Thursday, December 01, 2005

Is there Civil War in Iraq?

From the Council on Foreign Relations.
These are just snips. More at the site.

Michael O’Hanlon (NO) The kind of civil war I’m worried about is of the ethnic-cleansing kind, where people form militias and clear out neighborhoods. Nothing close to this kind of situation is happening in Iraq now.

Kenneth Katzman (Maybe/Probably) This week it’s definitely become clearer that we’ve entered civil war, but whether it’s a sustained or permanent feature, we don’t know.

Marina Ottaway (Strictly speaking, No) To go from acts of terrorism to civil war you need two population groups deliberately targeting each other. As long as it is insurgents trying to kill people to dissemminate terror, and the population is angry at the terrorists, that does not constitute civil war.

David Phillips (Yes) It’s already civil war. Civil war is sectarian-based conflict that’s systematic and coordinated. This has been going on for some time [in Iraq]. I’d say the bombing in Najaf in the months after Saddam’s statue was toppled [in April, 2003] was the opening salvo.

Thomas X. Hammes, US Marine Corps (Not yet) I think you know it when you see it, but we’re not there yet. In a true civil war, the mass of society on both sides is involved. Civil war would require family-on-family violence. That’s not the case yet.

Steven Metz (Probably, sooner or later) I’ve said all along the chances are perhaps fifty-fifty that the ultimate outcome [in Iraq] will be some sort of major civil war. I haven’t seen anything politically or militarily that would lead me to change that position.

I report.
You decide.
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I was checking my links and found that the David L. Phillips link doesn't do like the others to identify the man. Maybe his views have made him persona non grata at the old think tank.

I did find this:

Constitution Process Risks a Civil War
Author: David L. Phillips

August 26, 2005Newsday

President George W. Bush called the drafting of Iraq's constitution an "amazing event." But instead of fostering consensus, the process has actually increased chances for civil war.

The constitution pits Islamists against secularists, Shia against Sunnis, Arabs against Kurds, and women against men. The "new Iraq" is a far cry from what President Bush had in mind when he promised freedom to the Iraqi people.

In 2003, the United States thought it could simply decapitate Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime and easily establish a liberal democracy in the heart of the Arab world. Since then, the Bush administration has continually lowered expectations. Today it is embracing a constitution that lays the groundwork for theocratic rule. The constitution also is undemocratic and out of step with human rights norms.

[More at the link]

1 comment:

Hoots said...

Just for fun, here's the result of a search at the CFR site.

Searched for david phillips. Results 1 - 10 of about 225. Search took 0.01 seconds.

Sort by: Date / Relevance

Council on Foreign Relations Conference on the Global Threat ...
Transcript - By Richard N. Foster, Gerald Komisar, William Kinane, Kathryn Pilgrim
... is very important?it gets to David?s comment about, you know, what can ... QUESTIONER:
Thank you. Ted Sattler, the Phillips-Van Heusen Company. This is really ...
92k - November 16, 2005

Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (Iranian rebels)
Background Q&A
... Background Q&A. Related Materials. An Opportunity for America
and Iran to Cooperate By David L. Phillips Op-Ed. See Also. ...
22k - November 7, 2005

Jemaah Islamiyah
Background Q&A
... Background Q&A. Related Materials. The Next Stage in the War
on Terror; Indonesia By David L. Phillips Op-Ed. See Also. ...
31k - October 3, 2005

Lessons in Nation-Building
Academic Module
... By David L. Phillips. A disenchanted government insider's take on the planning that
did go on for postwar Iraq-planning that the Bush administration willfully ...
43k - September 23, 2005

Management of the United Nations Oil-For-Food Programme
Must Read
... UN Security Council Resolution 1511 Essential Documents. UN Has
the Tools to Help Iraq Help Itself By David L. Phillips Op-Ed. ...
20k - September 7, 2005

Interview with Sidney Jones on Aceh peace agreement
Interview - By Sidney R. Jones, Esther Pan
... Difficult Negotiations: Prospects for Peace in Aceh By David L. Phillips
Op-Ed. INDONESIA: The Aceh Peace Agreement By Esther Pan Background Q&A. ...
31k - August 30, 2005

Brown: Best Hope for Iraq Is Rejection of Draft Constitution ...
Interview - By Bernard Gwertzman, Nathan Brown
... Constitution Process Risks a Civil War By David L. Phillips Op-Ed. Report to Congress
Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq Essential Documents. See Also. ...
39k - August 29, 2005

* * * *
Etc., etc.
As you can see, there were some two hundred plus hits in the search. I dunno why the search page link won't work. Anyway, you can do one if you're interested...