Iraq War

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Dust-up between the NYT and the White House masks willful ignorance

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Oped News, 13 December 2008. The recent dust-up between the New York Times and the White House over whether “faulty intelligence” caused the Bush government to invade Iraq only serves to perpetuate a misleading narrative which seeks to shift the blame for a disastrous American war.
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Yes, We Really Must Talk With Iran

(HTML version) by Charles Knight and Chris Toensing, CommonDreams.org, 28 October 2008. If American troops are ever to come home from Iraq and Iraqis are to have a decent chance at peace and prosperity, the United States must open up a new chapter in its Middle Eastern diplomacy.
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Like a Mirage in the Desert: Full Withdrawal May Recede into the Time Horizon

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Presentation at the United States Institute of Peace panel on “The Future of the U.S. Military Presence in Iraq” (as prepared), 25 July 2008 .

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Iraq Withdrawal (an interview of Charles Knight)

(audio) Charles Knight. Interview on CounterSpin, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. 18 July 2008.
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Quickly, Carefully, and Generously: The Necessary Steps for a Responsible Withdrawal from Iraq

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) (summary) by Task Force for a Responsible Withdrawal from Iraq.  A Commonwealth Institute publication, 01 June 2008. Twenty-five initiatives the US can and should take to reduce violence and regional instability as the US leaves Iraq. Preface by U.S. Representative James P. McGovern (MA – 03).
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Symposium: The Role of Force & the Armed Forces in US Foreign Policy — What have we learned?

Security Policy Working Group, 10 April 2008.

  • Andrew Bacevich, “The Origins and Demise of the Bush Doctrine of Preventive War”
  • Carl Conetta, “Out from the House of War: A Litmus for New Leadership in Security Policy” (printable .pdf)
  • David Gold, “How Much Defense Can We Afford? (printable .pdf), as republished in Challenge (Sept/Oct 2008)
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What Next for Iraq?

(HTML page with link to audio) Carl Conetta. Interview with Terry Gross, Fresh Air, National Public Radio, 17 January 2008.
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U.S. Out of Iraq How?

(HTML version) Interview with Carl Conetta in Mother Jones, 18 October 2007.
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Is Worry about Pakistani Nukes Serving to Keep the U.S. in Iraq?

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, PDA commentary, July 2007.

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Congressional withdrawal plans, permanent bases in Iraq, increase in ground troops

(HTML version) by Bipasha Ray. Defense Analysis Bulletin #4, 01 May 2007.
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No Good Reason to “Grow” the US Army and Marine Corps

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, Common Dreams, 01 February 2007.
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No good reason to boost Army, Marine Corps end strength

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #20, 31 January 2007. The proposal to add 92,000 personnel to US ground forces will combine with other initiatives to greatly increase America’s capacity to sustain large, protracted ground operations overseas. And it will enable an indefinite stay in Iraq. The rationale for this capability misconstrues the lessons of the Iraq war and America’s true security requirements. The memo also reviews recent and possible future deployment patterns.
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Resolving Iraq: Progress depends on a short timeline for US troop withdrawal

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #40, 18 January 2007.  The memo argues that the large-scale US military presence in Iraq makes sustainable progress toward peace and stability there impossible. It advances an alternative approach to stabilizing Iraq that hinges on a short timeline for US troop withdrawal and a new international effort including Iraq’s neighbors.

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A Troop Surge Can’t Win a Victory from a Bad Decision for War

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Commentary in Common Dreams, 10 January 2007.

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Outside View: How Bush Strategy Failed

(HTML version) David Isenberg. United Press International, 27 September 2006.
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War & Consequences: Global Terrorism has Increased Since 9/11 Attacks

(HTML version) (printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #38, 25 September 2006. The memo analyzes the change in the incidence of terrorism since 11 September 2001, finding a distinct increase. It also summarizes the findings of various studies on the relationship between the Iraq war and terrorism which show that in the words of one, the Iraq war “has reinforced the determination of terrorists who were already committed to attacking the West and motivated others who were not.”

