The Caliphate at War: Ideology, War Fighting and State-Formation
Hashim, Ahmed Salah
Date of Issue2016
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
History is very important despite the disdain with which policy makers and analysts view it. They want information on which they can base decisions. History is given short shrift, often leading to misjudgments. If Iraq's past had been better understood, some mistakes might have been avoided. But the Bush administration went into Iraq with a priori assumptions that ignored history. My approach towards what is going on in Iraq lies within the French historical school of la longue durée, the study of long-term structural factors. Two long-term historical points should be kept in mind when considering the Islamic State (IS) within the context of Iraq and Syria: the emergence and manipulation of sectarianism, skewed state-formation and nation building.
Middle East Policy
© 2016 The Author and the Middle East Policy Council (published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)