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Managing Strains in the Coalition: What to Do About Saddam?

Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.

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+[Iraq] +[Saddam] +[Desert Storm] +[Kurds] +[Turkey] +[coalition] +[Saudi Arabia] +[Iran] +[Kurds] +[Pelletiere]


Brief Synopsis

For 5 years U.S. policy has managed to steer a coalition of states which share broad interests in regional stability and free trade. Yet below these common interests, the United States has walked a tightrope stretched between competing objectives vis-à-vis Iraq, e.g., undermining Saddam while preserving Iraq as a counterweight to Iran; protecting the Kurds while not promoting their independence. Time, however, has a habit of eroding international coalitions and exposing seams in the details of policy. Iraq's September 1996 actions in the Kurdish north found such a seam in coalition objectives, or, to return to the original metaphor, shook one anchor of the U.S. policy tightrope. Dr. Stephen Pelletiere examines how the Kurdish crisis developed, why--most disturbingly--the key coalition members divided in response to U.S. actions, and what factors might guide future U.S. policy. He concludes that U.S. policy needs reanchoring if we are to achieve our paramount interests in this vital region.

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Also by the Author/Editor:

Land Power and Dual Containment: Rethinking America's Policy in the Gulf
Searching for Stable Peace in the Persian Gulf
Assessing the Costs of Failure
The Peace process, Phase One: Past Accomplishments, Future Concerns
Yemen and Stability in the Persian Gulf: Confronting the Threat from Within
A Theory of Fundamentalism: An Inquiry into the Origin and Development of the Movement
Terrorism: National Security Policy and the Home Front
Assad and the Peace Process: The Pivotal Role of Lebanon

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Iraq

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