Conversely, failure washes away the most resounding rhetoric. Which is why the unraveling of Iraq will define Obama's tenure at the top much more than his recent address at West Point. After listening to Obama's speech to the…

  • Commentary posted June 13, 2014 by Dakota Wood America's Options: Combating ISIS in Iraq

    Riven by religious extremism and brutal sectarian competition, Iraq is descending again into the madness of civil war. The Maliki government has made a mess of things since taking office, estranging large segments of the Iraqi population along the way. The U.S. contributed to the mess via its hasty withdrawal two years ago, electing to end its security mission based on…

  • Commentary posted June 12, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Does Obama understand Iraq may soon be an Islamist state?

    Iraq is a shambles. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al Qaeda off-shoot that now controls nearly a third of the nation, continues to run amok. It’s way past time for the White House to get its head in the game. The disaster unfolding in Iraq and Syria could very quickly spiral into a much, much bigger problem. And some problems are so big that even our…

  • Commentary posted June 12, 2014 by Peter Brookes Syrian Islamists Spread Terror Network Into Iraq

    Earlier this week on these very pages I warned about the rise of violent Islamist extremism, not exclusively but especially in Syria. Unfortunately, in just a few short days, the situation has gotten worse. I’m thinking about Iraq. On Tuesday, Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, was overrun by an al-Qaeda “offshoot,” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS — a…

  • Issue Brief posted June 3, 2014 by James Phillips To Defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Stronger Counterterrorism Cooperation Needed

    Iraq faces major political, national security, and economic challenges that should be addressed by the new government that emerges from the April 30 elections. Last year, more than 7,800 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces were killed in political violence and terrorist attacks, making it Iraq’s deadliest year since 2008. The Islamic State of Iraq and…

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  • Center for Data Analysis Report posted November 7, 2005 by Tim Kane, Ph.D. Who Bears the Burden? Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Military Recruits Before and After 9/11

    A few Members of Congress, motivated by American combat in the Middle East, have called for the reinstatement of a compulsory military draft. The case for coercing young citizens to join the military is supposedly based on social jus­tice?that all should serve?and seems to be but­tressed by reports of shortfalls in voluntary enlistment. In a New York Times op-ed…

  • Issue Brief posted June 3, 2014 by James Phillips To Defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Stronger Counterterrorism Cooperation Needed

    Iraq faces major political, national security, and economic challenges that should be addressed by the new government that emerges from the April 30 elections. Last year, more than 7,800 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces were killed in political violence and terrorist attacks, making it Iraq’s deadliest year since 2008. The Islamic State of Iraq and…

  • WebMemo posted April 18, 2003 by Baker Spring Operation Iraqi Freedom: Military Objectives Met

    The falling statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad is an evocative image.  It signals that the U.S.-led military action against the Hussein regime has been a success.  This signal of success is backed by tangible evidence of a successful military operation in more substantive terms.  This evidence is found in a review of the mission objectives for Operation Iraqi…

  • Backgrounder posted September 27, 2002 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. Tony Blair's Challenge in Securing British Support for a War Against Iraq

    Together with President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is at the forefront of international condemnation of the Iraqi regime for producing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in violation of numerous United Nations resolutions. Blair describes Saddam Hussein as an "international outlaw" running a "barbaric regime" and warns that "to allow him to use the…

  • WebMemo posted December 15, 2003 by Paul Rosenzweig Saddam Hussein's Trial

    (This is an updated version of WebMemo #266, originally published on April 22, 2003.) Saddam Hussein has been captured. How will he, and other members of his regime, be brought to justice? The United States could defer to a newly formed Iraqi court system, or lead the way through Coalition trials. These, and all options -- except for the International…

  • Lecture posted March 24, 2004 by James Phillips Iraq: One Year Later

    One year after the onset of the war in Iraq, I think it is safe to say that the United States is better off than it was before the war. Moreover, our allies are better off and the Iraqi people are certainly better off. For the United States, the ouster of Saddam Hussein's regime pays considerable strategic dividends that too often are glossed over or given short…

  • WebMemo posted April 17, 2003 by Carrie Satterlee Saddam Hussein's Violations of the Geneva Convention

    As fighting in Iraq winds down and coalition forces stamp out the last remaining pockets of resistance, coalition forces and humanitarian agencies are only beginning to document the atrocities that occurred under this brutal regime. According to senior officials at the U.S. Department of State, "the Iraqi regime has not only acted contrary to international laws and…

  • WebMemo posted April 22, 2003 by Paul Rosenzweig War Crimes Trials

    (Saddam has been captured. This WebMemo was updated on December 15, 2003.) Baghdad has fallen. The war is nearly over now and the time will soon come to assess the actions of Iraq's former leaders. Coalition forces reportedly carry a "deck of cards" with the pictures of 55 Iraqi leaders of the regime and orders to pursue, capture, or kill them. Several of these…

