Studies about our new Wars

This “reference page” lists articles about undercovered aspects of the Iraq War.  It is not a discussion page.  Please post comments only about corrections or suggested additions.

  1. The Counterinsurgency Library
  2. Order of Battle for the Iraq and Afghanistan Security Forces
  3. The Occupation of Iraq
  4. The Air War in Iraq
  5. Where to go for information about our bases in Iraq

I.  The Counterinsurgency Library

The Counterinsurgency Library providing links to a wide range of articles about COIN. This is the sort of tool that can leverage our knowledge. The sort of tool that makes us smarter.

II.  Order of Battle for the Iraq and Afghanistan Security Forces

A project of the Long War Journal, this includes regular Army, Special Forces, Navy, Air Force, national and local police, and border security units.  It designates Kurdish units.  This is a valuable resource, useful for understanding reports about the Iraq War.  Also valuable would be information about the composition of units by region, ethnicity and sect — indications as to the ultimate loyalty of these units.

  1. Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle
  2. Afghan Security Forces Order of Battle

III.  The Occupation of Iraq

  1. Blind Into Baghdad“, James Fallows, The Atlantic, January/February 2004 — About the State Department’s preparation for the post-war period, the “Future of Iraq Project.  Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld destroyed this work in order to have DoD maintain control.
  2. Sovereigns of All They’re Assigned, Captains Have Many Missions to Oversee“, New York Times, 21 March 2008 — Describes how Army and Marine Captains act as colonial administrators in Iraq, something for which most have neither the training and experience.  They have done well, although with unknown consequences for the future.
  3. Debating Devolution in Iraq“, Reidar Visser, 10 March 2008 — Reidar Visser is a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and editor of the Iraq website  

IV.  The Air War in Iraq

Our use of airpower is the great undercovered story of the Iraq War.  Tom Engelhardt has been one of the few covering this key aspect of the war.  A journalist — no military expert — he has told a story ignored by most warbloggers and military experts.  For example, look at the low volume of coverage of the air war at StrategyPage, the Small Wars Council, and by Stratfor.  Here are his major articles on the air war, essential reading for anyone seeking to understand our activities in Iraq.

  1. Incident on Haifa Street, TomDispatch, 19 September 2004
  2. Dahr Jamail on Life under the Bombs in Iraq, TomDisatpch, 2 February 2005
  3. Icarus (Armed with Vipers) Over Iraq, TomDispatch, 5 December 2005
  4. Michael Schwartz on Iraq as a Killing Ground, TomDispatch, 10 January 2006
  5. Air War, Barbarity, and the Middle East, TomDispatch, 28 July 2006
  6. Nick Turse on America’s Secret Air War in Iraq, TomDispatch, 7 February 2007
  7. Nick Turse: The Air War in Iraq Uncovered, Tom Dispatch, 24 May  2007
  8. Bombs Away Over Iraq, TomDispatch, 29 January 2008
  9. The Role of Airpower in the Iraq and Afghan Wars“, Anthony H. Cordesman, Center for Strategic adn International Studies, 19 March 2008
  10. Oops, Our Bad“, TomDispatch, 10 April 2008
  11. In Iraq, a Surge in U.S. Airstrikes“, Washington Post, 23 May 2008 — “Military Says Attacks Save Troops’ Lives, but Civilian Casualties Elicit Criticism”

V.  Where to go for information about our bases in Iraq

  1. If the U.S. is ultimately leaving Iraq, why is the military building ‘permanent’ bases?, Friends Committee on National Legislation
  2. Iraq Facilities, Global
  3. Pentagon Expects Long-Term Access to Four Key Bases in Iraq“, New York Times, 20 April 2003
  4. A Permanent Basis for Withdrawal?, Tom Engelhardt , 14 February 2006
  5. How Permanent Are Those Bases?, Tom Engelhardt. 7 June 2007
  6. Baseless Considerations, Tom Engelhardt, 4 November 2007
  7. A Basis for Enduring Relationships in Iraq, Tom Engelhardt, 2 December 2007
  8. Stratfor’s analysis of US reasons for invading and occupying Iraq, FM site, 4 March 2008
  9. The Greatest Story Never Told, Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch, 15 June 2008 — “Finally, the U.S. Mega-Bases in Iraq Make the News”
  10. Twenty-First Century Blowback? As Prospects Dim in Iraq, the Pentagon Digs in Deeper Around the Middle East, Nick Turse, TomDispatch, 16 November 2010

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