"Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008 on getting out of Iraq and ramping up the military campaign in Afghanistan. He is on track to have all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of this year, and in July he announced that he would pull 10,000 troops out of Afghanistan this year and 23,000 more by next September.
The Pew survey found that veterans are ambivalent about the net value of the wars, although they generally were more positive about Afghanistan, which has been a more protracted but less deadly conflict for U.S. forces.
One-third of post-9/11 veterans said neither war was worth the sacrifices; that was the view of 45 percent in the separate poll of members of the general public.
Fifty percent of veterans said Afghanistan was worth it, whereas the poll of civilians put it at 41 percent.
Among veterans, 44 percent said Iraq was worth it. That compares with 36 percent in the poll of civilians."
"In April we lost Marla Ruzicka, a passionate American advocate for victims of war, and Sheikha Lameah Khaddouri al-Sakri, a member of Iraq’s National Assembly and a courageous voice for women’s rights. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the violence of the conflict has claimed the lives of 1,214 U.S. service members and at least 21,000 Iraqi civilians as of May 1.
"According to CBO numbers in its Budget and Economic Outlook published this month, the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom was $709 billion for military and related activities, including training of Iraqi forces and diplomatic operations. The projected cost of the stimulus, which passed in February 2009, and is expected to have a shelf life of two years, was $862 billion."
"Many are concerned that conditions could worsen in Iraq once the US military has withdrawn its forces from the country. Troops are required to leave by the end of the year and the pullout is already well underway. Hundreds of transport vehicles are currently snaking their way south towards the Kuwaiti border. Most of the troops are likely to have left the country by Christmas. Concerns are...
"This data is based on 29,083 database entries from the beginning of the war to 24 June 2012. The most recent weeks are always in the process of compilation and will rise further. The current range contains 8,542–8,845 deaths (7.9%–7.5%, a portion which may rise or fall over time) based on single-sourced reports. Graphs are based on the higher number in our totals. Gaps in recording and...
"Education is a fundamental human right which should be directed to the full development of the human personality. ... Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the second Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and the second Education for All (EFA) goal, the Government of Iraq is committed to ensuring that, by 2015, children everywhere in Iraq, all boys and girls alike, are able to complete...
Barry R. Posen lists and describes the various reasons why it is important for us to leave Iraq. He does this not on an ideological ground but rather emphasizes the inability for the Iraqi people to gather motivation to protect themselves when the United States is doing it for them.
This article offers an argument in favor of Iraq following the United States form of governance and provides a historical analysis of the consequence of following the ideology of cooperative federalism.
"The following graphic lists the ten most/least corrupt countries based on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011. The Corruption Perception Index assigns countries and territories with scores between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean). New Zealand tops the list as the least corrupt country, while North Korea and Somalia are all the way at the bottom."
"For Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the possibilities of the UAV's evolution from today's design to tomorrow's vision can't come soon enough. This portends more UAVs, digital versus analog, better technology, combat-capable and cognitive functions."
After the 2003 invasion, control over southern Iraq was handed over to British forces. Without adequate troops to protect the population, security in Basra deteriorated, the British withdrew and Shiite militias took control.
Our unequivocal finding -- that it was in America's interest to quickly end the military occupation -- was, at the time, dramatically at variance with the conventional wisdom, which presumed that the United States must remain in Iraq 'as long as necessary.'
"The Iraq war has become one of the most polarizing issues in American politics. Most Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), want large, early troop cuts; most Republicans, including Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), want U.S. troops to stay until Iraq's stability is guaranteed. Years of bad news from the front have hardened these divisions along partisan lines and embittered many on...
"ON the morning of May 6, 1783, Guy Carleton, the British commander charged with winding down the occupation of America, boarded the Perseverance and sailed up the Hudson River to meet George Washington and discuss the British withdrawal. Washington was furious to learn that Carleton had sent ships to Canada filled with Americans, including freed slaves, who had sided with Britain during the...
"Sunni insurgency, Sunni-Shia sectarian violence, al Qaeda terror - Iraq doesn't need more problems. But it has one that too often gets overlooked: It's quickly becoming the latest battlefield in the proxy war between the Middle East's rising powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Saudis are (mostly) Sunni Arabs, while the Iranians are (largely) Shiite Persians - and each seeks to dominate...
"Iraq would be drastically affected should Iran block the Hormuz Strait. Most of the oil Iraq produces is exported via the Strait. The scenario is seeing Iraq, distinct because of its good relations with both the US and Iran, practice its new diplomacy again."
John Paul Rossi describes the similarities between the Iraq and Vietnam wars. Rossi writes, "Although the final chapter on the Iraq War is yet to be written, the Vietnam experience suggests that exiting the Iraq quagmire poses serious challenges."
The agreement marks the passage of the first of the legislative benchmarks, a series of goals the U.S. government had once championed but largely ceased advocating publicly after months of delay, frustration and inaction.
