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Iraq Cont'd

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Political Science
POLI 342
Imad Mansour

Foreign Policy of the ME Imad Mansour March 24, 2010 Iraq Continued Trends in Iraqi FP ● Post 1991 ●was successful in the late 90s in reviving foreign policy External Factors ●Major power politics and the geo-strategic importance of Iraq ●it was important for the British as an ally and the Brits had major bases in the region ● (in accordance to power distribution and how power distribution allows a certain FP) rise in Iraqi power in the 70s: attempt to play leadership role in the region could be a function of its rise in power ●pressures from sub-system ●1960s: leadership competition in the Arab world ●1970s: rise of Iran and a regional power concentration ●should also be kept in global perspective: partly to amass power against Iran, US was also interested in seeing a balance of power w/ Iran ●after the mid-70s it became clear that a regional dominance by Iran was needed so the Western powers would see an equal distribution in the region--(theoretical: support people that aren’t your regional allies so that your regional allies don’t become too powerful) ●1980s: Iran-Iraq War ●Iraq was propped up by military and hardware transfers from the US-- maintain a strong balance against Iran and give it military and financial support in the domain ● Iran saw a rise in its importance in the region-- gave Iraq and important role to play ●1990s: a demand-driven Iraq? ●in the 70s an 80s: demand driven FP ●in the 90s: demand came from 2 sources for Iraq to position itself as a balancer against Iranian threat in the region (dual-containment) ●(in the 90s: Iran itself was trying to build bridges in the region and to improve ties) ●Arab states involved in peace talks, by the late 90s they were not progressing (mostly b/w Syria and Israel) interest was to bring Iraq back and recover it and help it play a leading foreign policy in the ME ●this revival should shift the region to a status favorable to the Arab world-- increasing their bargaining power-- regional demand ●what pattern do we see here? ● Why was Iran such a threat? ●What kind of impact did domestic politics have on FP? Foreign Policy of the ME Imad Mansour Domestic Demographic: ●heterogeneous: Kurdish (historical national aspirations for an independent state), Shiites, Sunnis (not only a matter of religion but also a matter of access to resources) ●3 main societal groups are relatively divided into three zones ●each has its own political aspirations ●Sunnis have been the main group who controlled until 2002-2003 ●Sunnis: tried to concetrate power in the hands of the Sunni elite, but sought to exclude religion from the public sphere ●tried to use a complicated mix of ideological factors to persuade people of its authority while also excluding by ideology-- constructed new ideology (Baathist, socialism kind of-- couched in secular terms) ●regime used severe exclusion against two other groups: Domestic Level Factors ●Regime Management (since 1960s) (resembles Syria in the 40s and 50s) ●move towards severe exclusion ●destruction of actors bridging societal heterogenity ●(since the 60s regime has embarked on a particular form of exclusion, why? since 20s they had embarked on very open culture, strong societal ties b/w three communities, regime in the 50s sought to divide Iraq, interest was to undermine opposition to the regime-- contained ethnic distribution in Iraq based on geography) ●societal actors do not share regime interests ●vicious cycles of exclusion and resistance ●Iraq became vulnerable to exteranl manipulation ●exclusion internally was contained by external intervention, increased the importance of Iraq as a unified state ●impact on Iraqi FP ●the general patter
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