What We Owe Iraq by Noah Feldman
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What We Owe Iraq
By Noah Feldman

What We Owe Iraq

War and the Ethics of Nation Building With a New afterword by the author

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Format: Paperback

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What We Owe Iraq by Noah Feldman

Book Awards

  • Shortlisted for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2005.

Book Description

What do we owe Iraq? America is up to its neck in nation building--but the public debate, focused on getting the troops home, devotes little attention to why we are building a new Iraqi nation, what success would look like, or what principles should guide us. What We Owe Iraq sets out to shift the terms of the debate, acknowledging that we are nation building to protect ourselves while demanding that we put the interests of the people being governed--whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, or elsewhere--ahead of our own when we exercise power over them. Noah Feldman argues that to prevent nation building from turning into a paternalistic, colonialist charade, we urgently need a new, humbler approach. Nation builders should focus on providing security, without arrogantly claiming any special expertise in how successful nation-states should be made. Drawing on his personal experiences in Iraq as a constitutional adviser, Feldman offers enduring insights into the power dynamics between the American occupiers and the Iraqis, and tackles issues such as Iraqi elections, the prospect of successful democratization, and the way home. Elections do not end the occupier's responsibility. Unless asked to leave, we must resist the temptation of a military pullout before a legitimately elected government can maintain order and govern effectively. But elections that create a legitimate democracy are also the only way a nation builder can put itself out of business and--eventually--send its troops home. Feldman's new afterword brings the Iraq story up-to-date since the book's original publication in 2004, and asks whether the United States has acted ethically in pushing the political process in Iraq while failing to control the security situation; it also revisits the question of when, and how, to withdraw.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691126128
ISBN-10: 0691126127
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 140mm x 15mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 13-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Noah Feldman

Fall and Rise of the Islamic State by Noah Feldman Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, Paperback (August 2012)

Tells the story behind the popular call for the establishment of the shari'a - the law of the traditional Islamic state - in the modern Muslim world. This book gives us the sweeping history of the traditional Islamic constitution - its noble beginnings, its downfall, and the renewed promise it could hold for Muslims and Westerners alike.

Scorpions by Noah Feldman Scorpions, Paperback (November 2011)

A group biography of the relationship between FDR and four of his Supreme Court justices: Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Robert Jackson, and William O. Douglas, written by one of the most brilliant legal scholars at work today.

» View all books by Noah Feldman


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Author Biography - Noah Feldman

Noah Feldman is Professor of Law at New York University and, in 2003, was Senior Constitutional Adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. He is the author of "After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003).

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