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Iraq

Our Research & Offerings on Iraq
  • Issue Brief posted October 6, 2014 by James Phillips The Rise of Al-Qaeda’s Khorasan Group: What It Means for U.S. National Security

    The air strikes against Islamist terrorist groups in Syria that the U.S. launched on September 22 included strikes against a group that few Americans had heard about before: the Khorasan group. Although sometimes mistakenly characterized as a new terrorist group, Khorasan is a new tentacle of an old organization—the al-Qaeda high-command or core group. The rise of the…

  • Commentary posted September 16, 2014 by Peter Brookes President Obama too fond of fairy tales

    President Obama would rather have been anywhere else on Earth but at that White House podium Wednesday night unveiling a new counterterror strategy for dealing with the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) in Iraq and Syria. Why? The speech — given in the shadow of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks — cut sharply counter to the “wishful-thinking” narrative…

  • Commentary posted September 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's ISIS strategy: Why Bush's 2007 warning on Iraq matters

    Replaying the video of President Bush's 2007 warning against a premature withdrawal U.S. troops from Iraq is all the rage. In the last 24 hours, millions of Americans have “gone to the tape."  But, unlike a referee’s decision in an NFL game, President Obama’s blown call on this question can't be reversed. There are no do-overs in war.   Still, Mr. Bush’s comments are…

  • Commentary posted September 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Why Obama's ISIS Speech Is No Strategy: 5 Concerns Going Forward

    If making a speech served as strategy, then FDR would have checked that block by declaring Pearl Harbor a day of infamy. But not so. Long before the Japanese bombers and Zeros hit Pearl, Roosevelt’s team had put in months of hard thinking, planning and decision-making to prepare for the nightmare scenario of a two-front conflict with Germany and Japan. And after the…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2014 by James Phillips The message ISIS wants to send to America, the world

    The grisly propaganda videos released by Islamist terrorists of the executions of innocent American hostages are coldly calculated to intimidate the terrorist group’s enemies, inspire its followers and incite further attacks against the United States and our allies. The Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS) considers the videos a…

  • Commentary posted August 25, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. U.S. must stop giving ground in Iraq

    The best way to start winning a war is to stop losing. That axiom certainly applies to what’s going on in Iraq. But, that said, there is no place for American brigades in this battle. Yes, Americans have a huge stake in preventing al-Qaeda’s cousin from setting up a brutal caliphate in Iraq. The Middle East is a crossroads of the world. If unchecked, the malevolent…

  • Commentary posted August 25, 2014 by Daniel Kochis We’re All in this Together: U.S. Allies Should Do More to Confront ISIS

    Make no mistake, ISIS’s methodical march of savagery across the Middle East threatens more than the religious and ethnic minorities caught in its path. The United States and its allies, especially those in the region, have every reason to be concerned about the human cost of allowing ISIS to roam freely. Any rational person must be disgusted by the cold-blooded murders…

  • Issue Brief posted August 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. The Way Forward in Iraq

    The situation in Iraq remains grave. Spiraling violence, political instability, and a humanitarian crisis caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could impact U.S. vital interests. The Obama Administration has an obligation to take responsible action. Congress should insist the President take immediate, suitable, and appropriate measures to safeguard American…

  • 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…

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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 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Lecture posted October 6, 2005 by John Hulsman Lawrence of Arabia and the Perils of State Building

    Since the end of the Cold War, America's efforts at state building--be it in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, Afghanistan, or Iraq--have suffered from a tendency to reinvent the wheel. That is, policymakers have acted as if these efforts have never been tried before, and consequently, vital lessons that might have been learned as to how the process might better work…

  • Backgrounder posted October 2, 2002 by Jack Spencer Presidential Authority in the War on Terrorism: Iraq and Beyond

    The President of the United States has no greater responsibility than protecting the American people from threats, both foreign and domestic. He is vested by the Constitution with the authority and responsibility to accomplish this essential task. In taking his oath of office, the President swears to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,"…

  • Lecture posted January 6, 2006 by The Honorable Richard B. Cheney Iraq and the War on Terrorism

    Thank you very much, and thank you for the warm welcome. It's great to be back at Heritage. In 2006, Heritage will mark its 33rd anniversary, and in all these years, this has been one of the leading think tanks in the country. The Foundation has been a place of sound ideas, of intellectual leadership, and first-rate scholarship. Your standards have never…

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  • Issue Brief posted October 6, 2014 by James Phillips The Rise of Al-Qaeda’s Khorasan Group: What It Means for U.S. National Security

    The air strikes against Islamist terrorist groups in Syria that the U.S. launched on September 22 included strikes against a group that few Americans had heard about before: the Khorasan group. Although sometimes mistakenly characterized as a new terrorist group, Khorasan is a new tentacle of an old organization—the al-Qaeda high-command or core group. The rise of the…

  • Issue Brief posted August 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. The Way Forward in Iraq

    The situation in Iraq remains grave. Spiraling violence, political instability, and a humanitarian crisis caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could impact U.S. vital interests. The Obama Administration has an obligation to take responsible action. Congress should insist the President take immediate, suitable, and appropriate measures to safeguard American…

  • 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…

Find more work on Iraq
Find more work on Iraq