History 492/692: The US-Iraq Wars

(Studies in Diplomatic History)
Fall 2007

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 11:15

Hardin 233

Prof. Edwin E. Moise

Prof. Edwin E. Moise
Office: Hardin 102
Office phones: 656-5369, 656-3153
Home phone: 654-7087
e-mail: eemoise@clemson.edu

Messages can be left in my mailbox in Hardin 124, or in the box on my office door.

Office Hours

    Monday     10:10-11:00, 2:30-3:20
    Tuesday    11:00-12:15
    Wednesday  10:10-11:00, 2:30-3:20
    Thursday   11:00-12:15
    Friday     10:10-11:00 

Course Objectives

We will start with the background of Arab civilization and the history of 20th century Iraq. The main body of the course will be devoted to the two wars the United States has fought in Iraq: the first in 1991, and the second beginning in 2003 and lasting up to the present. Military and political factors, and the role of the media, will all be considered. Since combat is still occurring and seems unlikely to end during this semester, discussion of current events will be highly relevant, and will occur frequently in class. Students may wish to get in the habit of reading the current news in the New York Times, which can be purchased on paper, or read online at http://www.nytimes.com/pages/world/middleeast/index.html.

What goes into your grade

Your grade in the course will be based mainly on the written work I have assigned. You cannot do extra papers for extra credit. You can improve your grade a bit by participating in class discussion. The best way to pick up extra points is to argue against me in class; If you can point out to me that I have made a mistake you get two points extra in the gradebook. If you present a good clear argument that I am wrong about something, with evidence, then your grade may be boosted even if you do not succeed in convincing me.

I do not emphasize trivial factual details in this course. On tests and quizzes I will not ask you to name the Foreign Minister of Iraq, or to give the exact date of the Battle of Khafji. There are some facts you need to know, but they are more important things than dates and names.

The most important single part of your grade will be the course paper. You can write it on whatever topic you please, within the limits of the subject matter of this course. Most of the papers should be about eight to ten pages long, typed double spaced (graduate students: fifteen to twenty pages). Longer papers acceptable.

For more detailed guidelines on the term paper, see Writing a Term Paper in Military History.

The paper is due Wednesday, December 5. It is late if I have not gotten it before I go home that day (definitely not before 4:30 PM, maybe later than that). There will be a five point penalty if it is handed in on December 6 or 7. The penalty will be fifteen points if it is not turned in by the time I go home on Friday, December 7.

You can have a pretty free choice of topics for this paper, within the limits of the subject matter of this course. You must come in and talk to me about your paper, and discuss the sources you will be using. It is not enough to say to me as we are walking out of the classroom one morning "Professor Moise, is it OK if I write about the Scuds?" You will need to talk things over with me for fifteen minutes or maybe half an hour, not just a few seconds. After we have talked, you must give me a written statement of your topic, with a list of the main sources you plan to use. There will be a five point penalty if you have not given this to me by October 12, and an additional five points if it is not in by October 19. If it still is not in by October 26, I will either give you yet another five-point penalty, or else simply hand you a sheet of paper telling you what topic you must write on, and what sources you must use.

If you bring in a preliminary draft of your paper ten days or so before it is due, I will read it and then tell you what needs changing. You can then go home and re-write it. This will almost certainly improve the grades of the few students who bother to take advantage of this offer, so don't be one of the lazy majority who don't start work on the paper until a week before it is due, and then have no time for re-writing.

The paper is worth 150 points. The other written work will be:     --Three (four for graduate students) newspaper research exercises, worth 40 points each.     --The midterm test (70 points) and the final exam (120 points), which will be mostly essay questions.     This adds up to 460 points for the course (500 for graduate students). The basic grade scale is that 90% (414 points for undergraduates) is the bottom of the A's, 80% (368 points) is the bottom of the B's, and so on. Sometimes I alter the scale in the students' favor, never against them. Thus 414 points for an undergraduate is a guaranteed A-; 410 or 408 points might be an A-, if I end up scaling grades.

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity requires that we not try to pass other people's work off as our own. The ways students have gotten into problems of academic dishonesty in courses like this, in past years, have been:

1) Large portions of a term paper copied from a book or web site, without any indication that the material was copied. Typically this involves both large amounts of material quoted word-for-word, without quotation marks, and also a serious shortage of source notes pointing to the book from which the material came. Often there are misleading source notes claiming the material came from some source other than the one from which it was actually copied word-for-word. These false source notes are especially strong evidence of academic dishonesty.

2) Whole term paper obtained from some source (a commercial term paper service, or the Internet, or the collection of term papers that one of the fraternities used to have, and may still have).

3) One student copies another student's 40-point newspaper research exercise, maybe changing a few words and substituting synonyms, but leaving the two papers still so similar that it is obvious the resemblance could not be coincidence. I would be likely to bring charges both against the student who copied and the student who allowed his or her paper to be copied.

