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The other side of the COIN: Perils of Premature Evacuation from Iraq

Published:
1 April 2010
Region:
Middle East and North Africa
Topics:

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The other side of the COIN: Perils of Premature Evacuation from Iraq

Iraq has made remarkable progress since the worst days of its civil war in 2006. Security has improved enormously, democratization has gained a foothold, and democratic pressures have forced Iraqi politicians to change their methods, if not necessarily their goals. Iraq’s micro economies have begun to revive and foreign investment is beginning to pick up. But these gains are fragile and reversible. One of the least acknowledged problems with the ongoing transition of the U.S. mission in Iraq is the potential for problems to arise between the Iraqi military and the civilian government. There is yet another problem: it is the nature of counterinsurgency (COIN) operations to politicize the militaries conducting them. As COIN operations are inherently political, the paper uses the emergence and reemergence of the armed forces as potent political players in Latin America as an example.

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