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America Unravels Iraq

Kurds, Shiites, and Sunni Arabs Compete for Supremacy

Availability: In stock
Published: 2010
Page #: xii + 520
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 1-56858-277-9, ISBN 13: 978-1568592770
bibliography, index, notes

 
$49.00

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Quick Overview

The American planners of the 2003 Iraqi war sought glory in Iraq’s tribal, communal and political minefields, not realizing that their action might unravel Iraq and threaten regional stability. Behind the façade of ridding Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial government, and spreading democracy in the Middle East, the U.S. policy makers sought new military bases and control of Iraq’s massive oil reserves. However, the war planners soon found themselves sinking deeper and deeper into Iraq’s long simmering communal and political conflicts with disastrous consequences. As the insurgents, mostly former Iraqi military and police officers, gained the momentum in 2005, the U.S. military withdrew its forces to their bases outside city limits until General David Petraeus returned to Iraq in early 2007 with his new strategy of “clear, hold and reconstruct” in Iraq, city by city. Although Petraeus rescued the U.S. troops from disaster during 2007-2008, the U.S. failed to achieve its original war objectives.

While it was true that the U.S. was able to dismantle the Sunni Arab minority rule, which had dominated Iraq since the 1920s, they replaced it with a Shiite majority rule with close ties to Iran, angering the American’s regional Sunni Arab regional allies and making it more difficult to dissuade Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions. Most of all, the 2003 war brought the Shiite and Kurdish communities face to face with their former Sunni Arab oppressors, leading to over six years of bloody and destructive war, which was still in progress, though at a lower intensity, while this book was sent to press. The continuing low-intensity conflict, which the U.S. feared might get out of hand once again, was due to the new Shiite-dominated government’s refusal to allow former Ba’ath Party government and military officers to return to their jobs, fearing that they might stage a coup against them. Furthermore, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki angered the Kurdish leadership, who had propped up his government throughout the conflict, by trying to change the existing decentralized federal system of government, which gave the Kurds considerable autonomy, by turning his back on the principle of consensus and by dragging his feet in addressing the issue of Kurdish territories that had been ethnically cleansed and Arabized by Saddam Hussein’s government. By playing hardball with the Kurds and Sunni Arabs in order to shore up his own Arab nationalist credentials, in advance of the January 2010 nationwide elections, al-Maliki was jeopardizing Iraq’s future stability.

This book sheds light on how the 2003 Iraq war engendered and shaped power struggles between Kurds, Shiites and Sunni Arabs.

author

Mohammed M.A. Ahmed

Dr. Mohammed M. A. Ahmed is the Executive Director and founder of the Ahmed Foundation for Kurdish Studies, a non-profit and non-partisan organization. He has published numerous articles, co-edited four books with Professor Michael Gunter, and authored two books: "The Kurds, Shiites and Sunni Arabs Compete for Supremacy” in Iraq and the “Iraqi Kurds and Nation-Building.” Dr. Ahmed has lectured at the University of Baghdad and worked for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, U.N. Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) in Beirut and the U.N. Department for Technical Cooperation in New York. He holds M.S. and PhD in Agricultural Economics.

Acknowledgment
Foreword
Introduction
Maps

Chapter 1
Brief History

Chapter 2
Iraq’s Internal Complexity

Chapter 3
Occupation and Administration

Chapter 4
Nominal Transfer of Sovereignty

Chapter 5
Insurgency Sets a Pattern

Chapter 6
Collateral Damage

Chapter 7
Transitional Government

Chapter 8
Struggle for Power Intensifies

Chapter 9
Consensus Government Formed

Chapter 10
Appeasement of Sunni Arabs Propel Violence

Chapter 11
U.S. Blames al-Maliki for the Mess

Chapter 12
Climax of Sectarian Violence

Chapter 13
Oil Smuggling Sustains Insurgency

Chapter 14
Multi-Dimensional Counterterrorism

Chapter 15
Divide and Conquer Policy Bears Fruit

Chapter 16
Al-Maliki Asserts Authority

Chapter 17
Al-Maliki Overplays His Hands

Chapter 18
January 2009 Provincial Elections and their Aftermath

Chapter 19
U.S. - Iraq Strategic Agreement

Bibliography
Index

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