Tangled Web of Allegiances Leads Back to Tehran

If politics makes strange bedfellows, then the relationship between Iran, the United States and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq is the strangest ménage à trois in international relations today. Violent Shia-on-Shia hostilities officially came to an end this week when a formal cease-fire was declared between government forces of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and … Continue reading “Tangled Web of Allegiances Leads Back to Tehran”

Iraq ‘Divide and Rule’ Strategy Called Shortsighted

Five years since U.S. President George W. Bush’s infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech, critics say the administration has yet to show a credible way to actually "accomplish" the mission that could see a peaceful Iraq and a return home of U.S. troops. Though the 2007 revamping of the counter-insurgency strategy, known as the "surge," has markedly … Continue reading “Iraq ‘Divide and Rule’ Strategy Called Shortsighted”

Chaos Hardening Sectarian Fiefdoms

There are an estimated 2.7 million Iraqis who have been displaced within their own country. No house; no food; no security. Who do they turn to for help? The international community’s humanitarian organizations? The occupying United States government? The central Iraqi government based in Baghdad? According to a report released Tuesday by Refugees International (RI), … Continue reading “Chaos Hardening Sectarian Fiefdoms”

McCain’s Vietnam Lessons Unlearned

Throughout a long career in politics, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain has had his foreign policy shaped by his and the United States’ experience in the Vietnam War. But that shaping has been very dynamic – not beholden to any one particular lesson of the conflict, but rather taking each political situation presented … Continue reading “McCain’s Vietnam Lessons Unlearned”

Iraqi Shi’ites: Calm on the Surface, Simmering Beneath

With the head of the occupying forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker delivering a progress report to Congress this week, Iraq has been thrust back into the US public consciousness, along with all the political divisions the issue engenders. What the George W. Bush administration hails as a … Continue reading “Iraqi Shi’ites: Calm on the Surface, Simmering Beneath”

Campaigns Spar Over Where to Focus Troops

Last week’s violent clashes in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Basra reverberated all the way to Washington, where suddenly, the Iraq war was thrust back into the limelight just as the 2008 primary season enters its final stretch. On Monday at the Washington think-tank the Brookings Institution, foreign policy advisers from the major campaigns … Continue reading “Campaigns Spar Over Where to Focus Troops”

Opening the Door to Hamas

Undermined by recent violence, the US-brokered Palestinian-Israeli peace process laid out in Annapolis, Maryland is in critical condition. And bringing the militant Islamic group Hamas into the fold could be the only way to save the faltering plan – an idea that even the George W. Bush administration may be reluctantly conceding is a necessary … Continue reading “Opening the Door to Hamas”

Strategic Alliances Remain Elusive in Iraq

The George W. Bush administration has ballyhooed recent legislation passed by the Iraqi parliament as a sign that its troop escalation strategy has indeed created space for political reconciliation. But observers say a closer look at the legislation in the context of the grander Iraqi quagmire suggests that the chances of passage of the laws … Continue reading “Strategic Alliances Remain Elusive in Iraq”

Overstretched Forces Concern US Officers

The US military is "severely strained" by two large-scale occupations in the Middle East, other troop deployments, and problems recruiting, according to a new survey of military officers published by Foreign Policy magazine and the centrist think-tank Center for a New American Strategy. "They see a force stretched dangerously thin and a country ill-prepared for … Continue reading “Overstretched Forces Concern US Officers”

Surge Exposing Iraqi Political Tensions

Despite assertions by the George W. Bush Administration that the escalation strategy in Iraq – known as the "surge" – has been a rousing success, many of the problems of pre-surge Iraq still exist and, along with new issues, are exacerbating a tenuous political situation there. With the five-year anniversary of the US-led invasion looming, … Continue reading “Surge Exposing Iraqi Political Tensions”