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Iraq

Our Research & Offerings on Iraq
  • Commentary posted March 30, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Learn from Iraq: don’t abandon Afghanistan

    Former secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger is, by all measures, a foreign policy heavy weight. At a recent black-tie dinner, he stood—stoop-shouldered and peering imperiously over his signature thick, black-frame glasses—and remarked: “Unilateral withdrawal is not victory.” Whom could he have been talking…

  • 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.…

  • Commentary posted January 7, 2014 by Peter Brookes Fallujah fall just the beginning -- Al Qaeda virus is virulent and spreading

    When President Obama proclaimed in the fall of 2012 during the presidential campaign that Al Qaeda was “on the run,” who knew he meant that Usama bin Laden’s acolytes were just hustling off to other places, including back to their old stomping grounds in Iraq. In fact, news reports note that not only is Al Qaeda resurgent in Iraq two years after U.S. forces withdrew, but…

  • Commentary posted December 13, 2013 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Lesson of Saddam's fall is that war can be best way to justice

    It was only a decade ago that US forces pulled Saddam Hussein out of his spiderhole at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr, near his home town of Tikrit. That success – indeed, that war – seems now to belong to another century. But it’s not so far removed from today’s travails. The aftermath of the Iraq War convinced many that the price of justice for Saddam was too high. But the…

  • Commentary posted December 8, 2013 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Easter Seals has long served disabled veterans

    Christmas fast approaches. What better time, then, to write of Easter Seals. And veterans. Say what? The combination is not nearly as odd as it may sound. Let’s start with Easter Seals. It has long been one of America’s most well-known charities. The organization started in 1919 as a charity to help children with disabilities. In the early days, it was known…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted October 31, 2013 by Peter Brookes U.S., Iraq at crossroads

    Considering the lumps the administration is taking over NSA leaks and Obamacare failings, don’t expect them to trumpet tomorrow’s meeting at the White House between President Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. That’s because despite Obama’s promise “to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end,” almost two years after the withdrawal of U.S. forces, Iraq is…

  • Commentary posted November 11, 2011 by James Phillips Iraq May Become a Reliable U.S. Ally

    It is too soon to tell if the Iraq war was "worth it." That depends on whether Iraq can make the difficult transition to become a stable democracy and an ally against Islamist extremism, Iran, and terrorist groups. But on balance, the Iraq war was a risk worth taking in view of the dangers inherent in ignoring Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, his serial massacres…

  • 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…

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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…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted March 30, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Learn from Iraq: don’t abandon Afghanistan

    Former secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger is, by all measures, a foreign policy heavy weight. At a recent black-tie dinner, he stood—stoop-shouldered and peering imperiously over his signature thick, black-frame glasses—and remarked: “Unilateral withdrawal is not victory.” Whom could he have been talking…

  • 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…

  • Lecture posted July 13, 2004 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Post-Conflict Operations from Europe to Iraq

    The difficulties that the U.S. military and other coalition forces have experienced in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the consternation expressed in the Western press and public opinion should come as no surprise--in part because both press and people have scant appreciation for the difficulties of post-war occupation. Yet there is legitimate cause for complaint. The…

  • 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 July 24, 2007 by James Phillips The War in Iraq: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

    There are many misconceptions about the war that distort the current debate over U.S. Iraq policy. Although those seeking to score political points often try to reduce the war to simple slogans and either-or strategic propositions, the situation on the ground is complex and not adequately described by debate talking points or campaign rhetoric. The war in Iraq is now…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted October 24, 2002 by Paolo Pasicolan, Balbina Y. Hwang, Ph.D. The Vital Role of Alliances in the Global War on Terrorism

    If Washington manages both impending military action against Iraq and the ongoing war on terrorism in the same manner, international accusations of "unilateralism"1 should fade. Were the United States truly acting unilaterally, it would be pursuing solely American national interests, and no other country would participate. But as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld…

  • Backgrounder posted September 16, 2005 by David B. Rivkin, Lee A. Casey The New Iraqi Constitution

    Benjamin Franklin spoke very little during the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Like a similarly silent George Washington, his major contribution was in lending his name and prestige to the effort. On the last day, however, Dr. Franklin rose and delivered what may have been the most impor­tant speech of his life. I confess that there are several…

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  • 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…

  • WebMemo posted March 28, 2008 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., James Phillips Iraq: Pause in Troop Drawdown Makes Sense

    In recent days there has been an uptick of fighting in Iraq. Shiite militia groups have battled with government security forces in Basra, and the fighting has spilled over into Baghdad and other cities. In contrast to the spiraling violence two years ago, when Iranian-backed extremists and al-Qaeda terrorists tried to goad the country toward a sectarian civil war,…

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  • Blog Post on April 14, 2014 by James Phillips Al-Qaeda: 'Spreading Like Wildfire'

    Last week, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee held a hearing provocatively titled “Is Al-Qaeda Winning?” The answers...…

  • Blog Post on March 16, 2014 by James Carafano Obama's Path to Defeat in Afghanistan

    Former secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger is, by all measures,...…

  • Blog Post on January 31, 2014 by Havilah Steinman Al-Qaeda Network a Danger on the Move, Panel Agrees

    Who is the United States’ resurgent adversary in Iraq, and what do they want? A panel convened at The Heritage...…

  • Blog Post on January 10, 2014 by James Phillips Al-Qaeda Seeks American Recruits in Syria

    Al-Qaeda forces in Syria are actively seeking recruits from Americans who have traveled there to fight or to assist...…

  • Blog Post on January 9, 2014 by Amy Payne 3 Things You Don't Need Robert Gates's Book to Know

    Excerpts from a new tell-all book made quite a splash in Washington yesterday. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates...…

  • Blog Post on January 7, 2014 by James Phillips Al-Qaeda Resurges in Iraq

    Al-Qaeda, which has surged in strength on both sides of the Iraq–Syria border, captured two important cities in western...…

  • Blog Post on January 1, 2014 by James Carafano Threats to America in 2014

    Americans will die on American soil in large numbers. So predicted the Hart-Rudman Commission seven months before the...…

  • Blog Post on November 22, 2013 by Micah McKinnis Iraq in Distress: How Can the U.S. Respond?

    Unfortunately, in today’s Iraq, terror and death are the daily rule, not the exception. Earlier this month in eastern...…

  • Blog Post on September 24, 2013 by Helle Dale Obama at United Nations: The World Is Safer—or It Isn’t

      President Obama this morning laid out a foreign policy roadmap for the remainder of his presidency. However,...…

  • Blog Post on September 6, 2013 by James Phillips Iran Warns of Retaliation over Syrian Crisis

    If the Obama Administration follows through with its planned “shot across the bow” of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime,...…

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