The Brookings Institution. September 18, 2013.
With a number of crises in the Middle East developing with ever greater intensity, many Americans wish to turn inward. While the Obama administration wishes to turn eastward toward Asia and the Pacific, the problems of the Middle East will not allow it. Amid debates over Middle East policy, Iraq is a recurring subject. It is used as a warning, as a specter and even as a curse. Rarely is it cast as a U.S. interest, let alone as an ally. Yet Iraq is suffering its own crises, and it is largely forced to weather them alone. Buffeted by the events in the wider region, struggling with its own internal fissures, Iraq soldiers on. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.brookings.edu/events/2013/09/18-united-states-iraq [Audio format, 01:58:53].
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). May 10, 2013.
From the crucible of more than a decade of continuous combat operations, Special Operations Forces (SOF) have emerged as one of the most cost-effective “weapons systems” in the U.S. military arsenal and a major source of strategic advantage for the nation. How can the United States capitalize on such development and extend the SOF’s strategic advantage well into the future? [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.csbaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/SOF-Report-CSBA-Final.pdf [PDF format, 144 pages].
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). March 2013.
Learning From Iraq importantly captures the effects of the rebuilding program as derived from 44 interviews with the recipients (the Iraqi leadership), the executors (U.S. senior leaders), and the providers (congressional members). These interviews piece together an instructive picture of what was the largest stabilization and reconstruction operation ever undertaken by the United States (until recently overtaken by Afghanistan).
http://www.sigir.mil/learningfromiraq/index.html [HTML format].
Congressional Research Service. November 9, 2012.
Iraq’s stability is threatened by a breakdown in relations among major political factions, a continuing insurgency by Sunni Muslims who resent Shiite political domination, and spillover from increasingly sectarian conflict in Syria. The continuing violence and governmental dysfunctions have called into question the legacy of U.S. involvement in Iraq.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/201042.pdf [PDF format, 56 pages].
Congressional Research Service. August 10, 2012.
The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) activities. Among the most readily visible of the Navy’s recent IW operations have been those carried out by Navy sailors serving ashore in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the Navy’s contributions to IW operations around the world are made by Navy individual augmentees (IAs)—individual Navy sailors assigned to various DOD operations. The Navy’s IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/196931.pdf -PDF format, 37 pages].