Iraq

Professionalizing the Iraqi Army: US Engagement after the Islamic State

Author: Dr. C. Anthony Pfaff Security cooperation with Iraq remains a critical component of the US-Iraq relationship. Despite neighboring Iran’s ability to limit US political and economic engagement, Iraq still seeks US assistance to develop its military and to combat resurgent terrorist organizations. This monograph provides a historical and cultural basis from which to understand …

Professionalizing the Iraqi Army: US Engagement after the Islamic State Read More »

The U.S. Army in the Iraq War – Volume 1: Invasion – Insurgency – Civil War, 2003-2006

Author: COL Joel D. Rayburn, COL Frank K. Sobchak The Iraq War has been the costliest U.S. conflict since the Vietnam War. To date, few official studies have been conducted to review what happened, why it happened, and what lessons should be drawn. The U.S. Army in the Iraq War is the Army’s initial operational …

The U.S. Army in the Iraq War – Volume 1: Invasion – Insurgency – Civil War, 2003-2006 Read More »

The U.S. Army in the Iraq War — Volume 2: Surge and Withdrawal, 2007-2011

Author: COL Joel D. Rayburn, COL Frank K. Sobchak The Iraq War has been the costliest U.S. conflict since the Vietnam War. To date, few official studies have been conducted to review what happened, why it happened, and what lessons should be drawn. The U.S. Army in the Iraq War is the Army’s initial operational …

The U.S. Army in the Iraq War — Volume 2: Surge and Withdrawal, 2007-2011 Read More »

Executive Summary: The U.S. Army in the Iraq War, Vol. 2

Author: USAWC Strategic Studies Institute Originally commissioned by Chief of Staff of the Army General Raymond T. Odierno, The U.S. Army in the Iraq War is the Army’s interim examination of military operations in Iraq from 2003 to 2011. This study, published in two volumes, is a narrative history that tells the story of U.S. …

Executive Summary: The U.S. Army in the Iraq War, Vol. 2 Read More »

Parameters VOL. 47 NO. 3 AUTUMN 2017

Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II FEATURES: Special Commentary. Limits of Negative Peace, Faces of Positive Peace — Patricia M. Shields. A Wake for Counterinsurgency? Abandoning Counterinsurgency: Reviving Antiterrorism Strategy—Steven Metz. Insurgent Defectors in Counterinsurgencies—Jacqueline L. Hazelton. War among (& for) the People. Rethinking NATO Policy on the Protection of Civilians—Sten Rynning. Military Force and …

Parameters VOL. 47 NO. 3 AUTUMN 2017 Read More »

Parameters VOL. 47 NO. 1 SPRING 2017

Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II Mission Command: Strategic Implications – Anthony C. King, Russell W. Glenn, and Thomas-Durell Young. After 15 Years of Conflict – Charlotte F. Blatt, Stanley J. Wiechnik, Ellen “Elle” Klein, Douglas A. Sims II, and Amy B. Adler. Modernization Among US Partners – Ian Langford, and Rémy Hémez. Review Essay …

Parameters VOL. 47 NO. 1 SPRING 2017 Read More »

Antiquities Destruction and Illicit Sales as Sources of ISIS Funding and Propaganda

Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has embarked on a campaign to destroy or sell priceless world heritage relics throughout the area under its control. While images of the outrageous destruction of priceless artifacts have been seen throughout the world, the strategic and military implications of comprehensive antiquities …

Antiquities Destruction and Illicit Sales as Sources of ISIS Funding and Propaganda Read More »

The COIN Conundrum: The Future of Counterinsurgency and U.S. Land Power

Author: Dr Thomas R Mockaitis Counterinsurgency (COIN) continues to be a controversial subject among military leaders. Critics argue that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made the U.S. military, particularly the Army, “COIN-centric.” They maintain that equipping U.S. forces to combat insurgency has eroded their conventional war fighting capabilities. Those committed to preserving and …

The COIN Conundrum: The Future of Counterinsurgency and U.S. Land Power Read More »

The Human Terrain System: Operationally Relevant Social Science Research in Iraq and Afghanistan

Author: Dr Christopher Sims The Human Terrain System embedded civilians primarily in brigade combat teams (BCTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014 to act as a collection and dispersal mechanism for sociocultural comprehension. Set against the backdrop of the program’s evolution, the experiences of these social scientists clarifies the U.S. Army’s decision to …

The Human Terrain System: Operationally Relevant Social Science Research in Iraq and Afghanistan Read More »

Enabling Others to Win in a Complex World: Maximizing Security Force Assistance Potential in the Regionally Aligned Brigade Combat Team

