Intervention in Iraq: from Regime Change to de Facto Partition

Authored by: Gareth Stansfield

Routledge Handbook of Security Studies

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138803930
eBook ISBN: 9781315753393
Adobe ISBN: 9781317620921


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Thirteen years after the US-led invasion, the situation in Iraq is unstable, dangerous, and transformative. From a relatively easy invasion followed by an early ‘honeymoon’ period, the US and its allies were confronted by the complexities of Iraqi political life as different sectarian and ethnic agendas came to the fore in the state-building negotiations that led to the passing of the Constitution of 2005. The failure to successfully accommodate Sunni voices into the negotiations led to the beginnings of a violent insurgency from Sunnis against US forces, and against the institutions of the new Iraqi government. Among the many nationalist and jihadist groups operating against the US and Iraqi government from 2004 onwards were a range of former Ba’th regime elements, and jihadists operating under the banner of al-Qaida Iraq led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Later, these groups would reform as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who would proclaim himself the Caliph of the Islamic State following the conquest of Mosul in June 2014 (see McCants 2015; Weiss and Hassan 2015).

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