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Iraq Studies

Added March 20, 2013
Type: Monograph
Governance, Identity, and Counterinsurgency: Evidence from Ramadi and Tal Afar. Authored by Dr. Michael Fitzsimmons.
View the Executive Summary

Western thinking on counterinsurgency seems to be that success in countering insurgencies depends on a perception of legitimacy among local populations. However, it may be more correct to consider the identity of who governs, rather than on how whoever governs governs.
Added May 01, 2012
Type: Monograph
Lessons of the Iraqi De-Ba'athification Program for Iraq's Future and the Arab Revolutions. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
This monograph considers both the future of Iraq and the differences and similarities between events in Iraq and the Arab Spring states. Serious and expanding mistakes by new governments are possible in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolutions, and any lessons that can be gleaned from earlier conflicts will be of considerable value to those nations. Moreover, U.S. Army officers and senior noncommissioned officers (NCOs) may often have unique opportunities and unique credibility to offer advice on the lessons of Iraq to their counterparts in some of the Arab Spring nations.
Added May 19, 2011
Type: Monograph
Rebuilding Armed Forces: Learning from Iraq and Lebanon. Authored by Dr. Florence Gaub.
Learning from the armed forces of Iraq and Lebanon might not seem the first instinct when it comes to improving post-conflict reconstruction efforts. Yet, the two cases offer useful insight into these processes, what to avoid and what to emphasize.
Added May 06, 2010
Type: Monograph
Decisionmaking In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: The Strategic Shift of 2007. Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
Was the 2007 decision to surge forces into Iraq effective in turning the war from a potential disaster to a possible success?
Added April 23, 2010
Type: Letort Papers
Shades of CORDS in the Kush: The False Hope of "Unity of Effort" in American Counterinsurgency. Authored by Mr. Henry Nuzum.
Counterinsurgency (COIN) requires an integrated military, political, and economic program best developed by teams that field both civilians and soldiers. This Paper describes the benefits that unity of command at every level would bring to the American war in Afghanistan.
Added April 16, 2010
Type: Monograph
The Construction of Liberal Democracy: The Role of Civil-Military Institutions in State and Nation-Building in West Germany and South Africa. Authored by Dr. Jack J. Porter.
West Germany’s and South Africa’s experiences remind U.S. policymakers of the tremendous obstacles and challenges that confront states as they attempt to install liberal, democratic political institutions.
Added April 14, 2010
Type: PKSOI Papers
The State-Owned Enterprise as a Vehicle for Stability. Authored by Dr. Neil Efird.
State-owned enterprises affect stability in conflict-prone environments, and decisive control of them creates positive or negative conditions. However, it is a challenge to know how and when to use these enterprises, and a good set of metrics is necessary to measure their effectiveness.
Added April 08, 2010
Type: Monograph
Thinking about Nuclear Power in Post-Saddam Iraq. Authored by Dr. Norman Cigar.
Iraqis are debating the desirability of atomic power for their country. U.S. and international policymakers will have to consider Iraqi views as they shape policy to manage the process of an orderly, safe, and peaceful nuclear reintegration of Iraq in the civilian sector while guaranteeing safeguards against both accidents and any future diversion of a nuclear program for military purposes or terrorist exploitation.
Added March 26, 2010
Type: Student (Carlisle) Papers
Synchronizing U.S. Government Efforts toward Collaborative Health Care Policymaking in Iraq. Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas S. Bundt.
A primary catalyst in achieving our strategic ends in Iraq is through the formulation of a consolidated and cooperative strategic health care policy to enable the successful operation of the Iraqi health care system. An often-cited criticism of U.S. policy, however, is that after the end of major hostilities and transition into stabilization operations, we fall short in post-conflict planning and execution. This analysis highlights some of these operational deficiencies, and it provides recommendations for achieving a more coordinated, functional, and thereby synchronous strategic health care policy. These proposals will enable the U.S. Government (USG) to address health policy operations in stabilization and transitional phase contexts currently and in the future.
Added March 22, 2010
Type: Monograph
Decisionmaking in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: Removing Saddam Hussein by Force. Authored by Dr. Steven Metz. Edited by Professor John R. Martin.
The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is pleased to initiate its latest monograph series, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Key Decisions. SSI started this project in an effort to give leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces some important insights into how military advice was provided to the Nation’s civilian leadership during the many years—including the months before the invasion—of the war in Iraq. Dr. Metz starts this series with an impressive review of the decision to remove Saddam Hussein by force. The Strategic Studies Institute hopes that this and the succeeding monographs will generate debate on just how the United States made decisions—some of them disastrous—about Iraq. The resulting better understanding of the decisions should lead to strengthening of the processes—where appropriate—so that the military and civilian leadership forge better decisions in the future.
