Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Next Stop Baghdad?
Iraq: The Logic of Disengagement
How to Win in Iraq
Why Air Strikes Might Not be Enough
The Price of the Surge
When to Leave Iraq
Today, Tomorrow, or Yesterday?
How to Leave a Stable Iraq
Building on Progress
Iraq, From Surge to Sovereignty
Winding Down the War in Iraq
It's Hard to Say Goodbye to Iraq
Why the United States Should Withdraw this December
The Problem With Obama's Decision to Leave Iraq
How to Salvage the Relationship Between Washington and Baghdad
The Iraq We Left Behind
Welcome to the World’s Next Failed State
Is Iraq on Track?
Democracy and Disorder in Baghdad
When the Shiites Rise
Why Separatism Could Rip the Country Apart—Again
Collateral Damage in Iraq
The Rise of ISIS and the Fall of al Qaeda
Kurds to the Rescue
How to Get the Kurdish Regional Goverment to Take on ISIS
The Fallacy of Iranian Leverage
Why the Turmoil in Iraq Will Weaken the Islamic Republic
Who Lost Iraq?
And How to Get It Back
Maliki Isn't the Problem
The Roots of Sectarianism in Iraq
Syria and the Violence in Iraq
Ever since the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003, the question of what would follow Saddam Hussein's regime -- and what role the United States would play in Iraq’s ultimate destiny -- has been open and hotly debated.
Some policymakers wanted to get out as quickly as possible, essentially leaving Iraq to its own devices. Others felt it was important to stay for the longer term, helping to provide for Iraqi security and trying to guide the new Iraqi state on a healthy path.
From 2003 to 2006, the Bush administration essentially kept one eye on the exits. Then, as Iraq descended into civil war, it shifted course, adopting a new policy, the surge, and taking a greater and more open-ended role in maintaining order.
As the civil war subsided and relative calm returned to Iraq, the Bush administration negotiated an agreement for U.S. forces to leave the country. The Obama administration accepted and implemented it to the letter, happy to put the conflict squarely in the rear-view mirror.
Now, the ultimate consequences of that decision are playing themselves out. Without much American involvement or tutelage, Iraq is once again descending into civil war. The Maliki government has governed poorly and alienated much of Iraq’s non-Shia population. ISIS, a Sunni extremist group that started out in eastern Syria, has spread to western Iraq and has declared a new caliphate, or Islamic state, in heavily Sunni parts of both countries. The Kurds in northeastern Iraq are operating largely on their own. And what role the United States should play in Iraq is once again at the forefront of the American foreign policy agenda.
At Foreign Affairs, we've been tracking these decisions in real time, featuring a broad range of expert perspectives from across the political spectrum. As the fate of Iraq appears to hang in the balance once again, we offer this collection to put breaking events in their proper intellectual and historical context.
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