  • Lecture posted November 18, 2005 by Helle C. Dale Al-Hurrah Television and Lessons for U.S. Public Diplomacy

    The question before us today is not only one of Al-Hurrah's performance and role in improving the image of the United States in the Arab world. Inevitably, our discussion reveals the urgent necessity of a larger debate regarding where U.S. broadcasting efforts in the Middle East are heading. The events of September 11 woke us up to the reality of growing…

  • Commentary posted January 8, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The perils of arming Iraq to beat back Al Qaeda

    For almost every foreign policy problem, John Kerry has an “easy button.” Unfortunately, hitting that button usually doesn’t do the trick.  And sometimes, it leaves the world worse off. And so we would do well to consider the prospect of success for the “easy button” identified by the Secretary of State as the way to keep Iraq from teetering into a full-blown civil war.…

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  • Issue Brief posted June 3, 2014 by James Phillips To Defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Stronger Counterterrorism Cooperation Needed

    Iraq faces major political, national security, and economic challenges that should be addressed by the new government that emerges from the April 30 elections. Last year, more than 7,800 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces were killed in political violence and terrorist attacks, making it Iraq’s deadliest year since 2008. The Islamic State of Iraq and…

  • Issue Brief posted November 5, 2013 by James Phillips Greater Iraqi–American Cooperation Needed on Counterterrorism, Syria, and Iran

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki came to Washington last week in search of greater U.S. security assistance in battling the al-Qaeda-led insurgency that increasingly threatens Iraq's internal security as well as regional stability in the oil-rich Persian Gulf. The United States shares Maliki's goal of defeating al-Qaeda's franchise in Iraq, which has expanded into…

  • WebMemo posted May 16, 2011 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., James Phillips, Sally McNamara, Helle C. Dale After bin Laden: Top Five Agenda Items for Obama’s Middle East Speech

    Last week White House Press Secretary Jay Carney promised the President would soon make a major address “on the Middle East and U.S. policy in the Middle East...to a broader audience than just the Arab world.” It is long past time for President Barack Obama to lay out a plan for how his Administration will address the historic change sweeping this part of the world. By…

  • WebMemo posted February 3, 2011 by James Phillips, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Five Steps to Meeting the Crisis in Egypt and the Middle East

    While all eyes are on the political violence in Egypt, the Obama Administration has labored in crisis mode, struggling to stay ahead of the rapidly moving events. Washington’s problem is that publicly the White House appears to be floundering, focusing myopically on events on Tahrir Square rather than exercising real presidential leadership and proactively working to…

  • WebMemo posted August 30, 2010 by James Phillips, Lisa Curtis Obama’s Iraq Speech Should Stress a Resolute U.S. Security Commitment

    President Obama’s televised speech on Iraq will mark the “official” end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq and the transition to an “advise and assist” mission. The President undoubtedly hopes to assure voters ahead of the November elections that he is winding down the war. The irony is that current progress in Iraq was enabled by the Bush Administration’s surge policy,…

  • WebMemo posted March 5, 2010 by James Phillips Charting U.S. Policy after Iraq’s Elections

    Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary elections will be a major milestone that will help determine that nation’s future political evolution and prospects for security and stability. Additionally, these elections will significantly affect the Obama Administration’s plans for a rapid drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq. The elections will hopefully produce a broad-based multi-party…

  • WebMemo posted July 21, 2009 by James Phillips The Obama-Maliki Meeting: Security in Iraq Should Be the Priority

    When Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets with President Barack Obama at the White House tomorrow several issues will be high on the agenda, including the need to accelerate Iraq's lagging political reconciliation efforts. But despite the importance of this long-term process, one topic deserves even more urgent attention: How to immediately strengthen bilateral…

  • WebMemo posted February 9, 2009 by James Phillips Iraq's Elections: A Win for Prime Minister Maliki and the United States

    Iraq's January 31 provincial elections were another important milestone on Iraq's long and difficult journey toward becoming a stable democracy. According to preliminary results, the big electoral winner was Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition. While 10 percent of the votes must still be counted, it is apparent that the relatively peaceful…

  • WebMemo posted April 7, 2008 by James Phillips Lessons Learned from the Basra Fighting for the Iraq Hearings

    Congress tomorrow will begin a second round of hearings on Iraq featuring General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. A major topic is likely to be the recent round of fighting in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, and its implications for U.S. policy. Although the clashes in Basra have been widely misreported as a one-sided defeat for Prime Minister Nouri…

  • WebMemo posted April 1, 2008 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The Battle for Basra: Britain Should Launch a Troop Surge in Iraq

    As the battle between Iraqi security forces and Iranian-backed Shia militias raged in the port of Basra over the past week, British troops remained largely on the sidelines. Thirty-thousand Iraqi soldiers were sent into the city by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to retake control from the Mahdi Army led by Iranian-based firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, but they…

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Find more work on Iraq