Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Editor's Note

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

A quarterly publication cannot and does not attempt to achieve the sort of timeliness typical of the daily or weekly media, and The Middle East Journal, with a (sometimes lengthy) peer review process, can rarely hope to echo the headlines. This issue, however, is fortunate to contain an article whose timeliness speaks for itself: Ahmed Hashim's article on civil-military relations in Iraq. Hashim, of the US Naval War College, examines the history of the Iraqi Armed Forces from the creation of Iraq onward, and their relations with the state; he seeks to answer the question of how Saddam Husayn has managed to maintain the supremacy of the Bath Party and avoid the sequence of coups which once seemed a normal part of the landscape; and he speculates on possible reactions of the Iraqi Armed Forces in a war with the United States.

The debate over war with Iraq seems to be nearing an end as conflict seems increasingly inevitable. But the critical question of the "day after" remains, and linked to that, the question of what role existing Iraqi institutions might play in a successor regime. Certainly the role of the Iraqi Armed Forces will be a critical one, and an understanding of them becomes all the more essential. Whatever one's opinion about the wisdom of such a war, as this issue goes to press it seems imminent; Hashim's article should be essential reading for anyone with an interest in the future of Iraq.

Normally, the Journal contains five main articles, but because of the timeliness of Hashim's contribution, this issue contains six. Three are on Iranian subjects (two political, one technological); one deals with geopolitics and oil in Turkey, and the sixth examines the Jordanian campaign against "honor crimes" as an example of civil society under construction. …

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