Below is the final Iraq Country Report that we compiled throughout the semester, detailing the modern history of Iraq and its role in the Arab Awakening.
Research was completed during Prof. Tom O’Donnell’s course entitled Geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa, Fall 2011 at The New School University.
Geopolitics Paper Submission PDF
Alright, after much ado, I transferred what was originally a Prezi presentation into a Powerpoint for formatting reasons, in order to post it to this blog. Technology, what can you do. The original Prezi version can be easily accessed here: http://www.prezi.com/explore, and then type this into search: “iraq and the arab spring.”
In our presentation, the Iraq group answered our main research question: Is there an Arab Spring in Iraq? Has the US Occupation of Iraq helped or hindered the Arab Spring in Iraq and the region? We supported our claims by drawing connections between the recent history of internal sectarian divisions in Iraq, regional relationships between Iraq and other MENA countries, and how US policy toward Iraq has contributed to or complicated Iraq’s role in the Arab Spring.
There has been plenty of talk about the re-emergence of sectarian violence in Iraq post-US withdrawal. What’s been left out of that dialogue is the shape that violence will take, whether that is unknown or ignored, and this article speculates on exactly that.
This article furthers the discussion that, in some ways, Iraq appears to be experiencing something similar to the Arab Awakening in other countries–but that, because it has largely not involved the civilian population and because this has been happening for decades if not centuries, the power struggle between insurgents, militias, the government, currently the US troops, etc., is a historical pattern rather than a new or surprising revolution in Iraq. (This research was completed over a four-week span by Iraqi researchers.)
“The forced segregation, fueled by extremists from both communities, has fundamentally changed the character of the country. And it raises questions about whether the Iraqis can heal the wounds of the sectarian massacres after American forces leave by the end of this month. ”
This quantitative research approach to Sunni insurgency factions in Iraq provides perspective on which Sunni groups are most influential within the country—despite what Western Media would have the public at large believe.