dunnettreader + iraq   17

Kuwait and Kurdish Separatism
by Giorgio Cafiero and Jesse Schatz The unresolved Kurdish question remains a highly influential dynamic in the Middle East’s geopolitical order. Recent…
Iraq  Kurds  MENA  from instapaper
december 2017 by dunnettreader
The US joins the Turkey-PKK fight in northern Syria - International Crisis Group - June 2017
Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) members man a checkpoint near the Kurdish town of Efrin, in Syria, on 27 November 2014. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail Report…
Trump_foreign_policy  US_foreign_policy  Syria  Iraq  Iran  ISIS  Russia  Turkey  US_military  Kurds  from instapaper
june 2017 by dunnettreader
Failed states and the paradox of civilisation - Ernesto Dal Bó, Pablo Hernandez-Lagos, Sebastián Mazzuca | Vox.EU - July 2016
While cases of state failure have risen in the last decade, most notably in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, they are not a new phenomenon. Historical evidence from the early modern period, and even the Bronze Age, shows that the majority of formed states have failed rather than thrived. This column introduces the ‘paradox of civilisation’ to characterise the obstacles settlements face in establishing civilisations. The paradox defines the success of a civilisation as a trade-off between the ability to produce economic surplus and to protect it. It is therefore important to correctly balance military and economic support when providing aid. - Summary of NBER paper- downloaded vox version to Tab S2
paper  downloaded  ancient_history  civilization-concept  state-building  institutional_capacity  institution-building  failed_states  military  economic_growth  historical_sociology  agriculture  ancient_Near_East  ancient_Egypt  Sub-Saharan_Africa  MENA  Iraq  Syria  ISIS 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
Kenneth Harl - The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes | The Great Courses
36 lectures - list price $320
- the video version is a must in order to follow the names of groups, locations and movements
A few bothered by mispronunciation and a lot of ahs - but most reviewers very enthusiastic - and replaying lectures to get all the info. Counters a few complaints that it's too superficial, or that it pays too much attention to the sedentary civilizations that were affected - the last complaint seems to miss the very purpose of the course.
Byzantium  Eastern_Europe  military_history  Central_Asia  empires  government-forms  medieval_history  military_tactics  Egypt  Persia  ancient_Rome  nomadic_invasions  cultural_history  Ghengis_Khan  trade  video  Eurasia  Roman_Empire  government-revenues  Ottomans  Iraq  Chinese_history  Black_Sea  Islamic_civilization  Atilla_the_Hun  ancient_history  India  Iran  China  late_antiquity  Sufis  Mamluks  cultural_exchange  military_technology  Golden_Horde  Turcic_tribes  Han_China  MENA  religious_history  Mongols  Tamerlane  Caliphate  courses  Buddhism  cultural_transmission  trade-policy  empires-tributary  barbarians  steppes 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
Philip Giraldi - The Neoconservative "Cursus Honorum" | The American Conservative - March 2015
The warmongering right has carefully built a network of credentialing institutions that secure it outsized influence. -- Wingnut welfare involves crucial initial steps of using their institutions to produce fake validation of expert credentials and then maintain them in an alphabet soup of "think tanjs" for hacks, publishing outlets and cushy private sector positions when the revolving door isn't available.
Instapaper  US_politics-foreign_policy  US_foreign_policy  neocons  wingnut_welfare  Israel  Iraq  Iran  arms_control  interventionism  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul Pillar - The Heavy Historical Baggage of U.S. Policy Toward the Middle East | The National Interest Blog - July 2015
July 8, 2015 There is much to be said for what is commonly called a “zero-based review”—a fresh look at a problem or project unencumbered by existing… For all the insistence each Administration has to have its own strategic doctrine that breaks with predecessors, there's striking continuity in the Foreign policy Establishment attitudes toward MENA that comes from accumulated history of events or shifts in politics and economics in the region that produces a narrow range of what's seen as possible policy. Some of it's just facts that have produced structures that aren't going anywhere anytime soon. But that shouldn't impose strait-jackets on auto-responses.
