Iraq

Foreign Affairs Article

Deterrence Lessons From Iraq

Author: Amatzia Baram

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.

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Foreign Affairs Article

Is Iraq on Track?

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.

See more in Iraq; Politics and Strategy; Rule of Law

Foreign Affairs Article

Tehran's Take

Author: Mohsen M. Milani

Iran's foreign policy is often portrayed in sensationalistic terms, but in reality it is a rational strategy meant to ensure the survival of the Islamic Republic against what Tehran thinks is an existential threat posed by the United States.

See more in United States; Iraq

Foreign Affairs Article

A Tale of Two Wars

Author: Zbigniew Brzezinski

Richard Haass' perceptive insider's account of the policymaking leading up to both Iraq wars -- one a "war of choice," the other a "war of necessity" -- holds key lessons for future U.S. leadership in the Middle East and beyond.

See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare

Foreign Affairs Article

Who Lost Iraq?

Author: James Dobbins

The current debate over the United States' failures in Iraq needs to go beyond bumper-sticker conclusions -- no more preemption, no more democracy promotion, no more nation building -- and acrimonious finger-pointing. Only by carefully considering where U.S. leaders, institutions, and policies have been at fault can valuable lessons be learned and future debacles avoided.

See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare; United States

Foreign Affairs Article

Iraq's Civil War

Author: James D. Fearon

The White House still avoids the label, but by any reasonable historical standard, the Iraqi civil war has begun. The record of past such wars suggests that Washington cannot stop this one -- and that Iraqis will be able to reach a power-sharing deal only after much more fighting, if then. The United States can help bring about a settlement eventually by balancing Iraqi factions from afar, but there is little it can do to avert bloodshed now.

See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare

Foreign Affairs Article

Heading for the Exit

Author: Stephen Biddle

The prognosis for Iraq looks bad and is getting worse. If the trend does not improve soon, the United States may have no choice but to cut its losses and get out. Recently, many have looked to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group to engineer a change in strategy that might arrest this decline, and the ISG's report does indeed contain some useful ideas and worthwhile recommendations. But on the whole, it offers the political groundwork for a complete withdrawal more than it offers a sustainable solution to the conflict.

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