Global Policy Forum

Political Consequences


Picture Credit: World Security Network
Picture Credit: World Security Network

Since the US led occupation of Iraq in 2003, commentators have called on the US to acknowledge that key issues in the Middle East – Iraq, Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are connected. However, the US follows a policy which alienates regional cooperation towards building a sovereign and secure Iraq.

Meanwhile, speculation grows as to whether Iraq will be divided. The US claims that violence in the country is due to a "civil war between warring sectarian factions" and that it should be separated into three regions- Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish. This thinking was affirmed in the passing of a non binding resolution in the US Congress in October 2007.

Iraqis argue that a separatist Iraq would "complicate the security problem." With little UN influence over the US occupation of Iraq, commentators suggest Iraq could become a political protectorate of the US with no international oversight or regional input.


2007 | | 2006 | Archived Articles

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (1996)

This report was originally prepared for the government of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel in 1996 by a group of policy experts headed by Richard Perle, currently chairman of the US Defense Policy Board and a senior advisor to President Bush. The report's chilling plan for "changing the balance of power" in the Middle East after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein may provide a blueprint for the Bush administration's next steps after a war with Iraq.

Beyond Regime Change (December 1, 2002)

The US administration wants to redraw the Middle East map. The control of Iraqi oil flows and the assurance of Israel's regional military superiority lurk behind arguments of removing weapons of mass destruction. (LA Times)


Iraqi President Backs US Senate Proposal to Decentralize Iraq (October 8, 2007)

A US Senate resolution which calls for the division of Iraq into separate regions receives widespread opposition in Iraq. However, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, has expressed support for the proposal and says the resolution does not undermine Iraqi unity. He also calls for a withdrawal of 100,000 US troops by the end of 2008 but suggests that three US bases remain in the country. (Voice of America)

In Iraq, Repeated Support for a Unified State (October 1, 2007)

The US Senate endorses a resolution sponsored by Democrat Senator Joseph R Biden Jr, partitioning Iraq into different federal regions. Although the resolution is non-binding, it signifies that US senators hope to divide Iraq along sectarian lines. Iraqis express disbelief at the resolution and argue that a divided Iraq would "complicate the security problem." (New York Times)

Peace in Iraq Is Inextricably Linked to a Palestinian Settlement (August 13, 2007)

In this article, The Age revisits a report presented to the US Congress by the Iraq Study Group, calling on the US to acknowledge that key issues in the Middle East – Iraq, Iran, terrorism and the Arab-Israeli conflict are all connected. Despite recommendations that the US cooperate with Iran and Syria to stabilize Iraq and create regional security, the US persists with a policy of isolating Iran. As the debate over US withdrawal continues, the failure of the Bush administration to seek regional cooperation is part of a "depressing pattern to America's conduct of the war on terrorism.

Iraq's Air 'Straits Question' (August 9, 2007)

As the debate rages over a US withdrawal from Iraq, some speculate that the US will compensate for any drawdown of troops on the ground by asserting permanent control of Iraqi skies. Such a strategy will likely provoke a "struggle for dominance [of Iraq's air space] which will determine the balance of power in the Middle East for decades to come." (Agence Global)

A Fair Foreign Policy (April 2007)

"UK foreign policy is at a crossroads," warns this Oxfam report. As strong supporter of the British-sponsored concept of "responsibility to protect," Oxfam regrets that, after the "success" of military "humanitarian" interventions in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, the spectrum of the wars in Afghanistan and especially Iraq has tarnished the reputation of British foreign policy, as London advocates for the protection of civilians in Darfur.


Iraqi Lawyers Run Heavy Risk by Taking Cases That Anger Religious Extremists (August 18, 2006)

Hundreds of lawyers have fled Iraq and dozens of others have died violently since the US-led invasion in 2003. Figures from the Iraqi Lawyers Association show that "extremists" have murdered 38 Iraqi lawyers since October 2005. Many lawyers report threats for defending cases branded as "against Islam," such as those involving women's rights, "honor killings" and custody battles. The high level of attacks and threat of violence has significantly damaged Iraq's once secular legal system. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Iraq's Attorneys Practicing in a State of Fear (June 10, 2006)

Iraq's legal system, once one of the most secular in the Middle East, has collapsed. Police are afraid to investigate sectarian murders, lawyers fear taking either side of a case, judges risk the wrath of powerful militias or well-armed gangs, and car bombs explode at courthouses. Many of the best-educated attorneys and judges have fled the country, and those who remain say they are "living in terror." Iraqi lawyers, along with US legal scholars, blame the US which lacked a comprehensive plan for legal reform and the commitment of resources needed to restore the physical and intellectual capital lost soon after the invasion. (Washington Post)

For the Women of Iraq, the War Is Just Beginning (June 8, 2006)

Three years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the rise of militant Islam across Iraq has snatched away women's secular freedoms – once the envy of women across the Middle East. A "bloody and relentless" oppression of women has taken hold, with extremists shaving women's heads and stoning them in the street for wearing make-up, driving or walking without a male relative. (Independent)

In Corruption, New Government of Iraq Faces a Tough Old Foe (May 23, 2006)

Many experts believe that corruption in Iraq has increased dramatically since the US invaded. According to the head of the Commission on Public Integrity, Iraq's anti-corruption agency, corruption exists "in every ministry [and] in every governorate." National bank employees steal money and replace it with counterfeit dinars and a pervasive and growing black market exists in unregistered and smuggled cars. US and Iraqi officials warn that corruption poses a serious challenge to Iraq's government under Nouri Maliki. (Los Angeles Times)



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