Iraq’s Problem Is Power Politics (The Wall Street Journal)


In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Dartmouth’s Daniel Benjamin says that it is tempting to blame the strife in Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites on “ancient religious hatreds.” But, he writes, “the strife in Iraq today is less the mystifying product of primordial grievances than the predictable result of very modern power politics.”

Benjamin, the Norman E. McCullough Jr. Director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding and the former coordinator for counterterrorism at the U.S. State Department, advises, “The U.S. shouldn’t repeat the mistake made two decades ago, when a generation of Western leaders explained away the wars that ripped Yugoslavia apart as the result of primeval ethnic hatreds. Then as now, such resignation is an easy way to avoid hard thinking.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 6/27/14 by The Wall Street Journal.

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