Nevertheless, let us hope that Iraqis take advantage of the opportunity they now enjoy. It will take enormous statesmanship and restraint to accommodate those of different faiths and ethnicities, forgive past crimes committed by Sunni and Shia forces, eschew violence for retaliation and revenge, resolve even bitter disagreements peacefully, and accept political defeat without resort to arms.
"How did the economy do so well in the 1960s, and so badly in the 2000s, when less than half as much of our resources were devoted to defense in that more recent term? The questions are rhetorical. Defense spending, and the Iraq War in particular, was not the cause of our economic problems. I don't care if you hear it from James Carville, Ron Paul, or a Nobel Prize-winning economist. It is a...
"The first phase of the Iraq Wars came to a dramatic—and ominously prophetic—denouement on that heady day in April 2003 when U.S. Marines stormed into central Baghdad and pulled down a statue of Saddam Hussein that the local citizenry couldn't quite manage to topple.
Several months later, James Turner Johnson, our foremost historian of the just-war tradition, wisely observed that...
Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger analyzes the potential options for exiting Iraq and the some of the consequences of each. He does so by comparing the current situation in Iraq to the situation the U.S. faced in Vietnam.
"The record of past U.S. experience in democratic nation building is daunting. The low rate of success is a sobering reminder that these are among the most difficult foreign policy ventures for the United States. Of the sixteen such efforts during the past century, democracy was sustained in only four cases ten years after the departure of U.S. forces. Two of these followed the total defeat...
The Iraq War was one of the key issues in the 2008 presidential election. In this article, McCain argues that the U.S. cannot abandon the mission in Iraq. To do so would be costly, both for the United States and for Iraq.
Writing two years before U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Carpenter argues:
"Experts both in the United States and in Iraq worry that the relative calm that Iraq has enjoyed since mid-2007 might not last once US troops depart. Indeed, there are serious questions about whether Iraq can be a viable state over the long run. If Iraq becomes a cockpit of instability again, as it was during the...
"The ability to visit a foreign country without the cost and hassle of obtaining a visa is a welcome bonus for any traveller. It is also a barometer of a country's international alliances and relations. A report released on August 25th by Henley & Partners, a consultancy, shows that Britons have the fewest visa restrictions of the 190-odd countries (and territories) for which data are...
"One in three U.S. veterans of the post-9/11 military believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, and a majority think that after 10 years of combat America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on its own problems, according to an opinion survey released Wednesday.
The findings highlight a dilemma for the Obama administration and Congress as they...
"In a New Year address to Vatican diplomats, the Pope said war was 'always a defeat for humanity', and called instead for more diplomacy and dialogue. War cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option."
"It is no secret that since the emergence of Iraq as a Shiite state after the invasion of the United States, there has been a major battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia for a new balance of power in the Middle East.
In its simplest form this is a battle between Sunni and Shiite forces in Iraq. The more complicated version is a proxy war in Lebanon, where Saudi Arabia supports Sunni...
"In the seemingly poisoned atmosphere of American politics, President Obama’s directive to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq by December is a rare example of a broadly popular policy decision — fully 78 percent of all Americans support the decision in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The decision to effectively end the war next month has been a long time coming for the public,...
"As the 2012 State of the Union approaches, the public continues to give the highest priority to economic issues. Fully 86% say that strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year, and 82% rate improving the job situation as a top priority. None of the other 20 issues tested in this annual survey rate as a top priority for more than 70% of Americans...
"Many around the world are disappointed with our actions. And many in our own country have come to doubt either our wisdom or our capacity to shape events beyond our borders. Some have even suggested that America’s time has passed.
But while we know what we have lost as a consequence of this tragic war, I also know what I have found in my travels over the past two years."
"Next month will mark the sixth anniversary of the war in Iraq. By any measure, this has already been a long war. For the men and women of America’s armed forces – and for your families – this war has been one of the most extraordinary chapters of service in the history of our nation. You have endured tour after tour after tour of duty. You have known the dangers of combat and the lonely...
"Mr. Speaker, how did the 20-year war get started? It had been long assumed that the United States government, shortly before Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990, gave Saddam Hussein a green light to attack. A State Department cable recently published by Wikileaks confirmed that US Ambassador April Glaspie did indeed have a conversation with Saddam Hussein one week prior to Iraq’s August 1st...
"When strong governments wish to impose their will on weaker regimes, they often resort to sanctions. The effects have included the death or debilitation of millions of innocent people. Two good examples are Cuba, on which draconian U.S. sanctions have been enforced since 1960, and Iraq, where brutal sanctions were enforced from 1990 to 2003.
"Over the Past Five Years, Iraq has become one of the most divisive and polarizing issues in modern American history. It is now a subject on which Republicans and Democrats tend to disagree fundamentally about the past (the reasons for going to war), the present (the impact of the 'surge' in American forces), and the future of American policy (how quickly, and in what way, American forces...
