Democratization: Indigenous Beats Imported

cairo demonstration

Ivan Eland: Despite George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s efforts to topple foreign dictators and use military power to forcefully impose democracy from without, democracy usually works better if it bubbles up from below by popular desire.

Iraq: Controlled Devolution or Uncontrolled Disintegration

Massoud Barzani

Ivan Eland: Although the Iraqi constitution creates a fairly decentralized state, the most worrisome development for Iraqi unity is Barzani’s increasing demands. Barzani’s electoral gains—and because of Iraq’s post-election political stalemate, his ability to be a king-maker in selecting Iraq’s next prime minister—make him and the Kurds more strident in their quest for autonomy, or maybe even independence, and to grab the ethnically-mixed but oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Not Out of the Woods Yet in Iraq

Allawi Ayad

Ivan Eland: It is too early for the U.S. elite’s self-congratulation that democracy has finally been solidified in Iraq. Defeat could yet be snatched from the jaws of victory after U.S. forces leave, and even before that if the latest election is as destabilizing as was the one in 2005.

Learning From History: Can the U.S. Win the Afghan War?

Soldier

Ivan Eland: Unfortunately for the United States in Afghanistan, however, the label of “foreign occupier” is an albatross the U.S. will likely never be able to shake or mitigate. Although the Taliban is often brutal (but may now be toning this down in its own realization that it must win greater public support) and unpopular, so is the U.S. occupation and the corrupt client government of Hamid Karzai.

Iraq: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

iraq-war-games

Trying to recreate Iraq’s multicultural ethno-sectarian mosaic after intense civil strife is an appealing idea, but the history of ethno-sectarian conflict shows it to be dangerous.

Warning from Bosnia for Iraq

serbian-militia

Bosnian Serb leaders have threatened to withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina, the decentralized entity created by the 1995 Dayton Accords, which ended a brutal civil war in the Balkans that killed more than 100,000 people in the early 1990s. Under the accords, Bosnia-Herzegovina were partitioned into a confederation of the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation. Critics […]

Misreading the Iraqi Election Results

iraq_election

Now that their nemesis, George W. Bush, has left office, the mainstream media can be unbridled in their optimism about the future of Iraq. After 9/11, they chose to allow themselves to be duped by the Bush administration’s fairly lame reasons for the clearly unrelated U.S. invasion of Iraq and have been bitter about the […]

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