My name is Joseph Stieb and I'm a doctoral student in history at UNC-Chapel Hill. Lauren Merkel, another UNC Ph.D student, and I are putting together a panel on how U.S. perceptions of Iraqi politics and religion shaped decision making and military planning between 1990 and 2003. Unfortunately, one of our panelists had to drop out for health reasons. We already have chair and a commenter, but we need a third panelist in order to submit this proposal. We are flexible on the time range and topic. I have included an abstract of our panel topic below. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
This panel addresses how perceptions of Iraq society and sectarianism shaped military planning and strategic decision-making in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. It looks at how key decision makers thought U.S. intervention would affect the balance of power between the ethno-sectarian groups, how it would influence the Iraqi state as a force for unity and/or control over these groups, and what regional effects changing the Iraqi ethno-sectarian balance might have. Panelists will also investigate how perceptions of Iraqi society and religion shaped debates and strategies of containment and regime change. The members of the panel will evaluate the views of the Bush and Clinton administration, the intelligence agencies, politicians, military experts, media figures, and Iraqi exiles within the broader context of American perceptions of Arab political culture and Islamic sectarianism.