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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Iraq”

The Middle East’s Tinderbox Is Heating Up Again

After a months-long stretch of merely sporadic violence and simmering tensions, the Middle East seems on the verge of another fiery eruption, and there are no outside powers with the interest or leverage to douse the flames.

Read Here – Slate

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How Sanctions Feed Authoritarianism

The United States has a long history of intervening overseas to solve one problem and inadvertently creating others. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration armed rebels fighting Afghanistan’s Soviet-backed government only to find that some of them later targeted the United States…It’s worth remembering these precedents as the Trump administration prepares to reimpose sanctions on Iran as part of its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Read Here – The Atlantic

A Brief Global History Of A Tactic That’s Back In Style: Toppling Other Countries’ Governments

More sensible strategists might have first considered whether this goal even makes sense. What does history teach us? Did previous efforts at regime change (by the United States and by others) produce the expected benefits, or did they end up making things worse? Does regime change produce real benefits at relatively low cost, or is the price tag usually much higher than expected, while the benefits tend to be disappointing?

Read Here – Foreign Policy

The Man Who Could Shape Iraq’s Future

Moqtada al-Sadr won’t be Iraq’s next prime minister, but he may very well decide who is. It’s a striking outcome for the Shia cleric who forged a reputation as a radical in the insurgency he led against the U.S. after the invasion of 2003, and who then defined himself as an Iraqi nationalist through his defiance of Iran.

Read Here – The Atlantic

John (“Bomb Iran”) Bolton, The New Warmonger In The White House

Hawks are closing in on the White House. John Bolton, arguably the most abrasive American diplomat of the twenty-first century, will soon assume the top foreign-policy job at the National Security Council.

Read Here – The New Yorker

Also Read: What stands between John Bolton and blowing up the world?

Reflections On A War Gone Wrong

4,500 U.S. troops died in Iraq, and countless more returned home with physical and psychological wounds they—and we, as a society—will deal with for the rest of their lives. As a nation, we have sunk over one trillion dollars into Iraq so far— one trillion dollars you see missing every day in unpaved roads, underpaid teachers, and the social services our congressional leadership tells us we don’t have the resources to fund, writes Andrew Exum.

Read Here – Defense One

Also read: The Iraq War and the Inevitability of Ignorance

Ending A Decade Of Silence, Israel Reveals It Blew Up Assad’s Nuclear Reactor

The State of Israel formally acknowledged that its air force blew up a Syrian nuclear reactor in the area of Deir Ezzor in the pre-dawn hours between September 5 and 6, 2007, in a mission known to much of the world as Operation Orchard. The official confirmation ends a 10-and-a-half year policy of referring to the event with a smirk and a wry “according to foreign reports.”

Read Here – Times of Israel

The US Legacy In Iraq: Violence, Sectarianism – And Elections

After 15 years of violence, insecurity and sectarianism following the US invasion of Iraq, finding cause for optimism can be a fool’s errand for Iraqi leaders. This week marks the 15-year anniversary of the start of the US invasion of Iraq, ostensibly to free Iraqis from tyranny and oppression. What came next is well known: With the toppling of dictator Saddam Hussein, the US unleashed a storm of killing and division that persists to this day.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

Mapping A World From Hell

The Costs of War Project identifies no less than 76 countries, 39% of those on the planet, as involved in that global conflict.  That means places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya where U.S. drone or other air strikes are the norm and U.S. ground troops (often Special Operations forces) have been either directly or indirectly engaged in combat.  It also means countries where U.S. advisers are training local militaries or even militias in counter-terror tactics and those with bases crucial to this expanding set of conflicts.  As the map makes clear, these categories often overlap.

Read Here – TomDispatch.com

Keeping Iran And Saudi Arabia From War

Conflicts in the Middle East, whether in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, or Yemen, share a common factor: the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. For years, this rivalry has inflamed violence in areas already torn by war and created new battlefields where there had been relative peace before.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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