Recently in Iraq War Category

Teaching Morality: Haditha and the Future of the US Military
February 03, 2012
JURIST Contributing Editor Amos Guiora of the University of Utah SJ Quinney College of Law says that the lack of serious punishment for US troops involved in the 2005 killing of 24 innocent Iraqi civilians at Haditha requires immediate and constant training in international law and morality for US troops to preserve the integrity of American foreign policy...There appears to be a powerful disconnect between the acts committed in Haditha and the punishment meted. In the context of crime versus punishment, the perception is that justice was not served. The Article 32 charges [PDF] are extraordinarily distressing; however, because of the plea bargain there is no final, thorough adjudication of the facts. This in direct contrast to the My Lai....  [more]

Finding Kuwait's Missing National Archives
January 23, 2012
JURIST Guest Columnist Douglas Cox of the City University of New York School of Law says that the Kuwaiti national archives, which were taken by Iraqi forces in 1990, have still not been returned and keep the post-Saddam Iraq under a UN Security Council resolution aimed at having the documents returned... As the final US military convoy left Iraqi territory last month, the US, along with other members of the UN Security Council, criticized Iraq's lack of progress in locating Kuwaiti national archives — the historical records of the nation — that disappeared during Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion. The issue of the missing Kuwaiti archives is crucial because it remains a central factor keeping the new Iraqi government under the....  [more]

Impunity and the International Rule of Law in Iraq
December 19, 2011
JURIST Special Guest Columnist Curtis Doebbler of Webster University and the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, both in Geneva, Switzerland, says the US and other aggressors in the Iraq War have not had to face legal recourse for their numerous violations of international law in the invasion and occupation of Iraq... To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole. Robert Jackson, American Prosecutor at Nuremberg It is usual for lawyer in the US and Europe to speak about the impunity of states and their leaders in Africa, the Middle....  [more]

Iraq 2003 to 2013: A Tragedy in Three Acts
December 16, 2011
JURIST Contributing Editor Michael Kelly of Creighton University School of Law says that the likely outcome of the withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq is a backslide into sectarian violence resulting in the split into smaller states based on ethnoreligious geography...The official drawdown of US forces in Iraq yesterday, December 15, 2011, marked a time for reflection. It marked a time for reconciliation. It also marked the opening of the third act in the tragedy of the US-Iraq fiasco that welcomed the second millennium with a decade of turmoil and death. Neither the first act — the illegal invasion, nor the second act — the frustrating occupation, will measure up to the chaos of the third act — the ensuing....  [more]

Post-War Iraq: Slow and Steady Progress
December 13, 2011
JURIST Contributing Editor Haider Ala Hamoudi of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law says that although there are fears that Iraq may slide into chaos due to the impending withdrawal of troops, it is more likely that the country will continue to make slow advances in solidifying its legal and constitutional structure...Generally speaking, the American role in both creating and maintaining order in contemporary Iraq can be exaggerated. Whatever Iraq's current problems, and they are quite considerable, levels of intercommunal violence are lower than they were at the height of the American intervention, and the role of the state in maintaining basic order on the streets is greater than it was in 2004 and 2005, even with the contribution....  [more]

Iraq Withdrawal Highlights the Need for Smart Power
December 13, 2011
JURIST Guest Columnist Kevin Govern of Ave Maria School of Law says that the pending withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and the challenges to maintaining security in that country and in the region requires a new strategy in dealing with the region to address security concerns amid likely cuts to the US defense budget...Smart power has been touted as "a cornerstone to our new foreign policy" beginning in the Bush administration and continuing today. Smart power employs soft power tools including diplomacy, economic assistance and communications to supplement or augment traditional hard power capabilities of the military to defend and advance US interests around the world. As the mandate for US and coalition troop presence in Iraq expires on....  [more]

The Iraqi High Court's Understated Rise to Legitimacy
April 23, 2010
JURIST Contributing Editor Haider Ala Hamoudi of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law says that a look at recent decisions by Iraq's Federal Supreme Court illustrates the court's growing authority as an independent and legitimate voice in matters of constitutional interpretation.... There has been much attention recently devoted to the Iraqi elections and the government that will result from them. Unfortunately, the elections have detracted from a more interesting salutary legal development that has made the entire political process run much more smoothly. This is the growing independence of the Federal Supreme Court and its ability to solve what would be rather intractable problems in a manner that has been broadly accepted as legitimate. Any number of cases come....  [more]

Defining Democracy in Iraq
March 04, 2010
JURIST Contributing Editor Michael Kelly of Creighton University School of Law says that while democracy in Iraq may look one way in second Iraqi general election on Sunday, it may evolve to look very different when the next election cycle rolls around and the American troops are gone... American Ambassador Christopher Hill said this coming Sunday's general election in Iraq will "determine the quality of Iraqi democracy." His frank statement in an interview with NPR's Tom Ashbrook begs the question: who exactly determines the quality of Iraqi democracy? Is there a fixed standard? Not to my knowledge. True, the general election in Iraq will seat a new government that is selected by the people at large. In that sense, democracy....  [more]

A Solomonic Judgment on Elections in Iraq
February 08, 2010
JURIST Guest Columnist Chibli Mallat, professor of law at the University of Utah and Saint Joseph's University, Lebanon, says that for the sake of stability in Iraq's upcoming elections, it's imperative that all parties respect the Iraqi judiciary's recent decision on candidate eligibility.... It took the US Supreme Court 180 pages to issue the controversial — and by most accounts, poor — Citizens United decision which equated corporations with individual human beings and which threw overboard a carefully crafted bipartisan law meant to reduce the power of money in US elections.In its 'Abd al-Amir decision of February 3, 2010, it took the Iraqi Cassation Chamber ten lines to bring hope to an endangered electoral process in Iraq. It was published....  [more]

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