In This Review

Sanctioning Saddam: The Politics of Intervention in Iraq
Sanctioning Saddam: The Politics of Intervention in Iraq
By Sarah Graham-Brown
I. B. Tauris, 1999, 380 pp

The time between the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 and the U.S.-led military campaign that reversed it was a matter of months. Not so the postwar "settlement" -- nine years later, both sanctions and Saddam survive. The Iraqi people suffer, Kurdish leaders contend for power, the anti-Saddam international coalition frays, and the Iraqi regime appears determined to produce weapons of mass destruction. Sanctioning Saddam describes this tragedy in a painstakingly researched, judicious, and readable account of the years since early 1991. Organized to serve as a comprehensive reference work -- with sidebars distilling complex issues into a page or less, a copious bibliography, and an appended chronology on "The Use and Threat of Force Against Iraq, 1991-1999" -- this book deserves to be read straight through as a sobering case study of international intervention in the post-Cold War world. Graham-Brown also demonstrates the difficulties of coalition politics and the need for long-term strategic planning. Excellent chapters on economic sanctions and the Iraqi Kurds stand out, but all chapters clarify the intractable complexity of this issue.