Iran, Iraq, and the Legacies of War

Overview

Iraq and Iran are the two most important states in the Gulf region, given their population size, military strength, and the potential threat they pose to other states in the region and the United States. This book enhances our understanding of the troubled relationship between Iran and Iraq, placing it in historical context, examining the rapid deterioration leading to the eight-year war that started in 1980 and the effects of that trauma, and exploring the ongoing issues that currently bedevil bilateral ...

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Overview

Iraq and Iran are the two most important states in the Gulf region, given their population size, military strength, and the potential threat they pose to other states in the region and the United States. This book enhances our understanding of the troubled relationship between Iran and Iraq, placing it in historical context, examining the rapid deterioration leading to the eight-year war that started in 1980 and the effects of that trauma, and exploring the ongoing issues that currently bedevil bilateral relations. The authors cover such central issues as how each side has sought to use opposition groups in the other state to weaken it, ethnic divisions, the role of outside states (especially the United States), and a fascinating account of how the war affected a generation of Iraqis and Iranians. The role of the U.S. in the region and how U.S. policy has affected the two states are also considered. This book provides a basis for understanding the background of a tumultuous relationship that is entering a new era.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Despite America's costly entanglement in the Persian Gulf, we know surprisingly little about gulf politics. This important book helps fill this void. Unlike many studies that are collections of unrelated articles bound together by an introductory statement, this volume provides carefully integrated themes and rigorous analysis. Its authors are well-informed and their creative insights are found throughout the book."—James A. Bill, the College of William and Mary and author of The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations

"This outstanding collection of well-written and researched chapters provides indispensable background for the current complex and troubled situation in Iraq, Iran, and the Gulf. Among other questions, it provides new and vital information on the Iraqi Kurds and Shi'is, the truth about chemical weapons use in the first Gulf War, and the U.S. role in the region. Knowledge of the matters so well covered in this book could have prevented many U.S. governmental mistakes in the region and could today provide a basis for more informed and successful policies."—Nikki Keddie, UCLA

Foreign Affairs
The organizing theme of this book is the impact of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War on the two states — but since nothing in the Middle East is adequately explained in bilateral terms or without reference to the past, the chapters range further in time and space. Shaul Bakhash provides a fine overview of Iranian-Iraqi relations from 1930 to 1980. Richard Schofield studies the Shatt al Arab border dispute. M. R. Izady records the politics of Iraqi Kurds while fitting that story into the larger Kurdish arena beyond Iraq (with especially useful maps). Farideh Farhi appraises the impact of the brutal eight-year conflict on the "war generation" of Iran, and Faleh Jabar does the same for Iraq. Gerd Nonneman traces the shifting diplomacy of the Persian Gulf states during those years. Joost Hiltermann addresses the sad history and bleak consequences of international silence in the face of Iraqi use of chemical weapons, and Rosemary Hollis gives an overview of a half century of U.S. involvement with Iran and Iraq. All the authors have written extensively on their chosen subjects elsewhere, and the challenge of distilling their knowledge into succinct chapters here has been successfully met.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403976093
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence G. Potter is Deputy Director of Gulf/2000 and Adjunct Associate Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University.

Gary G. Sick is the Executive Director of Gulf/2000 and former Director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction; L.G.Potter & G.G.Sick
The Troubled Relationship: Iran and Iraq, 1930-1980; S.Bakhash
Position, Function, and Symbol: The Shatt al-Arab Dispute in Perspective; R.Schofield
Between Iraq and a Hard Place: The Kurdish Predicament; M.R.Izady
The Antinomies of Iran's War Generation; F.Farhi
The War Generation in Iraq: A Case of Failed Etatist Nationalism; F.A.Jabar
Iraqi Shi'i Politics
Outsiders as Enablers: Consequences and Lessons from International Silence on Iraq's Use of Chemical Weapons during the Iran-Iraq War; J.R.Hiltermann
The Gulf States and the Iran-Iraq War; G.Nonneman
The U.S. Role: Harmful or Helpful?; R.Hollis

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