Post-Conflict, Peace/Nation Building in Iraq Term Paper

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This includes putting in place international legal systems, dispute resolution mechanisms as well as cooperative arrangements.14 The call this approach social peace-building or structural peace-building. Such peace-building involves "creating structures -- systems of behavior, institutions, concerted actions -- that support the embodiment or implementation of a peace culture."15

This is what the author's call multi-track diplomacy. It involves individuals who are not normally involved in the peace process, particularly business people or other professionals (e.g., academics, sports teams, etc.). In such a situation, it is important to create structures and systems of behavior, institutions and concerted actions that support the embodiment or implementation of a peace culture. It is about building an economic, military and community infrastructure and providing concrete and realistic avenues through which a new peace system might express itself. Structures are terribly necessary because political peacebuilding cannot accomplish conflict transformation by itself. After all, a signed treaty by itself does not create peace. It only creates a basis for peace, or a legal infrastructure to support peace).16

Activities include economic development programs, strengthening democracy and governance, and supporting the creation of indigenous NGOs that support peace.17 Social peacebuilding is the missing link, seeking to build upon the human infrastructure that can support the political agreements and societal institutions. Trying to prepare the system to be able to implement political agreements without the further loss of life (activities: e. g. conflict resolution workshops; reconciliation activities; mediation efforts between different societal/ethnic groups etc.).18

There is a governance and participation pillar that addresses the need for a legitimate, effective political and administrative institutions with participatory processes. This is most often guaranteed through a representative constitutional structure. In terms of social and economic well-being pillar, this addresses fundamental social and economic needs of the population. In particular, the provision of emergency relief, restoration of essential services, laying the foundation for a viable economy and the initiation of an inclusive, sustainable development program.19 In terms of the justice and reconciliation pillar, this addresses the need for an impartial and accountable legal system and for ways to deal with past abuses. In particular, there is a necessity for the creation of effective law enforcement, an open judicial system, fair laws, humane corrections systems and also formal and informal mechanisms for resolving grievances that arise from conflict.20

Before we go on, we should look briefly at the possibility of international arbitration under the auspices of the Permanent Court on Arbitration (PCA) at the Hague.21 The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal was created as a measure that was taken to resolve the crisis in relations between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran arising in the wake of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. At that time, the Iranian Revolution was in full swing and 52 American nationals at the United States Embassy in Tehran had been detained since November 1979. Subsequently Iranian assets were frozen by the United States as an economic sanction by America against the Islamic Republic to secure the hostages' release in January of 1981. The resolved cases on the Tribunal legal document that deal with law suits between the two countries represent the only issues that the United States and Iran have resolved over 30 years.22 This is a tremendous accomplishment. The arbitration option will be looked at later as another valuable tool to add to a sparse tool kit of diplomatic options between the United States and the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan.


The best description of the situation in Iraq and the fact that the invasion was made for reasons other than for that of weapons of mass destruction. According to former General Wesley Clark, he was contacted by former colleagues at the Pentagon ten days on or about the 20th of September, 2001 that the decision had been made to attack Iraq.23 What is so prescient about General Clark's analysis is his colleague's analysis of the situation. When the General asked them why there was a plan to attack Iraq, the response was that they did not know. Al-Qaeda was not involved. They said that the Pentagon and the administration felt that since the United States military had the power, they would take out a hostile government.24

In a subsequent conversation, his colleague said something that was even more revealing about the situation: he likened it to having only a hammer in the toolbox. If one only has a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail and it needs to be pounded.25 Frankly, this author does not have the time in this short essay to debunk all of the Bush administration's misrepresentations with regard to Iraq, WMD' and Al-Qaeda. General Clark's word will suffice to wit that the war was launched for purposes other than the official reasons put out by the Bush administration.

Now, we need to address some issues that were a direct result of the United States invasion. The Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) was created on January 20, 2003 two months before the Iraqi invasion in 2003.26 It was to provide a caretaker government until an Iraqi civilian administration. It did this in the form of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).27 This was established as a transitional government under the leadership of former General Jay Garner in the wake of the invasion of Iraq by the United States and members of the Multi-National Force-Iraq which was formed to oust the government of in 2003.28 The CPA possessed complete executive, legislative and judicial authority over the Iraqi government. The CPA was in charge from April 21, 2003 until June 28, 2004.29

The swift dismissal of Garner from the post came as a huge surprise. He had publicly preferred to put the Iraqi people in charge as soon as possible and to do it with some form of elections. The United States Government decided to begin removing members of the Ba'ath Party from the Iraqi government and military. Jay Garner's original plan was what he called "gentle de-Baathification" where they would call the majority of ministries back, but firing the top people who were probably criminals. Then, the people who would make the country function would point out the bad people who would be removed at that time.30 The refusal to implement a complete de-Ba'athification immediately as a public policy infuriated many senior members of the United States Government and lead directly to his dismissal. Upon assuming his post in May 2003, L. Paul Bremer took the title of United States Presidential Envoy and Administrator in Iraq in May 2003.31 Unfortunately, the lack of authority due to lack of security (brought about by no Iraqi Army and Police), looting, lawlessness and chaos ruled. This lack of security was caused directly by thousands of armed people left without a job. Without securing weapons and giving former civil servants and soldiers jobs, it is no surprise that people joined religious organizations that promoted anti-American sentiments.32

Unfortunately, the deed has been done and it is time to reconstruct the country properly. First of all, we need to identify the problems that have provided problems for the United States efforts so far. Joseph Nye in a July-August 2003 Foreign Affairs article raised questions about what the post-conflict Bush administration strategy needed to be. He pointed out the seemingly obvious, which is that the willingness of other nations to cooperate in dealing with transnational problems such as terrorism depends on their own interest converging with that of the United States. According to Nye, the United States needs to move toward multilateralism to legitimize U.S. power and to gain broad acceptance of American strategy and foreign policies. The United States needs to use more soft power, diplomacy and multilateral cooperation than the unilateralism that has dominated its actions previously.33


The War in Afghanistan started on October 7, 2001, as the United States, U.K., Australia, and the Northern Alliance (Afghan United Front) embarked on Operation Enduring Freedom. This invasion was launched in the wake of the September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The stated mission was the dismantling of Al-Qaeda, the overthrow of the Taliban and ending the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base. In a matter of weeks, the Taliban was ousted from Kabul and most of the country. Unfortunately, the majority of the remaining Taliban and Al-Qaeda (including Osama bin Laden) managed to escape to sanctuary areas in the Pakistani province of Waziristan.34

The invasion forces established the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and an interim government under Hamid Karzai that was elected in the 2004 general elections. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was founded by the UN Security Council at the end of December 2001 to secure Kabul its surroundings. Command of the ISAF was assumed by NATO in 2003. The force includes military personnel from 42 countries. NATO provides the core of the force.35

Unfortunately, in 2003, the Taliban forces of the Haqqani network and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-i…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Amanpour, Christiane. "America Remembers, Part II." Transcripts. CNN, August 24, 2002. Web. 6 Dec 2011. <>.

Rubin and Ahmed Rashid. "From Great Game to Grand Bargain: Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan." Foreign Affairs, 2008, 30.

Belasco, Amy. United States Congress. Congressional Research Service. Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11. Washington, D.C.: G.P.O., 2011.

Brzezinski, Zbigniew . "The CIA Intervention in Afghanistan ." Center for Research on Globalisation., 15 October 2001. Web. 5 Dec 2011. .

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