TWD Cited in New Oxford University Press Monograph on Iraq

An Iranian Kurdish guerrilla fighter from the Parti Azadi Kordestan keeps watch at his post after IS fighters backed down. ©2016 Derek Henry Flood

New York- I’m pleased to share that my fieldwork in Iraq from the war against IS circa 2016-17 is cited in a new book called Death, Dominance, and State-Building by MIT professor Roger D. Petersen published this month by Oxford University Press.

From MIT’s  Center for International Studies:

“Among the many books published in recent months by our scholars is “Death, Dominance, and State-Building” by Roger Petersen. He provides the first comprehensive analytic history of post-invasion Iraq. Although the war is almost universally derided as one of the biggest foreign policy blunders of the post-Cold War era, Petersen argues that the course and conduct of the conflict is poorly understood. He begins by outlining an accessible framework for analyzing complex, fluid, and violent internal conflicts. He then applies that framework to a variety of diverse case studies to break down the strategic interplay among the US military forces and Shia and Sunni insurgent organizations as it played out in Baghdad, Anbar, and Hawija. Highlighting the struggle for dominance between Shia and Sunni in Baghdad, Petersen offers a reconsideration of the Surge. He also addresses failures of state-building in Iraqi Kurdistan. Critically, he shows how the legacy of the US occupation and presence from 2003-2011 shaped Iraq’s political and security contours from 2011-2023. Comprehensive, analytically sophisticated, and subtle, this book draws lessons relevant to future American military interventions from what most regard as the US’s most disastrous foreign policy adventure since Vietnam. The US cannot simply wish away insurgencies, which are always going to occur. The question is what the US and other great powers might do about them in the future.”

No the editors didn’t reach out to me about this or anything of that sort. Every once in a while I simply plug my name into Google Books to see where my analytical work from the terror wars happens to end up. And I love making these little discoveries with the notion that my work from now years ago still lives on and is relevant.

From the endnotes, p. 357:

Truth be told, for the 2016 article I was marching single file atop a ridge with Iraqi Kurdish militiamen as we were going to rendezvous with their Iranian Kurdish brethren above the town of Bashiqa in Ninewa Governorate when an IS sniper down below tried to pick us off. I was pinned to the asphalt as Dragunov A semi-automatic Soviet rifle) rounds pierced the hillock just behind me. These were the types of circumstances I would put myself through to get the story. Get in. Get out. Don’t get hit. It was that simple.

A Kurdish Pehmerga fighter totes a Heckler & Koch G-3 donated by the German government to the Kuurdistan Regional Government just seconds before were were nearly taken out. ©2016 Derek Henry Flood