The Collapse of Iraq and Syria: The End of the Colonial Construct in the Greater Levant - ISIS, Islamic State, ISIL, Assad, Alawite, Salafi, Nasser, Saddam Hussein, Hashemite, Kurds, Sunni, Shia
Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this report is a timely, scholarly work that helps explain the chaos in the news from the region. More
Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this report is a timely, scholarly work that helps explain the chaos in the news from the region. A day does not go by without Iraq and Syria as well as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) being in the news. Most of the news coverage deals with atrocities, factionalism, civil war, and cultural/ethnic strife. The value of Dr. Barrett's monograph is his thorough delve into history to help explain this complicated story. It is a story of creating states with artificial borders that have been ruled with iron fists to keep a lid on fractured societies. What we are witnessing and what Barrett explains is the dissolution of borders and the collapse of central governments in Iraq and Syria. In fact, the author contends that Iraq and Syria no longer exist as nation-states. Their ultimate fate is yet to be seen. Regardless, this monograph provides the reader with a historical review of the Greater Levant (Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon) that helps explain the reality on the ground today.
Keywords include: Yazidi, Ba'th, Jafari, Druze, Wahhabi, Ottoman, SSNP, Sunni, Shia, Twelver, Saddam Hussein, Assad, Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Hashemite, Sykes-Picot, Assad, Nasser, ISIS, Salafi, Alawite
Chapter 1 - The Pre-1914 Order in the Greater Levant * Chapter 2 - The World Wars and the Mandate System * Chapter 3 - The Rise of Arab Nationalism * Chapter 4 - Dictatorship and Disintegration * Chapter 5 - Collapse and Anarchy 2003-2011 * Chapter 6 - Conclusion
Barrett begins his analysis in the pre-1914 Greater Levant and the role that it played in the political structure of the broader Middle East region. He also focuses on the First World War, the collapse of the Ottoman system in the Greater Levant, and the interwar years of the League of Nations' mandates. Barrett contends that the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 still serves as the basis for current policies. The secret agreement between France and the United Kingdom was designed as a deal to divide the Arab territories of the former Ottoman Empire into spheres of influence. The arbitrarily drawn boundaries accommodated the Western powers and disregarded political, economic, social, cultural, religious, and sectarian realities on the ground. These artificial borders and colonially-created states have been kept in check by authoritarianism. The post-World War II years saw the rise of Arab Nationalism and the Ba'th Party as well as the rise of dictators Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Hafez al-Assad in Syria. Barrett's walk through history ends with Iraq and Syria's current predicament. Both are beset by collapsing central governments and loss of state control of their borders. The division of Iraq and Syria into ethnic regions is taking place on the ground even though both are still treated as states. Add the ISIS threat to the mix and you get a "simmering brew of local and regional ethnic, sectarian, and social rivalries with various parts falling under the sway of autocratic rulers who, through patronage and fear, will establish an equilibrium that brings some order to the chaos." This monograph has value to the military and policy world. It is not only a good explanation of the history of the Greater Levant, but its greatest value is its succinctness in analyzing and presenting the current chaotic regional situation. It should be of interest to Special Operations Forces, strategists, planners, and leaders interested in the future of U.S. policy in the region, especially in dealing with ISIS.
Since 1945, the United States' involvement in the political stability of the historical Levant and Mesopotamia—Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and Iraq—has steadily increased. Because of the complexity, nomenclature describing the region can be confusing; as a result, this paper uses the term "Greater Levant" to describe Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, in their contemporary condition.
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