Diablo Valley College – International Relations (8609)
Mid-Term Research Project One – Fall 2013
Obama’s Iraq (?)
Question: On June 19 of this year, analyst Shamus Cooke asked if the growing conflict
between the United States and Syria was becoming “Obama’s Iraq.” His observations
that there are many similarities with the Bush administration’s run-up to Iraq in 2003 are
compelling. The conflict is continuing to develop and by some accounts, is expanding
and intensifying dramatically. Using the 9 theories we have discussed thus far, which
appears to be the most useful in explaining this current international conflict, and
importantly, whether you believe that “humanitarian intervention” or “R2P” is even a
legitimate international concept?
I. Introduction / Thesis Statement – a brief statement outlining your position or
something relevant about this issue.
II. Body – the bulk of the paper is here, in data taken from the readings and other
evidence you have found in support of your position.
1. Historical background to the conflict
a. CIA Factbook
b. Statements from the White House and the State Department
2. Theoretical positions
a. Conventional view – liberalism (specifically “institutional
b. Alternative theories?
3. Humanitarian intervention or humanitarian imperialism?
a. Data from Bricmont
b. Data from Cartalucci
b. Recent “humanitarian” interventions (particularly Libya)
c. Current non-interventions (Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, and others)
III. Conclusion – based on the evidence you have gathered, your opinion about the
reasons for “Obama’s new war” and which of the 9 theories you feel is probably the most
accurate for describing why this conflict is developing.
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