Iraq in the Balance
November 12, 2014
A production of the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy and the CSIS Middle East Program, "Iraq in the Balance" looks at how history, geography, power, and people have shaped Iraq's past and its potential future trajectories. Dr. Jon B. Alterman narrates this exploration of how Iraq's past affects questions about its future.
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Chapter 1: Introduction
To understand questions about Iraq’s future, we have to understand its past.
Chapter 2: Connections
For a long time, Iraq did not project power, but connected centers of power to each other.
Chapter 3: Divisions and Unification
Iraqis were part of a larger tapestry that wove them together and connected them to surrounding communities—a tapestry of which the state was just a small part.
Chapter 4: The Oil State
Oil wealth dramatically changed the distribution of power in Iraq.
Chapter 5: Iraq’s Present and Future
Iraqis will have to pick up these threads and weave their own future.
“Taqsim Maqam Hijaz” by Rahim Alhaj with Souhail Kaspar, from When the Soul Settled: Music of Iraq. Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways.
AFP, Getty Images, The David Collection, Eckermann200/Arne C. Waern, Flickr/The British Library, Flickr/Erwin Bolwidt, Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker, Flickr/James Gordon, Flickr/Casey Hugelfink, Flickr/The Poss, Flickr/United States Forces Iraq, Flickr/Matthew Winterburn, Flickr/ Bill Hillegas, Flickr/Jonathan Mallard, Flickr/Thomas Rossi Rassloff, Gertrude Bell Archive at Newcastle University, Sayeed Janbozorgi, Jim Gordon, Library of Congress, Kamaran Najm, Reuters, Zoriah.net, Embassy of Iraq in Washington DC, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Robert Irwin, Islamic Art in Context (New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc. 1997), Susan Megy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ali Al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images, Wisam Sami/AFP/Getty Images, Mohammed Sawaf/AFP/Getty Images, Ayman Oghanna for Al Jazeera America, Zmnako Ismael/Al Jazeera, Maya Alleruzzo/Associated Press, Ahmed Malik/Reuters