5 Items

Sergeant John Stanley of the US marines of the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Batallion sprays a Saddam picture on 6 April 2003 near Thamir, a suburb of Baghdad.

AP Photo/Maurizio Gambarini

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Forced to Be Free? Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Rarely Leads to Democratization

| Spring 2013

Is military intervention effective in spreading democracy? Existing studies disagree. Optimists point to successful cases, such as the transformation of West Germany and Japan into consolidated democracies after World War II. Pessimists view these successes as outliers from a broader pattern of failure typified by cases such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Paper - National Bureau of Economic Research

Is There an "Emboldenment" Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq

| February 2008 (Revised May 2008)

"Are insurgents affected by new information about the United States' sensitivity to costs? Using data on attacks and variation in access to international news across Iraqi provinces, we identify an "emboldenment" effect by comparing the rate of insurgent attacks in areas with higher and lower access to information about U.S. news after public statements critical of the war. We find that in periods after a spike in war-critical statements, insurgent attacks increases by 7–10 percent, but that this effect dissipates within a month. Additionally, we find that insurgents shift attacks from Iraqi civilian to U.S. military targets following new information about the United States' sensitivity to costs, resulting in more U.S. fatalities but fewer deaths overall. These results suggest that there is a small but measurable cost to open public debate in the form of higher attacks in the short-term, and that Iraqi insurgent organizations — even those motivated by religious or ideological goals — are strategic actors...."