Experts in this Region

Stephen Biddle
Stephen Biddle

Adjunct Senior Fellow for Defense Policy

  • Iraq War
    Lessons From History Series: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq—Twenty Years Later
    Panelists discuss lessons learned from the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, including the circumstances that led to Operation Iraqi Freedom and whether it was a necessary war, as well as the ramifications of the resulting war for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. The Lessons From History Series uses historical analysis as a critical tool for understanding modern foreign policy challenges by hearing from practitioners who played an important role in a consequential historical event or from experts and historians. This series is made possible through the generous support of David M. Rubenstein.
  • Democracy
    The Long Shadow of the Iraq War: Lessons and Legacies Twenty Years Later
    On March 20, 2003, I found myself bobbing offshore along Iraq’s tiny coastline in a raging sandstorm, as a reporter covering the U.S. Navy SEALs and Polish special forces’ operations in the U.S.-led …
  • Middle East and North Africa
    ISA Luncheon Discussion: Geopolitics in the Middle East
    The CFR Academic luncheon event held in conjunction with the International Studies Association Convention featured a discussion on Geopolitics in the Middle East on Friday, March 17, in Montréal. The conversation featured Steven A. Cook, Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies and director of the International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars at CFR; Nicole Grajewski, Stanton nuclear security postdoctoral fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University; and Catherine E. Herrold, associate professor of public administration and international affairs at Syracuse University. Lawrence P. Rubin, associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, moderated the discussion. 
  • Iraq
    Twenty Years After the War to Oust Saddam, Iraq Is a Shaky Democracy
    On the two-decade anniversary of the U.S. invasion, Iraq is weakly governed, leaving it prone to instability and meddling by neighbors—especially Iran.
  • Iraq
    Women This Week: Iranian Protest Anthem Wins Grammy
    Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post covers February 4 to February 10.
  • Kurds
    The Kurds’ Long Struggle With Statelessness
    The Kurds are one of the world’s largest peoples without a state, making up sizable minorities in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Their century-old fight for rights, autonomy, and even an independent Kurdistan has been marked by marginalization and persecution.
  • Iraq
    The Iraq War
    In March 2003, U.S. forces invaded Iraq vowing to destroy Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and end the dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein. When WMD intelligence proved illusory and a violent insurgency arose, the war lost public support. Saddam was captured, tried, and hanged and democratic elections were held. In the years since, there have been over 4,700 U.S. and allied troop deaths, and more than one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians have been killed. Meanwhile, questions linger over Iraq's fractious political situation.
  • Wars and Conflict
    Nonstate Warfare: The Military Methods of Guerillas, Warlords, and Militias
    In Nonstate Warfare: The Military Methods of Guerillas, Warlords, and Militias, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Stephen Biddle explains how nonstate military strategies overturn traditional perspectives on warfare.
  • Middle East and North Africa
    How Much Influence Does Iran Have in Iraq?
    Iran has built considerable political clout in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Its wide sphere of influence could be expanding, raising domestic tensions and alarming U.S. policymakers.