Foreign Policy Blogs

Iraq

Updates on Iraqi Elections

Updates on Iraqi Elections

With with 89 percent of the votes counted from the March 7 election, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s coalition has edged ahead of interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.  Nuri al-Maliki’s coalition is currently leading Allawi’s bloc by about 40,000 votes.  However, Votes are still being tallied and the race is still too close to call.  […]

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Iraqi Elections Underway

The parliamentary elections in Iraq are taking place today — another major step for the Iraqi people and their government.  But there have been roadblocks.  Reports of violence relating to the elections have been scattered throughout media outlets this week and last.  But Iraqis have ventured out, deciding that boycotting the elections only serves to […]

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Iraqi Parliamentary Elections in March Raise Concerns of Violent Turmoil

With elections to the Iraqi Parliament looming on the horizon (set for March 7, 2010), my next few posts will focus on aspects of political parties, security, terrorism and government responsibility for peacekeeping.  The more we as Americans know about the parties running, what they stand for and the chances that security can ensure a […]

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Blackwater Remains Untouched

The New York Times reported on January 1 that the U.S. has dismissed the criminal charges against Blackwater for opening fire on Iraqi civilians in 2007.  Many Iraqi citizens were angered by the news, with one of the men injured during the gunfight saying that the U.S. is letting criminals go free.  The Federal judge […]

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Parliamentary Elections to Take Place on March 7th

This morning Iraq’s presidency council voted to delay parliamentary elections until March 7th of 2010.  The decision came after a meeting at President Jalal Talabani’s residency late Tuesday which included Talabani and two vice presidents, Adel Abdul Mahdi and Tariq al-Hashimi, along with Faraj al-Haidari, head of the IHEC.  Although the elections were previously slated […]

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From Ruins to Reels: The Rebirth of Iraqi Cinema

Because the U.S. post war reconstruction plan in Iraq has been grossly mishandled and has proven to be largely ineffectual, Iraqi artists and filmmakers have decided to take cultural reconstruction efforts into their own hands. Recently in Baghdad, Iraqi filmmakers unveiled the city’s first traveling film festival, showcased at sites where explosions have ruined cultural […]

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Roundup: Iraqis to Vote on U.S. Security Pact; Iraqi Gay Men Being Targeted in Attacks; Northern Hostilities Still Going Strong

The latest news in Iraq so far this week: Iraqis will have the opportunity to voice their opinion on how well the U.S. has adhered to its compromise on troop withdrawal.  Reuters reported yesterday that the Iraq Cabinet approved the vote and slated it for January 16, the same time as the Parliamentary vote.  If […]

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Richard J. Schmierer Lectures on Iraq Policy

Richard J. Schmierer Lectures on Iraq Policy

On June 29, the Foreign Policy Assocation hosted U.S. State Department official, Richard J. Schmierer, for their John B. Hurford lecture in New York.  Mr. Schmierer is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and the top State Department official for Iraq policy.  So with no further ado, here’s […]

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U.S. Troops Withdraw from Iraqi Cities

U.S. Troops Withdraw from Iraqi Cities

Iraqis were partying in the streets on Tuesday last week, celebrating the withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraqi cities.  As Newsweek reported, U.S. military operations have moved to nonurban areas and “belts” around major cities such as Baghdad, Basra and Mosul.  American troops will still be at the disposal of Iraqi security leaders, preparing to […]

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Obama Visits Iraq

Obama Visits Iraq

Obama surprised the US troops in Iraq this morning with a visit and a speech.  He arrived at Camp Victory this morning, seemingly out of the blue, near the Baghdad International Airport and spoke with top US commander of Iraq, General Raymond Odierno.  He’s also set to meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki later today.  […]

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Media Coverage Ban Lifted; War Casualties Photographed

Media Coverage Ban Lifted; War Casualties Photographed

Reuters reported this morning that President Obama has relaxed the Pentagon ban on media coverage of casualties of war returning to the US.  Now, instead of forbidding pictures of returning coffins, the family is allowed to choose whether or not to allow cameras upon arrival.  The ban began in 1991 during the first Gulf War, although […]

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Elections Bring Mixed Results

Elections Bring Mixed Results

Iraqi elections have left many feeling the healing effects of a working democracy, but left others feeling cheated.

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Iraqi Provincial Elections to Take Place Saturday

Iraqi provincial elections will take place tomorrow, serving as a segue into the national elections to be held later this year.  The mainstream media outlets are framing this event as a wonderful change from the last election day, which was riddled with violence.  To a degree, I believe this is true.  But the real challenge […]

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Blackwater Guards Indicted for 2007 Shooting

Blackwater Guards Indicted for 2007 Shooting

In an interesting development this weekend, five Blackwater guards involved in the September 2007 shooting that killed 17 Iraqi civilians are facing charges.  BBC News reports that the men are expected to surrender in Utah, the home state for one guard.  Iraqi officials are happy with the news, and one Iraqi man who lost his […]

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Are We Out? The Status of Forces Agreement and the Future of US-Iraqi Relations

Are We Out?  The Status of Forces Agreement and the Future of US-Iraqi Relations

Sunnis, Shi’a, secular and sectarian citizens alike, Iraqis have been debating the issues that come with US military occupation for years now.  But one week ago, the Iraqi Parliament came together, despite their different beliefs, and passed the Status of Forces Agreement by a vote of 149-35.  There were dissenters, of course; most were Sadr […]

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