Author: CPT (P) Liam P Walsh Beginning in 2013, the U.S. Army began an effort to “engage regionally and respond globally.” A central tenant of this strategy, building upon National strategic guidance, is the necessity to build partner capacity. Army units, through the regionally aligned forces concept, may find themselves conducting security force assistance (SFA) …

Enabling Others to Win in a Complex World: Maximizing Security Force Assistance Potential in the Regionally Aligned Brigade Combat Team Read More »

Training Humans for the Human Domain

Author: Mr Keir Giles, Dr Steve Tatham Experience from Afghanistan and Iraq has demonstrated the vital nature of understanding human terrain, with conclusions relevant far beyond counterinsurgency operations in the Islamic world. Any situation where adversary actions are described as “irrational” demonstrates a fundamental failure in understanding the human dimension of the conflict. It follows …

Training Humans for the Human Domain Read More »

Arab Threat Perceptions and the Future of the U.S. Military Presence in the Middle East

Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill The threat perceptions of many Arab states aligned with the United States have changed significantly as a result of such dramatic events as the 2011 U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, the emergence and then fading of the Arab Spring, the rise of Iranian power and Tehran’s nuclear agreement with key …

Arab Threat Perceptions and the Future of the U.S. Military Presence in the Middle East Read More »

Iraq’s Shia Warlords and Their Militias: Political and Security Challenges and Options

Author: Dr Norman Cigar As America’s de facto co-belligerents who often share the same battlespace in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the presence and activity of Iraq’s Shia warlords and their militias have an impact on U.S. interests and policies at both the strategic and operational levels. The objective of …

Iraq’s Shia Warlords and Their Militias: Political and Security Challenges and Options Read More »

The Strategic Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan: Why the ANSF Will Not Hold, and the Implications for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan

Author: Dr M Chris Mason The wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were lost before they began, not on the battlefields, where the United States won every tactical engagement, but at the strategic level of war. In each case, the U.S. Government attempted to create a Western-style democracy in countries which were decades at least …

The Strategic Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan: Why the ANSF Will Not Hold, and the Implications for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan Read More »

Special Commentary – Fighting the “Islamic State”: The Case for U.S. Ground Forces

Author: Dr. David E. Johnson Abstract: This article argues counterinsurgency wars are not analogous to the challenges presented by the Islamic State. The United States needs to accept the nature of the war it is in, and undertake a clear and comprehensive assessment of the means necessary for strategic success. Such an assessment will make …

Special Commentary – Fighting the “Islamic State”: The Case for U.S. Ground Forces Read More »

Soldiers of Misfortune?

Author: Dr Thomas R Mockaitis In examining the role of security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, the author draws broad lessons from which he provides concrete recommendations to improve the conduct of further missions. Rather than do away with contractors altogether, the author recommends limiting their roles, providing better oversight of their activities, and improving …

Soldiers of Misfortune? Read More »

Governance, Identity, and Counterinsurgency: Evidence from Ramadi and Tal Afar

Author: Dr Michael Fitzsimmons The premise of most Western thinking on counterinsurgency is that success depends on establishing a perception of legitimacy among local populations. The path to legitimacy is often seen as the improvement of governance in the form of effective and efficient administration of government and public services. However, good governance is not …

Governance, Identity, and Counterinsurgency: Evidence from Ramadi and Tal Afar Read More »

Lessons of the Iraqi De-Ba’athification Program for Iraq’s Future and the Arab Revolutions

Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill This monograph considers both the future of Iraq and the differences and similarities between events in Iraq and the Arab Spring states. The author analyzes the nature of Iraqi de-Ba’athification and carefully evaluates the rationales and results of actions taken by both Americans and Iraqis involved in the process. While …

Lessons of the Iraqi De-Ba’athification Program for Iraq’s Future and the Arab Revolutions Read More »

Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, 2003-09: A Case of Operational Surprise and Institutional Response

Author: Brigadier Andrew Smith Surprise is a familiar term in military writings and is enshrined in most nations’ doctrine. Surprises that emerge in tactics, however, can also operate at the strategic and operational levels and are particularly dangerous because they can test the relevance and adaptability of military forces and the “institutional” defense establishments that …

Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, 2003-09: A Case of Operational Surprise and Institutional Response Read More »

Decisionmaking In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: The Strategic Shift of 2007

Author: Dr Steven Metz In this second volume of the series, Dr. Metz looks carefully at the 2007 decision to surge forces into Iraq, a choice which is generally considered to have been effective in turning the tide of the war from potential disaster to possible—perhaps probable—strategic success. Although numerous strategic decisions remain to be …

Decisionmaking In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: The Strategic Shift of 2007 Read More »