Debates about the possibility of containing a nuclear Iran often hinge on judgments of whether the regime there is rational. But as a wealth of recently released Iraqi documents about Saddam Hussein's tumultuous reign in Iraq show, even an arguably rational leader can be unreasonable -- and very hard to deter.
Authors: Antony Blinken, Norman Ricklefs, and Ned Parker
Iraq is hardly the failed state that Ned Parker portrayed in these pages, argues Antony Blinken, the U.S. vice president's national security adviser. Norman Ricklefs sees Iraq's politics becoming more moderate and less sectarian. Parker replies that despite these improvements, Baghdad still violates human rights and ignores the rule of law.
Ned Parker discusses his Foreign Affairs article from the March/April 2012 issue, "The Iraq We Left Behind--Welcome to the World's Next Failed State," and provides insights from on-the-ground experience in Iraq.
This week's Arab League Summit in Baghdad presents questions about the organization's role in a changed Middle East, the durability of Assad's regime in Syria, and Iraq's security and regional ties, says CFR's Ned Parker.
When faced with a rising tide of violence, largely caused by their own policy mistakes, the U.S. occupation embarked on the reconstitution of an Iraqi military. The resultant Iraqi security forces, under the control of Nuri al-Maliki, are today on their way to occupying the same role as the armed forces of the Ba'athist regime, writes Toby Dodge.
UN Security Council Resolution 699 was adopted on June 17, 1991. The resolution gave the IAEA and the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) authority to conduct inspections for weapons in Iraq and destroy, remove or render the weapons harmless. UNSCOM was replaced in 1999 with UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).
Iraqi filmmaker Oday Rasheed discusses his second film, Qarantina, which follows the story of a broken family in Baghdad who takes in a mysterious boarder. Qarantina is part of the Global Lens 2012 film series and was co-presented with the Global Film Initiative.
As the last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq this month, an emerging political battle among the country's top leaders has raised concerns over its stability. It underscores the difficult road ahead for the fragile democracy and potential for greater violence, says CFR's Ned Parker.
Max Boot says that at the moment, Iraq is an uneasy mixture of good and bad, volatile and stable, healthy and diseased—a strange witches' brew that could blow up or, just possibly, turn into an elixir for the entire region.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.