Added March 04, 2010
Type: Monograph
Transnational Insurgencies and the Escalation of Regional Conflict: Lessons for Iraq and Afghanistan. Authored by Dr Idean Salehyan.
Transnational insurgencies complicate traditional counterinsurgency operations in significant ways and can lead to conflict between states. This monograph examines several transnational militant groups, assesses the prospects for conflict and cooperation over cross-border violence, and discusses current issues facing Iraq and Afghanistan.
Added September 24, 2009
Type: Letort Papers
Iraq: Strategic Reconciliation, Targeting, and Key Leader Engagement. Authored by Captain Jeanne F. Hull.
Military commanders and diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan have been meeting with important local officials since the inception of those conflicts. These engagements have aided commanders and diplomats alike in furthering their objectives by establishing productive relationships with those who know and understand Iraq’s complex human terrain best—the Iraqis. However, these engagements frequently take place on ad-hoc bases and are rarely incorporated into other counterinsurgency operations and strategies. In some cases, unit commanders fail to see the utility of using these engagements at all--an oversight that contributes to deteriorating security situations and loss of popular support.
Added September 16, 2009
Type: Student (Carlisle) Papers
Baghdad ER--Revisited. Authored by Colonel Erin P Edgar.
The China Dragons of the 28th Combat Support Hospital deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from September 2006 until November 2007. Their service epitomizes the strides that have been made in military combat medicine.
Added September 16, 2009
Type: Monograph
Escalation and Intrawar Deterrence During Limited Wars in the Middle East. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
This monograph seeks to analyze military escalation and intrawar deterrence by examining two key wars where these concepts became especially relevant—the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. A central conclusion of this monograph is that intrawar deterrence is an inherently fragile concept, and that the nonuse of weapons of mass destruction in both wars was the result of a number of positive factors that may not be repeated in future conflicts.
Added May 04, 2009
Type: Op-Ed
Preventing Iraq from Slipping Back into Sectarian Chaos. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the May 2009 newsletter.
Added January 06, 2009
Type: Monograph
Regional Spillover Effects of the Iraq War. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
Regional spillover problems associated with the Iraq war need to be considered and addressed even in the event of strong future success in building the new Iraq. In less optimistic scenarios, these issues will become even more important.
Added September 30, 2008
Type: Colloquium Report
Stability Operations and State Building: Continuities and Contingencies. Edited by Colonel Greg Kaufmann, U.S.A., Ret..
The current age of state building may be traced back at least to U.S. involvement in the various Balkan conflicts. But with the advent of the Global War on Terror and the subsequent interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military, especially the Army and the Marines Corps, has been faced with an unprecedented challenge to reestablish entire countries and rebuild their institutions.
Added January 25, 2008
Type: Letort Papers
Development and Reform of the Iraqi Police Forces. Authored by Colonel Tony Pfaff.
The author seeks to show how social, political, cultural, and environmental factors have combined to impede Iraqi police development in ways that are predictable, understandable, and, with external help, resolvable.
Added December 27, 2007
Type: Book
Sustaining the Peace After Civil War. Authored by Dr. T. David Mason.
Since the end of World War II, there have been four times as many civil wars as interstate wars. The introduction of peacekeeping forces, investment in economic development and reconstruction, and the establishment of democratic political institutions tailored to the configuration of ethnic and religious cleavages in the society also affect the durability of peace after civil war. In applying these propositions in an analysis of the civil war in Iraq, what can be done to bring the Iraq conflict to an earlier, less destructive, and more stable conclusion?
Added August 21, 2007
Type: Monograph
Negotiation in the New Strategic Environment: Lessons from Iraq. Authored by Mr. David M Tressler.
With thousands of negotiations being conducted by U.S. soldiers in Iraq—from junior to senior leaders—the aggregate effect of successful or failed negotiations has an impact on the ability of the U.S. military to accomplish its mission there as well as meet American strategic goals. The author argues that the military’s strategic success in the future may increasingly depend on an expanded range of training that includes negotiation skills and practice. By analyzing the negotiating experience of U.S. Army and Marine Corps officers in Iraq, he offers recommendations to improve negotiating effectiveness and predeployment negotiation training.
Added March 08, 2007
Type: Op-Ed
The Missing Debate. Authored by Professor John R. Martin, Dr. Gordon Rudd.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the March 2007 newsletter.
Added February 23, 2007
Type: Monograph
The Iraq War: Learning from the Past, Adapting to the Present, and Planning for the Future. Authored by Dr. Thomas R. Mockaitis.
The Iraq War has been the subject of heated political debate and intense academic scrutiny. Much argument has focused on the decision to invade and the size of the force tasked with the campaign.
Added February 07, 2007
Type: Op-Ed
In Defense of Rational Risk Assessment. Authored by Mr. Nathan P. Freier.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the February 2007 newsletter.
