July 9, 2014

The Battle for Baghdad

Patrick Cockburn, London Review of Books

The Associated Press

Shock at the disintegration of the army in Mosul and other Sunni-majority districts of northern Iraq is still determining the mood in Baghdad weeks later. The debacle marks the end of a distinct period in Iraqi history: the period between 2006 and 2014 when the Iraqi Shia under Maliki sought to dominate the country much as the Sunni had done under Saddam Hussein. The Shias’ feeling of disempowerment after the Mosul collapse has been so unexpected that they believe almost any other disaster is possible. In theory, the capital should be secure: it has a population of seven million, most of them Shia, and is defended by the remains of the regular army as well as tens of thousands of Shia militiamen. But then almost the same might have been said of Mosul and Tikrit, where the...

Read Full Article ››



July 3, 2014
Water Wars in the Land of Two Rivers
Keith Johnson, Foreign Policy
Insurgents may threaten Iraq's dams as much as its oil -- with potentially dire consequences. more ››
July 3, 2014
Who Was Saddam Hussein?
Robert Kaplan, Stratfor
The current disintegration of Iraq makes me reflect on the nature of Saddam Hussein's rule. Beyond the American invasion in 2003, which was the proximate cause of Iraq's current instability, there was something more fundamental,... more ››
July 3, 2014
Iraq Isn't Getting Better Anytime Soon
Leon Hadar, The Daily Caller
Against the backdrop of the growing instability in Iraq and Syria, policymakers have been trying to draw the outlines of what can be described as the post-Sykes-Picot Middle East. The conventional wisdom has been that state... more ››
July 3, 2014
How Obama Lost the Middle East
Victor Davis Hanson, National Review
The more Obama campaigned in 2008 on a failed war in Iraq, a neglected war in Afghanistan, an ill-considered War on Terror, and an alienated Middle East, the more those talking points were outdated and eclipsed by fast-moving... more ››
July 4, 2014
Why We Stuck with Maliki -- and Lost Iraq
Ali Khedery, Washington Post
To understand why Iraq is imploding, you must understand Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki -- and why the United States has supported him since 2006. more ››