News / Middle East

Far-Reaching American Legacy in Iraq Debated

Far-Reaching American Legacy in Iraq Debatedi
X
March 23, 2013 1:42 PM
A decade after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, wartime assumptions about the extent of American influence in Iraq have waned. Now, as Iraq struggles in a fledgling democracy, some former U.S. officials say the country still needs American help. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

Far-Reaching American Legacy in Iraq Debated

A decade after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, wartime assumptions about the extent of American influence in Iraq have waned. Now, as Iraq struggles in a fledgling democracy, some former U.S. officials say the country still needs American help.

Black smoke rises to the sky after a suicide bombing in Baghdad's Sadr City, one in a series of deadly attacks marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion.

At the scene of another blast, frustration. Some former U.S. officials see the violence as something bigger - a symbol of U.S. hopes for Iraq being dashed.

“I think we’ve gotten out of balance now, and we need to try to bring it back," said former U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, He still sees Iraq as a crucial ally, especially as Iran has been using Washington's seeming absence after its troop withdrawal as a chance to extend its influence over the region.

"I think they are going to notice and respect, if not appreciate, an enhanced level of U.S. engagement. That was the case not only when we had troop levels on the ground, but a regular high-level diplomatic dialogue. It served as a counter balance to Iranian influence," said Crocker.

Iraq's former ambassador to the U.S., Samir Sumaida'ie, said that with renewed U.S. engagement and support, Iraq could do even more.

“A stable Iraq and a balanced Iraq would be an immensely important factor in stabilizing the whole region," said Sumaida'ie.

But some, like former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, warn against such false hopes.

“If the lesson to be drawn from it [the Iraq War] is that whenever there are, quote-unquote, murderous groups doing nasty things the United States has to go in militarily to deal with it, I think it’s a recommendation for a policy that will be ultimately suicidal,” he said.

Brzezinski argues that U.S. involvement in Iraq helped cause much of the regional instability that has allowed problems to escalate elsewhere in the region.

With America's attention now focused on Syria and Iran, Iraqis are left to pick up the pieces of the violence and uncertainty that continues to influence their day-to-day lives.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid