Nationalism, Sectarianism, and the Future of the U.S. Presence in Post-Saddam Iraq

  • July 01, 2003
  • Dr W Andrew Terrill

The author addresses the critical questions involved in understanding the background of Iraqi national identity and the ways in which it may evolve in the future to either the favor or detriment of the United States. He pays particular attention to the issue of Iraqi sectarianism and the emerging role of the Shi'ite Muslims, noting the power of an emerging but fractionalized clergy. This report includes policy recommendations for U.S. military and civilian decision makers that helps to illuminate the complex subjects of Iraqi nationalism and sectarianism and their relevance to the U.S. presence in Iraq.