Iraq as Regional Power

Comparing Iraq’s ambitions to play a regional role — similar to that of Turkey — with Egypt’s relative irrelevance, Shadi Hamid at Democracy Arsenal concludes that democracies are capable of more stable foreign policies than dictatorships, especially those propped up by foreign support. Without disputing the nature of the Mubarak regime, I’m not so sure that Egypt is as irrelevant as Hamid suggests. After all, the Israel-Hamas ceasefire was negotiated via Egyptian mediation. The distinction Hamid makes regarding externally imposed dictatorships (e.g. Egypt) and indigenous ones (e.g. China) might also apply to democracies, given the nature of Baghdad’s dependence on […]

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