Accession Number : ADA523189


Title :   Regional Implications of Shi'a Revival in Iraq


Descriptive Note : Journal article


Corporate Author : NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS


Personal Author(s) : Nasr, Vali


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a523189.pdf


Report Date : Jan 2004


Pagination or Media Count : 19


Abstract : Since regime change disenfranchised the Sunni minority leadership that had ruled Iraq since the country's independence in 1932 and empowered the Shi'a majority, the Shi'a-Sunni competition for power has emerged as the single greatest determinant of peace and stability in post-Saddam Iraq. Iraq's sectarian pains are all the more complex because reverberations of Shi'a empowerment will inevitably extend beyond Iraq's borders, involving the broader region from Lebanon to Pakistan. The change in the sectarian balance of power is likely to have a far more immediate and powerful impact on politics in the greater Middle East than any potential example of a moderate and progressive government in Baghdad. The change in the sectarian balance of power will shape public perception of U.S. policies in Iraq as well as the long-standing balance of power between the Shi'a and Sunnis that sets the foundation of politics from Lebanon to Pakistan. U.S. interests in the greater Middle East are now closely tied to the risks and opportunities that will emanate from the Shi'a revival in Iraq. The competition for power between the Shi'a and Sunnis is neither a new development nor one limited to Iraq. In fact, it has shaped alliances and determined how various actors have defined and pursued their interests in the region for the past three decades. Often overlooked in political analyses of greater Middle Eastern politics, this competition is key to grasping how current developments in Iraq will shape this region in years to come. Sectarianism during this time period has also been closely tied to the development of militant Islamist ideology and activism among Sunnis.


Descriptors :   *SECTARIAN VIOLENCE , *IRAQ , *INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS , LEADERSHIP , MIDDLE EAST , MINORITIES , PERCEPTION , BALANCE OF POWER , SAUDI ARABIA , POLITICAL SCIENCE , PAKISTAN , LEBANON , GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN)


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE