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Open Think Tank Articles

September 11, 2008 | Obama and Biden: No Fundamental Change on Iraq Policy

Reidar Visser: US presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, continue to ignore the shifting political realities in Iraq. Obama and Biden consistently portray the principal dynamic of Iraqi politics as a struggle between Shiites and Sunnis, whereas the main front in Baghdad is between two essentially cross-sectarian coalitions.

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March 6, 2008 | New Moderate Centrism on the Rise in Iraqi Politics

Reidar Visser: While Western media has largely overlooked the rise of a moderate centrist force in Iraq, this new current deserves attention as it faces challenges from the Iraqi Presidency Council.

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Global Must Read Articles

May 8, 2009 | Iraq Cannot Afford Any More Mistakes

Retaining the Iraqi army in 2003 and less punitive measures against former Ba’ath party members would have allowed the earlier withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. ++ This “alienated Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and opened the door for a strong al-Qaeda presence in Iraq”. ++ Treatment of Sunnis as potential enemies by the Iraqi government would be a further mistake. ++ As a result the Sunnis could “choose

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February 3, 2009 | Pushing Iran Away

The success of the election in Iraq last Saturday rewards American efforts. ++ But it also weakens “Tehran’s hand” in Iraq as voter turnout was composed of a healthy mixture of Shiite and Sunni Iraqis, making way for the possibility of creating a balanced Iraqi Parliament and creating hope that Shiites will start looking to Baghdad rather than Tehran for political cues. ++

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November 27, 2008 | Victory in Iraq but Not for Neoconservatives

Iraq’s deal with the US to end the occupation means the complete defeat of the neoconservative plan to turn Iraq into a pro-western ally. ++ Iraqis no longer see the US as the lesser threat to al-Qaeda and subsequently want US troops out. ++ “The deal gives Iraq’s national resistance almost everything it fought for” like veto over military actions and jurisdiction over troops who

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October 22, 2008 | Status-of-Forces Agreement Looms Large

With the status-of-forces agreement at an impasse, policy makers are unnerved by the ominous signs in Iraq. ++ If an agreement is not reached by December 31, US troops will have to return to their bases; “Without legal authority to operate, we do not operate.” ++ Recent gains in Iraq were predicated on US security guarantees - without them, “tensions are returning with a vengeance.” ++ Kurds,

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