Reidar Visser is a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and editor of the Iraq website http://www.historiae.org. His books include “Basra, The Failed Gulf State: Separatism and Nationalism in Southern Iraq” (2005) and, edited with Gareth Stansfield, “An Iraq of its Regions: Cornerstones of a Federal Democracy?” (2007).
One week after the upsurge of violence in Basra, questions about the motives and implications of the fighting still linger. The issue of Iran’s involvement remains especially obscure. A recurrent
For some time, analysts have been suggesting that the Bush administration's "surge" strategy may have achieved a measure of success in certain parts of Iraq. Many highlight the tendency on