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Fighting on Borrowed Time: The Effect on US Military Readiness of America’s post-9/11 Wars

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #19, 11 September 2006. To sustain today’s wars, the Bush administration has adopted a policy of “risk displacement”. High optempo is maintained in Iraq and Afghanistan at the expense of readiness elsewhere and for other missions. The policy also saps future readiness. It may take the US military half a decade to recover.
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Pyrrhus on the Potomac: How America’s post-9/11 wars have undermined US national security

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #18, 05 September 2006.  A net assessment of America’s post-911 security policy shows it to be “pyrrhic” in character: although progress has been made in disrupting Al Qaeda, the broader effect has been to increase the threat to the United States, while weakening the nation’s capacity to respond effectively.
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Kind’s Stance on War in Iraq Inspires DeNure’s Campaign

(HTML version) Reid Magney. La Crosse Tribune, 03 September 2006.
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Deadly Days Put Iraq on ‘Brink of Civil War’

(HTML version) Thomas Caywood and Brian Ballou. Boston Herald, 24 February 2006.
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Pressure mounts on Blair as British fatalities reach 100

(HTML version) Kim Sengupta and Terri Judd. The Independent, UK, 01 February 2006.
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More troops for Iraq? Time to just say “No”

(printable PDF version) (HTML version)  by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #39, 09 January 2006.  There is no reason to believe that a marginal increase in the US troop presence in Iraq will turn the tide there. The memo reviews relevant data on troop strength, insurgent activity, and Iraqi public opinion. It traces America’s troubles in Iraq to the nature of the mission, which it concludes is founded on strategic error.

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Iraqi Civilian Deaths Mount — and Count

(HTML version) Derrick Z. Jackson. Boston Globe, 17 December 2005.
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Masque of Democracy: Iraqi Election System Still Disfavors Sunni Arabs, Favors Kurds

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #35, 10 December 2005. The memo assesses Iraqi election procedures for the December 2005 parliamentary elections. It detects problems of structural bias and shows how the procedures feed communal tensions. Includes table of province populations and assigned council seats.
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400 Days and Out: A Strategy for Solving the Iraq Impasse

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Memo #34, 19 July 2005.The memo outlines a strategy for substantially defusing the Iraqi insurgency, de-escalating the inter-communal conflict there, and enabling near-total US troop withdrawal by September 2006.
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Vicious Circle: The Dynamics of Occupation and Resistance in Iraq, Part One. Patterns of Popular Discontent

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) (summary) by Carl Conetta. PDA Research Monograph #10, 18 May 2005. An analysis of Iraqi public opinion data and interviews suggests that coalition military activity is contributing substantially to anti-coalition sentiments. A “vicious circle” is indicated, whereby counter-insurgent operations create support for the insurgency. The report tracks coalition military activity and relates it to Iraqi discontent and insurgent activity. Differences among Iraqi communities are also assessed.
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Should We Stay or Should We Go? The US Debate on Exiting Iraq

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Memo #33, 07 March 2005.

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The Iraqi election: “first step” or detour?

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, Global Beat Syndicate, 07 February 2005.
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What do Iraqis want? Iraqi attitudes on the occupation, US withdrawal, Iraqi governments, and quality of life

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) 01 February 2005. Summary of data from 2004 and 2005 Iraqi public opinion polls.

 

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Agonizing Issue: is torture ever justified in military interrogations of terror suspects?

(HTML version) (printable PDF version) interview with Charles Knight, co-director, Project on Defense Alternatives and Alfred P. Rubin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Law, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, transcript edited by Jim Cronin, The Boston Globe Magazine, 30 January 2005.  The United States is now training hundreds, maybe thousands, of new interrogators.  Abusive relationships traumatize both the victim and the abuser. We are training and having our own people experience this abuse, and they will be returning home to our communities. We know from studies of domestic abuse that this abusive pattern can be replicated through generations.
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