Added January 16, 2007
Type: Letort Papers
Iraq, Women's Empowerment and Public Policy. Authored by Dr. Sherifa D. Zuhur.
The role and experience of women is not always considered in wartime or during stabilization and reconstruction operations. The author examines some of the difficulties that attend policy formulation on women in Iraq.
Added January 10, 2007
Type: Op-Ed
Negotiating with Iran and Syria over Iraq. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the January 2007 newsletter.
Added December 22, 2006
Type: Monograph
Learning from Iraq: Counterinsurgency in American Strategy. Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
In Iraq the U.S. Army has undertaken counterinsurgency, a type of activity it thought it had left behind with the end of the Cold War. In the long war against terror, counterinsurgency will remain a central element of American national security policy so it is important to assess the strategic implications of the Iraq campaign.
Added December 01, 2006
Type: Op-Ed
Iraqi Security Forces and Lessons from Korea. Authored by Dr. Sheila Miyoshi Jager.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the December 2006 newsletter.
Added November 28, 2006
Type: Monograph
Iran, Iraq, and the United States: The New Triangle's Impact on Sectarianism and the Nuclear Threat. Authored by Dr. Sherifa D. Zuhur.
This monograph considers the issues of Iranian influence in Iraq, and its impact on continuing sectarian violence there. The situation has been further complicated by the post-2003 change in the Iraqi Shi'a community’s status, Iran’s development of a nuclear program, and international efforts to contain that program.
Added May 31, 2006
Type: Student (Carlisle) Papers
Addicted to Oil: Strategic Implications of American Oil Policy. Authored by Commander Thomas D. Kraemer.
In his 2006 State of the Union address, President Bush proclaimed that "America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world." The plan he then proposed is step one in weaning America from its addiction, and is a necessary but not fully sufficient step to ensuring our future national security through Middle East Oil independence.
Added April 26, 2006
Type: Colloquium Report
U.S. Military Operations in Iraq: Planning, Combat and Occupation. Authored by Shane Lauth, Kate Phillips, Erin Schenck. Edited by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
Three years beyond the start of the transition to Phase IV, the debate continues about the adequacy of planning for and proficiency of execution of these operations in Iraq and elsewhere.
Added December 01, 2005
Type: Monograph
Revisions in Need of Revising: What Went Wrong in the Iraq War. Authored by Dr. David C Hendrickson, Dr. Robert W Tucker.
The authors examine the contentious debate over the Iraq war and occupation, focusing on the critique that the Bush administration squandered an historic opportunity to reconstruct the Iraqi state. They argue that the most serious problems facing Iraq and its American occupiers—criminal anarchy and lawlessness, a raging insurgency and a society divided into rival and antagonistic groups—were virtually inevitable consequences that flowed from the act of war itself.
Added October 01, 2005
Type: Monograph
Precedents, Variables, and Options in Planning a U.S. Military Disengagement Strategy from Iraq. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill, Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
The questions of how to empower the Iraqis most effectively and then progressively withdraw non-Iraqi forces from that country is one of the most important policy problems currently facing the United States. The authors seek to present the U.S. situation in Iraq in all of its complexity and ambiguity, with policy recommendations for how that withdrawal strategy might be most effectively implemented.
Added February 01, 2005
Type: Monograph
Strategic Implications of Intercommunal Warfare in Iraq. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
This study considers the regional consequences of intercommunal warfare in Iraq by examining how such an eventuality may develop and how neighboring states might become involved in such a conflict. This work does not predict an Iraqi civil war but rather views it as a worst-case eventuality. The danger of an Iraqi civil war requires serious U.S. cooperation with those regional states that also have a stake in preventing this outcome.
Added May 01, 2004
Type: Monograph
Iraq and Vietnam: Differences, Similarities, and Insights. Authored by Dr. Jeffrey Record, Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
The authors conclude that the two conflicts bear little comparison. They also conclude, however, that failed U.S. state-building in Vietnam and the impact of declining domestic political support for U.S. war aims in Vietnam are issues pertinent to current U.S. policy in Iraq.
Added May 01, 2004
Type: Monograph
Strategic Consequences of the Iraq War: U.S. Security Interests in Central Asia Reassessed. Authored by Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick.
The U.S.-led war in Iraq complicates security cooperation between the United States and Central Asia at a time when other regional powers—especially Russia, China, and India—are competing for influence in the region more overtly. The author argues that the United States should do more to address the underlying human security problems in Central Asia, which increase its vulnerability to terrorist movements.
