Colonel Joel Rayburn

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Analysis and Commentary

The Coming Disintegration of Iraq

by Colonel Joel Rayburnvia The Washington Post
Friday, August 15, 2014

Nouri al-Maliki may have agreed to step down as prime minister of Iraq on Thursday, but the damage he has wrought will define his country for decades to come. The stunning collapse of the Iraqi state in its vast northern and western provinces may be Maliki’s most significant legacy. After nine decades as the capital of a unitary, centralized state, Baghdad no longer rules Kurdistan, nor Fallujah, nor Mosul, and might never rule them again.

Iraq after America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance

Iraq after America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance

by Colonel Joel Rayburnvia Hoover Press
Friday, August 1, 2014

More than a decade after the US-led invasion of Iraq, most studies of the Iraq conflict focus on the twin questions of whether the United States should have entered Iraq in 2003 and whether it  should have exited in 2011, but few have examined the new Iraqi state and society on its own merits.

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The Coming War in the Middle East

by Colonel Joel Rayburnvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Imagine a sectarian conflagration, fueled by Al Qaeda, raging across the Fertile Crescent.

Analysis and Commentary

Needed: A Political Strategy after the Deal Collapses

by Colonel Joel Rayburnvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, April 16, 2012

Observers rightly say that the Afghanistan campaign will not result in a sustainable outcome without a political strategy to accompany the military operations NATO is conducting...

Featured Analysis

Needed: A Political Strategy after the Deal Collapses

by Colonel Joel Rayburnvia The Caravan
Monday, April 16, 2012

Observers rightly say that the Afghanistan campaign will not result in a sustainable outcome without a political strategy to accompany the military operations NATO is conducting.  In too many minds, however, formulating a political strategy has been equated to brokering a deal

Featured Analysis

"Blowback" - Iraq Comes To Syria

by Colonel Joel Rayburnvia The Caravan
Thursday, February 23, 2012

“Blowback” is the decades-old term coined by CIA officers to describe what happens when a covert operation produces forces that return to harm those who set it in motion.  The textbook example of “blowback” in living memory has been U.S.

In the News

Iraq After America

by Colonel Joel Rayburnvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 promises to be a stormy year for the beleaguered country...

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Iraq After America

by Colonel Joel Rayburnvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 promises to be a stormy year for the beleaguered country.