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Status of Forces: NY Times v. Washington Post

It's amazing how two newspapers have taken the same remarks from the Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari, and spun them into totally different articles. The articles are mainly focused on Zebari's remarks made at a press conference in Baghdad earlier today. New York Times’ article is titled “Iraq Hints at Delay in US Security Deal” and […]

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Weekend Roundup

In a follow up to my fellow blogger Jennifer's piece on the lucrative oil wars in Iraq, the BBC has a piece entitled “Iraq seeking help to develop oil“. This discusses the official beginning of the opening up of the oil industry to foreign investment. The six main oil fields that are being opened up […]

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It's the economy, stupid.

According to the Senlis Council's latest report on Iraq entitled, “Angry Hearts and Angry Minds“, the international community's mark on Iraq should move away from military means and towards more humanitarian and economic efforts. “Just as we have seen the use of a military surge in Iraq, we need also to see a job surge and […]

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Editorial round-up plus our very own news anchors

Here's an interesting op-ed by Fouad Ajami in today's Wall Street Journal. An ardent supporter of the Iraq war since the beginning, Ajami harshly criticizes Scott McClellan's accusations towards the Bush administration. He also says, “With the luxury of hindsight, the critics of the war now depict the arguments made for it as a case […]

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Australian troops leave Iraq

Australian soldiers are leaving Iraq as of Sunday, June 1, which fulfills the election promises of the current government. This comes on the heels of an interesting article in The Times last week, where Australian soldiers said they were ‘ashamed’ at their lack of frontline role in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The article comes from […]

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Al-Qaeda being defeated?

According to the latest statements by CIA director Michael Hayden in today's Washington Post, Al-Qaeda's influence and popularity is on the downturn. He says that they do not have the influence that they once had, and that the Iraq invasion providing a platform for increasing their popularity has degraded considerably. Although this blog focuses solely […]

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The Price of the Surge by Steven Simon

A recent article by Steven Simon in the Foreign Affairs journal is quite an interesting read. It can be read here at RealClearPolitics. The main points of the article are as follows: There should be a distinction made between the Iraqi Sunni insurgents who are nationalists and Al-Qaeda members who poured in from foreign countries […]

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British troops in Basra for the long term

After General Petraeus’ meeting at 10 Downing Street with Defense Secretary Des Browne and Sir Jock Stirrup (defense chief of staff), the general agreement was that the 4,000 strong British troop contingent would remain stationed outside of Basra for the time being. When asked about a specific time range the General replied, “The answer right […]

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Good morning, Baghdad

Iraq awoke to a statement by the Multi National Forces that Al-Qaeda in Iraq is planning more and more suicide and car bombings, specifically stolen ambulances. The one district that is specifically mentioned is the Karakh district of Baghdad. The US military has announced that it has intelligence to this effect. This is the day […]

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Over 1,300 dismissed in Basra, NSA Hadley condemns Iran.

The New York Times has a great piece on the dismissal of 1,300 soldiers and policemen in the wake of the Basra offensive. Stephen Farrell writes that there have been revelations “more than 1,000 members of the security forces had laid down their weapons during the fight“. There were a multitude of reasons behind the […]

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Iraq Town Hall: Are we winning?

[kml_flashembed movie=”″ width=”400″ height=”326″ wmode=”transparent” /] The video I’m posting is of the Iraq Town Hall that was put on by the Foreign Policy Association, last week in New York City. The panelists are Dr. Fred Kagan, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute specializing in defense issues and the US military. He is […]

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Continuing Battle for the South: Basra

According to several media reports, the battle of Basra is NOT going well. Just a few hours ago, militants blew up a crude oil pipeline. An act of retaliation, this is part of a tenacious fight that the Sadrists are putting up in the south of the country. The Iraqi and US forces have a […]

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Basra's continuing deterioration, Part II

In Part One, I discussed the likelihood of the British contingent staying on in Basra past their pull-out dates because of continuing instability in the province and city. The big parties that are fighting for dominance are the Fadhila party (a smaller Shi’ite party), the Sadrists, and the followers of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council […]

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Basra's continuing deterioration, Part I

What first caught my eye was an article in the UK Daily Mail yesterday (which I think is little more than a tabloid, but occasionally they have a gem or two) that said in its headline ‘Rocket attacks dent hopes of bringing British troops home from Basra‘. As readers of this blog know, we have […]

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4,000 dead in 5 years

The New York Times has posted a searing piece that details the correspondence of dead soldiers. It is painful to read their emails, diary entries, and blog postings knowing that they are not coming home. Charlie Rose of the Huffington Post has conducted a series of interviews for the fifth anniversary of the invasion of […]

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About the Author

Rabia Altaf

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