Instapaper  US_politics  US_foreign_policy  MENA  Iran  Iraq  oil  Saudia_Arabia  Israel  Syria  GWOT  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Daniel McCarthy - Why Liberalism Means Empire | Lead essay / TAC Summer 2014
Outstanding case made for "consrrvative" realist IR position of off-shore balancing - not really "conservative" but he needs to give it that spin for his aufience buy-in -- takes on not just the militarists, neicons and librral intrrventionists but thr "non-liberal" sbtu-interventionists like Kennan and Buchanan - he leaves out the corrosive, anti-liberal democracy effects of globalized, financial capitalism that undermines the narrative of gradualist liberal democratization and achievements in OECD rconomies - as Zingales putscit "save capitalism from the capitalists" beeds to be included with the hegemon's responsibilities along with off-shore balancing - dimensions of power beyond military, which Dan does stress in his sketch of ehy Britain could meet the military challenges until WWI
Pocket  18thc  19thc  20thc  anti-imperialism  balance-of-power  british_empire  british_history  british_politics  civil_rights  cold_war  competition-interstate  cultural_transmission  democracy  empires  entre_deux_guerres  europe  foreign_policy  french_revolution  geopolitics  germany  global  governance  globalization  great_powers  hegemony  hong_kong  human_rights  ideology  imperialism  international_system  ir  ir-history  iraq  japan  liberalism  military-industrial  military_history  napoleon  napoleonic  wars  national_security  national_tale  nationslism  naval_history  neocons  neoliberalism  peace  pinboard  political_culture  politics-and-history  post-wwii  power  rule_of_law  social_science  trade  us  history  us_foreign_policy  us_military  us_politics  uses_of_history  warfare  world  wwi  wwii 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Matt Taibbi - Forget What We Know Now: We Knew Then the Iraq War Was a Joke | Rolling Stone
So presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is taking a pounding for face-planting a question about his brother’s invasion of Iraq. Apparently, our national media priests…
US_politics  US_foreign_policy  US_government  Bush_administration  Iraq  bad_history  bad_journalism  public_opinion  intelligence_agencies  GWOT  Pentagon  Instapaper  from instapaper
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Joshua Landis - Syria Year-End Predictions and Analysis – (28 December 2014)
Syria will become increasingly fragmented in 2015. The Somalia-ization of the country is inevitable so long as the international community degrades all centers of power in Syria and the opposition fails to unite.
islamist  diplomacy  syria  turkey  us_military  russia  us_foreign_policy  iran  military  global  governance  iraq  un  oil  price  obama  admin  failed  states  mena  civil  wars  congress  Pocket 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
James Fallows - The Tragedy of the American Military | The Atlantic Dec 2014
how we've become a chickenhawk nation, with a titally unaccountable military and an out-if-contril military-industrial complex that isn't just wasteful but actively counterproductive re both military war-fighting capabilities and US strategic positioning in glibalized, multi-polar and real-time connected world - Fallows also reflects concerns re manageralist mindset that can neither deal with shifting big picture (othet than more, faster, etc is automatically better) nor allow innovative problem solving at tactical level - bureaucratic fiefdoms that don't combine coherently, in evidence by 1990s as Versailles in the Potimac, has only gotten worse, with the press corps more enablers than watchdogs - and the stuff that does get media attention is pennyante, easy to hype gaffes not the goring of any important interest's ox. The F-35 vs A10 debacle is the perfect illustration, in a breathtaking scale, of everything wrong re both DOD and the military services, and it's basically a non-issue for both the press and politicians of all persuasions.