"Establishment critics of the war on Iraq restricted their comments regarding the attack to the administration arguments they took to be seriously intended: disarmament, deterrence, and links to terrorism. They scarcely made reference to liberation, democratization of the Middle East, and other matters that would render irrelevant the weapons inspections and indeed everything that took place...
"In one of the most egregious violations of the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech seen in quite some time, Tarek Menanna, an American Muslim, was convicted this week in a federal court in Boston and then sentenced yesterday to 17 years in prison. He was found guilty of supporting Al Qaeda (by virtue of translating Terrorists' documents into English and expressing 'sympathetic views'...
"One of the more extreme government abuses of the post-9/11 era targets U.S. citizens re-entering their own country, and it has received far too little attention. With no oversight or legal framework whatsoever, the Department of Homeland Security routinely singles out individuals who are suspected of no crimes, detains them and questions them at the airport, often for hours, when they return...
The U.S. Army wants to purchase nearly 1,900 infantry combat vehicles for an estimated $20 billion to replace an aging Bradley fleet that’s been vulnerable to roadside-bomb attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The US government has long maintained, reasonably enough, that a defining tactic of terrorism is to launch a follow-up attack aimed at those who go to the scene of the original attack to rescue the wounded and remove the dead. Morally, such methods have also been widely condemned by the west as a hallmark of savagery. Yet, as was demonstrated yet again this weekend in Pakistan, this has...
"In a letter to President Bush, the Ohio Republican said the president should adopt a policy of 'responsible military disengagement with a corresponding increase [in] non-military support' to help the United States achieve a stable and democratic Iraq, although Voinovich warned that the window of opportunity for enacting such a plan is limited."
"In case you were wondering who exactly is in this 'large' coalition of countries in Iraq, I made a pie chart showing the top 10 countries just to give myself a little visual representation of the contributors to the war."
"As Table K.7 shows, the amount of power supplied by these three privately owned plants has increased sharply over the past three years, contributing to a quadrupling of electricity supply in the Kurdistan Region from July 2008 to July 2011."
"The following graphic lists the ten most/least corrupt countries based on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011. The Corruption Perception Index assigns countries and territories with scores between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean)."
"As Table K.1 shows, Iraqis, both Kurd and Arab, are the leading investors in the region, committing more than $12 billion to licensed projects there since August 2006. The housing sector leads with the greatest number of projects (at least 104), followed by industry and trade."
"The CoR’s alternative draft law would decentralize important powers over Iraq’s oil resources, especially to the Kurdistan Region. For crude oil production and export levels since 2003, see Figure 4.11."
"At least 200 people were killed and over 560 injured in violent incidents over the course of the month. Of the dozens of recorded attacks over a third targeted civilians. However, it was the security forces who bore the brunt of the violence. Over half of all the attacks targeted either the Iraqi police or military."
"Iraq’s nascent stock exchange continued to buck a regional trend this quarter, rising slightly as the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Pan Arab Composite Index of equity markets in 11 other Middle East and North Africa nations fell."
"The semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, though an integral part of the federal Iraqi state, is distinct from—and, in many ways, more successful than—the rest of the country. Most fundamentally, the region is secure."
"The United States has appropriated or otherwise made available $61.83 billion for Iraq reconstruction efforts since 2003, primarily through five major funds.... Figure 1.2 shows current and requested funds that may be used for new projects from the five major funds."
"The number of security incidents per day and the number of casualties in Iraq have decreased since the ISF took the lead in security operations after the signing of the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement. For monthly security incidents and civilian fatalities since January 2004, see Figure 4.6."
"According to DoS’s 'Country Report on Terrorism 2010,' the number of terrorist attacks in Iraq dropped by more than 10% from 2009 to 2010. But as a percentage of all attacks worldwide, violence in Iraq increased by more than 5%. Table 4.5 shows attacks since 2006."
"Although the lack of a recent census prevents a clear picture of demographic shifts, nongovernmental organizations estimate that Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities make up no more than 3% of the population. See Table 4.2 for descriptions of Iraq’s minority communities and population estimates."
"As of September 30, 2011, UNHCR had registered 121,507 Iraqi refugees in Syria and 33,753 Iraqi refugees in Jordan, though estimates of the actual numbers of Iraqi refugees residing in both countries are much greater."
"The Pew survey found that veterans are ambivalent about the net value of the wars, although they generally were more positive about Afghanistan, which has been a more protracted but less deadly conflict for U.S. forces."
Foreign policy experts and policy analysts are misreading the lessons of Iraq. The emerging conventional wisdom holds that success could have been achieved in Iraq with more troops, more cooperation among U.S. government agencies, and better counterinsurgency doctrine.
