Currently viewing the tag: "Iraq"

This is a lesson in recycling, that the United States government and defense industry have been slow to learn, and the result could look something like an arms race that the United States is waging with itself, in which it provides proxy groups or allies with arms and training. These proxy groups re-form and radicalize or the weapons fall into the hands of groups labeled as terrorists by the United States. In response, the United States invests large amounts of money in military technology to combat terrorism and provides yet more arms to groups that assist it in fighting terrorism globally.

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If it weren’t for the cruel stakes of the violence, U.S. policy in Iraq would form the perfect parody of the idea that militarized response to threats against civilians is a viable policy, let alone that this tactic could be mistaken for a strategy. After all, given the patterns of assaults against civilians in Iraq, the intervention should have come in 2006 – 2007, or even earlier, in March – April 2003, because these are the periods during which the spikes of violence against civilians reached their peak. Of course, the great irony is that no one, least of all anti-atrocity advocates, could have called for U.S. military intervention then. If anyone had wanted to suggest this policy – and no one did — there was one fatal logical flaw: the intervention had already occurred. The only time you can call for intervention is after the U.S. had left; but it would be folly to pretend that just because this little catch in the intervention logic had been resolved that the policy itself would have improved.

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Up to 40,000 members of Iraqi minority groups are at severe risk from the advancing forces of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS/ISIL). The most urgent crisis, according to accounts from eyewitnesses, news and humanitarian organizations, is the plight of the Yazidis—a small group that follows an ancient monotheistic religion that includes elements of [...]

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The news this week is particularly bad and worth highlighting not only for what it says about threats to civilians today, but how it might imply different strategies for civilian protection. Taken together, these stories suggest that there is an enormous protection gap where hubris once offered military intervention and promises of state-building as fail-proof [...]

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There is no easier way of illustrating the applicability of this to post-2003 Iraq than in the inevitable post-poll political horse-trading that will inevitably follow April 30. Moreover, the dynamics of the rentier political marketplace so define the Iraqi political order that they are the cornerstone – the raison d’etre – of the resulting “national-unity” government and “power sharing”.

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Given the continuing, indeed worsening, violence in Iraq, I think everyone at the recent seminar on How Mass Atrocities End: Iraq struggled to work with the title. The past few months threaten to reduce the drop, though by no means cessation, of political and criminal violence that began in late 2007 to an ephemeral page [...]

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