technology  ir  us  government  cultural_history  inequality  21stc  hegemony  us_politics  us_foreign_policy  20thc  military  history  iraq  gwot  miitary-industrial  comple  fiscal  policy  accountability  congress  Pocket  from instapaper
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Stephen Griffin - Balkinization: War Powers "As If" - September 2014
...too much commentary has focused on treating Obama's use of war powers "as if" it was occurring in a judicial forum, rather than politically as a matter of interbranch deliberation. Doing the latter inevitably means taking into consideration that we are right before the congressional elections. Deliberating before an election is rarely a good idea -- that's how we got the 2002 Iraq war resolution! Yet the NYT scores the Congress for failing in its constitutional responsibilities, "shamelessly ducking a vote." Yes, they should duck it. They haven't got the time to do a proper review before the election, particularly if what we should be interested in is a new AUMF. -- As far as the legal commentary, too many legal scholars are too worried about what Obama is claiming re the previous AUMFs. They seem to think that these claims might come back to haunt us as "precedents." But we are not in a judicial forum (nor are we ever likely to be) when it comes to the use of military force. -- We surely need to think as constitutionalists, but mindful of the constitutional order that applies to foreign affairs and in light of the fact that we are, after all, dealing with the "political" branches. So talk of bad precedents and Congress acting irresponsibly is not helpful. It won't help the country get anywhere it wants to go. I do agree with much current commentary that we badly need a legal review of Obama's war authority with a view to drafting a new AUMF. That would be all to the good. So far I see no sign that Congress is truly interested in drafting one. But as I say in my Tulane talk, there is no doubt that Obama could render a service to his country in his final two years in office by putting an AUMF on the national agenda when the new Congress is seated in 2015.
US_politics  US_constitution  US_foreign_policy  separation-of-powers  Obama_administration  Congress  Iraq  Syria  US_military  EF-add 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Jack Goldstone - What is ISIS? | NewPopulationBomb - August 13, 2014
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has emerged as the most terrifying and brutal of extreme jihadist groups (and that is against tough competition, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Somalia). Why have such extreme Islamist groups emerged in so many places in recent years? Odd as this may sound, it is not because of the appeal of extreme Islam itself. A study of fighters in Syria by Mironova, Mrie, and Whitt found that most fighters join ISIS and similar groups because (1) they want vengeance against the Assad regime and (2) they found from experience that the Islamist groups take the best care of their fighters — caring for the wounded, supporting them in battle. In situations of social breakdown — which are generally NOT caused by the Islamist groups themselves, but by problems of finances, elite divisions, and popular unrest due to oppressive or arbitrary actions by the state – extremists tend to have major advantages. This has always been the case throughout the history of revolutions: moderates are usually outflanked and outmaneuvered and out-recruited by radicals; so much so that the triumph of radicals over moderates is a staple of academic work on the trajectory of revolutions, from Crane Brinton to my own.
historical_sociology  revolutions  radicals  Iraq  Syria  MENA  Islamist_fundamentalists  US_foreign_policy  global_governance  NATO  military  military_history  alliances  Thirty_Years_War  terrorism  GWOT 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Water Supply Key to Outcome of Conflicts in Iraq and Syria | Mother Jones - July 2014
Partitioning Iraq not just problem of where the oil is but access to water. Isis already has control of important points threatening water for Shia south and has been using water as a weapon -- diverting to cut off some and flood others, like Abu Gharib flooded to forestall Iraqi army trying to take back Fallujah. Water control and collapsing infrastructure part of both government and Isis tactics in Syria. And then are the neighbors like Turkey. With recent droughts getting early taste of climate change impact in next decades.
