Policy Forum

Understanding the Continuing Violence in Iraq

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Date and Time
February 11, 2014 1 - 2:30 PM EST
1st floor/Wintergarden
Featuring Douglas Ollivant, Senior National Security Fellow, the New America Foundation; Harith Hasan, Author of Imagining the Nation: Nationalism, Sectarianism and Socio‐​political Conflict in Iraq; and Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Justin Logan, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

More than three years after the departure of U.S. combat troops from Iraq, a determined insurgency rages against the government led by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al‐​Maliki. Violence has claimed thousands of lives. Some question whether the Iraqi government can maintain control of several major cities, including Fallujah, the scene of some of the toughest fighting during the eight‐​year‐​long U.S. war in Iraq. Some of Maliki’s critics accuse him of stoking the unrest by refusing to make concessions to minority groups in Iraq, in particular Iraq’s Sunni Arab community. Others say that the prime minister should firmly reassert his authority by going after violent extremism and deterring others from supporting the insurgency. The panelists will consider several questions, including: What explains the continuing violence in Iraq? Can Iraq’s disparate communities unite behind a strong central government? And what role, if any, should the United States play?