This lecture examines the resilience of the Iraqi state and nation before and after the 2003 invasion.
Since 1980, Iraq weathered the longest conventional war of the 20th century, the Iran-Iraq War, followed by one of the shortest, the 1991 Gulf War, and the subsequent uprisings that swept through 15 of its 18 provinces, and a decade of sanctions. Since the 2003 war, Iraq has witnessed an occupation, the collapse of its national military, an insurgency, a civil war, the ensuing terrorist statelet of ISIS, which led to genocide against the Yezidi population, an aborted bid for Kurdish independence, a sustained protest movement, a pandemic, and a proxy war between the US and Iran that continues to this day. Iraq has endured despite numerous forecasts of its imminent collapse into three states. Nevertheless, Iraq’s future during the Anthropocene still looks uncertain, and climate change will have uneven effects on the nation from a geographic, generational, and gendered perspective.
Ibrahim Al-Marashi is Associate Professor of Middle East history at California State University San Marcos and visiting professor at the IE University School of Global and Public Affairs in Madrid, Spain, and formerly at Ivan Franko University in Lviv, Ukraine. He obtained his doctorate in Modern History at University of Oxford, completing a thesis on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, part of which was plagiarized by the British government prior to the 2003 Iraq War, otherwise known as the “Dodgy Dossier.” His research focuses on 20th century Iraqi history, and currently is focusing on the effects of climate change on the nation. He is co-author of Iraq’s Armed Forces: An Analytical History (Routledge, 2008), The Modern History of Iraq (Routledge 2017), and A Concise History of the Middle East (Routledge, 2018).