There are some ways in which it is perfectly all right for students to help each other. If two students want to study together getting ready for a test, great. Only after I have handed out the questions does help on a test become improper. But if two people work together on a newspaper research exercise, and turn in papers that are very similar because each has been getting a lot of help from the other in writing it, both will be in deep trouble. If one of your fellow students asks to look at your paper, to get a better idea of how the assignment was to be done, please say no. They should come to me to ask for further explanations of the assignment, rather than looking at a completed paper to give them their clues. If too papers are so similar it is obvious the author of one must have seen the other, I will file charges.

Policy on late work

If you do not do written work on time, then with any reasonable excuse you will be able to make it up. However, you will be marked off for lateness. You will be marked off even if your excuse is very, very good. You can avoid a penalty only if I have told you before the work was due that you would be able to do it late without penalty. Research exercises will not usually be accepted at all (you just get an F) if they are more than seven days late.

Attendance policy

You are allowed up to six cuts INCLUDING EXCUSED ABSENCES. You lose two points for every unexcused absense after that. I would advise you not to take even five. I am going to be saying quite a few things in lectures that are not in the reading. Even if you are very careful about doing all the assigned reading, you will have trouble answering the questions on my tests if you have not been at the lectures.

If I am Late

If I have not gotten to class by 11:20, I would be grateful if a student would go bang on my office door and see whether I am there. If I still have not arrived by 11:25, you can give up on me and leave.

Assigned Reading

There are three books students should buy.

I will also ask you to read some materials that come from the Internet or the Library. Note that Clemson University has paid hefty fees to allow everyone browsing the Internet through the Clemson computer system to use LexisNexis, and the ProQuest archive containing every article published in the New York Times from 1850 to 2003, accessible through the Library's articles access page.

Course Outline

The following course outline is tentative. It may be, and probably will be, modified somewhat by class request. Each day, items marked >>> are required reading. Note that where the topic listed for a particular day's class is a particular period in the history of Iraq, I will often also comment in class that day about what relevant things were happening in other countries during that period.

Aug 22: Introduction to the course.

Aug 24: The background of Arab civilization, and of Iraq
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 3-19
    Iraq: Sunni and Shi'i

Aug 27: From British rule to the Iraqi monarchy, 1920-1936
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 21-49

August 29: The later years of the Monarchy, 1937-1958
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 49-80

August 31: The Qasim Era, 1958-1963
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 81-112

            September 3: No Class

September 5: Transition, 1963-1968
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 113-138

September 7: The Ba'th Party in Power, 1968-1979
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 139-176

September 10: Saddam Husain and The Iran-Iraq War
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 177-216

Sep 12: U.S. Policy
    >>> Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero, pp. 311-336

Sept 14: Iraq invades Kuwait, August 1990
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 217-233
    >>> Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero, pp. 337-346

Sept 17: The United States Reacts
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 233-235
    >>> Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero, pp. 346-380

Sept 19, 21: Preparing for War
    >>> Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero, pp. 381-472

September 24: The argument over the war.

Sept 26, 28: The Air War and the Battle of Khafji
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 235-237
    >>> Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero, pp. 473-501

October 1: TEST

October 3, 5: The Ground War
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 237-239
    >>> Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero, pp. 501-547

October 8: Cease-fire and Aftermath
    >>> Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero, pp. 548-74, 578-85
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 239-241

October 10: Suppressing rebellion in Iraq
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 241-265
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 3-11

October 12: Iraq under international sanctions, and the hunt for weapons of mass destruction.
    >>> Marr, Modern History of Iraq, pp. 265-303
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 12-28

No Class October 15 (Fall Break)

October 17: September 11, Afghanistan, and the "War on Terror"
    At the time of the September 11 attacks, Al Qaeda was based mostly in Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan, and most of the country, were controlled by the Taliban, which was allied with Al Qaeda. But there was a coalition of warlords called the Northern Alliance fighting against the Taliban. The United States joined with the Northern Alliance in attacking the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan.
    >>> James Dao and Thom Shanker, "Special Forces, On the Ground, Aid the Rebels", in The New York Times, October 31, 2001. I suggest you go to ProQuest through the Library's articles access page.
    >>> Jon Lee Anderson, "The Surrender: Double agents, defectors, disaffected Taliban, and a motley army battle for Kunduz.", in The New Yorker, December 10, 2001. You can find this on LexisNexis.
    >>> Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, "Afghans' Retreat Forced Americans to Lead a Battle", in The New York Times, March 10, 2002. I suggest you go to ProQuest through the Library's articles access page.