Added February 01, 2004
Type: Monograph
The United States and Iraq's Shi'ite Clergy: Partners or Adversaries? Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
The author addressed the critical need to gain the cooperation or at least the passive tolerance of the Shi'ite clerics and community. Such an effort could become more challenging as time goes on, and one of the recurring themes of this monograph is the declining patience of the Shi'ite clergy with the U.S. presence. Some key Shi'ite clerics are deeply suspicious of the United States, exemplified by conspiracy theories.
Added December 01, 2003
Type: Monograph
Bounding the Global War on Terrorism. Authored by Dr. Jeffrey Record.
The author examines three features of the war on terrorism as currently defined and conducted: (1) the administration's postulation of the terrorist threat, (2) the scope and feasibility of U.S. war aims, and (3) the war's political, fiscal, and military sustainability. He believes that the war on terrorism--as opposed to the campaign against al-Qaeda--lacks strategic clarity, embraces unrealistic objectives, and may not be sustainable over the long haul.
Added July 01, 2003
Type: Monograph
Nationalism, Sectarianism, and the Future of the U.S. Presence in Post-Saddam Iraq. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
The author addresses the critical questions involved in understanding the background of Iraqi national identity and the ways in which it may evolve in the future to either the favor or detriment of the United States. He pays particular attention to the issue of Iraqi sectarianism and the emerging role of the Shi'ite Muslims, noting the power of an emerging but fractionalized clergy.
Added March 01, 2003
Type: Monograph
Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: The Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
War with Iraq signals the beginning of a new era in American national security policy and alters strategic balances and relationships around the world. The specific effects of the war, though, will vary from region to region. A U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq will place popular pressure on a number of moderate Arab states to reduce high profile military cooperation with the United States. Following a war, Saudi Arabia will probably seek to reduce substantially or eliminate the U.S. military presence in the kingdom due to a more limited regional threat and the domestic difficulties with a U.S. presence.
Added March 01, 2003
Type: Monograph
Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: South Asia. Authored by Dr. Amit Gupta.
The author has been asked to analyze four issues: the position that key states in their region are taking on U.S. military action against Iraq; the role of America in the region after the war with Iraq; the nature of security partnerships in the region after the war with Iraq; and the effect that war with Iraq will have on the war on terrorism in the region.
Added March 01, 2003
Type: Monograph
Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: Southeast Asia. Authored by Dr. Anthony L. Smith.
The author has been asked to analyze four issues: the position that key states in their region are taking on U.S. military action against Iraq; the role of America in the region after the war with Iraq; the nature of security partnerships in the region after the war with Iraq; and the effect that war with Iraq will have on the war on terrorism in the region.
Added March 01, 2003
Type: Monograph
Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: Australia and New Zealand. Authored by Dr. Andrew Scobell.
The author has been asked to analyze four issues: the position that key states in their region are taking on U.S. military action against Iraq; the role of America in the region after the war with Iraq; the nature of security partnerships in the region after the war with Iraq; and the effect that war with Iraq will have on the war on terrorism in the region.
Added March 01, 2003
Type: Monograph
Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: Post-Soviet States. Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
The author has been asked to analyze four issues: the position that key states in their region are taking on U.S. military action against Iraq; the role of America in the region after the war with Iraq; the nature of security partnerships in the region after the war with Iraq; and the effect that war with Iraq will have on the war on terrorism in the region.
Added March 01, 2003
Type: Monograph
Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: Latin America. Authored by Dr. Max G. Manwaring.
The author has been asked to analyze four issues: the position that key states in their region are taking on U.S. military action against Iraq; the role of America in the region after the war with Iraq; the nature of security partnerships in the region after the war with Iraq; and the effect that war with Iraq will have on the war on terrorism in the region.
Added January 01, 2003
Type: Colloquium Report
Reconstructing Iraq: Challenges and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario. Authored by Dr. Conrad C. Crane, Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
With the winds of war swirling around Iraq, it is time to plan for its post-conflict reconstruction. To assist such planning, this study proposes a construct for identifying the postwar missions to be accomplished following a victory over the Hussein regime and suggests the time phasing for the accomplishment of specific tasks.
Added January 01, 2003
Type: Colloquium Report
Defeating Saddam Hussein's Strategy. Authored by LTC Raymond A. Millen.
Should war break out between Iraq and the United States, Saddam Hussein will likely adopt a strategy designed to undermine the prestige of the United States and turn the Arab World against the West.
Added November 01, 1996
Type: Monograph
Managing Strains in the Coalition: What to Do About Saddam? Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
Iraq's September 1996 actions in the Kurdish north found such a seam in coalition objectives, or, to return to the original metaphor, shook one anchor of the U.S. policy tightrope. Dr. Stephen Pelletiere examines how the Kurdish crisis developed, why--most disturbingly--the key coalition members divided in response to U.S. actions, and what factors might guide future U.S. policy. He concludes that U.S. policy needs reanchoring if we are to achieve our paramount interests in this vital region.