This Week: Iraq, 10 Years On

Editor-in-Chief Taylor Owen sums up the week that was on
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March 22, 2013

This week marked the ten-year anniversary of the war in Iraq. OpenCanada looks at the war’s legacy with a six-part series A Lost Decade?

Roland Paris considers the common view at the time that staying out of the war would damage Canada-U.S. relations and finds that nothing of the sort happened. And it’s a good thing we did stay out, says Michael Bell, because the invasion was doomed to failure from the beginning. Attempting to find a silver lining, Steve Saideman says the invasion was a bad idea, but not the “Single Worst Decision In The History of American Foreign Policy”. That honour instead goes to the decision to disband the Iraqi army in 2003. Bessma Momani thinks that the most important lesson can be drawn from the massive human cost of the war. Jennifer Welsh looks at how the war changed how we think about the connection human rights and armed conflict. And Paul Sedra sees a historical parallel between the American occupation of Iraq and the British occupation of Egypt in 1882.

A Lost Decade?: Debating the Lessons of the Iraq War Ten Years On
Ten years on, Baghdad and Washington are still feeling the ripple effects of the Iraq War, as insurgent attacks continue and sequestration kicks in. But should the period of the Iraq war be considered “a lost decade”? Have we learned anything from the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians and 6,630 U.S. soldiers? Is it still to early to tell? OpenCanada asked our experts to reflect on the lessons learned (and not) from ten years of conflict. We also selected essays and longform pieces that highlight changing perceptions of the war from 2003 to 2013. With contributions from Roland Paris, Michael Bell, Steve Saideman, Bessma Momani, Jennifer Welsh, Paul Sedra.

Untapped Value: Why We Don't Appreciate the Value of Water and What Could Change If We Did
Human societies cannot survive, much less thrive, in the absence of reliable sources of fresh water. This reality makes water a resource of immense value. But rarely do we see water being used in a way that reflects that value, particularly in relatively water-rich countries like Canada. On this World Water Day, OpenCanada asked three experts whether the attitudes of Canadians  toward water are changing for the better; whether the way we think about water will affect our ability to adapt to climate change-related impacts on supply and demand; and whether Canada can be a global leader on water-related issues. With contributions from Tony Maas, Diane Dupont, Bernadette Connant, and Bob Sandford.

CIDA Merger Is Fine, But Fundamental Questions of Policy Remain Unresolved
Roland Paris on the Canadian International Development Agency being folded into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Trade Has a Place in Canada’s Foreign Aid Policy
Danielle Goldfarb on why Canada’s aid policies need to better reflect the global economic reality.

Responding to China's Military Buildup
Elinor Sloan on what China’s new military capability means for both the U.S. and Canada.

Kenyatta’s Challenge to the ICC
The International Criminal Court should give Kenya’s new president a chance say Laszlo Sarkany and Asim Ali.

Canada's Food Fortune
Canada is well-positioned to profit from the growing market for food, but policymakers must enable Canadian food exports to seize this opportunity argue Michael Bloom and Michael Grant.

Maritime Security and the Canada-China Relationship
James Manicommakes the case for maritime security to be part of Canada's China strategy.

The Spectre of Sinophobia
As Chinese investment in Canada grows, we should take care not to repeat the mistakes of the past says Hugh Stephens.