military  war  Syria  Iraq  water  climate 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Franz-Stephan Grady - Meet the Elusive Man Responsible for Today’s Middle East Mayhem | The National Interest - June 2014
In the spring of 1915, bogged down British and French forces were desperately battling the Ottoman army on the Gallipoli peninsula trying to force the Dardanelles and occupy Istanbul. Amid the fighting, a 25-year-old Turkish officer, Lieutenant Muhammad Sharif Al-Faruqi, deserted to the British side on August 20, 1915. Trying to save his own skin and apparently determined to play a role in shaping the postwar future of the Middle-East, Al-Faruqi provided British intelligence with a host of assertions about himself and the Arab tribes under Ottoman suzerainty, which later turned out to be either wild exaggerations or plain lies. British intelligence, however, took Al-Faruqi’s statements at face value, which led the British to promise a great deal to the Arabs in exchange for revolting against the Turks. This in turn directly influenced the negotiations over the notorious Sykes-Picot agreement that in many ways has been at the root of much of the political upheaval in the Middle East ever since. Thus, Lieutenant Muhammad Sharif Al-Faruqi may very well be one of the greatest imposters in the history of international relations.
20thC  IR  political_history  military_history  spying  British_history  British_Empire  France  imperialism  Great_Powers  MENA  WWI  entre_deux_guerres  diplomatic_history  ethnic_conflict  sectarianism  Ottomans  Turkey  Iraq  Islamic_civilization  Shiites  Sunnis  Saudia_Arabia  Jordan  Israel  Great_Game  British_Empire-military  British_foreign_policy 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
Ali Mamouri Iran on Quest to Legitimize Velayat-e Faqih in Iraqi Seminaries - Al-Monitor August 2013
With the worsening sectarian crisis in the region and the emergence of a sectarian conflict in Syria, the regime expected Najaf to support the Shiite position in the conflict as represented by Iran and its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon, or at least remain silent on the matter. But Najaf’s explicit position against waging jihad in Syria and the illegitimacy of the religious edicts calling for participation in the sectarian fighting there have placed Iran in a very awkward position.

The conflict between the Iranian regime, which believes in velayat-e faqih, and Najaf, which rejects that notion, has made some researchers in Shiite affairs predict the end of the traditional Shiite reference with Sistani’s death. But this seems unrealistic because of the coherent social structure in the Najaf seminary and its general position in the Shiite world.
Islam  Shiites  Iran  Iraq  Syria  MENA 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Mehdi Khalaji - The Last Marja: Sistani and the End of Traditional Religious Authority in Shiism (2006) - Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Iraqi Shiite cleric Ali Hussein al-Sistani has achieved tremendous popularity in recent years, becoming the greatest marja, or independent religious authority, in the Shiite world. But how does his influence compare to that of Iran's Supreme Leader, who can draw upon the considerable resources of the Iranian state?In this Washington Institute Policy Focus, Mehdi Khalaji offers an in-depth look at the current state of Shiite leadership. Drawing in part from his theological training in the seminaries of Qom, Iran, he traces the gradual marginalization of the seminary system in Iran and Iraq -- the former through political monopolization by the ayatollahs, the latter through direct suppression at the hands of Saddam Hussein. By undermining the traditional sources of independent religious authority in the heart of the Shiite world, he argues, the Iranian regime has succeeded in its goal of dominating Shiite religious, political, and social networks both inside and outside Iran. He goes on to explore what this dramatic shift in Shiite authority means for Western interests and U.S. policy.

Islam  Shiites  Iran  Iraq 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Birgit Svensson: Can Baghdad Reclaim Its Title As Intellectual Capital Of The Middle East? | DIE WELT/Worldcrunch June 2013
As an Arabic saying goes, Middle Eastern books are “written in Cairo, printed in Beirut, and read in Baghdad.” At no time was this truer than in the days of the Abbasids, who reached their political and cultural highpoint in the 8th and 9th centuries while Europe was in the dark Middle Ages.

Traces of all this aren’t so easy to find anymore. The war and terror destroyed most of what remained. But now one of the old centers is being revived: the Bayt al-Hikma, or House of Wisdom, founded by Al Ma’mun (786-833), the son of Harun al-Rashid from One Thousand and One Nights. His intention was to create a gathering place for the intellectual elite — and the goal is the same today.
Medieval  Islamic_civilization  elites  intellectual_history  intelligentsia  Iraq  cultural_history  publishing  MENA 
july 2013 by dunnettreader

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