Middle East & North Africa

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Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Gen. Lori J. Robinson Joins Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center as Senior Fellow

| Dec. 17, 2018

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named General (ret.) Lori J. Robinson a non-resident Senior Fellow. After 37 years of military service, Gen. Robinson retired this year as Commander, United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Geopolitical Fight Club: Why Iraq Must Square off with Saudi Arabia

| Mar. 26, 2018

High mistrust of Saudi Arabia by Iraqi Shi’as is hampering any meaningful outreach Saudi is undertaking toward Iraq and any policy of balancing Iraq and Iran will not succeed unless serious steps toward sectarian de-escalation is taken in the region. In order to bridge the gap, there needs to be broad religious dialogue to discuss the role of Shia’s and Sunnis in the region and forge a common space for the inclusion of both denominations. Major Grand Ayatollahs—the highest authorities in the Shi’a world—have taken positive steps of forbidding the ritual cursing of certain companions of the Prophet Muhammad and the early caliphs considered reverential to the Sunni community. In this endeavor the role of Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf will be crucial as he has a track record of promoting better relations between Shi’as and Sunnis and is an authoritative moderating figure who can reign in hardline elements in Iraq who might be opposed to a détente.

Cpl. Edward Chin of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines Regiment, covers the face of a statue of Saddam Hussein with an American flag before toppling it in downtown in Baghdad on Wednesday, April 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File

Analysis & Opinions - Sydney Morning Herald

The Monstrous Strategic Mistake That Took Us to War in Iraq

| Mar. 20, 2018

John Howard’s decision to commit thousands of Australian troops to the invasion of Iraq 15 years ago ranks as one of the two great failures of Australian foreign policy since the Second World War.

The other is Menzies’ decision to send forces to Vietnam. Both cases represented an abysmal failure of Australian political leadership, driven by an unnecessary capitulation to strategically foolhardy decisions by the US administrations of the time.

Both decisions were taken without independent Australian analysis of the legitimacy of American war aims, the credibility of American military strategy to both win the war and secure the peace, as well as the long-term consequences for Australian national interests.