"It is time to ask a fundamental question that few in an official or political position in the United States seem willing to ask. Has it been a terrible error for the United States to have built an all but irreversible worldwide system of a thousand or more military bases, stations and outposts?"
Experts both in the United States and in Iraq worry that the relative calm that Iraq has enjoyed since mid-2007 might not last once US troops depart. Indeed, there are serious questions about whether Iraq can be a viable state over the long run.
With mounting evidence showing that the Bush Administration's surge policy has made significant military progress, the congressional debate has shifted to focus on the need for political progress toward national reconciliation in Iraq.
Sixty days from now, the mission of the U.S. Forces-Iraq will come to an end. This historic moment will close the books on nearly nine years of U.S. military engagement in Iraq. This moment also inaugurates a new phase in the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq.
As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily 'victory' but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.
"The United States pledges to defend our NATO allies under Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty. Why, and in what ways, do the allies reciprocate? Jason Davidson will present evidence from his unique analysis of transatlantic burden-sharing to explain why Britain, France, and Italy provide or refuse military support for U.S.-led uses of force. Sixty original interviews with top policymakers...
"Acclaimed writer and political scholar Christopher Hitchens may just be the only writer to have recently visited Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Hitchens - known for his keen wit, sharp political insight and often controversial opinions - examines the differences between the countries once linked as the 'axis of evil,' while revealing intriguing connections between the nations."
"When President Barack Obama cited cost as a reason to bring troops home from Afghanistan, he referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America's wars.
Staggering as it is, that figure grossly underestimates the total cost of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the U.S. Treasury and ignores more imposing costs yet to come, according to a study released on Wednesday.
"In an attempt to display his statesmanship potential, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wades into deep foreign policy waters discussing Iraq, North Korea and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin."
"After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the United Nations (backed strongly by the US and UK) imposed harsh sanctions on Iraq that lasted for 10 years (1991-2001); the harsh restrictions on imports of everything, including access to key medicines, resulted in over a million deaths, more than half a million of which were women and children. That’s more deaths than the two atomic bombs dropped on...
Preble argues (in 2007) that the surge in Iraq is doing little to create the environment needed for political reconciliation. As talk of withdrawal takes place now, it's an interesting position to look at.
"Once known as Mesopotamia, Iraq was the site of flourishing ancient civilizations, including the Sumerian, Babylonian, and Parthian cultures. Muslims conquered Iraq in the seventh century A.D. In the eighth century, the Abassid caliphate established its capital at Baghdad. The territory of modern Iraq came under the rule of the Ottoman Turks early in the 1500s."
The new law replaces the earlier framework governing Iraq's De-Ba'athification policies, and is the culmination of an epic struggle between De-Ba'athification opponents and supporters lasting more than eighteen months.
Our national conversation about Iraq needs more realism, and more focus on the future rather than the past. We need to refocus on our original goal - a stable Iraq that does not threaten its neighbors, develop WMD, export terrorism, or terrorize its own people.
"On New Year’s Day 2012, the U.S. relief and reconstruction mission in Iraq will enter a new phase. Under the guiding polestar of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, the deining characteristic of this new phase will be the State Department’s complete responsibility for the full constellation of continuing eforts to assist the Iraqi government’s economic, security, and governance...
"In April 2009, then-Secretary of Defense Gates announced he intended to significantly restructure the Army's Future Combat System (FCS) program. The FCS was a multiyear, multibillion dollar program that had been underway since 2000 and was at the heart of the Army's transformation efforts. In lieu of the cancelled FCS manned ground vehicle (MGV), the Army was directed to develop a ground...
Now, for the first time, Kissinger gives us in a single volume an in-depth, inside view of the Vietnam War, personally collected, annotated, revised, and updated from his bestselling memoirs and his book 'Diplomacy.'
"Armin Krishnan explores the technological, legal and ethical issues connected to combat robotics, examining both the opportunities and limitations of autonomous weapons. He also proposes solutions to the future regulation of military robotics through international law."
"The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map."
A visitor to the Iraq Embassy website is greeted by the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S.:
On behalf of Iraq and its people, I welcome you to our public relations website. The Embassy of Iraq in Washington, D.C., endeavors to serve as a link between the Republic of Iraq and the government and people of the United States of America.
"The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1986. Located in an historic Sears-style cottage at the State Department's George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center (NFATC) in Arlington, Virginia, ADST advances knowledge of American diplomacy and supports training of foreign affairs personnel at the NFATC's Foreign...
"We provide information on every country in the world. For each country, you will find information like the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices; whether you need a visa; crime and security information; health and medical conditions; drug penalties; and localized hot spots."
"The Department of Defense is America's oldest and largest government agency. With our military tracing its roots back to pre-Revolutionary times, the Department of Defense has grown and evolved with our nation."
The governmental agency purposed to "Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.