Iraq "The Day After": Internal Dynamics in Post-Saddam Iraq

By Marr, Phebe | Naval War College Review, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

Iraq "The Day After": Internal Dynamics in Post-Saddam Iraq


Marr, Phebe, Naval War College Review


Of all the unknowns facing policy makers in Iraq, the greatest is what kind of leadership is likely to come after Saddam Husayn. Much, of course, will depend on the means of unseating him. However, little hard thought has yet been spent on who might replace him, what orientation and policies alternative leaders might have, and the processes by which leadership can be selected and legitimated over the long term. These gaps need to be addressed, though the answers may have to remain somewhat speculative.

Regime replacement will be one of the most difficult decisions facing the U.S. administration, because of the absence of good options. Inside Iraq, there is no alternative political leadership available. Well qualified leaders may exist, but they will be difficult to identify beforehand. It is clear that no such leadership can emerge while Saddam Husayn's regime is in place. By definition, political leaders must have followers and at least some rudimentary organization. Under Saddam Husayn's security system, no such activity can take place. The absence of clearly identifiable alternative leadership leaves a great deal to chance and to last-minute efforts at organization by would-be successors the "day after"-not a good foundation for exercising control over the situation.

Some attempt to identify sources of leadership inside Iraq can be undertaken beforehand. The best framework for such a process is probably examination of Iraq's institutional framework and of the leadership below the top levels, which will inevitably depart with Husayn. Such institutions obviously include the military, elements of the bureaucracy, the educational establishment, and even the Ba'th Party itself. But there is a problem here. These institutions have been heavily infiltrated by party members and clan relations of Saddam Husayn, and anyone with experience in administration and in the exercise of authority is likely to have been influenced by their thinking and orientation. How much change is likely to result from such leadership?

Outside of Iraq, alternative political leadership does exist. The "outside" opposition has been operating among Iraq's exile community-in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East-for over a decade, and its members can be clearly identified. However, the various groups constituting this opposition have different agendas and some deeply held but divergent views about Iraq's future, preventing coalescence around a common direction or leader. Meanwhile, aside from the Kurdish parties, it is not clear how much support the outsiders have inside Iraq. Hence, if an outside opposition element is to become Iraq's alternative government, it will have to be put in power by the United States.

These factors present the United States with a policy dilemma. The major justification for a policy of "regime change" advanced by the Bush administration rests on U.S. interests, not the benefits it would bring to the Iraqi population, although these may be substantial. Paramount among American interests are an end to Iraq's program of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and institution of a regime that would be more friendly-or at least not hostile-to U.S. aims, including cooperation in the "war on terrorism" and achievement of regional stability. The alternative leadership most likely to produce these results is the opposition in exile, most of whom have been in the West for an extended period of time and have absorbed Western ideals and aims. However, installing this leadership would be the most expensive option for the United States; it would require U.S. forces on the ground and other military support for some time. A change from inside Iraq, initiated by as-yet-unidentified leaders, would be the least costly for the United States, as presumably avoiding long-term occupation and possibly even destructive military action. But such leadership, especially if it emerges from inside the regime, may not be able-or willing-to guarantee a long-term change in WMD policy or a new, more friendly, political orientation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Iraq "The Day After": Internal Dynamics in Post-Saddam Iraq
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.