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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Iraq”

Is The United States Baiting Iran Into A War?

With armed forces on both sides on high alert, additional American naval and aerial hardware newly arrived in theater, and Saudi Arabia having pounded the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel force in Yemen for its attack on a major Saudi oil pipeline, there remains not only the potential for an unintended clash or misfire, but also a worrying threat that misperception may lead to conflict.

Read Here – The National Interest

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Is Trump Yet Another U.S. President Provoking a War?

The United States has a long history of provoking, instigating, or launching wars based on dubious, flimsy, or manufactured threats….Today, the question in Washington—and surely in Tehran, too—is whether President Trump is making moves that will provoke, instigate, or inadvertently drag the United States into a war with Iran.

Read Here – The New Yorker

Why Iran Is So Afraid Of A Free Iraq

Beyond support for armed militias which take orders more from Tehran than Baghdad, Sistani is also aware that Iraqis, including most Iraqi Shiites, resent more mundane issues such as Iran’s dumping of cheap manufactured goods on the Iraqi market, thereby undercutting struggling Iraqi businesses. The anti-Iranian sentiment is so widespread that when fertilizer run-off poisoned fish in the Tigris River, rumors spread across Baghdad that Iran had killed the fish to force Iraqis to buy from them instead.

Read Here – The National Interest

What Rouhani’s Visit To Iraq Tells Us About Iran’s Syria Policy

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s recent landmark trip to Iraq was closely monitored and discussed from various aspects by the media and analysts around the world. Some observers put their focus on the bilateral aspect, talking about the importance of the visit in terms of Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, while others analysed it within the context of Iran’s plans to overcome the US sanctions…But a largely ignored — and yet very important — aspect of the Iranian president’s three-day visit to Iraq is the explicit and implicit implications of the trip for Iran’s policy in Syria.

Read Here – Al Monitor

 

The U.S. Has Wasted Billions of Dollars On Failed Arab Armies

The United States has spent 70 years and tens of billions of dollars training Arab militaries—with almost nothing to show for all the effort. Time and again, America’s Arab allies have failed to live up to martial expectations. The U.S.-trained Egyptian Armed Forces performed miserably in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. If anything, they did somewhat better under Soviet tutelage in the 1973 October War. The U.S.-trained Iraqi Army collapsed when attacked by a couple thousand Islamic State zealots in 2014. The U.S.-trained Saudi military fell flat on its face when it intervened in Yemen in 2015, and it has become badly stuck there.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

U.S. Has Spent $6 Trillion On Wars That Killed Half A Million People Since 9/11 – Report

The United States has spent nearly $6 trillion on wars that directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000 people since the 9/11 attacks of 2001.

Some of the Costs of War Project’s main findings include:

  • 370,000 people have died due to direct war violence, including armed forces on all sides of the conflicts, contractors, civilians, journalists, and humanitarian workers.

  • It is likely that many times more than 370,000 people have died indirectly in these wars, due to malnutrition, damaged infrastructure, and environmental degradation.

  • 200,000 civilians have been killed in direct violence by all parties to these conflicts.

  • Over 6,800 US soldiers have died in the wars.

  • We do not know the full extent of how many US service members returning from these wars became injured or ill while deployed.

  • Many deaths and injuries among US contractors have not been reported as required by law, but it is likely that at least 6,900 have been killed.

  • 10.1 million million Afghan, Iraqi, and Pakistani people are living as war refugees and internally displaced persons, in grossly inadequate conditions.*

  • The US military is conducting counterterror activities in 76 countries, vastly expanding the counterror war across the globe.

  • The wars have been accompanied by erosions in civil liberties and human rights at home and abroad.

  • The human and economic costs of these wars will continue for decades with some costs, such as the financial costs of US veterans’ care, not peaking until mid-century.

  • US government funding of reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan has totaled over $170 billion. Most of those funds have gone towards arming security forces in both countries. Much of the money allocated to humanitarian relief and rebuilding civil society has been lost to fraud, waste, and abuse.

  • The cost of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria wars totals about $5.6 trillion. This does not include future interest costs on borrowing for the wars, which will add an estimated $8 trillion through 2054.

  • The ripple effects on the US economy have also been significant, including job loss and interest rate increases.

  • Both Iraq and Afghanistan continue to rank extremely low in global studies of political freedom.

  • Women in Iraq and Afghanistan are excluded from political power and experience high rates of unemployment and war widowhood.

  • Compelling alternatives to war were scarcely considered in the aftermath of 9/11 or in the discussion about war against Iraq. Some of those alternatives are still available to the US.

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

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

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