October 19: Toward a Second US-Iraq War: 2002
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 29-66

October 22: Presenting the case to the world: early 2003
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 66-96
    >>> Colin Powell, Speech to the United Nations Security Council, February 5, 2003

October 24: The last stages of the argument over the war, and of the planning for it. The U.S. fails to get a second resolution from the U.N. Security Council.
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 96-111
    >>> Nicholas D. Kristof, "War and Wisdom," New York Times, February 7, 2003. You can find this on LexisNexis.
    >>> The Financial Times, London, February 17, 2003, "Washington shrugs off protests as war preparations continue". You can find this on LexisNexis.
    >>> New York Times Editorial, February 18, 2003, "Reuniting the Security Council". You can find this on LexisNexis.
    >>> Radio Address by President Bush, March 1, 2003.
    >>> "Cheney Says U.S. Justified in Attacking Iraq," Associated Press, March 16, 2003. You can find this on LexisNexis: Power Search: All News Wires.
    >>> George Monbiot, "A wilful blindness: Why can't liberal interventionists see that Iraq is part of a bid to cement US global power?", March 11, 2003. You can find this on LexisNexis: Power Search: Major World Publications.
    >>> "Annan Says U.S. Will Violate Charter if It Acts Without Approval," New York Times, March 11, 2003. You can find this on LexisNexis.

October 26: The war begins
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 115-125
    >>> Department of Defense News Briefing, March 21, 2003, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and CJCS General Richard Myers.
    >>> Department of Defense News Briefing, March 22, 2003.
    >>> Jon Lee Anderson, "Ill Winds: Tomakawks, Bunker Busters, and Dust Storms Afflict the Iraqi Capital", in The New Yorker, April 7, 2003. You can find this on LexisNexis: Power Search: All Magazines.
    --- (Optional, but you might find it interesting): Jon Lee Anderson, "The Bombing of Baghdad: The View from the Banks of the Tigris", The New Yorker, March 31, 2003. Mostly this is what it was like for an American reporter in Baghdad waiting for the war, and the U.S. bombing, to begin. The last five paragraphs are on the first days of the bombing. You can find this on LexisNexis. Choose "Power Search" and then choose "Magazine Stories, Combined" from the "Select Sources" menu.

October 29: The Fall of Baghdad
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 126-148
    >>> John Lee Anderson, "The Collapse: A Regime Disappears and Chaos Ensues." The New Yorker, April 21, 2003. You can find this on LexisNexis: Power Search: Magazine Stories, Combined.

October 31: The Insurgency Begins
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 149-183

November 2: The Occupation Evolves
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 183-213

November 5: Combat intensifies
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 214-246

November 7: The Ramadan Offensive
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 246-274

November 9: Abuses
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 274-297

November 12: Taking Stock: Early 2004
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 301-320
    >>> Robin Wright and Daniel Williams, "U.S. Scrambles to Salvage Transition," The Washington Post, January 16, 2004. You can find this on LexisNexis.

November 14: The crisis of Spring 2004
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 321-352
    >>> John F. Burns, "7 U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq as a Shiite Militia Rises Up," New York Times, April 5, 2004. You can find this on LexisNexis.

November 16: Policy Disputes
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 352-378

November 19: Changes in Leadership
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 378-398
    >>> Dexter Filkins, "New Government is Formed in Iraq as Attacks Go On", New York Times, June 2, 2004, p. 1. You can find this on LexisNexis.

            November 21, 23: No Class

November 26: Second Fallujah; the election of January 2005
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 398-412
    >>> Dexter Filkins, "Rising Violence and Fear Drive Iraq Campaigners Underground", New York Times, January 16, 2005, p. 1. You can find this on LexisNexis.
    >>> Dexter Filkins, "Defying Threats, Millions of Iraqis Flock to Polls", New York Times, January 31, 2005, p. 1. You can find this on LexisNexis.
    >>> John Burns and James Glanz, "Iraqi Shiites Win, but Margin is Less than Projection", New York Times, February 14, 2005, p. 1. You can find this on LexisNexis.

November 28: War in 2005
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 413-429

November 30: Prospects for the Future
    >>> Ricks, Fiasco, pp. 430-439

December 3: Sectarian violence escalates in 2006; the Maliki government
    >>>Robert F. Worth, "Blast at Shiite Shrine Sets Off Sectarian Fury in Iraq," New York Times, February 23, 2006. You can find this on LexisNexis.
    >>>Thom Shanker, "New Guidelines Are Reducing Iraqi Civilian Death, Military Says," New York Times, June 22, 2006. You can find this on LexisNexis.
    >>>Richard A. Oppel, Jr., "Sectarian Rifts Foretell Pitfalls of Iraqi Troopsí Taking Control." New York Times, November 12, 2006. You can find this on LexisNexis.
    ---Graph: Civilian Deaths in Iraq, by Weeks, 2006-2007.

December 5: The "Surge" of 2007
    >>>Edward Wong, 'Iraq Planís Elusive Target: Fear Itself.' New York Times, April 8, 2007, section 4, p. 1. You can find this on LexisNexis.
    >>>Kirk Semple, 'Uneasy Alliance is Taming One Insurgent Bastion.' New York Times, April 29, 2007. You can find this on LexisNexis.

December 7: Summing up


Other Links


Larger, more detailed map of Iraq (source: CIA map, on the Perry-Castaneda Library website) (same map as separate page).

The Middle East (source: CIA map, on the Perry-Castaneda Library website). Asia (source: CIA map, on the Perry-Castaneda Library website).

Map of Pakistan and Afghanistan:


Edwin Moïse's homepage

Revised August 21, 2007.